Every summer, Telaeris hires a number of interns to work on a variety of real world projects. At the close of the internships, they are asked to write an article that highlights the biggest lessons they learned while working with us. Some of these articles we feature on our Telaeris blog.
But even for students who were good writers at school, their skills do not necessarily translate well into blog authoring. To help them, we came up with some key points that we think greatly improves the reading experience for blogs.
Start with a Catchy Title
Grab your readers attention with a solid title! It would be a bummer to have a perfectly good article fall by the way-side because the title sounded boring. I can’t tell you how many articles I haven’t clicked on because the title didn’t get me jazzed to read it.
Who Are You?
Let your readers know who you are and why you are writing. This will help you establish that you are credible. If they don’t feel they can trust you, they might stop before they get to the juicy part of your article. This has to be where you start.
What's Your Point
Have you ever started reading something and all of a sudden started wondering what point the author is trying to make? Your readers should clearly know exactly what you’re talking about within the first few sentences of your post. This brings us to the next topic…
Why is someone even reading your article in the first place? Because they think you can teach them something. Readers should always be able to reflect back upon your article and feel enriched by the experience. And better yet, you want the reader to share your information because what you write
is that good.
Make it a Conversation
There’s a huge difference between being lectured to and being engaged in conversation. If you think about how you would speak to a friend, that is how you want your blog to sound. In general, conversational tone often uses short sentences, contractions, slang, common words, questions, anecdotes, similes, and metaphors. And unlike you were probably taught in high school English, “And…” or “But…” are perfectly acceptable for starting sentences in blogs.
Read It Out Loud
You really can’t know if you are being conversational if you don’t read what you write out loud. It will help you catch grammatical mistakes. Also, you will hear immediately if your flow is on point or falling short. Most importantly, you will discover if you are being long winded.
Make 'Em Laugh
Laughing is not only the best medicine for life, but for good writing as well. People want to be entertained and humor will keep the reader engaged.
Be Upfront with Self Promotion
There’s nothing worse than starting to read a blog post and half way through, realizing it’s one big advertisement. Using your writing as a means of self-promotion is perfectly reasonable, just make sure that you let your readers know what they are getting into at the outset. Be obvious.
Provide Cross Links
Adding additional resources is a great way to make your post more useful. It serves to provide appropriate credit as well as improve how search engines find you. Ultimately, the more readers you can reach, the more successful
your blog will be!
Have Relevant Images
Images stimulate the reader’s eyes and help them stay engaged in what they’re reading. The more engaged the reader is, the more they will take away from your blog. And sometimes, images will be the trigger that help people recall what you were talking about.
Hardships & the Hero Story
Did you solve a technical challenge? Don’t just explain what worked, explain what failed miserably. It not only helps people see your whole thought process, it leaves them with less wondering about “what if you tried this approach.” Plus, people love hearing about the story arc of you as the hero overcoming a challenge.
Make Your Story Interesting
It’s always ideal to write about something people find interesting, but you don’t always have a choice in the matter. If you have to write about something boring, the best thing you can do is try to spice it up with enthusiastic writing. Conversely, an interesting topic can be completely destroyed by dry writing.
Would you rather read a technical paper on short, hairy footed people or would you prefer to read a colorful story of how a hobbit found a magic ring and saved Middle Earth? Keep your audience compelled to keep reading. This is really the only way to have a successful blog post. Hopefully, our blogging experiences will help you a little in your own blogging endeavors!