How to Write a Good Blog Post

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How to Write a Good Blog Post

We all like to think we produce great blog posts for our readers. Writing a good blog post not only keeps your readers engaged to the end of the post, but it may also encourage them to keep returning to your site to read future posts. I bet there have been many people who have visited sites over time to read a poor blog post and been disappointed with what they have read so have simply left the site. Now, this may only have been the only poor blog on that site but from it, the blogger may have lost future visits from that person.

I know that most of us don’t produce our best work day in and day out, some subjects are just easier for us to write about than others and from my experience that can make all the difference. But as a blogger, you can always strive to put out good quality work that is laid out in a friendly and comprehensible manner, with good structure.

Do you follow a structure when writing your posts or are you happy to just go with the flow and write what comes naturally? For some sites that may be ok but on the whole following, a structure helps your readers follow the post easily and if they are only looking for one piece of information a well-structured post can lead them straight to what they want.

Well hopefully by the end of this post you will be more prepared, confident, ready and able to create a blog post that will have your readers glued to the end. So whether you are new to blogging or simply want to get the best from you and what you write we hope that this post can help you do just that.

 

Structure Your Blog Posts 

A good practice for any writer is to add structure to what you write before you start to write.  For some writers this is a set template they follow, others will change it up depending on what they are writing.  Even in school, we were taught to structure our writing and not much has changed since then. All should contain a heading, introduction, body and conclusion. The body of your post can then be broken down into smaller subheading depending on what you are writing about. You may even want to add a list or two into the post but making good use of structure and white space is an important part of making your writing easy and engaging for the reader.

Most of my posts are often as follows:

  • Heading – you want your heading to stand out or be catchy. Something that is going to grab the readers attention and makes them want to read more. If you are writing online you are also going to want to think of this in keyword terms too. Using a good keyword search tool such as Jaaxy or Ubbersuggest can help you with this.
  • Intro – the intro or introduction is just that to introduce your readers to what you are going to write about and tell your readers a little about what you will be covering or show how you will give value.
  • Body – this can be made up of 4 – 8 subheadings. The body of your writing is where you get across to the reader everything you want to share with them. This should be informative and can be broken down into smaller sections or subheadings throughout the post.
  • Conclusion  – the conclusion or summary of what you have just written to help clarify everything for your readers. This can also help with your SEO if writing online by mentioning your heading again at the start of your conclusion it will also remind the readers of what that heading was that drew then to read your post and can be a good reminder if they are then going to share what you wrote with others either online or in person. It makes it easier to remember.
  • Sign-Off – You may want to add a little to the end either asking for feedback or questions.  Or you can also link to other blog posts that you have written if you have not done so within your post. I have seen some writers develop a little sign-off slogan or saying that their readers now associate with them. This can be a nice little personal touch when building your audience.

Start writing

 

Post Length

Another thing to think about is the length of your posts.  Many people often used to aim for at least 1000 words per post, back when blogging was new and everyone was into reading them. Now, it has been said that 2000 – 3500-word blog posts rank higher in the search engines. If you are aiming to rank well in search engines this too needs to be taken into consideration. Try not to worry too much about this as it is better to have a well-written post that is shorter than to bulk out a post with stuff that has no value or is irrelevant to the post. Readers look for more value and substance in blog posts now as we now consume larger amounts of information online than in any other way.

 At times I can struggle to get to the 1000-word mark and at other times I have to try and contain the post as I could just go on writing till it becomes a book!  The most important thing for me is to ensure I am providing value and keeping the reader engaged.

 

Write Well

We all aim to write well but what does this mean in practice?  Well, you want to write in a fluent manner and therefore structuring your posts can be important to ensure that what you are writing about flows and makes sense to the reader.

Try to engage with the reader through your post.  Ask them questions, make them think.  Try to write using words and language that they understand.  There is no point using fancy words if you don’t have to.  This may actually put some readers off.  So, unless your posts are aimed at people with a certain knowledge or educational level it is best to write for the majority and ensure it is clear and concise.

Make use of white space.  This is said to increase readability and gives the readers eyes a rest.  Try to use white space between paragraphs.  Lists are also a good use of whitespace. Lists are good for:

  • Readability.
  • Making use of white space.
  • Focusing on specific points you want to get across to the reader.
  • Drawing the reader’s attention.
  • Always use capitals at the start and end with a full stop when creating lists.

