It seems like everyone is blogging these days. There are hundreds if not thousands, maybe a hundred thousand topics to write about. With so many options for readers, one question sticks out in the minds of many bloggers. How do I stand out?
With so much content out there, one of the best strategies is to write lengthy, article-style posts. The longer the better. But how do you write a long post that doesn’t leave your readers confused or in tears of boredom? Well, friend, you’re in luck. Today we are going to cover 5 super simple steps to writing lengthy blog posts.
1). Plan your post beforehand
Have you ever been really excited about an idea for a post and started writing without any real plan? I have. You get 300 or 500 words in and suddenly you’re stuck and can’t think of anything else to write. Fortune favors the prepared mind and that has never been truer than in writing.
One incredibly simple way to structure your articles is to break them up into sections. Your first section is the hook that gets your readers interested. It’s the icing on the cake, the lights on the Christmas tree. It’s what tells your readers “Hey you have a problem, I understand your problem and if you keep reading, we’re gonna fix it together.” Two to three paragraphs are all you’ll need for this part.
Everything else should be broken up into subheadings. Subheadings help you plan your post before you start but it serves another purpose as well. It breaks your article up for your readers so that they have something to look at that is A), broken up into easy to digest bits and B), easy on the eyes.
Finally, you have the close. I personally include the close at the end with no subheading. It feels more natural to me. The close is the part where you thank your readers for sticking around and let them know about your comment section, social media and anything else you want to stick in their minds after they leave your site.
So we’ve covered how to structure your article but you can easily go look at any decently written article of any length and see what I’m talking about. But what’s the secret sauce that makes longer articles easy to read? Well, a couple things.
2). Create white space
Have you ever seen a rant on Facebook? It’s usually a long wall of text and even if you started off interested, it’s a struggle to get all the way through. That’s because there’s no white space. It’s kind of like trying to eat an entire pizza in one bite instead of in slices. Why would you do that? You wouldn’t.
White space is created throughout your content in the form of subheadings, shorter paragraphs, quotes, and images. I usually include at least two images somewhere in each of my articles and you’ll read many articles in other blogs that include quotes directly from the article.
3). Write like you talk
When you talk to someone, you naturally pause as you move from point to point and topic to topic. Content on your blog should come off just as personal as talking to your best friend.
What happens when you do this is exactly what you’d hope for. Your readers will connect with what you are saying and begin to read your advice like it’s coming from someone they know.
You’ll notice that some of my paragraphs are only 2 sentences while some are more. You don’t need to stick to the 4 sentence minimum that is taught in school. It turns out that no one likes word stuffing for the sake of word stuffing.
4). Bring your best you
When I write I like to drink a cup of coffee and put on some music that will pump me up. I do this because I don’t want to bring my groggy morning self into my writing. Think of a particularly charismatic person you know. Chances are good that they’re enthusiastic when they talk.
The business-centric Inc.com says that enthusiastic people make better leaders, and enthusiasm is exactly what you need in order to grow a following of dedicated readers. You want to be a person that they look to for authority or inspiration.
When you are excited about what you’re writing about you will naturally bring that into your work, and nothing sells better than personality. This is something I learned from my career in sales. Enthusiasm is a must.
Not every article that you write has to be a book. While it’s true that longer posts translate into better SEO, it’s not easy for everyone to pump out long articles at first. If it’s easier for you to write 500-word posts then do that. Master that and then work on length as you go. It’s always better to have shorter, thoughtful content than long content that has a lot of nonsense stuffed into it.
Do you want to master long-form content? Leave a comment telling me your biggest struggle with writing and we can solve your problem together. Are you dedicated to blogging but need more than a little help or would like long-term assistance? Email me at ROB@THERUNAWAYBLOGGER.COM and we can work together! And don’t forget, everyone starts somewhere. Even if you feel like you aren’t a master, don’t give up.
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