You’re reading this post because you want to learn how to write a compelling article that your readers will love. I promise to make you a better writer after reading this post.
Not all bloggers are good writers. Some are just copy-and-paste bloggers and they started blogging just to apply for Adsense and start making money. I wish it were that easy. When a Nigerian says he is starting a blog, just expect a news blog, celeb gist, or entertainment. Please, let’s stop that. Blogging is more than that. There are more than 1000 things you can blog about. I respect a good blogger when I see one. There’s this blogger I’m always happy reading his blog. He is different, his blog is about motivation. I’m proud of him because I actually helped him set up his blog a few years ago. His blog is TaiwoEmayosanlomo.com
And here are some few blogs I’ve read and they stand out from all other blogs. They are listed in no particular order.
- Taiwoemayosan.com a motivational blog by Taiwo Emayosan
- webincomeplus.com a blogging tutorials blog by Abass Toriola… the boss himself
- lydume.com a personal diary blog by Lydia Ume
- Allnigerianrecipes.com a recipe blog just like the name suggests by Flo
- Writersincharge.com a blog that teaches you to become a better writer and it’s owned by Bamidele Onibalusi
I can go on and on, but let me stop here.
If you are a blogger, not a copy-and-paste blogger, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been at it for a while, you’ll understand that it is important to regularly update your blog and ‘feed’ your readers with fresh content (I know I have failed at this, and I’m so sorry about that). While this might sound easy, it is not always easy to come up with ideas of what to write about. Even if you have an idea of what to write, you need to know how to write a compelling article or post that will attract attention.
Have it in mind, that writing online is different from writing a novel or a non-fictional story.
In this post, you’ll learn some writing tips that will help you become a better writer.
Implement these tips whenever you’re writing your next post and see the results.
Start Writing Regularly
The more you write the better you will become at writing. So, it just makes sense that you want to get into the habit of writing every day. You don’t have to post on your blog every day, but make writing your hobby. Write anytime you are idle. Your topics can be about anything. For example, you may want to write about your activities the day before. Start mapping out a business plan or outline blog posts. Write about anything that gets you into the habit of actually writing.
It may be difficult at first commit yourself and start writing daily you will be writing regularly in less than one month.
Start Reading Regularly
Though reading regularly makes you a good reader, but the fact is it helps your writing ability more. Plus, by reading you will be regularly updated on current happenings have wide knowledge on many topics. Reading will provide you with useful insights and topics that you can write about on your own blog.
And when you read, don’t just limit yourself to reading a magazine or book. Get into the habit of reading newspapers, short stories, other blogs too, especially the ones in your niche. Take the time to read up on a new hobby or skill that you have always wanted to learn.
Your vocabulary will expand when exposing your mind to a variety of content. You will find out that writing becomes easier and even enjoyable. You will also be awed at the number of ideas that’ll flood your mind.
Write in a Comfortable Place
For me, “a comfortable place” is a very quiet and noiseless place. I will be able to think without any interference. So, If you are seriously trying to write a long article or even start a book you need to have a comfortable place to
work in. This will vary depending upon your personality. Some prefer writing in a quiet room at home, just like me, while others prefer to write outdoors when possible. Like a friend of mine who said he gets inspiration when he sees people around. Funny Right?
So my dear fellow writers, no matter where you choose to write, find a place that works for you. If you have kids that might disturb or a busy schedule, you may prefer to get up earlier and use that time for writing. By placing yourself in a comfortable setting you will find that your words flow easily. If your body is not in a comfortable place then neither is your mind.
Research Your Topic
Before writing your an article, take the time to research your topic. When someone visits the internet to look for information, they are always looking for facts and current information. Nobody will come back to your blog if they notice posts are guesses and not facts.
By researching first, you will have timely facts and information that you automatically include in your blog posts and articles. By taking the time to research, your content is more likely to be shown as relevant content in the search engines. What this means is that your posts, pages, and articles are more likely to show up in the top results in any search engine.
Once you have compiled your research you will be able to easily create a good outline for your topic. You may even find that the direction you first had in mind has changed. Researching can help you discover new and unique angles that you had not thought of.
Use Current Events for Blog Posts
If you want to consistently create good content for your niche then it is imperative that you stay up to date with what is happening in your niche. This can be done by subscribing to other blogs in your niche by using an RSS Reader. Then simply get into the habit of checking your reader each morning for important news.
