Would you like more money in your pocket? Have you ever wondered how to command more respect in your communication activities? Heck, could you benefit by learning the secret to increased happiness and life fulfillment while blogging?
That’s right, a good blog post starts off strong and makes promises. It capture’s the reader’s attention by either solving a problem, entertaining or teaching them something they didn’t already know. It needs to suck the reader into heart of the blog post, but eventually it needs to deliver on content and quality.
But actually, a good blog post starts out long before the first sentence. It begins with a catchy title that sums up the entire blog post in 8 words or less. Yup, keep it short and use plenty of key words in the title driving search engines bat-crazy when they crawl or spider your site. That gets you more readers.
In fact, the title might be the most important part of your blog post. Some people scan many blogs and if the title doesn’t inspire…well, guess what? You blog doesn’t get read on that particular day.
But now that you’re in the heart of your writing keep sentences short. Keep ‘em conversational. And notice how most of my paragraphs don’t string lots of words together to make a big block of text. That’s a no-no in blog writing. Lots of words strung together in big paragraphs makes the post look cumbersome.
That said, it’s okay to have a one sentence paragraph while blogging.
Now, on to pictures or graphics. EVERY BLOG POST DESERVES A PICTURE! Words are wonderful, but good pictures can tell stories even better. Plus, they add nice color to your blog which pleases everyone’s eye during the reading experience.
And by all means don’t forget to add plenty of links, when necessary. If you mention using The Associated Press Stylebook in your writing, give it some love by showing a link. Speaking of that resource, it should be on the desk of every blogger and used often to enhance one’s professionalism.
So, how often should you blog? Here there’s no right or wrong answer. Blog ONLY when you have something important to say. Don’t string a bunch of words together simply for the sake of making a blog post. People will see through that and likely won’t give a second look.
I consider two or three posts per week a good target goal. Yet, for some that same number of posts might occur each day. Still, other bloggers only do so occasionally making their frequency maybe once per month. The big thing is to stay consistent and regular as this is what builds readership.
Okay, so I’ve told you several rules to follow. This next one is perhaps most important. Keep your blog posts short and sweet. Learn to edit out what doesn’t need to be there. THIS boldfaced word happens to be my 500th word in this post which signals to me it’s time to wrap it up very soon.
As a general rule, I try to ideally keep my posts between 300–500 words. The absolute max is 700 words…and yes, it is on rare occasion I go over 700 words, but by keeping it short it shows respect for the reader and means you have to be disciplined.
Eventually every blog post needs to wrap it up. Find a way to reward the reader for sticking it out to the end. I like to somehow tie my endings in with my introductory paragraph. Doing that sort of reinforces to the reader the reason they got sucked in to your posting in the first place.
If you made promises…then deliver! If you were trying to entertain…end with a good joke or funny anecdote. The perfect blog post doesn’t occur by the blogger transcribing every word that comes to mind. There has to be some purposeful editing involved throughout the process.
Oh, and just so you know…I ended this blog post with my last word in this post at 700 words.
©2013 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.
Blogger’s Note: Tonight I am teaching a class on the fundamentals of blogging for my local community education. The preceding blog post will be used as part of that class while at the same time hopefully benefiting the many others who will not be in attendance.