How to write a great blog

December 29, 2013

77% of Internet users read blogs, 6.7 million people blog on blogging sites, and 12 million people blog via social networks.

Quite simply blogging is the process of writing down what is on your mind, publishing it and sharing it with the world via the internet. We all have thoughts, opinions and knowledge in many different areas.  But the way I blog about them would be very different to how I debate them with family and friends.  When we blog it takes on a whole new meaning as we are inviting complete strangers to read our work and comment on it. We want those readers to enjoy that experiencing so much that they share our post via social media.  Hopefully they will subscribe to our posts and in time become our customers.  So it’s worth taking time to craft a well written and engaging blog.  Below we have listed out top 10 tips on how to write a great blog which we hope might inspire the Blogger in you to write a great blog:

Know your audience.

Before you start to write, have a clear understanding of your audience. What do they want to know about and what will interest them?  The majority of our audience is made up of people seeking web development services or advice on how to improve an existing website.  So I won’t waste time explaining the value of having a website.  Reading one of my blogs on this website already implies you have considered website development, so you don’t need me to tell you why you should.  My readers are more interested in how I can help them improve their websites and what advice I can give them.

Write about a subject your visitors will appreciate.

Obvious but at times overlooked. If your business is organising golf holidays, then that is what your blogs should be about.  Don’t be tempted to blog about any old subject just so you have something to say.  It devalues your brand and undermines the previously well written blogs that attracted your subscribers in the first place.  Readers will quickly turn away if you start publishing your holiday snaps.

Create a post with real value.

After almost 25+ years working in IT I can think of many development tales, experiences and skills which I could use to fill 100’s of blogs.  But what would be the point in doing so?  It will take me time to write and if it’s not relevant who’s going to care?  Telling you my first programme was written in BASIC on a Commodore 64 in 1984 does not relate to web design.  But my recent blog on Responsive web design does, that’s why I published it.

Choose an eye catching title that’s short but to the point.

Those few precious words at the start of your blog post can be the difference between the post being read and spread like wild fire through the web or it lying forgotten and unread in your archives.  Your blog title will appear in search engine results, RSS feeds, social media sites and on your website. So it needs to catch the reader’s attention.

Write a captivating intro.

Human nature shows that we read the first few lines of any article then very quickly and subconsciously decide if it’s going to be worth carrying on. This is an important consideration when blogging.  That first paragraph needs to stand out and grab the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs of the introduction, they will stop reading without given your post a fair chance. Don’t forget to show the purpose of the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having.

This will give them a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work.

Blog in your own words.

Never plagiarize other people’s hard work, such as blog posts, social media, news articles, web site content and reviews. Copying and pasting articles, then posting them as your own is illegal and immoral. If you must quote another authors work, do the decent thing and provide acknowledgement.  If you think another person’s blog is worth referring to include a link and inform the author you are doing so.  In most cases they will be grateful for the recognition and may return the favour.

Don’t launch until the blog is perfect.

I see a lot of authors who publish their blog when it’s not ready. The design and layout may not be complete, the content includes grammatical errors or inaccuracies, links do not work and poor quality artwork.  As soon as you publish a blog, search engines will start looking at your blog so it can be found by an eager audience.  So make sure you are happy with what you have written.  Publishing a poorly written blog will damage your reputation. If your blog is inaccurate, dull and littered with poor graphics and broken links why should I bother to read anything else you publish?

Don’t expect to be an overnight sensation.

It is very unlikely that your blog will become popular within the first week. It can take weeks, months or even years to build up a loyal following who are willing to spread the word on your behalf.  So just because you don’t become the toast of the web in the first week, don’t give up. Keep publishing good, factual and interesting blogs and the leads will come.

Don’t Blog then forget about your readers.

Blogging is a two way street.  People who read you blog may wish to add a comment, ask a question or in some cases contradict you.  In the case of the later don’t take it personally.  Be professional at all times.  If people leave a comment and you never get back to them then they will feel neglected.  Think how you feel when somebody promises to get back to you, then you don’t hear from them again. Always aim to respond in a timely and professional manner.

Keep blogging.

The more useful blogs you publish, the greater the chance of readers finding your site.  Plus more content means more interest from search engines.  You can’t be expected to have something interesting to blog about every day, but do aim to post as regularly as you can so readers will keep coming back for more as you build a loyal audience. Its well worth investing the time as the benefits of business blogging are worth perusing.

However don’t blog just for the sake of it.  I don’t know anybody who has ever unsubscribed from a blogger because they don’t post every week, but I do know many people who have unsubscribed because the content was increasingly weak. There’s no perfect blogging schedule for everyone, so get to the point where you’re posting regularly without pushing it, focus on what you enjoy writing about and ensure you have enough time to do it well.



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