Writing is an art. Penning down your ideas on a piece of paper takes time and a lot of efforts. Today, with an increasing ease of publishing your own post, we see an ample of poor writing skills. A poor piece of writing can easily create a negative impression on the reader’s mind.
In this article, I have focused on tips to write a perfect blog post. In a hurry to jot down our ideas, we often forget some essential techniques required for a good reading experience. Here are some techniques for you to remember:
FORMATTING AND GRAMMAR
1. Shorter Paragraphs:
A long piece of writing often gets boring. Lengthy paragraphs are difficult to read and absorb. Internet users need quick answers to their problems, they often scan the blog and not read.
So, make sure your paragraph is not more 4-5 sentences or six lines.
2. Shorter Sentences:
Make your sentences short and crisp. Don’t try to overload a sentence with all the information.
Start a new sentence, add new ideas and be precise. Not more than 25 words in a sentence.
I totally misunderstood you.
I care a lot for you.
These italicised words are useless and waste space. Just get to the point and cut redundant words.
Damian Farnsworth has compiled 6 exercises to help you write short sentences. This is worth a read.
3. Length Of the Blog Post:
Google pays due consideration to lengthy and well researched articles in its search engine rankings. If you are trying to grab google attention, focus on at least 1000-1200 words articles.
But, an article of 500-600 words also works. Articles less than 500 words might not be too worthy.
Break your ideas in different paragraphs with appropriate sub headings. It often helps reader to understand the outline of your article and to skip to specific information.
5. Font Variation:
Same font throughout the article makes it cluttered and boring. Using bigger and smaller fonts in an article highlights the important areas of blog, holds the interest of the reader and provides white space in the article.
For example: In the below screenshot of Vital Design blog, the blogger has aptly used a number of font sizes to emphasise on different sections of the blog.
6. Capital Letters:
You can use capital letters to set apart the word or a sentence from rest of the article. Bloggers use capital letters to signify loudness and emphasise on a word. However, using excessive CAPITAL LETTERS in your article won’t reap you benefits.
7. Properly Punctuate:
Ann Handley in her book Everybody Writes clearly outlines the importance of punctuations on a readers mind. She says,
“When any of us is reading, the mind and eyes focus on successive points, allowing for a tentative judgment to be made about what the text means up to that point. Natural breaks in the text—such as punctuation marks or new paragraphs—allow the mind to reevaluate the text up to that point, because the mind stops for a split second, until it eventually arrives at the final meaning.”
So use punctuations such as commas, full stops, exclamations, colon, semi-colon etc. wisely to break up your sentence and convey the meaning to the reader.
8. Bulleted Lists:
A bulky text is not fun to read at all. Your piece of writing should be enticing and easy to scan. A bulleted or numbered list in your article with proper headings makes the article an interesting read.
9. Use Quotes:
Include quotes from the industry experts in your article. You can use knowledge of experts to substantiate your ideas. Quotes may also depict the depth and gravity of your research on a topic.
10. Ignore Common Transgressions:
We all use some words and phrases that are not only bulky, but also grammatically incorrect. Here are some common phrases that you should not use with their anti-wordiness equivalents:
- Continues to be = Remains
- Ways by which = Ways
- “In order to = To (especially at the beginning of a sentence)”
- “There (are) will be times when = Sometimes, At times
- Despite the fact that = Although, Though
- At which time = When
- When in comes to = In, When
- The majority of = Most
- A number of = Some, Few, Several, Various
- In spite of = Despite
11. Avoid Cliches and Jargons:
Use straightforward and simple words. Avoid technical jargons and cliches, which may be hard to understand by a layman.
For example, avoid utilise when you can write use.
12. White Space:
A lot of white space gives your text room to breathe. Cluttering your sentences and paragraphs will make your blog visually less attractive and lead to a higher bounce rate. From the below pictures, Blog post in Image1 is more visually attractive and easy to read than Image 2.
