Writing blog articles or posts is advantageous. The process allows for personal expression and creativity. It’s also perfect for sharing knowledge and experiences. Blogs that accept reader feedback in the comments feature to improve user engagement and provide inspiration for the blog content. Is there a right or wrong way to write a blog? This of course depends greatly on why the blog article is being written and the niche of the blog itself. Academia use blogs and so too do businesses. How you write for a blog depends on its niche and audience. Blogs do not face the same level of scrutiny as academic writing or business ‘white papers’; however, that doesn’t mean you should be encouraged to publish poor quality content. Here are a few tips for writing content for a blog or website:
How to Write a Catchy Headline for your Post
Headlines are significant for your blog post, as they are the first thing anybody sees when they come to your blog (or run a search). Writers advise writing the headline last, as that will allow you to properly understand what is going on in the article, and so you will be able to write a better headline.
Headlines are doubly important if you are going advertising, since often a headline is the only thing which will appear in the search. So they need to catch people’s attention, and make them want to click through and read what you have to say.
Formats of Content
The online world has given rise to a huge number of formats for information and ideas – blogs can have anything from articles to videos to so-called infographics in them to convey information. Articles of various kinds are still the main type of content you will find on most blogs, however, as that is still the most familiar to us.
Articles can themselves take a variety of forms. While blogs are normally characterised as more informal than other forms of communication, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Articles on blogs can be either formal or informal as the writer chooses, and as short as they choose to. One particular appeal of a blog is that it opens up new methods of writing that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
How to Organize an Article
The above being said, organizing an article usually follows the already agreed-upon rules of the organization. Having a definite introduction and conclusion, having well-thought-out body paragraphs to present your argument, and having a good hook that draws people in are necessary for blog writing.
It doesn’t matter that blogs can encourage more informal writing than they otherwise would; they still need to make sense to the reader, and they still need to justify why people should spend time reading them in the first place.
Online Tools for Grammar Checking
There is an ever-increasing number of sites and apps which can be used to check your grammar and spelling before posting to a blog of any kind. They can all check for different things, so it can be good to test a few of them out to see what suits you before you really decide on one in particular.
- Grammarly.com – checks your grammar and syntax and alerts you to potential plagiarism.
- Grammarcheck.net – this site checks for problems with spelling and punctuation, as well as for any of the typical grammar problems.
- Languagetool.org – this checks for the grammar errors but also highlights stylistic issues with the writing to show people where they are going wrong.
Online content may not have to follow such strict rules, as it would offline, but thinking that this means there are no rules is a mistake. Online writing still needs to be able to convey ideas accurately, and having a recognisable structure is one way to do that. The level of formality is not the issue here; what is needed is attention to what the point of the article is, how the article is going to address that point, and what it is going to say.
Online writing is getting more and more beholden to keyword usage, also known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The reason for this is that keywords determine how many search engines find blogs and articles online. SEO is the process of finding the appropriate keywords for each article and making sure that they are used several times throughout – this means that search engines will be more likely to find the article (and, by extension, the blog) when running searches. The article will be seen by more people.
Don’t Overuse Keywords
While keywords are important, don’t use them too much – people will end up being put off by too many keywords, as it will mess up the flow of your work. Also, if people become frustrated, they will leave. It is that simple.
Hyperlink to Sources
One major advantage of the online world is that it is very easy to reference other works, particularly if they are directly related to your own.
Unlike offline, where people have to construct a reference page entirely from scratch, the online world allows you to use hyperlinks to link directly to the source you are using. These hyperlinks can either be within the body of the text itself, or they can be at the end of the text, with a small reference to check at the end of the article within the body.
Update Your Links
Following on from the hyperlink discussion, remember to keep your links updated! Websites can disappear, people can clean up their houses and websites, and links can change. Your credibility is only as good as your references unless you yourself are an expert, so make sure that you keep your links updated. If people come to your website and find that any links to other sources are dud, then they will most likely look elsewhere for the information they need.
Keep Things Moving
One particular feature of online content is that it needs to actively work to keep attention. Remember that there are a million and one other sites and articles all available at someone’s fingertips if they don’t like your work. Don’t let them get to that point – keep them focused on what you’ve written.
Online writing is different from offline writing, but writing is easy to pick up and use. This article contains some tips to help point readers in the right direction of what to do, but there is a lot more out there to read if you want to go further in-depth with your work.