Knowing how to write a blog post correctly is a fundamental part of succeeding online. Learn how to write engaging content and attract a constant flow of targeted visitors to your blog
Tips on How to Write a Good Blog Post
Writing the perfect blog post is a lot like writing the perfect song. Very few people will ever achieve it, but that doesn’t mean you should be put off – there’s a lot of great content out there, and with the right approach, you can ensure your blog is up there with the best of them.
But to do that, you’re going to need to write posts. Lots of them. Today, we’re going to take a look at how to write a blog post – and how to make your content really stand out.
It’s important to caveat this with a quick note: there is no one, single, foolproof checklist that you can follow which will guarantee you an amazing piece of writing which gets shared around the entire internet.
We don’t want to mislead anyone – writing great blog post takes time, effort, and to be really exceptional, a bit of natural ability. But you wouldn’t be writing a blog if you didn’t have the writing bug, would you?
So while this isn’t the ‘ultimate guide’, it’s things we’ve certainly found useful. We’ll go over all the main areas of how to write a blog post, and offer some advice for coming up with your own content plan too, so read on…
How to Write a Blog Post: Getting Started
First things first. We all have to start somewhere, and when it comes to writing, there are no shortcuts to honing your craft. If you’re someone who regularly writes (either for a living or as a hobby), you might find this more natural, but if this is something you’re dipping your toes in for the first time then you need to set yourself up to succeed.
Some of the best advice we can give you is simply to write. Pen your thoughts on anything and everything, write blog posts, articles and more, and don’t even publish them. Just get used to regularly writing content, and finding a pace and style that suits you.
Doing this will help you make writing a part of your life, but admittedly when it comes to writing your own blog, you’ll need to be a little more structured. You’ll need a plan, and you’ll need to know how to write a post that really serves a purpose and ensnares your readers. We’ll go over both in this article…
Where to Start With Writing a Blog Post
So, you’ve been writing regularly, and you’re confident you can put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) on a topic of your choosing. That’s great! But now you need to structure your thoughts into a blog post… And this is where things get a little more complex. Writing a blog post isn’t hard, but it does require a bit of thought and knowhow.
There are a few things you’ll need to consider, including length, style, and purpose. These are three of the most important pillars of blog writing, so we’ll take a look at each individually.
Purpose – Who and What is Your Blog Post for?
So what’s the point? We don’t mean that to sound like a morose pondering of existential dread – it’s the first thing you should ask yourself when you’re putting a blog post together. Think of every article you’ve ever read online. Think about what those articles are for. They serve to inform. To explain. To instruct. To entertain.
Every piece of writing needs a purpose, and this should be the first thing you think about when planning a blog post. What will this post do? With a topic in mind, you can try any angle, such as:
- Answering a question (such as ‘How do I write a blog post?’)
- Providing instructions (for instance, on how to write a blog post…)
- Making suggestions (such as hiking routes to take in a destination)
- Telling a story (recounting a personal anecdote can be really entertaining)
- Offering thoughts (on a subject close to your heart, or that you’re passionate about)
There are plenty of other approaches you can take too. The most important thing is that once you’ve decided what the purpose of your article will be, do not lose sight of it. It’s easy to drift off topic, or to find yourself meandering towards a different angle with an article – always reread your work, and ask yourself ‘has this piece served its purpose? Will my readers walk away having gained what they were looking for?’
What Kind of Tone to Use?
Ah, the question we wished every grumpy teenager in the world would ask themselves… Tone isn’t just vital for politeness and etiquette, it’s essential in blog writing. Determining what kind of tone you’ll adopt when writing your content is another vital step.
Ask yourself, ‘how do I want to come across?’ You could be funny. Wry. Serious and formal. Playful and silly. You can even be surreal and poetic. There are absolutely no rules as to tone, the important thing is just making sure it’s consistent, and thinking about your audience.
