You already know what a blog is, how blogging can be used for social change, and the characteristics of an effective blog.
Nonetheless, as we have already pointed out, the most important thing for a blog is its content. Without well written blog posts, your blog will fall into oblivion and will not be taken seriously by those who are your target audience.
That is why we have listed below the six best practices to follow for writing an effective blog post.
By following these practices, your blog will be better received by readers, thus increasing its likelihood of being shared on social media and sparking public discussion.
Get into the habit of writing. Don’t let a day go by without writing at least one line of text.
Top five practices for writing blog posts
Immediately state your main point
Let’s say you are writing a blog post about the progressive tax measure announced by the Ministry of Finance. The post shouldn’t start with a historical overview of the way the tax regulations have been implemented in Macedonia.
Instead, lead with your main argument – why you think progressive tax is fair or unfair. Having led with your main argument, continue with providing arguments about why you took this position, citing credible sources.
The purpose of an effective blog, in addition to informing and encouraging discussion, is to persuade. Therefore, start with the main point, show the readers why it is important to work on the problem you are presenting and why they should be concerned with the finding of a solution to that problem.
In order for your blog to get more hits, you need to post new content regularly. Post at least one to two blog posts a week.
Prove your claim by citing sources
Make an effort to use hyperlinks in your blog posts. Hyperlinks should lead to research papers, reports, real-life examples, and other materials that support your main arguments.
These sources will add credibility to your blog post and the arguments presented. Additionally, in this way, you give readers the opportunity to inform themselves about what you are writing in the blog post. However, do not go overboard with using sources. The blog is your personal text and it should not be a copy of someone else’s research.
Stick to an informal writing style
A blog post is not academic research. Therefore, do not use bureaucratic jargon in your blog posts. Your style of writing should appeal to a wider audience.
The use of acronyms and similar abbreviations is acceptable only if they are generally known to the public (for example, MoI or WHO).
If the audience is not familiar with the terminology you use in your blog post, then its purpose is defeated.
Active voice enhances the expression and contributes to greater clarity of the text. Strive to write in active rather than passive voice.
Another thing that helps foster an informal writing style is dividing the blog post into shorter paragraphs. Avoid oversized blocks of text. It prevents readers from delving into the content of the blog.
If you use short paragraphs, the reader will have a clearer idea of your reasoning and will more easily decide to click on the links to additional materials.
Photos are an effective way to draw attention
Readers are more likely to stay on the blog if it contains photos. When a blog consists of several large blocks of uninterrupted text, it makes reading difficult. In addition to making the text easier to read, photos make the text visually appealing.
This is why we should make an effort to use photographs and other graphical elements to interpret or better understand the arguments in the text.
But first make sure the photos are free to use, and where necessary, cite the source (e.g. the photographer’s name).
Another way to keep readers’ attention is by using an image to design the headline.
A great (free) tool for creating designs and images for your blog posts and social media posts is Canva. If you need a free photo resource that you can use in your blog posts, head to Pexels.
Avoid excess words
Redundancy – Overabundance, superfluous words, verbosity and drawn out presentation
Redundancy is something that many authors overlook when writing blog posts and research papers. Redundant words do not give additional meaning to your writing. They overburden the sentences, making them “cumberesome”.
By leaving them out, the text loses nothing. On the contrary, it makes it clearer and easier to read.
The MP entered inside the meeting room.
The word inside is redundant. If removed, the meaning of the sentence will not change, but it will be shorter.
To be read by many, a blog needs to have a catchy headline. Effective headlines contain 6-8 words.
Six rules of choosing words
1. Never use passive voice when you can use active
2. Do not use figure of speech/clichés (e.g. they are going through NGOs with a fine-tooth comb)
3. Never use long words if the short one can do the job (e.g. purchase = buy)
4. If you can remove a word, do so
5. Never use a foreign word
6. It is better to break any of these rules than to write something meaningless
At the end of each blog post, list the name of the author. It is recommended that this section also include a photo and a short bio.