tips to improve your blog writing

Happy March, everyone! I’ve been busy travelling and researching volume II of Chocolatour. So I was thrilled when a young freelance writer from the UK asked if he could write a guest post for me.

Ben Russel is a recent college grad and freelance writer living in London, England, and working with various educational institutions, including SolidEssay.com. He is currently involved in a project developing a series of “how-to” essay writing guides for high school and university students, i.e. how to write a critical lens essay. Please welcome Ben to our community and share your thoughts on his post.

blog writing

5 Major Tips for Improving Your Blog Writing

Blog writing is becoming an increasingly effective way of passing across messages on the web. It’s essentially an informal discussion for the purpose of gaining audience for a particular topic or product with the aim of educating or making sales. With an evolving market of changing preferences and tastes, it’s important for a blogger to create blogs that are effective in capturing the attention of the intended audience and passing across the message while allowing participants to take part in the discussion. Let’s look at some tips to help you improve your blog writing.

1. A Good Hook

For any blog to be effective in getting the reader to concentrate on its content, it has to capture the reader’s attention. This can only be achieved by having a good hook in the introductory paragraph. A good way of beginning a post is by having an introductory paragraph that may contain any of these elements: scandal, humour, quotes, questions, facts, or a bit of playful teasing. By capturing or creating the reader’s interest in your blog, you can effectively put across the intended message and even influence the reader’s perception on your topic.

2. The Takeaway

A good hook is only effective if readers know what’s in it for them. This is called the takeaway, i.e. what the reader will gain from reading your blog. In order for a reader to pay attention to a blog, they have to know what they stand to gain by spending the time and effort to actually read through one’s blog. The hook attracts and gets their attention while the takeaway is what keeps them reading. The takeaway has to be specifically tailored for your intended audience. It has to be specific to the needs and desires of your target audience.

3. Originality

In order for the target audience to read your blog, they have to gain information that is original as opposed to a generic blog. Audiences appreciate original content. This does not have to be a completely new topic, but a new way of looking at something. If it is meant for sales, it has to be an original way of selling the given product.

Originality can also be achieved by avoiding plagiarism. Audiences do not appreciate plagiarism of an existing blog. They tend to shy away from and lose interest in such blogs. In the case where one uses information from another source, it is essential that the blogger recognizes this source. Audiences appreciate honesty and originality.

4. Back Up Facts

If you intend to state your position or the validity of a given topic, it’s important to provide concrete data to back up your claim or position while stating the source of the data. Audiences readily respond to a blog that is not only attractive but also factual. This avoids the creation of a blog that is founded on emotional and unfounded claims. While such blogs may attract others, the more educated and well informed audience primarily responds to factual blogs. By stating facts on a given topic and effectively backing them up, you show your audience that you are a credible source of information. This can be achieved by linking the information to sources of facts.

5. Sentence Structure

The structure of sentences that is employed in blog writing is essential in influencing the audience’s perceptions of the blog. Short sentences are very effective, precise and have a profound effect on the reader. This type of sentence structure helps you to be straight to the point and avoid gibberish or jargon in your writing. This also creates intensity in your writing and the message put across.

In conclusion, it’s important to make a habit of involving effective writing techniques to improve your blog. This can be achieved by having a good hook to get the reader’s attention, having the takeaway to keep them reading, being original in your blog’s content, backing up claims and facts and implementing short sentence structures. These facets of blog writing set apart great blogs from good blogs.

Thanks very much to Ben for this post. Please share your thoughts on his helpful tips. And please join me back here on March 17th, when I’ll be participating in a blog hop for writers and will introduce you to three writer/author/bloggers you’ll want to check out.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

20 Responses

  1. Dan Brusca says:

    Keyword research will also help. It’s what I do.

  2. RussMcDevitt says:

    Ben Russell offered some professional insights into writing a blog. There is obviously a science in pulling in readers and then getting them to stay with the article. I sense that originality is key to maintaining reader’s interest.
    Russ.