It is always good practice to check your post before publishing it.  Proofread it yourself to see if it makes sense then if you have someone you trust like a partner or friend that doesn’t mind reading your work as then to give it a once over too.  Ask them to point out any spelling or grammar mistakes and above all ask them if it makes sense to them. Do they understand it? Even if they are not familiar with the subject can they read and follow what you are saying? We can often go off in a tangent when writing so best check this is not the case and correct it if you have unless this has added more value to your post. 

Spell check and grammar check it.  Most writing platforms have at the least basic spell and grammar checks.  You can also download programmes such as Grammarly or ProWritingAid which has both free and paid options.  This is often more advanced than the ones preinstalled with writing platforms or on your word processor. Using these will also help improve your writing over time as you will learn as you write. When your fingers are trying hard to keep up with your brain is often hard to ensure spelling and grammar are correct at the time of typing.

 

Write About What Your Audience Wants to Read

someone reading

Make your readers want to keep reading.

This seems like a bit of a no-brainer but how do you know what they want to read?  First and foremost, it is important to do your research on things relating to your topic or chosen niche.  Read other blog posts and more importantly read the comments and or questions at the end.  Check out pages and groups related to your topic or niche on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google + and Instagram.  Find out what those interested in the topic are talking about.  New releases, new programmes, new equipment or even news on a topic can help you to engage readers by being able to write relevant posts.

E.g. A good friend of mine with a fairly new site in the camping niche had been writing regular relevant posts and product reviews for around 3 months and the site was averaging 10-15 visits per day which in the first few months was ok.

But, when they discovered that a big tent manufacturer was releasing a new tent they decided to write a review on it.  Now, this friend didn’t even leave the house they just read everything they could on the product and wrote a review post.  This one post had their site getting 70+ visits per day for over a fortnight!  Not bad for a 3-month-old site.

Why? Because the post was relevant to what people were searching for.  They all wanted to know about this new tent.

Always keep up to date with the latest products or news as it provides a good source of traffic when you write about it.

 

Give Your Audience Value

Another important part of your blog posts is to make sure you are giving your reader value.  Are you giving them the information that they are searching for?

people on different paths
Provide value to help them get ahead.

Readers search the internet because they are wanting something, information and knowledge are the top 2 reasons for searches.  Most people search the internet because they want to learn about something or they want to buy something, see still information and knowledge!  Some are looking to do both and if you are writing reviews for items related to your niche this is doubly good for you.  As you can provide valuable information for your readers and hopefully if you are with a good affiliate programme be able to provide a link for them to buy the product through which you will be paid a commission.

Other good blog posts can be “How To” guides.  Some bloggers really struggle with the concept of writing “how-to” guides because they often feel they are not qualified enough or knowledgeable enough to be writing them.  If this is you, always remember that very few know everything, you will know more than some others and they will be the ones wanting to read your posts.  If you research a topic enough, you will further enhance your own knowledge before passing this value onto your readers.

Again as you read above remember that even good how-to guides will have structure. So be sure to set out that structure before you start writing. This will help you give your readers a clear and comprehendible how-to guide.

Even when sharing recipes you will notice how this is broken down into a structure value of Recipe Title, Description, Ingredients, Method, Cooking Times and then notes such as Calories, Serving suggestions, Storage Suggestions and maybe a few other notes. This keeps it clear and simple for the reader.

 

Add Pictures and Media

Pictures and media also help the reader to stay engaged.  They say, “A picture speaks a thousand words” and they certainly can help convey some of what you are writing about if you ensure that you use relevant pictures.  This is also another way to give the readers eyes a little rest.

We are now an information consuming world and visuals play a huge part of this.  I certainly know that if I am going back to something I have previously read I will find it at least 10x quicker if it has a picture with it.  Often people will remember a picture before they remember the written word or even the name of a site or post.  So, if you are setting a feature image for your post make it something that stands out and conveys what you are writing about.  That way it will also capture people’s attention, especially if you share your posts on social platforms.

close up of video camera

Another good way of adding value can be through embedding videos in your posts.  Of course, these must be relevant to your topic, don’t just post a funny video halfway through your post just for putting one in and filling up space.

However, if you find a video say on YouTube that you feel would enhance your post or give your readers further value it is worth putting it in there.  This can also help the reader stay on the page longer which will help when you come to look at your page analytics.

