Tips for better blogging
Not just engaging, but keeping the interest of a visitor to your blog can be improved with attention to detail when formatting your post. Well thought out presentation can be key to establishing ongoing loyalty and advocacy. So, I’m going to share 10 tips to help engage blog visitors.
Whether you’re writing about a technical subject, updates to industry rules and regulations, or sharing news/reviews of a new product or service, bear the following in mind:
Explain post content in the first paragraph
Don’t presume that the title of your blog post will ‘tell all’. Reassurance of the relevancy of the post to user need assists engagement.
Keep your sentences short and tone informal
Most of us suffer from the ‘I don’t quite know where to put the full stop’ syndrome! Put yourself in the shoes of the user by reading your post out loud.
Break up the content visually, make it scannable.
We’re all guilty of scanning content before deciding whether we’ll read all, or just some of the post. Be helpful, break up the content into paragraphs under headings.
Use Header formatting and bullet points
Use bullet points to emphasise a list of points and if you have the option to apply a Header style, rather than just the ‘Bold’ key, use it. The difference between H1, H2, H3 etc is usually related to size of the font. You can apply a hierarchy of importance to the headings in your article. Don’t go too mad though, or your content could begin to look a little like a visit to the Optician!
Don’t make your blog post too short or too long
I get asked about this aspect a lot. What’s too short? What’s too long? What’s best for SEO. As a general guide I think your blog post should be a minimum of 250 words in length, but preferably no longer than 900. 750 words or less is ample for most blog posts and user attention span.
Use a spell/grammar check
There is no excuse not to apply a check, if you have one built into the blog system you’re using. However, sometimes it ‘misses’ an error that is actually a word that is spelt correctly, but isn’t in context. So read your blog post, slowly, after publication, just to check. NB I shall own up to the fact that I’ve forgotten to do this several times with amusing results! It’s not the end of the world, but applying a spell-check is a habit to get into – also a grammar check if you have one installed.
Rename your image file-name to something relevant and add an Alt tag.
Once of my soap-box subjects. DSC.001245 is a pretty awful file name. Alt tags describe the image to people accessing your blog/website using a screen reader. Without an Alt tag to describe the image, these users won’t know what the image is about.
Include a Call to Action
Either direct the user to subscribe to your blog or to your contact page. A call to action could be as simple as a link to your contact page, or another relevant page on your website. I’m not a great fan of constantly being bombarded with ‘Free e-book’ downloads in return for my email address, but that’s what’s called a Call to Action too.
Include links to other content within your website
Whether to more content on your website or to an external site, they’re a good idea to benefit the user.
Format ‘new page’ links to external pages
This means that when you set up the hyperlink you should ‘check’ the box that says “open in a new browser window” or “open in a blank window”. That way your user can see the content you link to, but doesn’t lose visibility of your site in the browser.
Finally, don’t be afraid to use a bit of humour in your posts. Be human, it helps!
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