My Guide to Writing Totally Awesome Blog Posts Every Single Time
by MACK COLLIER
One of my pet peeves in #Blogchat is when we are discussing how to create engaging content or how to grow readership and someone will tweet ‘just write awesome posts!’
Yeah, because it’s that easy.
It’s like saying that the solution to losing weight is to ‘eat less, exercise more’. Want more readers? Write awesome content.
But we still haven’t addressed how to do this. How do you write totally awesome blog posts that readers will love?
That’s what this blog post is for, to share with you all the things I’ve learned from blogging for the last 8 years.
Prep before you start writing the post
Before you start writing your post (and this is something you should do for every post you write), ask and answer these three questions:
1 – Who am I writing this post for? Be as specific as possible. Is it for companies wanting to learn how to better leverage social media marketing in the hospitality industry, is it for cross-stitchers in New England or single dads that own dachshunds in Oregon? Know who you are writing for.
2 – What do they get from reading this post? Are you trying to inform them? Teach them a skill? Entertain them? Shock them? Know who your readers are and know why the post you are about to write is of value to them.
3 – What do YOU get from writing this post? How does this post benefit you, the writer? This is important because while you need to make sure the post has value for the reader, you also need to make sure that you know what you want from it as well. For example, I am writing this particular post in a very specific manner to test a new online content marketing tool. Know what you want to accomplish with each post you write.
Elements you need for a totally awesome blog post
First, you have to nail the post headline. This has become increasingly important in recent years since so much activity on Facebook and especially Twitter is now simply linking to other blog posts. We are all sharing our favorite blog posts, and typically all we are sharing is the title of the post and its URL. On top of that, we are all scanning our Newsfeed or list of tweets from the people we follow.
So at best, your headline has about 2 seconds to grab the attention of others and get them to click on the link. So you need to craft a killer headline that immediately gets attention.
But writing a great post headline is an art in and of itself. Here’s some tips:
Make sure the headline doesn’t simply summarize the post. This is probably the biggest mistake bloggers make, they simply let the headline summarize the post, almost as if the headline is an afterthought. For example, let’s say you write a very detailed blog post on a 10-step process for building more engagement on a blog. Which headline is more likely to get you to click on it:
1 – Building blog engagement (Summary of post)
2 – 10 Steps You Can Use To Start Building More Engagement On Your Blog TODAY! (Specific)
It’s probably going to be the 2nd choice, because it’s more specific, and you have a better sense of exactly what the post covers.
Make a specific claim with your headline. In the 2nd example above, the headline tells you that it will not only show you how to create more engagement on your blog, but it also promises to give you a 10-step process that you can begin implementing immediately to build engagement on your blog. In other words, you have a better sense of what the post is about, based on the specific headline. Tell potential readers exactly what they are getting if they read your post.
Make a specific claim with your headline then back that claim up in your post. Nothing is worse than clicking a link based on an awesome headline, then the post ends up being 250 words of fluff, or worse a thinly veiled sales pitch. I made a specific claim in the headline because I wanted to force myself to have to write a comprehensive and complete guide. For example, right now we’re already at the 700+ word count for this post and we haven’t even got into the writing of the post itself yet.