How to write great blogs
It seems a bit strange blogging about how to write great blogs. It’s all a bit self-evident, isn’t it? If people read what you write, then job done. Surely?
Well…no. It’s one thing getting readers to resist the temptation to click that mouse and move on, and actually read what you’ve written. Ensuring that the blog prompts them to take the positive action you want them to take is another thing.
So, here are a few points to ponder before you tap out that blog and press the upload button.
1) Identify your target readers – be clear who you want to read your blog, and use an appropriate writing style and tone which will be familiar to these readers. It’s obvious stuff really, but so many companies and organisations get it so wrong.
2) Connect with readers – another big mistake made by many company blogs is that they read like corporate policy statements or sales pitches. They are a real switch-off to readers. Make sure that you explain your message in language that people understand and relate to. They need to believe that your blog is a genuine effort to break down communication barriers. Writing honestly, openly and candidly will help you do that.
3) Define your message – I know that I sound like a GCSE English teacher, but it’s really important to think about what you are writing before you let your fingers tap out any words. Be clear what you are trying to say, and then stick ruthlessly to that message.
4) Get to the point – the blogosphere is full of rambling scribes who take ages to spit out what they are trying to say. Always think about that mouse next to readers’ screens. Don’t give them the chance to click away before you’ve got your point over.
5) Be open – people respond to people. Show that you are a real person, by giving the readers an insight into how you feel. Readers relate to this.
6) Don’t over-sell – Readers go to blogs to get a little bit more insight and background information. They want to find out more about your company, your issues and what makes you tick. Leave the hard sell to the selling pages of your site. A good principle is only plug your own products directly in 20% of the blog. The other 80% should cover background, insight and information.
7) Don’t rant – we’re all for company blogs showing their human side, but ranting about customers, competitors, regulations, or anything really, is a bad idea. You always want to come across as balanced, reasonable and good natured. Ranting achieves the opposite.
8) Break it up – there’s no bigger turn-off online than seeing one solid block of text. Make sure that you use lots of paragraph breaks. One general rule is to ensure that there’s more white space on screen than text. If there isn’t then reading your blog might seem just too daunting for many readers.
9) Use humour – making people laugh is always a good idea. Laughing at people isn’t. You always need to be careful that your humour is universal. It’s not just about not upsetting or offending people. Jokes that don’t work or just aren’t that funny can make you look like…a joke that doesn’t work and isn’t funny.
10) Always review – always check and double check what you have written before you publish. It’s also not a bad idea to show a friend or colleague your draft, for feedback….there’s nothing like a reality check from someone else’s perspective.
Of course, if you still don’t know how to write great blogs you could get in touch and receive help from the experts at ProseWorks, but why not have go yourself? Go on, you can do it!