What makes a blog post memorable? What makes it effective? There are intangibles with blogging, such as what your readers want to read, how shareable your content is, and the entertainment and informational value of a post.
That said, I do believe there are several ways to ramp up the click potential of every post by following a few guidelines or, as the headline says, mixing together a few proven ingredients.
1. Use the Formula
In the content marketing and social media industries, especially, there is a distinct formula for what makes a post share-worthy and worthwhile. On a site like this, for instance, writers will create posts that center on a single topic, give a few pieces of supporting evidence, defend a stance, share a couple tips, and call it a day. This rinse-and-repeat process is so popular because it works.
Writing a post just to fit the formula isn’t how you should be approaching blogging, however. You need to choose a topic that you are personally invested in which leads to:
- A) Discussion of a personal opinion
- B) Enthusiastic writing
- C) A post you care about
Can you break the formula? Sure, as long as the topic calls for it and you feel like trying something new.
2. Keep It Simple
For many bloggers, writing five or so posts a week on similar topics is common. This is the same for business writers, too. To keep yourself motivated and to meet a post quota, it’s important not to overcomplicate the writing process.
As the saying goes, these “rules” are more like “guidelines.”
- Cap your posts at 1,200 words. If you feel like a topic deserves more space, break it into two posts and link them together.
- For informational posts, include two or three external references. Readers know that what you’re saying isn’t groundbreaking and completely original, so don’t try and hide that fact.
- If you find yourself rambling or out of ideas, insert a sub-heading or move to the next big point. No one wants to read an unenthused writer’s words.
3. Ask Questions, Provide Answers
The Question-Answer Approach to Blogging is one of the best ways to blog better. In a nutshell, this technique helps you come up with topics and keeps your posts on point
Question: “What are the most important things business owners need to know about social media marketing?”
Answer: “They need to know how follower engagement is essential, how to use hashtags, and why time-of-day matters.”
It’s that easy!
This question-answer process works for almost any type of blog, too. You need to ask yourself what your readers should know about your products and services, why your brand matters, or how a big piece of news affects your business. This generates unique topics and gives you a place to start.
Writing for the Internet is incredibly different than writing a newspaper brief or high school essay. To begin with, online readers want to skim for the highlights, look at pictures, and click links for more info.
At the same time, it is important for you to relax your style and have a conversation instead of talking to a formal audience. Use first-person, be funny if you can, and don’t bog down a reader with details and boxy paragraphs full of industry statistics.
Write casual, add pictures — you won’t regret it.
5. Read Good Posts
Any novelist will tell you good writers are better readers — the same applies to blogging, too. Find a handful of blogs in your niche, read through them every day, take down notes, and create potential topic lists. From there, you have a much better chance of producing more valuable blog content.