How to write a blog post header that causes visitors to stop and think.
More about that further down in this post.
You want your Blog Posts to be read and shared, you want your visitors to read through to the end.
This means that it’s well worth spending time developing the post into a valuable resource for the reader.
Readers come to your blog to be informed and to find out about the subject that you write about. Your blog is very much about how you see things, what you have learned about the subject and want to share with other people.
Don’t disappoint them with regurgitated lines that have been rehashed from around the web. Put something personal into your work, and let people know your discoveries.
Do the Research, Make it Shine, this how to write a great blog post
You might have to research, takes notes , eliminate certain ideas that are too involved for your subject at this time. You don’t want to confuse the reader so keep things simple. Use easy to follow expressions, active verbs and avoid hackneyed phrasing — reading phrases that have been used a million times, causes the mind to shut down and skim over words.
Before you start writing, the most important point to cover in your mind, is to know exactly what the objective of your post is.
If you begin with an intention to your work, it will show. You want to inform, help and solve a problem for people. Do exactly that, don’t fall into the trap of just believing that you need to get more content out there.
Why are you Writing it?
Knowing this will help you to formulate kernel ideas and thoughts about the structure of your post.
Your intentions to what you want to say will guide you through the whole piece and give it heart.
So, paper and pen in hand, or at the computer, you should begin to write an outline for your blog post.
At this point , you may feel like blog writing is a lot of involved work for you. It is, if you want to shine above other blogs, other writing.
Writing is a great skill. It does improve with practice and when you put your heart into it, really enjoy the work, the ideas, you will discover things, about how you personally write, that will make you unique.
An outline is a logical sequence of ideas, that hang together and move the developing thought process forwards.
Logic of presentation is what you’re looking to achieve. This will ensure that your reader will clearly understand what you’re saying, and it will be a part of what encourages the reader to continue reading the blog post.
Writing the outline
- It depends on your objectives and the subject how long the post is, but you could think that you have 10 points to cover which will explain the content of your blog post.
- Write the key point, or kernel idea of that particular part of the post in each of the ten point sections.
- Once you have covered each point and read it through quickly — just to see that it makes sense — you can begin to expand on each point. Start writing with more detail, explanation and possibly thinking about linking out to another post on your blog that will help support the information.
- Develop each section with detailed writing and end it with a lead in to the next section.
- When you write, think of who your reader is and why they need to know about the subject. This helps you formulate questions, which can be written in the post. And you can answer the questions for the reader.
- Questions can be obvious, they are like objections that people have when they don’t understand something, or how to do something. They are often, “yeah, but…” type questions. So, they are based on doubts. Your job as a blog writer is to clear up those doubts in the reader’s mind. You are satisfying their curiosity and their need for information.
- When you have all your points fleshed out into an outline, start to write the post for real.
- Read it through and edit for finesse.
- Post it, with an image or two, a call to action and don’t forget to put some links in the post to help clarify subjects which require another post to explain.
Write a Really great Title that Draws Attention
Your blog post title is so important. It is the first contact with the reader, it creates the first thought in the reader’s mind about whether they want to continue reading or whether they feel like bouncing out of your blog.
Titles tell the reader that something of value is in the post. That your writing will help them solve a problem that they have been wrangling with ; something they searched for, to find out how to do something. You need to spend time thinking about and experimenting with the title.
Sometimes the title that’s best can be a simple, straight forward “How to Write a better Blog Post” or similar, it doesn’t have to be different to everybody else’s title — that’s not the point.
Finding a satisfactory title is a balance between a catchy, mind activating idea and something very close to what you believe your potential readers will be searching for. Your blog post title will be competing with other titles across the web that offer a solution to the problem.
Titles need a little time, and I don’t think any of us can claim expert status at title writing — but we can all get better at it by being mindful of the different types of titles and headers in posts.
Use Headers throughout the Post
Headers above each section of the post will help the reader to orientate their reading — especially if it’s a long blog post that they will want to read again. The headers will help them find a section quickly and re read it.
The reader will find it easy to scan your content.
Search engines will also help readers find your content faster if you use headers throughout the post. Search engines use simple methods to scan posts for subject and content meaning.
Use Images to support your Words
An image will help support your words by a million pixels — or, whatever. We live in a world that is dominated by images that help us understand things more quickly, so using an image or two in the post will help to get the reader thinking and build curiosity around the subject.
Go to Canva.com to make really cool images and post graphics that bring colour and smart looking headlines to your posts.
Canva offers a lot for free. You can open an account and develop different images that are really personal and work well on websites, Facebook and various other social Media sites. It’s fun, too.
I’ve discovered that Canva is great to use, but the free images are low resolution and don’t look so good if you want a big, in yer face image. Better to use a free image program like Gimp or similar.
Create a Call to Action in your Blog Post
You write your post, you want a reaction. That’s the point of writing and communicating with your readers, right?
Creating a call to action seems to be a sticky point with many bloggers, simply because you’re asking for something — action from the reader.
If your post is well written, enjoyable to read and is informative, you shouldn’t have any reason not be straightforward and simple ask for what you want. You have already give, so to ask for an email address or a sign-up is a small thing to expect. It can hardly be viewed as cheeky or over the top.
But, if you are asking your reader to consider clicking through on an offer that costs money. Something to buy, then you need to create a call to action which is strong. Why should they buy from you?
People buy what they want. If the reader has read your piece and liked it, they’ve found that your help in solving their problems is spot on and they like the way you communicate, they will buy what they want — if you’re offering it.
Call to action is the same a salesperson closing at the end of a presentation.
The famous salesman’s words, “So, what do think..?”, said after the presentation seems to be drawing to a close, is a lead in to a call to action. We can’t really do that in writing, but we can remind the reader that now they’ve found what they’re looking for, they could simply click through on the link and purchase or try out a product.
Call to actions create new thoughts in the reader, new questions about whether they will take your advice or recommendations, so the better your post, the more useful it is, the more likely the reader will take your call to action more seriously.
“So what do you think?” , offers the opportunity to begin a dialogue about buying something, especially when the person replies with,”Yep, seems good to me.” A salesperson would pull out a pen and offer it to the person to sign on the dotted line, or simply put the product into the customers hand and tell them how much they must now pay.
In blogging, we need to be more subtle about coaxing a reader through to the point of sale. Creative thinking about how to convert the above lines into powerful text and motivate the reader to go ahead and sign-up, or purchase.
“Sign up now, and save 40% on your purchase”
“This offer closes in two days time”
“Sign up today, and take advantage of the discount coupons on offer”
or, “Sign up, and receive a free book”
Giving a reader a reason to consider purchasing now, and not tomorrow — same product but some place else, is all that you are doing.
“Purchase through this site only, receive a massive discount on extras”
Practice and thought make it perfect.
Re read your blog post. Read it out loud — twice at least.
First reading, read in your own voice. Second reading, read it out loud cold.
Cold reading comes from the theatre, it’s how directors and actors figure out whether a piece of dialogue works, regardless of who’s speaking it.
It’s like reading without emotions. If the writing sounds meaningless or confusing, then it needs attention.
If you read cold, you can listen to the words as they are written. You will notice what sounds clunky, what sounds too complicated and what sounds really smooth and enjoyable to read.
Enjoyment, is a really important part of reading your blog posts. It’s like reading a book that is very well written, you know how you can go with the flow when the author has written a few passages that aren’t much to do with the story, but they are really pleasant to read? Well, that’s an element of blog post writing, too. It’s not the core of it, but it helps to support the precise information that you are conveying to the blog reader
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Well, I hope you like this post. If so, I hope you take a look at my other articles here on Medium.