Creating Blog Content that People Will Actually Read
May 1, 2012 - Posted by Shama Kabani
If you answered approximately 644 million, you’re correct! With half a billion sites to choose from, how does your blog rank? Is your content compelling enough to get visitors to stick around, or do you bore them to sleep right there at their computer monitors? If you suspect your readers are heading to your site to help remedy their insomnia, it’s probably time to reevaluate your efforts with the following tips.
Discover your voice
If you’re writing a blog post, the last thing you want to do is come off as stiff and robotic – after all, this is your chance to humanize your business and connect with an audience. Don’t be afraid to have a personality. Your voice is more than just your writing style. It also encompasses the topics you choose to write about and your tone. So how do you discover a writing voice? The first tip is to start writing the way you talk, since blogging is much less formal than other types of writing. Additionally, if there are bloggers you admire, don’t be afraid to emulate their style (note: this does not mean copying their actual writing or topics, which is plagiarism).
You know the saying: two heads are better than one. If you’re struggling with content creation, brainstorming with other members of your company can help you develop ideas. Consider input from everyone, regardless of role – you never know who’s going to have the next great idea, and it might be the person you least expect. Plus, you’ll have a much more well-rounded effort if you let everyone have a say in the editorial direction.
Use examples of the best — or worst
Examples help demonstrate what you’re trying to explain, so gather up the companies or products that best carry out the concept you’re discussing and feature them in a post. See our previous posts on social media for higher education and viral marketing campaigns. However, you could also choose to highlight examples of the worst – like we did with 2011′s biggest Twitter mistakes and how to embarrass yourself on Yelp. When picking examples of what not to do, it’s important to communicate the lessons learned and what to do differently to your audience – as opposed to simply “naming and shaming,” which your audience may not see as tasteful.
Pay special attention to the title and first paragraph
Imagine if the title of this blog post had been, “How to Write a Blog Post” and the first sentence had been, “Blog content should be interesting.” Do you think you would have made it far enough to read this sentence, or would you have already been bored to tears? Even if the rest of your post was full of groundbreaking, thought-provoking content, you didn’t set the tone for that. You want people to laugh, gasp, scratch their heads, or possibly even roll their eyes and groan (if puns are your thing) at your blog post opening – as long as there’s a reaction.
How do you keep your blog content relevant and interesting? Leave us a comment to let us know!