Freelance Advice: How to Write Amazing Blog Posts

Writing a useful, fun and readable blog post is fun and easy to do, if you follow these handy tips…

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

 

Simply dumping the contents of your brain into your blogging software and hitting “publish” is not a winning strategy.

If you want to share your knowledge and views to engage and grow your audience, you need great material presented in an easy to read format. Remember, your readers’ time is valuable and your post is competing for their attention. The internet is full of noise; your posts need to stand out from the crowd to get the attention they deserve. I follow the guidelines below for every advice article post I make and they have served me well over the last year.

Anatomy of an Amazing Post

To create a great blog post that is both easy to read and chock full of valuable content, use these guidelines:

  • Word Count: For my posts, I shoot for a word count of about 500 – 800 words. Any less, and you can’t do all but the briefest of topics justice. Substantially longer posts can appear intimidating and put readers off. If your post is going to be longer than 800 words, consider splitting it into a series of closely related posts.
  • Subject: The article should focus on one tight, easily defined topic. Know what you are writing about and stay on topic.
  • Attention Grabbing Title: Grab the reader’s eyeballs and suck them in!
  • Exciting Lead-in Paragraph: This is key. Make it relevant and get to the point. Make the reader want to read on.
  • Use Bullet Points: Break down the subject into a series of easy to read and/or scan bullet points.
  • Use subheadings: Using subheadings enables you to further break down the subject into easy to digest sections.
  • Question: End with a question. Start a discussion!

Miscellaneous Tips

  • Edit: You should put as much effort into polishing your blog posts as you do your commercial work. Give your best.
  • Keep It Short: Use short paragraphs and have 3-4 short sentences per paragraph. Keep sentences and paragraphs tightly focused.
  • Personal Experiences: Readers connect with stories; be honest and transparent and include your own experiences. If you have a relevant story, share.
  • Provide Links: Provide links to relevant articles and web pages. Don’t make it hard for your reader to further explore the subject.
  • Use a Relevant Image: Simple posts comprising nothing but words are visually boring. Relevant images help to draw a reader in and provide a visual signpost in regards to the post’s topic.
  • Use Simple Words: Don’t expect every reader to have a vast vocabulary.

Help Fellow Freelancers

Do you routinely employ other tactics in your blog posts? Share what they are below and help your fellow freelancers write amazing blog posts today!

Creighton is the publisher at Raging Swan Press and the designer of the award winning adventure Madness at Gardmore Abbey. He has designed many critically acclaimed modules such as Retribution and Shadowed Keep on the Borderlands and worked with Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, Expeditious Retreat Press, Rite Publishing and Kobold Press.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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5 thoughts on “Freelance Advice: How to Write Amazing Blog Posts

  1. Campaign Mastery aims to straddle the divide between traditional blogs that follow the rules that you describe and an online magazine devoted to a single article each time. We follow the stylistic guidelines that you suggest, plus starting each post with a relevant illustration of some sort, and adding more as necessary or desirable along the way. We compensate for the length of the articles by publishing regularly but less frequently. This allows a much greater depth to our articles that has become our trademark and point of distinction. And it helps that we have the experience and expertise to justify in-depth articles.