What’s the difference between Lewis Hamilton and Steve the Speedster from number 42? The local am-dram thespian and Sir Ian McKellen? Knowledge, time and practice. Blogs are no different. You can write the same words, but if it is poorly presented, even the greatest blog has the chance to fall flat before it has had a single interaction. Below, we list some of the pitfalls that can take your blog from the pits to pole position!
Firstly, you need to know who you are directing your blog at. Obviously, there are exceptions, but there aren’t many old ladies of pension age who are interested in the finer points of carp fishing. Equally, you won’t find many teenage girls with a keen interest in facial hair styling. The point we are making is, know who your product or services target market is, and focus predominantly on them. That’s not to say there won’t be a few members of a more unusual demographic who want to hear what you have to say, but you will have a higher rate of success if you stick for the most part to the people who want to know what you have to offer.
50 Lesser-known sub-varieties of moss and lichen may hold interest to a very specific handful of people, it is unlikely to engage a high percentage of new followers. If moss is indeed your subject matter, then there are ways to make it more attractive. As headings go, “Marvellous Moss Mayhem!” may just stand you in better stead.
A continuous block of text may have worked for the opening credits of Star Wars, but generally, people like to have text breaks. If these are broken into exciting subcategories, each with their own eye-catching heading, you’re onto a winner. If you are writing a blog about French cuisine perhaps, these subheadings could include – food, drink, history etc to give a perfect way to change the subject without the subject matter taking tedious twists and turns that leave the reader feeling lost and confused.
If you have a list of information to share, a long paragraph can sometimes find the reader’s attention span waning halfway through, stopping for a quick snooze before they reach the end. Bullet points are a great way to keep relevant information, fresh, clear and concise. This delivers the point but does not put your audience to sleep.
Images are a great way to break up large chunks of unbroken text, and eye-catching visuals are a definite way to boost engagement. At the same time, try not to go overboard, as you then run the risk of it looking less like a blog and more like a comic strip. Also, try to keep the visuals relevant to the subject matter, a blog about the history of The Pamplona Bull Run would not really benefit from 3 pictures of cheese…
SEO is king. What would be the point in writing 500 words of engaging and fresh content, with stunning visuals and gripping design, only to have it buried way down on the 83rd page of a popular search engine? Google Analytics is a great way to track your SEO readability, and there are plenty of free tools to run a post though to make sure your post is ticking all the right boxes and as close as possible to the top spot!
At the end of every blog, post, or in fact ANY interaction from your business, a call to action is a must. It would be such a shame to offer incredible services and products if the reader then doesn’t know how to order them. A statement and some clear contact information should become a staple element to every single engagement.
In short, these basic formatting guidelines and simple tips have the power to make or break a great blog. With that, go forth and conquer the blogosphere!
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