You have a website. You wanna drive in some traffic so, you've decided to take up blogging. Good for you smarty-pants! Blogging really is the best tool to distribute relevant content to your audience. But everyone does it - and you want your blog to be nice and strong - and to stand out above the rest. Here are some tips to ensure a dynamic article every time...Without taking all night to do it.
1. Come Up With A Catchy Bold Title
Having a snazzy title that grabs people's attention is absolutely crucial. In the competitive world of blogging you must consider that you are not the only one writing about your topic. Pretend that every writer is writing on the same topic as you. How will you stand out? This is where a strong title comes in.
Let's say that someone found a deadly ingredient in a certain brand of waffles. Your title could be something like:
Waffles: A Silent Killer
Waffles: Delicious or Deadly?
Beware Your Breakfast: Fatal Ingredient Found In Waffles
Your title should inform your audience as to your exact topic, while simultaneously leaving them wanting more.
2. Have a Point Of View and a Format
Figure out your point of view and delivery style. Are you merely a narrator, reporting the news without feeling? Or will you insert your opinion in this article? If so, what is your opinion? Be direct. Don't be bashful about saying how you feel in a blog. People love to have something to agree with or to hate on. Let your blog be that thing.
Also, what's your format? There are lots of blog styles to choose from- like:
How to / DIY
Decide on this stuff before you start writing.
3. Spice It Up With Visual Vocabulary
Good writing has style and flavor. Don't be plain. Most languages contain hundreds of thousands of words. Why say "great" when you can say "splendid"? Why say "really bad" when you can say "horrific"? Use synonyms, adverbs and adjectives to spice up your content. It helps your reader visualize exactly what it is you're trying to say.
Use word choice to set the tone and mood of the piece. Is this article meant to be light hearted or cautionary? Are you instilling hope? Pick a vibe and let your vocabulary reflect it.
4. Organize Your Thoughts Into A List
Make bullets of your main thoughts aka an outline. An outline is a top notch writing tool. It saves you mad amounts of time - while helping you make your point very thoroughly. An outline is like a story board used by animators. A preview of what's to come- that makes for better preparation. Whenever I write, it's generally the first thing I do. It's like the writing whole article in ten minutes.
DO NOT SLEEP ON THIS STEP.
Suppose you are blogging about what makes cats more awesome than dogs. You're outline might look something like this:
7 REASONS WHY CATS ARE BETTER THAN DOGS
cats are clean - dogs are dirty
cats have very distinct personalities and a strong will - dogs are more robotic, trainable & predictable
cats are selective and finicky eaters - dogs will eat anything including turds
cats land on their feet and are graceful - dogs are more sloppy and clumsy
cats are associated with spirituality - dogs are usually linked with hell
people say "sick as a dog" - "lay down with dogs get up with fleas" - "wolf in sheep's clothing" "slick as a fox" - cats don't have nearly as many bad sayings
cats are intelligent problem solvers - dogs aren't generally as smart
*Note -I love all animals - I just used this outline to make a point.
In the above example- the title is bold and takes a very clear stance. Most people have a set way that they feel about cats and dogs. A title like "7 REASONS WHY CATS ARE BETTER THAN DOGS" - immediately evokes the reader's emotions about cats and dogs- making them more likely to read the article.
Also - the choice to use "7 REASONS" is much more provocative than not using a number. People love lists and countdowns and top 10's. Utilizing this format wherever possible invites more viewers.
Now look at the bullets. They make all of the main points. They will serve as little thesis statements for each section of the blog.
5. Flesh out each point thoroughly
Now that you have your skeleton- it's time to put some meat on it. Really go into detail about why you think - whatever it is you think. Just like you would if you were writing an essay. This is the easy part because by building an outline, you've already done the bulk of the work.
Your title is your main thesis. The bullets are headers for supporting paragraphs. The rest are just supporting sentences that add fluff to your point. Its as easy as 1-2-3!
6. Edit - Edit - Edit
At least 30 % of all writing is editing. You gotta cut stuff out that has no reason to be there. Combine multiple ideas into one sentence whenever possible - but stay away from run-on sentences. I love commas and hyphens, cause they help break up sentences into chunks. You can also put more line breaks in. Sometimes 1 long paragraph can be broken into 2-3 smaller paragraphs. When editing - making your article easy to digest is your number one priority.
Just as important however is ensuring that there are no typos. Typos subtract from the validity and professionalism of your article. Always read a written piece aloud several times before publishing it. This will almost guarantee an error free blog.
7. Visually Design The Words
Highlight the entire article and pick a nice font and size. Don't use a font that's too hard to read. Pick a simple standard font that people are used to. Then "justify" the article. This makes the whole article have linear edges and makes it look a lot cleaner. The justify button can usually be found with the right , left and center alignment buttons.
Select your headers and make them bolder than the paragraphs. There are lots of ways to make your headers stand out. You can make them bold, use italics, enlarge the font, use a different font, use a different color or center them. Its up to you.
Squint at the article. Is it all running together or is it bold and chunky? If its not bold and chunky - keep designing until it is.
8. Insert Nice Pics Throughout
Here is another CRUCIAL STEP.
Who wants to read a book without pictures? No one - that's who. You simply must decorate and further illustrate your blog with sweet images. Original images are preferable but if not, use free stock photos. One good pic at the top of the page is good - but use more if possible.
Add GIFs!!!! People love these eye catching - moving pictures. GIF's are essentially little tiny video snippets. A series of images being repeated continuously. Studies show that GIFs exponentially increase engagement. Imagine you are in a room with objects that aren't moving. Then you spot an insect moving in the corner. Your eyes are naturally gonna start zooming in on the moving thing.
Free GIFs and GIF makers are everywhere! All over the internet.
Here's a list of 5:
Add alt text to your photos. Different sites have different ways of doing this, but it should be pretty easy. Adding alt text is important because it improves SEO rankings with Google- which makes it so more people can find your photo which will bring more people to your site.
*note- too many animated GIFs will make your page load slower. So don't overdo it.
9. Add Links To Relevant Content
Someone visiting your blog is like a potential customer visiting a store. Take full advantage of them giving you the time of day - by adding links to other relevant stuff on your website. The idea is to keep their attention as long as you can.
You can say something like:
If you liked this article - subscribe to our newsletter, our our youtube page - or you can link them to related article or even a product.
Also - make sure you provide them with links to follow you on social media, as well as links that allow them to easily share your blog.
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