Top writing tips for bloggers
I’ve been writing various blogs for a few years now. It still feels like copy writing is a dark art and a skill that I need to work at. So I booked myself on a CIPR course called ‘writing for online audiences’ to get some tips.
The most useful tip for me was to use free online tools like the Hemmingway App to review your text. It forces you to write in plain English.
Here are are some of the things I learnt:
Use straight forward titles
For blog titles, use a ‘what it says on the tin’ approach. Readers like to know what they’re getting. Although they can seem cheesy, titles like ‘beginner’s guide’, or ‘top 5 tips’ perform well. You should also include keywords for SEO in the title to boost your rankings.
Write a strong introduction
Your introduction should summarise the article and stand alone. It is a useful place to include your keywords and phrases for SEO. The theory is that you put the most important content at the top.
Write in plain English
Anglo-Saxon words are quicker and easier to read – very important for online content. For example, “try” instead of “endeavour”, “start” instead of “commence.” If your blog is read by a global audience, avoid local phrases and terms.
Write in an active voice
To make your copy more engaging, write in an active way. To give you an example, “John wrote the report” or “The report was written by John.”
Include calls to action within your text – “buy this”, “read this related article”, etc. That’s the marketer in me talking!
Never write ‘click here’ in your links - It’s bad for SEO and it’s bad for the user. Make sure that you include keywords for SEO in your links.
Make it easy to skim read
Certain things on a page will stand out for readers:
- headings and subheadings
- photo captions
- videos and images.
Review your text with online tools
You can use Microsoft Word to test how easy your text is to read. Our course leader recommended you aim for:
- Flesch grade of 10 – 12 (The Times newspaper scores 12 and the Sun scores 7).
- Reading ease of 60%).
- 15 words per sentence.
I still see myself as a writing novice, but hopefully these tips will prove useful to you!