We’ve come a long way from the days when “blogging” meant “I basically have an online diary.” Sure, there are still plenty of people who blog about their life, but the medium has grown, changed, and become far more professional.
This is especially true for blogs associated with companies. No one wants Coca-Cola’s blog to be stream of consciousness, with grammar optional sentences and huge blocks of text that make the entries difficult to read, and you don’t want anyone to say those kinds of things about your business’s blog, either – even if you are your business. To avoid these pitfalls and really make your blog entries shine, we offer the following eight suggestions.
For blogs with lots of typos and errors, taking this simple step can go a long way towards improving the quality of your work, yet many people don’t bother with it. If you’re not using a content management system that includes a spellcheck tool, consider composing your entries in Word first and then pasting them into your blog.
Embrace the paragraph
Many blog writers make the mistake of simply writing their thoughts out in one long paragraph, but many visitors will find that solid block of type daunting. Instead you can take that same piece of writing and break it up into many paragraphs with 3 or 4 sentences each, and it becomes much more reader-friendly.
Start with a bang
Get right to the point upfront. Let them know what to expect if they stick around and finish reading. It’s also great to start off with the reason why this particular topic is important, even backing it up with facts or figures that support your opinion.
Writing is one field where more isn’t always better. When you’re done with a blog entry, make it a goal to cut a certain amount of words, maybe 10 or 15%. It can be difficult at first, but once you get the hang out it, you’ll find that your entries get to the point quicker and read smoother. If your blog posts are very long, over 1,000 words, then you should even consider breaking them into two separate entries.
Make it informal
Remember, this isn’t an academic paper; your goal is to connect with your readers. Directly address them. Ask questions. And above all: use contractions. Not doing so can make your writing come across as stiff.
Forget the keyword density requirements
Repeating the same word over and over again is not good writing, and this is the crux of many people’s SEO strategy. For some, it’s successful, but in many cases, it actually backfires. Maybe you go up a little in your search rank, but ultimately when people get to your site, they are turned off by how unprofessional it seems and walk away. Not ready to give up the SEO boost? Then at least consider cutting back.
Hire an editor
Ready to take the quality up a notch? Get a professional opinion on what can be improved. Depending on the amount of work needed and the experience level of the editor you hire, you will typically pay between $5 and $25 per blog post.
Take a class
Instead of hiring a professional, why not learn the skills of the trade yourself? It’s unlikely you’ll get to the caliber of a full-time professional writer or editor from just one class, but you can learn more than enough to improve the quality of the writing you’re outputting on a daily basis.