I still get asked every now and again by a few clients to create “writing tips for blog posts”, so I thought I’d pop a quick how-to here to get you started. 🙂
Christine da Silva’s Quick Writing Tips for Creating your Blog Masterpiece.
- Write how you would talk. Don’t try to be fancy – let your genius shine through. Sometimes clients or teams feel like they just can’t get started. They may be feeling overwhelmed with how to convey a good story. But that’s just it – tell a good story, how YOU would tell it.
- Write what you know. To get started the easiest thing is to write about what you know, or what’s taking up your time. If you’re a learning blog for example, you could also write about discovering new things and your process leading up to it – so although you’re no expert in the topic, you’re guiding others in your journey. I think the biggest lesson to be interesting is that you have to be authentic.
- Don’t stress about grammar. Well okay. Maybe stress about it a little. 🙂 Plus hello Grammarly!
- Keep it short. Enough to get your point across. Try for at least around 250 (that’s like 3-4 paragraphs) to 500 words. Honestly, who’s attention span can still handle 800+? (But if you’re writing something super cool, or technical – have at it.)
- Links. Links are totally cool. Whether you’re linking to further reading, resources, more cool articles on your own blog or product or service pages. Just remember to “open in new window” and put the link on the word related to the subject matter – not something like “read more”. That’s almost as bad as still having an untitled html doc…Having links on related subject matter helps your Google Juice!
- Blog Titles. Try to keep them short and punchy. It really depends on your blog design – but you want people to read the article, not just scan the title. (I’m such a culprit of just scanning when titles are too long!)
- Images. Images are cool to explain stuff – but don’t feel obliged to litter them throughout your article unless it’s infographics/explainers or the like. Again, it depends on your blog design and subject matter.
- Blog post url – depending on which blog platform you’re using, it should be set to “semantic”, but sometimes this automated process doesn’t work too well. Scan them for superfluous words like prepositions (words like “if/and/or/the/on” – within reason), which isn’t always needed in your url, but make sure the url still makes enough sense for people to feel like the title and page they’re about to go to match.
- Page Title & Meta Description – Page titles and meta descriptions are used to display in Google results. They should be on topic, also not stuffed, and interesting enough so people want to click through and read the article. In platforms like WordPress you have many great plugins to help you do this. I personally like to use Yoast. Titles typically range up to 63 characters including spaces. Meta Desc can be up to 200, but aim for 163-180.
- Keyword focus. This for me is always contentious as I like to write for humans. However, I do find that if you tell a good story, keep your focus on your article theme, you’ll naturally bring the keywords into the article without even trying.
I’ll share some tips for Content strategy and ideas down the line. But be sure to track the performance on your blog pieces through analytics. That way you’ll quickly see what your top users like to engage with, and be able to create more of those.
Enjoy your blogging!