Have you ever read a blog post that’s just felt duller than an advanced physics textbook? Or maybe you’ve seen content that feels like it was written by a poorly programmed AI that just spits out facts in blocks of text.
Unfortunately, too many blog posts don’t have strong writing to back them up, even if it’s a solid topic with plenty of research.
This is why it’s so important for brands and agencies to hire writers with strong samples that show engaging writing that will keep readers interested. It makes the difference between a killer business blog and a dead business blog.
But what about if you’re the writer? Knowing how to improve the quality of your blog posts when it comes to writing is sometimes easier said than done, but in this post, I’m going to break down five easy writing hacks that will improve the quality of your blog posts and content marketing quickly.
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Table of Contents
1. Keep your paragraphs short
The thought of a one-sentence paragraph just about did me in when I first saw it.
I was relatively fresh out of college where I was used to writing long-winded nonfiction and academic papers, and formal, structured paragraphs were practically a must. The thought of such short paragraphs felt mind-boggling.
Short, sweet paragraphs (whether they’re one sentence or three), however, are an easy way to improve your writing for blog posts. This is because they’re:
- Easily scannable
- Easy for readers to process
- Easy to keep you on track and focused
Skipping giant blocks of text is a good option here, which is why you’ll see that most of the paragraphs in this post are short.
For example, look at Solitaire Bliss, a classic gaming website, whose content is easy to scan and understand.
2. Mix up your sentence structures
An easy way to improve your writing is to shake up the sentence structures themselves.
You can use a mix of simple sentences and complex ones to keep things interesting, partially because it can help with the rhythm of the text and partially because readers won’t know exactly what’s coming next.
Use a mix of the following throughout your posts:
- Simple sentences (Short sentences are great)
- Longer simple sentences (Short sentences are great, but long ones are, too)
- Sentences with colos or semi-colons (Short sentences are great; long ones, however, can really help get your point across effectively)
- Bullet lists (See: This section)
3. Use fact-why-how formatting
I’ve read some posts that seem to have the right idea, but the execution of the writing means that readers are left confused, missing a vital piece of the puzzle somewhere along the way.
If you’re new to writing and want to make sure you cover your bases, use this approach in your formatting:
- Start with a fact. Explain the problem, the tip that you’re going to go over, or the fact that this H2 will be based on.
- Explain why it matters. Why does it matter to the reader? How does it impact them, and why will following certain steps to make change be useful? You always want to include this early, or users straight up might not care to continue reading further.
- Detail how they can take next steps. What steps are needed in order to complete a strategy? Are there actionable tips you can share for this section that can help them get a desired result?
Add in examples, anecdotes, and tutorials where appropriate, and you’ll have a fully fleshed out H2 that won’t leave readers with many questions.
4. Back up your ideas
Chances are good that most writers are writers with at best moderate experience in the field you’re writing in, right? That’s true for most freelance writers.
I am not a loan officer, but I’ve written extensively about business loans and lines of credit.
I am not a doctor but have written about surgeries, medical conditions, and treatments.
You get the idea.
Readers are used to this, and they’re also used to there being an enormous crisis of misinformation online. I could declare that using poop emojis in place of conventional punctuation marks is the EASIEST way to increase your writing, and no one could really stop me, right?
Because of this, it’s imperative to back up what you’re saying, even if you know it to be 100% true in your soul. Readers trust you more and (bonus!) it’s good for your SEO, too.
Aim for at least three outbound links per 1000-1500 words, include statistics if at all possible, for example, this Cleaner Salary Guide from Jobber found on average a cleaner’s hourly rate is $12.58.
5. Get creative when addressing the reader directly
So many blog posts are written to be conversational and address the reader directly. This is because the content is a lot more fun and engaging to read than blocks of text that just spout off facts and explanations.
Part of this comes down to creativity.
If you’re able to throw in an interesting phrase here or there while keeping things conversational, that can make your writing come alive.
Here are a few examples:
- They’re missing information -> There are a few puzzle pieces missing
- They didn’t get results -> The results were underwhelming, to say the least
- This method is outdated -> This method is like my skinn jeans, according to Gen Z: Outdated and no longer relevant
While this will depend heavily on the tone of the publication you’re writing for, if you’re writing in a conversational tone, peppering in fun references, colorful languages, and a few careful jokes (never try too hard to make something work) can make your writing stand out.
Everyone thinks they’re a great writer. They put something on paper (or type it out on a computer nowadays, I guess) and automatically assume that it’s excellent.
Writing professionally is harder. There’s, unfortunately, no magic formula, but knowing a few basic best tips can be a good starting point.
And remember: Practice truly does make perfect. If you have the ability to do so, take courses that focus on the writing quality itself. Getting direct feedback from others is the best way to see where you need to work more because we all have blind spots when it comes to our own writing. Identifying them and working on them is the best tip to move forward, though that one definitely won’t count as an easy writing hack.
Want to learn more about how you can create strong content marketing resources that clients will love? Check out our other blog posts here.