We’ve talked about blog writing tips for when you need ideas.
Tips for making sure you’re on target, strategy-wise.
But what about those last moments before you click publish?
You’ve proofread. You’ve done your keyword research.
And now you just want to make sure, before you send your content out into the big, scary Internet, that your article is the best it can be.
That’s what these blog writing tips are for. For perking up your content.
They’re for when you just have time for a quick spit-shine before you’re ready to go.
Check Your Headline
You’ve read enough blog writing tips by now that you should have already spent some time on your headline.
You crafted your headline so it includes your keyword. You spent some time thinking about it.
But before you hit publish, sit back and really think about your target reader. Is your target reader familiar enough with your subject that your article grab her?
Take the title of this blog, for example.
Would that headline work for her?
Probably not. She’s not ready to hit publish!
Now, if I’m targeting someone who already publishes a blog, is crunched for time, and just wants to improve what she does every day? Then we’re probably more on target.
Other considerations for your headline:
- Does it make sense, or it too clever for your own good? Take a step back from your own ego and sense of humor on this one.
- Is it snappy? (Hubspot suggests you “make it sexy.”)
- Do any of the tried and-true-tricks-of-the-trade make sense for your blog?
Tweak Your Subheads
Wait, you don’t have subheads?!
OK, first fix that. Start by breaking up your copy with subheads. Make sure at least one of them includes your keyword.
Now you can play with them.
Think through the following:
- Do your subheads help your reader scan? Because most of your readers will scan—at least to begin with. If your subheads don’t help them figure out what’s happening down in the big gray zone under your headline, they won’t do anyone much good.
- Do your subheads give too much away? If everything you need to know about your blog post can be picked up just by reading the subheads, what’s the point in writing several hundred words?
- Do these subheads add any personality to your blog? This is one of those blog writing tips that can get overlooked: Show some personality. Add some flair. Put a joke in a subhead. Maybe throw a pun your reader’s way (depending on your topic, of course).
- What else can you do to break up your copy? Are there quotes you can pull out? Bulleted or numbered lists you can add?
Be Like Sedaris and Spruce Up Your Verbs
I adore David Sedaris. His writing knocks me out every time—and it’s even better if you can listen to him read it.
I remember listening to one of his books on CD during a period I was working on my own writing quite a bit. I had just been through an exercise in which I worked on the strength of my verbs.
And here’s the thing: If you ever read or listen to something David Sedaris writes, you’ll first notice how funny he is. He’s not often cited as an amazing craftsman of the English language.
But I think he is.
If you can stop laughing long enough to pay attention, you’ll notice he chooses great verbs.
You can scan through his latest in The New Yorker if you don’t believe me.
(Also: the thing he describes about people waving and saying hello in the South is true, I can attest).
Strive to be like David Sedaris. Before you click publish, run through your blog post and think about places where you can
use employ stronger verbs.
Caveat on verb-related blog writing tips: You still need to sound natural and avoid business-speak. That is to say, please don’t replace “use” with “utilize.”
Bonus: If your verbs are strong, you’ll naturally eliminate passive voice.
Your Blog Writing Tips
OK, it’s time to share! I know many of you are excellent writers.
What are your favorite last-minute blog writing tips?
What do you regularly do just before you hit publish?