How many times have you started reading a post and your eyes start to glaze over after two sentences..
How many times have you read the words ‘well written content’ while going through posts on blogging and scratched your head – what does it actually mean, you wonder?
This post was inspired by an old favourite I recently revisited for its good writing tips, titled ‘English Essentials- The wouldn’t-be-without-it guide to writing well, co authored by Mem Fox, world-famous writer of children’s picture books. The book is geared towards students of English, however the advice applies equally well to writing a great blog post. Here’s is what I walked away with.
How to write Great Blog posts that will leave your Readers wanting MORE
1. Good Writing Keeps the Reader in mind.
Picture one person you are writing for. Imagine them sitting in front of you while you talk to them about your ideas. Ask yourself these questions. Do they appear to be interested in what you have to say? How can you capture and keep their attention?
What questions might they have? Will they get bored if you write too long, or confused if too little. What might they already know?
You cannot write a post to please everybody, different readers require different levels of language and detail. Write for your one ideal reader. Who do you write your posts for?
2. Good Writing Captures Hearts and Minds Early.
Readers on the internet have limited patience. Hook them in quickly before they move on.
Make sure your posts are ‘scannable‘ , meaning, readers should be able to read them quickly and understand what you are telling them about.
Write short paragraphs. My earlier posts resembled a printed article style and have longer paragraphs. Now I am trying to make my posts as scannable and ‘easy on the eyes’ as possible. Am I succeeding?
Blog posts – in the manner of non fiction – can be clearly set out with headings, sub headings, lists and dot points to help your message get across. Do you do this while writing your posts?
Look at your paragraphs, there should be a smooth flow from one to the next.
3. Good Writing has a Voice.
Every blog has a living, breathing person behind it. It shouldn’t sound like it has been written by a robot. It’s a good idea to develop your voice over time which will stay consistent throughout your posts.
When you write, let your personality, your real self shine through. Advises Mem Fox. If you are funny, be funny in your posts, if you are sensitive, then be that. If you are quirky, allow some quirkiness to come forward .. your readers will love you for it.
Your voice tells the readers that you have enjoyed writing something. It shows your passion for what you do.
I follow a person, not a blog. Do you? Checkout Four Steps to finding your ideal writing voice on Copyblogger. Highly fascinating and satisfying read.
4. Good Writing Connects with your Readers.
We learn from good writing. We FEEL when we read. We are bored and unmoved when we read something we don’t like and don’t even finish reading it.
Be imperfect, be yourself. You are constantly evolving and so is your blog. Be human and other humans will love you. Imperfection is a good thing, says Men with Pens.
5. Good Writing is Clear Writing.
If you can’t understand something, don’t blame yourself, blame the writer. Too harsh? Well this is especially true when it comes to writing a blog post. A well written post is only effective when the message is clear. James Chartrand of Mens with Pens has done a fantastic piece on Copyblogger where he says, “Tight, concise, easy-to-read pieces are heaven for readers. Long, complex, convoluted ones are just confusing.”
Unless you are writing an academic essay, stay away from writing to impress. Get rid of long words, pompous sentences and empty padding, says Mem Fox. ‘Aim to express, not to impress.’
Good writing also has well crafted endings. For a blog post, ask your readers a question and invite them to offer their thoughts on what you have written.
6. Good Writing has been Revised.
Make sure your grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct. These are good table manners of online world. Incorrect spelling puts your readers in a bad mood. It says ‘I am not serious about my work’. It also helps you to maintain your authority over your topic.
How do you define a well written post? What makes you want to stay and finish one post from start to end? And most importantly, did YOU end up reading this whole thing? :) Do share.Update: After revising and proofreading this endlessly, I still found a few errors … hence revising again. My apologies if you read it before I had a chance to do so.