Every once in awhile I will go back and reread some of my old posts to see how my writing has progressed and changed over time. One of the things that I’ve noticed is that my posts tend to have a repetitive style, which is fine, I guess, but blogging is about keeping people interested enough to actually read your posts and that means changing things up. That’s what lead me to write this post “How To Be A Better Blogger“. I gathered information on what I liked about all my favorite blogs and this is what they all had in common.
1. Be Real, Be You
All of the blog writers that I love have one major thing in common, they all have a way of creating and displaying voice in their writing. It gives the reader a sense that they are actually speaking and listening to the writer, giving them a unique personality in the readers mind. One of the easiest ways to display voice in writing is to write as if you were writing to a dear friend. Being honest about yourself and your experiences is crucial in building a relationship and trust with your readers. They want to know that they posts are coming from a real person, living real experiences. Your readers want you, not a well-polished version of yourself.
2. Be Descriptive
Whenever you’re in a new location, or meeting a new person, or trying a new dish take subtle notes, and be observant. It’s one of the easiest ways to bring life into your writing. When you’re in a new place make note of the weather, the smells, the flow of traffic, the fauna, the architecture, etc. Every little detail possible will make it feel like the readers are there. If you’re describing a person point out the color of their hair and eyes, the sound of their voice, the small mannerisms they make. When trying new dishes describe the first smells and tastes as they hit your tongue, describe the textures and temperature sensations. Every little detail will help your readers paint a better picture in their heads as they’re reading along.
3. Take/Use Pictures
Pictures create focal points on a page and give deeper understanding and imagery to the readers. Whenever possible, you should try and provide a picture whenever you’re describing a place, dish, person, experience, etc. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
4. Break It Up
The eye likes white space on pages. When you’re writing longer posts, try and make use of paragraphs, page breaks, and bolding to help the eye flow better across the page and active throughout the post.
5. Use Lists
Bloggers love lists. Its an easy and effective way to display information in a simple to read format. It also enables the writer to posts large sums of information in one post while still breaking it down so the reader doesn’t get bored on the page. Clearly, I enjoy using lists as well.
6. Create a Flow
This should be obvious, but your posts need to have a solid flow to them. They can’t be jumping around from one story to the other. If that tends to happen a lot, try breaking your posts up into a series of smaller posts. Like I did with my “Thailand/Cambodia” series. It’ll enable you to be able to tell a thorough, complete story without boring your readers to death with a 50,000 word post. Creating this flow between posts will also enable you to post more often, drawing more readers to your site.
7. Find References
If you’re ever posting something that displays information about a subject, it’ll make your writing sound more credible if you’re able to research secondary sources (and site them properly) to bring more outside knowledge to your post from a credit source. Of course it’s not going to be your writing but if you’re able to link it to the information that you’re trying to get across and credit the original author properly, citations can make your work pop with helpful, reliable information.
8. Insert Links
Again, this is an obvious one, but when you’re posting about other sites, have the link to that site embedded into your post so that readers are able to click on the link and see the site for themselves. Again, building your credibility and citing those that deserve it. Embedding links is a super easy way to draw more traffic to a different site or encourage your readers to check out something they normally wouldn’t otherwise.
9. Be Supportive
One of the most important aspects of blogging is to be supportive of your fellow bloggers. When other bloggers post articles, read them, and give your feedback. It’s one of the easiest ways to help other bloggers grow.
10. Interact with your community
This one kind of goes in line with #9. Whenever you make a post and get responses and questions back on your articles, interact with those interacting with you. If someone compliments you, thank them. If someone asks a question, answer it with all honesty. If someone leaves derogatory statements, shut them down politely and tell them that that sort of conduct will not be accepted. In simple terms: read and be read.
Again, this is just a list of tips that I find helpful for myself and is by no means a guideline of what you should post. As a blogger, you have the freedom and creativity to post whatever comes to mind. That is what makes blogging so exciting.
Thanks for reading bloggers and remember any and all questions or comments are encouraged.