By Mike Raven, @ravenswingthog
Hi, I’m Mike, and I promise the reason for this image of my asleep under a pink duvet will be discussed later.
So, you’ve decided to write a blog post. Maybe it’s for your own personal blog, or for a work one. Perhaps it’s to do with your career, a hobby of yours, or just something from everyday life.
But how do you make a good post? This isn’t a small pond – the reality is that around 2 million blog posts are created each and every day. There’s a lot of choice out there.
So how do you write a post that people view, like, and be shared?
1 – The Title
You need the right title. The title is going to be the first thing people see, and is often the single deciding factor whether your blog post is clicked on or not.
Take this post as an example. It could be titled any of these things:
“How to write a good blog post”
“Blogging advice for people that want to write better blogs”
I’ve made the decision to go with a list. People like lists, and preferably lists that aren’t too long. It’s no secret that on my own blog, some of the most popular posts are those with lists, like “Eight things you learn when you go to a slimming club“.
2 – Media
The title isn’t enough, especially nowadays. You need at the very least a good image, and ideally some good animated GIFs or videos. If you’re promoting on Twitter for example, which do you think looks better?
Putting Twitter to one side, other channels such as Facebook and Google+ will pick an image off your blog post to show when you share your blog on those channels. There’s a reason why the first image on this post is an image of me asleep under a pink duvet, and that’s because when this post is shared, that image will quite often appear with it. It’s a bit weird, and the intention is that it’ll catch the eye of people, encouraging them to click on the link to this post. There’s other approaches and by no means is mine perfect, but one thing is for sure – generic stock photos of people in business attire isn’t the way to win over those potential visitors.
Can you believe I wasn’t even really doing any work in that photo? That’s the magic, right there.
And make sure you keep sprinkling those images through the post if it’s a long one. Text is great, but gets boring. Mix it up with an image now and again. Pixabay.com is a good source for public domain images.
3 – The Voice
This is really difficult, particularly for those trained to write really professional business text, but blog posts need to have some personality.
A risk comes with this, I flag up now. Because when you add personality into a post, there’s potential for people to become offended. Offence is really hard to avoid, because whatever you say, someone is going to disagree with you.
But if you go down the route of professional corporate speak, you get text that is bland and boring. Think of a blog post like a meal. Imagine being offered a meal of meat and vegetables. Some people will say that they don’t like the vegetables. Others will say that they do not agree with eating meat.
And then think of an alternative meal, that consists entirely of mashed potato. No one complains about it… but no one chooses it either.
4 – Write it
I can’t add much to this point, because it depends on you what you’re going to write about… but write it. Link to interesting content, to evidence to back up any facts. Make it eye catching, however you want to do that – shocking, funny, interesting. Your post has to in some way affect peoples emotions in order to make them remember it.
Consider finishing off your post with links to other similar posts you’ve written, or a question that people can respond to in the comments.
5 – Promote Promote Promote
Once you’ve got your awesome blog post out into the world, you gotta promote it. And promote it.
And… promote it again.
Expect to spend at least as much time promoting your work as you spent writing it, and preferably more. Don’t just spam the standard social media channels – spend some time find the right places for it and promote it there. Leave comments on blogs with similar topics to your own, encouraging people to follow the comment back to your blog. Hit the usual social media channels, but make sure that the message is crafted right. If there’s a particular hashtag trending on Twitter, is your work suitable for promoting via that hashtag? Or do you have an older blog post that is suitable – don’t forget to dust off those old posts and bring them into the light now and again too.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, if you did well do drop a line in the comments, and while you’re here why not check out ‘Social Media Content- What Works and How To Grow Organically‘.