I’ve been providing professional writing services in Maine for a long time. Whenever I meet new people and tell them what I do the thing they ask most often is how to write great blog posts. People still seem to think that there’s some mystery to it, some magic. They think you have to be Shakespeare or have a college degree in blog writing. They get so worked up about it that you can literally see their minds shutting down. In fact, their next comment is almost always: “Oh, I couldn’t do that!”
But you can. Anyone can write great content for their business blog.
Don’t Let Fear of Failure Hold You Back
In my opinion the thing that keeps most people from becoming good bloggers is fear. They worry so much about how to write great blog posts that they never actually start. They think they have to be good writers with proper grammar and that they have to be SEO experts and that they have to spend days at the computer writing pages upon pages of eloquent prose and . . . That’s simply not true!
Writing for the Internet is Different
Writing for the web is very different than any other type of writing. Why? Because the audience is different. People don’t come to your blog to find Shakespeare. They come to find interesting, bite-sized bits of information pertaining to your business and their lives. They want that information as quickly as possible and in a recognizable format. And, sometimes, they want to be entertained.
That’s all there is to it!
Tips for Writing Great Blog Posts
- Make Your Content Easy to Scan
People don’t read web pages from top to bottom. They scan through the content looking for the headlines, the bold text, the italics, and block quotes. This is where you should put your most important information.
- Find a “Hook” In the writing industry a “hook” is the catch that’s going to grab someone’s attention. That hook can be the topic of a blog post (if it’s interesting, weird, or just plain shocking enough). Think of those clickbait articles people always put on Facebook: “You Won’t Believe What this Woman Did to Her Body” or “20 Nerdy Actors Who Turned Into Heartthrobs!”However, the hook can also be your particular writing style. You can use wit, humor, sarcasm, or a slightly skewed perspective as your hook with great success. Justin Halpern used comedic observations of his aging father to create the “Shit My Dad Says” microblog in 2009. Within a year he had a book deal and a year after that a major television series starring William Shatner!
- Use Pictures People’s eyes are drawn to pictures. Strategically places these in your blog post to lead your reader down the page. But remember, these pictures should be interesting and relevant to the content.
- Keep It Simple Shirley! You don’t want to introduce too many new ideas in a single blog post. 3-5 is about all an average reader can handle before they begin tuning things out. So keep your blogs simple and as short as they need to be.(Long posts still work for somethings—such as fund raisers—but writing great blog posts longer than 500 words takes a bit more skill and craft to keep people reading to the end.)
- The Headline is Always the Most Important Thing You Write It’s what grabs people’s attention and makes them click the link in the first place. You should spend a good portion of your “writing time” on crafting a good headline. It should be snappy, deliver the gist of the article in 7-10 words, and contain your primary keyword.
- Proofread Once people know how to write great blog posts they often try to cut corners to shorten the process. One thing you should never omit is proofreading. You don’t want the first impression someone gets of your business to be a bad one.(And while you’re at it, check your facts as well—you don’t want to be putting false information on your website.)
One Last Pro Tip for Writing Great Blog Posts
Don’t be afraid of injecting your personality and opinions into your blog posts. You don’t want to offend your readership but customers come to you because of who you are not because of the vanilla content on your website.