Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Writing a Blog Post



What is the Difference Between a Blog Post and an Article?

The words blog post and article are used changeably in today's content filled internet, leaving the lines noticeably blurred.

Here are 6 noticeable differences between both:

1.  Voice

When blogs were originally created online, they were written in the first person i.e. I or me, because they were written in the form of a journal.

Article's are usually written using you and your, them and they, in the third voice.  They don't express any individuality, or personality but always have an authoritative tone.


2.  Duration

Usually an article will be between 5000-1000 words where as a blog post can vay in length, anything from 300 to 3,000 words or more.

People prefer to skim through blog posts, but spend more time reading an article.

3.  Approach

Article's are factual documents rather than someones opinion.  They're always backed up with facts and statistics.

A blog post is usually an opinion or thought, backed up by statistical information and facts.

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4.  Pitch

When you read an article you feel like you're being taught something from an authoritative figure.

Many blogger's tend to write in a conversational tone to their readers, almost sounding like they're talking to a close friend.

5.  Production

Articles are usually published about once or twice a week, just like they would be in a weekly paper or magazine.

Blog posts are kept up-to-date regularly, sometimes even daily depending on the blogger.

6.  Crossover

This is where it can be a bit confusing, some bloggers will refer to their blog posts as articles even though they are filled with their own thoughts, and opinions, and written in the first person.

The key thing to understand about an article is that it should be technical and informative to the reader, unlike a blog post, which is personal, and conversational.

Why Content Will Always be King

As a blogger your primary focus should always be writing.

Creating valuable content, that will make your readers want to come back again and again to visit your blog.

Let's look at a few examples of what some people think make a successful blog:

Affiliate Marketing

Without traffic all those affiliate links on your blog won't make you a penny.  It's the amazing blog posts that attract your readers, giving them somewhere to get their daily or weekly fix of information.

Social Media

You can join as many social media sites as you want, but without regular content creation your readership will start to dry-up.

SEO

Sure SEO techniques can help, don't get me wrong, without any links you're lost.  Good quality links come from good quality content.

Blog Design

Making your website look pretty, and attractive, won't always get you readers, who will keep coming back for more.  You need to feed them regular blog content to keep them hooked.

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The Pillar Blog Post

All of the above things are useful but nothing reigns more than content.

So how do you write great content?  Practice makes perfect, something I'm still trying to perfect myself, to write extraordinary blog posts there are four pillars to stick to:

Pillar 1: Be Useful

Always consider your reader, make them the centre of your blog post.

What problem do they have that needs solving?

Identify a topic to help resolve that problem, and help your reader achieve their dream. Make your tips practical and useful for every-day life.  Create useful ways to solving their problems.

Pillar 2: Write an Irresistible Headline

Pick a topic, then define it in the main headline.  You stay more focused when you know what your blog post is about.

Your main headline is important because that's the first thing your reader will see, it's the first thing they see before they decide to read it.  So make it count.

Pillar 3: Make Your Posts Easy-to-Read

Life is so fast these days, so much so, that people only have seconds to skim through newspapers, and blog posts for useful information.

If your reader's are looking for something, don't make them dig.  They'll lose all focus and move on.

Make it easy to scan through, use lists, subheadings, block quotes, graphics, and images to hold their attention.

Pillar 4: Write Plainly, to the Point and Be Concise

In a nutshell, make it simple for your reader.

Avoid fancy language, and unnecessary words.  Be more conversational, don't talk down to your reader or confuse them with techie stuff.

Write like you're talking to a friend, then proofread it later and revise sentences that aren't clear.

Keep it simple, give it time, and it will become a beacon to all your readers.


How to Create Scannable Blog Posts


Fact: Only 16% of people read websites word for word.

The average person only comprehends 60% of what they read.

Why People Rarely Read Blog Posts Word-for-Word

Research has shown that over 50% of people scan the articles they read, picking out keywords, meaningful sub-headings, bulleted lists etc.

Credibility is a key component to internet users.  Which is why most people skim through blog posts, because it take less time.

You can test this by asking a friend to take a quick look at your blog.  Give them about 30 seconds on each post.  After they've finished reading, ask them what the post was about.  You'll begin to understand how they've interacted with your blog.

How to Make Your Blog Scannable

There are a variety of techniques bloggers use to make their posts easier to read, these include:

Lists

People love reading lists because it appeals to their short attention spans.

Formatting

Make your information jump out of the page with bold lettering, italics, CAPITALS. Try changing your font size to draw readers eyes to the main points.

Pictures

Research has shown time, and time again that people love images.  Use images throughout your blog post, to hold your readers attention.

Borders/Block quotes

Use borders and block quotes to get readers attention.

Space

Don't fill up every inch of your screen, leave some space, to help focus the eyes of your readers.

Get Straight to the Point

Try to be concise with your points.

Get Your Points in an Interesting and Creative Way

Write like your writing a story, and make your blog posts more human.

Don't Overwhelm Your Readers

If you have an idea, make sure you stick to that idea in every blog post.  Do go off on a writing tangent.

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9 Different Kinds of Blog Post You Can Write

If you're stuck for blog post ideas or unable to think of what your next blog post should be about. You're not alone it happens to all bloggers.

Sometimes your mind just goes blank.

The good news is that there are a number of different blog posts ideas you can use to write about.  Here are some to help cure your writer's block.

1 The Information Post - You simply give information on a topic, like a definition or a long explanation, in your particular blog niche.  This is the core of websites like Wikipedia.

2 The Instruction Post - This is where you inform people on how to do something, such as starting a blog, gardening, how to dance etc. A popular type of blog post, because people love learning new things.

3 The List Post - List creation is an easy way to make your post more interesting.  You can write lists about endless amounts of things, for example, Reasons why.., 10 Favourite... or The Top Ten Trends for.... .  Useful to those people on the go who want their information in a simple format to read.

4 The Review Post - Reviews are great if your selling affiliate products, or even your own products.  You can make them as long you want.  Sharing your own wisdom, or opinion about various products you've tested.

5 The Case Study Post - These are longer than just a review post, and if written really well can be evergreen content.

6 The Link Post - A quote, or comment can be used, and expanded on to make a blog post more original.

7 The Rant Post - If you're annoyed about something that's on your mind, create a blog post about it.  Rants are great for starting a discussion, and can be quite fun.  Warning, they can also stir up some firey comment threads which can impact on your blogging reputation later on, so beware.

8 The Inspirational Post - Give your audience some encouraging words, share your everyday life with your readers, you may find a deeper connection with your readers.

9 The Research Post - Researching can be both interesting and relaxing at the same time.  Learning new things, then passing that information on to your audience in a simple way, can be beneficial to you and your readers.

There are many more types of  blog posts, by changing your blog post type into the mix can broaden your readership.  There's nothing wrong with a little spice every now and again.


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