Good bloggers know what their audience likes, have great ideas how to engage it and are experts in their fields. Most importantly though, they know how to talk to that audience and how to best put their thoughts and knowledge on ‘paper’. And believe me, that’s a real challenge! This blog post will offer you some useful advice and tips to overcome it.
So, what are the ingredients of a successful blog post?
According to a brilliant infographic by WhoIsHostingThis.com that you can see below, to create a killer blog post you need a great title that grabs the reader’s attention, a catching first sentence that generates interest, and a story that keeps that attention.
Writing killer headlines
Creating a good headline is pretty much an art. And this is a skill any blogger or writer must excel at, because no matter how great the actual post it, if the headline sucks, no one will read the rest. A great headline should be clear, short and up to the point, giving a hint about the story afterwards.
5 tips and ideas:
- Create a sense of urgency: “Stop Missing Out On...”
- Use how-tos and how-to guides: “How To Create Killer Blog Posts”
- Make lists: “10 Ways To Create Killer Blog Posts”
- Use strong language: “Killer Tips for Successful Blog Posts”
- Ask a question: “Where Has Social Media Gone Wrong?”
I admit I generally don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the headline, but I do make use of these tricks. Usually, I have a crazy out-of-nowhere idea, which tends to fit pretty well. I’ve heard from others that they write down several ideas and work on optimising them till they develop the perfect headline. It’s different for every writer, so try and find out what works for you best.
Writing killer first sentences
You should also spend enough time working on that first sentence that will make your readers want to keep reading. You need to pull them in.
3 tips and ideas:
- Ask a question: “Have you ever written a blog post?” (Just as mine above, I hope it pulled you in.)
- Use a shocking statistic: “90% of people don’t know how to write killer blog posts.”
- State the benefit of reading the blog post: “When you're done reading this post, you'll know how to write killer blog posts.”
Writing killer stories
Here’s where your great idea comes in, the idea that will keep your readers on your site.
The bottom line is you have to offer value to your readers. Don’t just write something. Write something with purpose so that it can generate interest and add value. Only so will you be able to build a loyal following.
4 tips and ideas:
- Offer advice, tips, guides.
- Ask your readers questions to solve their problems.
- Give statistical data and insights, or even whole case studies to learn from.
- Avoid jargon and make it simple to comprehend.
Another important thing is to make it personal and to show emotion. David Ogilvy once said: “Write the way you talk”. This is perhaps the best advice I’ve ever received on writing. And I try to follow it because writing the way you speak makes it easy for your readers to understand what you want to say so that they can relate to you as a person.
Finally, make sure you always do your research! You have to be the expert in your field. You have to know what you are talking about. Otherwise, your writing will sound unsecure and it would be clear that it’s not really backed up by knowledge. Your audience will notice that.
Indeed, the art of storytelling has become very prominent in the social media era. Today it’s not just about the idea, but about the way you execute it. This not only includes writing great copy and having the ability to tell a great story, but to do so in the most fitting manner – through text, visuals (e.g. an infographic), videos or podcasts. I personally tend to use a mix of methods and tools (like in this case) because I’ve found how powerful visual content can be.
Getting back to the writing process, here are some more tips how to write killer blog posts and have your readers come back for more:
(Click on the infographic for a larger view)
Infographic by WhoIsHostingThis.com
Image from infograpchic by WhoIsHostingThis.com