Top 9 blogging tips anyone can use
No matter how much you learn, you can always learn more. And it never hurts to go back to basics and remind yourself of the fundamentals.
There are plenty of blog posts out there with titles like “23 great ways to get blogging inspiration”, but not many talk about the technical aspects of it.
You know what you want to say, but how best to present it?
1. Write scannable post titles
Your reader needs to know what they’re reading before they read it. Funny, punny headlines rarely work well online, so stick to facts.
Remember, your headline is your hook, and your reader is swimming in a gigantic ocean filled with bait. But that doesn’t mean use clickbait titles (“These outrageous blogging tips will change your life”) – they’re not great for SEO and Facebook penalises clickbait publishers.
2. Get to the point
Spell out what you’re covering in the first couple of lines. An introductory line is okay, but keep your reader interested by laying out what you’re talking about early on.
3. Use short words
Short words are easy to read. Abstain from unnecessarily flowery verbiage.
4. Keep paragraphs short as well
We’re always fighting for attention online, so even though someone has started to read your blog, it doesn’t mean they’ll stick around for the duration – not when Reddit is in the next window. Short paragraphs are less intimidating and more readable, especially on mobile devices.
Which leads me to…
5. Chunk up your copy
Your reader is probably going to be scanning, so make it easy for them. As well as embracing short paragraphs, make use of:
- Bulleted lists
- Bolding of key phrases
6. Kill jargon
Jargon’s awful. Even people who deal in jargon hate jargon (well, most of them). The insurance industry is terrible for it, so we’re always on the lookout for terms that will distract or confuse customers.
Spell out acronyms and abbreviations in the first instance.
Only use technical words if you’re confident your audience will be confident with them too. If you can say something simply, do it.
7. Use the active voice
Tools like Grammarly and Hemingway are good at pointing out when you stray into the passive voice, but it’s good to know how to accomplish it on your own.
Readers prefer the active voice as it propels the words forward.
In brief, in an active sentence, the subject is doing the action. Here are a couple of examples:
Passive: Your policy details will be updated
Active: We’ll update your details
Passive: The fork was left in the microwave by Emma
Active: Emma left the fork in the microwave
You see the difference? In the active version, the doer is right at the beginning. Writing actively is a good habit to get into.
8. Think about blog length
If you haven’t picked up the theme here – brevity is key. Blogs are meant to be thoughts; don’t get confused between blogs and articles, they’re two different things. There’s no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to word count, but I aim to keep blogs at around 600 words, but don’t worry about going over or under if it feels right.
9. Consider a call to action
Your call to action will vary depending on your goals and the type of content you produce, but the gist remains the same: getting the reader to do something because of your post.
- Download an eBook
- Join a mailing list
- Follow a Twitter account
- Leave a comment
- Book online
Be natural though. You’ve kept the reader this far, don’t get all spammy now.
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