Everybody has a blog. I have a blog, you have a blog, even your mom has a blog. This means that for your blog to be of value to your readers and to play an important role in your marketing strategy, it has to stand out--or, if not stand out, accomplish a specific goal.
So what’s the magic formula for a successful blog post? Answer: there isn’t one. But here are a few strategies that can help you write great blog content.
1. Provide value.
“Content is king!” shouts everyone and their brother from the rooftops. It’s the anthem of online marketing. But content is worthless unless it does something for your reader.
Imagine you’re scrolling through your Twitter feed. What kind of content intrigues and interests you? Not the clickbait that makes you feel guilty after wasting your time reading about the top 8 ugliest shirts ever worn by a celebrity; it’s the content that makes you want to take action, to change something about your habits, or to find a way to improve. That is the content worth writing.
What is of value to your readers? Inside peeks at your books? Cover reveals and illustrations? Extra details and fun facts about your characters and universe? Maybe they want to hear about you--your travels, adventures, goals, and progress on future works. Maybe they want to hear more about your area of expertise. Find out what they want to read, and write it.
Write content that makes your readers want to go do something.
2. Be crazy about your content.
Here’s a hint: everyone can tell if you hate what you’re writing. It’s boring. The language is dull. The sentences are structured the same way. There’s no sense of excitement or interest emanating from the words on the screen. This is a surefire way to guarantee that your readers won’t choose to come back.
There are a lot of ways to show your passion. The first is, of course, to actually be passionate. Short of that, convince yourself that you’re passionate by focusing on what you love about your books, your job, or your readers. Put yourself in the head of the readers that love what you have to offer. Read positive reviews or friendly emails from people that like you.
Write content that shows passion.
3. Take the time to craft.
Sometimes, if you love what you’re writing and know the topic will provide value to your readers, the words just flow from your fingertips. But don’t hit “publish” as soon as you’re done. Take the time you need to hone and perfect the blog post.
These are some common mistakes people make when they’re writing too fast: using the same word over and over, writing the same sentence structure for every sentence, skipping over or not completing ideas, or not taking the time to do research.
Don’t let this happen to you. Re-read your work at least three times, double check any fact that you aren’t sure of, and watch for those pesky redundant words.
Write content that is well-crafted.
4. Be unique.
Suppose your content has value, has passion, and is carefully crafted. It must be a successful post then, right?
Not necessarily. Any post can get lost in a sea of similar posts.
Once you know what value your blog provides to readers, think about what makes your blog post different. What will draw your readers’ attention to your post versus another, similar post?
Uniqueness can come in many different forms. Perhaps the topic is unusual: chicken sweaters, spaceship wranglers, or how to ride a unicycle up Mount Washington. Perhaps your voice or style is different: you use a lot of swear words or write with a lyrical tone. Perhaps your medium is uncommon: you type your blog on a typewriter and then post images of the typed pages.
By ensuring that your content is unique, you are providing additional value to your readers by being entertaining, intriguing, or thought-provoking.
Write content that is unique.
5. Remember the details.
Sometimes it’s the accessories that can make it or break it for a blog post. Images, titles, headers, and formatting all play a role in whether or not readers click on, read, or share a blog post.
Is your image intriguing? Does your title spark curiosity or make your readers smile? Are the headers and paragraphs situated in a way that is easy to read? Is there information about the author? Are there internal links so the reader can keep reading or learn more?
Or does your website look like it was designed in 2002, use a lot of flash elements, or use frames to structure the content?
These details are less about the content of the post and more about the experience of the reader. It’s just like a good restaurant: if the food is great but the ambiance is terrible, it’s unlikely that the guests will return.
Write great content, and don’t forget the accessories.
Add the fairy dust.
So, what exactly is the fairy dust? Hard work. Taking the time to do it right. That’s all.
The truth is: there is no magical formula for a successful blog post. Even perfect ones can fall flat on their face if posted at a bad time, or if your email newsletter screws up that day. Your best bet is to just keep plugging away, and focusing on the words that bring the best value to your readers, you, and your blog.
So, what’s next for you? Do you need to find a way to provide value to your readers? Do you need to reignite your passion? Do you need take a little extra time to craft your works of art?Do you need brainstorm ways to be unique? Do you need to remember the accessories?
Each step you take towards providing true value to your readers is one more step towards a successful blog post.