If your blog is targeted at young, tech-savvy teens, it’s probably not a good idea to use formal, overbearing language. Similarly, if you’re writing about politics to an academic audience, you probably don’t want to crack dad-jokes.
Don’t worry about trying to please everyone, just think about the kind of people you’d want to like your work, and write for them. Most importantly of all though, is simply to be authentic. Be yourself, talk like you would talk to your audience in person, and the words will flow far more naturally!
How Long Should a Blog Post Be?
We don’t want to be trite here, but the question ‘how long is a piece of string’ comes to mind… When it comes down to it, there is no right or wrong answer about how long a blog post should be, aside from ‘as long as it needs to be’. In the end, this all comes down to purpose.
If you’re penning a few thoughts or answering a very straightforward query, there arguably isn’t a need for a long, in-depth article. If your readers are coming to your blog looking for short, snappy answers, then a few hundred words (or even a thousand or so) will probably suffice. Your readers will enjoy your content and come away satisfied. They’ll also be more likely to return!
However, if you’re providing deep-diving advice on a complicated topic (such as how to write a blog post… *wipes sweat from brow, sips coffee, continues typing*), it might be more appropriate to write a lot more. For a topic like this, you might need several thousand words just to do it justice.
There is an argument to be made for longer, more in-depth content when it comes to SEO (which we’ll discuss in the next section!), but search engines really just want to serve people the most appropriate content for their particular query, and that’s what you should have in mind when writing.
While the length of the overall post is dependent on the context, it’s a good idea to keep your paragraphs short when writing for the internet. It can also be nice to break up longer posts with things like images or embedded videos, to keep things varied.
A Word About SEO
When you’re putting together your blog itself, you’re going to encounter search engine optimisation (SEO) at some point, and there’s no denying it’s important. Put VERY simply, SEO involves creating content that search-engine users will be able to find easily when they search for relevant phrases. This is achieved by ranking your pages highly in the search engine results.
You’re probably going to come across advice talking about choosing keywords, keyword density, optimised copy, and more. In fact, when you’re learning how to write a blog post, this advice appears all the time.
This is all relevant – but it’s not the key to writing great copy in itself. In fact, when you’re first starting out, it’s always better not to worry about search engines until you’re comfortable writing.
We’re not saying ignore SEO – it’s always good to do some research and reading. But SEO is something you can adopt as you become confident in writing, and it’s easy to get bogged down in it. Don’t let it get in the way of you writing a fantastic piece, particularly early on!
Learning how to write great web content is your primary goal here. Integrating the important SEO fundamentals can, and should, be focused on once you have honed your writing skills.
Creating a Blog Content Plan
So you’ve been practising, you’ve had a great idea for a post, you’ve worked out the perfect angle… Now how do you go about writing it? There’s no set of rules for a structure of a blog post, and it’ll depend a lot on what you’re trying to write about, but here’s an example of a structure you could use for your website content creation:
This is where you set out what you’re going to talk about and try to ‘hook’ your audience in. You can open with a joke, a quote, some statistics – anything that grabs your readers’ attention. With that out of the way, then you need to set out what you’re going to discuss, without giving too much away. Keep it short, to the point, and snappy.
With your intro out of the way, now you need to make your main point (or points). Generally it’s a good idea to get the most important information in here, but if your piece is more of a ‘list’ then you can simply start with the first point and make your way through.
Supporting Points (Linking to Main Point)
With your main point (if applicable) out of the way, it’s now time to flesh things out with some supporting, or additional, material. Again, this will depend on what you’re talking about, but this is a good place for some ‘top tips’ or contrasting ideas. It’s great to try and connect your points together with linking sentences or concepts too, to create a sense of ‘flow’.
Conclusion, Summarising Points
Once you’ve said everything you need to, it’s time to sum up. It’s a nice idea to conclude your piece by summarising the points you’ve made, reiterating why they matter or leaving things open-ended by proposing a thought for further consideration. It can also be nice to end on an ellipsis…Or not…
Top Tip 1: Edit Edit Edit
We can’t stress this enough, but when you’re writing a blog post, you need to edit constantly. Reread your work regularly, and make sure to edit out any typos, and reword things if you need to make them more concise.
