This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but blogging isn’t exactly easy. In fact, it’s pretty gosh darn hard. Thankfully, you can improve your blogging tactics by adopting certain practices. Here are seven powerful methods that will help you craft better blog posts!

Craft better blog posts by clearly defining your target audience

The first and foremost rule when it comes to creating effective content is to totally understand why you’re blogging. It is vital that you have a complete understanding of your ideal audience and of your core message as it relates to your brand. If you have a truly clear idea about who you’re writing for, it’s going to be all that much easier to blog. Not only will your blog posts be on target, they will also have a clear purpose. Best of all, you’ll avoid straying off into topics that are irrelevant to your audience.

Know what your readers want

Always, always, always write with your audience in mind. Make it a point to write as if you’re answering the following question – “what’s in it for them?” Your audience is constantly asking themselves whether it is worth their time to read your blog. You’re far more likely to keep them engaged if you write as if you were walking in their shoes. Make sure to address your readers’ key issues and concerns. If you’re not sure what said issues and concerns are…ask!

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Better blog posts require frequent editing

Bloggers far too often open with a cliche line such as, “the other day I was wondering about…” or “You know, the school year is almost over and…” A blog post is not an essay and it’s definitely not poetry. That being said, get to the point right away! You can make this happen if you follow one simple rule – KISS (keep it simple, stupid). Believe it, or not, but this actually means less writing for you!

KISS requires you to write short sentences that are cohesive and clear. You also want to make it a point to omit any and all fluff (unnecessary language). This requires you to read and re-read your posts before you publish them. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been trained in the art of journalism or taken a plethora of writing classes. If you can write an effective email, then you can definitely write a powerful blog post. However, it is worth noting that your blogging ability will improve when you re-read before publishing to be certain that you have removed all unnecessary language.

Once you publish your post, read it again. This is often the point in time when you catch typos or grammatical errors that you didn’t notice before. Show your readers some respect by editing your content and providing clean (and engaging) copy. It doesn’t take much for your audience to ditch your blog. Some might unsubscribe simply because your spelling is slopping. In short, your words are all you’ve got in the online world.

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Create keyword-rich headlines for better blog posts

This is one of the finer points of blogging. You need to develop compelling headlines that employ strategic keywords that are relevant to your topic. This is commonly known as SEO – search engine optimization. Effective keywords are often touted as gold by SEO experts who want to charge you an arm and a leg for their services. However, it’s possible to make a complicated matter quite simple.

Place yourself in the shoes of your ideal reader. If one of your readers was searching Google for information or solutions to a problem, would they find you? Brainstorm a list of all the words or phrases one might use to search for you, your business, and your solutions. These are the keywords and key phrases that you want to frequently use throughout your blog. Use these keywords when you write a headline for your blog post. Well crafted keywords alert search engines (and your audience) about what’s important in your post. If you’re hungry for a more in-depth take on effective keywords, you best check out this post by Chris Garrett.

Keyword research and headlines

Conducting keyword research from time to time will help you stay on top of what your prospective readers currently seek. You can find out exactly how readers are looking for the information that you have to offer. Your post headlines can also make it easy (or potentially difficult) for people to find the information they want.

Headlines should be as descriptive as possible.  Whatever you do, don’t be vague. You can be cute – but not too cute – as long as what you put in the headline clarifies what you’re really writing about or what the reader is going to learn. Remember, it’s all about catering to the needs of your audience. It’s about helping them find and use the content that you are providing them. Blogging is a pointless exercise if your audience cannot get what they want out of reading your blog.

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Awesome first sentences make for better blog posts

Write an optimized first paragraph using the same keywords you use in your post headline. Furthermore, you’ll want to make your point right away instead of gradually leading into it. Use crystal clear keywords in the first sentence of the first paragraph, and then summarize them again before you conclude your post. Make it a point to always ask readers for their comments.

Keep it short and spacey

Keep your paragraphs short. They should be two or three sentences at most. White space is your friend in the blogging world. Sometimes a single sentence can be equally effective as a paragraph. Again, you want lots of white space between paragraphs on your blog.

Remember, most readers are in a hurry. Text on a computer screen is also harder to read than text on paper. You want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to grasp your message quickly and with ease.

Bulleted lists make for better blog posts

Make use of bullet points and lists as often as possible. This makes your post easy to:

  • Read
  • Scan
  • Understand
  • Remember

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Research shows that people like things to be easily digestible and chunked down for them. It’s far easier for your audience to remember your message if you present it to them in a list of three to five items. Some online writing pros also recommend keeping lists to an odd number of bullet points. However many bullet points you use, remember to use lists whenever you can.

Closing thoughts on crafting better blog posts

There are many ways to help you refine your ability to craft well-written blog posts. These seven tips provide a sound starting point and an effective checklist. Furthermore, these tips will help you stay on track and create luscious content your readers will eat up and that will move them to take action.

About Andrew Roche

Andrew Roche is an underwriter at United Wholesale Mortgage by day and a digital marketer by night. In addition to his role as an underwriter and his digital marketing hustles, he is also in the process of completing an MBA in Marketing & Finance through the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University.