26 Reasons a Writer Should Blog - Part 6

Have you ever noticed how some of the most difficult letters to write about come near the end of the alphabet? Well, perhaps apart from Q that is!

Each month we've taken the next few consecutive letters of the alphabet and selected one word representing each letter. We're now getting to some tough choices. What will the next four be? T, U, V and W.

If you've been with me since the beginning of this series, by now your writers' blog should be looking good. So as we approach the final seven letters, let's dig deep. The points from this post and next month's can put the final touch to your really great blogs.

 So here we go!

20. T is for Title. Brian Clark of Copy Blogger gives these startling statistics: 

On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. See what that looks like >>>

He adds, "Without a headline or post title that turns a browser into a reader, the rest of your words may as well not even exist."

Wow! We need to come up with some innovative titles. I have a confession. I have only recently realized how important blog titles are. I know how important titles are to my books or articles, but somehow I missed the point when it came to my blog titles. So we have thrilling titles like "26 Reasons a Writer Should Blog - Part 6!"

It's too late to change the titles for this series, but I'm going to put a lot of thought into future posts I promise you!

So how do you choose a good title? Here are two sites where you will get some brilliant ideas.

21. U is for Undivided Attention.
  • We often hear how important it is to separate our writer from our editor. We should allow our internal writer to get down on "paper" a.k.a. screen, what she wants to say. Only then should we allow our internal editor to come along with her red pen and make corrections.

    I don’t find that easy, do you? When I sit to write, my own personal editor perches on my shoulder and points out all the things I need to correct. I battle to concentrate on a first draft without doing repeated alterations along the way.
  • By blogging to a theme, I know where I want to go. Once I sit to write, it is much easier to concentrate and go flat out. Try this yourself. You can give your post your undivided attention. I know it will only take about half-an-hour max if I don’t allow myself to get distracted.

    Images can come later. Anecdotes can be added. I sometimes type in capitals ANECDOTE and keep going. Don't stop to look for the write illustration. You'll get distracted. Just write! Focus! Get down the main points. This is all good training for your longer pieces of writing. Once you've drafted the article, go through again and look for suitable images, anecdotes, or even links to other posts.

22. V is for Value.

If your reader doesn't get value out of your post, and by that I mean every post, she will not come back. Bottom line: every post must contain value. So how do you do that?
  • Picture your readers before you start. Have them in your mind, and write your post TO them. Think of the problems they may have with what you have to say and address those problems. Make your post applicable to every one of them. 
  • Write about issues of interest to you. Share your passion with your reader. Get excited. Let them see why. As you bubble over on the page, they will get caught up in your enthusiasm, and want to read on.
  • Be a perfectionist. Benjamin Franklin once said, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Don't do that! Have a plan and stick to it. To give you another quote, Norman Vincent Peele said, "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

    So aim at 100% perfection every post, and you should turn out high quality posts that will keep your readers coming back for more. 

23 W is for Word Count 
A common myth is that the ideal length of a post should be 500-600 words, or it should all fit within a screen so the reader doesn't need to scroll. That no longer makes sense as many people read on tablets or smartphones. Take a look at some of the most popular blogs, like Copyblogger or Huffington Post, and you will see far longer posts. 

     Here are a few points to consider:
  • Readers have short attention spans and are short on time. So if your blog is longer, it must also be scannable. Plenty of headers, different colored fonts and images will help them leap through the article searching for the one treasure they want to stop and unpack.
  • Keep to short posts if you are posting daily. You're not likely to be able to keep up with longer posts on a daily basis, nor will your readers. 
  • Longer posts are better for SEO and Google prefers them.
  • Posts that are longer also increase your likelihood of valuable backlinks.
  • The longer posts are most likely to be shared. According to Forbes: "It has been found that posts which contain more than 1,500 words gained 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more Facebook likes. In other words, the longer the post, the more it will get shared."
  • Bottom line? There is no right or wrong answer. Go with what works for you. Some posts may be longer than others. It's up to you. The important factor is the readability of your blog. Can you hold your readers' interest for the duration? Or is your longer post easy to zip through looking for the meatier bits?

Which point in this blog helps you the most? Share it in a comment below. 


26 Reason for a Writer to Blog - Part I: A - C
26 Reason for a Writer to Blog - Part II: D-G
26 Reason for a Writer to Blog - Part III: H-K
26 Reason for a Writer to Blog - Part IV: L-O
26 Reason for a Writer to Blog - Part V: P-S

SHIRLEY CORDER lives on the coast of South Africa with her husband and a lively Jack Russell. Her book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for your Journey through Breast Cancer, has brought encouragement and inspiration to a multitude of friends and contacts across the world.

Visit Shirley at ShirleyCorder.com where she encourages writers and readers, or at RiseAndSoar.com where she encourages those in the cancer valley. You can also meet with her on Twitter or Facebook.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

, Gosh! You did it! A to Z. We are all experts now. Will have to phone advice. Easier said than done. L OL.

Shirley Corder said...

Caroline, still the most challenging to go! Next month X,Y &Z. Oh help! :-)

Karen Cioffi said...

Shirl, great job on why writers should be blogging. Yep, that title is the thing that will grab the browser. Once you grab her, giving valuable content is a must. Just three more to go, Shirl!

Shirley Corder said...

Yep Karen, and I lost the plot when I gave this series of posts their title LOL. Ahh well. As you said, nearly there. Now for the final challenge, yikes!

Anne Duguid Knol said...

Absolutely marvellous series, Shirley. Am going to use it as a 30-Day challenge for working on my new blog. Now if you'd create an official blogging challenge from this, I'm in :-)

Shirley Corder said...

LOL! Thanks Anne. Sounds like fun - but also sounds time-consuming. :-)

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