There are millions of blogs out there and it’s difficult to keep a reader’s attention. Remember that people skim when they read online, so it’s up to you to make it a user-friendly experience.
We’ve written about formatting tips to make the text in your blog posts easier to read. They include using lists and sub-headings, and choosing the correct font and font size.
Sometimes, we need to look at our stylistic choices as well. Here are 15 guidelines that will help you to write better blog posts.
15 Really Useful Blog Writing Guidelines
1. Check Readability Statistics before you post anything.
If your grade levels and readability percentages are too high, not many people will read the post. You will have wasted your time.
2. Remove Passive Voice.
Do not say: The bestselling novel, Kiss The Girls, was written by James Patterson.
Do say: James Patterson wrote the bestselling novel, Kiss The Girls.
3. Write In The Simple Past Tense.
Remove ‘had’ attacks. Only use ‘have’ and ‘has’ when you are using the verb to have, or if you really need to use the perfect tense.
Do not say: She had read the book in one afternoon.
Do say: She read the book in one afternoon.
4. Use Quotations.
This allows you to be accurate when relating a story. It allows you to show and not tell. Words reveal character. Modern writing requires that people speak for themselves, their products, and their company.
Do not say: He told the group about the secret of his success.
Do say: ‘The reason I’m here today is…’, he said.
5. Make Sure You Have Lots Of White Space.
Do not write in blocks. Use lists. Increase line spacing. Vary the length of your sentences and break up paragraphs. Avoid justifying your text.
6. Remove Modifiers And Qualifiers.
If they don’t serve a purpose, leave out these words.
Examples: a bit, a lot of, almost, every, nearly, quite, very
7. Remove Linking Words.
If you use these words, you create complicated sentences. You will bore your reader, lose pace, and lapse into the passive voice. Rather write shorter sentences that readers can understand.
Examples: As, And, But, Then
8. Don’t Change Viewpoint.
Once you decide on your company/product/article’s voice, you should write in that viewpoint.
First Person / Second Person / Third Person
9. Write From One Perspective.
If you are writing from two different ‘heads’ you will confuse readers.
10. Do Not Use Excessive Punctuation.
Leave out unnecessary commas, semi-colons, colons, and exclamation marks. Write shorter sentences instead. Use commas when you list items, or introduce a person. Over using punctuation is old-fashioned. It makes your writing look like Morse code.
11. Remove The Words ‘the’ And ‘that’ Wherever Possible.
Do not say: If you feel that you should be writing from both of the perspectives, you may assume that you will annoy the readers.
Do say: If you feel you should write from both perspectives, you may assume you will annoy readers.
12. Avoid Clichés.
If we use too many of these phrases, readers get bored. In fact, they don’t even bother to carry on reading.
Examples: Thinking out of the box, low-hanging fruit.
13. Avoid Repeating Words.
Try not to repeat the same nouns and verbs in a paragraph – unless you are doing this on purpose.
14. Stick To One Tense.
Do not switch from past to present tense.
15. Keep It Simple.
Write straightforward sentences and avoid too many pretentious words.
Blogging is not complicated. A great blogger engages their audience and shows their personality. Blogging is a fun and effective way to spread the word about your business. If you communicate well online, you will be successful.
© Amanda Patterson
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