April 16, 2008
Blogs are now a dime a dozen, and bloggers need to make their blog posts stand out. Developing a blog following is not as easy as it once was. Learn how to write blog posts that attract readers and retain their attention. Follow these guidelines to cultivate readers…
1. Draw Attention
Use titles to attract the reader’s attention to the blog post. The title should mimic newspaper headlines and generate interest in the blog post. The title can be controversial, but not to the extent of being misleading. Use action words in the title. Bloggers will often come up with a handful of potential titles for blog posts, and then settle on the title that is best suited to a particular blog post.
Having a catchy title, but following it with content that fails to deliver, will not endear you to your readers. The blog content must deliver what is promised in the blog title, or readers will unsubscribe and stop reading. When deciding on a blog title, do not stray too far from the content, as the two are intricately related — the title will attract the reader’s attention, but the content must then live up to expectations… or the blogger’s reputation will suffer.
Nothing stains a blogger’s reputation like inaccurate information, so be sure that your blog posts contain accurate information. Intentionally posting inaccurate or false information will significantly damage a blogger’s reputation. But if an error unintentionally or inadvertently occurs in a blog post, be sure to quickly post a retraction or correction, along with an explanation and an apology in order to salvage your good reputation.
4. Relevant & Timely
Blog posts should always be relevant and timely. Hearing about something long after it has occurred will not captivate readers. Blog about information that is occurring in the here and now. If you are going to write something that is no longer timely, be sure to add some sort of twist, or include new or updated information to make it relevant.
5. On Topic
All blogs should have a general theme that connects all the posts on the blog. Readers will expect posts that are related, so stay true to the blog’s theme and topic.
6. Use Keywords
Use keywords liberally in blog posts. Search engines will attempt to categorize the content of a blog post and discern its general topic. By including related keywords or keyword phrases, search engines will have an easier time classifying the blog’s contents. Additionally, a blog that uses keywords will have a better chance of ranking well for those keywords or keyword phrases in organic search listings.
7. Evaluate Web Logs
Review web logs to determine what blog posts have been popular with readers. Then figure out how to provide similar or related content that might also be of interest to those readers.
Blog posts should always contain original and unique content. If you are simply re-posting information from others, include editorial content or a different spin to the information. Readers do not want to constantly rehash the same information — they are interested in reading new material.
9. Chunky Content
Break content into smaller, readable chunks. Most website visitors will just scan paragraphs for information, and very few will take the time to read all the words contained in a post. Use bulleted lists, or break web copy into paragraphs with bolded sub-topics that appear before the paragraphs.
Writing blog posts is not just about spewing forth content. The best blogs are well thought out, and contain provocative and interesting unique content. Follow the above steps to produce a relevant blog worth reading.
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com audio recording and editing software.