Blog Writing: Hjow do you write effective ones?

19 replies
I have been wanting to get into blog writing as a part-time job. I was wondering, how do you write effective blog articles?
#blog #effective #hjow #write #writing
  • Profile picture of the author skyblue777
    It really depends what you're writing about but generally just write engaging and highly informative articles. Re-frame the question from "how do I write effective blog articles?" to "how can I give readers valuable information that they can benefit from?".
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Barrington
      This is an area I really struggled with when I first started blogging. I kept hearing "give tons of value, write high quality articles, etc. ad nauseum". But what exactly did that mean?

      What I discovered was that I really didn't know what my reader's wanted to know about, so I couldn't very well give them what they perceived as "quality". I started hanging out around places like answers.yahoo.com and reading all the questions related to my blog topic. This is a great way to generate post ideas, when you have writers block, btw.

      Then I started posting blogs with as much detail and specific instruction as possible. People really responded to it, and they can tell when you're really putting in the effort to help them. Basically, find out what your MARKET considers high quality info, and give it them in the best way possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peterdeg
    Wow, Ok, that is a big question.

    Blog writing is basically marketing. You need to speak to the reader directly, join the conversation in their head and answer their questions. Content needs to be entertaining.

    You can be entertaining by either:

    1) Being Funny (although this is difficult with the written word and if it fails then it really fails)
    2) Being Educational. What do your writers want to know? If they can come away from your blog with 1 piece of extra knowledge, what would suit them best?
    3) Motivational. Everyone likes to have the fire stoked inside of them.

    Einstein once said: "Try not to become a man of success but rather a man of value" and personally I think this is the best piece of advice for a blogger.

    Don't think about how you are going to sell something and monetize your blog, that is something that you can do later, for now you need to add the most value to your readers. This will build trust, keep them coming back and when you do have something to sell, your readers are more likely to accept your recommendation.

    Another Quote I like is from an actress Lisa Kirk which goes back to the point of joining the conversation in your readers head:

    "
    A gossip is one who talks to you about others; a bore is one who talks to you about himself; and a brilliant conversationalist is one who talks to you about yourself"

    So you need to know your readers and speak to them directly. If your target audience is basically people exactly like you, then this is easy. What would you have wanted to know 6 months or a year ago. What did you read that really blew your socks off. Take all this and give it your own spin.

    If you are blogging in a niche that you are not the target audience then this becomes a bit trickier. You still have to write as though you are speaking to 1 person so a little marketing trick that I hear over and over again, which I use, is to create a personality that you are speaking to.

    Here is a quick way that you can do that. Lets say that you are in the gardening niche. A quick look at amazon.com and the first book that comes up is this:

    Amazon.com: The Vegetable Gardener's Bible (10th...Amazon.com: The Vegetable Gardener's Bible (10th...
    This is great info because it even has a picture of a person (likely to be the target audience) on the book. Let's call him Jim.

    Now let's look at the review found most useful by the readers. We can take some information here and apply it to Jim.

    - Jim is 60 years young. Still very active
    - Jim has half an acre of land
    - Jim loves the taste of home grown veg and is into cooking
    - Jim has always had a problem with pests like slugs that ruin his nice veg.
    and so on.

    You now have a clear idea of who Jim is, so write to JIM. Not to a crowd. Just to him. Would he ask you any questions about your content? Would he find it useful, or are you a little bit too basic for Jim the experienced veg grower.

    This is just the basics as how I see them, but if you follow these basic rules then I think you will have a very effective blog. If you want to learn more then head over to copyblogger.com and listen to a few of their podcasts but don't get too bogged down with it at the moment. An effective blog must, first and foremost, be an active blog (or at least populated) so the best thing to do is get on with it.

    Anyway, brain dump over

    Hope this helps in some way.

    best

    Pete


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  • Profile picture of the author crystalq
    Write for the readers and try hit their emotional triggers to buy your stuff or click your ads
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    • Profile picture of the author adamj2
      I would try to solve whatever the specific problem of the reader is and not just give information in general.

      I would also be creative and entertaining and really add value by giving your own opinions on things, even if it is a bit controversial - because then it should start a good debate/conversation in the comments section.

      Yeah I would speak to the reader as an individual ('you') and not speak to the audience as a whole in the 3rd person.

      And in general, just try give value to the reader.

      A good way of doing this is to clearly highlight why the user will benefit from your post in the opening section and outline what problems they will solve/how they will feel much better as a result/what pain will be overcome.

      And then at the end, recap the benefits and problems solved to really give the blog post a theme and a direction.

      I think a good way to add value is to split the blog into a number of clearly actionable steps written in a way that encourages action.

      So the reader has not just been given generic information, they have been presented with the information in such a way so that they feel that they can now go out there and act on it to help overcome their problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author guptaarun
    First thing is that you must think according to user not as a writer. So you think as a lay man or as user if you want to collect information from internet then what do you accept, after that you can write a good blog or articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Kennedy
    This is what I always keep in mind when writing any type of content;

    "Is this what I would want to read?" It's a very simple check but if you wouldn't want to read something, why would you think someone else would? Are you providing enough valuable information? Are you actually helping the reader and not just trying to stuff keywords in?
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  • Profile picture of the author Claire Sharp
    It depends on you style, practice and interest. You should also need to know your readers. In making an article, it is like talking to your audience, giving them information, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexisMoore
    Just a quick little tip: If you break up your writing into small paragraphs of only 2-3 lines it is a little more effective, just because when someone lands on the page it is less intimidating. Plus, it just reads easier that way.

