Every now and then, I get asked advice about blog writing.
The problem with coming up with tips for bloggers is that writing is a pretty subjective thing, and we all have different styles we like to write in.
There’s no real hard and fast rule about what sort of tone we should adopt, or what kind of ‘voice’ we should be using, but it’s a no-brainer that the closer to your own way of speaking and writing your post it, the more trustworthy and real it will be.
How to bring in blog best practice without losing your own style
Despite this, there are still a few ways you can improve a blog post without getting so caught up in the structure that you lose your own voice and end up with an article that sounds false, or completely unlike your usual style.
If you’ve been with me for a while, you’ll know I’m a big advocate of having a strong enticing title to draw people in.
I also like using sub-headings so that it makes it easy for clients to read what you’re saying, and breaks the text up in to manageable chunks.
Thinking about the big bang
I’m also a strong advocate of a great ending in a blog article.
Often, this can be the very hardest part to write.
A lot of articles kick off with a sterling title that grabs your attention, heads off through a really great, structured narrative, and then…whimpers out more sadly than a firework in a tsunami.
This can be a real let down for your readers.
It’s kind of like going out for a fabulous meal, loving the first two courses, and then being really disappointed with the dessert.
Our brains are hard-wired to always remember the last thing that happens to us, with the most clarity.
So, instead of being pleased that you had a great mushroom soup and fantastic prawns for two courses, you’re left remembering the fact that the cheesecake was the worst you ever had.
So, it stands to reason that the end of your blog post needs to be as powerful as the beginning, to keep your readers interested, informed, and enthusing about the article long after they read it.
Avoiding the cheesy sales line
Many bloggers will usually stick a sales message at the bottom of their article.
This is sensible, because you’re popping in a call to action and getting people to respond actively once they’ve read the message you’re putting out there.
However, if every post you publish is simply a long-winded way of saying “Buy my product! Buy my services!” at the end, your audience will soon get a bit peeved with the disappointment at the culmination of each post.
Top tips for great endings
To keep your blog endings sharp, punchy, interesting and attention-grabbing, here are my top tips….
- Summarise your points to make it easy for the reader to remember what you’ve told them
- Ask for a share, a tweet or a ‘like’ to promote social networking and get people talking
- Put something controversial (but not offensive) as your final paragraph, to encourage people to respond with comments and kick off a discussion
- Link to something useful, to develop the points in your article, and provide more value
- Ask questions at the end. What do your readers think? Have they got any other ideas? Has the information been useful? Can they add anything in to the mix?
- Give a heads up on content you’re planning on posting over the next few weeks, to keep your readers popping back and looking out for new material.
If you alternate these six endings, you’ll soon find that summarising and doing calls to actions will come as a natural conclusion with every post you write.
What do you think?
Have you got any other ways to jazz up a post at the end?
To prove that I’m following my own advice, here’s a random joke for you…
Q. How can you tell if a group of monkeys have been reading your blog?
A. The quality of the comments goes right up.
Dear Andrew –
One side note.
I think it is fine to ask for the order after your post as long as it has helpful information.
For example, I post a complete chapter of my books and then encourage buyers by giving the link to buy the whole book.
But I do agree with a provocative close.
Thanks for the provocative post.
It is fine to ask for the order after the post – but not every post. I would mix it up a little. It can be off putting.
This is a great guide I think. Yes I agree with your point that we should avoid the sales line. The ultimate solution will be great content. We should always write nice content and that should be helpful to our readers.
Of course, asking for a sale every now and then is fine. But I agree – visitors want great content.
I agree, this guide is very useful. The better your content the more users will want to visit your site, so make sure to have high quality work!
People do remember the last thing in nearly all circumstances, even when you send a friend a text message. You will get the answer to the last thing you wrote. I’ve learned to stay on message and send multiple texts if I have multiple things to say.
The same is true for blog posts. Mine tend to be longer than most, but I try very hard to stay on a narrow topic and write a series of posts about a topic if I want to discuss different aspects of it.
I also ditto Corinne. Asking for the sale naturally belongs at the end of some posts and is clearly a sore thumb at the end of others.
Nothing wrong with long posts as long aas they stay on topic and capture the visitors attention.
Never thought of the ending of a post quite like this before. Great advice. One does remember the ending most.
Thanks for reminding me and the tips on how to do it. By altering these ending it keeps our reading from becoming bored. Totally true.
