Writing tips come in all shapes and sizes.
That’s why I’ve formatted these top 10 blog writing tips into a checklist.
You can read it here but also download a copy to keep on hand. (Get your own copy here.)
The checklist is a helpful self-check tool.You can use it every time you write a new blog post.
And the checklist also boosts your confidence, particularly during those moments when you're ready to hit "Publish" but your nerves hit and you wonder ...
Did I forget anything?
Run through the checklist and make tweaks before you post so your blog is as enticing and readable as possible ... and your stomach butterflies stay away.
When your title communicates value or offers a benefit, your reader thinks, “’I’ve got to read that. It’s got something in there I need or want to know more about.” If at all possible, be sure to include one or more keywords in your title. (Headilne writing tips here.) Which means you need to ask yourself …
Where possible, include your focus keyword in your post URL, your meta description, your post title, the first 90 characters of your post, at least one subhead, and about times per 200-300 words of content. (Here are more tips about choosing and using keywords.)
If your blog is set up as a true web log, then you have categories (general topics, usually listed in your sidebar like a table of contents) and descriptive tags (short keywords, generally just one or two words long). Make sure you’ve identified the post category and chosen 3-5 tags for your post.
If your blog is set up as a website, then make sure you’ve added your new post under the appropriate navigation category and that you’ve linked to it from that second tier.
Visuals can increase reader engagement by 65%.They can be powerful, but only if they reinforce or expand upon the post’s message. Create your own images with Software like PIcMonkey or Canva. (Here are some DIY tips for formatting images for your blog or website.)
Bonus tip: include Alt Text when you load your image to increase search rankings.
Imagine that a reader outside of your target audience landed on your post. Would she feel welcome and drawn in … or shunned because she doesn’t understand the lingo?
A good blog post has short sentences (averaging 14 words per sentence) and short paragraphs (2-3 sentences).
When your average sentence length is 14 words, readers understand more than 90% of what they’re reading (so says the American Press Institute.) And you want readers to understand what you write so they read your next post … and the next.
Readers like to skim, especially on the web. When subheads summarize your post content, readers get the gist of what you say. They dive more deeply into the sections that interest them the most. And a reminder: include keywords in one or more of your subheads. Doing so will guide the reader to the sections of the post that are most relevant. Plus well-optimized subheads are search engine-friendly. (Here are 6 Tips for Writing Effective Subheads.)
You want readers to stay a while on your site and mosey around rather than click off after just one page. The longer they stay, the more engaged they’ll be.
You can reduce your bounce rate (the number of visitors who navigate away after viewing just one page) by linking to other posts on your site.
Include contextual links in your content (like this.) And include a short list of links that are relevant to the content on that page as a type of “suggested further reading.”
For instance, take a look at the bottom of this page. I’ve included a list of internal links that offer the reader more blog writing tips, presumably because readers on this page are interested in blogging. I want to give them more information. I also want them to stay on my site longer.
Tell your readers what to do, whether it’s to comment, subscribe, give, buy, download or click on another link to learn more. I like ask the reader to take action on what she has read. This way she is putting to use the content she read on my page.
Let’s say you ran through this checklist and now you’re ready to hit “Publish.” Go one step further and multiply the number of readers who can get their eyeballs on your new page. Schedule 5-10 social media posts that link back to your new content. Include the post in a feature to your email newsletter. Publish your post on Medium or other content sharing platform.
You’ve invested time and heart into your blog post. Get it in front of as many readers as possible.
More Blog Writing Tips
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