6 Ways to Write Awesome Posts

    Would You Like to Write Awesome Posts?

    Have you ever read a post and thought, “It’s good, but something’s missing?”

    Worse, have you got that comment from an editor about an article that you wrote?

    If you answered yes to the second question, don’t whip out your red pen and start editing just yet.

    If an article is considered good, it probably doesn’t need a complete rewrite. All it needs is an additional ingredient or two to give it some zing.

    Below are some elements that will transform your post from ‘good’ to ‘awesome’.

    1. Introduction

    Never underestimate the power of a good introduction. The first few sentences of your post should grip your audience and draw them into reading the rest of the piece.

    Just as a great novel’s opening involves the reader so deeply into the story that they can’t put the book down, an effective article intro will make the audience keep on reading, instead of clicking away from the page or scrolling down.

    Remember: first impressions last. If you fail to make a good impression early on, there’s little chance you’ll hold your reader’s attention in the middle or at the end of your article. (If they even make it that far, that is.)

    2. Stories and stats

    There’s a reason why childhood morals like “slow and steady wins the race” or “don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched” stick with us through life: we learned them as stories.

    Stories stick, making your point easier to comprehend, and memorable. They’re especially useful when you’re writing about not-so-exciting things.

    For instance, in an article I wrote about the importance of blog comments, I used the story of how I got a fresh assignment from a former client simply by posting a genuine, thoughtful comment on their blog.  Sharing this story enabled readers to see my advice in action.

    The next time you’re writing an article, see if you can insert an anecdote that would help readers grasp what you’re trying to say. Bonus points if you include data to substantiate your stories.

    For example, when Carol Tice wrote about how she created her niche blog that earns six figures, she shared traffic and revenue data. This not only made the post more interesting, but also boosted her credibility. Using real numbers in your writing shows that you walk the talk, and will help you gain the respect of your readers.

    3. Templates

    Three words: show, don’t tell.

    Instead of just writing about what you did, show readers how you did it. Templates are a great way to do this.

    Case in point: a couple of months ago, I published an article about how I landed an $800 per month client through direct marketing. I laid out the process step-by-step, including the exact email I’d sent to potential clients.  Many readers wrote back, commending my post for being transparent and actionable.

    If you’re writing a how-to post or a success story, include the exact templates or scripts that you used to achieve results. Telling readers exactly what to say and giving them an easy-to-follow format will make your articles much more useful and popular. People love things that they can just grab and customize.

    More importantly, sharing email templates or word-for-word scripts makes it easier for readers to act on what you wrote. That’s huge, considering getting people to take action is no easy feat.

    4. Links to other great posts

    If there’s another article that supports your point, consider adding a link to it. Relevant and useful links supplement your material and allow readers to better understand what you want to say.

    In addition, the websites you link to would likely be happy to share your post with their audience, increasing exposure for your writing and engagement with readers for you.

    5. Tools

    Articles that mention tools or apps are usually very popular for the same reason that templates are such a hit: people love anything that is easy and makes their lives better. Giving readers access to useful tools also makes it easier for them to take action.

    Posts about tools pique reader curiosity and interest. This means more comments, increased sharing on social media, and affiliate income opportunities for you, the writer. No matter how you look at it, you win.

    6. Trending topics

    What better way to make your post more interesting and relevant than by mentioning the issues that people are already talking about?  Twitter’s trending topics or Google Trends are great sources for fresh angles that can boost your writing. Use them.

    Just be sure to get your post published quickly. As you know, trends are fleeting, so though they can give your posts a powerful boost, the time window for this to happen won’t be open for long.

    The tips mentioned above will breathe fresh life into your posts. But great as they are, they are not silver bullets.

    You can write a wonderful introduction or add a hilarious anecdote, but it will be of no use if you don’t have valuable insights to share. Bear in mind that there are no substitutes for original ideas and great writing. The tactics discussed here will work only if you already have a good article in place.

