Virtually every single “advice” blog and website is telling us that we need to be writing a blog, especially if we run a business. However, what a lot of those sites never seem to do, is tell us exactly how to write those blogs, or even what we should be writing about. So, how are we supposed to get it right?
The truth is, that there isn’t really a right or a wrong answer to blogging. For most people, it’s a case of trial and error and discovering what works for you and your business.
Nevertheless, here are a few tips for how you could start on the road to success, as a blogger, no matter what your business, your niche or your passion in life.
Write about what you are passionate about. I am a huge believer that it is only possible to create anything successful, if you are truly passionate about it. It all goes back to when I was choosing my GCSE options, and my Mum told me to pick subjects that I enjoy, because I’d enjoy studying them and hence I would do better. She was definitely right, and I think the same applies in both business, and in blogging. If something interests you, the chances are that there are people out there, that are just as interested as you are.
Blog regularly, but only when you really have something to say. It’s easy to find yourself trying to write a blog, because you feel that you need to get something out there, so that readers don’t lose interest. However, readers are far more interested in reading interesting posts, every few days, than reading poorly written and underwhelming posts every day that waste their time.
Don’t be afraid to step away from your blog if you are struggling for inspiration. There is nothing wrong with taking a break, especially when you’re just not “feeling it” with your blog, however, be careful not to completely abandon it.
Keep posts short, because most internet-users are “skimmers“, meaning that they probably don’t read things fully, but rather skim for the most important points. If it interests them, there’s a good chance that they’ll read it in depth.
If your posts do need to be long, make sure that you make them interesting. Plus, to help skimmers to figure out if your post is worth reading – for their own interests – try putting key points and words in bold and/or italic. Also, remember to use sub headings, to further enhance what your post is all about.
Put a lot of thought into headlines, because this is what is going to draw your audience in. Entice them, and give people a real reason they want to read your post.
Write in first person, and make your posts really personal. People love to read content that they can relate to, and feels like a human being in talking to them, because it’s like reading the inner thoughts of a friend.
Add images, to break up the monotony of a long post, or to help in making a point. Images can also help to show what you are talking about, or a product that you are selling.
Be uncomplicated, and avoid jargon. I don’t need to tell you how annoying I find jargon, slang terms and highly technical language. So, keep your posts simple and easy to understand. I’m not suggesting that your over-simplify, but ensure that someone who knows nothing about your industry could understand what you are trying to say.
Don’t be afraid to be controversial, especially if you have an opinion that “goes against the grain”. In other words, don’t be afraid to say what you really think about something, however, avoid being controversial just to stir up a reaction, otherwise you may be accused of “trolling“.
On the other hand, expect to bear the brunt of “trolls“ – people who deliberately say controversial things (typically in comments, disagreeing with you or making personal comments), to stimulate responses of anger. Trolls are typically not very nice people, and certainly not worth the hassle. Try to ignore them, and definitely delete any troll-type comments.
Include links to other websites that are relevant to what your blog is about. It’s good to share the love, and search engines feel quite highly about outgoing links, as much as they do for incoming ones.