Effective Blog Writing
There are a number of ways to write good, effective blogs. Not all of
them involve you actually sitting in front of a computer and writing
blog posts every day. There are a ton of blogging services that can
actually do it for you if you choose
Personally, I recommend creating a template and doing it yourself but
you can choose whichever strategy best fits you. The key points here
are brevity, information type, target-audience and quality of content
Brevity: The Secret Ingredient
Brevity, or briefness, is something that many commercial blog posters
take for granted. Somewhere in their quest for the perfect keyword
ratio and inserting the right amount of product links they fail to realize
they’re writing mini-novels instead of regular old blog posts. The
average blog post is between 150 and 500 words.
Anything below 150 can probably be considered a micro-blog and
anything over 500 is really pushing your readers.
This depends, of course, entirely on the subject matter of the blog. If
you have a science blog and you’re discussing quantum physics or
string theory then you might legitimately have 1,500-word blog posts.
Those types of intellectual discussions require a certain amount of
explaining and it’s hard to write fluff for them. If your blog is about
fashion trends, however, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to have
extremely long posts.
People in general do not have extremely large attention spans,
especially when they’re browsing content online. If your blog is visually
a large block of text, many people will subconsciously find it
insurmountable and avoid it because they don’t want to read it. This is
why it’s good to keep your blog posts as short as you can.
If you have a subject matter that requires a long post then you can
increase the likelihood of it being read by visually splitting up the blog
You could separate it into two different posts for part 1 and part 2. If
you separate it in just the right place you can make each blog post
stand on its own and people will be intrigued to read the rest instead
of afraid to try and read it all at once.
Another thing you can do is adjust the spacing of your post. Use
paragraphs and do a hard return after each one. If you have key
points, use bullets. Try to keep your paragraphs at no more than 3-5
lines and avoid anything that looks like a large, rectangular block of
What’s The Blog About?
Keeping your blog on topic is extremely important, especially when we
factor in search-engine optimization. If your blog is all about editing
videos then you should expand on that topic but don’t wonder off too
far. Related subjects might be: video editing software, editing
techniques, effects training courses, cinematography books and
colleges that offer video-related degrees.
Try to find between 3 and 5 related topics within your blog’s niche and
stick to them. If you constantly write about a certain subject and have
a lot of link backs and proper keywords, you become a lot more likely
to be considered an “expert” by the search engines.
If your video editing site becomes popular you could have prime spots
in search engines for terms like “video editing” or “special effects.”
This is also known as becoming an “Authority” on a subject.
The main benefit of exploiting your niche, aside from search results, is
to become appealing to advertisers within that niche. If your website
has first-page results on Google or Yahoo for video editing results then
you will be extremely desirable to any company who wants to
advertise video-editing products or services. Your value goes way up
within your niche and you can charge even more for advertising.
You will also get a lot more affiliate purchases for products that have
to do with a niche you are an authority of. People are more likely to
buy a product if it’s endorsed by a popular website that is considered
an authority on the subject.
You may not have to “nichefy” your content if you have an extremely
popular blog. You still need to keep your blog within a slightly-focuses
section but you can
make it broader. For example, you could have a blog about visual art
and in that blog, you could discuss video editing, special effects,
painting, drawing and 3D art. Your possibilities are greatly expanded
but you still retain a major theme that all of your posts and updates
This reduces your chances of becoming an authority on any particular
subject but it increased the variety of advertisers you have to choose
from. Sometimes having many different advertisers can be better than
having many from a single niche. For instance, if DVD sales are in a
slump and your blog is about buying DVD’s then you will have much
If your blog was about buying all types of Media then you could pick
up the slack with advertisers from different companies like MP3
Distributors or Blu-Ray Player Manufacturers. What you sacrifice in
niche-sales you make up in stability. A multifaceted blog is harder to
start up and harder to get daily clicks but the added stability gives you
better growth potential and more longevity.
Who is the Blog For?
This all plays into the target audience. Who exactly are you writing
for? Knowing your target audience is absolutely essential if you want
to get anything done with your blog. Some key points include: Their
field of interest, their age, their gender and their educational
Field of Interest
The first thing you have to consider is what your target audience is
interested in. Your blog could be about DVD’s in the general sense but
what readers are you targeting? Are you targeting people who want to
buy DVD’s, people who want to make DVD’s or people who want to
read DVD reviews?
You can choose all three if you like and your blog can just be about
everything DVD-related but you will probably get more return visits if
you focus on one subcategory within your main topic.
It’s also a good idea to pick two or three topics that go especially well
together. For example, your blog could focus on reviewing computer
parts and where to buy the parts for cheap. This is a perfect
combination because people who are buying computer parts generally
want to see a review before they buy
(Likewise, people seeking reviews are generally seeking to buy). In
this way you’ve taken your target audience’s top two priorities and
catered to them. What you want to avoid is posting off-topic with
things that might fit into the broader category but don’t actually make
sense within the context of your blog.
If you’re targeting people who want to see reviews for and purchase
computer parts then you really shouldn’t have a random post about a
new PC game. This fits within the broad category of computers but it’s
unrelated to your actual blog.
That’s not to say you can’t make off-topic posts; they just need to tie
into your theme. Using our previous example, you might want to make
a random post about a recall on a recently released computer part or a
post about the exact computer set up that a celebrity or other person
of interest is using. It’s good to introduce newsworthy items that relate
to your blog but aren’t necessarily on-topic because they bring
diversity to your pages.
How Old Are They?
It’s never a good idea to discriminate or alienate a particular audience
but that doesn’t mean you can’t target a specific audience and
optimize your blog for them. If your blog’s topic is dealing with
menopause then your target audience is probably going to be women
who are between 35 and 50 because they are the primary types of
people who are affected by menopause.
