I’ve written killer blog posts that have been shared and liked over 7000 times and blog posts that have had zero traction. What’s the difference?
In pondering this question, I did some soul-searching, some research, and asked other writers what they thought. The answer turned out to be pretty simple actually.
Below are the things that make the difference between a killer blog post and a “may-as-well-be-invisible” one.
Write blog posts in your authentic voice
The killer blog posts, the ones that do well are authentic, from the heart and in my voice, language, and style. Other writers could try to emulate that in their work, however, they don’t think the same way or say things in quite the same way. They’re not me.
Have you ever noticed you tend to like musicians and singers more when they are different to everybody else? While we’ll go and listen to a band that does covers, they’re not memorable (unless, of course, they are full-blown ABBA impersonators. They just rock IMHO). However, singers like Sia or Pink really stand out because they have a unique and instantly recognisable voice and style.
Write blog posts that are audience-focused
The posts that do the best are focused on a problem readers can identify with. My post “Why I won’t take your business card” hit a nerve with readers and they responded in kind. Pretty much everyone who responded, shared and liked that post had been in a similar situation at some point.
What was different about the story was how I reacted in that situation and that was what made the story provocative. Had I just politely taken the person’s business card, there would have been no story. What made the story interesting for others was that I did something unconventional and unexpected, something others weren’t inclined to do but wished they had. I copped a bit of flack for that post, but given how many more people resonated with my take on networking, I didn’t really care.
Write blog posts that take a stand
That leads me to the next point. Don’t be an asshole but do take a stand. Vanilla blog posts are boring. What you want to do is ignite discussion, passion, anger, happiness, and inspiration. You can’t do that with a post titled “7 tips for the perfect manicure” unless you also make a stand on the exploitation of workers in nail bars or the poison in nail care products… or something similar. You don’t necessarily have to be highly political in every blog post, but a little provocation can go a long way.
A good tip to keep in mind is to inject your blog post with a “why”. Why do you care about sharing this tip? Is it a late night, clasping-at-straws attempt to get something down for your blog post or is it something you genuinely think will solve a reader’s pressing problem? If it is the former, I suggest you take a moment to reflect on why you’re even bothering to write a post in the first place. If the latter, then you can show your reader why it matters they follow your tips and advice.
Understand there is no one-size-fits-all formula to writing blog posts
If anyone tells you they have the one definitive secret formula to writing a killer blog post, they are lying. There is no one formula, because variety is the spice of life and different posts are needed for different audiences at different times in the buyer lifecycle.
When planning your blog posts, it helps to keep that in mind. Really, it’s why I created Writally, so that you could choose your voice, style, and tone for every single blog post, social media post, landing page and email you create and write something worth reading and sharing.
The above tips aren’t comprehensive but they have made a difference to the killer blog posts I’ve written as opposed to the ones that don’t achieve viral coverage, new inquiries and lots of discussion.
There may not be a one-size-fits-all formula for writing a killer blog post, but there is a secret ingredient to writing blog posts that work, that are shared, and that create value for your business.
What is that secret ingredient?
You, of course.