Blogging

Blog tips: How to Write Better Blog Posts

Write Better Blog Posts

Did you know that only about 16% of people read websites word-for-word?

The only way to make people actually read, share and comment on your posts, is to make them feel something.

Or… you can do the same by sharing something valuable with them. In 2014 I wrote a post titled “Photography Tips for Bloggers” (a good post to check out, if you want to read about my photography beginnings). That post still brings me thousands of visits, every single week, even though it was published almost three years ago.

It was that post, that also inspired me to write about things like blogging or photography. Things, in short, that six years ago I knew nothing about.

Well… okay I knew some things about blogging- I started my first blog when I was fourteen but that was way back when we had to disconnect our landline, in order to connect to the Internets.

The point is: no, you don’t have to be an expert in order to provide your audience with value- and that, is the #1 thing you need to do if you want to write better blog posts.

CREATE VALUE

There is some content here on Thirteen Thoughts that I have published years ago that still continues to get shared on social media and still bring tons of traffic and new readers to my blog.

What do all those blog posts have in common?

They give some sort of value to my audience.

And what exactly is a “valuable” post? It’s one that’s helpful, one that teaches your readers something and/or solves a problem. Some of the most popular content that I’ve created has to do with either photography or blogging. Why? Because that’s where I share my tips and tricks; I share what worked and what didn’t work for me, I share what I’ve learned over the last couple of years of blogging. I do it because I remember how frustrated I was when I held my DSLR for the first time and had no idea how to use it. I know how it feels to spend days researching, practicing, reading, watching tutorials and still not “get it”.

One way for your blog post to have great value is if you write about something that you’re passionate or knowledgeable about- but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be an expert on anything.

Am I a professional photographer? No.

Would I consider myself an expert at anything? Not necessarily.

Does that stop me from creating the type of content I want to? No.

You can find many different blog posts on this blog; product reviews blog tips, lifestyle and girl-talk types of posts, and photography- but my writing process for each category is very different. Some of the posts take me fifteen minutes to write, some of them take up to a few days. Usually (but not always) the posts that take me longer to write- when I have to do some research or when I’m just so excited that I can’t seem to stop writing- are the ones that are more popular, they capture my readers and are engaging. That’s because I write about things I’m passionate about. I came across some of my now favorite blogs when I was searching for an answer- whether it be to read a review on a new beauty product, find a dinner recipe, a book review- that is also bringing value.

It doesn’t matter what you blog about, there is always a way for you to create valuable content. We’re all really good at something- even if we don’t realize it. Think of something you do really well, something you’re knowledgeable and passionate about and focus on that. This can be literally anything: from cooking to Star Wars trivia. There’s an audience for every kind of niche out there.

Related reading:

+The Ultimate List of Resources for Bloggers
+Blogging: Tips for Beginners
+226 Ideas for a Blog Post
+How to Start a Lifestyle Blog

READ

Want to write better blog posts? Read. Read as much as you can, as often as you can, everything you can. Read books, magazines, blogs. Read the good stuff, and the bad stuff, and the difficult stuff. Learn from other writers, pay attention to things they do with words. One of the best ways of becoming a better writer is by reading more. Reading not only widens your vocabulary but it can inspire you, deepen your knowledge- it also makes you a better communicator. What you will learn as a reader, you will use as a writer.

I once heard that a writer who doesn’t read, is like a musician who doesn’t listen to music- you can’t expect to be good at it if you don’t experience good work of others, first.

WATCH YOUR FORMAT

On average, it takes about 9 seconds for a visitor to decide whether or not they’re interested in engaging in your content. Bulky blocks of text are often difficult to focus on. Your readers should be able to scan through your post and immediately know what you’re writing about. Write better blog posts by sectioning your text (split it into paragraphs) add subheadings, bold text and you will make your posts much easier to read (and scan through).

Making your content scannable is one of the most important tips for online writing. Reading from a screen (like a laptop) is more tiring than reading from paper- this is why you want to make reading as easy as possible.  Make sure to emphasize important points by adding bold or italic text, using CAPITAL LETTERS, underlining– this will call attention to them, but it will also make your personality shine through. Add photos besides those important points; use borders, block quotes, bullet points, lists. Experiment with this, until you find your own style.

Write Better Blog Posts

USE YOUR UNIQUE VOICE

It doesn’t matter if you’re touching on the same subject as hundreds of other bloggers- if you use your unique voice and point of view, you will stand out from the crowd and you will be memorable. In order to connect with your readers and build a sense of community around your blog, you need to use your own voice, your own style. If you’re just starting out, it might take a while for you to find your voice- that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to try new things, don’t be afraid to say the things you want to say. You want your passion to show through your writing and the only way to do that is by writing about the things you care about.

I read A LOT of blogs and while I sometimes see a bunch bloggers write about the same exact thing, reading every single one of those posts is always a unique experience. THAT is something I love most about blogging.