Add Links

As with pictures and media, you may also want to add links to your posts.  Again, these should be added to provide value to the reader.  These can be links to further reading whether on your site or another site you trust.  To products that are of interest to your reader and in line with the topic you are writing about in the post.  Other tools and resources on the topic you have just written about.

Links

Please be careful not to overuse links and only link to sites, products, and media that you trust and have visited or used yourself. 

To Summarize

  • Research what people want to read about or are searching for related to your topic to ensure you are writing relevant posts.
  • Research topic and structure your post before starting to write.
  • Write, proofread, spell and grammar check your blog post before publishing.
  • Make use of white space to help with readability.
  • Make sure you have provided value to your readers through your post.
  • Add media to your blog post. Make these relevant and ensure they stand out.
  • Add links, but only if they add value to the reader.

Now you know what’s involved in writing a good blog post, I hope you put it into practice and I get to read some of your work soon.

Remember to believe in yourself, you will always know more than someone else out there so don’t be afraid to share what you know with others.  Knowledge is power so never stop learning and never stop helping others learn too.  We all have a part to play and by providing value and giving to others you yourself are open to receiving in return from others.

WISHING YOU MUCH SUCCESS WITH WHATEVER YOU DO.

Blogging for an Income – a Quick Start Guide

"blog" written on wooden tilesSo, you would like to start your own blog but unsure where to start?  Read on to find out more about blogging and how you could start making money and have a passive income from your own blog.

What is Blogging?

The word “blog” originates from the words “web log” in which individuals kept a regular log or diary of what they were doing or their thoughts online or on the internet.

From there came blogging in where individuals or a small group of people would provide regular updates on a website or blog site for their readers or followers.  In the most part, a blog is created and updated regularly around a subject i.e. football, knitting, surfing, hairstyles etc.

The owner or owners of the site will try to provide relevant and valuable information to the readers or followers on a regular basis.  Some blogs may contain how-to articles, where to find the best value items, best places to visit or find things depending on the interest.  At times videos may be included or guest bloggers will write and often there is a chance to ask questions, give feedback or even forums so you can speak with likeminded people.

Blogs are now very diverse with some owners using blogging for marketing and linking blogs to social networking sites.

Ways You Can Make Money from Blogging

There are several ways you can start to make money through you’re your blog.  This will not come quickly or happen overnight as you must take the time to establish your site and build an audience first.  But once you begin to become an authority site and have regular visitors you will be at a stage to start thinking about monetizing your blog.
Growing Pennies

As I said before there are several ways to do this.  For most bloggers, this is through Affiliate Marketing. Using affiliate sites such as Awin, Amazon, Clickbank and Affilorama.

You can sign up to these platforms and search for companies who you would be writing about or reviewing and sharing news about their products anyway through your blog. You can then apply to sign up to their affiliate programme and start to make small commissions by linking to them and their products through your posts.

Be careful though that you don’t sign up too early on, especially with Amazon as if they are not seeing any referrals or click-throughs from your links they may suspend or terminate your affiliate account. Try to wait until you are getting at least 500 – 1000 website visitors a month, which won’t take long if you are regularly publishing to your site. Until then why not look at advertising on your site.

Through allowing advertising on your site using such programmes as Google Adsense you can start to make small commissions for anyone who clicks on it. This way you can see a small earning coming in and now that people who do visit your site are clicking on links before jumping in with affiliate links.

Remember once you HAVE signed up to those affiliate sites you can go back and edit older blog posts. By either linking to products that you have already written about or by placing banners within your blog posts. So please don’t think that you are going to be writing loads of blog posts to get your site up and bringing in visitors that are not going to pay or earn you money. They simply won’t be earning you money straight away!

By creating and selling your own products.  As you become more authoritative in your niche or subject you may want to write an ebook that can be sold through your site or on a platform such as Amazon.  You may even be in a niche where you could produce your own training materials for others.  These could be in the form of videos, written materials or a mixture of the two.

As the internet grows and changes so does the earning opportunities through blogging. the most important thing is to start and get regular visitors to your site.  The more visitors you can get on a regular basis the greater the earning potential.

 

Choosing Your Topic or Niche

Sometimes choosing your topic or niche can become frustrating or time-consuming. This is due to thinking too much about it.

