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How Do You Write A Blog?

How Do You Write A Blog?I covered in an earlier post ‘what is blogging?‘ so the next logical step is to look at ‘how do you write a blog’?

Now, I know many people who visit here are seasoned bloggers and I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel.

On the other hand, it’s a great discussion point because every person will have their own answer to the question.

Here are some of the key points I focus on when I’m writing a blog post.

Is The Information Useful?

I love researching stuff and I spend a lot of time looking things up, making notes and researching more stuff!

When you’re thinking of subjects to cover, do you ever wonder whether other people will find them useful though?

Stupid question really; of course you do but I didn’t in the beginning. It was a case of getting something out there and I covered everything and anything.

You need to do some research to see what it is people actually want to know about and then find solutions to their problems.

A good place to start would be the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. You can input a keyword into the tool, find out how popular it is and it will also show you other related terms which you may find useful.

Other sites that may be of interest are Quora and Yahoo! Answers. Both sites are full of questions and answers that can give you inspiration.

Keep your eyes open for questions in the comments section of your blog as well because that can also be a great place to find ideas.

Read more about content: Content Is King – What Kind Of Content Is On Your Blog?

Have A Conversation With Your Readers

I find blogs which have a conversational tone much more enjoyable to read than those which are more formal.

I particularly like ones where people write exactly how they speak.

Having a conversation with your blog readers helps you connect with them and makes them feel part of your blog.

When I first started blogging, having a two-way conversation wasn’t something I’d ever considered.

But by being passionate, writing as you would speak and getting your point of view across is going to make people notice you.

Read more about putting personality into your blog: Why Blogging Naked Is The Way Forward

Tell A Story

People relate to experiences, not just facts and figures and they’re more likely to remember you if you tell a good story.

It helps put context and relevance to what you’re writing about and helps people to understand what it is you’re trying to say.

I read a fair amount of blogs without a personality every day and I don’t remember them from the moment I’ve left.

I do remember the story-tellers though who can craft a fine blog post to keep you hooked.

Read a story: I Love Italian Ice Cream

Grab People’s Attention

Spend some time thinking about your headline.

It’s not often that I end up with the first headline idea still intact by the time I publish a post.

Considering that your headline is often what makes someone’s decide whether they will read your post or not, it’s worth spending that extra time on it!

Here’s an example: Paying For Twitter Followers Is Like Paying For Sex 

Make It Easier For People To Get Around

If there’s anything I’ve taken away from using the Google Penalty Checker Tool, it’s that people need to find their way around your blog easily and the same goes for search engines.

Internal links are a great way for pointing people in the right direction and you may have noticed after each section I’ve given you more reading material from my blog to check out!

This helps people find things in your archive and hopefully draws them into reading more of your work.

If people can see how much bigger your blog is than just the post they’re reading then you’re more likely to encourage returning visitors.

How Do You Write A Blog?

If you had to give an answer with 4-5 tips on ‘how do you write a blog?‘, what would yours be?

I look forward to your responses below in the comments section. Please also share this post so that the sharing buttons don’t feel lonely!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tim Bonner

Tim Bonner is a Stay At Home Dad, Blogger and Internet Marketer. Learn more about him here.

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  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn

    Hi Tim, Great advice! Research is key to writing a blog. Both your readers and you should learn something from the article. That is where the real value lies.

    Telling a story is a great way to teach. We can be entertained while we’re educated, even better.

    I also like conversational tones when I read (and that’s how I write), but learning is the most important factor for me in enjoying a blog.

    One of the reasons I enjoy your blog so much, Tim, is that I learn so much here!

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Carolyn

      Thank you! I’m pleased to hear that you enjoy my blog and you find it helpful. That’s made my day :-).

      I agree with you on the learning aspect of an article. Making it a useful experience for all parties is the key.

      I’ve been reading quite a few articles today, some of which I didn’t get passed the first paragraph.

      Partly because of the style of writing, partly subject matter but in quite a few cases I had no idea what they were talking about!

      Maybe that’s my ignorance but I don’t want to have to read a manual before I read a blog post.

      Have a great weekend Carolyn and thanks again for your comments.

      Tim

  • http://www.slymarketing.com Jens P. Berget

    I turn complex stories into easy to understand examples of marketing. That’s how I blog. I love a conversation, and I really enjoy feedback. But, usually, I just write about whatever comes to mind, and as long as there’s something to learn about marketing, I’ll write and publish it.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      And that’s why I love your blog Jens!

      • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn

        I agree, Tim. Jens writes with elegance and simplicity, much as he lives his life. Few people can impart the wisdom that Jens can in so few words.

        • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

          And all in a second language too!

