Top 5 Tips to Write a Popular Blog
What I learned from taking the Writing a Compelling Blog Post course
If you want to be a successful blogger you need to learn more than the art of writing. As a first step you need to define what you want to accomplish, what success means to you. Second step includes educating yourself. Starshine Roshell’s course on LinkedIn Learning is an excellent resource to take in this direction. Here are my top five takeaways from it.
1. Write about what people need or want
Most of my blog posts were and are book and movie reviews. This is what I am interested in, where I have ideas I want to share. However if I look at which of my posts had the most viewers I notice that those are the most popular where I offer tips or advice. (Specifically, this is my most popular post ever: “How to escape double quotes in a Google Spreadsheet?“) So you and I need to reevaluate the purpose of your writing. If the goal is to get out what’s on your mind, or share your personal story do whatever you want. There is always a chance that your life or elements of it become popular for reasons beyond this course. However if your goal is to create posts that lots of people want to read then you need to create something that informs, educates, engages and challenges them. Or make them laugh.
2. Post on a consistent schedule
Success for your blogging adventure surely means readers who keep coming back for more to your content. If you want to build a local readership stick to a schedule. Posting less frequently than every two weeks means less chance for people returning regularly. There is a good chance that you won’t be able to keep up posting quality content on a daily basis. So write something great at least twice a month, but less often than once a day.
3. Write between 450 and 1500 words posts
Most people read between 150 and 300 words a minute and most people don’t read a post longer than 3 minutes. Do the math and you get the above figures. Consider also that shorter, 300 word posts generate more comments and longer, 1000-1500 word posts get shared more on social media. Furthermore 2500+ word posts can rank higher in Google if their bounce rate is low.
4. Add a call to action
If you want people to do something with or after your post ask them to do so. Ask them a question and offer a place to answer them, offer a link for further study, or place the product or service you want them to buy. There is a whole science of where and how to add the call to action in the post, but the most important thing is to do it.
5. Don’t let negative comments discourage you
If you put yourself out there, it is inevitable that eventually you will get some mean comments. Don’t take it personally when you encounter trolls whose purpose is to get under your skin. Feedback, whether it is agreeing with your point or not is always useful, but name calling and comments without any arguments you can and should just disregard.
Other main points of the course, that were less revelatory for me, but just as essential in the blogging business:
- Content: be knowledgeable, stay focused and timele
- Structure: format your blog with images, make it scannable with numbered or bullet points and break it up with subheads
- Style: have a voice, passion and integrity
This course is helpful at any level of knowledge. It reaffirmed the importance of what I already knew and introduced me to new ideas too. The post above is based on my personal learning and for you other aspects may be more important. Thus I recommend taking the whole course. Monthly subscription to LinkedIn Learning costs $40 and includes thousands of courses, including this one.
What did you learn from the course, available here? When you finish the course you will get a certificate like I did: