Supercharge your Blog!
In my ramblings across the internet over the past twelve years, I’ve probably seen millions and millions of blogs, all vying for an audience. With so many to sift through, the new blogger hoping to get readers of their own have to do more than write a few paragraphs and put up a picture or two; the writing has to be well done! Great blogs are engaging, they solve problems and they help others feel inspired and ready to go. And when you have blog posts like that, people will come back for more. There are lots of ways to ramp up your blog and here are some great tips to start with.
And as a teaser, most of these tips are things you were told not to do in your writing! This is the big difference between writing for the internet and writing for publishers or schools. It’s also why so many people love writing blogs.
The Use of ‘You’ and ‘I’
Well written blogs and articles are written in first and second person, not third person. This means the appropriate use of I and you (or We if the blog is for a company). The reason for this is simple: the use of ‘you’ engages the reader and makes them really think about how the subject of your blog would actually help them. The use of I/we makes the entity behind the blog seem more personal. Using personal pronouns makes the post more engaging.
Some people believe that use of the word ‘I’ makes for weaker prose, particularly in academic writing. And it’s true enough…in that structure. But in blog posts and web copy, the word I is not such a bad thing. Proper usage makes from stronger sentences and lends a more personal feel that draws the readers in.
Contractions Aren’t Bad
We use contractions when we speak, so using contractions in your writing will make your work seem more conversational and thus more engaging. In academic writing, you were probably told to avoid contractions, but in blog posts and web copy, you certainly can use them. The big reason is because without contractions, your writing may come off as a bit stilted. If you have to get back into contractions, use the Find and Replace tool to omit phrases like ‘you are’ and ‘I am’.
Adjectives are Welcome Here
In fiction, adjectives are not your friend. They are superlative and they make for weaker writing. But in sales copy and blogs, adjectives are most decidedly welcome! This is because they work great in titles; they are attention grabbing and obvious. For example, titles such as ‘The Biggest and Best of Android Apps’ is more appealing to readers than ‘Android Apps’. So get your flowery, over the top speech on and enjoy it!
Being imperative mean giving instructions; it’s all about telling people what to do, not imploring them to do it. This is why you see things like ‘Click Here to Sign Up’ not, ‘Why don’t you please click here?’
Writing in the imperative means being quick and powerful in how you have people take action with your work. Take a look at other sales copy; none of them ask for you to join up, they tell you to! Try to emulate.
Examples in your writing make it easier for readers to understand what you’re going on about. Concrete examples allow readers to take what you’re saying and see how they can make use of it. It’s also a good way to help people learn about something they knew little about by drawing a parallel between what they do know and the new information. So don’t be afraid to come up with examples to sprinkle in your blogs.
Patterns and Repetition
The use of patterns and repetition takes some practice, but they are important. Repetition helps to cement a message in the mind of readers and patterns helps people to know what to expect and to make your work more memorable. You don’t have to have a ton of repetition in your blog posts, but a little bit can go a long way. For example, saying phrases such as ‘you’ll learn’ and ‘you’ll see’ three or four times in a row really cements in the minds of the readers that they will derive a concrete benefit from reading your work.
Patterns include using things like sub headings and making certain that you always speak in the same tone and format. Don’t swap tenses around, avoid mixing up imperative and ‘you’ statements in the same paragraph, and keep your pattern straight. Again, this will take practice, but as you become more accustomed to writing blogs and feel more comfortable in your voice, you’ll find that it gets much easier.
Numbers in a title make it immediately engaging and obvious. If your title is Five Ways to Make a Budget Stretch, your readers will know that they are getting five tips, not six! But you can use numbers in your posts too, particularly in lists and to strengthen your claims. For example, if you are trying to make the claim that some sort of tip has built up your profits, you would say things like ‘Since I started writing posts 1 a day, I saw my traffic go up by 15 a day.” This lends credence to your claim.
You don’t have to use all of these tips, but implementing a few of them will not only strengthen your writing, but may make it a bit easier for people who always considered themselves a poor writer to get in on the action. Blog writing, web content and sales copy aren’t the same as academic or fiction writing and so they shouldn’t be treated the same. Using these tips, plus other ones you’ll pick up on your way will make for better blogs and that means greater success as an internet writer. Good luck!
Author Bio:Shan Ronald is a medical school graduate who is an enthusiastic blogger and holds an editorial position in UMATE a test prep provider that offers exam preparation courses for UMAT.
Posted on: November 13, 2012