It’s certainly worth a try – to see what difference it makes.
The proof really is in the pudding because all of the comments have literally focused on the last few sentences.
I’m changing directions slightly… I really like what you send here… “but it’s a no-brainer that the closer to your own way of speaking and writing your post it, the more trustworthy and real it will be”
I’ve always naturally preferred the blogs that have a strong ‘own way of speaking’. It feels as though the person is talking directly to you.
And in regards to the end… I like adding in an action plan so the reader knows exactly what they’re doing as soon as they finished reading.
Great post Andrew, since writing is no exactly my strong point!
I am always looking for ways to jazz up delivery of sometimes dry medical facts, and not to sound preachy delivering my advise.
Endings are important, both in person and in a blog.
I can agree with many of these, there is a lot that can be done at the bottom of your own post the term you were probably looking for was a call to action which is were you basically say if you liked my post make sure to share it with your friends something like that has proven to work especially on YouTube but the joke idea i am not so sure about. For instance while it is rememberable I will remember the joke not the website you need to think of a better way for people to remember the website brand or something not just a joke.
Thanks for not cheesing your post up with many minor or hardly relevant points. Great tittle, introduction, developing your ideas and conclusion is what I learned how an article should flow when I was a kid and still follow this line. To be honest, you don’t need call to action each time if you set up your website nicely. If they clearly see what you are offering they will be able make a decision on their own. What you need to do is to prove that you know your staff by writing an interesting, intriguing and informative article.
My one advise would be; keep writing and developing your skills. If you don’t write because you are scared of it being poor or getting criticized how are you going to improve? Keep reading as well. There are plenty sources online and you can follow some of the great bloggers. You are bound to find a few great tips along the way and pick up a style too.
That’s really a very impressive write-up.
I agree with all your points and the point that you made about avoiding sales lines is the best. Nowadays a lot of bloggers try to sell something or the other rather than focusing on content.
If you provide awesome content to your readers, you will make sales without actually pitching anything.
What do you say about it?
Nice post but I find it hard to create good content As english is not my native language and I have a very hard time to write a post. You could write one in an hour I need a day to accomplish the same value.I understand the basic rules but I lack the vocabulary to elaborate on the topics I choose.
Nice and very informative post
Blogs are mainly used to divert traffic towards their posts or articles. Visitors or readers play a very important role in its success. This can happen only if you have a impact in your blog post. The above post explains us few tips by which we can create an impact in blog posts to attract more people.
I too agree that for a typical blog post writing there is no hard and fast rule. There are some guidelines that should be followed which are technically related. The one thing I felt very important is that ending should be as sharp as beginning for any post. It is a great point. For every post we use a call of action either to divert traffic or to increase sales. But using a nice ending is better than having a cheap sales line.
Thank you for sharing.
Thank’s for this post, i always have a problem for ending a post espicially in this “Summarise your points” sometimes it just like i’m writing allover again hahaha not a summary. do you have some suggestion?
Giving the ending of an article more punch is good suggestion. Thanks.
The beginning of your article is also important in order to grab the attention of the reader, enticing him or her to read further. Start strong, without a long intro into what you want to say. Your title is a promise, so give the reader some red meat up front.
Great post Andrew!
I really like you advice about making sure your ending is as strong as you possibly can! That’s an extremely viable goal!
And I really like the six potential ending that you suggested. And asking questions (especially really good ones) is great and proven way to dramatically improve your readers engagement.
Thanks for sharing Andrew!
Another extremely well written post!
Another great article. Probably asking a question at the end of post is one of the best way to get feedback from readers.
I like this point think about the big ban. Think big, create big and make it big.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the great suggestions for creating posts with impact. I especially appreciate the ideas for punchy endings.
I have used several of these on my posts, particularly * asking questions * mentioning upcoming posts, especially if they are related to the current post, like in a series * summarizing.
I’ll have to try asking for tweets * shares and see how that works.
Thanks for the reminder to not end every post with a sales’ pitch. That would really be annoying to readers!
best regards, Lash
Hi Lash (love the name!)
Thank YOU for commenting.
I just love what you do – something I aspire to do…one day. Australia first…
Well if you love my name and love my traveling life, I reckon we’ll get along fine! Nice to meet you. :))
YEah, Australia has a lot of merits. This time I’m finding that I really love the east coast and all the glorious, undisturbed beaches.
Hope you make it there sometime soon!