Write a Compelling Blog Post

Crafting a compelling post takes some time and effort. You don’t want to just throw something up and hope for the best. If you aren’t putting out quality material people won’t want to read it. Seems harsh but that’s the reality of it.

Think about what you look for when you read blogs. Do you enjoy reading posts that are extremely long with no space between paragraphs, contain run-on sentences, grammatical errors and overall a weak message? No, typically we seek out to read well written work — and we go back to read more.

Writing Technique

There are many things to consider when preparing to write a blog post. Here are some basics to get you started and pique reader interest.

Keep your posts relatively short: 500-700 words . Your goal is to keep the reader’s attention and as well as value their time.

Keep your paragraphs short. No more than 4 sentences per paragraph. This is easy on the eyes when reading on the computer.

Keep your sentences short. Ideas need to remain simple, yet captivating. Absolutely no run-on sentences.

Use bold , italics, bullet points and lists freely . Reading on the internet is different than reading a book. People need to be able to scan your post and have the important parts jump out at them.

Mary DeMuth greatly encourages the use of strong verbs. State of being verbs such as am , be , is , was , were , become , feel , and seem are considered weak verbs. Mary gives these examples {used with permission}:

He was tired. Change to: His eyelids drooped.

She is old. Change to: The arthritis made it hard to grip the pencil .

See how your writing becomes stronger and more visual when you change out weak verbs? Usually when you write with be-verbs like this, you are telling. Eliminating them helps you to SHOW instead.

Once you have it written, let your article sit for 24 hours and come back to it in order to edit it with fresh eyes.

I encourage you to always be in a place where you want to learn more and be better in your writing. There is always more to learn and if we hope to move forward, we shouldn’t be content to remain where we are.

Images

Good photos are the eye candy of a post. It helps to illustrate what you are trying to say and also helps to make the post easily manageable for the reader. It also makes your post more pinnable for Pinterest.

There are some guidelines that should be followed when using images in your post.

  • Use clear images . Inserting a fuzzy, dark, or blurry picture is quite bothersome on the eyes and actually a turn off for the reader. You want to be careful to use pictures that are focused and not dark.
  • Use relevant images . Use a photo that relates to the content of your post. Don’t just insert any photo in there, because it will throw the post off balance.
  • Use images legally . Contrary to popular practice, you cannot simply Google an image, lift it, and give it credit . This is copyright infringement. Any image you use [other than yours] must be used with permission. In other words, unless you personally ask the owner to borrow it, or are borrowing images from a credible website, you are not at liberty to post that photo on your blog. It’s harsh, but it’s law.

There are sites that do give you permission to borrow images, pending their terms. Such sites include Pix-o-Shere , Flickr/creative commons , and Free Digital Photos.

Edited to add: a free sample of stock photos from Microsoft. You don't need to link back and you can use these as you would any stock photo you purchase!

Structure

When you sit down to write a post, you should have a structure planned out. Specifically, you want your post to flow with order. Once you figure out this structure, you can use it as a guide every time you sit down to write. It will save time and help eliminate frustration.

Here is an example of the order of a post:

–>Introduction {this is where you need to capture your audience}

–>Image

–>Personal story, experience, testimony {choose one }

–>Main points {use bullet points and numbered lists freely}

–>Closing paragraph {kind of sum up what you wrote in new words}

–>Call to action {invite your readers to answer a question or participate in a challenge}

If you are serious about blogging, this is something you want to be open to doing. Bloggers such as Michael Hyatt and Jeff Goins would agree and have been successful as a result.

Do not take writing on your blog lightly if you expect to capture an audience. Be aware of writing technique, eye-popping images, and blog post structure to help capture your readers and ensure their return.