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November 5th, 2009
3 min read
Many beginning bloggers just get it wrong. They “brain dump” into WordPress and the post is barely readable.
I wanted to share some advice with you today to help you write a better blog post.
Headline is Important
The headline is your hook in the sea. You need that hook to be attractive enough to lure the reader in and make them bite (click). So, make the headline catchy.
A few quick guidelines:
- Focus on “YOU”. And here, I mean the reader. What benefit are they going to get by reading your post? Make your headline make some kind of intriguing promise to the reader that just makes them want to click.
- Use the pattern interrupt. People surf the internet is a state of hypnosis. Wake them up by throwing them a headline which wakes them up.
- Spike their curiosity. Make them want more. People hate mysteries. They don’t like not knowing.
- “How To”… works in the headline. Immediate benefit to the reader.
- Give a reason why. For example, “Here’s why your blog traffic sucks.”. You’re giving them a reason. You’re spiking their curiosity. It is also a pattern interrupt.
Study headlines which work. It is an art, and when you master it, your readership will increase and you’ll draw them in like crazy.
Don’t do formal writing. Let the English teachers get their jollies off on that one. It doesn’t work on a blog.
Be conversational in your writing style. Be interesting.
Shakespeare would make a crappy blogger. Don’t be that guy.
Your Reader Has CRAZY ADD
Your typical blog reader is just riddled with ADD. Those eyes are going all over the place, and they’re operating in a bored emotional tone. Boredom doesn’t work if you want to hook your reader, so your job is to move them up from boredom into some form of interest.
So, your first sentence needs a hook. Draw them in. Make them want to read the rest of your post.
In the post, you want to use sub-headlines. It allows for people to scan the post.
If you came across a blog where each paragraph was really long, you wouldn’t read it. Because you’re lazy. And so is the rest of the Internet.
Short paragraphs. Easy sentences. Words that don’t require a dictionary. And sub-headlines to allow speed-readers to size up the post as worth their time.
Also, use bullet points and lists to break up the flow of the post (where appropriate). This is the pattern interrupt concept taken right into the structure of your post. Break up the flow a little bit.
This is Communication – Don’t Forget That
Communication, for it to be true communication, needs to consist of understanding on the receiving end. Just blurting crap out there isn’t communication. Just talking to yourself and hoping others listen to you is not communication.
Talk TO them. Get them to talk to you.
Write with the purpose of being completely understood on the other end. Your job isn’t to impress them with big words to make you seem smart. If you pile them up with words they don’t understand, they’ll just use the back button and leave. And they’ll think you’re an idiot.
Have a message to communicate to the reader when you make a post. Before you hit that publish button, ask yourself “Why am I posting this? What do I want my reader to walk away with?”
If you’re not thinking about that, then you’re doing it wrong.
Now, go blog something. 🙂