Why blogging is about more than just great content

Dec 14, 2013 by
Why blogging is about more than just great content

Producing a great blog post requires great content ‒ you can’t escape from that. But even that’s not enough. Poor structure or presentation can lessen the impact of even the best content. Readers will click away before they get to the gems you worked so hard to create.

It’s great practice to brainstorm and jot down whatever comes to mind to produce the first draft of your blog, but to create a post that will truly resonate with people and ensure your readership stays locked in, it’s absolutely vital to incorporate the rules of structure into your writing.

Grab your readers attention with a great headline

Your post’s headline will be the most read part of the post; a lot of people will see the headline in their RSS reader or a social feed and decide whether or not to continue reading based on the title alone. Also, when your post is linked from external sites the title is again the first thing that people will see. First impressions count. If your title does not immediately grab your readers attention and intrigue them into exploring further, any work you’ve done in perfecting the main body of your blog will have been futile. There is no point in having a great blog if you have no one to read it!

The importance of an enticing opening sentence

In the world of literature, a novel’s opening sentence can be the difference between publication and rejection. The realm of blog writing is no different. A great first sentence will ensure your audience reads your second sentence. And once someone has read the first few sentences, they are more psychologically invested in reading until the end. Make sure your opening line is punchy, and clearly states the underlying premise for the rest of the post.

Break up the text

If a new visitor sees nothing but block after block of unappealing text, they are far less likely to continue reading than if you had broken up the text using subheadings, images and bullet points. Typically, a reader will decide in the first few seconds whether a post is worth committing the next five, 10 or 20 minutes of their time to reading. Using subheadings makes the text more digestible and aesthetically appealing, but also has the advantage of allowing you to summarise the post’s key points for those who like to scan for value before diving in. Structuring your main body in the format of lists or bullet points can be a good way to ensure that your blog flows properly and that your key points are distinct and easily intelligible.

Visual stimulation

PillarsIf you choose to include an image in your blog post, it’s likely to be one of the first things your reader will notice. A great image can be an effective tool for captivating your audience and getting them to continue reading further. Most people’s dominant learning style is throughvisual perception; therefore a powerful image can be a great complement to your text and can create a more visceral connection between your blog post and your readership. Sometimes information can be conveyed more appropriately in an infographic or short video, which can also be integrated into the piece. Whatever you choose to do, try to include at least one relevant image to grab readers’ attention and add emotional depth.

Don’t slack on the design

Poor presentation and formatting inconsistencies can be very off putting for the reader and often detract from all the hard work you’ve put into writing the content. Ensure your colour scheme is aesthetically pleasing and that your layout looks sharp and professional. Choosing a clear to read typeface which accurately represents the tone of your content is also a task which must not be taken lightly. Ensure that image sizes, font sizes and formatting stay consistent from one post to another.

Links

Don’t forget to add some internal links wherever information in your new post relates to other content on your site. This can be an excellent way of getting readers to check out multiple blog posts and provide necessary explanations without disrupting the content’s flow.

Ending

Finally, end the post with an appropriate conclusion. This could either be a neat finish to the main points raised in the post or a call to action when you are promoting some programs or products. As you engage with some or all of the points we’ve covered in this post, your individual blog posts will be better structured and you will be using blogging in a more purposeful way.

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