A lot of bloggers offer a list of traditional “tips for writing a great blog post.” I’ve done it too… it’s great information but not especially unique, just useful. Here are some tips I hope are fresh and new to you that you can do right now to boost your creativity.Read More
Sometimes we need a boost RIGHT NOW to keep us motivated about blogging.
A “quick win” is something every blogger can do immediately to experience a positive achievement right now, today.
Writing blog posts is the essence of blogging. In this “quick win” I teach you a great way to come up with a popular, interesting and creative post any time you need to.Read More
Unless you have an abundance of “free time,” you are going to need to write your blog material quickly and concisely so you can get back to the other 20 things you either should be doing, or would rather be doing. I typical have a thousand other things I should be doing instead of doing posts or working on a book, so I make the most of my writing time. Here’s a short list of ways that will help speed up your writing time (while also improving the quality of your blog posts) by utilizing a little advance preparation: Watch for Great Quotes. In your daily reading of other blog material, books, and magazines, you are going to come across quotes from other people that make a brilliant point. Even if it’s not something you are currently working on, copy down the quote (with source reference) so that you start accumulating a little library of wisdom that you can pull from later. I will even go into my blog and set up a DRAFT blog post and put the quote there so that I have it handy when I get time to do a post. Watch for Helpful Links. You’ll also come across links that you want to share with your audience. Create a document to store these links so you can easily go in and grab them during your writing time. Or, using your favorite browser, create a bookmarks folder that is specifically for “links to share in blog posts.” Be Ready. Inspiration for a blog post can strike at any time so you’ll need to make sure you always have access to something to write on so that you don’t lose your good ideas. Save notes on your smart phone, carry a little notebook, a voice recorder . . . just try not to rely on your memory for all the brilliant ideas that you are bound to forget. Especially at night, when you wake up with an inspiration, NEVER think “oh, that’s such a great idea, I’ll remember that for sure!” You won’t. Keep a notepad or your phone by the bed. Write down what you need to make sure you’ll remember. I usually text or email myself so I’ll have it at my desk. Great Headlines Make Great Posts. This is one of my favorite tricks: when you read a great headline, STOP. Don’t read the article or the post. It will bias your writing. Go create a DRAFT blog post, and rewrite the headline in your own words. Then, write down an outline or bullets points from your own original thoughts about that headline. If you read...Read More
I have read both great and sorry blog posts of all lengths, topics, layouts, and construction. There is no cut-and-dried perfect blog post template, but… A Great Blog Post Format Anyone Can Use If you are a new blogger, an inexperienced writer, or just stuck, you can follow this proven layout for your blog post and be assured of a decent result (assuming your writing is up to snuff; even a good format cannot survive crummy writing): A headline that is concise and grabs the reader’s interest. Your headline should have one purpose: to get people to feel “I want to read this and find out more.” If you fail here, you’ll lose 95% of potential readers. A few loyalists or bored readers might continue but most will quickly move on to something they deem worthy of their time. A good image works much like the headline. One photo can communicate paragraphs of hints and teases about your content. On the flip side, a poor or boring image will do what just what you would expect it to do: run people off (“sorry image, must be sorry writing too”). A misleading image will cause people to question the integrity of your content. If you will lie to me by using an enticing image that has nothing to do with the content, what else will you lie to me about? For example, many blogs will use a photo of something trendy or sexy just to get the search-engine traffic and curious readers; even if that image, in reality, has nothing to do with the content. An opening paragraph that quickly tells people what they are about to read and why they should want to read more. If you can get them hooked with the headline and image, the first paragraph is the glue that will keep them stuck on your post. Remember, people have a LOT of choices when it comes to reading. If you make them work hard (read your entire post) before they figure out your point, then you are asking too much. Tell them what you are going to say up front (without giving away every juicy secret), and let them decide if they want to hear more. That may seem counter-intuitive but it shows respect and consideration to your readers. You value them, treat them as such. Subheads give an “outline” for readers. This not only serves as a road map but helps them remember your content. Subheads are mini-headlines that entice people to continue reading your content; again, this shows the reader respect by allowing them to choose whether the next section is valuable to them. Concise writing is an art form....Read More
