Business & Finance Blogging

How to Write Great Blog Posts As a Freelance Blogger

I've written over three hundred paid posts since I started out as a freelance blogging, and I've also written well over a hundred for my own blogs - in addition to dozens of guest posts.
I've picked just three crucial tips for writing great blog posts, especially when you need to keep coming up with fresh content.
These cover the three key factors of structure, content and language.
1.
Get the structure right
Do you struggle over introductions? Do your posts end abruptly, leaving the reader wondering if there's a second page or a bit missing? Does the point get buried somewhere in the middle? Is your post too short - or too long? Having a framework for your post (whether that's just a checklist in your head, or a written template) helps you to get on with the writing without struggling to know what to say next.
It ensures that your post flows from a gripping introduction to a strong middle and a firm conclusion.
Here's a basic template that will suit most blogs, and which will ensure that your reader doesn't end up lost in a sea of text: Introduction: Briefly explain what the post is going to be about.
No heading needed.
Section One: Give this section a heading which explains the content.
Put one - three paragraphs in this section.
Section Two: Give this section a heading which explains the content.
Put one - three paragraphs in this section.
Section Three (optional): Give this section a heading which explains the content.
Put one - three paragraphs in this section.
Closing: Sum up, invite reader feedback or comments.
Think of this framework as the bare bones of your post: everything else gets layered over the top.
2.
Make the content interesting
Coming up with great ideas can be a struggle, especially when you've been writing for the same blog(s) for a while.
Don't be tempted to just churn out variations on the same old content - recycled ideas always smell a bit stale.
So where do you keep finding inspiration? It can come from all sorts of places, from something you see on a walk, to a computer game (Sims 3 has given me a couple of blog posts...
) In Unit Six of my Staff Blogging Course, I offer some sure-fire ways of generating ideas, including using lists, notebooks, news stories and brainstorming.
You also need to make sure your idea isn't just of interest to you.
Reading comments on other posts is a great way to get a feel for what will resonate with a particular blog's readers.
These types of posts are usually a safe bet:
  • "How-to" posts that teach readers, step-by-step, how to do something (that they're interested in!)
  • Lists of ideas around a particular topic, eg.
    "Things to Do On a Rainy Afternoon".
  • Posts which solve problems or answer common questions
3.
Use conversational language
You may need to adjust your natural writing style a little in order to fit the blogs which you write for.
Some blog editors want quite personal, introspective content - others like humour and pop culture references that'll make readers grin.
For even the most staid and serious blogs, though, you'll want to use a conversational tone.
Don't try to use long words, complicated industry jargon, or elaborate phrasing: just write in a clear and straightforward manner.
Generally, you can afford to have a bit of fun with your posts.
Use light humour to engage readers, or try starting a post with a short anecdote or funny story.
Don't be afraid to use slang or informal language - you're not writing an essay.
It takes most bloggers a while to find their natural voice.
This isn't something you should force (copying your favourite writers never works well), but don't resist the emergency of your personal style either.
There's no one "proper" way to write in the blogging world, so let yourself experiment a little.
There you have it: three steps to writing great posts, every time! If you can get the structure right, make the content interesting, and use conversational language, you're well on your way to becoming a well-paid staff blogger.

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