  • http://glenn-shepherd.com/ Glenn Shepherd

    Hey Tim,

    Awesome post, buddy, all great points to bear in mind.

    I think it’s important to write about what you know, even if that means sometimes writing about what you don’t know! What I mean by that is, perhaps you’ve discovered a way to improve a certain way you’ve been doing something, or you’ve made a mistake and have learned from it. Writing about things like this helps keep it real and I think people will respect you for sharing your experiences, “warts and all”.

    Whichever way, I think it’s essential for your writing to be natural, believable and engaging. I like how you referred to “blogs without a personality”. Your blog really does need to stand out from the rest, having a personality all of its own. And the best way for it to stand it and be unique is for it to reflect the thing that no other blog has – you!

    Thanks Tim :-)

    Glenn

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Glenn

      That’s some great points you’ve mentioned when writing a blog.

      Sharing your experiences with others is a great way for them to learn, be it from your mistakes or your successes.

      And I agree with you wholeheartedly that the best thing you can do for your blog is be you – you are the thing that makes it unique!

      Thank you for adding to the discussion Glenn.

      Have a great weekend.

      Tim

  • http://netmarketsuccess.com/ Silviu

    Hi Tim,

    In my opinion, the first thing you must do is to identify a problem that people have. You need to focus on that problem, research and find a way to help people solve it. At least partially … if not totally.

    My rant against the headlines
    Headlines are constantly praised, indeed. A good headline can really help you. However, there is too much emphasis on the headlines these days. That’s because it’s a lucrative business. Somebody told me, some time ago, that a headline course in L.A. charge thousands of dollars. No wonder there is so much attention given to this problem.
    They say you must craft your headline, you must work hard to create a powerful headline, an extraordinary headline that will instantly make people click.
    My opinion is … this is a little … stupid. Why work hard to create a headline if the post behind it sucks? If you create a “magnetic” headline but the article is a mess, the visitor will leave soon and never return.
    The art of creating extraordinary headlines (meaning sensational, aggressive headlines with psychological triggers etc.) is good for millions of bored people who surf the net in search for entertainment.
    What I have is mind is only those visitors who have a problem. A real headline must address the problem in the first place. It must be relevant for the respective niche.
    If the headline talks about a problem that interests me, then I click. If the headline is just extraordinary, I leave.
    Conclusion: Not extraordinary headline but targeted headlines.

    Have a nice day

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Silviu

      Identifying a problem and solving it can definitely be part of writing a blog. I agree :-).

      And I also agree that a well thought out, meaningful, and targeted headline is better than an extraordinary headline.

      As you say, there’s no point in creating an eye-catching headline and then the body of work behind it is absolute crap!

      The headline is the first thing that people read and they often make their mind up from that as to whether the article is worth reading.

      So I can understand why people place such importance on headlines and that they do use “magnetic” ones to pull in the crowds.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments Silviu.

      I hope you’re having a great weekend.

      Tim

  • Theodore Nwangene

    A very interesting question Tim,
    I know many people will give different answers to this but, I agree with all you said.

    Another thing I always do when I’m writing a blog post to always try and personalize the post. I like using YOU very well so that when someone is reading the post, it will appear to him as if I’m talking to him in particular.

    Thanks a lot sharing this with us do enjoy your weekend.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      That’s a good way to do things Theodore.

      Personalising a post will help its conversational nature and make people feel like you are speaking directly to them.

      Thank you for adding to the discussion and I hope you have a great weekend too!

  • http://www.sproutspire.com/how-to-create-awesome-content/ Carlie

    I actually wrote an article recently on how I “create awesome content” – I linked to it in my name above.

    The most important thing to me is my audience. I try and work out what it is they are wanting and try and help them get there. Sometimes I hit, sometimes I miss, but if I begin with my audience in mind I know that I will be doing the best thing possible for my blog. After all, while talking to myself is great, I do aim to have other people view my site, stick around, and recommend it to others.

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Carlie

      That’s a great way of going about writing a blog!

      Helping your audience will, over time, bring more traffic to your site, at least that’s what I’ve found.

      I’m the same though, sometimes I hit and sometimes I miss but I believe so long as the content is good, it can only add to the reader’s experience.

  • http://www.donnamerrilltribe.com Donna Merrill

    Interesting question Tim.

    First and foremost there has to be good content to “help” readers get an answer to a question they may have. Then I find it is so important to put that personal touch into it. An analogy, an experience, anything to illustrate the point.
    The title has to be something “catchy” too.
    But for me the best thing is engaging with people who come to my blog. Comments are king in my book!
    -Donna

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      Hi Donna

      I’m the same as you.

      Engaging with people is what I’m all about too and the more people I can help the better!

