Tips To Make Your Blog Posts Less Boring
Boring blogs aren’t written by boring people, they are written by people who don’t have a lot of experience or confidence in their writing. We can fix that. You can make your blog posts less boring just by knowing a few simple tricks about effective writing skills...
For your content marketing strategy to be effective, your blog posts need to be enticing, engaging and rewarding for readers. If they are falling asleep halfway through a paragraph, you’ve missed the mark and lost your lead.
Boring blogs aren’t written by boring people, they are written by people who don’t have a lot of experience or confidence in their writing. We can fix that. You can make your blog posts less boring just by knowing a few simple tricks about effective writing skills.
Before you get started, there’s just ONE thing to keep in mind; Your audience.
Who your target audience dictates how you tell your story, what level of humour you use, how many stats you need as proof and what type of examples you draw on.
If you are writing a clinical piece as a doctor talking to other doctors, it will be worded very differently to a doctor talking to a patient. You need to know who your audience is to be able to make those adjustments and talk specifically to that person.
Usually, your audience is pretty similar to you (or who you were five years ago) so “just be yourself” is pretty good advice in this instance. It’s also the most comfortable and confident place to write from.
Here are some ways you can ramp up your writing and present your blog information so it is interesting and holds attention, right to the end.
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Make it a story
The reason that the storytelling format has been used for so long is that it works.
Stories activate our brains and get us involved on a very personal level. We can’t help but place ourselves in the scene as we’re reading. We experience the same emotions and get caught up in the highs and lows of the writing.
The science behind this is simply survival. It’s a way of experiencing an event and going through a situation without any risk, but we still get the lesson. So if someone in the tribe is attacked by a bear and lives to tell the tale, everyone who hears that story (and they will be happy to tell it many times) will understand how to escape a bear. This is why morals in stories work especially well; we actually learn through listening to or reading someone else’s experience, even if it’s fictional.
A story also activates the motor cortex, the part of the brain responsible for voluntary muscular movement, which is why we jump or cover our eyes in an intense movie. Our brains really believe we are there.
Your story doesn’t need to be a novel. Short, simple stories (anecdotes) are great ways to give your readers a sense of what it’s like to be in your shoes and learn from your skills and experiences.
Be crystal clear
If your blog is confusing, you are going to lose people quickly. Nobody is interested in doing a lot of work to read, the work comes internally when dissecting the information and applying it to their individual lives.
If you use difficult or fancy words just to sound more authoritative, it’s going to backfire. Big difficult words will only make your blog difficult to read. Fancy analogies will only make it ambiguous and dilute your point. Stick to the facts and tell the truth. People will be able to absorb that quickly and relate to what you are saying, that’s what makes it interesting.
Clear and simple is the best way to convey your message. It should read like you were having a conversation with someone.
Do whatever you can to get your point across in the clearest way possible. Use everyday examples, provide graphs and illustrations if you have them and use bullet points.
Bullet points are effective in blog writing because they are:
- and clean
The best way to know how easy your writing is to understand is to read the blog aloud to yourself when you are done. If you are tripping over your own tongue or having to pause to figure out how to read it (or what the point is) you are not clear enough. Write those parts again to be simple and direct.
When you can read the blog from top to bottom in a smooth and easy way, you know you have written something that others can read easily and enjoy.
Use first-person voice
Look to write in whatever form is most comfortable for you. This gives your blogs more flow and makes them easier for your reader to engage with.
Writing in a style you know gives you confidence and allows your writing to be clear and easy to understand because you don’t overthink it.
We tell stories every day to the people around us. Most people don’t realise just how much practice they get telling stories. When we discuss our day, our ideas and our experiences with others, we use the first person, “I” and, “me”.
“I was driving along the freeway to work and just before I got to the tunnel entrance there was a loud grating noise and the car in front of me lost its rear bumper. Thank god it didn’t happen in the tunnel or my car would be an iron omelette right now.’
This is telling a story in the first person and it’s natural. It’s the way we talk.
When there is an “I”, there is automatically a “You” as well, “When I tell you this, you are not going to believe it!”
The first-person voice is comfortable not just for you, but for your readers as well. As much as you are used to telling a story in “I” they are used to listening to stories like this too.
Inside the first-person story, you can also have a third person character. This works really well for examples and explaining how a situation might unfold. “My sister Susan was in a similar situation. Suzanne found she went from drinking just a glass of wine every now and then to…”
Introducing a third person is a great way to mix it up and add some punch, but what really makes this work is that person’s connection to you, it gives it relevance and makes it personal. Susan is your sister, your reader is connected to her through your connection. They care about Susan because you do.
