No one taught me how to write a rocking blog post. I’ve learned through painful mistakes what makes a blog work and, thankfully, what makes a blog too muddy to wade through.
Let’s talk about what you like to read. If you’re anything like me, you read blogs about everything from media news outlets, to pop culture, business and finance; marketing and technology.
You even read those weird articles that float across your Facebook page and lead you down a rabbit hole.
What elements do these blogs have in common? What are the ingredients in a blog that you can’t quit reading?
In today’s post (forget the irony) I’m going to show you how to infuse your own blog recipes with the ingredients necessary to offer irresistible articles to your readers.
Girl in The Red Dress
It’s not the quiet girl in the corner who gets recognized at this party. It’s the one in the red dress, dancing on the table. The blogs that you haven’t been able to put down each have this quality. They stand out.
Irresistible blogs include the following ingredients:
• Catchy Titles
• Clear Writing Style
• Smashing Opening Paragraphs
• Interesting Topics
• Excellent Structure and Grammar
Titles are important because they might be the only thing your reader will see as it floats across cyberspace on their google search page or perhaps across their social media platforms.
For example, let’s say your article is about holistic dental health. You can say something like How to Ensure A Brighter Dental Future Using Natural Remedies which may snag a reader or two. Or, you can title it 7 Home Remedies to Reverse Cavities.
Which one are you more likely to read? The first is wordy and vague. The second is clear, concise and even a bit aggressive, which brings me to my next point.
Clear Writing Style
Your writing style is like the tone of your voice. People become accustomed to it and tend to expect that tonality when they read your work.
Most people prefer bold blog-work. You can still be gentle, however; playful or serious, sarcastic or genuine. However, always, always, always be comprehensible.
Unless you’re writing flowery, sporadic poetry, your readers are not coming to you for artistic expression. Neither are they coming to you to be impressed by your extraordinary vocabulary.
They’re coming to you for information.
Lest you get carried away by the sound of your own writing voice, remember that as soon as they are focused on your writing skills, they aren’t focusing on the subject matter at hand.
Consequently, when they’re trying to think of a blog to shed light on a certain subject, yours isn’t going to come to mind.
Gripping Opening Paragraphs
I love the word gripping. I think it represents a good deal that has to happen during your opening paragraph.
Most readers’ brains are on autopilot while they’re scrolling their search engine looking at all of blogs within their subject of choice.
Assuming they click your awesome title, you’ve got one chance to wow them, and that’s during your very first few sentences.
For example, following our topic of holistic dental care, which of the following opening paragraphs would you be more gripped by?
Given the new awareness of health among Americans, we’re pretty sure you are interested in reading more about what you can do to ensure you have excellent dental health. The vast majority of dental diseases are caused by sugar intake, lack of proper hygiene routines, and misinformation of natural treatments you can do at home.
What’s the one thing that simultaneously hurts your mouth, your health and your wallet? You’ve got it - cavities. What if I could show you how to reverse these nasty little tragedies naturally? What if I told you that there’s a way to prevent ever getting them again?
Enough said? Make sure your opening grips your reader and doesn’t let go.
Appealing to a large audience by writing about more than just niche-subjects is essential to growing a blog following. Let’s say you have a candle-making blog.
There’s only so much about making and burning candles you can write about that will have readers coming back for more, and especially readers who have no interest in candle making.
Perhaps in this scenario, you can add posts about owning your own business and creating ethical, wise business decisions, or how to run a business out of your home, awareness of toxins in most commercially-made candles, the science of fragrances and posts about to use candles safely.
Keep the girl in the red dress in mind. Considering the endless quantity of blogs on every topic swimming through online space, yours has to stand out to more than just search engines to be read.
SEO is important, but if no one is drawn to reading your blog once they see it, you’re dead in the water.
Excellent Structure and Grammar
Regardless of our feelings for this less-than-thrilling part of writing, it plays a pivotal part in making blogs enjoyable to read, versus painful to get through.
We know enough about consumers today to know that if a blog is too painful to read, they aren’t going to finish it.
Correct spelling goes without saying. Other things to keep in mind are the importance of A1 type headings, short paragraphs and line spacing. (Hint: Space all of your lines by at least 1.5. It opens up the text tremendously and makes it less painful to read.)
When starting the blog, give your reader an idea of where you’re taking them. Give them a layout of the points you’ll be talking about or questions you’ll be covering. (Like I did at the beginning of this post by laying out the points I’d be covering.)
Lastly, go for it. (Just don’t forget the girl in the red dress!)