Bearing this in mind, you don’t want to use a lot of internet lingo that’s
popular with teenagers today. Your readers are not going to take you
seriously if you sound like one of their children or grandchildren.
Instead you should keep a mature tone and write with a slightly
informal and empathetic voice. You can research other blogs that cater
to your age range and see how writers focus their content to a
Teens and young-adults between 16 and 24 are generally people who
grew up in an age where the personal computer was commonplace
and relatively inexpensive. They understand internet slang and popular
themes that get passed around on social networking websites. Adults
ages 25-40 are generally more mature (if only slightly) and may or
may not be familiar with internet slang etc.
This age group will have a higher income and many people in this age
group will have families. Adults ages 41-60 quite often have families
and will not be impressed by internet slang or sites that aren’t familyfriendly.
Of course, these are rather broad outlines; your blog’s niche market
may be senior citizens who ride around in baker gangs—anything’s
possible. You can do more extensive research on demographics and
how to use them to your advantage for the best results
Does Gender Matter?
In terms of marketing for a specific market: Sometimes. Generally, the
nuances that you’ll adjust for gender differences are pretty subtle.
There are a few instances where it makes all the difference. If you’re
website is about buying the right prom dress then your target
audience is obviously women (specifically teenage girls) only.
That’s not to say women are the only people buying prom dresses but
that is where the majority of your clicks and affiliate purchases will
come from and that’s who you are targeting with your blog. Unless
your blog is related to a gender- specific product then you can pretty
much decide for yourself if you want to market for a specific gender.
Sometimes it makes sense to market for a particular gender. Video
games, for example, are classically geared towards males in the 12-24
age group. This has been an industry standard for years since research
shows the most sales from that group.
That being said, you might be alienating a whole market of potential
readers and customers. In recent years the video game industry has
found that they’ve lost millions in sales due to advertising campaigns
that were considered to be misogynistic.
If you think that targeting a specific gender will increase sales then go
ahead but the general rule of thumb is to try and create a blog that
both genders can enjoy.
Are They Educated?
Here’s one that a lot of people overlook when they’re thinking about
their target audience. A blog is primarily just textual articles that
people read so it’s essential that you don’t confuse your readers with
content they understand or offend them
with content that’s too simplified. So, what is the educational
background of your target audience?
Well, if your blog is about construction then think about the
requirements of the job: for entry-level positions and even most
management positions you only need a GED or high school diploma.
For some management positions a person might need a degree in
business or architecture. From here we decide who our blog appeals
to: Upper management or entry-level and general worker positions?
The purpose for this is to assess what knowledge they already
possess. If you’re targeting experienced construction workers then you
need to either avoid talking directly about the semantics of
construction or carefully check all of your facts; you don’t want them
to notice any misinformation and stop taking your blog seriously
The other point of this is to deliver content that your audience will
understand. Obviously if your blog is about tips for getting your GED
then you’re not going to want to write it with the prowess of a college
Conversely, if your blog is about becoming a teacher then you
certainly don’t want to over-simplify it or have any type of
grammatical mistakes. People won’t take your blog seriously if they
feel it’s “below” them and they won’t continue reading your blog if
they can’t understand it. You need to establish the educational level
and background of your target audience and try to cater to it.
When in doubt, take a conversational tone and type as though you
normally speak. Make sure you don’t have any grammatical mistakes
and avoid using slang words and colloquialisms (a word that only has
meaning in a particular region). As I just did, you can define certain
words in parenthesis if you think they’re words that aren’t common or
are often mistaken for other words.
Content Quality Control
The quality of your blog content is one of the most crucial aspects of
having a successful blog that draws in potential customers and clicks
to make you money. If your blog is filled with inane or unorganized
posts you won’t be able to maintain a user base. If your blog is filled
with automated posts that don’t feel human you won’t get indexed by
search engines and if your blog is just of an overall poor quality you’re
not even going to get visitors. How you handle the quality of your blog
depends on how much time you personally have to devote to it.
The best way to control the content of your blog is to write it yourself.
Nothing matches the freedom and control you have when your content
is being generated by none other than you and if something goes
wrong you only have yourself to blame. This is also the cheapest
method of running your blog. If you’re reading this book I can only
assume you want your blog to make money for you and the best way
to do that is to cut your costs as much as possible.
Once your blog does become popular you might find that it’s actually
beneficial and time-effective to hire someone to update your blog for
you. This will probably be something that you freelance out to people
on a weekly basis; it’s not exactly something worth creating a parttime job for (and the costs of that would be astronomical).
A good way to do this is to use a micro-project service like Amazon’s
Mechanical Turk service. This allows you to give out micro-projects
where you pay a freelancer a small fee to write a single blog post.
If you’re keeping with my advice on brevity then you should usually
only need posts that are under 500 words so you should be able to get
those created for under $10 a piece which is an absolute steal.
If the subject matter or post permits it you could separate a single
blog post into 3 or 4 different 50-75-word micro-projects and pay as
little as 50¢ a piece! Then you can pay another person a few cents to
piece them together or do it yourself.
As nice as that option is, you have to determine if your blog really
requires it. If the time it takes you to post the jobs on a freelancing
website, describe them and then approve or deny them is going to
take longer than just writing the blog yourself you might want to skip
Basic Grammar Problems
The most basic, rudimentary thing to remember about writing your
blogs is that you need to have proper grammar and spelling. You don’t
have to go crazy with
figurative language or use unnecessary advanced techniques but
there’s nothing less impressing than having a simple spelling mistake
in a blog; this is especially damaging when you’re writing about
something intellectual like biology, architecture or grammar!