Tell A Story
It may be a story about how you apply your foundation, but it can still have a flow that involves a beginning, middle and an end. So often I read posts that jump all over the place and give me a headache, when actually they've got something really interesting to say if they just re-organised their words a little. My top tip is to always include an opening paragraph that sets the scene and welcomes the reader into the story you're about to tell, followed by a couple of chunks of analysis/commentary and a summary paragraph to finish. This ensures a natural flow and that your reader knows exactly what you're trying to tell them; there's not necessarily a need to draw a conclusion, but even ending on a question or piece of commentary just gives a blog post a natural and comfortable end.
Check Your Spelling And Grammar
Although I've never been the best at spelling (thank goodness for spellcheck,) I do have a thing about grammar. I like to write the way I read, so punctuating with commas and semicolons can be an incredibly useful tool; breaking up sentences and joining relevant information together helps provide clarity to your words and ensures a blog post is easy to digest. Checking over your spelling quickly before you publish also provides a slick of professionalism, giving the impression you really care about your writing and that you've read it over before hitting the publish button. Although we all make the occasional error that's not picked up by that dreaded red underline, re-reading and editing can go a long way in ensuring your content is top-notch.
Break It Up
Nothing is more daunting than a block of text that goes on as far as the eye can see. Humans are fundamentally lazy, so writing one long piece of content will seem like too much effort and inevitably cause readers to click away. Introducing short and digestible paragraphs (breaking up your ideas or different topics within a post into separate sections,) makes your writing easier to read and easier to comprehend. If you need to fiddle about with the layout or change the way you pull posts together, so be it - it will provide far more benefit to you than you can imagine.
Refer To Personal Experiences
Anybody can talk about a bottle of shampoo, but your experiences and opinions are what makes that bottle of shampoo much more interesting. I like to set a scene by talking about the history of a brand, my previous experience of a product or why I'm so interested in a particular category; it helps my readers to feel like I'm an actual person, rather than a robot punching out blog posts with no emotion behind them.The appeal of blogs is also in the relationship the reader has with the author, feeling like they know them personally and can relate to their words. Sharing a little bit of yourself will help build a rapport and ensure readers come back for more.
Discussing the scent, texture and longevity of a product is far more interesting than just saying it was nice. Describing the feel of a fabric, the fit of a dress or the emotions an outfit stirs in you is so much more engaging than twenty pictures of you in it. Delving deeper within your chosen topic and describing as much detail as possible really helps your reader to understand and relate to what you're telling them, rather than stating details they can read from the back of a bottle. I read a lot of blog posts that leave me asking 'but WHY did you like it?' and 'how did it make you FEEL?' - that's why I'm there, not to digest a chunk of a press release written to sell product.
Sign It Off
I believe all blog posts should finish with a little summary sign-off, just to finish the story in your reader's mind and make them feel satisfied by what you've told them. A conclusion, summary of what you've just reported, reflective comment or simply a question, goes a long way in leaving a lingering feeling of satisfaction. If your objective is to build engagement or increase the number of comments, sign off with a sentence that asks for that - it's inevitable that readers feel more inclined to leave their own thoughts if they're asked to do so.
Do you have any top tips for writing better blog posts? Do you strive to always continuously improve? How do you ensure your producing content to the best of your ability?