Look around and you’ll see all kinds of blog posts. Some are engaging and fun to read, while others have you clicking on that ‘X’ in no time. So, how can you write content that people love, enjoy and hopefully want to share.
You don’t have to be a wordsmith to hook your reader with great blog writing. In fact, these simple tips and some practice will already set you down the road to dramatically improving your craft.
One of the most important blog writing tips is to “Shut up and say it!” So let’s lead by example and do just that.
1) Grab readers with a powerful headline
Your headline must generate interest in your post by catching readers’ attention and promising them some benefit they want in return for clicking and reading.
The benefit can be a piece of news, information, entertainment, a special offer, and so on. It can also be a combination of things. But there has to be a desirable benefit as a reward for engaging with your content. And that benefit must be clear right away, spelled out in the headline.
2) Hook them with your opening paragraph and reassure them that you will deliver
You’ve got the attention of you readers. Careful! it’s easy to lose it. Like you, they’re a busy lot, and easily bored.
Your blog post’s opening paragraph has to hook readers and reassure them that the benefit you promised in the headline – the reason they are reading at all – will be delivered in the text.
Don’t give them what they want right away (unless the benefit in question is also your main message, in which case, see below). But readers need to know that the prize is around the corner and that it’s going to be more than worth their effort.
3) Get your key message out early
Even the best-written blog posts lose readers along the way. The world is too full of distractions.
Make sure that those who only read your headline and opening paragraph or two still get your core message and also any calls to action. No matter what you do, many people will only read this far. So get to the point quickly.
Apart from keeping readers interested, as we already mentioned, your first couple of paragraphs should also contain a summary of what you want to say. This includes any important links you want to share.
Sometimes, your message and the benefit your readers want are one and the same thing. In that case, get right to it and don’t make your post any longer than you have to.
4) Deliver the goods in the body of the post
The body of your blog post has to make good on the promise you made in the headline.
This is where you expand on the matter at hand, give readers what they came for and make sure they feel satisfied and rewarded for taking the trouble to read.
5) Expand on your message, but make your writing about your readers
The body of your blog post is also your chance to say what you want to say and give out all those juicy details. However, keep each post about a single thing and avoid the temptation to go off topic. If you try to say many things at once, you dilute your message and give the impression that what you’re saying is not important.
As you write, remember that you are writing for your readers – without them, you wouldn’t be writing at all. So make your writing about them even when it is your message you are delivering.
Speak to people directly. Put their interests first, and then yours. Show them you care and you will be rewarded in kind.
A good thing to keep in mind is to use far more words like ‘you’ and ‘your’ in your writing than words like ‘we’ and ‘our’. Just this one trick can radically change the tone of your writing for the better.
6) Sum up key points and reinforce your call to action in your conclusion
Use the conclusion to your post to drive your message home.
Very briefly sum up your key points and remind your readers about the things that matter, including any call to action. Remember to always end on a positive note and create a feeling of satisfaction.
7) Shut up and say it!
This the way we used to refer to the most important writing rule in one writing team I worked with. What it means is this: say what you have to say and get out. This is not a last step, but an overarching principle for better writing.
Your writing needs to serve the main purpose of the post, and each post should have one purpose only. All your words must pull their weight, and extra fluff has to be cut off. Get the job done with as few words as possible.
Writers call this ‘killing your darlings’, where you have to set your ego and personal interests aside and remove anything that is distracting to the reader or that deviates you from your goal, even if it actually happens to be great writing.
Put these tips into practice if you’re not already doing so, and you’ll see an instant improvement in your writing. Keep these principles in mind and remember that your writing will get better as you do more of it, so hang in there! RDO Digital has got your back.
And this is by no means an exhaustive list of writing tips. Not by far! So you’re all invited to head over to the RDO Digital group on LinkedIn and share your own personal favourites.