Fundamentals are key. This is a known fact. If you don’t understand the fundamentals you will often work twice as hard as necessary. Give yourself a break by mastering these 5 blogging fundamentals.
1) Headlines Matter
Put your best foot forward here. Headlines are the most concise form of a blog introduction. They’re also the first thing your audience is likely to see.
Copyblogger claims that 8/10 people read your headline, but only 2/10 will continue to the article. This isn’t surprising. Your audience has access to more information than they can even imagine. They can easily find a replacement article for the same information. This is why headlines are pivotal to your blog's success.
That being said, here are some ways for you to write enticing headlines:
- Don’t exaggerate. Exaggerations can lead to vague titles that piss off your audience if the article doesn’t live up to the headline’s promises.
- Be clear. You want your headline to stand out, but not at the expense of clarity. Tell your audience exactly what to expect.
- Use magazines for inspiration. Paper magazines are especially good at writing attention-grabbing headlines.
- Plug your headline into this analyzer. It assigns a grade to your headline, breaks down the words used into categories, tells you if it’s too long, and more.
2) Write for Your Audience
You’re not writing for yourself; you’re writing for your audience. When writing articles for your blog, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Brainstorm topics you think they would be interested in or ask them out front.
Use words and phrases they will understand. If you’re writing a B2B blog, industry jargon is fine because your audience knows what you mean. For a consumer blog, always write in common-speak, but don’t talk down to them.
Think of yourself as a mentor your audience wants to learn from.
3) Tone up Your Voice
The tone and voice you use tell your audience a lot about your business. There’s no right or wrong answer to what tone and voice you use because this is you.
Write when you feel excited about writing. This helps you find and establish your voice. Your enthusiasm will shine through and you might learn a bit more about your own writing style. If you’re still having trouble, write like you’re having a conversation. Let your personality come through and use words and phrases you normally use.
4) Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Don’t be a perfectionist. I struggle with this daily.
Writing becomes much more difficult when you try to make everything perfect. Typos are going to happen, you’re going to miss commas, and formatting will get wonky here and there. Let it go. You’re not writing for a group of highly judgemental English teachers looking to mark every mistake in red ink. Unless you are. In which case, my condolences.
Fix errors as you see them and edit your draft, but don’t let the fear of mistakes keep you from publishing. People are forgiving of minor mistakes if your information is good.
5) Format for Skimmers
You skim. I skim. Your neighbors skim. The Jones’s skim. Everyone skims. Solution: make a skimmer friendly blog! Here’s how:
- Use short paragraphs. Single line sentences count as paragraphs.
- Use headings and subheadings so your audience can skip what they know and find the good stuff.
- Use bullet points or numbered lists.
- Bold the important parts to make them stand out.
- Use italics to emphasize words.
- Use different font types for headings and subheadings to make them stand out even more.
- Use different font sizes to create sections or bring attention to something.
- Use caps to get your point across LOUD and CLEAR.
- Use color to draw attention to points.
- Use space to break it up into sections and seem more inviting.
Did this article set you on the right path to mastering blog fundamentals? Let us know about it in the comments below!