How to Write Compelling Blog Posts

Debra Murphy
Debra Murphy Marketing Coach & Advisor to Small Business Owners, Masterful Marketing

Posted on August 21st 2010



Now that your content strategy for your small business is in place, it’s time to begin writing that great content to attract attention and develop your expert reputation.

Develop a List of Post Topics

It’s important to have a list of 50 to 100 blog post topics before you start to post. What often happens is that new bloggers get excited about blogging, write a few posts and then stop. They’ve run out of ideas.

To avoid that pattern, make a list of topics in your niche that you could write about. Get ideas by searching the web and reading other blogs. I have a blog post draft that is my running list. When I need a post, I can select one off the list if I don’t have something else in mind.

Craft Post Titles that Get Attention

Your title will determine whether anyone will read the post especially if your subscribers have their RSS reader set up in list mode. Read How to Write Magnetic Headlines by Copyblogger, a compendium of 11 blog posts that provides templates and great information on the topic. If you learn how to get your reader’s attention quickly, you stand a fighting chance of keeping their attention a little bit longer. And yes, keywords do matter in your post titles.

Write for Scanning, not Reading

writing web content

Most people now scan content looking for words and phrases that catch their attention rather than read the copy word for word. Write your posts using formatting techniques to make it easy to get the context without having to read every word.

  • Use headlines and bullets to break up your content for easier scanning;
  • Emphasize words and phrases using bold, underline, italics or color to catch the eye;
  • Insert images to reinforce your message;
  • Use video to take a break from text;
  • Write in short paragraphs to make the content easier to digest;
  • Highlight important messages using shading or the blockquote feature of WordPress;
  • Use expanded line-spacing and a medium to large font to help the eye consume the information quickly.

Use a Casual and Friendly Tone

Write as if you are talking with your audience face to face, not as if you are writing your doctoral thesis. Use simple words and phrases to get your point across. Make your topic easy to understand and your reader will appreciate the information.

Link Out to Relevant Content

A link to a great blog with a post that complements yours adds to your credibility because it gives readers a broader perspective. When you share and link to others, you are seen as a hub of your network.

Eliminate Unnecessary Words

Once you write your post, save the draft and come back later to proof read. Eliminate “filler” words that take up space but don’t really add any value. By removing unnecessary words, you reduce the information people have to consume. And while you are proofing, check your spelling and grammar as well. Typos and bad grammar distract the reader from the message you are trying to send.

Stay on Topic

An occasional off-topic post is fine, but the majority of your posts should be relevant to your subscribers. To be seen as an expert, you need to focus on your discipline and continually put out great content.

Being able to write great blog posts time after time is not easy. For some of us, coming up with the topic, researching and writing the post, adding images and reviewing the final piece is a project that takes hours, and maybe a couple of days. If you want to be known as an expert in your field, posting regularly with quality content is necessary and worth the effort.

Now go create your list of topics, write your “magnetic headlines” and start blogging to create visibility for your business and achieve a return on your writing investment.

What tips do you have for writing great blog posts?

©2010 Masterful Marketing. All Rights Reserved.

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Debra Murphy

Debra Murphy

Marketing Coach & Advisor to Small Business Owners, Masterful Marketing

Debra Murphy is a Marketing Coach & Advisor to Small Business Owners

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Comments

Posted on August 21st 2010 at 5:50PM

 

Great post - written for scanning!  Here are a few more thoughts:
  •  As mentioned, insert images - a cartoon can work well. I commission my daughter to do these, so they are original and specific to the article.
  • Occasionally use a relevant succinct quotation as a first line, and paraphrase it in the middle and at then end again to bring focus to the article 
  • Use relevant anecdotes from real life to bring a touch of reality to what could otherwise be bland advice.
  • Be disciplined, and diary in time to write posts. You will be editing again before publishing, as outlined above, so just put aside the time and write!
  • Have a moderation policy linked to your blog & make readers aware of your policy on comments, including Spam and pointless self promotion

Thanks for the tips - I'm off now to add to my blog topic list!

 

Posted on August 21st 2010 at 11:38PM

This is a great article!  Well-written.  I have a running list of topics, but more often than not, I end up writing about something else.  Maybe it's the constant thought-process that starts stringing ideas together to form a good blog post is the trick!  thanks for the tips!

Posted on August 22nd 2010 at 1:40AM

Very informative and instructive post.  Being new to blogging I like coming to sites that will help improve my blog in any area necessary. I enjoy writing articles and am passionate about my topic so this is not an area I struggle with.  However, whenever I do see and read anything about article writing I always pick up some helpful hints.

One of the things I always do after I have written an article is put it aside for a least a day and then go back and re-read it.  Usually need to do a few adjustments before publishing.

Patricia  Perth Australia

http://www.lavenderuses.com

Posted on August 23rd 2010 at 9:44AM

I was going through many websites for learning the simple tips to write the best blog. Your blog was one of the best posts with simple and great tips. I have a point to share with you. I suggest going deeper with the topic that we chose for writing any content. For instance: If we write about apple, we can say about the color, flesh, taste, and the healthy components of it etc… Instead going like apple, Newton, gravitational force, earth, survival, science, spirituality etc… Vertical thinking is required instead of horizontal thinking.

Posted on August 30th 2010 at 3:08PM

Encourage engagement and social sharing are important for blogging. I tried to list out the topics I planned to write about, but when i went back to pick up a topic none of the topics looked exciting or interesting any more.Have you ever felt the same way?

Posted on December 9th 2010 at 2:11AM

I would agree that your blog presentation is one of the most important for capturing a reader besides having compelling content. Where most go wrong that are blogging for business is with the title, keywords and just overall knowledge of SEO. If you don't know the basics of SEO it is very hard for a blog work for you if nobody sees it!

Posted on February 12th 2011 at 1:21PM
I'm glad that I've found your socialmediatoday.com web site. Aw, this was a really quality post. In theory I'd like to write like this too - taking time and real effort to make a good article... but what can I say... I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done.
Warner Robins Real Estate
Posted on September 2nd 2012 at 2:37AM

The content can be fantastic but if you don't catch their attention with the title they may miss the post altogether.  Loved all the tips...thanks!