Cartoon rendering of a laptop and pencil to indicate blogging best practices

This week, I’ve written about why your business should be blogging, and why and how you should create a blogging content calendar. Today, I want to talk about some of the best practices for your blog posts to make them readable and engaging.

1. Know your audience

Before you start writing, you need to understand who you’re writing for. What are their interests and needs? What kind of language do they speak? What questions do they have? What are they searching for? Once you know your audience, you can tailor your content to their specific interests. Knowing who will be reading your posts can help you figure out what tone to use in your writing, what topics may be of interest, and how best to organize your content in a way that’s engaging.

2. Choose a great headline

Your headline is the first thing people will see, so it needs to be attention-grabbing. Use strong verbs and keywords that will make people want to click on your post. Here are some tips for writing a great headline.

Focus on benefits, not features. Instead of just listing what your post is about, highlight what your readers will gain from reading it. Will it solve a problem? Teach them something new? Make them laugh?

Keep it concise and clear. Aim for 60-70 characters, including spaces. People are scanning, so you need to grab their attention quickly and give them a good idea of what your post is about.

Use strong verbs and power words. Words like “transform,” “unleash,” “secrets,” and “master” can pique curiosity and encourage clicks.

Spark curiosity with a question. Pose a question that your post answers, and readers will be eager to find out the solution.

Use numbers and lists. People love numbered lists, and they can make your title more scannable and attention-grabbing. For example, “5 Tips for Writing Irresistible Blog Post Titles” is more likely to get clicks than “How to Write Good Blog Post Titles.”

Create a sense of urgency or scarcity. Words like “limited time,” “exclusive,” and “only” can create a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) and encourage people to click through.

Use keywords that people are likely to search for. Include the keyword into your title in order to help your SEO. And don’t guess at keywords. Do your research. This will help your post rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Avoid clickbait. Don’t make promises that your post can’t deliver.

3. Write clearly and in a consistent voice.

Avoid jargon and technical terms that your audience may not understand. Keep your sentences short and to the point. Once again, this is where knowing your audience pays off. People who read my blog are generally business owners looking for website advice, and me throwing in a bunch of technical terms they don’t understand is going to turn them off. However, if your audience is college professors in a specific niche, then writing in a more formal voice with fifty-cent words may be appropriate.

  • Don’t switch back and forth between first person and third person.
  • Be conscious of internalized biases that may affect your writing.
  • Avoid being too friendly or too stiff.
  • Don’t wander off on different tangents – stick to the topic. (Link to a new post if you need to expound!)
  • Make sure you have an introduction, body, and conclusion.

4. Make sure your content is high-quality

Your blog posts will only succeed if you are writing high-quality content that people want to read. That means you need to write in-depth posts that create trust and showcase your authority on the topic. A lot of times that means you need to do research. What are other people saying about the same topic? Even including links to those sites is useful.

Writing a blog post with 200 words probably isn’t doing you any favors, except of course short little news or announcements that you may need to post from time to time. Writing a high-quality blog to drive more traffic to your website requires more words, more thorough content, and a demonstrable level of expertise.

5. Add great images

I write about website images a lot. They are important for a lot of reasons. Images play an important role in enhancing the overall quality of a blog post for various reasons. Firstly, they contribute to the visual appeal of the content, preventing it from appearing monotonous and text-heavy. The inclusion of images makes the post more attractive and engaging to readers. Secondly, images aid in conveying information more effectively. Complex concepts and data can be simplified and better understood through the use of infographics, charts, and diagrams. This visual reinforcement helps readers grasp the content more readily. Lastly, incorporating images enhances reader retention and engagement. Content accompanied by visually appealing elements is more likely to capture and maintain the audience’s attention, ultimately improving the overall user experience.

You can use your own images, which I highly recommend if you have them and they are good images. There’s nothing that speaks more about your business than your own images of your people, products, or services. But if you don’t, you can use stock photos effectively as well. Just remember to add your ALT text so people with visual disabilities know what’s in your photo.

6. Choose appropriate categories and tags

Blog posts can and should be organized in a way that helps users find similar content. You should use categories and tags as organizational tools to enhance the overall structure and accessibility of your content. Categories serve as broad topics or themes that help group related blog posts together. They provide a navigational hierarchy, making it easier for readers to find content on specific subjects of interest. On the other hand, tags act as more specific labels, offering a detailed way to classify and search for content based on keywords or topics within a category. I wrote a whole blog post about this not long ago, and I went really in depth so go ahead and check that out.

An internal link is SO good for SEO. An internal link is just when you link from one page of your website to another page of your website. Your blog is a fantastic place to add internal links. I’ve already included several in this post. Do you mention a specific service you offer in your blog post? Link to it. Do you mention your history in your blog post? Link to your bio. Do you mention a specific product that you sell? LINK TO IT. Not only does it help user engagement, it’s great for SEO.

When adding your links, be sure to use appropriate anchor text and not the words “click here.” Instead, add your link to appropriate keywords or words that describe the page they’ll be landing on. For example, we offer web design and development.

Don’t forget to make your links stand out with a different (but readable) color and underline them!

Linking to other websites helps enhance your site’s credibility. I compare it to having a bibliography or works-cited page. It’s kind of like saying, here’s my point, and you can verify my point here, here and here. Does your blog post mention 3rd party software or apps? Link to them. Don’t make people hunt out the things you are talking about. Having external links adds value to your blog posts.

9. Include Calls-to-Action

A call-to-action (CTA) on a blog is a prompt or directive designed to encourage readers to take a specific action. It serves as a clear and compelling invitation for the audience to engage further with the content or to perform a desired activity. CTAs can take various forms, such as clickable buttons, hyperlinks, or simple text, and they typically appear at the end of a blog post or within the content. Common examples of CTAs include encouraging readers to subscribe to a newsletter, share the post on social media, leave a comment, download a resource, or explore related articles. The primary goal of a CTA is to guide readers toward deeper engagement, conversion, or interaction, helping bloggers achieve specific objectives and build a more interactive and responsive audience.

If the only thing you want users to do is read your post, and then leave your site, then you don’t need a CTA. But if you want them to hire you, buy your product, subscribe, then you need to give them direct and clear directions on what the next step is.

10. Proofread

I’m not going to lie. If you read enough of my posts, you’re going to find errors. Errors are human and they happen. But you can absolutely reduce the number of errors in your posts just by giving them a once over before you hit that publish button.

In fact, you can even use apps like Grammerly to help keep your writing flowing and avoid errors.

And it’s never a bad idea to ask someone else to take a look. Sometimes a second set of eyes can really make a difference.

Now, go forward with this information and write some great blog posts!

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Amy Masson, Web Developer

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Friedberg on January 22, 2024 at 10:17 am

    Excellent tips Amy! I’m writing my blog this week and will add these refinements. High quality content for sure!

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