Half a Dozen Ways to Improve Your Blog Posts
Over one fifth of all bloggers are either employed to blog for their company or are blogging to promote their own business1. These bloggers tend to produce more posts than hobbyists who make up the bulk of contributors to the blogosphere and so they generally produce a lot of content that they need to see a return from. Being under pressure to produce content every day can make it difficult to write anything that is worth reading, while people that are blogging to support their business might not be natural writers. In order to consistently produce valuable content, it is necessary to have a plan and to follow some simple guidelines to simplify the writing process.
The most noticeable thing about successful, vibrant blogs is that the personality of the blogger comes through. Blogs are all about connecting with readers and encouraging them to leave a comment and join the conversation. Writing in the first person about your experiences will be more encouraging than a dull report. It also shows that the person writing the blog is the one that has the expert knowledge, and contributes directly to building your online professional presence.
Keep each post as simple as possible. Blog posts that run over a thousand words are less likely to be read all the way through to the end by very many people. The best blog posts usually introduce a topic and discuss it all in around 500 words which, with an image is roughly one screen of content. This size of post will also be more easily displayed on the small screens of mobile devices which is becoming more important all of the time.
Set a realistic schedule for making blog posts. Many people can write one or two good posts per day while others are stretched to post one per week. In most cases, two to three short, but informative, blog posts per week will do a great job at getting your message out while building SEO at the same time.
Choose a theme for your blog posts to create a thread of a conversation on a larger topic in your niche. This can then be used as the basis for a serial of posts that all relate to different aspects of the general topic. Breaking up longer articles so that they can be posted in three or four parts can be used to entice readers to come back to read the next installment while it also takes the pressure off of the writer for a while. These sorts of serial posts can then be reassembled as a single post on its own stand alone page to add depth to your website for visitors and spiderbots alike.
Use images and embedded video or audio to give your blog posts more impact. Attractive, interesting or humorous images are likely to be shared on social sites while they also contribute to SEO. Using images break up blocks of text making it easier for readers to get through and also gives your web page more color and interest to keep them there.
Finally, take advantage of the whole point of blogging and encourage your readers to join the conversation with a call to action. Prod them for their opinion and encourage them to leave a comment so that they feel like they are a part of your blog. Collecting comments is only half of the job and it is even more important to answer the comments that you do get. Often these conversations themselves will inspire new topics for future blog posts.
1. The State of the Blogosphere 2011, Higgins, Technorati Media