Writing successful blog posts is both an art and science; it is something you can learn and, once you master it, it is something you can predict.
There are several ways to go about writing successful blog posts, but here are some tips to help increase your chances of success.
1. Focus on a Topic
Take a look at the web’s most popular blogs and you will hardly find a successful article that rambles on and on about a different number of things.
Start by taking a look at the popular articles on this blog. What can you see? You’ll notice, it is one topic at a time.
This advice might sound simple, but it’s a mistake a lot of bloggers still make.
2. One Paragraph, One Point
This is especially important.
Highly successful blog posts are very easy to understand; in other to effectively pass across your message, make sure each paragraph focuses on just one point.
If in the midst of your writing you need to make another point, end the paragraph and start a new one.
3. Write for the Scanner
Research has shown that over 50% of people won’t read your content to the end; in other words, at least 5 out of 10 people who read content online are scanners.
Writing content that is too poorly presented to be scanned will often result in your articles being ignored.
Always include and highlight important points; use bold, italics and bullets to make key points in your articles stand out.
Write each article in a way that ensures readers still get the point you are passing across if they decide to scan.
Surprisingly, more people will be sucked into reading your article if it is well presented.
4. Embrace Simplicity
Seven-figure blogger Neil Patel credits the success of his blog posts to his use of simple language.
His reasoning was that everybody can read and understand simple language; professors can read and understand simple language, and ordinary people can read and understand simple language as well.
The more people can understand what you write, the higher its chances of success.
As much as is possible, try to avoid technical terms, jargons, and use of excessive words unless you are writing to an audience that requires this.
5. Focus on Positive Emotions
Research has shown that positive articles are usually shared more on social media.
It’s true that articles that involve a lot of emotion can often cause a lot of controversies, but the most successful articles are usually articles that are positive in nature.
As much as you can, focus on writing positive articles; articles that encourage and motivate people will always go a long way compared to articles that insult and tear them down.
Focusing on positive emotions isn’t just important when deciding on the type of article you want to write, it is also important when passing across your points.
There’s a reason why success stories are usually very popular.
6. Find a Proven Formula and Stick to It
Over time, you’ll find out that a particular type of article always outperforms other types of articles.
This can be observed with articles on your blog, with articles on popular blogs in your niche, or with guest posts that you write for other blogs.
Once you find something that works, make sure you stick to it.
For example, I have found out that articles that serve as a resource are usually well-received. I discovered this accidentally a few years ago, and I have repeated the article several times to great success.
Some example resource articles I wrote are:
Do you notice how similar those articles are? They’ve all generated several thousands of views, and two out of the 3 articles featured above have received over 200,000 views combined.
The success of these articles is due to one fact; I found something that works and I stuck to it.
7. Write Comprehensive Articles
Research has shown that detailed, comprehensive articles are usually more popular than shorter articles. This applies both to articles that go viral on social media as well as articles that get ranked well in search engines and as a result enjoys recurring traffic. This shows that even though the majority of people who read content online are scanners, people still value articles with substance.
People prefer learning everything necessary about a topic in one detailed blog post than to have to read 7 different blog posts about the same topic.
8. Ensure Your Articles Lead to an Action
While we often measure the success of our blog posts by the number of page views and social shares they generate, those aren’t the only factors that matter.
Perhaps the most important factor is the action a blog post influences readers to take.
You’re blogging for a reason; it could be to gain more clients, sell more products, get more subscribers or have people join a cause.
Directly or indirectly, always make sure your articles influence people to take the actions you want them to take.
You can do this by including a direct call to action below your articles, or by subtly encouraging them to take the action you want them to take in the body of your article.
9. Don’t Ignore Your Headline
The headline of an article is just as important, if not more important, than the entire article itself.
A case study to the effectiveness of this approach was a repackaged article by Forbes that ended up becoming massively successful than the original article by The New York Times.
The original article by The New York Times was titled “How Companies Learn Your Secrets” and the repackaged article by Forbes was titled “How Target Figured Out a Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did”.
The original article by the New York Times got 13,000 views while Forbes’ version of the same article got 680,000 views.
The headline was what made all the difference.
Start writing better blog posts with the above tips. What other tips do you have?