How to Write Blog Posts That People Will Actually Read
What’s the point of spending a ton of energy writing blog posts that no one will read?
Unfortunately, the internet is full of “filler content” thanks to the stupid saying “Content is King.” And what I mean by filler content is:
A bunch of articles that gloss over various subjects and have been keyword optimized, but provide no real value for the reader or the publisher.
Somewhere along the line, business owners thought that if they just vomited out tons of “content” with “keywords” sprinkled throughout – Google would send them loads of visitors and thus business.
This doesn’t work.
The point of this guide is to teach you how to write blog posts for your business website that people will actually read.
And we think the best way for businesses to write blog posts is to teach their readers and customers. Think of it this way: Your business is the expert at something. So a great way to produce useful blog content is to show the world everything you know about the business you’re in. Doing this will make you an authority in your field and it will help earn the trust of prospective customers.
With that said, let’s move on and show you exactly how this is done!
1. Spend a Lot of Time and Energy on Your Headlines
The headline is the holy grail of blogging and perhaps internet marketing overall.
A crappy headline will ensure:
- No one reads your post.
- No one clicks on your post when it’s tweeted or shared on Facebook.
- No one will open the email your post is packaged in
This has further ramifications. Such as:
- Your post has no chance of going viral.
- No one will link to the post.
- Search engines therefore won’t send traffic to your post.
I recommend spending a good amount of energy crafting an EXCELLENT HEADLINE for your post. There is also another great reason for this: it will give you a navigational aid as you write your post. If you always refer back to your headline, you can check to make sure you are on track in terms of the points you are trying to convey. This also helps with delivering on the promises the headline appears to make.
When you are finished writing you post, come back to your headline and see if your post delivers on what the headline says. Are you fulfilling your reader’s expectations? Do you fail to deliver? Is it a letdown? What did you forget or leave out of your post.
Here Are Two Examples of Great Headlines:
I love this headline:
The first thing it does is challenge common web design practice. It’s controversial right off the bat.
But it also poses a solution. If you are a web designer or website owner, you will click on this, because there is a large possibility that you have been building your websites and landing pages completely wrong.
Here is another great headline:
This one is all about intrigue. I want to click on this headline because I’m also an online writer. I want to know more about this history.
What this boils down to is: Always take a step back and see if your headline has any “punch” or what I like to call – “click attraction”. Ask yourself: “Would I click on this?“.
Then jot down as many headlines as you can think of. You will be surprised at how your brain starts firing off ideas once you get some momentum going. Take that list and pick the headline that seems to stand out the most. Finally, you can always ask someone to pick the headline they like the most if you have trouble deciding on one.
So How do You Write a Great Headline?
Copyblogger.com is a great resource for learning how to write headlines. Here are some of their more famous posts:
- How to Write Magnetic Headlines
- 10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work
- How to Write Headlines That Work
2. WRITE CONVERSATIONALLY! We’re not writing term papers here.
All that writing training you received in college – trash it.
No one wants to read a term paper. Not even the professors and TAs grading them. You don’t even like writing them – so why the hell would you spend your time writing in that same boring style on your blog? Even your company blog?
Instead, have a conversation with your reader. Ignite them. Develop a relationship with them! You want them coming back don’t you!?!
So there are some simple tips for writing in a conversational style:
- Use the words you and your.
- Write as if you are talking to someone. Imagine yourself explaining something to someone. How would you speak?
- Record yourself explaining something. Use your cell phone to record yourself. Then play the recording back and write down what you said.
3. Always Use Examples. Visual Examples Work Best
As a matter of fact – without visual examples, your post just looks bare. Worse than that, it looks like work.
BOOOOOO! Work sucks!
Again, the last thing we want to do is bore the reader to death, or scare them off with something that looks arduous right off the bat.
A great trick when it comes to blogging is learning how to take screenshots. Screenshots are a great way to show examples and they usually end up looking pretty clean and professional.
If you are not using a visual example and instead are explaining with words – be sure to make it easy to understand. You might have to re-write the way you explain your example a few times to get it just right.
4. Are You Teaching? Is Your Post Educational?
The best businesses teach. Always remember that. The entire point of your business blog is to:
- Teach your readers.
- Give them value.
- Provide them with actionable content. Meaning, create content they can use.
You are not going to give them value if you gloss over a topic.
A great rule of thumb is:
You want the reader to come away from the post, spending the rest of their day applying what they learned. That’s the mark of a great post.
5. Be Detailed!
Now if you are going to teach well, you’ll need to go over what you are teaching the reader in detail. Sorry – there is no way to avoid this.
This is probably the defining point that separates great posts from the crappy ones. Bloggers who don’t spend the time to go over details, are simply being lazy and creating the worst sin of all – they are creating filler content!
If your post is detailed, then you are not creating filler content. You will be rewarded with:
- And of course – the holy grail of SEO -> backlinks!
How to Be Detailed:
- If you’re writing a “How-To” post, be sure to explain each step in granular detail. Don’t just gloss over the subject matter. Use photos and screenshots too!
- Ask yourself questions like: “Can I break this down any further?” and “Are there any points that I forgot to address?”.
- Finally ask yourself: “Have I learned anything from this post?” – If you haven’t then you are probably missing some juicy information somewhere. Try doing more research and see if there are any points that you can include you may have missed.
6. Avoid Long, Thick Paragraphs
This goes back to making sure you don’t put the reader to work. Nothing makes someone click away faster than seeing HUGE paragraphs of text.
So break it up into smaller paragraphs. It’s easier to skim and scan for information. It’s also a lot less daunting to read.
7. Make Your Content Scannable – Easy to Find Information
A lot of people cruising around the internet are usually looking for something. How to do something. Information.
It’s a good idea to help them find what they are looking for. It’s a great way to build a friendly relationship with them.
You can do that by:
- Bolding important sections of text. But don’t overdo it.
- Again, breaking up large paragraphs into smaller chunks.
- Use informative sub-headings.
- Use diagrams and visual aids.
8. Don’t Write Short Posts
When a reader arrives at a post that is so short that it barely breaks the fold – this is a good indication that the post lacks substance.
So remove the idea of “word count” out of your head. It doesn’t matter what the word count is as long as you have thoroughly covered the topic.
That’s All For Now!
I plan on updating this post often – as I remind myself of other good tips to add here. Please bookmark this page and come back once in a while. And if I missed anything please leave a comment!