It’s nice to get a head start by knowing what NOT to do as a blogger. Even if you’ve been blogging for a while, you should makes sure you are not falling into bad habits. Magic Traffic There are no magic programs, tricks, or easy solutions for getting new traffic and readers. Anyone who says there is, IS LYING to you and probably wants some money from you. Don’t fall for it. Good writing, befriending your readers, visiting other blogs, leaving comments, and good-old-fashioned marketing is the only way to grow your traffic. You can bait, buy, and gimmick new traffic to your blog… but it will not be high-quality, long-lasting traffic. Sloppy Posts Bad grammar, juvenile punctuation, typos, improper capitalization… sure-fire ways to make you look like you are not serious about blogging and do not care if you insult your readers. Another way to be sloppy is to put no thought into the flow of your content and just ramble on with no apparent purpose. Write with a plan. Spell, punctuate, and capitalize like a grown-up… okay, a grown-up from 30 years ago (that will get me some comment emails for sure). Me, Me, Me Very few blogs (there are a few) can be successful when the content is about YOU and not your readers. “You” can be the topic as long as the information is still of benefit to the reader. Many new bloggers make the mistake of thinking their life, opinions, and interests will be as important to others as they are to themselves. In extraordinary exceptions, they can be… but as a rule, they are not. Your opinions, interests, and life are only interesting to people to the degree it does something for them: it makes them feel better, it makes them live a higher quality life, it teaches them something, or it solves a problem for them. If you write a blog all about you that only benefits you, do not be surprised when you are the only one reading it regularly. Who Cares Posts When you write something, ask “who cares?” Or more accurately, ask “will my readers care?” If not, do not publish it. And you have to learn this one important principle: just because you care, does not mean your readers will. Many bloggers make the mistake of believing their passion is automatically their readers’ passion. It’s not. Learn to discern. You cannot force readers to be emotionally stirred or interested in something just because you are. Yes, your writing can compel that response in them (and that’s what good writing does) but this is different than starting out with the assumption that because you are jazzed...Read More
How do you make your blog posts more interesting? The best way is just to be an incredible writer who comes up with riveting material any time you want. Now that we’ve discussed those people, let’s move on to the rest of us. Be Definitive & Concise Blah, blah, blah, blah. Words and more words, on and on. Most bloggers ramble and rabbit trail and chatter. Get to the point. You are asking people to give you a slice of their life in exchange for your words. Get to point. Think “twitter writing”… in other words, cut down the number of words and make your writing lean and mean. Solve a Problem What can be more interesting to someone than a real solution to real problem they have? Find out what problems, concerns or questions your readers have and answer them. Provide realistic and useful solutions to common problems and watch your audience mushroom. Take a Stand In our age of wishy-washy, ethically challenged and politically correct spinelessness very few people will actually take a stand on issues or controversial topics. Those that do take a reasonable and well-articulated stand attract followers. People like courageous leaders but of course that comes with a price: you’ll make some enemies. So taking a stand isn’t for the thin-skinned or faint of heart but it makes for much more interesting content. Mystery – Leave’em Wanting Whether its food, a concert, a preacher or a story, you want to leave people wanting MORE, not hoping they can avoid you next time. Learn to write with words, length and passion that leaves your readers anxious with expectation to hear from you again. Too many writers want to exhaustively explain things, belabor their point lest they miss something or simply force-feed the reader so much they feel like they can’t take any more. Learn to leave them wanting more from you. I could go on and on about this point, but I won’t. Shock or Surprise It’s hard to come up with stuff that is truly (and not gratuitously) shocking or surprising but when you do, you’re sure to create a real buzz. “You gotta read this…” is the holy grail of blogging. Careful though… if it looks like you are manufacturing surprise or trying to hard to shock, you’ll turn people off. It has to be genuine and original but if you can pull it off, it can even go viral and put you on the map pretty fast. Engage Emotions People are emotional. Emotions touch the real “us” and the deeper you can tap in to emotion, the more interesting your writing will be. Think about primary emotions...Read More