Writing a blog post is easy – you write it, put it online, and hit publish.
But writing a blog post that people will want to read? Now that’s something else altogether.
The Internet is crowded with tons of blog posts and articles, so you need to make sure yours is at least worth looking at. And while there’s no magical formula for creating a hit blog post, there are things you can do to make sure that what you end up with will be worth your readers’ time.
1. Know Your Audience
First things first – Know your audience.
Who are you writing your blog post for? Is your topic something that your target audience will be interested in reading?
As tempting as it is to write something that everybody will love, the fact is you can’t write for (and please) everybody. By writing your blog post specifically for your target audience, they’re more likely to read it and engage with you.
Remember that the more specific you are with your target reader, the more effective your blog post will be.
Tip – Spend time imagining your reader (what they might look like, the types of content they like to consume, their online habits. etc.). This will help you dial in on who your reader is and what type of blog they will want to read.
2. Check Your Headline
Headlines are the gates to your blog posts, so make sure they’re interesting enough to make your readers walk through.
You probably already know that headlines need to catch your readers’ attention, but what many writers miss out on is that they also need to give readers a preview of what your blog post is about.
You should also aim to be specific in your headline. Broad and overly general headlines are boring and will fly past most readers’ attention.
Tip – Ask yourself – “Does this headline make me want to read further?” If it’s not something that makes you want to read more, then chances are your readers won’t.
3. Provide Value
A catchy headline is useless (and wasted) if your actual blog post doesn’t provide value, no matter how small.
Whatever your blog post is about and what it’s for, make sure that it provides value to your readers. If not, then you’ve wasted their time (and yours!).
If it’s a guide blog post, then be informative and helpful. If it’s an F.A.Q., then provide the right answers to the most common questions. If it’s an opinion piece, then provide good reasons why you believe what you do. Whatever type of blog post you make, provide the content that you promised your reader when they first clicked on it.
Your goal is to make your reader feel that they didn’t waste their time with your blog post.
Tip – Ask yourself – “What will my reader get out of this blog post?” If you have a hard time answering that question, then you need to think twice about publishing it.
4. Write for the Web
Remember that reading online is different from reading from a book or newspaper. Your readers will read your blog post from screens on their computers or smartphones, so make sure that’s it’s screen-friendly and readable.
- Make it scannable. Online readers love to scan through a piece to get to the parts they want quickly, so make sure yours allows this by using headings and sub-headers to separate sections of your blog post.
- Use bullet points. Bullet points and lists make your points easier and quicker to digest, understand, and scan through.
- Break up paragraphs. Write shorter paragraphs by breaking up long sections and using shorter There’s nothing more boring to read on-screen than a long, seemingly never-ending paragraph.
- Use images. Images add variety to your content and make it more interesting and helpful.
- Include links. Blogs have the advantage of being able to include links for further reading. Take advantage of this by adding relevant links to your blog post like references and call-to-actions (CTAs).
Tip – If possible, publish your blog post privately before publishing it publicly. This will allow you to check how it reads on-screen and make the right changes.
5. Edit – Then Edit Again
If you want to write a blog post worth reading, then you’ll need to edit it properly – multiple times if possible.
The world is full of boring, unhelpful, and badly written blog posts, so editing and polishing it will help your piece stand out.
When you edit your blog post, focus on the following –
- Poor grammar can turn away readers and make you seem less credible or even unprofessional. Make sure you proofread your post before publishing. You can even use apps like Grammarly to help you.
- Be as concise as possible with your blog post. “Trim the fat” and take away useless sentences and paragraphs. Write only as much as it requires to explain your topic and help your readers.
- Make sure your blog post provides the information (or value) that your reader needs.
Tip – If you have time, don’t publish your blog immediately once you finish it. Set it aside for a day or two and then come back to it to make your edits. This will give you a fresh set of eyes that will help you identify mistakes and any issues that need fixing.
Good Blog Posts Take a Lot of Work, But It’s Worth It
If there’s one thing that most people don’t realise about blog posts, it’s that writing a good one takes a lot more work than they think.
But if you do it right and put the work in, you end up with a piece that your readers will appreciate, engage with, and even share.
Whatever you’re writing about, make sure it will be worth your reader’s time by making it as good as it can be. You don’t have to win a Pulitzer for your blog post, but you do need to make sure it’s useful and easy to read for your reader.