So – you’re planning to write a blog. You’ve got the knowledge in place, you know what you want to write about. Now comes the time to write it all down in a logical sequence – there you go: you’re stuck! What do you do next?
Writing a blog is basically all about writing original work – it’s an art. Not everyone can express themselves in a way which makes complete sense to a reader, which is okay, but here are a couple of best practices to keep in mind while writing a blog:
- Step 1 – Use a Catchy Title
Shakespeare once said ‘What’s in a name?’
There’s also a proverb that goes like this – Don’t judge a book by its cover. But let’s face it, our interest levels, as readers, are piqued only if we happen to read a catchy title. A catchy title then determines whether we’ll actually read the blog or just scroll to the next one.
Ensure that no matter how technical your subject matter is, you use a catchy title. After all, you’re taking the time to share your knowledge and write the blog – don’t let your title drive away your readers. In fact, use your title to draw your readers to your blog.
- Step 2 – Use a Good Opening Sentence
Every good story, article or blog worth reading begins with an interesting opening sentence. The power of the opening sentence is similar to that of the title of the blog – it is all based on first impressions. An opening sentence that intrigues the reader, that urges them to read on, is what will make your blog work.
- Step 3 – Write What You Know
Your readers, on quickly perusing the blog, will instantly come to know whether you genuinely know what you are talking about or whether you’ve faked or used guesswork for certain information. Write useful content, that’s based on what you know or what you have experienced first-hand and allow your readers to learn from you.
- Step 4 – Express your Unique and Distinctive Point of View
The best part about being a unique human being is that it reflects in your way of thinking too – you’ll have a unique and distinctive point of view which is solely your own. Use your blog to express that point of view. This works better especially if you feel strongly about what you are writing. Even if another person’s point of view inspires your own, you can always use your thoughts and your words to express how you feel about an issue. Be relatable and be yourself.
- Step 5 – Avoid using Jargon / Explain your Acronyms
Write like you talk. Using a simple, conversational style of writing and wherever you can, avoid using jargon or terms which are specific to knowledge which only a few may have. If you have to do so, explain the term in a way that even non-technical individuals can also understand the term. Don’t leave terms unexplained as it causes the reader to lose interest. They’ll simply click over to the next post and the rest of your work will remain unread. So remember to AUJ/EYA (= Avoid using Jargon / Explain your Acronyms; also, pay attention!)
- Step 6 – Maintain Logical Breaks in between Two Points
Don’t forget to split up your points into a logical order with breaks in between to give it more coherence. The attention span of a human being is only around 8 seconds. Let your thoughts expressed in your blog not be a monologue – add headings, sub-headings, points and sub-points to add more clarity to the blog.
- Step 7 – Use Images to Explain Your Perspective
The human brain tends to retain more information if it is presented with pictures, than with text – so use images wherever you can, especially when what you’re trying to explain is a complex concept.
- Step 8 – Formatting Matters
A lot of readers don’t have the time or bandwidth to read the blog from beginning to end – they scan the blog post. If your blog is broken up into logical chunks and is formatted correctly (use bullet points if they fit your content), a quick scan of your blog will give the reader the gist of the matter, which will help him decide whether he should invest his time in reading your blog.
- Step 9 – Write your Best
When a reader clicks on your blog, he expects to read good content. Make your blog popular by writing your best work and expressing yourself in the best way you can.
- Step 10 – Engage with your Reader
Engage with your reader, connect with them using call to action phrases. Address questions to them in your blog, invite them to like your blog, comment on it and share it with their connections. If you want your readers to spread the word, don’t assume they’ll do it – ensure they do so by engaging with them. This will help develop a stronger bond with the reader and they’ll be more likely to read more of your work in future.
- Step 11 – Make use of Keywords
What are keywords and why do they matter?
Keywords are actually three to five word phrases. Keywords are what you search for. Whatever you type in Google or any other search engine is a keyword or a string of keywords. Inclusion of keywords in your blog allows your blog to be highly searchable on search engines. By including relevant keywords in your blog, you increase the chances of your blog showing up in search engines whenever a search is carried out by users on the keywords which you have used in your blog.
For example, in this blog itself, the important keywords would be – blog, best practices, bloggerdom, blogging, etc.
- Step 12 – End your Blog with an Impactful Conclusion
Your blog should not only begin with a powerful opening, it should end with a conclusion that’s just as impactful. Not only does this keep your reader glued for more, it also helps them develop thoughts in their minds, questions about your blog and about the issue you are discussing. It will help the reader connect better with your blog.
Blogs are an excellent medium to express yourself wherein you don’t have to worry about your opinion being censored. Keep your writing style positive, light and engaging – this will help send your blog straight to bloggerdom (blogger hall-of-fame, just ‘FYI’)