Blogging is an open book.
At least, blogging is an open book upon first glance.
Only the laziest of bloggers haven’t written posts about how to write blog posts at some point. It seems that even the newest bloggers know every aspect inside out.
Even some of the most experienced writers adamantly ignore these guidelines or maliciously throw the blogging rule book out of the window, and they do so knowingly and willfully.
May readers be their judge.
2019 is coming, and text blogs are experiencing a new round of growth. Yes, vlogging and live streaming are steadily increasing in popularity, but for now, they can not conquer textual content. To maintain relevance, we knights of pens — okay, let it be knights of keyboards — need to update ourselves on what’s required.
There’s no escape from the basic rules of web writing, and yet, some small but mighty hacks can help your blog posts take on the world this upcoming year.
Small rain lays great dust, or so the proverb claims.
So, here we go!
Give Them Something Actually New
Every blog post is an investigation.
Most bloggers write about things that they know best. It makes sense; you can’t explain anything to readers if you are not an expert on the topic.
But there’s a catch: ensure your expertise is unique!
Writing about well-known facts runs the risk of losing any unique qualities that bring attention to your blog. Even if the information is thoroughly researched and well structured, nobody wants to read the 20th blog post on the same topic. Making your blog post stand out amongst many is a struggle that wouldn’t arise with unique content.
When writing a blog post, ask yourself: What new things have I learned?
Your blog post should wow you, the author! Make sure there’s something in your content that is new to you. Half the fun of creating content is learning as you do it.
Another way to draw attention to your blog is to write about a topic from a different angle. Give readers a chance to see an issue from alternative perspectives that may have been missed by your fellow bloggers.
Give Them More Than Others
Content shock and short attention spans call the shots these days:
- Users don’t have time for your blog posts, stuffed with wordiness and fundamental truth.
- Users scan; they do not read your content.
- Users won’t spend time on anything that doesn’t trigger emotions.
To deal with these objections, build your blog posts accordingly.
First, give readers new ideas, concepts, and facts. Hook them with the very first sentence, and you’ll reel them in by making it intriguing and emotional, which brings us to our second step.
Second, evoke several emotions in your blog post for readers in order to avoid boredom. The most powerful feelings are fear, ego, guilt, and hope for the best. Consider the “pendulum effect” — mix positive and negative emotions in your writing, but always finish on a positive wave.
Third, give the reader more options on how to interact with your blog post:
- Make an audio version so they can listen to your content whenever comfortable.
- Format the accordingly so that the reader can scan the content and see if it meets their needs: add a table of contents for the longer posts, consider a “read it later” button, or reshape it into slides with core information.
Slice And Dice the Information You Share
This will create a stronger focus as you are writing. To make that happen, you can do the following:
- Describe the context of your future blog post in one sentence. Focus on the view of the issue you raise: the shorter your post is, the more specific this should be.
- Sum it up as a question. It will allow you to start research on that specific problem rather than wasting time with filler or unnecessary research.
Example: Millennials don’t want to have babies. Why don’t millennials want to have babies?
Once you’ve got a thesis, make sure your blog post will answer the following questions:
- Why should people want to read this post?
- How can it make the life of the reader better?
- Why should people want to talk about or share this post?
- What emotions does it trigger?
- Does the blog encourage readers to comment? Does it involve to a discussion? How?
The more attention you pay to these details, the more people will reflect on your blog post.
Make Friends With a “How to” Format
Why do blog marketing strategy need more of “how to” post:
When reading your blog post, a user craves three things: discovery, inspiration, training.
Action/experience specifications are what inspires, not the words themselves.
The act of overcoming is what motivates, and no, this should not always be done through blood, sweat, and tears.
A stroke of insight is what inspires — readers should know what to do from your post. Tell them “how” and they will thank you.
“How-to” blog posts are not only those with “how to” in a headline. You may craft listicles, guides, or step-by-step tutorials; you may share thoughts on a particular hack or write a review of somebody’s works; you may tell a personal story or share a case study…
The point is, users will get the answer to their answer after reading your blog post.
Structure Like Crazy
We know you’ve done it before:
“Okay, been there, done that.”
We all know these tips on stellar headlines, short paragraphs, bucket brigades, and attractive visuals to add to blog content. We all do that.
