For this post I am summarising and paraphrasing a post written by Mickie Kennedy:http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/10-commandments-writing-web-content/. The content boils down to a short, sharp list of ‘must-dos’ when writing a blog, which I have been guilty of not following, I now realise! As they say, you never stop learning!
The key message to writing effective blog content is the one which applies across all forms of social media – to remember your reader and put yourself in their shoes for a moment; imagine coming across your blog post for the first time and then you’re on your way to crafting content for maximum impact!
So, to write the most effective blogs, we must:
1. Keep titles clear and punchy
Titles catch a reader’s attention, so need to capture the most impotant information from your blog.
2. Get to the point quickly
Apparently, web users will give a new site approx. 8 secs to capture their attention before moving on, so they’re not going to want to wade through a load of waffle to find the content!
3. Link to resources for more information
If you include links to articles in your blog, it adds depth to your content.
4. Keep paragraphs short
This is a key one for me to remember as I am not naturally skilled at this! We have to remember that a screen full of dense script can be off-putting, so breaking it up into short paragraphs makes the content more easliy digestible! (Short sentences help too!)
5. Use bullet points or lists and subheadings
This is a similar point to no. 4 – it makes your writing more easy to take in. Readers often scan posts, rather than reading them in detail – breaking content down into a list of key points or subheadings makes it easy for them to do this!
6. Write in easy-to-read language
The key here is to write as if you’re talking to your reader. keep the language conversational and light and it will naturally engage people.
7. Optimise content for keywords
Search engines use keywords for indexing, so to encourage traffic to your site, remember to include your keywords in your blog. This needs to be done in a natural way, to avoid the writing seeming stilted!
8. Double-check everything you have writeen before publishing it
Make sure that the information you have posted is correct and that there are no typos in your scipt.
9. Encourage feedback
Encourage readers to interact with you and they are more likely to visit your site again! Have a big comments box and encourage readers to use it!
10. Timing is everything
Finally, remember that the time you post or advertise your blog can have a huge impact on the size of audience it attracts! I have written a blog about this from the point of view of posting on Twitter: http://www.juliabramble.co.uk/2010/12/whats-the-best-time-to-post-on-twitter/. This also a good article on the timing of blog posts:http://www.problogger.net/archives/2010/12/06/whens-the-best-time-to-publish-blog-posts/.