Here are some quick and simple blogging tips for writing better articles that I’ve either learned the hard way, or I learned from others – usually the hard way though. Either way, I thought they would be worth sharing.
1. Write for Fun
There is no doubt that you can turn blogging into a business. Hell, one day I’d love to be one of those people. However, make sure you’re blogging because you enjoy it first and foremost.
I routinely look for ways to make money blogging; I won’t lie. Something I routinely see that bothers me are articles about choosing proper niches to blog about. There are people (not surprising) who blog only to make a living and not because they enjoy it. So, they aren’t looking to write about what they enjoy, or because they enjoy writing, but because they found a topic that makes a lot of money with ad networks.
Now, it’s a legitimate pursuit, writing about something just for money, but I can’t imagine it’s a very fulfilling one. However, if you write about what you love (whatever that is), then you’re doing something you enjoy, and being able to turn that passion into a business is far more self-sustaining than the alternative.
2. Don’t Worry About SEO
This is something I learned the hard way. SEO (search engine optimization) can be a soul draining experience. There’s a lot of research involved with SEO, and time spent updating content to be SEO friendly. However, the thing I’ve learned is don’t sweat it.
Now, there’s some basic, fundamental things you should do for your articles, like including keywords you want it to be found for, and including meta information. Beyond that though, don’t worry too much.
See, Google has come a long way in terms of ranking sites for SEO. One of the things Google has become really good at is recognizing the value of your content.
Back in the early days, you would insert the keywords you wanted to rank for all over your content. Now, if you did that, Google would penalize you. Instead, Google wants to see those keywords used in context within your article. Google doesn’t even need to see the words all together either.
Let’s say you wanted to rank for a longtail keyword like “best ways to write a blog article”. The old school method of ranking for that would be to keep using the term “best ways to write a blog article” all over your article.
Now, you can rank for that without having to continually say the phrase. Instead, you could have the various words near one another and Google understands the context.
For example: I want to share some of the best ways I’ve seen for writing a blog article.
I haven’t directly said “best ways to write a blog article”, but I have used those words in a sentence, in context. This even extends when the words are used in nearby sentences.
Also note, Google knows that the words writing and write are the same. While not literally but contextually. It’s the same thing with a plural version of a word, IE: blog and blogs are fine.
The reason I mention that is because SEO tools that help you out, like Yoast SEO, only focus on the exact match. So, it might tell you that your SEO value isn’t good when in fact it is. These tools don’t account for plural versions of words, or words used as a verb instead of a noun, etc.
My point, write great content that talks about your topic and Google will figure it out; trust me.
3. Make it Visually Interesting
It’s no big secret that we human beings like things that are visually interesting. So, having an article that breaks up the wall of text with images is a great way to keep your readers interested and give them a quick break.
Some people see an article that’s entirely text and they will leave before reading any of it. It sucks but it’s true.
You’ll notice that this article, and all of them here, starts with a lead-in featured image at the top. I also try to sprinkle in some images where relevant to break things up, as I mentioned.
Also, infographics are great. Taking information and presenting it in graphic form is the way to go. If you put statistical info on a page then some will just glance over it, not pay attention, but you put it on an image and now you have their interest.
Here’s an example of one I did for my article about why I love WordPress.
The featured image for an article is extremely important. There are two ways you’re going to pull someone in to read your article.
The first being the title of the article. Is it catchy, funny, or interesting? The second is the image associated with the article, the featured image. If you can grab someone’s attention visually then they’ll click your article.
This is especially true if you’re sharing your article on social networks like Facebook. People just flick through their social news feed, often stopping only if something visually catches their attention.
You don’t have to create images that advertise your article directly either. It could just be an image of whatever it is you’re talking about; plain and simple. Just make sure you’re using an image to lead people into your article.
4. Digestible Chunks of Text
The days of big large blocks of text as paragraphs are over. Using shorter paragraphs helps keep your readers interested in your content. It’s like the visual element I just mentioned – it breaks things up.
You’ll have noticed that this article is done that way, with short concise paragraphs. That’s what you want.
5. Ease of Readability
There is a readability metric called Flesch Reading Ease. This is a programmatic means of checking your content to evaluate how easy or hard it is to read.
There are tools, like Yoast SEO, that will evaluate your article and provide you with your Flesch Reading Ease score. It’s something I highly recommend paying attention to. Knowing the readability of your writing will really help you write better articles.
Another element with readability is the proper use of headings within an article. Using headings allows you to visually break up text, which is useful, but more importantly it allows readers to do two things.
One of those things is someone can skim your article to see if you’re covering things they are interested in. If you’re looking for something specific, and you land at an article that’s just a wall of text, how likely are you to read the article? I know I’m not likely to stay. However, if that article uses headings (like this one does), then you skim through, see if the article answers what you need, and jump right into that section.
Which brings me to the other thing, headings allows for easy references. I often refer back to articles I’ve previously read, and having headings in there lets me quickly and easily find the pieces of information I’m after. If an article makes it easy for me to get the info I need time and time again then I will keep coming back.
As a blogger, there’s few things better than writing an article that’s so good that it becomes a point of reference for people. So, set yourself up for success and use headings.
Hopefully you found some useful information here. These were just my quick and dirty tips for blogging. Some of these I will expand upon in the future, but I at least wanted to give some things to think about and consider until then.