H is for How to Bring the Fire to a Bland Blog Post
When I first started the whole blogging thing, I hadn’t done any research on the types of blogs that were well-received. I was under the misconception blog posts were supposed to be in a novel format and were to be read like a book. It didn’t take me long to realize that people love blogs with visual appeal, concise text, and helpful and/or entertaining information. The online environment differs significantly from the offline arena, and if you do a few simple things on your posts, your blog will be more attractive to readers. They will also be more inclined to stay longer and read more of your posts, and we all love that, right?
Here are a few great ways to spice up a bland blog post:
1. Include images in your posts
Whereas people are content to read a book without images, depending solely on the artistic wording of the author, they do not prefer to read blog posts without images. Even if you add only one image to each post, readers will be more eager to read what you have to share. Always make sure to add an appealing caption to each image you use, because this serves to further draw people in and make them more interested in the text.
2. Avoid large chunks of text
Rather than formatting a blog post like a manuscript, make sure to separate the text into easy-to-digest paragraphs. Even better is to try to include a header for each main point you are making within the post. Keep in mind, most people reading blog posts are simply skimming for pertinent information, and if it is not readily accessible in a concise format, they will click away from your blog and go elsewhere to find what they’re looking for. Putting together posts in this format might seem a little rigid and may feel like it’s stunting your creativity a bit, but it is unfortunately the nature of the beast. Don’t misunderstand, it’s your blog to do as you wish and I’m not telling you what you have to do, but I AM telling you what I know works.
3. Avoid passive voice as often as possible.
The way we speak is often in more of a passive voice, but we can still maintain conversations with benefit of tone, inflection, and other ways to express ourselves verbally. With blog posts, we don’t have that luxury. Unless it is a video blog (which there are tricks to keeping interest on those to be discussed in a later post in the series), the reader is only able to read the words you have written. Make those words dynamic, engaging, and appealing. Think actionable verbs.
4. Don’t shy away from controversy.
I’m going to make a statement that will probably unsettle some bloggers, especially if they are living in theunreality of a world consisting only of sunshine, rose petals, and unicorns. This might even be hard to believe, but No matter how wonderful you are, there is going to be someone who dislikes–and possibly hates–you. While this might be considered negative, it actually works in your favor. This gives you the freedom to blog about whatever you want, and you can be as passionate and controversial as you wish. As a matter of fact, passion will keep you from being a boring blogger (unless your passion is something like the durability of spandex or something equally stupid). Passion and controversy often lead to more blog followers, and if they love you they’ll want to read more. If they hate you, they’ll probably read more than your fans. True story. ThinkHoward Stern. No, he’s not a blogger, but it’s the exact same concept.
5. Think outside the text.
Blog posts don’t always have to be solely written masterpieces. Don’t be afraid to throw in videos on music, tips, or other informational tidbits to complement your posts. Changing things up will keep readers more engaged and interested in your blog. Here’s a cool little video called “6 Ways to Write an Interesting Blog Post.” Ironically, he makes many similar points, and I thought I’d share it to change things up a bit for you. Enjoy!
That’s all I have for this installment of the Blogging Basics Series. What would you add to this list to bring the fire to a bland blog post? Tell me in the comments!