This post is part of the ‘What we wish I knew when I first started Blogging’ Series. Below I’ll share readers comments on the topic of Writing Excellent Blog Content as well as some of my own thoughts.
One of the most key aspects of any successful blog is the ability to create content that keeps drawing people back to your blog. I’ve written so many posts on this topic and know that ‘excellent blog content’ means something different on every blog – as a result I won’t pretend that what I write in this post will be a definitive guide to writing great blog content.
However I can tell you five things that I wish I knew in my early days of blogging about writing content (with a few links for further reading).
5 Things I Wish I’d Known Earlier about Writing Content for a Blog
- The Power of Titles – the title has the ability make or break a blog post. It impacts how (and if) it’s found in search engines and social bookmarking sites, it influences whether people visit your blog in News Readers, it affects whether people leave a comment and is vital in whether people actually read what you have to say. Read more about using Titles Effectively on Blogs.
- The Viral Nature of Lists – a single well written list post can launch a blog to great heights in the blogosphere. While the prolific nature of lists in the blogosphere can also mean your lists get ignored, I find that when writing the same content as a list that you write as an essay like article the list will almost always get more attention. Read more about why lists are great for getting traffic to your blog.
- The Importance of Being Original – perhaps the best lesson that I ever learned as a bloggers was that people are drawn to others who speak their mind, who have something unique to say and who say it in a creative and fresh way. Say what everyone else is saying in the same way that everyone else is saying it and you’re almost guaranteed of being largely ignored. Read more about how to avoid joining the echo chamber and saying something original.
- The Value of Well Formated Content – people don’t read content on line in the same way that they read content in other mediums. Online readers tend to scan content. As a result if you place visual cues in your posts that draw the eye to important points you’ll find people stick with you longer into your posts. Read more on How to make your content Scannable
- The Impact of a Good Image – another simple technique for providing an additional point of interest in your posts is to provide something visual. I don’t use images in every post on this blog but find that when I do that those clicking through on the post in my feed reader increases. Images have the power to communicate in ways that words cannot – use them. Read more on Using images to make your posts POP in RSS feeds.
More Resources for Writing Excellent Blog Content
- 6 Months of Blog Post Ideas (180 blog post ideas) – available in the ProBlogger FREE Member Library (register/login to access)
- 7-Day FREE Content Sprint – in this mini-course I will guide you via video tutorials to create a plan and 6 new pieces of content for your blog in just 7 days
- Content Sprint Series – 3 x mini-courses to guide you in creating a plan and 6 new and different pieces of content for your blog in just 7 days (18 pieces of content over 21 days)
- Create Content Course – my first of four Pillars of Blogging. By the end of this course you will understand: who you are creating content for; your unique ‘voice’; how to generate ideas, create and (importantly) finish content; as well as how to sustain this process so that you can have a successful blog over the long term.
Reader Comments on Writing Excellent Blog Content
There are plenty of other lessons I could talk about – but I think my readers have even better insights. Here’s some of their comments on the topic of writing content and what they wish they’d know in the early days of their blogging:
D writes – “Understood the true importance of titles before writing the first post.”
Crazykinux writes – “Great content attracts visitors. Post, post, post!…. Having enough great content takes awhile; we’re talking in months people here, not days.”
NetBusinessBlogger writes – “Posting original content! I started blogging to make money. I created around 30 blogs (i don’t hesitate calling them spam blogs)…. At some point, you start realizing that this method of earning money is not life long as the traffic never grows. Once the visitor comes to know that the content is plagiarized, he is never going to come back! Today I’m happy that I’ve deleted all those spam blogs and currently I’m working on just 2-3 blogs which have genuine original content written by me. Its a great feeling to see your blog grow!”
Deb writes – “There is room for ‘my style’ within the general acceptable practices of blogging.”
SEO Expert Blog writes – “I wish I knew that it is much better to write 1 or 2 high quality posts a week than 1 or 2 medium quality posts a day.”
Arjun writes – “I think the single most important thing I learned over time was that I needed to write content that had value. I know it sounds obvious and stupid, but initially I wrote a lot of long articles that were more for me than anyone else.”
alam writes – “Using draft and future posting effectively.”
Lisa writes – “Keep the posts short!”
Tara writes – “I wish I would have known that it’s really OK to get raw and blog from the heart.”
Principles of Marketing writes – “Being a lot better at keeping on target is the one thing I wish I could have learned when I first started”
Bret writes – “I wished I had just focused more on producing content on a regular predictable basis. I’ve gone through a week here and there where I just didn’t have time to post. If I had a reserve of posts to draw from I could have filled those low stops with something ready to do. I feel that the dry spells had a negative impact on my slowly growing readership. I would highly recommend to all new bloggers to create a stock pile of posts ready to fill the dry spells and to just focus on establishing a good routine for creating content. Once you have that, go ahead and start to focus on other aspects of your blog.”
Margie writes – “Just because someone else has written about it does not mean you should not write about it too, because your post may offer information or insights that the reader has not encountered before.” and “Also, I wish I would have known that creating a blog post can be like an appellate brief, sometimes you just have to wade in. Start with an idea or a link and research and let it grow as you find more info, edit out earlier stuff, etc. Just wading in is more productive than staring at your blank screen in fear! And when you get done, after a bunch of ‘drafts’ you usually have something decent.”
Danielle writes – “Read blogs. I wrote my first month’s worth of posts without reading another blog. Once I started reading blogs, I learned about the importance of layout and text formatting from my own reading experiences…..Less is more. Concise and clear writing captures a larger audience. Too much flashiness in blog design take any from the content. Catergory tags should be kept to the minimum keeping the ‘feel’ of a blog more focused especially true for personal blogs….. Memes increase your audience. The weekly memes such as Wordless Wednesday, Thursday Thirteen and Manic Monday can be consciously utilized for your own niche and bring a wider range of readers to your blog. I have gained a fair amount of ‘regular’ readers through utilizing memes.”
Tanya writes – “I wish I knew that it takes so much time. It’s different when youre in school – you have that time, but with a full time job and two blogs at which I ‘should’ post daily – I’m tired all the time.”
BenQ writes – “Not to ever worry what friends and family think! I wish I would’ve known straight from the beginning not to be scared to blog about certain subjects.”
What do you wish you knew about writing good content on a blog when you first started blogging?