WRITE YOUR INTRO LAST

Writing doesn’t always come easy- even when you know exactly what you want to write about. I know that I don’t only speak for myself when I say that writing an intro is sometimes THE most difficult part of creating content. This is why I always leave it for last.

Once you’re done writing some of the main points of your post or article, you’re a bit *warmed up* and by scanning through your draft you’ll know exactly what’s missing from the post- put that in your intro. Something that has completely changed the way I create my content was free-writing. When I create my content, I just sit down and write everything I want to talk about, without paying any special attention to my format. I ask myself: “what do I want people to take away from this?” and write that down, too. I then edit what I wrote, format it, separate it into paragraphs, emphasize some of the most important points- always leaving my intro for last. By the time I’m done formatting my post, I know exactly what I want to talk about in my intro.

Not all of your posts need to be perfect before posting. Not all of them need to be long or involved (and *good* doesn’t always mean *long*).

Here’s a little tip for those involved posts though: let them simmer. Never publish your first draft. Keep going back, re-read your post and see if there’s anything you can improve, edit or add. I know that it’s tempting to hit *publish*- especially when you write about something you’re really excited about. Waiting a little and spending extra time working on your post can be a difference between that post earning you views for a day or two after it’s been published, or it continuing to bring new readers to your blog weeks, months and even years after it’s been published.

What are some of your favorite parts of creating content? 

To see a full list of my Pinterest tools I use to grow my blog, see this post. For a list of ALL of my blogging resources, including my favorite affiliate networks, see this post


66 Comments

  • Reply
    Erin Azmir
    June 17, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    This is so helpful! Thanks for sharing x

    http://www.erinazmir.com

  • Reply
    Brittany
    June 17, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    So many amazing tips here! I sometimes forget how I started my first “blog” when I was in middle school. I still have it archived somewhere. I clearly was destined to have a blog!

    Brittany | thechicette.com

  • Reply
    Aleksandra // bunniesaremagic
    June 17, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Reading is the best advice for any writers, bloggers or not! How are we meant to learn without a good example? :)

  • Reply
    Hayley Martin
    June 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    I love making something my own and unique to me, be it sharing something new or an experience that is personal to me.
    hayley // http://www.hayleyxmartin.blogspot.co.uk

  • Reply
    fannyanddailybeauty
    June 17, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Great tips, because my native language isn’t English, reading is the most important thing for me, even when I lack inspiration, I reread my favourite bloggers’ blog posts and the inspiration just naturally come back! Something must be wrong with me because the intro is the easiest part to write for me, but other than that, I agree with every point you made!

    http://fannyanddailybeauty.com

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      June 20, 2017 at 9:29 am

      I’m on the same boat- it definitely made me a bit nervous about writing at first, but writing in English just comes so easy to me now, I definitely gained a lot of confidence over the years. I think that’s amazing that you find it so easy to write your intro- wish that could be the case for me haha :)

  • Reply
    Leigh Brady
    June 17, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    I agree that some of the best posts I’ve read are things that people are passionate about! Love when people pour emotion and feeling into their work! x

    – Eternalleigh.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Kiri Yanchenko
    June 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    I just recently added a pin at the end of my post like you do so my readers can save it later and come back to my posts…

    I never write my intro last; maybe I should try this. I sort of plan out my article first by creating headings for the sections I want to write, then I write my intro. Then I check a keyword finder, then I write my article.

    Kiri
    Set to Glow
    http://www.settoglow.com.au

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      June 20, 2017 at 9:31 am

      That’s a great idea Kiri. I like planning out my articles too- if you find it easy to write your intro, then there’s definitely no need to save it for last. I often struggle with my intro, and find that it just comes much easier when I write it last. Sounds like you have a great writing routine going on!

  • Reply
    Bernadette
    June 17, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    I love reading this post! I do find that tons of your posts have value! I often book mark them and return to them later. Your blog as a whole inspires me to work hard at my blog. I definitely need to work on my SEO stuff as well to improve traffic to my blog. Great post!

    http://www.themakeupaficionado.com

  • Reply
    Naya // partyparrotblog.com
    June 18, 2017 at 3:58 am

    Such a great post, Paula! I actually really enjoy your “how to” posts. This one was no exception xx

  • Reply
    Ana
    June 18, 2017 at 11:29 am

    I think that creating valuable content it’s key! And also reading lots of blogs always help too. I really liked reading this post! xxx
    http://fallingforablog.blogspot.com.es/2017/06/how-to-wear-swimsuit-on-street-part-i.html

