Blogging is easy. Being a good blogger – well – that’s another story.
Becoming a successful blogger takes a little more effort than simply sitting down at a computer and typing the first 500 words that come to mind.
Blogging’s many benefits are well-known: it gets your message out to a global audience, expands your network, builds your authority, improves your writing and more.
Many, many, more.
Check out these 25 reasons listed by Reji Stephenson in 25 advantages of blogging for inspiration. If you are considering blogging for business, Marcus Sheridan lists off a whopping set of 50 blogging benefits that will change your business forever.
But it can be difficult to stand out from the noisy crowd with so many people using blogs as a tool to reap all those great goodies. The good news is that with just a little bit of editing, you can make your blog posts shine like a beacon through all of the Internet noise.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to win at blogging by making a few tiny edits to your blog posts.
Edit your title
Your title (or headline) should be clear, concise and straight-to-the-point. In order for your post or article to stand out, it has to have a catchy title to capture your readers’ attention. If you become good at writing great titles, you’ll be a shoo-in for writing effective email subject lines and punchy social media updates. Not to mention, it helps with SEO.
There are countless ways to write a good title but to get a head start on things, try writing how-to articles. Some of my favorite how-to posts are:
How Mobile Analytics Empowers the Best Sales Teams to Delight Your Customers by Victor Coscarella
The reasons why I love how-to posts are because they set out clear expectations, quickly defines the benefits and offers value right-off-bat. If you’re interested in learning more about how-to articles, Brian Clark (aka the famous ‘Copyblogger’) breaks it down for you here in How to Write a Killer “How To” Article That Gets Attention.
Based on your title, readers will decide whether or not to continue reading your blog post so make sure yours is interesting and accurate.
Edit your paragraphs and subtitles
Readers just don’t have the same attention span online as they do when reading print. Often, they are looking for a quick read, overviews or actionable information. Don’t write paragraphs that go on, and on, and on. Readers will get bored.
Instead, break them up into a few sentences each to give it some room to breathe. This creates white space and makes the layout look appealing, thus keeping your readers engaged. Subtitles can help tired eyes come to life again while they skim through your content. It also lets them digest the content and get the gist of it easily. Subtitles and short paragraphs can help you create that two-level experience that most online readers are looking for.
How long is too long? Try this tool:
AtomicWriter (the only tool that measures the length of sentences and paragraphs based on your audience’s reading behavior)
Edit for emotion
One of the best ways to stand apart from the rest of the bloggers is to let your personality shine. If you have strong emotions or opinions about a topic – good or bad – express them (without being rude or crass of course). Internet readers expect to be moved by blogs and if you can hook them by capturing their emotions, your blog will have a much greater impact.
To detect if there’s any emotion in your copy, try:
Textio (optimizes the tone and language in job descriptions, pretty cool!)
Crystal Knows (optimizes your communication style in emails)
Edit grammar and spelling
To some, blogging feels like a less formal way of publishing content but that does not mean you should throw grammar and usage rules out of the window. Use spell check and then double check to make sure it didn’t steer you wrong. Spell check will pick the correct spelling for the word closest to what you seemed to be describing. That can lead to some pretty embarrassing substitutions if you are not careful.
So while you don’t need to worry about such quibbling details as dangling participles or sentence fragments when writing a blog post, you do need to be sure that your message is clear and readers aren’t confused or distracted by poor grammar and spelling.
Avoid these shameful grammar and spelling mistakes by using tools like:
Put the time into editing your blog posts at least once before you hit publish. Reviewing your title, length of article, content emotion, grammar and spelling will lift your blog post to greater heights. If you are left overwhelmed by these must-do edits, check out AtomicWriter Lite to make your writing life easier!