In school, you’re groomed to talk, write, and think a certain way.
High school will have you write long essays with appropriately spaced paragraphs. You’re told not to use “you” or “I” when you write, because it’s not proper.
What a load of B.S.
Most of the writing rules that you were taught hold up if you’re doing some kind of academic or corporate writing.
However, if your goal is to persuade, entertain, educate, or touch the reader, then you’re playing by the wrong set of rules.
You can already see how I’m breaking ALL of these rules. I’ve broken them time and time again on my professional blog, which has been visited by MILLIONS of website visitors.
Now, it’s not like I’ve always been good at writing blog posts. In fact, I sucked. I was terrible.
Looking back, I can’t believe that people actually wanted to read my early work.
The only reason I’ve been able to turn blogging into a full-time career is… I stuck at it.
I kept working on it. Slowly, I’d get better and better with each passing week.
After a year, I hit “expert” status and was able to rack up THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of views for my work. I am now able to charge premium prices if I ever do freelance writing.
I want to show you how to do the exact same thing. By the end of this article, you’ll have a crystal clear path for writing better blog posts (and in less time).
If you read every word of this article and APPLY it, then you’ll be able to:
- Charge higher freelancing rates
- Get more traffic to your blog posts
- Develop a cult following of readers that can’t wait for your new content.
The other thing that you can do to improve your blog is to get a full understanding of WHY professional bloggers are able to earn a full-time income.
Let’s be honest here… most people DON’T earn a good income with blogging.
If you’d like to actually become a full-time blogger, then I can link you to a free intro course that will go through some of the things you need to know before taking the leap.
Let’s get into a few of the ways that you can write more effective blog posts.
1. The Weird Way People “Read” Online
It’s almost like they have ADD.
Usually, someone will spend so much time looking for a helpful article online that they first must determine whether or not this is an article worth investing time reading.
Then, once they’ve decided that the article will answer their questions, they start to skim it, starting with the headlines.
You can be sure that any bullet points, numbered lists, and pictures will easily capture their attention.
If I had to pick one word to describe how people read online it’s “lazy.”
Readers are under the perception that they’re busy and don’t have a lot of time. Objectively, this is not true, but everyone will argue this.
They don’t want to do any work to consume information online, so they’ll resort to to the easy-to-read parts of an article, like the titles or the first sentence of a paragraph.
My first articles online read like mighty essays with long paragraphs connecting the various ideas together. This was the WRONG way to write for an online audience. It assumes that people will be reading every word of your article.
Once you begin to write in a style and format that is easier to consume, you’ll have much more success getting traffic to your blog.
2. Your Headlines Are Your Article
You can have the best written blog post in the world, but if it doesn’t have an enticing headline and sub-headlines that both draw attention and summarize the article, then no one’s going to read it.
I remember that the first time I heard this, I was furious. I was reading up on the subject of blogging from my dorm room in college.
Up until that point in my life, I had been led to believe the substance matters more than anything else.
Both in the online and the real world, appearance matters more than reality. The design of the book matters more than the contents. Why?
Because your initial goal is to get people to actually check out your work. In time, your goal will be to get them to actually read it and become a loyal subscribers. For now, we just need to get attention.
I used to think that if someone wrote a book with all of the secrets of the universe in it, then people would beat a path to their door.
Instead, what would end up happening is no one would read it, because it’s not hyped up enough.
There would be no marketing or sales behind the book to persuade people of the value of reading it. The secrets would be forgotten.
That’s the sad truth.
I have personally put together educational content to show people EXACTLY how to achieve a particular result in their life. But, it is all wasted time, unless I spend an equal amount of time persuading people of their need to check out this content, consume it, and act on it.
Your headline and sub-headlines are what “sell” your article and convince someone to spend five minutes of their day reading it.
3. You MUST Include Images In Your Post
If you don’t include images in your blog posts, you’re missing out on valuable SEO juice and making it harder to understand your ideas.
First of all, relevant images will improve the overall SEO score of your post. Every bloggers should be striving to get to the top of google for their niche. Images help you to rank better in search engines.
Second, images will help someone quickly and easily get an idea of what your blog post is about, and when included throughout the article, they’ll serve as markers that people can use to better understand what you’re trying to say.
Naturally, the human brain is more likely to focus on images and video over text. This is the reason that social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat focus on images and video.
It’s more work to have to read a block of text, internalize it, and figure out how that information applies to your life. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
If you fail to include images in your blog posts, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity. Your posts will come off as amateurish. Even if you’re a really good writer, it will be more difficult to maintain the attention of a reader.
