First of all I’d like to thank you for your wonderful comments on the blog, via facebook and on twitter about this series. It’s always a bit of a struggle writing “how to” posts because, like I said in part one, no one is an expert and we’re all just banging away to our own beat, we can only offer advice based on experience, which is what this series is all about.
Today’s post is all about constructing a good blog post. It’s something that I eternally struggle with because there are so many variables depending on what you blog about. If you’re a photography blog then photographs and lots of them are the order of the day, if you write about fashion and beauty, photographs mixed with reviews and commentary work well…it really does depend on your “niche”.
There are also some very valid arguments that it doesn’t matter how you package it up, if you’re creating great content then that’s the only thing that matters.
However, there are a few so called rules which I think help construct a good blog post…
The Opening…How you open sets the tone for the whole post. It’s also another ideal place to get your keywords in for SEO purposes. ProBlogger has done a post entitled 11 Ways to Open a Post where he gives advice on crafting that perfect opening paragraph. My favorite is…
Say Something Unexpected
The opening line of this post (where I tell about my wife getting my name wrong when we first met) breaks most of the techniques that I’ve stated above – but attempts to do something a little ‘different’ or ‘surprising’ to grab readers attention by sharing something personal and at a first glance ‘off topic’.
I don’t talk about my family often on ProBlogger – so this opening line is designed to break the pattern and encourage readers to take a second look.
I find that when I do this it seems to ‘snap’ readers out of the way that they normally approach your blog and take a little extra notice for a moment or two (which can be enough to hook them into reading your post).
Of course – the unexpected opening line should relate to your post’s topic on some level.
Have a plan…I know all too well how much you want to just get writing when you have that killer blog post idea. But without a point and without a structure, the post will just diminish in to unreadable ramblings. These days I like to just punch out my posts on evernote and then go back over them, editing them in to some form to structured post. I’m an old school girl, I rely on a notepad to build the bones of my posts so I know where I’m going and so I’m sure not to leave anything out.
Pictures…you need a good image to accompany your post. Like I said earlier, the amount of images you use really does depend what you’re blogging about. I try to use at least one good one in each post, usually at the top. Don’t forget if you’re not using your own image, do link back or ask permission to use it.
Write without editing…Like anything, if you edit as you write then you’ll drive yourself mad and you won’t get your best work. Write what you need to and then edit before you press publish.
Ask your readers to do something…Even if its just asking their opinion. By asking your readers questions or giving them tasks you keep their interest because they feel involved.
Length…you know when your post is too long. If your reader is faced with lots of blocks of texts then I’ll be honest, they’ll get bored. Break it up with images, headings, bold, italic, colours – anything that makes it look appealing and keeps the readers attention.