Have you ever finished a school blog post and just felt, “eh”?
You know, that feeling when you’ve done your research, you know you have a great story, you’ve written a complete narrative … but when you look at the post, there’s just something missing. Maybe we can coin a new phrase: instead of “writer’s block”, let’s call this “writer’s blah”. The problem with “writer’s blah”? That blah feeling gets hold of your readers, too.
But don’t worry, because these 4 quick fixes can be easily applied to give your blog post a boost. Use them to prep a new post before publication, or give new life to an old post that lacked pizazz. You can try one or all, and see what works best for you. Sometimes even the smallest tweak can be what it takes to turn your blog post from “eh…” to “ah!”
Once you’ve written your post, revisit your headline. Is it the strongest option available? Will it compel your audience to read more?
If your headline feels commonplace but you’re lacking inspiration, consider adding one of “The 5 Most Persuasive Words in the English Language”:
Why these five? Copyblogger does a great job of breaking down the proven reasons why these power words work – and why they shouldn’t be squeezed into every headline you write. So take the time to read the article before you power up your post.
(By the way, see what I did here? I promised blog posts that will instantly pop … and you’re still reading.)
Once you finesse your headline to perfection, test it out using the nifty Advanced Marketing Institute Headline Analyzer, which will determine its emotional marketing value.
Now that your headline is powered up and ready to get you the click-throughs your masterpiece deserves, it’s time to move on to the rest of that blog post …
By now you (should) know that simply doing a Google image search for a photo is a big no-no – but that doesn’t mean you have to spend big money on a blog image.
There are many sources, like Pexels, you can use for free images if you need to go with a stock photo. Don’t forget to browse your school’s own database of photos. And, thanks to the stellar quality of phone cameras, you can take quality campus photos on your own.
Remember, a blog image is another way to draw readers in, much like your headline.
Once you find your image, make it unique to your blog. PicMonkey is an easy tool for online photo editing. It’s a free service that lets you add text, filters, embellishments and more to images from your computer, Dropbox, Facebook or Flickr. It even includes easy “canvas” templates that help you size imagery to fit within specific social platforms.
Picmonkey is also key to quick fix #3…
You worked really hard in Quick Fix #1 to craft an amazing headline. Put that headline to work by adding your blog title directly to your blog image, as well as the name of your school and/or URL for your website or blog.
Adding your headline to your image will instantly make your blog post more attractive on Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual platform, so you want your image to be as eye-catching as possible. With your killer headline directly on your image, Pinterest users will be drawn in without having to read the caption.
A blog image with supporting text will also benefit you on other social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. Articles with images get 94% more total views*, and readers want to know what benefit they’ll get from reading a post before committing to the click-through.
Once you’ve enticed your audience with your beautiful image and captivating headline, you better deliver. How? With tip #4…
While your words and ideas are important, so is your post’s “pretty factor.” Is it aesthetically pleasing? Does the layout help move your eye from key message to key message? Is there enough white space to let the brain breathe?
I recently had a reader comment: “Really nicely written copy, and pretty blog. #goodread.” And I was psyched. Because aesthetics matter. They not only support your overall brand image, but also show your readers that you care about their experience on your site.
And a more visually appealing blog post is easier to read, so this tip is about both form and function. Now, how can you up your post’s pretty factor?
In the same way you consider your word flow as you write, consider your reader experience as it flows through your post. Please your audience, and they’ll devour everything you write. Which leads to …
Apply one or more of these tips, and it will make a difference. Still not overwhelmed? Maybe it’s time to put the post aside to revisit at another time. Because if there was a Quick Tip #6 here, it would be to give yourself a break. Not everything you write will be a masterpiece. As Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg says, done is better than perfect.
Do you have any tips to add? Share in the comments below, or join our conversation on Google+.