Writing a great blog post

First, I’d like to say that there is no how-to guide or recipe for writing a brilliant post. That being said, I’d also like to point out the fact that some posts seem to perform better than others. Lists and guides usually receive more comments and likes than “normal” blogs.

So this is not a how to guide. We’re just going to talk about the major components of a blog post.

The title

It’s very important to come up with a catchy title. This along with the first paragraph are the first to be noticed by readers. Also, the title shouldn’t be too long.

The opening paragraph

This paragraph determines whether or not a reader will read (or try to) your entire post. It should aptly describe what the post is about. If you can come up with a snappy sentence, than do it.

The rest of the damn thing

You should do well on your own here. In fact, there isn’t much I can help you with. Yeah, I could say a bunch of nonsense and act like I know it all, but I’m not going to. Because what worked for me might not work for you. Also, I’m not sure I know what I’m doing.

I just write. As simple as that. I write what I want, when I want, how I want, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Maybe there’s a good advice here: don’t be afraid to take a stand.

One of the most harmful things you can do in this life is to try to please everyone. You can’t. This is your virtual space, your online home. Try to tell people what you think, what’s your opinion about this or that, and I guarantee you, people will respond.

My most popular posts are basically opinion pieces. The ones that got hundreds of comments, all of them are about me taking a stand. A lot of people agree, a lot disagree. But they all know what I think about that certain topic.

Blogs are for opinions. For everything else, we’ve got Mastercard and Wikipedia.

Well, this is not entirely true, but you get the idea.

In time you start to realize what people expect to read from you. You also start to understand what you’re really good at. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Write different types of posts, try out some weekly features. You never know.

As you gain confidence, you’ll feel more comfortable about tackling more sensitive issues.

The only way to grow as a writer is to write. A lot. Also, if you have the time, read other blogs. Popular blogs, not so popular blogs, everything actually. That way you’ll get a sense of what works and what doesn’t. You might even spot some of your own faults.

Try to find your own voice. Don’t listen to people telling you how to write. They can’t write your posts for you.

Links and tags

Don’t forget to add these. Two, three links to relevant information, articles, or other blogs are very useful. For SEO and what not And your followers will thank you. Also, don’t forget to add tags. That’s how the Freshly Pressed editors find you. And readers can know what to expect from your post.

Format the damn thing

Layout is very important. What do you want your readers to focus on? Think very carefully.

If you have a longer post add:

  • subtitles
  • lists
  • blockquotes

Try to make the post look nice. Add pictures, sketches, whatever. There should be a balance… you know the eye grows tired when it sees a lot of words. Font size, colors, all that stuff.

Like I said, there’s no secret formula to writing a great blog. All you can do is write. Indeed, it’s important to focus on content, but don’t forget that the visual layout of your posts is equally important.

Now, I’d like to know what do you think. What do you think makes a blog great? Is it the content? Or the layout? Or a mixture of both?

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15 comments on “Writing a great blog post

  1. I think it’s a mixture of both. All marketers will tell you, to catch the readers attention. You then need to get them to stay; so the beginning of the post has to be good. After that it comes to good content, and attracting the right readers who like your unique style.

  2. Jescole says:

    This is such a great piece for people just starting out.

  3. Robert Varga says:

    A combination of an aesthetically pleasing look and content is my vote. Sometimes I found great write ups, thoughts on 90’s looking (and behaving) crap site. Well, no bookmarking of those…

  4. I find this piece very useful. Thank you Cristian

  5. frandobagel says:

    Advice for anyone blogging.

    One of my biggest bug bears is the lack of formatting or consideration for the reader. Simple things like choosing a good font (and size), not italicised the entire copy, and having simple structure as you said (titles, header, block quotes).

    Sharing in one of my blogging groups!

  6. Barry says:

    I think a good balance between content and visuals works best. I also like blogs that are more concise and not super long

  7. gamergirl44 says:

    Thank you so much for this!

  8. Brilliant..thanks for this!

  9. Productious says:

    “Blogs are for opinions. For everything else, we’ve got Mastercard and Wikipedia.”
    That’s a quote I will remember.

  10. Excellent advice that I’ve been trying to follow. Thank you!

  11. As a beginner I’ve found this invaluable. Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

  12. bettynjeru says:

    Nice one especially for me since I just started a blog last month.
    Thank you. God bless

  13. rharvestmoon says:

    Thank you for this. I am so very new to this blogging and never was sure if I was writing too much or if there should be something in particular I should be writing about. This is quite the learning process and I do expect to make mistakes and I’m sure I may have already made plenty. Already rambling. I enjoyed reading what it is you had to say, and thank you for that. This blogging a learning process, Yes. I continue to learn and will change things along the way. Thank you, for sharing, very helpful for me.

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