Guest Post – Our host is Stephen, in this post he has a great list of blog tips for writing blog posts.See How To Become a guest author on Spice Up Your Blog.
When you write a blog post, who do you write it for? Is it for the search engines, potential advertisers or other bloggers in your network? No, it’s the reader for whom you write. So no matter how SEO-friendly or Ad-friendly your content may appear, if it doesn’t have reader appeal then you don’t get anywhere.
1) Grab attention with the right title; your title must achieve this within a few seconds, convincing your reader to stay on and read the post.
2) Begin with a convincing introduction; include your post’s objective and what your readers can gain from it.
3) Keep them short and informative; make sure they’re to the point, saving the reader time while helping them gain knowledge.
4) Use images to describe your post’s content; images make your post attractive, presentable and help you gain valuable extra seconds of readership.
5) Include Image Alt tags and proper image captions so that your reader can understand image relevance and connection to your article.
6) Reduce the number of links in your post; links interrupt content and distract readers. You want to retain readers on your post page, not lose them to others.
7) Break up text flow using headers and sub-headers; this helps the reader to digest bits of information at a time, instead of being overwhelmed by one long post.
8) Be sure to offer something unique in terms of content; let your readers see that you’ve done your research, and that you know what you’re talking about.
9) Stick to current information; readers are not interested in stale news or events. References should pertain to the current year as well.
10) Don’t overdo the keywords; use keywords strategically and with respect to your reader’s intelligence. Random strewing of keywords will only disgust your reader.
11) Don’t put in random images; keep them relevant to your content. Some bloggers use images to attract readers but they lose readers in the long run.
12) Don’t come across as aggressive or opinionated; readers do want to know your opinion, but they’re not prepared for undue aggression and an overpowering attitude.
13) Be friendly; narrate your story in a polite, friendly and positive manner. Invite your readers to comment and pose questions; this kind of attitude really appeals to readers.
14) Throw in plenty of well-researched and cleverly done illustrations and examples. Doing so helps your reader to better understand your post and your point of view.
15) Make sure you check spelling and grammar; bad writing is not just disgusting, it’s actually disrespectful of your readers, who will just never come to your blog again.
16) Write short paragraphs and sentences; readers are busy people who want to grab some good information in a jiffy. Long paragraphs and sentences are tiring and will lose you readership.
17) Make sure your outbound links are from authoritative sites; this way, when you’re citing referenced material, you’re still providing great value to your readers, which they will appreciate a lot.
18) Let the layout be simple; sudden large fonts, bracketed columns and quotations in the middle are very distracting. Focus on readability and avoid fancy layouts.
19) Avoid weird looking fonts; in particular script fonts, double lined fonts, multiple colored fonts and changing font sizes can be very hard to read and distracting, to boot.
20) Avoid dark backgrounds with light text; no matter how good your content is, if it hurts the reader’s eye to read it, it won’t succeed. Stick to black fonts on light backgrounds.
21) Avoid using big words; your average audience won’t appreciate being forced to grab a dictionary just to make sense of your post. Write well enough for a high school grab to comprehend and you’ll be fine.
22) Use numbered and bulleted lists; lists appear separate from the rest of your post and can be used to convey important pieces of text.
23) Align images towards the left, so that people can view your image and then continue reading. Don’t align images to the right which breaks up their reading flow.
24) Use white space; provide relief to the reader’s eye through judicious and generous use of white space in between your sentences, paragraphs, images, borders and sides.
25) Provide social media share buttons; readers feel motivated to share good posts with their friends, and are frustrated when they are not able to do so. Make it easy for them to share and you’re golden.
26) Write niche-relevant content; your readers don’t come to your blog to know about some other industry or niche, unless you can somehow relate that info to your industry.
27) Provide valuable information that is relevant to their day to day lives, such as tips, how-to articles, tutorials, product reviews and so on.
28) Keep it coherent; there’s nothing worse than content that doesn’t flow well and retain coherency. If you cannot retain reader’s interest from one sentence to the other, it’s no use.