It’s a good idea to leave a bit of time between writing and editing, to make sure you approach the piece with a fresh pair of eyes. You’ll be more objective this way! It’s also important to be pretty cutthroat, which brings us onto…
Top Tip 2: Kill Your Darlings
Editing a blog post can be a gruelling task, particularly if you’ve poured your heart and soul into your work, but it’s vital you approach the task with the attitude of ‘kill your darlings.’ There can be a lot of things you want to say, and it’s easy to get lost when writing, but it’s vital you get to the point efficiently.
When you’re editing, cut out most of the fluff, unless it really adds something. It’s a nice idea to keep a bit of fun in there, but don’t let it get in the way of saying what you need to say. Don’t lose sight of that all-important purpose!
A good tactic is to approach the writing process without a filter. Write everything that comes to mind, and then don’t worry about cutting back until after you’ve finished. This isn’t wasted time, it’s a necessary step to really getting to the meat of what your post needs to say.
How to Make Your Blog Post Stand Out
So, you’ve learnt how to put together a fantastic post. But in the ever-competitive world of the internet, you’ll need to do a little bit more than write a good article – you’ll need to make it stand out.
You don’t need to write a masterpiece every time. You don’t need to write something so unique and original that anyone reading it is so compelled they call their mother to let them know about your blog.
You do, however, need to try and provide something that’s unique to you and your blog, so that those who do enjoy your blog keep coming back.
You don’t need to copy other blogs – don’t feel like to be successful you have to adopt things that have worked for other people; in fact, the truer to your own style you are, the better. That’s the great thing about having a blog: you have total creative freedom, and you can try anything you like until you’re happy.
There are a few things that really help when you’re figuring out how to write great web content that really stands out. A few handy things you can do include:
The way your blog looks on a website is almost as important as how well it reads. Sometimes, just uploading text is absolutely fine – but sometimes, it’s a good idea to break things up visually with some engaging or unique formatting. This can involve anything from images, videos, gifs, or even more unique things like interactive quizzes.
Look out for some plugins for the CMS (content management system) you’re using to run your blog, and think outside the box. The more memorable and interesting you can make your post, the better – but don’t go overboard, you don’t want your article to be cluttered!
We’ve already mentioned that a great intro is vital, but it also provides a great opportunity to really make a blog post stand out as memorable, too. The very first lines of your blog post, also known as the ‘lede’, aren’t just important for segueing into your article – they’re a great way to make a statement.
Think about how you can make the reader go ‘wow’ from the very opening. Whether that means making them laugh, telling them something they didn’t know, or even just helping them hone in and focus on the topic at hand, your lede is the perfect way to tie a ribbon on your piece.
If there’s one sentence in every blog post that’s uniformly the most important, it’s the title. Your title is the first (and potentially, though hopefully not, last) thing your readers will see.
It needs to tick a few boxes – it needs to catch attention, it needs to clearly and concisely explain what the article is about, and it needs to make the piece sound worth reading.
Take your time when thinking through your title, and if need be, use a ‘working title’ as a temporary fix until the piece is done. If written correctly, your title is a chance to ensure your post stands out from other articles or web pages on the same topic, right from the get-go.
We could go on for absolutely ages about how to write a blog post, but when it comes down to it, this is a very subjective thing to discuss. We all write differently, we all have our own styles, and we all work in different ways. We’re certainly never going to dictate how a blog post should be written (at the end of the day, a blog is a creative endeavour!)
When you’re first getting started though, it can be useful to peruse a few tips. Writing a blog post is definitely exciting, but it can be a tad overwhelming initially, so hopefully, the tips we’ve provided will help you with your blog content strategy!
If you’d like to chat about putting together your own blog further, take a look at our previous posts – and feel free to leave a comment, we’re always keen to hear from our readers!