What makes a good blog post?

Hello, everyone. Are you someone who wants to start a blog? or have a blog that’s not so popular? Well, this post will provide the tips and tricks to keep in mind to become the most popular blogger in town.

Ishan Blog

A well-managed blog has the ability to create a presence, a sense of community, and an avenue of direct communication with our target audience. A blog gives companies an opportunity to work on their branding, establish themselves as an authority, and release company news directly to their clients and customers. It also provides individuals with a platform to showcase their talents, share their perceptions and interact with like-minded people.

Having a strong, active, and social online presence has become an absolute must in this new era of business. However, a blog is only as powerful as the person wielding it; sometimes it’s better to not blog at all than it is to have an out of date, poorly written, or lacklustre blog. As it is usually said, “A pen is mightier than a sword” and in today’s world scathing comments, outdated blogs and grammatical errors can haunt one for life.

The entire point of a blog is to build a relationship with an audience. There’s no point writing a blog if no one is going to read it. A strong blog engages a peer-to-peer exchange of knowledge, ideas and experiences.

Compelling content is the heart of the blog. Publishing a blog essentially means that what you have to say is meaningful and worth the readers’ time. And, if the content is not up to the mark, then the relationship will end on a bitter note and you can kiss your readership goodbye.

Let’s take a look at what can make or break a blog:

1. Relevant Content

Without relevant content, putting great and informative ideas in a structured format is a futile attempt.

Relevance should be the number one priority when writing a blog post. Knowing the target audience will not only be appropriate but also give insight on writing something of value.

This is absolutely vital for carving your niche in the digital world. If my company specialises in the food industry, my readers will not be coming to me for a blog post on the latest in fashion. Errors like this will make you lose the brand power. A versatile blog is good, but only if the content appears in a logically related manner. So be careful before going overboard with a million ideas for blog posts.

Checkout: waitbutwhy.com to see how they organise their content.

2. Including Useful Information

It’s not enough for a blog post to be relevant to a subject. The information needs to be useful and important. A blog should aim to educate the people reading it and at the end of the day inspire them to put the knowledge gained by them to some good use.

Why do most blogs fail? Well, a quick Google search tells me that it is a lot easier for blogs to fail than to succeed due to lack of awareness about other blogs giving the same content. Many-a-times, bloggers just copy paste the same thing written on other blogs without checking if that information is useful for their readers.

So being aware of the mistakes is a good way to start.

Check this post for more blog fails: http://michaelhyatt.com/blogging-gone-bad.html

3. Engaging Interest

A blog post must be well written. And it’s not enough to have perfect grammar and spelling; it needs to be personal, interesting, and interactive. A conversational tone makes it more personal and relatable for the reader as well. Personal stories and anecdotes are a great way to make a blog post more engaging.

4. Spark Discussion

The essential part of engaging a reader is to write something that is open to discussion and debate. It is extremely important to generate as much conversation and discussion as possible in your blog.

Ask for feedback, thoughts, opinions, or even just comments.  And more importantly, don’t forget to participate once the discussion starts; respond to comments, emails, and questions!

Most readers have an account on Disqus so they can freely comment without signing in for different websites.

5. Presentation matters

We all have the option of reading about things on Wikipedia, but people go to blogs so that the information is readable, nicely presented and does not drone on about a subject. This is not an essay, so keeps your thoughts simple and to the point.

Bullets, lists, graphs and images are a great way to make sure your content is easy to read. Always preview your work before you publish, and make sure it’s scannable. Scoopwhoop.com is a popular Internet blog from India that engages its readers using funny gif images and a numbered list. Here’s an example

6. Appropriate Length

The jury on the “ideal length” of a blog post is still out and there is a constant debate on the length.

The truth is both simpler and more complicated. A blog post should be as long as it requires, i.e. it should be as long as it takes to clearly explain the idea, concept or thought. If you can write a well thought out, complete article in 400 words, that’s great. If you can keep it interesting, engaging, relevant and informative all the way to 1,500 words, then it’s still a great blog post.

In the end, as long as there is quality, logical connection and well-presented imagery, a blog can survive in this cutthroat web world.

Refer this for more on blog post lengths.

7. Time Factor – punctual, timely and timeliness

The task of the blogger does not end at posting the blog. You need to keep your ideas coming at constant intervals so that your readership is maintained. Being punctual is essential and in case you are not able to set a timeline, always inform your readers of when they can expect the next post from you.

Also, your posts should be “timely” i.e they should resonate with the people of the present times. Writing about evergreen topics is great but the information presented should be something fresh. Also, posts on current topics should be highlighted so that readers don’t miss out.

Timeliness hints at how your post can target audience even it is late. Certain music, books and even technology can never be too outdated to talk about, so writing about these when you don’t have a current topic will jazz-up your blog and also help to maintain readership.

This post might enlighten and help you deal with consistency in blogging.

8. Write for people, not Search Engines

Search engines can recognise keyword stuffing and will penalise you for it. If you write in a natural style for human readers and give them a reason to share your content, the search engines will rank your site higher.

9. Give Credit

Referring to other websites is not a crime, but you must always put citations and references which will not only benefit the other websites but will also earn the faith of the readers. Referencing also helps to reduce plagiarism and will help your blog to be indexed better by search engines.

10. Use the right tools

Don’t use all possible plugins for your website. The advertisements and click baits should be minimal. Pop-up ads and redirects should be avoided at all costs. Arrange all your social media in one place. Also, make your posts easy to share using a sharing management system. Tools such as heatmap will help you to know why readers are leaving your site.

You can also refer these for more information:

http://www.pageonepower.com/resources/blog/p1parchives/2012/05/6-characteristics-great-blog-post

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/writing-a-good-blog.html

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