7 essential blogging principles to dramatically increase your output
Blogging is a big investment in time, but there are certain rules you can follow to make things easier and faster.
This post outlines the principles that I’ve found to be essential in an effective blog post template. Following these guidelines as the basis for every post you create will allow you to concentrate on the content, write faster and therefore more prolifically.
Readers of the OMNLDN blog will know that I’m of the opinion that all brands, both professional and personal, need to have a blog.
On a personal blog level, it’s a platform that gives you power as a consumer, and a soap box to wax lyrical about your passions and demonstrate your knowledge. It’s your CV, your journal and an essential tool for controlling your online brand.
For commercial brands a blog is equally important as a mouthpiece to build audience through communicating the brand values that will attract your target market, and build profitable relationships. It’s the key touch-point with the personality of your brand.
Creating effective blog posts is an art in itself, but there is also a science that dictates structure and gives the blogger a tried and tested structure to follow. The following template, when adhered to with flexibility in mind, allow for a more rapid output and better quality of post.
The perfect blog post consists of seven key elements:
- Craft a persuasive title. This is so important! Many more people will read the headline than the body copy. The job of the headline is to compel the reader to click through and read the body… or to convince the social browser that sharing it will inform or entertain their audience. You know, we’ve all RT’d without actually reading the article!
- The lead promises what’s to come. The first paragraph of any blog post should communicate clearly the premise of the story and, once again, be persuasive enough to convince the reader to carry on.
- Relevant, quality images draw readers in. Casual readers are attracted to images. The ones you use in your post should be relevant to the content and ask questions in the mind of readers that are answered in the text.
- Structure and syntax should facilitate the readers experience. Keep posts short – cut out the waffle. Use paragraphs generously – it makes posts much easier to read. Short sentences keep the copy reading fast. Compound sentences can have ambiguous meaning. Don’t show off with complicated vocabulary, keep it simple.
- Body copy should be easily digestible. Make life easy for your reader. Use section headers, make the content simple to scan. Bullet points are useful. For most posts, readers are browsing rather than looking for long-form scholarly material so be clear but don’t go into too much detail. If you have a lot to say about one specific area write another post about that topic and link to it.
- Be personable. A blog post shouldn’t read like a text book. Bringing in personal experience to your story is a powerful way to build a relationship with your reader. By writing with personality, your audience will empathise with you and will be much more likely to engage in your post and see your point of view.
- Ask questions of your audience. No matter what type of content your creating, whether it’s blog posts, visual narratives and infographics or video, if you’re looking for comments and shares you should leave the audience with a question that you are asking them to answer. It’s about conversation, not monologue.
By following these simple rules, you’ll be able to concentrate on the content, rather than structure and make writing posts much less time consuming, without compromising on quality… what do you think? If you’ve any hints and tips of your own, feel free to discuss in the comments below…