13 Tips How To Write A Great Blog Post

August 23, 2013

Blogging, Social Media

13 Tips How To Write A Great Blog Post

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

13 Tips How To Write A Great Blog PostJust 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.

Seriously, don’t.

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.

Tip No. 9 - Include Lots Of Images

Yes, the Zebra is here to prove a point!

 

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?

Tip No. 13 - Use numbers

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.

[Images- iStockphoto]

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About Ben Sibley

Ben Sibley is the co-founder of Support Dash, a ticket system for WordPress developers. You can find more content about marketing, design, and development at the Support Dash blog and follow them at @SupportDash.

View all posts by Ben Sibley

19 Responses to “13 Tips How To Write A Great Blog Post”

  1. Kris Olin Says:

    There’s some great tips here for bloggers; beginners and more advanced! I like tips no. 6 and especially no. 9. You really can’t over emphasize the effect of images on a blog post!

    Reply

  2. Ann Smarty Says:

    Images! That’s what I’ve been preaching at MyBlogGuest for ages! There’s nothing worse than a dull all text-based article – and by “worse” I mean it’s bad for reader experience and marketing! Images make articles easier to read and more fun to share on social media!
    Ann Smarty recently posted…A Guide To Writing Quality Guest Posts In A New Age Of SEOMy Profile

    Reply

    • Kris Olin Says:

      Ann, I’ve noticed that since using more images here on Social Media Revolver I’ve noticed a nice inrease in clicks from sites like Flickr and especially Pinterest!

      Reply

  3. Tony Sanford Says:

    Great information. I knew and use most of these techniques myself they work really well What i didn’t know was the use of image captions and asides.Once you mention it seems like common sense all good ideas do. Good article. thanks for the enlightenment. ;-)
    Tony Sanford recently posted…Attraction Marketing A Powerful Marketing Strategy That Boosts Your BusinessMy Profile

    Reply

  4. Andrew Davison Says:

    Really didn’t know the tips about using numbers and bolding important sentences… all makes sense though and I’ve made a note of that for future :-)

    Reply

  5. Lorelle Says:

    Excellent article. One correction. A “header” is HTML code that hosts the header art and title of your site. Headings are the subtitles in your text that you call headers. Many people confuse those up but headings is the correct term and I know you like things to be right. :D

    If I were to add one more tip to your list is would be to not use link dumps. Link dumps are the lazy blogger’s method of dumping whole links into their articles making them hard to read and look at. Using properly formed HTML anchor tags makes the links readable and professionally presented.

    I wish more people would use proper HTML lists, so thank you for that recommendation.

    Using bold to emphasize points is good, but it is also abused, and search engines know that. Use bold and italic judiciously, adding appropriate emphasis, not cluttering up the entire post with bold every other word…something I’ve seen way too often. I call that “ping pong” reading as the eye jumps from bold to bold not reading the words in between.

    Excellent tips. I do hope more people will practice what you preach!

    Reply

    • Ben Sibley Says:

      Oh no! You’re right, I’ve been calling “heading” tags “header” tags. Never again :)

      The worst abuse I’ve seen of bold text is from “SEO” plugins. They tell people to bold their keywords which does NOTHING for SEO and just makes the article look… weird lol.

      Thanks for commenting Lorelle!
      Ben Sibley recently posted…Plugin Banner Image TemplateMy Profile

      Reply

  6. Josh Light Says:

    Ben,

    Great suggestions. I need to work on keeping my paragraphs shorter :/
    Josh Light recently posted…10 Social Media SEO Tricks Every Political Campaign Should Know AboutMy Profile

    Reply

  7. Yusri Big Says:

    While there are many factors that contribute to how search engines ranks a page of our blog, one of the most powerful onsite factors are the words that you use in the title of that page. This means making sure that the titles of our posts end up being in the of our page. Also important for SEO with respect to titles, in the opinion of many, is that our post titles form the basis of our URL structure and that our titles are live links.

    Reply

  8. Tania Says:

    Good article. I can add that it’s better to write the text in blocks, so it’s much easier to read.

    Reply

  9. Max Says:

    Thanks, Ben! Nice guidelines – really useful and clear.

    Reply

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