How long should my posts be?
Can other people write articles for me?
How often should new content be posted on my blog?
Are off-topic posts a good idea?
How do I create fantastic content that attracts dozens to hundreds of comments and shares every day? How do I get visitors to return and read everything I post?
These content questions and many more are common to most, if not all bloggers at some point. Perhaps you have some of these questions right now.
Blogs are important to your social media strategy and business goals. This post shares several tips for producing incredible content for your blog:
1. Find your voice.
Perhaps the greatest challenge for a writer, finding a unique style that fits and brings out your personality is tough! Experiment with different points of view and emotions.
Here is some advice about finding your voice from expert blogger Corbett Barr:
How do you convey your full personality through words? It’s not an easy thing. How do you show that you’re passionate, gutsy, funny, provocative, dynamic and vibrant like your friends know you to be? How do you let people know your full values, traits and even quirks through writing?
There are two areas that keep us (or me) from fully self-expressing ourselves:
The first is courage. It takes guts to do something you’ve never done before. Knowing that once you write something online it’ll be out there for good can make you question every word, every sentence, every blog post. And what if people don’t like your fully-self-expressed self? That could make a grown man cry. Or at least stop revealing himself.
The second is writing ability. I’m not talking about innate writing ability, something you can only be born with. I’m referring to a learned skill here. The skill of being able to write conversationally, drawing on all of your experiences and thoughts and feelings, and to get those across in a coherent way. I think you can learn that skill. Some people come to it naturally, and other people have to work at it.
Without the courage and skills, many of us end up with a half-assed persona online. Something that sounds stiff and formal in a way that we don’t sound in person. (Side note, this doesn’t just apply to writing, either. You can create personas that you use in real life in different situations, especially in business situations).
To muster that courage and gain those skills, you have to experiment. Try writing rants, try expressing parts of yourself you’ve never shared before, try being funny, try being serious, try acting like a leader.
Dig in and examine your favorite writers and try to figure out how they’re able to connect so easily with you.
Finding your voice is something every blogger should strive to do. Once you have, your writing will be more exciting and powerful forever.[i]
2. Use other resources for your content.
Yes, you can create some really useful content by pulling other sources together on your blog. As a curator or facilitator, you provide a service and time saving for your readers by searching hundreds to thousands of posts and re-posting relevant content.
When writers block occurs and you have nothing interesting to write, try creating a post that comments on existing content. Link freely to get noticed by other bloggers.
Learn to curate content effectively from Brain Pickings by Maria Popova. Popova is a master of “combinatorial creativity” as she calls it. She uses hundreds of sources, both online and off to create unique content.
3. Write attention grabbing headlines.
You don’t spend enough time on headlines. However much time you spend, double or triple the effort to produce ones that go viral.
Killer headlines are key to making your post stand out from thousands of similar ones. A headline means a difference from a wildly popular post and a mundane one.
4. Posting more frequently is better.
More frequent posts provide: opportunity to connect with your potential audience and increases the chance of writing a viral post.
Be careful to balance quantity and quality. Don’t post lots of crap just because you want lots of posts. If you can write high quality content on a regular basis, try posting more often to grow your audience.
5. Use a successful blogging formula.
Research posts with large numbers of followers or are viral on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. Examples of successful blogs are Mashable, Business Insider, and TMZ.
Copy the formula of these wildly successful blogs and add you own slant and voice to create unique content for your blog. The results may surprise you!
6. Write with emotion and passion.
You’ve heard this before:
People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing – Dale Carnegie
When you really care about what you’re writing or working on, the passion comes through. It makes your writing more human, more connectable, and powerful. Your words will resonate with your readers and they’ll want to share your content.
If you’re writing content you’re lukewarm about, change. Write about something you care deeply about, something different and challenging. It will make a difference.
7. Make content readable.
Bloggers work hard to create dynamic and brilliant content but fall flat when paragraphs are long, tedious, and boring. Visual markers and breaks in text can make a radical difference.
Writing in long monotonous paragraphs without emphasis, is a great cure for insomnia. Your readers will fall asleep or miss the blog’s point and wear out the back button on the keyboard.
Readers like to scan an article; don’t make them work hard to find the point. Key words, phrases and headings – especially early in the document – will keep readers on your page.
Scannable text will keep readers interested and improve the chance that they’ll read what you’ve written.
Finally, try making one of these simple changes in your next post. If that works, great. If not, try another or two in following posts. Once you’ve found a combination that works, your blog will run wild.
By Dion Shaw
Adapted and edited from thinktraffic.
Dion Shaw is the founder and owner of Homepreneurs.
Homepreneurs. New Day. New Opportunity.
Homepreneurs does not endorse nor have any relationships with any of the services listed. Homepreneurs receives no compensation or consideration for its suggestions. Homepreneurs strongly urges all interested parties to conduct research and accepts no responsibility for any losses incurred.
© Homepreneurs 2011
[i] Extracted from http://thinktraffic.net/11-tips-for-outstanding-blog-content. 10-29-2011