As a writer, this can help you in two ways. One, you will be staying on top of all of the latest news developments and gossip in your industry. Secondly, this ‘news’ can easily provide you with a list of ongoing topics for you to write about.
Other ways to stay on top of the news is by creating Google Alerts and by checking sites such as Google News regularly. Don’t forget to subscribe to top blogs in your field as they can help inspire topic ideas.
Create an Outline
This is very very important and it applies to almost everything you do and not only writing. If you find that you often get stuck writing a complete blog post or article, you should consider using an outline.
This technique allows you to simply fill in the outline, once created, in a step by step process. Once filled in your basic article is completed. Using an outline simplifies the writing process and makes it easy for you to create quick and informative posts.
A good outline includes:
In the introduction, you will basically tell the reader what they are going to learn by reading your article or post. In the body of your article make a list of the points or sub-topics that you want to discuss. These points will become the subheadings of your article. After you have outlined your points you go back and write a couple of sentences on each one. This becomes the body of your article.
Once you get to the conclusion you simply wrap up and summarize the main points again. Then add a call to action for your reader and your new post is ready for publication.
Develop Compelling Headlines & Titles
With any type of writing which is going to be published online, you want to take the time to come up with compelling headlines. A good headline will attract your website visitor’s attention immediately, and this will entice them to read the entire article.
When writing your headline or title do not use all capital letters in it and avoid using punctuation. If you place a full stop or period at the end of your headline it will make the reader want to stop reading. By eliminating this punctuation your reader is more likely to continue reading your full article.
Examples of great titles are:
• Titles that ask questions or provoke opinions
• How to titles
• Step by Step titles
• Titles which stir feelings in your reader
When writing content, for online purposes, you want to try and include keywords in your titles. This will help boost your content within the search engines. Place yourself in your reader’s shoes and think of how you would search for this particular information. Then try to include these terms in your titles, headlines, and subtitles.
Write Short Paragraphs and Avoid long Sentences
Keep your paragraphs fairly short. It is important to understand that when someone is reading an article, post or website content online, they often scan the content first. This is why it is important to make use of subtitles and formatting techniques such as lists and bullet points. These things will catch the readers eye, pulling them in, and making them want to read more.
If you find that your sentences are extremely long, work on adding commas into the sentence structure. Then read your sentence aloud. If your sentence still sounds and feels long winded then try splitting into two shorter sentences.
Make Use of White Space
When you write content that you wish to post on your website it is important to take the visual appearance of the piece into consideration. You don’t want to publish a long article that is all text and without white space.
Immediately visitors view this as ‘boring’, and they will click away without bothering to read it. While you can still publish long articles, you can make them look less ‘boring’ by breaking the piece up into smaller sections.
One way to do this is to write smaller paragraphs. When you have more paragraphs, whiter space appears on your site. This has the effect of making your article look smaller and easier to read. Including headings and subtitles also goes a long way in helping to break up your content. The more manageable your content appears, the more readers you will attract.
If your article is extremely long you may want to consider breaking into 2 or 3 smaller posts and then link to each one at the end of the article.
Use a Friendly Tone of Voice When Writing on Your Blog
Conversational and friendly tones work best when writing online content. Use a passive voice in your writing. When writing for your blog write as though you are chatting with your best friend or family member, someone that you know well. When you write in this manner your content becomes friendlier and adds that human touch.
A common problem with the internet is that a website often blocks the human element. Sometimes a reader doesn’t really know who has written the content and this adds distance. By writing in a friendly manner you are forming a relationship with your readers and they, in turn, will learn to know, like and trust you more. It will be then very easy
convincing them to buy something from you. And it is extremely important for connecting long-term readership for your blog.
Include Lists and Step by Step Tutorials
When creating content, you can make your content easier to read and more attractive by making use of lists and step by step tutorials. This offers several benefits including making your content more appealing to visitors.
Instead of being faced with a long article they immediately see that your content is short and easy to read.
You can list main points and use bullet points or numbers to make them stand out on your page. As we mentioned earlier readers on the internet are in the habit of scanning content rather than reading every word in detail. So, using short points can help them identify if your content is what they are looking for.