  • Reply
    Tiffany Tales
    June 18, 2017 at 1:57 pm

    Really amazing tips lovely. Beaut pictures too x

    Tiffany Tales | Lifestyle & Beauty

  • Reply
    Linda Libra Loca
    June 18, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Most of my posts are slow, but steady in traffic. Which makes sense, most of them are reviews of skincare, things people would usually google before they buy, and these things stay interesting for a while. I do write my intro last most of the time, but not always, it kind of depends in which mood I am. Sometimes the listing of ingredients comes last, as it is the most boring part.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • Reply
    Molly Moran
    June 18, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Love, love, LOVED this post! Thanks for the tips!!! I’ll definitely keep them in mind as I go forward with blogging. You’re one of my blogging inspirations because you have a style that is uniquely yours, and I instantly recognize your works as belonging to you. Thank you for constantly inspiring me to push myself! xoxo Molly

  • Reply
    Mia Mi
    June 18, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I always fall in love with your blog whenever I drop by – and this was no exception. These are some really great points xx

    mia // https://okaaythen.com

  • Reply
    Kelly
    June 18, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Great tips, I always love how you give inspiration/tips to other bloggers that will help improve their own blogs.

    Perfect Shade of Mauve

  • Reply
    Ariadna Morell
    June 18, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    I personally love your photography posts – they’re always so helpful! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

  • Reply
    Katie Wright
    June 18, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    These are great tips Paula! I always have problems writing the intro, so I’ll try doing it at the end!
    { Katie Actually }

  • Reply
    Carolina Pereira
    June 18, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Really great tips, thank you!

    carolinasmakeuplife.blogspot.pt

  • Reply
    Oui In France
    June 19, 2017 at 4:16 am

    Great tip about writing the intro last! I’ve been doing that myself for a couple of years now when I just can’t seem to get started. If there’s one part of the post I want to focus on first, I do that and then come back to the rest. Writing each part in order doesn’t always work.

  • Reply
    Emmalisa Tilli
    June 19, 2017 at 4:49 am

    I really needed something like this!!!!!! Thankyou!!!!!

  • Reply
    Ann-Marie Yang
    June 19, 2017 at 5:35 am

    Great tips! Also, i feel that quality is better than quantity.
    https://theoraclejournal.net

  • Reply
    Natalie Redman
    June 19, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Re-reading a blog post is so important. I often see so many grammar mistakes on blog posts.

    http://www.upyourvlog.com

  • Reply
    Kachee || KacheeTee.com
    June 19, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    This is a good post. Creating value is so so important. And so is peaking in your own unique voice. Reading gives you inspiration – even when you thought you had none. All points are valid!

    Kachee | KacheeTee.com

  • Reply
    lilian Tahmasian
    June 19, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    You really are such an inspiration! thank you :)

    http://www.liliantahmasian.com

  • Reply
    Veronica Bizzarri
    June 19, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    It’s so true when they say reading turns you into a better writer! I write my Intro last too I didn’t know if that was weird or not haha but I learnt that from doing esssays at school

    Ronnie
    http://www.veronicabizzarri.com
    xx

  • Reply
    Mademoiselle Coconath
    June 20, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    Such a great post! Thanks for sharing your tips
    xx
    Mademoiselle Coconath
    http://mllecoconath.com

  • Reply
    Emily Trinh
    June 21, 2017 at 5:17 am

    When I plan my blog posts, I always try to think about what my readers can take away from it, what the value is. Though I have heard the tip to write the intro last, I have never really tried it. I will try it for my next post and see how it goes. Thanks for the tips :)

    Emily | http://emliytrinhcreative.com/blog

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      June 21, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Love that- I think it’s so important to remember that. If your intro comes easy for you to write, then you definitely don’t need to write it last- that’s a tip for people who like me, find it difficult to come up with an intro sometimes :)

  • Reply
    Elliebowsandsparkles
    June 25, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post! So informative and helpful for blogging and so fabulously positive :) Can’t wait to explore your blog now Paula. Xx

  • Reply
    Jaynie Shannon
    June 28, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Reading definitely helps to get ideas and creativity flowing. I always struggle with intros… never thought of writing them first!

    Jaynie Shannon | Beauty & Lifestyle

    xx

  • Reply
    Anita Monson
    July 20, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Great post on writing better blog post. I’m in the process of finding my voice and sometimes I get too introspective in my post instead of writing with my reader’s needs in mind. I’m a work in progress. Thanks for the advice.

    • Reply
      Paula @ thirteenthoughts.com
      August 10, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      It takes a while to find your blogging voice- I feel like I keep changing mine every few years haha ;)

  • Reply
    Scribbling Geek
    July 21, 2017 at 3:15 am

    Writing the intro last sounds strange, but it does work at churning out more eye catching summaries. Thanks for highlighting that!

  • Reply
    SincerelySarah
    August 8, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Writing your intro last is such a good tip! I always start with an intro but always notice I end up completely changing it by the time I’m ready to post. x

    Sincerely, Sarah xx
    http://www.sincerelysarah.net

  • Reply
    Anya Anne Light
    November 13, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    This was a very helpful article! I am working on growing my audience for my blog. I am transitioning from the world of poetry publishing and academic publishing to blogging: very different worlds!
    Thanks again:)

    xo Anya Light
    http://www.AnyaLight.com

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