  3. Jason B says:

    Those are some good tips. Originality is my favorite on the list. I think it helps a lot for my blog.
    Jason B recently posted…One Year Anniversary & GiveawayMy Profile

  4. When I studied journalism in college the first thing I learned is to determine the “hook” or lede (correct spelling) for a story. You need a hook in blogs and emails to catch the reader’s attention because with the Internet everyone is deluged with information so give them a reason to read yours instead of someone else’s!
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Coca-Cola Learned to its Delight that Consumers Own its BrandMy Profile

    • Right on, Jeannette! I think the hook may just be the most important point of all for blogging tips, as if you have a really important topic to share or discuss, readers won’t mind so much if your spelling or grammar is less than perfect, or if your writing is elementary. We’re all so deluged with e-info that you really have to ‘hook’ them in quickly or they’re gone!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…a man of kindnessMy Profile

  5. I think good writing principles are the same for any platform, Debra. But I think our ability to connect with readers does change depending on the medium. Some people love short snippets. Others love long prose. It’s all a matter of matching style to the appropriate platform.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Moana Surfrider: the 1st Lady of WaikikiMy Profile

  6. Writing well, whether it involves original ideas or effective sentence structure has always been key to pleasing readers and I hope always will be. I sometimes times feel that the rules that make blogs popular from a technical perspective are running in direct conflict with those that make them popular for people. I guess I should see it as an artistic challenge. 🙂 Great tips Doreen.
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…Presenting Ideas, Avoiding The Information AvalancheMy Profile

  7. Jeri says:

    Great tips. Hooks matter so much, and of course now we’re also supposed to make sure the post’s keyword gets placed toward the begging as well. Sentence structure is key, but a lot of writers never give much thought to what their writing style is like.
    Jeri recently posted…#Editor: Manuscript Critique SampleMy Profile

  8. Hi Doreen! Hi Ben!
    All excellent points! I think part of a good hook also involves having a catchy title, something that stands out from the ordinary or asks a question that leaves the person feeling left out if they don’t read it, like… Are You Missing Out On This?
    Missing out on what? Curiosity should be enough to draw them in.

    Concise sentences also improve readability.

    Kind Regards,
    Bill
    William Butler recently posted…25 Life Observations From A ShoeMy Profile

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Bill, and welcome to the blog!

      You’re right. Titles are definitely important, as are sub-titles, as I’ve learned from my tech advisor. So in my posts, I almost always have a subtitle after the 1st graph or so as that helps in the search rankings. Nice to have you visit both my blogs. Much appreciated. 🙂
      WizardOfWords recently posted…tips to improve your blog writing My Profile

  9. Linda says:

    Great points, all of them. One aspect of blogging that I think is missing from Ben’s great perspective, is the artistic side. By this, I’m thinking of the many fine bloggers who have something to say and to share, not necessarily anything to sell: the poets, story tellers, essayists, photographers and artists. These cases allow, and sometimes even demand, longer or more complex sentence structure. The other points all hold, though. You need a hook, you need a takeaway, you need accuracy, and you need originality.
    Linda recently posted…Where do our brains go while we sleep?My Profile

    • Right on, Linda! As usual, you bring a well-balanced approach to the topic. You’re right in that literary and artistic blogs will likely fall outside the standard “rules” for blogging as they have a small and intense niche audience who is already well-engaged in the subject being shared or discussed.
      WizardOfWords recently posted…a man of kindnessMy Profile

  10. Phoenix says:

    You meet the most interesting people, Doreen! 🙂
    Phoenix recently posted…Living HealedMy Profile

  11. So true, A.K. People have very short attention spans today. Short snippets, short sentences and lots of visuals make content easy to digest.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Chocolatour at the Hawaii Chocolate FestivalMy Profile

  12. Susan Cooper says:

    I have little formal training in writing and I’m dyslexic, so the fact that I’m writing a blog and have actually published a book is astonishing to me. All that said, these are really great tips. I have learned many of these and a great deal more since the time I first wrote my first line, or sentence, if you will. I am still learning and I now have many who are willing to help me to improve. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Corned Beef and Cabbage: #RecipeMy Profile

    • Considering your dyslexia and lack of formal writing training, you are doing extremely well as a writer, Susan. The reason? Because you are a born storyteller. You have a natural way of sharing that draws us in. Keep on doing what you’re doing!
      WizardOfWords recently posted…a man of kindnessMy Profile

  13. A.K.Andrew says:

    These are a great set of tips to go by. Sentence structure is something that’s rarely talked about. But lets facing people don’t want to read a short version of War & Peace in a blog. Keep it simple and to the point. It will go much further than long winded sentences. Thanks for the post.
    A.K.Andrew recently posted…Author in Focus: How to #Write #War like Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieMy Profile

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