We ALWAYS hear FOLLOW YOUR PASSION! Right! Well, I believe this does not always need to be the case.  You can become passionate about something through time as you spend more time learning about it.  And let’s be honest for most people if you want to be “earning money online” your “passion” will be simply that earning money and/or becoming your own boss or becoming financially free first.  Yes, we all have hobbies and interests outwith what we do to earn money but are they going to be what brings in the money at first? Once you are earning well then you can then follow your passion and maybe diversify and start a site dedicated to your passion.

I followed that advice to follow your passion when I first started blogging and although it was great to sit and write about something I really enjoyed it was in an already saturated market and I really struggled at first to get both visitors (as there were lots of more authoritative sites out there) and earn money with that site. Yet I stuck with it. Why, because I enjoyed it. I was not too disheartened because it proved to me that it could be done and taught me lots of valuable lessons that I was able to transfer to my next website.

 

My advice is to choose something you are good at, interested in or know a lot about or would love to learn more about and if you plan to use affiliate marketing to monetize your future site check out the market. Take time to check what else is out there, what are other bloggers in that niche doing, writing about and affiliating with. Do you see a gap in that market? Could you fill it and make a difference? If so jump on it, jump on it before someone else does.

Choosing a Domain

If you are interested in starting a blog one of the first things you will need to do is get yourself a website.  If you are going to blog for an income you will need to show you are serious in this field which will mean getting a good .com domain.  Now there are sites like WordPress.com and Blogger that are free but people looking for information are smart and will normally choose what they think is the most authoritative looking site such as .com, .org and .co.uk/de/EU sites.

If you are maybe unsure if this is something you want to do but would like to try a free option first, SiteRubix is a good place to start. This allows you to start blogging with a free site and then if you chose to take things further you can then transfer your work to a paid site.

You will also be needing some help and guidance on setting up your website when you first start, well unless you are a web designer or computer programmer already.  There are many parts to having a good looking and well-run website apart from just your content or writing.  SiteRubix has 1000’s of themes or layouts to choose from and 100’s of plugins to allow you to build your site fast.

In fact, it will guide you through setting up a professional-looking site in under 10 minutes then all you need to do is start writing to add content for your readers.  Try it for free here. Or simply enter the name of a website you would like to create in the box below and see if it is available. This is how quick it is to start your own site.

 

If you find yourself looking to upgrade later, remember you can transfer your content over to a paid and more authoritative website address with the help of how too guides.

Starting to Blog

Now you’ve got your website and picked your topic or niche, now what?  Now it is time to start writing and putting content on your site.  This is where you need to get creative.  You can’t just put any old stuff on there, not if you want to stand out and get noticed.

What you do need to put on your site is what people looking for information on your chosen subject want to read about or learn about.

How do you do this?  You do your research! Look at what others are writing about. Ask people, not just anyone, but people interested in your chosen subject.  Visit site forums on your chosen topic and read what people are talking about, what they are struggling with, what do they want to learn more about or know more about.

It can also be worth signing up to newsletters from companies and people in your chosen niche. So for talking sake, if it was a camping niche, sign up to newsletters from Vango, Coleman, Camping Clubs and Outdoor shops. This was you will get emails telling you all about their new releases and sales. You can then take this information and pass it on through your blog to your readers. This can be a great way to build your audience and site authority when starting out, as you will be writing about the most relative stuff at any given time.

 

hands typing

 

Use this information to give them what they want and start to connect with them.  You may think “who am I to think I can write about this” but believe me if you write it, people will read it! We live in a world where information is consumed at an incredible speed and although you may not know everything in your chosen subject you will know more than some others.  You will also learn and gain knowledge yourself as you do your research for your blogs. Once you start getting into your niche you will quickly find ways of sourcing new information that you can then write about in your own style.

The more you write and the more visitors you get to your site the more you will start to become confident in your writing.  The most important thing at the start is to connect with others and have them read what you are writing.  If you can write and post content on a regular basis you will find that people will come back for more.

 

Have You Got What it Takes? Yes, You Do!

Now there is obviously a little more to learn than just the above like SEO, getting ranked by search engines, building authority and driving traffic to your site, some of which is covered on some of my other blogs, but this will help get you started thinking about whether this is a path you would like to take or not.

Blogging has made a great difference to my life and opened my eyes to a world of new opportunities and it could do the same for you.

PERSISTENCE IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS.

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