Hello folks and welcome back! 👋🏻
Today I'd like to share with you 5 things that I wholeheartedly believe are ruining your blogs. Now, I've only been actively blogging for a month now (more info here), but I've also been reading a TON. So despite not being a blogging guru, here's some advice I can share to help you make your blogs better. I hope you find them helpful! 😊
Buckle up and enjoy the ride! 🚀
Gee, have you heard of headings?
I've seen too many blogs that have ZERO headings in them whatsoever. Sorry to break it to you my dearest, but a blog without any clear visual structure is just an eyesore. 😓
With that out of the way: how can you solve this? Easy. When drafting your blog, try to think in terms of headings. Each heading being a section of your blog. Once you have your blog title and section headings written down, you can proceed to fill in the blanks. In other words: write the actual content.
Not convinced yet? How about a mini step-by-step guide? 🤔
- Step 1️⃣: Write down your blog title
- Step 2️⃣: Write down your section headings
- Step 3️⃣: Write the actual content of your blog
Additionally, here's a structure you can use in all your blogs:
- Short intro (between 3 and 5 sentences long)
- Body of your blog (typically having several sections, each with corresponding paragraphs)
- Conclusion (no longer than 3 sentences)
But wait! There's more. Keep on reading! 👇🏻
P.S.: This blog is something I'd consider properly structured. Not because I wrote it, but because it has a clear structure. Take notes.
Just who are you trying to kill of boredom, huh? How dare you not break that huge piece of text into smaller paragraphs?! Seriously, you have offended my eyes and brain! 😡
In all seriousness, like I said in the previous point: structure matters. Adding headings is important, but so is creating paragraphs. Additionally, spacing out your content makes it more visually pleasant for your audience. Please don't lump together all the content in a single section. As a rule of thumb: keep paragraphs between 3 and 5 sentences long. Longer than that will probably make it a dissertation. Or a best-selling novel (if you're lucky) 😅
PRO tip 💡: Always preview your content before publishing it. If you can get a friend or two to proofread your blog and give feedback, that's awesome too! If you feel some parts of your blog are too bulky, just go back in there and: Break 👏🏻 It 👏🏻 Up 👏🏻.
Quite frankly, I don't understand this behavior. I've seen some excellent pieces and discussions around here. Yet despite all the comments and reactions, the author does not engage with their readers. WHY?!
Uh, yeah...moving on! 😂 Engage with your audience. PLEASE! 🥺 I cannot for the life of me stress this enough. ENGAGE!
Someone commented on your post? Drop a like on their comment. Drop a "Thank you so much for reading!" or a "So happy you enjoyed it!" as a reply to their comment. Yeah, yeah, I hear you loud and clear: "I'm too busy for that 🧐". If you happen to be a busy fella, just put aside 10 minutes in your schedule. Use these 10 precious minutes to engage with your audience, reply to their comments or answer their burning questions.
However, there is a time when I'd say it's okay to un-engage. For instance, let's say you posted a blog 2 or 3 weeks ago. Till this day, you still get notifications from people reacting to that blog post or commenting on it. Do you still have to reply to those comments? The answer: if you want to.
I typically still get back at comments after so long, but if I feel really lazy, I'll just drop a like on their comment. That's so they know that I saw their comment and enjoyed reading it. Quite frankly, don't expect me to remember every last word I wrote in a 3-week-old blog post. Sometimes I don't even know what people are getting at when commenting on such an old post of mine! 😜
PRO tip 💡: Genuinely engage with other people's content too, not just yours. It is more important than you think! 😊
By this I mean that ALL your blogs follow the same format. You literally have abused the listicle blog post format! Or perhaps you only write about the same topic all the darn time. Now, allow me to elaborate.
First of all, there is nothing wrong with listicles (that was an example by the way. No need to get booty-tickled). What is semi-wrong however, is feeding your audience the EXACT SAME blog post format over and over and over again. Sure, it makes for a consistent blogging style, but it may get boring and monotonous to your readers in the long-run.
Secondly, writing about the same topic is not a sin! You found a niche? Exploit it by all means! I'm no one to stop you. But, please dare to venture into unexplored waters. Maybe write a TIL (Today I Learned) blog post for a change. Or tell us a funny anecdote. Whatever it is, switch it up a bit.
Back to the drawing board you go! ✍🏻
By this I don't mean that you need to add 3000 GIFs in a single blog post. What I mean is that your post feels bare. There's no diagrams, no pictures, no GIFs, no embedded videos. NOTHING. It's just TEXT. All TEXT! BLOCKS and BLOCKS of TEXT! (Can you tell how traumatized I truly am? 😢)
Let me make this clear. Code snippets don't count. That's text too! 😂 But seriously, it does not hurt to add an image to your blog. Or to embed a tweet or video you found helpful and that relates to the topic you're writing about. Remember how I told you earlier that you should mind your blog structure and should break up large chunks of text? Well, media helps you with this!
As a reader it is pleasant to stumble upon an image or two when reading. It gives the brain something different to process other than just text. (I'm not a neuroscientist, but I bet our brains are not wired to love large chunks of text anyway 🤷🏻♀️) So please give it a go in your next blog post. Add some media to it and rejoice! ✨
Be honest, would you read your 30 minute long blog post?
Excuse the language! 🤭 What was I saying? Oh yeah! If your answer to the above question was NOPE or along those lines, then what makes you think that your audience will read such a long blog? I personally would read a 30 minute read only if I am in the depths of my despair and have literally tried EVERYTHING suggested on SO (Stack Overflow), without any luck.
So you admit defeat... Good. But what now? Allow me to introduce you to the innovative thing that is SERIES!
But, let's be real. It's a simple, yet overlooked thing. You got a 15 minute read? How about you turn that into a 3 part series, with each part being a 5-minute read? Sounds great, right? However, there's one little gotcha that I have noticed when writing series myself. The later parts got less attention than the first part. Though I must admit I lack the sufficient scientific proof to back up this statement. (I've only written like 3 series so far. Or was it 4? Meh, I forgot! 😜)
So the next time you find yourself writing a 60 minute read, how about you:
a) make it a series of blogs, or
b) make it an in-depth guide (e-book) that you can sell online for a few bucks?
You can thank me later! 😉
Hooray! You made it to the end of this one! How about a medal? 🏅 Now, tell me, how did you like my first listicle EVER? Let me know in the comments! 👇🏻 Guess who engages with her readers? 😏
Once again, thanks for reading! 🙇🏻♀️ Now go make those blog posts sexy!
May the code always be with you... 👩🏻💻👨🏻💻 See you next time!
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