Many people write blogs, but most writers are not that interesting. Even some of the more famous blogs out there have very predictable and dull contents. So, how do you write winning blogs every time? It is not an exact science, but here are some tips.
(1) Having the right photo vs. having “a” photo.
Any blog about blogging will emphasize how you need a photo and how you will get more shares on Facebook, pins on Pinterest, and popularity in general by having a photo. But, having a mediocre photo might not get you much traction. You need to compare photos and see which ones get you the best following. Compare your analytics and use your senses. A good photo makes you say, “awe.” If you don’t have a reaction to the photo you are using, it is probably not the best you can do. Be selective if you want traffic. Thriving on the internet is based purely on how good you are at selecting and/or crafting top content and not on having mediocre photos.
(2) Length matters
I have the habit of jotting my ideas down on my iphone’s notes section. Then I’ll write lots of quick blog entries. This is a great way to experiment. However, most of the quick blogs I wrote that were three or four paragraphs with no sub-headers didn’t get read more than a few times. The blogs that were the most successful were about 500-700 words, and had many points within a greater theme, each with bolded sub-headers above each paragraph.
(3) Uniqueness is a huge factor
Many people write blog entries on topics that have been done to death. This might be okay if you offer a unique new twist on an old theme kind of like how Mozart wrote dozens of variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as a child. However, picking unique themes that will be populur to a very general audience is the not so easy to master key to popular blogging. If you are in a niche industry, you might not be able to stay relevant while pleasing the masses, but at least please the masses who have some relationship to your niche market!
(4) Promotion on Social Media is critical
If you do not have a good social media presence, you might find it hard to promote your blog. If you blog regularly and the Google Gods pick you up, then you can get traffic from them. But, that can take hundreds of blog entries to accumulate a significant start with the Gods. It takes time to develop a massive Twitter, Instagram or Facebook presence, so try to master social media as that is one of your keys to getting your blog articles in the door with readers.
(5) Networking with co-bloggers
If you have a proofreader, partner, or comedian who can add some humor to your blogs, this can really help. It makes sense to invest in blog articles that are already popular by sprucing those ones up. There is no point in improving upon blog articles with ideas that didn’t work though or new articles which you are not sure about.
(6) Being too factual seems to alienate readers
There are many bloggers who are great at researching facts and figures. They pride themselves on providing “useful” information. But, the reality is that people want articles that are fun, interesting, or that can change their lives with little or no effort. Yes, a good blog article needs some facts to back up your claims and hypotheses, but being overly factual doesn’t normally lead to articles that get read much. The overly factual articles sit on the shelf.
(7) Articles with many points on a single topic often win big.
Do you see titles such as 8 ways to succeed on social media or 11 ways to get your cat to meao more? These are titles that work. On social media, most bloggers make the mistake of not including unique content in the tweet itself. The result is generic looking titles that I would not invest any reading time in. Blog articles that have a theme and two or three examples do not do well. Longer articles with seven, ten, or twenty-eight ways to for example succeed in social media seem to do better. But, be unique about how you write and promote these articles otherwise they too will end up lost in cyberspace.
(8) Excite and entertain
Nobody wants to go back to a blog that puts them to sleep. You need to find a way for your blog to be easy to read, fun, and exciting. With half of the world’s population now claiming to be bloggers, you have to differentiate your boring content from everyone else’s, so try to be interesting!
(9) Too much advice can be a bad thing
My very best blog articles did the worst. But, why? Because I gave really fine-tuned technical advice for how to do better in business, social media, or in hiring. Too much nitpicky and analytical advice doesn’t usually do well unless your audience demands it. Additionally, I am writing to an average business oriented crowd and not to a high-brow crowd. Sometimes if I write above the level of my readers, they become alienated.
(10) Sentence structure of the title really matters
If you analyze blog titles and which ones do well, you will quickly understand that simple grammar actually sells. Subject – Object -Verb is a great structure to start with. My best blog article of all time had a title – Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully, so should you! It was simple, had a powerful message, and a call to action. Not all posts that use the formula for success will be successful, but it is a good place to start.
(11) A call to action
A good blog entry should get people out of their chair. There should be a call to action. They should want to get up and make a change to their life or business right after reading it. A call to action could be part of the title, like in my Steve Jobs example, and should definitely be at the end of a blog entry.
(12) Know your audience and personalize
It is hard to know the intricacies of your audience — their likes and dislikes. You have to experiment and learn little by little what they like as a group. And they will surprize you many times as well. I mentioned before that if I write articles that are too technical, analytical or high-brow my audience tends to not read them. On the other hand, if I write interesting articles with a meaningful and understandable point, they will get a generous supply of traffic.
(13) So, what can you do?
Start by experimenting and look at your analytics. Try to figure out which articles worked best and why. Look at what other people are publishing and what did better on their Facebook or Twitter. There is no way to absolutely master the art of knowing what is popular on social media, but the closer you look, the better you get. So start today, and as always, choose some pictures that knock your socks off! I am not using photos yet except on Facebook promoted posts, but I’ll begin using them soon as my blog grows!