With widespread internet access and free platforms virtually everywhere, being a blogger has never been easier. You don’t even have to know how to build an actual website and can just use templates with preset graphics. Choosing a blog topic that will be both interesting and relatable to a wide audience can be difficult. Maybe you have a funny story to share about work, but so do the other fifty bloggers. So you also need to stand out from all the other people trying the same thing. Here are some insider tips on writing spectacular blog posts.
1. Make Your Content “Epic”
Appeal to various interests
When creating your blog’s overall theme, you want to keep it open so you can connect with many people but also specific. And once you’ve chosen a topic, consider the questions your readers might have. Will they have to click away from your site to get the definition of a word (and probably not return) or are you providing them with all the information they need? Epic content is made by presenting your work as a complete package.
But make sure you know what you’re talking about
Successful bloggers conduct tons of research before they really get into their writing. After all, without the research, you’ll likely contradict yourself one time too many. Don’t think it’s a wasted effort. If you have all your information, it will show in your writing and add credibility to your blog.
Make sure that you’re interested in it, too
Writing what you actually know is one of the oldest writing tips. If you choose a topic only because it seems trendy, it will be obvious. Writing about what you heard or read about the latest fashion trend or web development won’t be the same as writing about your experience with it. You want your readers to believe in your words. Writing without passion will come off as a lazy attempt to gain a following and most likely won’t work.
2. Build and Sell Your Brand
It’s not just about writing and posting research topics. You want to create and market yourself as a product and label yourself as a reliable source of information or entertainment. When people come across your blog or hear about, you want your content to be able to sell itself. Being considered a brand makes people see you as committed and professional. You want to use this foundation to build trust in your audience.
Building trust means that you’ll gain loyalty and a following and eventually free marketing as your audience shares your work. Aim to be consistent in delivering quality content, even if you vary the word count of the posts (which can be anywhere between 300 and 2000.)
3. Use the Right Structure
So you have your content, you’re sure it’s great but you don’t know how to present it. There are a few different categories you can use to showcase your work. It’s a matter of choosing the best option for your specific content. Here are four basic types of structuring for blogs.
* List format
If you’re ranking movies, restaurants or doing any sort of reviews, lists are great. Readers love the easy appeal of lists. They can browse through the headings and get to the specific one they’re looking for. And also because list posts generally have a number in the title (i.e. 12 reasons, 8 bakeries, etc.) they can estimate how much time it’ll take for them to get the information.
Step by step guide
These days, there are a lot of trends geared at replicating products at home, being crafty or just completing other do-it-yourself projects. For this type of content, you want to use a guide that lays out the instructions for each step as necessary. When doing this, it’s important to keep it as simple as possible. You may know how to do but you want your content to be able to reach everyone from novice to pro. So present the most basic steps first and then list the additional, more advanced options.
Broader subject category
If you don’t need a list or a guide and want to just blog about a topic, your presentation will be more like a diary format. But because you could talk about practically anything, you’ll have to keep organized to keep yourself (and your readers) from getting lost. The key here is to start with one broad topic and then divide it into three or four smaller categories.
For example, if you want to talk about cars, your smaller categories could be about different engines, different manufacturers and their models and even post-sale retail value. You won’t be able to talk about everything in your overarching topic and your readers wouldn’t want too much given to them anyway. So break it down into easily-absorbed chunks.
More often than not, bloggers just want to share a funny, weird or upsetting thing that happened to them. Daily blogs aren’t particularly unique as they follow the author through otherwise normal daily activities like work, exercise or raising children. But it’s how they present these topics that really set them apart. By speaking to your core audience, you present the idea that you’re just like they are and here’s how. Your writing style will vary, but the main focus here is to treat the tone of the post as if you were talking to a friend.
After all, you’re sharing personal experience so there is a level of comfort expected. Keep in mind not to just ramble on. You don’t want your blog posts to look like a messy collection of water cooler talk. Good stories, personal or not, still have the same basic formula involving: characters, plot development, setting and conflict resolution. If you have to use jargon that is specific to the story you’re spinning, be sure to define it in the post. Otherwise, you risk alienating your readers or simply losing them when they go look for a definition elsewhere.
4. Take on the Competition
One of the things that lead writers and artists into being frustrated is the idea of being special. Because the content is personal to you, you might feel as if you’re guaranteed success. But ignoring the competition (and you definitely have a lot of it) is a surefire way to also get ignored. Before you started blogging, you probably came across some wonderful pages or authors and you wanted to emulate them.
Focus on the competition in your specific area of interest
You can’t take on every single blogger out there and there’s no need to even try to. If you’re writing about education, there’s no need to worry about someone who exclusively blogs about shoes. You can certainly learn from other, more experienced bloggers. You can see what worked for them in terms of formatting and content delivery but you need to re-tailor it for your purposes. Study those who are doing the same (or similar) to what you’re doing but don’t just copy them.
Use your audience to fight for you
Viral posts are made when they are shared time and again by different people across platforms and sites. Part of this requires positive author-reader interaction. When you post your work, don’t just wait for the likes to roll in. Read the comments, respond to the ones you can, even if it’s just a thank you. By developing a relationship with your audience, they will be more likely to share your work because they realize that behind this brand is an actual person.
5. Be Sure to Include Some Extras
When it comes to blogs, there are a certain number of extras expected to be on the page. It’s up to you to use them for your benefit. You’ll find that the most successful blogs use the following to help drive their success.
A wall of text is likely going to bore your readers before they even begin to read. By inserting funny or relevant images, you’ll keep your readers’ interest. This also goes for short video clips. Don’t use too many, however, or you’ll distract from your original content.
Using quotations provides credibility that you’ve invested the time to research your topic. It also shows that you understand that you’re not exactly the first person to say what you’re presenting and that you’d like to share that with your audience. You’ll be sort of borrowing the power of well-known quote for your blog.
Writing an epic blog post is not something as mystical or out-of-your reach as it seems. By delivering well-packed, organized and interesting content, you can connect with your audience. Through that connection you can build a name for yourself as consistent and personable.
People like helping people and nowadays, sharing a link across social media is one of the best helping tools for bloggers. Presenting great, refined (researched and edited) content consistently will help lead you to epic post status.