Explain what’s coming
Your reader doesn’t want to wade through a heap of stories in order to know what you are getting at.
Be upfront somewhere in your introduction about the blog’s purpose and what the reader is going to get from it. It can be a hint, you don’t need to give away the prize, but let them know what the prize is for reading on.
“In this blog, I’ll take you through the steps you need to troubleshoot common IT issues so you can get back into your business website faster.”
This is also a great way to remind yourself to bring value to the reader. Your article should be based on something they need or something that will be helpful to them.
95% of the blog should be about giving out free advice and sharing your expertise, with only 5% about you seeking them as customers. If it was a cold sale blog, what is their motivation for reading?
If they like the information and it’s useful to them, it positions you as a valuable and trustworthy brand and encourages them to reach out and connect with your business down the track.
Forget about word count
In search engine algorithms, blogs that are longer are given more credit. That’s for a one really simple reason: when you know what you are talking about (i.e. it’s what you do, it’s your area of expertise) you will have plenty to say and plenty to offer your readers.
When you are writing on a subject you know a lot about it will be highly valuable to your reader.
If you are writing less than 600 words, you can’t possibly have given readers anything of value, there is just not enough information there for them to take home. To avoid that all you need to do is talk about something you are passionate about and you have a lot of experience in. You will very naturally have a lot to say and it will become a longer piece of writing by default.
If you are focussed on word count, you put pressure on yourself to put more words down, even if they are not relevant. The worst thing you can do is tease your reader by avoiding the point and dragging things out.
The point is what they have come to you for, so give it to them as quickly as you can and spend time explaining how they can use this information for themselves to solve a problem or improve how they live.
Write everything you have to say about your topic and put energy into making what you say clear and easy to read. When you have everything written out, that’s when you check your word count (although, honestly it really doesn’t matter). If you are talking about something that matters to you or something you work on every day, you will easily have in excess of 600 words, most likely around 1000 words, which is perfect.
If you have gone ‘overboard’ and you have 3000 words or more, that’s just more value.
Just make sure you aren’t saying the same thing over and over again, because that will have your reader tuning out, but if you have that much genuine information to share with them, all the better.
Follow a clear path
As you go through your information you will move from one topic to another. What you say in each topic needs to flow and have a link that relates to the overall point of the blog.
You need to be really clear about the path you take.
Start with an introduction that highlights what you are talking about and why it’s important. Then explain what they will get from your article.
Break up your different topics into headings and subheadings so it’s clear when you are changing track and showing the reader what comes next.
E.g. now that you know how processing works, it’s time to talk about your strategies for output
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You will then need to introduce the next subject by explaining what it is and how it is important.
Make Breaks and Space
If you present your reader with a slab of text they will instantly tune out. If it looks too hard, they won’t even give it a go.
Break up your text as much as possible into headings, subheadings, quotes, numbered lists, bullet lists and white space between paragraphs, so they can see that it’s small bite-sized pieces.
Even the font you use will help make your blog look approachable. Look for a clear font with lots of space around it so each letter is defined.
Overall it’s the same amount of information, but this way they can see where to rest, where to take breaks and how to read it slowly because you have presented the information in a way that allows that to happen.
Pictures and images are also a great way to soften a slab of text, engage a different part of your reader’s brain and keep things interesting. Just make sure you have optimized your images so they load quickly and don’t slow down your web pages.
If your sentences are too long, the point gets lost and your reader tunes out. Make your sentences short and direct so your reader can keep up with what you are saying and read it easily.
A full stop is a pause. It allows your reader to take a breath and compute what you have said. If your sentence is overly long, your reader runs out of breath and will have forgotten what the point was (if they bother to reach the end). Mostly, we skip ahead and jump to the next line when things get too much on the page. That means readers miss a bulk of what you were trying to tell them.
Keep it short and simple so they can internalise that step and get started on the next one.
Great writing isn’t about being fancy, evocative or stylish, it’s about being clear, clean and to the point so the information you have jumped off the page and into your reader’s lives. That alone will motivate them and inspire them to make positive changes in their life to do things differently and get better results. Results they will credit to you! That’s what makes it interesting.
When a reader can see how this is relevant to them and how this can change their day, that’s something to get excited about.
Be natural. You already know what you are talking about, you already know why it’s important, you already know how to tell a story. Relax and get into the flow, put aside anything that will cause distractions and pretend you are in a room or on a stage in front of people delivering this information. Write it out exactly as you would say it face-to-face.
Sharing your life experience in the most genuine and easy way will give you everything you need to make connections and have an impact through your blogs.
If you would like help with your article writing, reach out to us today and we’ll help turn your content from boring to brilliant!