Blogs Are Like the Subway
The internet is like the New York subway to newcomers — crowded, confusing, and sometimes overwhelming.
Let’s say you’re on the subway and you suddenly feel an intense pressure in your chest (God forbid). You’re afraid it’s a heart attack. You glance around desperately and notice a guy in scrubs. You ask if he’s a doctor, he confirms, and you ask him for help. You turned to him for help because he identified himself as a doctor.
Blog Writing Means Offering Help
It works the same way for blogs. People are looking for answers to their questions, information they can use, and ways to improve their lives. They are desperate for help. The key to making your blog something people want to read is to identify it as a place that provides people with help. Here’s how you do it.
1) Write effective headlines. People skim headlines and read only what catches their attention. The latest statistic I saw pointed out that only 20% of an article gets read after the headline. Your headlines should communicate quickly what your articles contain, in a way that makes people want to read more.
2) Be original. It used to be that you could write one piece and publish it in a myriad of places on the web. But Google’s new algorithm wants to see original content. The article repositories aren’t even showing up in the results any more for this reason. If people are going to see your blog in the search results, your content has to be original.
3) Be accurate. Accuracy is essential for spelling, grammar, and most of all, facts. You will lose credibility if your content contains errors. Be picky with your sources, double-check your statistics, review your information, and proofread thoroughly.
4) Give people a way to apply your content. The reason people read content is to learn. Whether it’s a how-to article or an interview, include application. How can what you’re saying make the lives of your readers better? What do they need to do as a result?
5) Tell stories. People connect with stories. You can tell stories to introduce your content, weave them into your narrative, or even communicate your message entirely through a piece of fiction. Stories of personal experience are especially effective.
6) Be concise. People have short attention spans and little time. Only use as many words as you need to in order to communicate your ideas. Give your readers soundbites that they can quickly absorb and put into action.
You know your blog is a resource for your target market, and you can provide the help they need. Identify it as such using these tips, and you’ll see that more people are finding it and benefiting from it.