I like to read all kinds of blogs. The niche itself isn’t what draws me in. You’re getting warmer with the right specific topic of the blog post. You’re on the button with a good title that made me click on it, but what about the post to follow?
After reading other blogs and writing in my own blog/s for almost 10 years now (has it really been that long already?!) and working professionally as a ghost-blogger, I’ve learned quite a lot about what makes a good blog post… or at least, what makes me like a blog post. You might agree with me on a few of these things! These are just suggestions and not the blogging law.
Humor and honesty!
Obviously, not every blog post will be funny. Sometimes the subject is serious. A little bit of humor — dry/sarcastic, sassy, crazy, naughty — goes a long way and makes me feel like I’m reading the words of a real human. The best way to do this without sounding overly cheesy (some cheese is good) or worse, fake, is to write how you would speak to a friend. I like feeling like I know you.
One thing that turns me off, though, is blatant meanness. Taking cheap shots at someone doesn’t make you look witty, it just kind of makes you look like an ass.
Well-chopped-up paragraphs and organization.
This makes the post much easier to digest. Long paragraphs look a little intimidating and make the post look longer than it is. In the words of Sweet Brown, “Aint nobody got time for that!”.
Headings are good. Take advantage of the built-in header tags to title different sections. Use list tags (with bullets) for lists, or add your own little special bullet image.
Your own pictures.
It can be hard to find a relevant picture that you took yourself for every blog post, and that’s okay. If most of the pictures in your blog posts are by you, then all the better. Just be sure to give due credit and link back to the original creator somewhere in the post, like in a caption underneath the pic, or at the end of the post.
If you want to go a step further, try fiddling around with different styles and shapes for your pictures. Try making a collage to combine a few different pictures together, add text or make an image into a circle or a different shape. Play around and have fun with it, because this makes your post more eye-catching and awesome in general.
You can also use cute graphics instead of photos and use them to make your custom blog images. Check out the list I made of awesome public domain image collections, so you know you’re not treading on any copyrights.
Decent grammar, punctuation and spelling, with some exceptions.
This can be tricky, but I look at it this way — as long as the post makes sense and doesn’t make you sound like an idiot, then it’s good. Common errors that kind of drive me nuts are “you’re” and “your” mix-ups (their, there and they’re), complete disregard for capitalization rules and a complete disregard for punctuation. This will make anything very hard to read. The exception is when something is translated from another language, which might not go along with English grammar rules.
The exceptions? I like using a sentence fragment here and there, the occasional run-on sentence or a made-up word because it seemed necessary. Used sparingly and wisely, these can be used to make your posts sound more conversational and less like an English paper. Read it over a few times when you’re done typing and read it out loud to see how it would sound to someone else. Proofreading is always a good idea and so is spell check. I should know! Here are Copyblogger’s 15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly and Grammar Girl’s whole site.
Did you teach me something? Did you make me consider something that I haven’t thought about before? Did you show me something new?
Self-explanatory and kind of a no-brainer, but a major plus in any blog post.
What do you like in a blog post?