Creating how to and step by step tutorials you are offering your readers a different type of content. If your article is dealing with how to learn something new then consider writing out in point or step form.
Use Clear Language
It baffles me when I see an online post with shorthands like “u” instead of “you” or “btw” instead of “between”. Sincerely, I’ve seen it much time. I even saw one, though it wasn’t shorthand but it was totally unreadable. One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to writing online content is to use fancy language. This can be a foreign concept to many writers, but believe me, your readers will appreciate a clear and easy to understand language.
Only use technical terminology when required. If you are writing a white paper for university graduates then you will, of course, use different language as compared to writing for young adults.
While adding descriptiveness to stories and fiction is good, it is not always appropriate for shorter pieces of content. If you are in the habit of writing colorful content, try going back and removing unnecessary words and expressions. Make a point of keeping each sentence clear and to the point. If you stray off topic simply remove the section.
A summary is basically a quick recap of what your article or post is about. You are actually telling the reader what you have just told them! A good summary consists of one good paragraph and this summary can be used to describe your article as well. Learning how to write a good summary is important if you want to submit articles to article directories for example.
As you gain experience with crafting summaries you will also be improving your copywriting skills. So, when it is time to write a sales page you will have an easier time of coming up with shorter sentences to reflect benefits and key points.
If you condense your summary even further, into 150 characters, this becomes the sentence that is displayed by the search engines when your website shows up on the results page.
Include Images and Graphics
There is one major difference to writing online content and that is the use of images, graphics, and photographs. Images can really help make your content visually appealing and entices the reader to actually stay on your site and read your content.
When using images try to use images that relate to what your article is about. Plus, with the increased popularity of social media sites, people love sharing images. This can help get your content more views and website traffic. Try to use images that people can ‘pin’ to sites like Pinterest.
Images and photographs help to break up long articles and make them appear shorter and easier to read. It is very easy to insert images into a WordPress post, just use the insert feature. Remember an image help draw the reader’s eye to the page and compels them to continue reading. If you aren’t in the habit of adding images try using some in your next article.
Include a Call to Action
When writing articles that are to be published online you normally want the reader to perform some type of action after reading it. This action is referred to as a “Call to Action”. It can include having your reader click on a buy button, liking or sharing your post or giving up their email address in exchange for a gift.
If you don’t tell your reader what you want them to do at the end of your article they will simply click away. Instead it is important to lead your reader somewhere. You can Just tell them to share your content on social media if they find it interesting or tell them to drop a comment. This way, you are engaging your readers.
Tips: Make your call to action very clear. If you want them to sign up for your newsletter, tell them how to do it. If the required action is to click a link put the link there for them to click on!
By including a call to action your conversion rates will increase as will your profit margin. Don’t expect people to know what action you want them to take, instead show them! If you
Write, Read, Edit, Proofread and then Repeat
When you write a post, it is advisable not to post them immediately. Give it at least a day. This way when you open it up again to reread and edit it you can pick up on errors easily. Do not simply write and publish your content without proofreading it. For instance, I’ve written this post you’re reading now since two days ago and I’ve read it over and over again for errors, subtraction or addition. I’m not saying I am perfect and of course there might still be some errors. So if you see any, just point them out so I can correct them.
While many programs such as Word and Open Office do come with built-in spell checking systems, these are not always that accurate. Instead you want to get into the habit of editing and proofreading, then rewriting if necessary before going back and proofread again.
When editing and proof reading your work do so with an open mind and pay attention to the small details. It can be so easy to overlook words by reading too fast. Instead read slowly and carefully. If you find yourself faltering over a sentence and have to read it more than once, stop and fix the sentence.
Keep a Notepad for Ideas
You can suddenly come up with great ideas for a story, blog post, article or book when you’re not in front of your computer.
Notepads are great for using to brainstorm ideas and thoughts. They are perfect for using at any time and you can even revert to a good old-fashioned notepad and paper. Have you ever come up with an idea for a blog post and had nowhere to write them down? By the time you reach home or sit at your computer, your ideas are long gone.
You can use any type of notepad for this and several online notes can be synced across all of your devices these days. Evernote is one good example.
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If you’re a very good writer and you need a platform (blog) to air your view. Get in touch so I can help you set up your own blog.