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10 Tips for Writing Better Blog Content

April 24th, 2007

Creating better quality content is arguably the single best thing you can do for your blog. In order to create better content, you need to be able to use the written word effectively so that you can connect with your readers and maintain their interest over time. Here are ten things that you can do to make better use of your words.

1. Use strong keywords in text and links

Although it is always a good idea to write for actual human readers instead of writing only for search engines, using well-chosen keywords that are relevant to the topic of your article is still one of the best ways to improve the overall visibility of your blog. You can use some of the free keyword research tools offered by Google AdWords, Overture, or Wordtracker to get ideas for good keywords and then refine them to suit your specific needs.

2. Get to the point quickly

Many people who scan blogs, feeds, and search engine results do not have the patience to read past the first two or three sentences unless they see something interesting. Therefore it is important that you capture their attention by telling the reader what the main point of your article is within the first two sentences. If you ramble too much in the first paragraph without getting your message across clearly, the reader is very likely to click away from your blog instead of reading the rest of your content.

3. Edit your post for clarity and relevance before publishing

In order to translate good ideas into good writing, editing is necessary to clarify the exact meaning of your words. This includes not only adding relevant content to support your ideas but also removing unnecessary and/or irrelevant content to increase your post’s power and effectiveness.

4. Create content that stands the test of time

Although difficult to do in the case of news-oriented blogs, it is always useful to write articles that contain the kind of enduring wisdom that maintains its relevance with the passage of time. With the exception of a few major historical events, most current events and fads will not be remembered 20 or more years from now. But solid advice on finance, lifestyle, personal growth, and other similar topics never goes out of style.

5. Explain technical terms and acronyms when appropriate

It is easy for many of us to get caught up in the technical jargon of our specific niches. As a newbie, one of the most frustrating things that I have experienced with online forums is that many posters will blithely use acronyms as if everyone already knows what they mean. Because of this, I have adopted a general practice of including the exact meaning of acronyms and niche-specific terms in parentheses for at least the first instance in which they are used. Explaining your terms in this way can help you to connect with a greater diversity of readers whenever you are writing something that is likely to be read by a general audience.

6. Use descriptions for video and other multimedia

If you include video or audio presentations on your blog, it is useful to include some type of text description for them so that users know what they are going to see or hear before they click the “play” button. It is also worth noting that is very annoying to have audio/video play automatically upon visiting a site, so it is best to allow the visitors to play these files at their discretion.

7. Follow a logical order when presenting problems and solutions

If you are writing an article that explains how to solve a problem or overcome a challenge of some sort, it is important to clearly explain the problem first and then follow logically with your solution. With sufficient interest, the reader will be able to identify with the problem and understand your solution well enough to continue reading the rest of the article. If the solution provides favorable results, the reader likely will be appreciative of this and return to the site later to consume more content.

8. Back up opinions with facts

When expressing opinions in an article, particularly if they constitute strong accusations or speculative theories, one should always provide supporting documentation whenever possible. If you can manage to cite valid facts and relatively credible sources for your assertions, you will support your own credibility and increase the chances of swaying others to your way of thinking.

9. Don’t try to write on too many topics at once

As a general rule, you should not write about more than three topics in the same post, and the topics should be relevant to each other. Trying to stuff ten or more topics into the same article is a good way to confuse both readers and search engines, making it very unlikely that you will rank well with either.

10. Keep your content original

Avoid excessively long blockquotes, redundancy, and overuse of clich├ęs. Aside from avoiding duplicate content issues, writing original content will make a more favorable impression on your readers while also having the side effect of ranking better with the search engines. Even if your idea is not new, presenting it in a different or unique way can help readers understand it better and allow you to hold their interest.

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