Today, everyone has a blog— the question is, who’s getting results?
The right blog post or article can cement your position as an expert in your industry, gaining you massive attention and opportunities. A mediocre post, on the other hand, fades into the oblivion of the world wide web, with virtually no impact. No one wants to waste their time, but most only learn the secrets to a great post, by experiencing failure and a lot of wasted time.
We’ve assembled a list of the 10 tips and tricks to an exceptional blog post that will earn you recognition and, may even go viral. Don’t learn the hard way– learn the smart way!
#1) Write about what you know.
This seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes, writers who are just starting out, want to write about things that interest them rather than their area of expertise. It’s all about the content and no one wants to read the same general ideas they can get in any ol’ summary. You wouldn’t read an article about philosophy if it were written by a plumber. Readers want unique knowledge that they can’t get from just anyone. Write about what you know, and try to offer as much unique value as possible. You’ll not only be able to offer better knowledge, but you will convey more passion, and inspire greater trust when you write about the area of your expertise.
#2) Be specific.
One of the biggest mistakes that any blogger can make is to write about an issue in general. Readers are looking for specific, actionable advice that they can use to improve their daily lives. Instead of writing about success, for instance, consider something like “10 Ways to Reach Your Goal Faster” or “What is Success: 5 Celebrities Offer Their Definition”, these titles garner attention and specify what the reader will learn from the article.
#3) Write with authority and certainty.
I’ve already pointed out that you should be writing from your area of expertise, because, as I’ve said, no one’s interested in a plumbers take on philosophy. However, even when you write about a topic you are knowledgeable in, the words that you use can inspire doubt. Using phrases like “I think”, “It’s my opinion”, or “I believe”, communicate uncertainty. If you are uncertain of a thing, you shouldn’t be writing about it, and people will not want to hear your opinion. Readers want facts, from experts. Anyone can call their neighbor and ask for an opinion. To write with authority, take out any “doubting phrases” and replace them with “strong phrases”. For instance, instead of starting “You see, I believe that the sky is blue…”, try “The sky is blue.” Don’t get too wordy. Keep the message strong and write as an authority.
Are you writing for recognition first or to help your readers? If you answered “recognition”, stop writing. There’s nothing wrong with seeking recognition, but you will only achieve it when you are able to genuinely help and offer value to your readers. What are your readers interested in? What are they curious about? Until you can answer those questions you will not have success. You will only have readers when you start writing about what they want to read. So, start to listen. Define your audience and pay attention to what they share. With social media, it’s easy to determine the interests of a group or an individual. How can you work their interests into your blogs? That is the key to success, not just in writing, but in relationships in general. Find out what interests the other person and you are automatically more interesting.
#5) Use your own voice.
To an extent, you should write the way you speak (but with better grammar). Many writers try to embellish their writing by adopting a particular tone or voice. Your posts are a conversation between you and the reader. In order to present authenticity and trust, you must write in your own voice. Would you begin a spoken sentence with “You see,”? No, you probably wouldn’t. It doesn’t sound authentic, it sounds like a story. Avoid the embellishments and layers, speak with the reader as you would speak to a friend– that will deliver a much more believable and focused reading experience.
#6) Include quotes.
There are few articles that can’t benefit from a quote or two, interspersed. People love quotes. Used correctly, they break up the article just enough to offer a refreshing perspective and are visually appealing. Everyone loves a concise, bite-sized, bit of wisdom. Adding a few of these throughout your articles or blog posts will add flavor and variety to your writing to keep your reader engaged.
#7) Reach out to influencers.
What sells a story better than being able to market it with a name like Richard Branson, Grant Cardone, or Bob Proctor? Nothing. Reach out to influencers to contribute their knowledge or opinion for inclusion in your article, and watch the numbers climb. Not only will this help your audience, by providing unique knowledge, but it also greatly increases the number of views your article or blog post receives, because the influencer will likely share the article accross their social media channels. Including the expert advice or perspective of an influencer will also bolster your standing and authority as a writer, not to mention, it helps the influencer by spreading their message.
Research! An article without research is not worth reading. The number one way to establish yourself as an expert in any area, as far as blogging is concerned, is to include research in your articles. Which statement sounds more trustworthy and authoritative, “The ocean was choppier than ever today”, or “New statistics from the University of Washington point to 30% larger waves this fall, than have been observed in recent years”? One is clearly more professional– and if you want to be perceived as a professional, you have to present like a professional. Do your homework. The internet has made it easier than ever to locate great information to enrich your writing, so use it!
#9) It’s all in the title.
It doesn’t matter how good your content is if no one clicks on it. Spend some time researching the science of a great, clickable, title. Focus on how you can incite emotion or create mystery with your title, and you will have a winner. Take these titles for example “Bear Attack in Yosemite” or “Tourist Attacked, You’ll Never Guess The Perpetrator”, which one is more exciting? Which one would you click on? Do not add a title that only describes, add a title that excites. It should not be an after thought, you should put as much energy and thought into your title as you put into your entire blog post.
#10) Include a summary.
The summary is where everyone gives up. You go in with gusto and ambition, but near the end, your enthusiasm wanes, and you give up. A summary is just as important as an introduction. What do you hope your reader will take away from your article? What lesson should they have learned? Af asserted in the body of your post, is essential to adequately finish. Your reader will see right through a lazy, cut-off ending. Your summary must close the issue and offer your final conclusion.
Your success, in any area, depends on how much effort you are willing to put forward to achieve– and why bother to put forth any effort for average results? Become a professional by implementing the 10 tips above, and build a reputation as an expert in your niche while creating viral content!