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Taking your blog post from blah to BAM!

3 tips for creating posts that actually get read

By Doug Prestby

A good company blog is a great way to engage with your customers. You can educate them on you, your products and your services. You can talk to them, share stories, provide testimonials, and help them understand why they should want to do business with you. You even may be able to entertain them, just a bit. What makes a blog post good? A few givens: you need good, meaningful content; content that is written clearly and well; and you need an appropriate and consistent voice.

Say Something

First, have something to say. If someone is reading your blog, they’re most likely knowledgeable about your products and services, and they want to hear from you. They’re already fans. Give them a reason to keep being a fan, and to keep coming back. Educate them. Update them on industry news or trends that may affect their business, or their relationship with you, or services you can provide they aren’t receiving now. Have a focus to your post. Pick a topic and stick to it. If you’re telling a story, tell it in an order that makes sense. If you have several unrelated anecdotes, make that the focus, and tell the reader at the beginning, so they’re not trying to fit things together as they read.

Write on!

Next, write as clearly and concisely as you can; avoid rambling sentences. If you’re not confident in your writing, be sure to read through it once or twice; better yet, have someone else read it. If they’re confused about a section, clarify and re-write. Software-based spelling and grammar checkers are very good, but nothing is as good as another pair of eyes. Two tips: A common error is mixing up “it’s versus its”. “It’s” always means “it is”, but many writers use it as a possessive, i.e. “the dog wagged it’s tail.” In general, write in active voice; it’s stronger and more direct. At the most basic level, active voice means “subject, verb”, and passive is “verb, subject”. For example, “The ball was kicked by Janice” is passive; “Janice kicked the ball” is active.

Be You

Finally, your blog post can be less formal and more personal than a web page or press release. Don’t be afraid to show your personality, your experiences, and your opinions. Strive for consistency throughout your posts; it should be clear that each post was written by the same person.

If you look back at this article, you’ll see all the components of a good blog post. There’s an intro, a few points, and this conclusion. It’s informal but informative, well-written, and in a consistent voice. I wrote a good blog post! And you can too. Go write!

Doug Prestby is a former technical writer and marketing director. He is currently a freelance editor and writer in Bluffton. Contact him at dprestby@gmail.com.

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