How To Write Better Blog Posts: 12 Experts Share Their Best Tips
A perfect blog post rarely exists. But a better blog post? Absolutely. You can certainly improve your piece. How? To answer that, I reached out to 12 content pros and asked for their tip on how to write better blog posts.
So, are you ready to polish your write-ups? Grab a cuppa and dive in:
2. Write blog posts that address your audience's needs
3. Know who you're writing for and why
4. Know your blog post's purpose
5. Be specific. Very specific
6. Start with an outline
7. Pay special attention to editing
8. Gain expert perspectives
9. Write expert round ups
10. Share your perspective too
11. Use the inverted pyramid structure
12. Wrapping it up
Ouch. But that doesn't mean you need to dive neck-deep into paperwork. In fact, Hilary suggests, "it doesn't have to be a hefty document, it simply should entail identifying goals that you want to achieve (I recommend choosing three) so that you can be more thoughtful about how to create content that moves you closer to bigger business objectives."
A strategy not only keeps you on track of your business goals, but it also helps you, "identify what's working and what's not," as Hilary puts it. She recommends you check in all the data every quarter to learn your posts' performance. This way you can tweak your strategy as needed.
She shares, "One of the best ways to make sure your blog posts are valued by your audience and engaged with is to create your posts based on your audience's questions and needs."
So, how do you get started doing that? Melanie has the answer for you: "Use focus groups, surveys, social media replies and messages, keyword research and tools like Answer The Public to see what questions your audience is asking, and create content that answers those questions."
In her words, a lot many of us: "default to using surface-level assumptions when thinking about our audience—focusing on markers like job titles or level of experience—rather than digging deeper to better understand the reader's motives."
The result? It creates mediocre quality content that doesn't resonate much with its readers.
So, what then? Do what Alicia advocates: "Use performance data, use social listening, talk to your sales team and ask your community questions to learn about your readers, their goals and the challenges they come to your blog to solve. When you truly dig in and get to know your audience like this, writing a blog post that performs across multiple dimensions becomes a lot easier."
This will help you, "determine your approach to writing it [your blog post], making your life as a writer easier, and the outcome more impactful," explains Evan.
He also dives into the details: "if the purpose of your blog is to rank for SEO, you should be researching existing SERPs, taking inspiration from the top-ranking content, using your keyword to drive your headlines and lede."
On the other hand, "if the purpose of your blog is to drive brand awareness, you should be honing in on your target audience's interests and language, providing applicable tips and templates, including more shareable assets and quotes."
Peri explains further, "take any in-demand topic and write it specifically for your reader. For instance, instead of writing a blog post about how to gain Instagram traction in 2020, write a blog post about how new fitness professionals can gain Instagram traction in 2020. Better yet, write about how new female cross-fit trainers can gain traction in 2020. You can never write too niche."
When you do this, your blog post's "tone, context, trigger words and visuals will specifically speak directly to your reader, increasing their chances of choosing your blog post over the hundreds of others out there."
Chloe also adds, "Knowing everything you plan to cover within a blog post not only helps the writing process go faster and more smoothly, it keeps you from wandering off on tangents that don't really add anything to your content."
So you know what to do, right? Write in-depth outlines before you work on that piece.
And, here's the bitter truth: "Even if you write the most amazing content, the first thing people will notice are the errors within it."
To prevent this though, Rebecca suggests you, "check for errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, tone, and consistency."
Pack in a lot of value. How, you ask? Ash Read, the Editorial Director at Buffer who heads the content team suggests, "you gain expert perspectives."
He understands it's easy to feel like you've to be an expert on everything you write. But it doesn't have to be like that. Ash thinks, "your job is to guide your readers and help them to get from A to B during your post."
You can always do this by getting expert insights. Ash recommends, "interviews and expert opinions should be a part of your process for every article you write, whether you use them for direct quotes or just as background research, getting into the habit of speaking to experts will improve your content and how helpful it is to your readers."
Ash also shares examples here and here to show how you can replicate this tip.
- "First, everything you say will be backed up by experts. Your content immediately becomes 10x more powerful and valuable.
- Second, those experts have their own distribution networks for content. They will share your content and link to it once you publish it."
So, don't forget to plan an expert round up or two. Tap into your network or head to HARO to gather expert quotes.
This way, "you're more likely to resonate with your readers and tug at their emotional chord too." What's more, adding your perspective amplifies your write-up's authenticity, allowing readers to connect better with you.
Hiba's done that same for this post over at Soapbox's blog — she narrates her onboarding experience at Soapbox and shares the template used.
So, a better approach is to use the inverted pyramid structure according to the CEO of SoftwarePundit and Director of Growth Marketing at Teachers Pay Teachers, Bruce Hogan.
Bruce elucidates, "the key takeaway from this approach is to put the most important content at the top of the article, and to do the same within each block of content. This makes it easier for the reader to find the value in your content, which improves on-page engagement."
See, that's a simple tip and one that you can put into action immediately. Here's an example from Bruce himself to get you started right away.
"Remember, the perfect piece of content doesn't exist. Trying too hard and trying to make sure every box is ticked is a waste of time." Hence, the best you can do is do your best, get feedback, and repeat.
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