    Have you ever felt that your post was missing something? What did you do to make it more compelling? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

    About the author

      Francesca Nicasio

      Francesca Nicasio (formerly Francesca StaAna) is the founder of CredibleCopywriting.net. She helps aspiring freelance writers break into the business at Be a Freelance Writer. Download her free eBook, How to Land a Client in 10 Days.

    • Steffen says:

      thanks for this article.

      the two most important points from your list in one sentence: show them with a story.

      would have loved to have links to example-articles for each point.

    • Denise says:

      Hi Francesca, great post and I completely agree.

      I’ve noticed on my own blog the posts that seem to have the most resonance are the ones where I either share a personal story or a lesson I’ve learned, or scripts and templates that make it easy for people to do something.

      Thank you for the tips.

      • Thank you, Denise!

        I see the same results when I publish blog posts and newsletters. Readers are much more receptive towards stories and swipe copy. And as a writer, nothing brings me more joy than a reader telling me that they’re inspired or that they have taken action based on what I wrote. I’m sure you feel the same! 🙂

    • Great point Razwana. Formatting matters a lot *especially* online. As a web content writer, part of my job is formatting the post for readability / scan-ability.

      Thank you for adding such an excellent point and if you do write about the topic, be sure to drop me a line. I’d love to read and share it. 🙂

    • Razwana says:

      Francesca – love this list! I would add that finding interesting ways to format posts makes them easy on the eye, as well as fun to write (well, for me anyway – I’m a little obsessed with it). Experimenting with making words bold, italic changing colours, etc to exphasise points, is a great way to help the skim readers amongst the audience get the most out of the post.

      I could write an entire post about this topic!

      – Razwana

    • I thought when you said “Template” you would talk about using a certain format structure as a “template”. I usually follow this- like having a hook intro, a credible source background, meat of the story, etc. It works for me because it’s like an empty template that just needs to be filled out and works well when I get into a block.

      I agree though with your point on template. Works very well with ‘list’titles (eg “12 Tips on …). Very informative article 😉

      • You bring up an interesting point, Rob. I didn’t notice the ambiguity of the word “template” until you mentioned it. 🙂

        You’re right though. Well-written articles do follow certain structures and tend to be more successful compared to posts that are all over the place.

        Thanks for leaving a note! I’m glad you found this very informative.

    • Yoshiko says:

      Thanks for explaining what makes some posts more compelling than other articles. As a reader I’ve had a vague sense but never analyzed ingredients of a great post. I’ll keep your advice in mind when writing a post.

      • Thank you for weighing in, Yoshiko!

        Yes, breaking down the ingredients of compelling posts can definitely help you understand them better and replicate their success. I do hope you’ll be able to use my tips in your writing. 🙂

    • I am always fighting my tendency to tell instead of show. Telling is way easier, but showing is way more compelling.

      • “Showing is way more compelling.” –You got the right, Josh.

        I’ve found that including screenshots, data, links, etc. makes the “showing” part a lot easier. Just something to keep in mind the next time you’re telling your story. 🙂

    • Andrew says:

      Good post, Francesca. I think what you highlight in your 6 steps is that a blog really needs to be useful. That’s why people read them.

      • Yup! The most-read blogs are the ones that provide info that people can actually use and act upon. You’re absolutely right, Andrew–each point in my post does highlight the importance of being useful.

        Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    • It seems to me that readers enjoy a glimpse into a writer’s life, and so it has been my experience that being honest is something that readers particularly devour – even if it means including something embarrassing that happened to you! 🙂

      Providing screenshots as proof is another thing that lends credibility to a post.

      • I agree, Lorraine. Honest-to-goodness articles can certainly be refreshing. And like you said, embarrassing or even “failure” stories tend to do really well, too. I think it’s because these types of posts provide valuable lessons and they give readers a glimpse of the imperfect–but very relatable– side of the writer.

        Thanks for the comment! 🙂

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