Whether you’re blogging to increase visibility online, or you’re blogging to build credibility, or for another reason entirely, you want to make your content as readable and shareable as possible. Follow these tips while blogging for your business.
Write for People, not search engines
Search engine optimization is about making your site easy for Google to read and classify, so yes, fill in the title tag and description tag in the content management system. Use your keyword in the blog title as well as the title and description tags. Also use your keyword at least once in the first few lines of text on your page, but beyond that, don’t get too crazy about SEO. Your best bet for content that ranks is to write for people, not search engines. When you write for search engines, and stuff your post with keywords, not only does your post read badly, but you risk even getting penalized by Google. Remember, all Google is trying to do is to simulate a human experience—and it’s getting smarter all the time. Your best bet is to write for people.
Simple sentences work best Online. Flowery prose with lots of adjectives, not so much. Same for really big words. People read quickly Online. It’s important that your information be digestible. That’s not to say you should dumb stuff down, but at the same time, don’t go out of your way to sound smart or poetic for that matter. Clear, clean and simple translates to understandable, and will get you further in terms of building trust with your audience.
Don’t write about yourself
Unless it’s a personal blog for your friends to read, you don’t need to write about yourself. Unless, of course, you are a public figure whose life is of particular interest to an audience. It’s better to provide information that your readers will find useful for their own lives. Share your knowledge about what they’re interested in. Sharing your genuine knowledge helps people to respect you.
Break up the text
People search and scan content online. When someone sees a huge block of text on a web page, they tend to close the site and just move on to the next result. Having text broken up by section breaks, or bolded text, or to present bulleted or numbered lists makes your copy more palatable and people are more likely to dive in and start reading.
Images are a nice touch to a blog. Just be sure you have the rights to use the images. While it is tempting, it’s not recommended that you simply pull images from Google images with no regard for whether you are breaching a copyright. It’s better to try one of the free stock photo libraries. We like stock.xchng.
Bonus tip. Know your audience
Many people don’t really think about who their audience is, and it’s actually a crucial element to addressing your reader effectively. Take the time to think through who your reader is, think of them in terms of being a real person, not a demographic. Think through what your readers want to know about, and what will be helpful for them to know.