Becoming good at writing requires practice, effort and skill. Great writers are focused more on the substance of their work rather than spelling, grammar or citations. Those elements of writing are not forgotten, but great blog writers know substance matters most.
If you want to learn how to “Hurt Your Writing” then you are in the wrong place. By the time you finish reading this article you will know what great content is, why you need it on your blog, and a few tips on how to actually write it.
What is Great Blog Content?
First things first. Let’s talk about what great content is.
Great blog content is essentially posts written and crafted with excellent quality. The post has a purpose and shares this easily and openly with its readers. Along with a purpose good content includes visually stimulating material that is easily navigated by the user. Great content can include lists, images, video and a number of other formatting techniques to highlight your message.
Well written content is linked to, tweeted and Dugg by online users because it is useful, funny, insightful or maybe even odd. Great content increases the value of your blog and likelihood that visitors will return to see your next article.
In summary, writing good content is your best way of bring life to your blog through traffic and visitors.
I read an older article on Problogger exemplifying what good content is and what it can do for your blog. The post was about the importance of “Pillar Articles“. Pillar articles are the foundation of your blog, providing constant traffic and online authority. The article describes the importance of pillar articles because of their passive traffic benefits. Meaning your article brings in visitors from search engines without you having to hunt it down yourself.
There is however 1 primary key to making Pillar Articles that I learned from this experience. Post about what you want to know or learn… The key is that if I’m curious about that, there has to be other people that are curious as well.
Like pillar articles, writing great content will build traffic and increase your authority on your blog topic. Well written posts increase your professionalism and the respect of other bloggers as well which might get you links from their blogs.
Why Write Great Content
Let’s discuss why you should write well-written content whether you are naturally a greater writer or not. Traffic is definitely one of these important reasons for writing well. Bloggers can always use more visitors to their blogs.
In researching this topic (research is important to create well written content) I found an excellent article from Maki over at Dosh Dosh outlining why new bloggers should write excellent content right away. The four “amazing” reasons Maki gives apply to every blogger:
- You want to market the best material possible. In other words don’t hold back and let visitors see the best that you have the first time they visit.
- You can always create more great content later. If you are blogging about a topic you are interested in or love, you can always come up with more excellent content.
- Remarkable articles define your blog immediately. In other words, the first time visitors take a look at your blog they think “man this person really knows what they are talking about”. Then they come back whenever they are looking for something on the subject. They also tell their friends!
- Extensive articles provide reference points. An example of this is our Blogging Guide , its a great resource and whenever we want to reference a valuable resource its there. So we are always pushing links to this content.
Writing great content is the foundation of your blogging. It should be creative and interesting for both you to write and your readers to view. When you do this you will find that readers will come back to your blog, comment on new posts and even write emails and follow you on Twitter.
Your great content will build a community around your blog in which your content will have provided the attraction. With this community will come links, increased traffic and eventually increased earnings. The why seems like the easiest part of the process to understand… It’s everything you are already looking for.
How to Write Great Content
The most challenging part of writing good content is learning how. Disciple and effort will help you to take your time writing your best material every time you post. Although posting often is best, writing quality posts far outweighs quantity. Through practice your writing will improve as you apply the following principles from some of the best bloggers on the web.
I turn to a great post written by Leo Babuata discussing 4 Points to Make You an Excellent Writer. In the article the main point was discussed quickly and simply, “give the readers what they want”.
This is the most important thing to remember when learning how to write great content. Along with Leo’s main argument he provides 4 points to increase your abilities to provide this.
- Be extremely useful – to me this meant provide the resources readers are looking for
- Write great headlines – Look for more on this below from Daniel
- Make the Post Scannable - Design the content in a way that readers can quickly find the information they are looking for without having to dig through the post sentence by sentence. One way to do this is by adding in-post navigation links.
- Write in a plain, concise, conversational style – Each person has their own…
To explain Leo’s 2nd point I am going to briefly explain Daniel Scocco’s article from The Daily Blog Tips about “Writing your titles carefully and after the post“.
Daniel explains that your titles sell your post and so even if the content is amazing it wont matter if people never click on your post’s title to read them. This is why a hand-crafted title should accompany every post you write.
To do this, Daniel gives two tips. The first is to wait to write your title or headline until after you have written your post. Second, spend some time brainstorming the best title. When brainstorming think about what you just wrote, your purpose, and how you would describe your article to a friend in only 3-7 words. For more help read this incredible resource Alex put together “18 Resources to Help You Write Better Headlines”.
The last bit of advice for writing good content on your blog is to focus on clarity. Copyblogger provides a few pointers on doing just that.
First, if readers do not understand what you write, you might as well of not written anything at all. Second, tell them what your going to tell them. What? This just means that your post clearly describes its purpose. For example, in this article I wrote early on my purpose is to teach you what, why and how to write good content. Then I followed that pattern throughout the post.
Lastly, use analogies or metaphors to explain difficult ideas. Copyblogger gives these as an example:
Plato made a set of complex philosophical ideas timeless and accessible by presenting them as a story of prisoners trapped in a cave. The result was his Allegory of the Cave, which went on to provide the philosophical underpinnings of The Matrix more than 2,500 years later.
Warning: not spending enough time on getting the analogy right can make readers more confused then when they started. Make sure if you use analogies, similes, or metaphors you have spent considerable time developing and explaining them.
Now you’ve read the “what”, “why” and “how”‘s of writing good content. Start practicing it now in your next post. If you follow the tips described in this post your blog will find greater success and you’ll be more satisfied with the quality of your blog.