That’s exactly it: we all do that.
Since most competitors are doing the same thing, it makes most blog posts look identical: well-structured and readable, but yet hard to separate from others.
To stand out, raise your blog formatting to a new level:
- Align your posts to the right.
- Adjust a perfect color-contrast ratio to your blog.
- Consider different types and colors of your subheads.
- Use appropriate spacing before and after subheadings.
- Avoid a complex text structure (Title – H2 – H3 is okay, but Title – H2 – H3 – H4… H6 is too much).
- Font size and line height/length matter, too.
And yes, short paragraphs rule.
Draw Bold Parallels
The secret of your content success in 2019:
Make it unexpected and yet relevant to your niche. For that, don’t be afraid of experiments. Draw bold parallels in your blog posts to hook readers by turning to their basic instincts.
Play on the meaning of words.
Add “tasty” ones to your headings to satisfy the instinct of ingestion:
- How to Turn Vanilla Writing into Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream — Copyblogger
- Food for Thought: The Content Strategy Burger — Contently
Use magic words like “secrets,” “tips,” “strategies, or “hacks” to satisfy the instinct of reflection. Power words, used to evoke powerful emotions will come in handy. Also, explore writing DIY content to meet the instinct of creativity.
- Content Marketing Tips for The Health and Fitness Industry — TechWyse
- How to Integrate Strong Marketing Strategies Over to Your Social Media Channels
Consider interactive content — quizzes, slides, surveys, games — to refer the instinct of action.
And the last but not least, refer to the instinct of procreation.
Such bold parallels will make your blog posts intriguing and inviting to click, but remember, everything is good in its season. Catchy words and LSD-topics (laugh, sex, death) work best only when appropriate and relevant.
- When Brevity in Writing Sucks… — Enchanting Marketing
- How to Write Sexy Blog Posts That People Love Reading — Influencive
- Who Is The Modern Guest Blogger? [Spoiler: She’s Not Who You Think] — Successful Blogging
Half the battle is knowing where to draw the line.
Break the Mold
Power words wring water from a flint. They work wonders.
If you want them to become even more magical and “wowable”, consider phonosemantics.
(I bet you’ve noticed the alliteration of /w/ here: this is the trick I use to speed you up.)
And I’m not stopping here.
The proven copywriting formulas such as contrast and comparison will help to generate viral content in your blog, too.
Place two dramatically different definitions in a row. (See the invasion of /d/ here, huh? It emphasizes the action.)
Antonyms work best here:
- How to Get More Traffic by Blogging Less — Neil Patel
- 5 Ways Your Worst Experiences Can Bring Out the Best in You — Psychology Today
Make friends with neuro copywriting tricks, and your blog post will hit competitors like a ton of bricks.
For example, you are welcome to compare things or concepts in your writing by combining “two emotionally charged or rarely matched beneficial adjectives.” It will spark a pinch of intrigue into existence, motivating readers to learn more.
If can’t find super words to describe a concept, compare it to something seemingly incomparable.
- Why Is A Raven Like A Writing Desk? — Writers Write
- How Going On Dating Apps Is Similar To Grocery Shopping — Unwritten
A Bonus Hack
Write your blog posts by contradiction, whenever appropriate.
A great example by Kevin Duncan from Be a Better Blogger recently told us:
And he’s not alone:
- Five Ways to Lose Your Customers — Shep Hyken
- How to be Hated: A Blogger’s Guide to Zero Readers — Daily Blog Tips
- Seven Sure-Fire Ways to Annoy a Blog Editor — Problogger
Known as the backfire effect, this trick will help you hold readers’ attention and make them believe in what you seemingly discourage in your blog posts.
This effect works as follows:
“When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.”
What helps you even more is the entertaining nature of such content. Readers understand that you are joking; they smile while reading your work, and remember it.
Just take a look at the comments below Kevin’s aforementioned blog post, and you’ll get the point I’m trying to bring home.
As a final word…
Your every blog post is a conversation, with the only gap being that when writing, you don’t see your reader’s face. You can’t meet their eye with body language or use a particular tone of voice.
To make this conversation work, you have written words.
Writing techniques work because they go hand in hand with core principles of human psychology, perception, and memory.
Remember that while writing your blog posts…
… And hundreds of readers will share them with the world!