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Help Me Write a Better Blog Post

Many people blog daily on limitless subjects and themes: news events, entertainment reviews, personal diaries, gossip, and politics. If you blog to fulfill your own interests or on behalf of a client or business, I offer you these useful tips to write plain English posts that will appeal to and interest your readers.

1) Write a Strong, Standalone Headline

Headlines have the authority to either attract and keep your readers on the webpage or prompt them to keep searching, so select your words mindfully. One way is to pose the question that your blog post answers.

Check out this headline: "Is Your Hairspray Harming Your Pet?" This question presents the purpose of the blog post while intriguing your readers to learn more.

You can also write an interesting headline by adding a curious tidbit from your blog post. For example: "Seven Hush-Hush Secrets the Jewelry Market Hides from Your Poor Grandmother" will lure your readers to keep reading.

2) Invite Your Readers to Read with You

Be conversational with your readers. Use words like "you" and "your" instead of "they" and "their." Second-person words aimed directly at your readers will engage them in the discussion of your blog posts.

Let's review these sentences:

Impersonal: "Folks with youngsters should decide on the most ideal academy that's best for their family."
Personal: "Your son or daughter needs a public or private academy that's perfect for your family."

Both sentences impart the same details, but the latter sentence appeals more specifically to your readers. Avoid non-personal, generalized information. Indeed, it's easier to write for a more broader (general) readership, but your words will fail to capture the attention span of your readers. Be personal with your language. Invite readers to share in your ideas and thoughts. People who share the same interests with you will usually be your primary readers, so direct your topics directly at them.

3) Add Lists, Bullets, and Special Paragraph Indentations

Use a list or special indentation to break apart paragraphs of related information. This makes it easy for readers to scan your text at a comfortable pace and absorb your information faster. For instance, if you blog about flea market events in South Carolina, then listing vendors, merchandise, and prices is more effective than bundling the information into one big paragraph. A list plainly specifies key data in a succinct, easy-to-read style.

4) Fall in Love with Spelling and Grammar

Never undervalue the importance of your words. You've heard this rule a million times: proof your work for misspellings and grammar mistakes. In most cases, you are the one in charge of proofing. Correct spelling and syntax offer a rank of professionalism and credibility both to you and your blog. Typos can turn away readers because it's an indication of laziness and sloppiness.

5) Use a Coherent and Consistent Format

You only need 1-3 different fonts and color combinations for your blog. No need to use a different font or color combination for each post unless you intend to complicate the reading experience for your visitors. Choose a standard font and uniform size and use it throughout. This will make both reading and navigating hassle-free.

Keep your paragraphs concise and uniform. Put 1-2 line spaces between them. It only takes a nanosecond for a reader to determine if they'll read your blog. A mass of text with fancy fonts will frustrate your readers. Remember, blogs that readers find enjoyable and engaging often become loyal followers.

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