Most popular bloggers write in a casual tone that reflects their individual character. Readers are drawn to writers who are sincere and likable. It may take you a while to discover your style. The best way to identify your blogging personality is to start by composing a post as if you’re talking to someone in the same room. Blogs are meant to be conversational. Keep this in mind when you are exploring your voice as a blogger.
Your readers are interested in your opinion, which is why they’re reading your blog. However, make sure to share your thoughts in a way that engages your readers, not offends them. Keep in mind what you’re sharing online reflects your personal or company brand and projecting what that represents with your words.
When a major news event happens, you can bet people are searching the Web for information. Blogging about relevant newsworthy items or a current hot topics helps increase traffic to your blog.
Be a resource.
Know more about your subject genre than anyone else so you can position yourself as a go-to expert and resource for your audience. Understand your customer base, listen and interact with them. Do your homework. You can use search engines like Google Blogs, or Technorati to discover new information and find out what other bloggers are writing in relation to your topics. You can track blog content by subscribing to content and through feed readers like Feedreader or Digg Reader. You can also download apps like Zite to discover fresh content from blog and news sources you might otherwise overlook. Another tool that can be useful is Instapaper, which can be used to save web content to read or reference later.
Related: 39 Blogging Tips From the Pros
Keep it short.
Give the maximum amount of information with the least amount of words. Although opinion varies, blog posts should be about 250-300 words. Anything over 500 words should be broken up into two (or more) posts.
Grab their attention.
Catchy headlines are the best way to get the attention of your readers. The more snappy your headline is, the more readers you will entice so be creative. Use puns and exaggerations. Make sure the headline summarizes the content of your blog post, but do it in an engaging and original manner.
Start a conversation.
A blog should be a two-way conversation between the blogger and his/her audience. You can do this by asking questions, sharing your opinion, or asking for help from your readers. When you ask questions in your blog post, you invite readers to not only leave you feedback, but to return to see if you answer that feedback. This is a great way to build up a base of loyal followers. Simply posting your opinion about a particular topic will invite feedback, because people will inherently either agree or disagree with you. Asking for help with a problem is also an excellent way to get readers to interact with your blog.
Respond to comments.
Part of having a blog is the option for your readers to leave you comments and feedback (both positive and negative). Either way, these readers are probably looking for you to respond to their comment, and may come back to your blog several times to check for a response. Be sure to reply to comments sooner rather than later; failure to reply promptly can turn off regular readers.
Related: How to Write Great Blog Content
Include bulleted/numbered lists.
If you have a lot of information to convey that can be represented in a bulleted or numbered list, do so. This shortens the blog post and makes information easier to read, digest, and remember. Using such lists ensures that your posts are easy to read and scan, and therefore are more likely to be read and understood.
Be consistent with your tone and writing style.
Readers return to your blog because they’ve come to appreciate you and your writing style. Once you’ve determined the voice you’re going to use when you write posts don’t stray from this style or you may risk of turning off readers.
Think about what words people would use to search for your post and try to include them in the body text and headline of the post if you can. Be sure the keyword placement is natural and doesn’t seem out of place. However, use good judgement when it comes to how many keywords you integrate into your post as well as how often you use each keyword within its text. Your readers may be turned off by a post packed with too many of the same keywords. Also, don’t allow keyword integration to inhibit the flow and tone of the post.
After you’ve finished writing your post and before you publish it, be sure you have added “tags”. Generally, tags are the same as the keywords you chose for the post. As with keywords, tags help people find your blog post via search engines. You should have about three to five tags for each post. When determining which tags to use, think in terms of what you would enter into Google if you wanted to find a blog post similar to yours.
Proofread and edit your post.
Not only do grammatical and spelling errors detract from your point, people won’t stick around to read what they can’t understand. Before you hit the submit button, re-read your post and correct any misspelled words, run-on sentences, punctuation errors, and cut out the stuff you don’t need. Check all facts (including links to cited numbers and data where applicable) and cite sources (also include a link to the source if it was something you found online).
The use of internal and external links in a blog post is essential; not only does it help your readers understand content, it also helps your blog post rank higher in search engine results.
Do you have a blog? Do you have any tips to help beginners?