Writing a great blog post is something that almost anyone can do if they take some time, add some imagination and stick to a few basic rules.

All bloggers are concerned with generating traffic to their blog. Among the first things they have to learn once people actually start visiting their blog is how to keep those visitors there, how to keep them moving around within the blog, and how to keep them coming back again and again.

Writing great blog posts is simple once you know some of the most important blogging tricks. Check out these five top tips for writing a top blog post.

Blogging is time-consuming, and sometimes it can be very tempting to just list links to other online content for your readers to follow. Don’t fall into that trap. Remember, a link without context is a simple way to lose readers rather than retain them. Explore the context and show your audience what you mean by it.

Write in Short Paragraphs

We know that people read the web by scanning, so you don’t want to give them a solid slab of copy. Write your blog posts in short paragraphs (no more than 2-3 sentences is a safe rule) to provide visual relief from a text heavy web page.  And use sub headings.

Support your blog post with links to other web pages that are relevant to your post. I teach two web writing courses, Writing for the Web and Writing for Social Media, and in both of them I try to emphasise the importance of good linking.

Write Less.  250 – 350 Words is Enough

Supply the maximum amount of information with the least amount of words. This is a blog, not a journal and people have busy lives. They don’t have time to read long articles. Use links to add depth to your articles and to link to other relevant articles on your blog and keep your blog posts short.   Remember, a long post is easier to forget and harder to get into. A short post has the opposite effect.

Don’t use Clichés

A cliché is a phrase that has been coined for so long that it has become boring. Sadly people who are new at writing, resort to clichés all the time – “right as rain”; “hard as nails” etc.  When you’ve written your blog post, read through it and prune out the clichés and replace them with something fresh and original.

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_Search Engine People Blog