      I love how you share you experiences on your blog Donna because, as you quite rightly say, those are the things that are going to help people relate to a situation.

      And I enjoy a healthy discussion in the comment section too!

      Great to see you Donna. I hope you have a wonderful week.

      Tim

  • http://adriennesmith.net/ Adrienne

    Well I’m back Tim and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this comment goes through this time. I never save the ones I write but I think I better start doing that from now on since mine are never short.

    So I definitely say ditto to what Donna said about writing a post. As you know, I mainly write about what I learn as well and what works for me so I know my readers are just as interested. When you put your own personal spin on it and tell it from your experience I think it makes you seem more real in their eyes. You want them to feel like you’re speaking just to them.

    Now getting them to chat with you and keeping them interested enough to keep coming back is so important which is why you should always ask questions in your post. They won’t be able to help themselves answering especially if you’re been able to accomplish what I just mentioned.

    The comments is where all the action is and my favorite place to be so I think this is all a winning combination.

    Great step-by-step here Tim and a helpful one for sure. Always appreciate what you share with us and hope you’re enjoying your week.

    ~Adrienne

    • http://tim-bonner.com Tim Bonner

      I’m sorry that you encountered a problem when you tried to leave your comment the first time Adrienne.

      I’ve been on to HostGator and they think it may have been something to do with the way I had my caching plugin set up.

      I’m just trying to get to the bottom of it with them though. I’m grateful that you let me know.

      That’s a great point about making a post seem to your reader as if you’re speaking just to them.

      They’ll relate to it so much more and if you can share your own experiences then all the better.

      Asking questions will also engage people as you say and hopefully get them down to the comments section quick smart.

      And the comments section is where I love to be too. It adds to the conversation and means you get to see things from other people’s perspectives.

      Thank you for coming back and leaving a comment even though my site failed you the first time!

      I always appreciate you stopping by Adrienne.

      I thought I might get to be the first to comment on your post today but I was beaten to it. I need to be faster next time :-).

      Enjoy the rest of your week.

      Tim

  • http://www.myseobenefits.com Karmakar

    Hi Tim..

    Thank you very much for the details. I have recently started my blog and found this topic very useful… :)
    But, I have to tell you that I have learned more things from your comment & reply than your actual blog topic… :)

    • Tim Bonner

      Hi there Karmakar

      Welcome to my blog and thank you for your comments.

      I’m glad you learnt from the comments and replies because this post was all about opening up the conversation to everyone.

      I started the conversation and then hoped everyone else would join in with their own ideas of how to write a blog.

      There were some great answers and it made the post worthwhile.

      I’m all about trying to create open discussion and I don’t want that to be a one-sided thing with me just writing something with no response!

      So, I’m also glad you came along and joined in the conversation :-).

      I hope you’ll stop by again soon Karmakar.

      Tim

      • http://www.myseobenefits.com Karmakar

        Hi Tom,

        Yes definitely!!!… :)

        I have been studying “10 Practical tips for Blogging success”…. It has really given me some valuable point of views… Thanks for sharing it… :)

        • http://www.myseobenefits.com Karmakar

          ** Tim**… oops.. Unintentional mistake…. :)

          • Tim Bonner

            No problem Karmakar :-).

        • Tim Bonner

          My pleasure Karmakar.

          I’m pleased you’re finding it useful.

  • http://linktons.com Dhiraj Das

    Nice article! I agree with your point about giving importance to the post comments by readers, because there are log of people who gives great input through comments or a different perspective to the post all together which really helps

    • Tim Bonner

      Welcome to my blog Dhiraj and thank you for your comments.

      I agree. Often the blog post is only half of the story.

      The conversations that take place in the comments make everything bind together.

      Great to see you Dhiraj and I hope you’ll come back and visit again soon.

      Tim

  • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

    Hey Tim,

    Thanks for sharing! Nice writing. For me, I write because I love it. I try to blog on things I tried before e.g. How-to etc. Well, if that can help others means why not?

    I used to believe that I can make lots of money blogging. But now, I change my perspective that helping with my blog is good. Anything else, is just side income. Of course, it wouldn’t kill to earn that extra bucks monthly :)

    All in all, I really appreciate it when people reply saying “hey, good job etc”. Felt good :)

    Thanks for sharing with the write up and keep it up!

    Have a great weekend!

    Reginald

    • Tim Bonner

      Hi Reginald

      It sounds as though you’re putting things in place and doing all the right things.

      I was the same as you and believed I could make lots of money from blogging.

      I think it takes a lot of time and effort to do that. I’m going to step things up a little towards the end of the year.

      That means writing more and promoting more to increase traffic.