Think your blog post is good? I bet you’ll find a way to make it better if you follow these tips.
1. Add Headers
Just because you wrote 800 words does not mean your visitors are going to read 800 words. Headers give your content structure and help people find what they’re looking for.
Someone reading this post, for instance, may see this header and think “yeah yeah, headers I know,” but then find interest in a subsequent header.
2. Give Them a Logical Order
Read just your headers. Do they make sense on their own?
Someone should be able to read over the header and know exactly what your post is about, what is coming up next. If a visitor wants to find a specific piece of information in your post, help them get to it by structuring your post with headers.
3. Use Header Tags Properly
It’s surprising how many people toss a bunch of h1 tags inside their posts. You should only have one h1 tag per post that succinctly captures the subject of the post matter. After that, use h2 tags to outline different subsections and h3 to divide even smaller subsections of your content.
Tip: It’s only okay to have multiple instances of h1 tags if they’re on a page that includes and/or links to many different subjects. For instance, your homepage probably has an h1 tag for each blog post title and this is okay.
4. Use Present Tense
People like action.
If you have a header in your post like “Getting More Blog Comments,” change it do “Get More Blog Comments.”
5. Make Them Immediately Clear
The meaning of your headers should be immediately clear (this goes for your post title as well). By immediate, I mean the first 11 characters. Don’t use long, bland words like “Introducing” to start a header.
6. Keep Your Paragraphs Short
Don’t make a paragraph longer than 4 lines. Since people scan online, your big, chunky paragraphs don’t stand a chance at getting read, so don’t make them longer than 4 lines.
7. Link Out
Linking out shows that you are credible and it makes you a hub. People will remember that they found something interesting from your site and return to your post just to look at what you linked to again. Linking out also has SEO benefits.
8. Use Bullet Points
Visitors scan in an F-shape pattern, so adhere to that pattern when you can. Every time you have a comma delimited list, convert it into bullet points.
- Don’t tell me you don’t
- read bullet points
- when you see them
9. Include Lots Of Images
You should add an image to your post about every 350 words.
Images are interesting and they help get people to scroll down your page and see more. They also give you a chance to…
10. Use Image Captions
You love image captions and you know it.
Since people are going to be reading them, make them 2-3 sentences long. This will get people to slow down a bit and give your content a change.
11. Add Asides
Do you see a common theme here?
People like differentiation. They don’t want just paragraphs! So give them:
- image captions
- bullet points
- and asides
I’m characterizing “asides” as any box, fun fact, or distinctly separated area of content (like an enlarged quote in a magazine).
12. Bold Your Most Important Phrases
To be clear, do not bold the phrases most important to the concepts, bold the phrases most likely to generate curiosity.
Visitors will skip paragraphs, possibly reading only the bold text they see, so bold something that doesn’t fit and requires attention to understand. How many people do you think will slow down to understand when I say blogging is a waste of time?
13. ALWAYS use numbers
Numbers mean facts. People love facts.
When scanning, people’s eyes are drawn to numbers because numbers are often complemented by some tangible, factual information they can use.
I know, your English teacher always said you should write out “two”, but this is the web! It’s time to write 2!
Use these Tips
It’s easy to skip these tips and just hit ‘publish’, but try to hold yourself to it. Following each of these steps will make you a better blog and get you better results.