When you’re competing with so many others, how do you write absolutely compelling blog posts that make yours stand out? Even if you are writing about a topic that’s already been extensively covered you can still create unique content, because you are unique.
Even if we aren’t natural born writers, we can still learn methods and techniques to improve our skills. Notice I said “we” because I’m still learning too but, to quote a favorite song “I’m still standing after all this time”. So how can you set your posts apart from others discussing the same topics?
By curating content written by others, you make your blog post a one stop shop to find out all you need to know on a topic. I mention this first only because it’s what I’m doing here. By linking to experts you can provide valuable content for your readers along with your own commentary. Google likes quality outbound links too. I don’t recommend linking to content without adding a summary and reasons why you are linking. Add your own perspective and personality.
How You Tell It
In A Blogging Recipe, Lesly Federici talks about creating memorable posts by the way you make people feel. It stands out for me not just because of the excellent tips but the rich language she uses. Lesly who runs the Power Affiliate Club is wonderful at empowering her members by encouraging, inspiring and motivating us. I’ll tell you more about my passion for PAC in another post.
“In the never-ending turbulent ocean of internet bloggers,
how does one, a spec of sand shall we say,
float to the top and be clearly seen?”
Bring yourself into the equation so that readers feel they know you. Even if you blog about the more technical topics you can add a touch of yourself by relating your experiences, telling stories or adding some humor.
Being you isn’t about always talking about yourself, as Kevin Carlton, writing on Adrienne Smith’s blog, points out in The Seven Deadly Sins Of A Selfish Website
In a blog post provocatively titled How to Be Smart in a World of Dumb Bloggers, Jon Morrow, says of successful of bloggers: They publish great blog posts, build the right relationships, use the right traffic strategies, but above all they’re “wicked smart” people.
He says the rest are “ignorant, obtuse, unoriginal, boring, or forgettable”. Don’t despair because Jon offers solutions to succeed by “being you”. It’s his way of being him and how he tells it.
The Words You Use in Blog Posts
We need to captivate, enchant, seduce and inspire and, if we sell anything, persuade too. That sounds like a tall order doesn’t it, but the words we use can really help us do this. Use powerful, hypnotic, kick-ass words. I just did. I hope you’re convinced 🙂
If you’re unsure of what words to use refer to the lists here:
- 50 Power Words That Sell include proven, exciting words that are absolutely guaranteed to quickly lead to success. You didn’t believe me then did you? I used too many power words in that sentence and didn’t sound authentic. Gaining trust is so important so don’t overdo it.
- Writtent.com tells you about even more power words in 1000+ Power Words That Sell to Maximize Your Conversions. Split into different categories it includes, among others, words to evoke various emotions, and those for calls to action, headlines, Facebook and Twitter posts.
- 50 Trigger Words and Phrases for Powerful Multimedia Content, by Bryan Clark, and 317 Power Words That’ll Instantly Make You a Better Writer by talk about words that evoke strong feelings such as anger, greed, revenge, betrayal and powerlessness as well as hope, passion and urgency. Relating to negative feelings is a technique often used by marketers . They empathize with readers problems, show they understand, and then present them with a solution (to buy). You often see these type of words in “Killer Headlines” followed by the suggested “cure”.
- For Positive, less sales like words, I extracted these from a couple of other lists.
58 Ways to Create Persuasive Content Your Audience Will Love on Copyblogger is a good general article on writing headlines that convert, creating memorable, persuasive content that enchants. It includes tips on streamlining and editing your content.
How You Present It
You likely already know about laying out your blog posts to make them more easily readable, by using headers, short paragraphs, lists and plenty of white space but do you know why?
General ease of reading is one aspect but, in 7 Readability Tips for Designing Engaging Content, Roger C Parker explains how readers don’t read but scan; we take in information based on Serial pattern recognition. We translate recognizable word shapes into meaning. I do wonder how true this will be in the future with video becoming a preferred way of learning? What do you think? I suspect I learned to scan well because of wanting to get through masses of reading while at school, and to quickly devour novels to get on to the next one.
Don’t forget your Images
Images add interest, color and sharable content to blog posts? They split up long areas of text and draw the reader’s attention to read further.
Jeff Bullas tells us that, in this age of Visual Culture, articles with images get 94% more total views.
Your blog might not lend itself to a range of photos but there’s always something you can use: an image quote, a text quote in stand out fonts, a sentence from your own post in image form, and images to draw attention to calls to action or to read more.
Show You Care
“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others.
Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?” Brian Tracey”
Showing you care not only involves writing blog posts of value to your readers but offering help and guidance too. Encourage questions through comments and always answer them. Extend your help to your social media sites too. You likely have a Facebook profile and page for general topics but why not start one for particular areas of your knowledge as well? I enjoy finding images to include in posts and for pinning so I’ve started sharing the resources I find on a new Facebook Page called Free Web Images.
Show your appreciation of fellow bloggers who comment on your site by visiting and leaving a comment on their site. The same with those who comment or like your social media posts.
Author Monna Ellithorpe, a leader in the Power Affiliate Club talks about the KLT ( Know, Like and Trust) factor: Be Yourself and Join the KLT Crusade. She practices it well herself.
Don’t Write For Google
You’ve probably seen those posts where keywords and not content are king? Every heading includes the keyword and keywords litter the content. From there to here, from here to there, keywords are everywhere.
Update: Here’s an excellent post on Copyblogger 4 Simple Steps to Writing a Blog Post That Floods Your Inbox with Inquiries which tells us to forget about lead generation, but to be problem solvers.
I hope this helps you write absolutely compelling blog posts. Writing that last sentence means I have this post’s long tail keywords in here twice but that’s all you’re getting Google.