The Top 10 Best Practices for Producing an Effective Blog in 2022 and Beyond
THE TOP 10 BEST PRACTICES FOR PRODUCING AN EFFECTIVE BLOG IN 2022 AND BEYOND
The art of blogging requires individuals to possess a solid writing skill set. Nevertheless, most folks believe blogging boils down to merely jotting down ideas and publishing them on a webpage. While one can certainly do that, effective blogging goes much deeper than cobbling words together.
This article will explore the top 10 blogging best practices for 2022 and beyond. These best practices will help seasoned bloggers and newcomers hone their skills. So, please read on because there is a treasure trove of information below.
What is a blog?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary offers two definitions for “blog:”
- A website that contains online personal reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks, videos, and photographs provided by the writer.
- A regular feature appearing as part of an online publication that typically relates to a particular topic and consists of articles and personal commentary by one or more authors.
There are various elements to unpack in these definitions.
First, a blog tends to be a personal publication, including insights, tidbits, and reflections that pertain to the author. In a broader sense, a blog can apply to a corporation or organization, referring to its usual business activities.
Second, a blog can be part of an online publication. For instance, a blog can be part of an author’s marketing efforts to promote a book. A blog can also be part of a company’s marketing strategy aimed at attracting new customers.
Third, a blog includes information, analysis, or commentary pertaining to a specific topic. For an individual author, a blog generally relates to their area of expertise. For organizations, a blog may include topics related to their business or relevant causes.
Based on the previous definition, authors and organizations produce blog posts in two ways: short-form and long-form.
Short-form blog posts usually range between 500 to 1,000 words. These blog posts home in on a specific topic and offer precise insights.
Long-form blog posts typically have more than 1,000 words but often stay under 2,500. Long-form blog posts are intended to delve into a topic to provide deeper insights and analysis. Some blog posts may take an educational approach, while others are informational only.
What is the purpose of a blog?
There are several reasons for writing a blog. Here is a look at the reasons that motivate individuals and organizations to produce a blog.
- Personal reasons. Blogs are often the result of an individual’s desire to communicate personal thoughts and opinions. The blogs are not necessarily professionally written and may lack the hallmarks of a high-quality blog. Personal blogs generally relate to personal causes, experiences, and feelings.
- Professional reasons. Professionals from all walks of life engage in blog writing. These blogs often contain useful and relevant information related to a specific field. Published authors also engage in blog writing as an extension of their published works.
- Marketing and advertising. Individuals and organizations use blogs to promote products and services. Blogs can also become a highly effective way to promote brand positioning. Good blogs create awareness in consumers without openly “selling” anything. Effective blogs contain product information, marketing materials, or helpful tips and strategies.
- Sales. Some blogs intend to sell products and services. These blogs typically contain catchy titles and headings aimed at capturing a reader’s attention. The blog then pitches a product or service that solves the pain points described in the blog post. Some blogs are part of affiliate marketing efforts. Affiliate marketers use blogs to generate awareness of a problem, then redirect readers to an e-commerce site to complete a purchase. The blogger receives a commission for their referrals.
- Maintain an online presence. There are occasions when there is no business or personal reason for writing a blog. Instead, bloggers seek to maintain an online presence. For instance, celebrities and influencers may use blogs to keep a steady stream of content flowing, especially between major projects. Some celebrities may engage in highly specific content. In contrast, others might keep content light and mostly related to their personal lives.
Most folks believe that writing a blog requires no formal training. All one needs is to sit at the computer and fire away. While initiative is helpful, a lack of writing skills may cause a blog strategy to backfire. Producing a blog without any sort of writing skills may lead to ineffective content that does more harm than good.
The next section will explore the 10 best blog practices writers of any skill level can employ to ensure high-quality content. Let’s get down to business!
The 10 Best Practices for Producing an Effective Blog
Producing a well-crafted blog requires careful attention to detail. The following best practices will help all writers produce high-quality blog posts regardless of skill level.
1. All blogs must have a purpose.
The golden rule focuses on producing a blog with a purpose. Blogs with a purpose allow content producers to create meaningful posts filled with relevant information. In contrast, a purposeless blog may quickly descend into a random collection of rants and disjointed thoughts. While this does not mean the content is low-quality, it may become hard for readers to find a logic to the overarching structure of the blog.
For instance, an insurance company starts a blog to help educate its customers. The main topic pertains to insurance, while individual blog posts focus on how the company’s insurance products can help alleviate specific pain points.
2. Blogs must have a target audience.
Some well-intended writing coaches say that one should “write for yourself.” However, this advice is hardly conducive to an effective blog. An effective blog aims to communicate content to a specific audience. As a result, the blog’s content must reflect both the writer’s voice and the target audience. This reason underscores why randomly mashing words together is senseless.
For example, a self-help author’s main audience is older individuals. Thus, the author stays true to their voice while using a more formal tone to consider the older target demographic.
3. Great blog posts reflect the author’s true voice.
Some writers mistakenly attempt to sound “smart.” Others try to be “cool” or “hip.” Such approaches are fine when they reflect the writer’s true personality. However, going out of one’s way to write in a different tone is a recipe for disaster.
