5 Ways to Write Better Blog Posts

  •    Ryan is Director of Content for BoostSuite, the co-marketing tool that helps small businesses run successful online marketing programs in less than an hour a week.

Successful blogging drives qualified traffic to your website and helps establish you as an expert authority on subjects that are important to your clients. However, most blogs run into problems with a high bounce rates, meaning people that visit immediately leave, or that visitors aren’t converting into subscribers, leads or customers.

These problems can be alleviated with some simple modifications to your blog posts that will make them more inviting for both new and returning visitors.

1. Write About Topics Relevant to Your Audience

When you brainstorm your upcoming blog post topics make sure you cater to the needs of your audience first. You’re an expert in all things related to your business, so think about some of the most frequently asked questions you’ve received in the past couple weeks. You can answer those with “how to” blog posts. These types of blog posts are going to be extremely relevant to your audience, and relevancy equates to engagement, meaning the more relevant the content is, the more likely a visitor will read the entire article and end up completing a desired action when they’re done; sharing, commenting, signing up, purchasing.

You can also invite relevant co-marketing partners to publish guest posts, bringing new opinions, insights, and audiences into play.

Don’t make your blog posts extremely self-promotional. Instead, focus on providing something unique and valuable to your audience.

2. Use Engaging Headlines

You need to make sure that your headlines grab attention. Readers make a split-second decision to either keep reading or leave when they see your headline, so it’s important that you hook them early.

I like to use the 4 U’s when formatting headlines:

  • Be USEFUL to the reader
  • Provide the reader with a sense of URGENCY
  • Show that the main benefit is UNIQUE
  • Do all of the above in an ULTRA-SPECIFIC way

3. Use Proper Formatting

When it comes to content format and structure, your readers should be able to quickly skim your article and still leave with a key takeaway.

Here are some formatting tips for you to use in your blog posts:

  • Write in essay format with an intro, explanation of major points, conclusion and call-to-action
  • Keep your paragraphs short. Five sentences is too long. Two to three is ideal.
  • Use bold and italics to emphasize key points and encourage tone inflection.
  • Use bullets and numbered lists when applicable.
  • Separate out sections and start each one with relevant subheadlines.
  • Use headline colors that are easy on the eyes.
  • Use whitespace intelligently. It improves overall legibility.

Review your blog post when you’re done and ask yourself, “Is this easy to quickly read/review?” That will give you a clear indication on whether or not it’s properly formatted.

4. Use High-Quality Imagery

Interesting imagery is a great way to attract more visitors, especially when used with social media posts.

If you don’t take your own pictures you can usually find relevant images from Creative Commons, just be sure to follow the proper licensing and author reference guidelines. Infographics are great too, here are 10 free tools you can use to create your own.

5. Keep The Right Length

When it comes to making your posts more inviting, I tend to side with shorter is better. Most readers prefer easily digestible content and don’t have a lot of time for reading super long blog posts.

I’m not suggesting making your blog posts just a couple sentences, they should still contain some substance. My general rule of thumb is to use as few words as possible to get the point across. When you’re done writing and proof-reading your post, time yourself reading through your article. If it takes longer than five minutes, consider removing some text.

Conclusion

Start implementing these tips today to make your blog posts as inviting as possible and you’ll see your average duration on site go up and your bounce rate go down, resulting in more traffic and customers for your business!