Make Your Blog Stand Out From the Crowd
I’ve been writing blog posts for several years and along the way I’ve learned a few things which have, if nothing else, made my pages look more interesting to my readers. Here are just a few I feel have helped me the most.
Tip 1: Read Other Blogs
You can learn a lot from what other people do and don’t do. Look at the way they put their words together, the length of their sentences, and how they break a story into paragraphs. Look at how they’ve formatted the text. Read blogs you feel are well-written and engaging, but also read those which aren’t. You can learn just as much from the things people do wrong and sometimes you’ll learn more. Choose well-known blogs as well as newbies in the groups you frequent on Social Media.
Tip 2: Proofread
This is the most commonly overlooked aspect of blog writing. Failure to proofread can seriously undermine your credibility. If your copy is fraught with misspellings and improper grammar, people will notice. Such mistakes scream either amateur, or lack of attention to detail, or both. Read it after you’ve walked away from it. Read it out loud. Make your corrections then walk away again and repeat the process. If you can, have someone else read it too, but short of that, go over it 2 or 3 times yourself. You’ll be glad you did!
Tip 3: Format
In my early days of blog writing, I didn’t use headers. Not one. And since I typically write over 1000 words a post, that’s a lot of unbroken copy. Headers, different fonts and colors, lots of white space all make a more interesting read for the visitors to your blog, and might even compel them to save your blog in their favorites. Think of each blog post as a blank canvas. You use words, white space, and fonts to paint your picture.
Tip 3: Images
People love pictures. Color and form draw their eye. Use that to your advantage. Take pictures yourself, use a graphics program, visit some of the free sites like Flickr (but be sure you set the parameters correctly and give the photographer credit) or Pexels to name just a couple. Get creative. Images will also show up when you share your post around, which brings me to my next tip.
Tip 4: Sharing is Caring
Set up sharing (in WordPress it’s called Publicize) to any and all possible social media accounts. Share your posts again a few days later. You can even use a sharing site like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule those shares. Personally, I use Buffer as the basic version is free. You’re limited on how many social media accounts you can link, but they do offer an upgrade option.
Tip 5: Write Regularly
Nothing loses readers faster than the occasional post. Get people used to hearing from you even if it’s only once a week. We humans are creatures of habit, and whether we admit it or not, like our routines. You know the drill. Get up with the alarm, feed the critters, get coffee, read my favorite blogs. Doesn’t that flow nicely?
Tip 6: Engage Your Readers
Write from the heart about what you know, or even what you’d like to know. Ask your readers questions. Ask their opinion. Make ’em laugh, make ’em cry. Give them something to look forward to. If they wanted news, the could open up Yahoo or any number of sites that give them the nitty gritty from the outside world. Half the time, you get it whether you want it or not. Don’t be afraid to be different. Let people relate to you, the person.
Tip 7: Be Responsive
When someone comments on your post, whether they do it on your blog or one of your Social Media accounts, answer them! Let them know you appreciate their input even if they disagree with you or dislike your post. If they dislike it, find out what they didn’t like. Maybe it will help you write better. Thank them for taking the time to comment. There are a bazillion blogs out there, but they took the time to read and comment on yours.
A Final Note
If writing isn’t your thing and your time is better spent building a magnificent business, a blog is still a good thing to have. We all love to do some of the business-y things and hate doing others. Hire a blog writer to do it for you, especially if increased traffic to your website will get the word out about what new and exciting product or service you’re launching. Especially if you want increased engagement from new and existing clients or customers. There are plenty of blog writers out there. Many of them specialize in exactly what you are offering for sale and most make use of all these tips and more.
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. She believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She is available for article writing and ghost writing to help your website and the business it supports grow and thrive. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information.