You might think this is the post to skip, but hear me out: Writing for your blog is not the same kind of writing you learned about in school.
There are tricks to learn and unlearn when it comes to convincing people that what you’ve written online is worth scrolling through. In fact, you’ve only got a few seconds to do so (this is called the “Blink Test,” and marketers use it as a metric for keeping visitors engaged in your website content).
The obvious first answer is to write content that’s both useful and interesting to your audience. No one wants to stick around if they’re yawning through your writing, or if there’s nothing for them to take away from your blog post.
But besides the obvious, here are a few other rules for blog writing that’ll keep your readership coming back again and again…
So, I lied.
There’s a writing tip I learned in school that is handy for web-writing:
K.I.S.S. or Keep It Simple, Stupid!
(Not that I think you’re stupid; you’re actually very smart for committing to learning about why you should be blogging for your business.)
The K.I.S.S. method is taught in design classes but also applies to good writing (less so in academic settings, which isn’t what we’re doing here). So what does it mean?
- Keep your sentences short,
- Don’t use big words just to show off,
- Stay away from jargon or industry-specific language,
- Provide links when you refer to things readers might not be familiar with,
- And edit your writing to be concise. You don’t need ten words if you can say it in three.
The internet is for everyone! Make sure anyone who finds your writing can understand it, whether they’re familiar with the topic or not.
Make Your Posts Scannable
This goes hand in hand with the previous tip: Most readers will scroll through a page before deciding if they want to read it.
And readers will often skim through all your hard work even if they do decide to stick around.
(Can you blame them? There’s a lot of Tik Tok videos they also need to catch up on.)
Besides using short sentences, you should also keep your paragraphs short. Use lists instead of paragraphs if it applies.
Keep a lot of “white space” on your page (ie. the space between paragraphs, images, and other elements on the page). You might be tempted to fill your posts with images, but this can overwhelm your readers! White space helps your page look friendly and, more importantly, makes it accessible.
Blog in Your Voice
You might be tempted to sound “professional” in your blogging.
I’m here to say: DON’T DO IT!
That doesn’t mean using slang or acronyms readers will end up having to Google (remember: K.I.S.S.!).
What I mean is you should use your voice. Talk to your reader as if they were already a client. Tell personal stories when you can to support your points and keep the reader engaged. Remember K.I.S.S.? I doubt you’ll forget it now.
Clarify Next Steps
A good piece of blog writing tells your reader what to do to stay engaged with you. This happens by way of a call to action which includes very specific instructions:
“Sign up for my newsletter to read more.”
“Learn more about this topic in my upcoming workshop.”
“I’d love to hear about your experiences with this! Join the discussion in our Facebook group.”
Keep the call to action succinct — Rather than a marketing pitch, it should sound like an authentic next step your reader would want to take.
Ready to Start Writing for Your Blog?
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to creating content that keeps people coming back (and wanting more!).
If the prospect of getting all this writing done is still weighing on your mind, why don’t you join us for this year’s #DogTrainerNaNoWriMo contest? I’ll be offering prizes every week through the month of November to keep you on track writing 30 blog posts in 30 days. Get the writing out of the way so for most of 2021, all you have to do is edit and hit publish.
Ready to join in on the fun? Learn more about contest details (and all the great prizes) here!