How can you engage your readers and make them want more content from you? What goes into a successful blog? Are you tempted to give readers convoluted sentence structure and big words? Most blog owners who try to do that will lose their audiences, so the blog ultimately fails.
Instead, you’re likely to see that the vast majority of blogs employ a conversational writing style. If you want to know what I mean by a conversational writing style, just look at this blog. I think you’ll agree that it’s fairly easy to read, because I’m writing to you as a friend explaining something to another friend, rather than as an instructor lecturing to students.
You should do the same thing when you write. Indeed, think about sitting across the table from a friend and explaining your topic. Then keep these points in mind:
1. Use “regular,” everyday words.
Don’t try to impress the readers with your big vocabulary.
You’ll impress them far more if they get so engaged in your writing that they don’t even notice the writing itself.
Think of the last exciting novel you read. Chances are the author used “plain language” to suck you into the story. Otherwise, if you had to stop and look up a word every few minutes, you wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the story.
The same goes for your readers. If they stumble on your big words, they’re not going to enjoy reading your blog post. They’re going to give up and hit the “back” button.
2. Use short sentences and paragraphs.
These tend to be easier to read than long sentences and paragraphs. Plus, writing in short blocks of text creates extra white space, which makes your blog easier on the eyes (and thus easier to read).
3. Use bulleted lists. for a successful blog.
If you have a long paragraph, you can often make it easier to read by breaking it into a bulleted list or numbered (like this one).
4. Tell Stories
Not only do stories help pull your readers into your writing, but these stories also help make your points and concepts more memorable.
What kinds of stories should you tell? Just about anything relevant. For example:
- Tell a story about yourself
Example: If you’re writing about how to get through to a prospect and past the gatekeeper, you might share a story about how you fumbled that call. I tell legal nurse consultants about the time I called a law firm asking for a senior partner who’d I’d never talked to, but his name was first on the law firm. The receptionist said, “He passed away last year.” Flustered, I responded, “I guess he’s not taking calls right now.” Good one, Pat.
Example: You can tell a story about a client who benefited from your services and got a great result.
- Tell well-known stories. These could be Bible stories, fables, stories about historical events or even stories that you pull from well-known books and movies. Be sure you are accurately recounting the details. If you flub them, there is a chance the reader will realize you’re being inaccurate.
Example: If you’re writing a blog post about dog training, you might refer to the movie (and book) “Marley and Me,” which talks about an unruly dog that does things like eats through walls.
5. Add in Examples and Tips
One way to add value to your blogs is by sharing examples and tips. Just look at this blog for examples of how to insert both examples and tips.
Example: This blog gives you a list of tips to make your writing easier to read. And just a moment ago I gave you the “Marley and Me” example of how to use stories to connect with your audience.
6. Go the Extra Mile
Do more than is expected of you. For example:
7. Include graphics or other illustrations to accompany the blog.
This could be as easy as including a stock photo (from http://LNC.tips.images) which illustrates the topic of your post. So if you’re writing about marketing, you might include a photo of a marketing diagram.
8. Occasionally create longer articles.
According to Hub Spot, for SEO, the ideal blog post is 2100 to 2400 words. All your posts need not be that long. People’s attention spans are limited, and you do want them to be able to finish what you write. How Long Should Blog Posts Be in 2021? [New Data] (hubspot.com)
9. Include calls to action.
Insert a content upgrade (offer a free report, checklist, video series in exchange for an email address). Or conclude the blog post with an offer to have a call with you, or subscribe to your blog.
10. Proofread Your Work
Finally, be sure to proofread your work to ensure a successful blog. It’s incredibly hard to catch your own mistakes, though, so you may want to have a friend proof your work for you.
Better yet, have your friend read the piece out loud to you. Not only will you catch typos and other errors, but this is also a good way to check that the blog flows smoothly and is easy to read.
Your friend’s eye might catch the misused word that I saw recently. “The first tenant in web development is that you must keep your website current and on part with current trends.” Unless you want to have someone move into your website and pay you rent, the word is tenet.
Business professionals hire Pat as a ghostwriter and editor to help them shine without having to do the work of writing. Contact her at patiyer.com/contact.