Not everyone is a natural-born writer, and that’s okay! However, being able to explain things in a clear and engaging way is an essential skill for all creative entrepreneurs. A lot of times, this explaining comes in the form of a blog post. Not sure where to start? Never fear! Here’s exactly what you need to make the perfect blog post happen:
CREATE A LIST OR POINTS
The reason Buzzfeed is so popular is because people love lists. They’re responsive to content that can be taken in easily and quickly. It's important to have your posts written in a way that is easily scanned by readers. As much as we'd love to think our audiences read every word we write as bloggers, it's just not true. Use this model in your own posts to set a certain amount of points to cover. It will also make it easier for you to organize your thoughts and write!
GIVE APPLICABLE STORIES & EXAMPLES
People LOVE stories and examples. They’re the easiest ways to explain concepts, plus they show people that you really understand where they’re coming from and want to connect with them. Not everyone gathers information in the same way, so giving examples and stories provide alternate explanations without anyone having to ask for them.
ADD IN A PRETTY GRAPHIC
If you have a blog post that’s all text, eyes are going to wander. Think about it: Are you more engaged in a book with illustrations or just words? A clear, bright graphic gives people an idea of what to expect in your post without even looking at the title (let’s face it—we’ve all become lazy about how we take in content). Plus, people can pin it and drive traffic to your site.
If you're not a designer, but still want a simple way to create your own graphics, check out Canva.com.
Canva is awesome because 1.) It's FREE! and 2.) It's super easy. Choose your signature fonts that correspond with your brand, pick out a background or graphic, and voila! It takes just a second to learn the platform, and then you'll be on your way to creating your own eye-catching, beautiful graphics in just minutes. My clients love using Canva because I can create a template for their blog posts, and all they need to do is change out the color, picture and text. Easy!
UTILIZE A CATCHY INTRODUCTION
Remember when you were in grade school and your teacher told you to start off every paper with something that will intrigue the reader? The same rule applies here. Use the first sentence of the introduction to hook your reader in, then give them an idea of what to expect in the rest of post. Coming up with a killer headline will help attract readers who click through to your blog. Never underestimate the power of a great headline, and don't forget to optimize the headline for SEO. (Click here if you missed the Dapper Fox Design 4-Part Mini Series to learn more about getting your site optimized for Google searches.) Not every headline needs to be jam-packed with your ideal keywords, but try to come up with a headline that works with SEO for the majority of your posts.
FINISH WITH A CONCISE CONCLUSION
Not having a conclusion makes a post seem unfinished, but it doesn’t mean you need to write a novel at the end of your post! A quick wrap-up of everything you’ve written will suffice and let the reader know what you hoped for them to get out of reading your content. Sometimes adding an engaging questions to the end of your post can help comprehension and discussion even further.
You may notice now that a lot of blogs use many of these tactics in their format—that’s because it works. If you follow this formula, you'll have a much higher chance of engaged readers - those people who will actually read your content instead of the one or two second skim... I'll admit- I'm guilty of that sometimes! The fact that you made it through this one proves this works, right? ;)