What’s the secret formula to writing a blog post that people want to read? Do you need to spend hours and hours searching for the perfect topic? Do you agonize over every word, phrase and bullet point you add to your blog post? Take a deep breath and say with me, “let’s get back to basics.” What are the basics? How about a little “writing 101” with a dash of “write the blog post you’d want to read” thrown in.
Can it really be that easy? Yes. And no. Getting back to basics might help, though, and here they are.
Know who you’re writing for.
Remember your blog probably isn’t right for everyone. Not every reader that searches on the Internet will care what you have to say. Know your audience. Write what they want to read. Give your readers useful information that solves a “problem” they’re having.
Write when you have something to say.
Just because you have told yourself, “Blog five times a week,” doesn’t mean you should if you have nothing valuable to say. Don’t waste your readers’ time with fluff. Sure there are those occasional posts that you want to share that may not be about your specific pet blog niche, and that’s okay… as long as you aren’t filling in your blogging quota with several days a week of fluff. Your readers will catch on and they will leave you.
Be your own best editor. Sure, Microsoft will give you a squiggly line if you misspell a word or have a poorly constructed sentence but it will not tell you if you’ve used the wrong “their, they’re, there” that is all you, my blogging friend. Write your blog, then let it sit for a day or an hour or two before you hit publish. Ask a trusted friend to read your blog post before it goes live. Realize that everyone makes mistakes and if you look at your blog a month from now and see an error, log in, fix it and let it go. You’re human, after all.
Not every post has to be a tome.
The “ideal” word count for a blog post varies based on what you read, when you read it and who says it. The most recent “hard fact” I have heard on blog posts is that 300 words is ideal BUT I have also heard that readers want posts that top the 1,000 word length. Who do you believe? Neither? Both? How about you just write as much as you need to in order to get your point across. Don’t add unnecessary information. Conversely, don’t leave gaping holes in the post.
Write as though you’re talking to a friend.
You can lose the “ums” and “you knows” in your blog post, but have a conversational tone. Make your reader feel as though you are speaking directly to her. Let your natural “voice” shine through. The best way to set yourself and your blog apart from the billions of blogs out there is by having a personality.
Share the love.
Link to relevant posts. Share your post on your social media platforms. Share the posts of others on your social platforms. When you write a blog post and hit publish, that doesn’t mean the work is done. Your post is now a living, breathing entity and it needs to be fed by releasing it into the world!
Keep your keywords in mind.
If you blog about “dog groomers in California” or if you’re the owner of a “diva poodle” or you are a “pet blogging social media consultant” feel free to use those keywords, but for the love of all that is holy, don’t keyword stuff. Don’t drop the keywords in just for the sake of dropping them in. Google knows when you’re not being authentic and when you’re just writing for the sake of the search. Keywords are important if you’re building your brand. Know what they are, use them sparingly.
Use a fantastic headline.
That being said, make certain your headline fits the blog topic. You don’t want to use a misleading headline like, “Secrets To Making $1 Million With Your Pet Blog Today!” only to be blogging about the best way to clip your dog’s nails (because you’re a dog groomer). That is a no-no and your readers will catch on and will likely move on. Your headline should be searchable, make sense for the post you’re writing and make the reader want to read.
That’s a bit of writing 101 in a nutshell. What back-to-basics can you offer the newbie pet blogger? Let me know in the comments.
(Photo Shutterstock cat at chalkboard)
Robbi Hess is the former BlogPaws blog manager and will be speaking at the BlogPaws 2016 Conference. She blogs at All Words Matter and is the Media Manager for Big Barker, maker of premium beds for big dogs.