After nearly a year of blogging, this post covers what I learned about writing better posts.
Nobody wants to read a blob of text. Even if you’re writing a personal blog, at least make paragraphs to separate your thoughts. This is the first blog post I ever wrote, and it’s all one blob. It’s confusing, and someone in a rush can’t quickly find the information they need. Think about it, when’s the last time you fully read a web-page? When you’re searching for something, if you don’t find your answer on a site within a few seconds, you’ll probably leave, or that’s what I do anyways. Headings make it simple for a viewer to see if the information they need is on your page, and if it is, where to find it.
Write decently-lengthed posts
This doesn’t really apply for personal blogs, but if you’re writing tutorials, or a tech blog, you want posts that are at least 300 words. If your posts are less than 300 words, here are some things to try:
- Do some research
- Try rewriting the post
- Add some information about a similar topic
- Promote the new GitHub repository you made 🙂
- Add a call to action(i.e. “Comment with …”)
Have a good hook in the beginning
Most blogs, like this one, only show the first sentence or so of blog posts. Even if you show the full post on the blog page, search engines will still only show a few sentences. So, make those words count!! Try not to just start with headings right away; add a sentence or two to get readers interested about the rest of your post. If you’re stuck, write a brief explanation of what the post will be about. This will not only help hook readers who are interested, but also help you develop your post better!
I don’t always remember to do this, mainly because I’m too lazy, but it is important. Errors distract readers from the point you’re trying to get across, increasing their chances of not finishing your post. The Jetpack plugin has a proofreader tool that you can enable, and it will warn you before publishing a post with errors in it.
This is more of an SEO thing, but links, mainly internal ones, will help keep readers on your site longer. You’ll notice that I have related posts at the end of every blog post, and that helps a bit. But, whenever possible, link back to your own posts. This helps readers who are interested about one post, go to others. And, the longer readers are on your site, the better it is for everyone: you get more ad revenue, if you use that, and the reader gets more of your content!
Write posts, worry about money later
Do NOT write a five word post followed by a thousand affiliate links. People come to your site for your content, not to see if you have any new affiliate links or ads. There’s nothing wrong when using an affiliate link when writing a post about a product, or when a product is mentioned, but at least keep the links relevant to your post. Ads are actually better in this sense, as ads are geared towards your readers, so they’re generally more interesting because they’re different for each person.
Re-read your post
Yes, this is technically part of proofreading, but you should always re-read and revise your posts before publishing. This helps you see and fix any mistakes, such as missing words, before your mistake is public on the internet. Preferably, have someone else proofread your posts, as you sometimes think something is obvious when you read it, but isn’t to everyone else.
While images aren’t a required part of every post, they definitely help with longer tutorials. It also helps people who are skimming through your post to understand where to start reading if there are many steps involved. A good example is nearly every tutorial on wpbeginner.com.
Learn from others
Always be reading blogs with similar topics to yours. They can help inspire you to write new posts, and they are a great resource to learn how to write better blog posts. Look at blog posts of big blogs, and learn their style of writing, and how you an adapt it to your writing. No matter how long you’ve been blogging, there’s a more than 99.99% chance there’s someone better than you(at blogging) somewhere.
Please comment with any tips I left out!