13. Add Images, Videos and Other Graphics:
Use attractive graphics to support your blog. You can add infographics, videos, images, screenshots, customised photographs, charts and bars, tables etc to support your information. Pictorial representation of information is easier to understand and retain.
14. Internal Linking:
Don’t forget to interlink similar articles on your blog. Internal linking also boosts your SEO efforts. You can read more about Internal Linking and its SEO Importance.
WRITING STYLE AND FOCUS
This section focuses on your writing style, outlining various ways to make your writing unique and attractive. Your piece of writing should reflect your voice in a way that it fits the specific context, audience or the purpose.
To kickstart your article, firstly jot down main points or headings for your topic. This will serve as a guiding tool for rest of your blog. Here are some tips to be kept in mind while writing a blog post for the internet readers:
15. Focus On the Reader:
Always remember that you are writing for your targeted audience, and not just for yourself. So, put your reader into it. Make your article personal and your message clear, keeping your goal in mind. Try and answer the following, what’s in it for your audience; how it helps to solve their problem; what value are you offering; why should they read it?
16. Examples and Data:
Are their research papers, examples or data to support your idea? Make wise use of examples and data to build authenticity and draw reader’s interest. You can also use your first-hand experiences, relevant anecdotes, and real world stories to make it interesting.
17. Ask Questions:
Include questions to draw a conversation with your reader. A powerful question generates curiosity in the reader’s mind, compelling him to think about the topic and search an answer.
18.Tell A Story:
Your work should showcase real emotions, real people and situations, and genuine facts. Weave a story, offering a fresh perspective to connect to your audience and engage them.
Each blog should be consistent with the bigger brand story aligned with a long-term goal.
19. Provide answer “why it matters to the reader”:
Are you addressing an ongoing issue? Are you giving a solution to a problem? Are you giving well-researched hacks/tips on a topic? Are you providing a value to your reader? All these questions should be definitely kept in mind.
“Don’t just highlight your product features and benefits, but emphasise on why the product matters to the reader.”
Research well. Google your topic. Read other articles and research papers. Seek advice from industry experts if possible. Give as much information as you can.
21. Be Specific:
Don’t beat around the bush, simply get to the point. Be brief and specific. Consolidate your ideas and compress them.
22. End Solution:
Your writing should provide a value and an end solution with clarity.
23.Keep It simple:
The Economist rightly mentions in its style guide, “Clarity of writing usually follows clarity of thought. So think what you want to say, then say it as simply as possible”
Assume your reader knows nothing, but don’t assume your reader to be stupid. Just be simple.
24. No Keyword Stuffing:
In an effort to boost your SEO, don’t stuff your article with keywords. Keyword Stuffing no longer works in SEO. Include only a few related words in your article.
25. Call To Action:
Don’t forget to put a call to action. Finish strong with a related call to action. Ask your readers their opinion on the topic, urge them to read another article, ask them to subscribe to your mailing list or simply redirect them to a product website. Show them the way.
26. No Copy Pasting:
Only original ideas and words work online. Don’t copy and paste from the internet. You can definitely quote your industry experts, but give them due credit. Plagiarised content does not boost your SEO rankings as well.
27. Draft and Proof Read:
Make your first ugly draft. Just write whatever comes to your mind. After finishing your first draft, give yourself a days rest. Next day, go through your work again, check mistakes and give finishing touches. You can also ask someone to read and proof read your article.
TOOLS TO BE USED
Here are some tools that you can use to perfect your blog post:
28. Headline Analyser:
29. Readability Check:
Check your readability score using Flesch Kincaid formula. Higher the score, easier it is to understand. Flesch recommended that the score of an average, nontechnical piece aimed at consumers be a minimum of 80 (or approximately 15 words per sentence and between 1 and 1.5 syllables per word). You can check the readability score online here.
30. Grammar Check:
Don’t forget to check your grammatical mistakes and typos. You can check it online through Grammarly or simply ask your grammar nazi friend to do it.
So what do you think about the above hacks and tips? Please comment below. Eagerly looking for your advices and opinions on the same.