    Good Luck!
    Lexi
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    • Profile picture of the author edelynpoblete
      Originally Posted by AlexisMoore View Post

      Just a quick little tip: If you break up your writing into small paragraphs of only 2-3 lines it is a little more effective, just because when someone lands on the page it is less intimidating. Plus, it just reads easier that way.

      Good Luck!
      Lexi
      yeah, I would have to agree with you... I have also noticed that when I break up my writings into small paragraphs, people get less intimidated and are more likely to stick longer time reading what I write.
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  • Profile picture of the author dannygnenerate
    Originally Posted by edelynpoblete View Post

    I have been wanting to get into blog writing as a part-time job. I was wondering, how do you write effective blog articles?
    Just make sure you are very relative to your article in the article body... Give examples of what to do and not to do... Be very informative and if you don't know something look for it on google to give your readers even more content. Always over deliver. Don't try to sell them anything always overwhelm them with free content and information. They will begin to trust you and like your characteristics. It's a foundation to a healthy friendship between you and the reader you'll make a killer impression. Make sure it's at least 450 words... so write it in microsoft word or a similar program. Make sure you give them a call to action (tell them what to do) Example: Go here, click there, do this, do that. Make sure you do that... In most importantly you need to stay honest... Don't sell or promote anything unless you're very much skilled or a professional at those things. It's easier this way... In the world of internet marketing it's so easy to make money because you can become a professional in things in about 15 or so hours... It took me over 90 hours but hey it doesn't matter. All that matters is that you make sells. Please don't over work yourself this money is to easy to make. Stay positive and GET MOTIVATED!!!

    Best of luck

    Danny
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    • Profile picture of the author edelynpoblete
      Originally Posted by dannygnenerate View Post

      Just make sure you are very relative to your article in the article body... Give examples of what to do and not to do... Be very informative and if you don't know something look for it on google to give your readers even more content. Always over deliver. Don't try to sell them anything always overwhelm them with free content and information. They will begin to trust you and like your characteristics. It's a foundation to a healthy friendship between you and the reader you'll make a killer impression. Make sure it's at least 450 words... so write it in microsoft word or a similar program. Make sure you give them a call to action (tell them what to do) Example: Go here, click there, do this, do that. Make sure you do that... In most importantly you need to stay honest... Don't sell or promote anything unless you're very much skilled or a professional at those things. It's easier this way... In the world of internet marketing it's so easy to make money because you can become a professional in things in about 15 or so hours... It took me over 90 hours but hey it doesn't matter. All that matters is that you make sells. Please don't over work yourself this money is to easy to make. Stay positive and GET MOTIVATED!!!

      Best of luck

      Danny
      Thanks, Danny! Well, it is really easier to promote products or ideas when you are very knowledgeable on what you are writing about.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Barker
    Originally Posted by edelynpoblete View Post

    I have been wanting to get into blog writing as a part-time job. I was wondering, how do you write effective blog articles?

    Hi!

    Shoot me a message if interested but there is a webinar coming up in a week or two on writing effective blog posts and drawing traffic to your blog. I have never seen a webinar from this particular person before but have signed up and I guess I will see what it is all about. I do know that this individual posts some great content, as I am a subscriber!

    Let me know if you are interested!
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Peterdeg gave some great advice on writing to one ideal audience member, along with a really cool way to develop that profile (thanks, Pete).

      The only thing I would add is that you do not want to worry so much about being effective that you take all the flavor out of your writing. Nor do you want to try to pack so much in that it gets confusing.

      At the end of it all though, writing effective blogs is like getting to Carnegie Hall - practice, practice, practice...
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      • "How do you write effective ones?"

        Every day. Without fail.

        You can always go back and revise a post later.

        Most blogs I've seen aren't focused enough. I think a common blogger error is to think that if they limit themselves, they won't be able to think of things to write about. It's actually the other way around. When you have the whole universe to choose from, it's paralyzing. You end up either blocked or choosing a stale topic a zillion other bloggers have already touched on.

        For my blogs, it's easy. I'm writing for the person who is wondering, "If I spend $5 on this link building|royalty-free music|logo creation gig, will the results be worth it?" No one wants to feel like a fool.

        fLufF
        --
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        Fiverr is looking for freelance writers for its blog. Details here.
        Love microjobs? Work when you want and get paid in cash the same day!
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      • Profile picture of the author webwriter
        I agree with everyone so far.

        I also think that the most important thing is that you focus your blog. In other words, don't just blog about vegetables or dogs or weight loss or writing. Focus instead on your take on a given broad subject. For example, one blogger blogged from the standpoint of her dog writing a blog. This perspective not only gave her something to write about, but put her blog head and shoulders over the garden-type variety of blogs on broad subjects.

        The important thing is to avoid the same-old, same-old boring stuff on your blog. You don't want to rehash stuff that is obvious and boring.

        I have learned and am still learning all of this in writing my blogs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Yogini
    I think Pete made a lot of good points about finding out the questions that your readers would like to have answered. On some of my blogs the comments people leave provide popular questions. Also, if you have a newsletter, you can encourage people to ask you what questions they have or what their concerns are on the topic.

    I also find that looking at recent news posts in yahoo or google are helpful to see the trends in the niche as well as latest findings. For instance, I was checking the news today on baby boomers and there were news posts about baby boomers growing in the rv lifestyle as well as another post about anxiety around retirement decisions.

    Debbie
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