Capturing Attention and Engagement: Key Strategies for Crafting Compelling and Readable Blog Content

Blogging is a great way to generate leads, help your current customers, and grow your business. But how do you actually write a blog post? 

Let’s start with a summary of the steps.

  1. Do your research
    1. Know your audience and what answers they’re looking to find.
    2. Do your keyword research. Google search and/or using tools like Answer the Public and SEMrush are what I recommend.
  2. Write an attention-grabbing headline or create an initial title 
  3. Write your blog post outline with key topics to cover
  4. Create your rough draft and include images to enhance your post
  5. Proofread and edit your rough draft for cohesiveness
  6. Add finishing touches and publish.

In this post, we’ll focus on steps 4, 5 & 6.  Now let’s dive into how to write your blog post.

Start with a rough draft. 

Using your blog post outline as a guide, start expanding on those topics you’ve identified.  Refer back to any information you’ve gathered in your research phase as you craft your post if needed.  And if a topic in your outline no longer makes sense, simply forget about it.  Your outline is only a guide and not something that is absolute and set in stone.

One Sitting or Two?

Because we’re all unique creatures, some of us like to sit down and hammer out a rough draft in one sitting, while others like to do things in short bursts of energy or as time allows.  There’s no hard-set rule here. 

Personally, I like to write my drafts all in one sitting since my copy goes through several proofreadings and edits before I finalize my post. Once I start writing, I simply like to keep going and get all of my thoughts down.  Then I go back and do an initial read-through. 

That’s what works for me.  But if you need to write your draft in multiple sittings, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that either.  

The Initial Read-Through.

Now that you have your rough draft written, give it a once-read-through. Your initial read-through is to make sure you’re still on point and haven’t wandered too far off-topic.  Make any obvious edits along the way.

Add Images.

After your first read-through, think about where to place images. Images add a great deal of context to your words and help your blog post be more cohesive. And breaking your text up with images makes your post more visually appealing to your readers as well.

Many people give blog posts an initial scan before diving in to read. Well-thought-out image placement makes your post less intimidating and adds character and context.

Images can even make more complex topics easier to understand. Charts, tables, diagrams, infographics, and other visuals fit in perfectly here.  Use whatever makes the most sense, and there’s no limit to the quantity either.

Time to Edit. 

Once you have a rough draft of your post with images peppered throughout, now starts the editing process. Tools like Grammarly are a huge help with spelling, grammar, and sentence structure. However, be careful when using all of its suggestions.

While grammar and sentence structure are important, editing is much more than that. Sometimes – actually a lot of times — it’s about sacrificing some of that to make your blog post more cohesive.

Don’t get me wrong; grammar’s important. But making your post easy to read is even more important.

Most readers read at a 9th-grade level, and they usually enjoy reading things that are two grades below that. You definitely want to keep things on their level as much as possible.

Avoid repetition.

As you’re reading through and editing, check for overused words. You don’t want to be repetitive. That’s just plain boring.  Use a thesaurus if necessary to come up with alternatives.

Read your post out loud.

Listen to how your post flows – or maybe doesn’t. Hearing your words aloud is a lot different than hearing them in your head.

Check for overly wordy blocks of text or sentences that sound unnatural. And if you find yourself struggling with the flow of a particular sentence, rewrite it until it literally rolls right off your tongue.

Keep sentences and paragraphs short.

It’s a common mistake, especially for new bloggers, to write a huge wall of text. For your average reader, this is intimidating and ultimately turns them away.  That’s not your goal here. Sentences and paragraphs should be as short as possible.  They’re easier to read. 

Rule of thumb for sentences and paragraphs.

Aim to keep your sentences under 25 words and your paragraphs under 150 words. Remember, this is only a guide.  I often use one-word sentences and paragraphs to drive home a particular point.

Also… play around with varying post lengths. Just keep in mind that Google prefers post lengths of 300 words or more, so avoid publishing posts shorter than that. 

Have someone else read your post.

It always helps to have a second set of eyes on your work. Asking someone else to proofread your post can greatly help ensure that it flows and makes sense to someone else besides you.  If you have this luxury, definitely take advantage of it!

Build online presence with trusted marketing software (en)Remember your blog post will never be perfect!

If you’re a perfectionist, forget about it. There’s no such thing as the perfect post. The sooner you accept this, the better.

Now I’m not encouraging sloppiness or discouraging obsessing over the details. However, even the best can be better. Simply make all of your posts as good as possible, learn from your experience, and move on to your next post.

Time to hit “PUBLISH”!

Now that you’ve made it to this point, “PUBLISH”!  Voilà!  That’s it! You’re done!

It’s that simple!

All you need to do is simply aim to make your content readable, win your readers’ attention, and keep them coming back for more.  And… the more you write, the better you will become, and you’ll be a pro at it in no time at all!

Practice, practice, practice.

Keep in mind that, like most skills, the more often you write, the easier and quicker writing becomes. There are no shortcuts or hacks here. You must put in the time and effort and practice like you’re training to become a pro athlete.

That’s how you write blog posts that someone actually reads.

Happy blogging.  Let me know if you need any help.

About Dianne Robbins:

Bio Picture of Dianne Robbins | Dianne Robbins Social

I’m a seasoned digital strategist with over 30 years in sales and marketing. My expertise spans from traditional marketing in the real estate and auto industries to innovative strategies in social media and digital marketing. As the head of Dianne Robbins Social, I focus on creating simple yet effective online strategies tailored to each business’s needs that drive business growth.

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