How hard could it be to write a blog post? If a teenager can do it, you can too… right? Well to tell you the truth, writing a blog post isn’t hard at all, but writing a great blog post can be very difficult.
Make Headlines Snappy
Headlines are critical content. Contain your whole argument in your headline. Remember that this is the Web and people distribute blog posts via social media. Your headline will also appear in the search engine results. As yourself: if your headline stands alone, without the copy or pictures, will it still tell you the whole story? Will people know enough, or be interested enough to click on it?
Include Bullet Point Lists
Bullet points are part of the web readability issues. They are so easy to read and impart so much information. We all love lists; it structures the info into an easily digestible format. Think about it, bullet points also break up copy and slow down the readers eyes. So use them, but use them wisely.
Make your Posts Easy to Scan
We were just talking about scanning and readability – people don’t read a web page like they read a printed page – for one thing, everything happens much faster. And people skim and scan on the Web; they don’t really read. So insert a sub heading every few paragraphs. Make sentences and headlines short and to the point.
Tell the Story in the Intro Paragraph
The intro paragraph is also called a summary paragraph. It should tell the whole story of your blog post in one short sentence. This is your hook; you need to engage the reader immediately. If the reader is scanning and finds your intro paragraph interesting, he/she will read on.
Edit and Spell Check your Post before you Publish
Good writing lies in the editing. Before you hit the submit button, re-read your post and cut out the stuff that you don’t need. And spell check. If you are a grammar nut and you enjoy words, take a look at the Wordnerds blog.
About the Author:
Karen Lotter is a journalist and writer based in Durban, South Africa. She runs a company (http://www.ethekwiniweb.co.za/) specializing in creating websites, writing creative and interesting content and optimizing sites for search engines.
She has written profiles, features, advertising copy, obituaries, press releases, and columns in magazines, company newsletters and newspapers, and written and produced corporate scripts.
Since she stopped writing political speeches (after 13 years in the trenches), she has focused on writing for the web and presenting workshops on communications-related issues. She is a Feature Writer at Suite 101.com (http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/ethekwinigirl).
Karen tutors the Writing for the Web Course and the Writing for Social Media Course at the Writers’ College.
Photo Credit: flickr.com_the tartan podcast