Millions of people write blogs every day on thousands of topics: news, reviews, personal journals... the list goes on. If you're a blogger, here are a few simple tips that can help make your blog a lot more appealing to your readers.
1) Pick a Great Headline
Headlines mean the difference between stopping to read your blog and passing it right by, so choose your words carefully. It's great to ask the question that your blog answers. Let's look at the headline "Is Your Shampoo Hurting the Environment?" It introduces your concept while enticing your readers. You can also try picking an interesting detail from your blog for a headline. Something like "The Secret the Diamond Industry Doesn't Want You to Know" will tempt your audience to read further.
2) Involve Your Reader
Using words like "you" and "your" is better than using "they" and "their." "You" words aim your blog directly at your reader by involving them personally. Compare the following sentences:
"People with children need to choose the best school that's right for their family."
"Your children need a school that's right for your family."
Both sentences convey the same information, but the second sentence narrows in on the audience reading your blog. Although it's tempting, there is no point in trying to make your blog appeal to a broader audience by using non-personal language. Remember that the people who are interested in your topics will likely be your only readers, so direct your blog right at them.
3) Use Lists and Bullets
If you've got a bunch of related information to convey, consider making a list. Lists are easy to read and pass on a lot of information without too many words. For example, if your blog is about a supermarket sale, it's better to make a list of what items are on sale instead of writing, "Lettuce, cereal, frozen pizzas, toilet paper..." A list clearly states relevant information in a concise, easy-to-read fashion.
4) Mind Your Spelling and Grammar
Do not underestimate the power of your words. Do not forget about spelling and grammar just because you aren't handing your blog in to a teacher. Proper spelling and grammar lend a degree of professionalism both to you and your blog. Even if your friends are your only audience, it will be frustrating to read your blog if you don't take care to remove typos and run a spell check. If you have time, it's always a good idea to have someone else proofread your blog before you post it. If not, put your blog away for a day or even a few hours and then go back and read it again. You're sure to find mistakes that you missed when you were first writing.
5) Be Consistent with Your Format
When you're posting your writing online, there are unlimited combinations of fonts, colors, formats, etc. Resist the urge to make your blog too flashy. Choose one font that is easy to read and keep the size of your body text uniform (your headlines should be slightly larger).
Make sure you keep your paragraphs short and put one line space between them. It only takes a split second for a potential reader to decide if they'll read your blog or not. One mass of text with a complicated font will not appeal to your audience. Even an informative and entertaining blog will be overlooked if it's too hard on the eyes. Remember, blogs that are more readable enjoy larger and more loyal audiences.
Brian Scott is a professional freelance writer who teaches how to write in Plain English using correct style and usage in the English language. He recommends using StyleWriter, a Plain English editor, to write better English, available at http://www.StyleWriter-USA.com