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Monday, October 25, 2010

THE NET-TECH REPORT: How To Write a Great Blog Post

The Net-Tech Report with Chris Kauza

Last month I wrote about how to get great ideas for your blog posts.

Now that you're going to be blogging, and you've got some great ideas, you might be wondering how to go about actually crafting that incredibly captivating, Pulitzer Prize Winning blog post of yours! While it does take some practice and time for you to get a good feel for the sort of content your audience wants to read, don't wait! just keep it simple and keep these points in mind.

A great blog post must contain the content people want, and it should be written in the style in which your target audience want to read it. Your first job is to establish what the interesting topics are in your niche (see last month's article). You might already have a pretty good idea of what people enjoy, but if not go and do a little research. Visit other blogs which are similar to yours and identify the popular posts which get loads of comments. Aside from getting inspiration as to what people like to read, you should also get a feel for the structure of posts, their tone of voice, style and the sort of vocabulary they use.

Remember - blogs need to inform, but they should also be entertaining, so that your audience enjoys reading it. Sometimes, some of the best blog posts can even be on "random" topic...something that might have happened to you in real life, yet still relates to your topic (writing about a good / bad customer service encounter, for example). Writing about your own life or experiences makes the topic (and YOU) more approachable and readable; people love gossip and experiences. Let your personality shine through as much as you can. Make people feel like they "know" you – post pictures, videos, spontaneous thoughts about life, etc., and over time you will develop your own style.

Here are some top tips to keep in mind, when putting together your blog posts:

The title of your post is important. Ideally it should intrigue the reader and make them want to read your post. You can do this by making a controversial statement or simply by asking a question or making a thought-provoking statement – depending on the type of post it is you are making. For "bonus points" - include your keyword in the title of your blog post. This will help your content get ranked higher and provide a nice "back link" for your main site.

Keep your paragraphs short as people are generally put off by huge chunks of text. In our time-crunched society, people love to scan blocks of content, instead of savoring each bit of prose on the blog.

Use questions to engage the reader. By their very nature, questions force the reader to be more "active" with your content.

Add bullet points to highlight key information. These draw the readers' eye to your point, and make it easy for them to get the main idea of your discussion.

Add pictures and videos to keep people interested and to inject some personality into your blog post. Adding graphics makes the topic more engaging and gives the readers' minds something related to grab their attention, in case they start to wander.

Encourage readers to comment and give you their own thoughts. It's great to put your ideas out there, but the REAL value comes when you can start interacting with your audience.

Bottom line: Just do it! (Thanks, Nike) I've found that with blogging, there's never a perfect time to start, there's always another word or set of words to obsess over, and you are most likely your own worst critic.

For more information, please visit Chris's TNNWC Bio.

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The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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