It is imperative to maintain one’s voice. This approach helps reflect authenticity. Authenticity is a crucial factor in effective blogging. Audiences can see right through false tones.
For instance, using overly formal language in an attempt to sound sophisticated may alienate general audiences.
Instead, it is best to focus on sounding as natural as possible while observing strict grammatical conventions and spelling rules.
4. Strive to be authentic in blog posts.
Authenticity is a hot commodity in the blogosphere. After all, anyone can pretend to be an expert in any given field. Also, anyone can seemingly get away with making up stories about their life and experiences. However, audiences pay a premium for authenticity. Readers want authors they can connect with. Readers crave content that truly resonates with them.
For example, blogs focusing on personal experiences should strive to “keep it real.” It is always best to allow one’s true personality to shine through. Readers will always appreciate authenticity over manufactured personas.
5. Keep blogs short and sweet.
An unfortunate mistake is attempting to embellish texts. In particular, novice writers may attempt to sound clever or insightful by producing complex, wordy sentences. However, a good rule of thumb is to keep things simple. Above all, please remember to keep sentences short and simple. Long and complex sentences are a surefire way to confuse your audience. For instance, paragraphs of about three to four sentences are a great way to help you keep things short and simple.
6. Use clear and specific blog post titles.
Great titles are clear and specific. They tell the reader exactly what the blog post is about and what they can expect to get from it. Vague titles will most assuredly turn readers away.
Consider this example:
10 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know
This title seems eye-catching at first glance. However, it is too vague. It does not communicate to the reader any sort of expectation.
Now, consider this title:
10 Fascinating Facts About Sharks
In this title, the author has clearly communicated what the post is about (sharks) and what the reader can expect to take away from it (10 fascinating facts).
There is one caveat: Please avoid outlandish or grandiose titles. Titles such as “Five Reasons Why the End of the World Is Near” may seem more like clickbait. Readers may come away disappointed or be turned off by such titles. So, it is best to be honest and clear with your posts’ titles.
7. Define your blog type.
A crucial decision is determining your blog type. In particular, deciding if you plan on a short-form or long-from blog type is key. Long-form blog posts are suitable for in-depth analyses and discussions. In contrast, short-form blogs are more common for highly specific topics.
It is also a common practice to mix both types. For example, short-form blogs are posted on weekdays, while long-form blog posts go up on weekends. Some blog strategies prefer frequent short-form blogs in order to boost publishing frequency. Other bloggers prefer less frequent long-form posts, given the time needed to produce the content.
8. Professional blogs use an editorial calendar.
One of the key best practices is following a regular publishing schedule. It does not matter the precise frequency in which content is published. What matters is that content gets published regularly.
Professional content creators use editorial calendars to keep track of publishing frequency and plan blog post topics.
For example, a corporation publishes a short-form blog daily. These blog posts contain roughly 500 words. On weekends, the corporation posts a long-form blog on Saturdays. Each long-form blog is roughly 2,500 words.
The corporation uses this approach since readers have less time on weekdays than on weekends. The corporation uses an editorial calendar to plan at least three weeks’ content in advance. This practice enables them to avoid repeating or missing topics.
9. Data and illustrations enhance the reading experience.
Using data to back up claims is pivotal. Moreover, citing information sources is a crucial element in ensuring a blog’s credibility. The last thing professional authors want is to be discredited by making baseless claims. Providing reliable information sources can greatly enhance readers’ experiences by providing them with useful data.
Similarly, using illustrations can improve the reading experience by providing helpful visuals. Citing the sources for any illustrations, as well as other information used, is important. Bear in mind that producing visuals may become a time-consuming endeavor, so using free stock photos can add a nice touch to a blog post.
10. Edit, review, edit, review, and edit.
Perhaps the biggest mistake that novice authors make is failing to edit and review. Grammatical and spelling mistakes can easily derail a great blog post. Automated tools such as Grammarly can greatly help review spelling and grammatical errors. Also, a content check is key. Double-checking sources and copyrights for images are pivotal in professional blogging.
Please remember that it pays to be thorough. Blogs are a great way to build a reputation. As a result, thorough editing can go a long way toward ensuring that individuals and organizations build a solid reputation through a well-crafted blog.
How can a writing agency help produce a professional quality blog?
Not all professionals or organizations have the skills, experience, and know-how to produce a professional-quality blog. That is where a writing agency can step in.
Professional writing agencies have the expertise needed to produce top-notch blogs. Writing agencies have the writers and researchers needed to produce great content regularly.
For example, clients can work with a writing agency to craft their editorial calendar. The client can determine what topics they are interested in covering. Then, the writing agency gets to work building the best possible content for the chosen topics. Last, the content gets published.
If that sounds easy, it is because a writing agency can tackle the heavy lifting. A trusted writing agency can help create a blog from scratch or turn around an existing blog. A writing agency can make anyone’s blog strategy come to fruition.
A Final Thought about Blogs
For those folks who like to take matters into their own hands, a writing agency can become a trusted writing partner. The professionals in a writing agency can work in tandem with aspiring writers to provide the support they need. This support may come in the way of editing, coaching, or assisting with research. Ultimately, it does not truly matter what support someone needs. An experienced writing agency can play any role in producing a top-quality blog.
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