The beauty of a blog is that it’s a blank canvas. It’s in the writer’s hands to do with what he or she pleases; to make it what he or she envisions; and to execute that vision with however much or little consistency he or she wants. The secret is that it doesn’t have to be complicated! The other secret is that a blog will be as great as what you put in it. In honor of making life simpler today, step back and look at your writing. In layman’s terms, a blog means writing and posting value-rich pieces on a regular basis. Within that framework, remember the 3 M’s:
Make it logical
Whether it’s lists, bullet points, chronological order, or strategically dotting your I’s and crossing your T’s, the best blog post means a reader walks away with action items and a clear understanding. To accomplish this, I conduct four tests:
1) Is it in the right order, does it flow, and do the points build well on one another?
2) Does it make sense, have I gone on a tangent anywhere, and have I stayed on topic in every paragraph?
3) What will the reader walk away with after reading this?
4) What, if any, action items are present?
Depending on your blog and audience, make sure to understand what you are trying to achieve and adjust the above tests accordingly. Perhaps “your thing” is not to make sense and be humorous, in which case some of these logic questions wouldn’t apply. But I still take a minute after every post to make sure it passes the logic test.
Make it relevant
Pop culture, news, technology; a blog must be relevant to gain traction. This might be a rather obvious point, but in my blogging research I have encountered two things: being too late in the game by writing about a topic that has already passed, and writing on a topic that just isn’t very popular or relatable. Even if you have a blog in a niche area, the posts can still be tied to relatable or relevant ideas that readers can absorb:
Stay on top of it – If my goal is to be cutting-edge, then I make sure to have the right triggers in place to alert me on breaking news or trend announcements (Google Alerts and Flipboard). This allows me to join the conversation while it’s hot when Google announces its next search-ranking algorithm (Hippo?).
Give it an anchor – No matter how specific or perhaps vague a topic is that I am writing on, I always try to find an example or current event to keep it relevant in today’s world and/or tie a reader in to relate better.
Make it interesting
This is simple. Rule of thumb: write posts that you would stop and read and would be inspired to share.
Once you decide what you want to say, then these are the 3 tips for writing a good blog: structure it coherently, link it to something current, and make it valuable to the reader.