Is there a formula for a good blog post? Not exactly, but I believe there are some basic elements to great blog posts. I don’t like the idea of a one-size-fits-all formula for blogging. I like originality. Still, if you’re going to keep things simple and easy to follow, there are some basic blog rules.
The best bloggers have original and unique voices. It’s good to stand out in the crowd. That doesn’t mean anything goes. Blog rules follow some basic parameters. Your audience has some general expectations.
When you go to your dental hygienist, you expect to get your teeth cleaned. You don’t expect open-heart surgery. Blogging is similar. People come to a blog expecting certain forms of communication. I can help you with the basic blog rules. I’ll let you spread your wings from there. Here’s a start:
- Write a great headline: Headlines are the first thing your audience sees. 80% of potential readers will pass your post by if your headline is poor or mediocre. Use strong words that offer your audience a benefit. Make it urgent, useful and unique.
- Craft a strong opener: Once you’ve written an effective headline, you need a strong lead. Great leads use quotes, questions, startling statements or stories. Just give the reader something to hang onto. Make them want to keep reading.
- Choose an image to match: I like a minimalist look. My photos are often a little different than what many bloggers use. That’s the great thing about blog rules, they’re not written in stone. I like photos that are simple, yet interesting. I like photos that stand out. Your photo can be direct or metaphorical. Just make sure it’s professional and that it matches the topic of the post.
- Refer to personal experience: People relate with our stories. When we base our writing from real experience it comes alive. Hip Diggs’ posts are all based from my own experiences, successes and trials. One way to write more effectively is write more like you talk. Simple. Direct. To the point.
- Offer some guidance: This is at the heart of every effective blog post. Give your readers information that they can use. This section of this post is doing exactly that. I’m giving you step-by-step instructions on writing great blog posts.
- Keep it short and simple: My posts are usually between 500 and 800 words. Many readers feel intimidated by lengthy posts. People are busy. They want a post that they can scan quickly for valuable information. Keep it simple.
- Use simple words and sentences: Too often writers try to impress. We want others to know how smart or creative we are. So we get fancy with the words and sentences. Don’t. Keep it simple and readable. Don’t write poetry for a business audience. Don’t write fiction for a medical community. But don’t write over the heads of your audience members either.
- Offer links to related sources: Use both internal and external links to sources that relate to your topic. I’m using mostly external links on this post. If you click on each main point, you’ll find more great sources on writing great blog posts.
- Provide a closing: Great blog posts give the audience a takeaway. In this post you’ve learned the basics of writing great blog posts. The takeaway is using this new knowledge. You now have the ability to gain your audience’s attention and give them something they can use. That’s gold.
These blog rules for writing great blog posts are not hard and fast, but most good blogs follow some kind of similar structure. The key is to keep it simple, easy to follow, and offer your readers something they can use.
Now that you know the basics of writing great blog posts, I’d like to offer you more. I’m currently available to coach a limited number of people. If you want to start blogging and you’d like a little help, I’m available. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or check out my simple coaching packages.
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