4. Use Bolding, Italics, Underlines, and Capitalization.
In english class, you were taught to avoid injecting emotion into your writing. You were told to write with a dry business-speak style language.
This is great if you’re trying to become a lawyer or you’re going to send a company memo. It’s not so great though for establishing a relationship with readers or getting them to feel something about you and your blog.
You can use bolding, italics, and capitalization to draw a reader’s attention to what you’re saying. Because something is bold, people are more likely to read it. They rationalize that it must be important.
When people see your capitalized words, it adds a heck of a lot more emphasis to what you’re saying.
I’m talking to YOU.
(see how I did that).
It almost has the feel like I’m asserting something strongly, or even shouting it. The subtext is “wake up, this is important.”
Assume that, for the most part, people are scanning your writing. If you want to really emphasize a part of your message, you can use these devices to make it stand out.
Basic psychology finds that when we see a bunch of things that are the same, and one is different, we’ll notice the thing that stands out.
5. Write in a Conversational Style
The worst thing that you can do is keep the reader at a distance from you, the blogger.
You would only do this if you were a journalist, and trying to be objective.
The only other reason you might do this unintentionally is if you have fear about putting yourself out there. You’re compensating by sounding robotic and adopting a personality that isn’t your own. It helps you feel less exposed.
Instead, the goal should be to bridge the distance between you and the reader. You want the reader to feel like they know, like, and trust you. You want them to think you’re transparent. They should have a sense of who you are.
When you write exactly like how you’d talk, you come off as a human being. You sound less stuck up.
There are a few easy ways to adopt this type of writing style. First off, you should read all of your writing out loud. How does it sound?
The way I’m writing RIGHT NOW is the same way I’d sound I was talking to you in person.
The other thing that you can do to adopt this kind of writing style is to use vernacular. That’s just a fancy word for the “slang” we all use.
For example, you could say…
So… do you wanna learn how to write conversationally?
I’m gonna share with ya how to sound like you’re literally talking to someone through the computer screen.
They’ll read your words and be like, woah… that’s Sal! He’s a cool (good looking) dude who lives in Brooklyn, NY. Hit me up ladies!
Hahah, okay, maybe I got a bit carried away right there. But, the lesson stands out!
Use vernacular. Read your writing out loud. Don’t try to sound like an “expert” by being pompous, formal, and strict with your language.
6. Sell The Reader on Reading
This is kind of a weird concept. It took me a while to fully understand it.
I’m a nerdy kinda guy. I love learning new things. I rarely need motivation to learn something knew.
If I want to figure out how to get fit, I’ll read tons of books, watch educational videos, go to the gym, etc.
You might be like this too!
The rest of the world functions a little differently.
The average person must be SOLD on doing something. They have to be persuaded and motivated why they should expend precious energy to do something, in this case, read your blog post.
It’s not enough to just share good information with them. You also have to persuade them to read that information.
This is where “selling the reader on reading” comes into play.
When someone stumbles on a blog post, they are usually looking to achieve something, solve a problem, or gain clarity on a concept.
We can even take THIS very article as an example. If you are reading this article, you’re wondering how to “write better blog posts.”
But, why would you want to write better blog posts? A good little technique is to add the words “so that” to the end of a desire.
“I want to write better blog posts, so that…”
How would YOU fill that sentence in?
You could want to write better, so that you can:
- Get more traffic to your blog
- Persuade people to buy your products
- Emotionally affect people and turn them into raving fans
- Grow your email subscriber list
- Make more money from your writing!
The more I know about your ultimate motivation, the better. Let’s say that you want to earn more money from your writing.
If I wanted to get you to read this blog post with a high degree of attention, I could say…
“I used these VERY SAME writing techniques to compose better blog posts that would go on to generate THOUSANDS of dollars in sales for my business.”
In this example, I’d be using me as the person who got the result from the information I shared in the blog post. I could also use someone else…
“I had one student, Alex ___, who I shared these techniques with six months ago.
Last week, he sent me an email saying he ended up making $4,730 in advertising revenue this month as a DIRECT RESULT of writing better blog posts.
His new posts got him tons of traffic, and now he doesn’t even have to do any more freelancing work!”
The handling of your article will get people’s attention. Your initial text and text throughout the article should continue to “sell” why people should pay close attention to this blog post.
This is a surefire way to develop a close connection with your audience. Rather than skimming your work, they’ll be treating it like their favorite novel.
They’ll be hooked on your every word.
Oh man, I have so many more things to share with you when it comes to writing effective blog posts.
I also want to share with you some easy ways to get traffic and blow up your subscriber list.
I’ve put together a free course on blogging, which you can access at the link down below. You can also join my email list and get notified when I come out with new content.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Until next time!