Hello friends, happy Wednesday! I hope you’re having a lovely week so far. Once again, I’m back with another blogging discussion, in the “how to” mode, and trying to share some of the small wisdom I have acquired thanks to more than two years of blogging now, and I’ll be talking today about the heart and soul of bloggers: blog posts.
Okay. As book bloggers, the heart and soul of our blogs – and us – are obviously books, but technicalities. Let’s pretend for a while, shall we?
I already mentioned this topic before when I talked about popular blog posts: as bloggers, we all noticed, except if you’re just posting things and going away, coming back to post a new thing and go away again (basically, you are a ghost?), that some blog posts are more successful than others. I’m not going to tackle the definition of successful again here ; but obviously to talk about GREAT blog posts and what makes them, well….I have to talk about GREATNESS.
For some of us, greatness will lie in a perfect, fluffy, crying-all-night young adult contemporary book (me). For others, greatness will lie in the action-packed, crazy stabbing fantasy book. I could go and on here but point is: we all think of greatness differently, both in the books we read and in the blog posts we do. For me, and in order to write this little guide, I start writing this with this definition in mind.
What makes a great blog post?
- It’s FABULOUS. Obviously.
- It has views: obviously let’s talk about the big numbers here as well because we aren’t fools. A great blog post makes people want to CLICK on it – so it has to be catchy in some ways. Just like a book cover ; in a very little space, it has to make people scream: I do want to read that.
- It has interactions: meaning people want to read it, like it and comment on it. A great blog post gets likes and comments and people are taking time to share their thoughts on the topic at hand.
- It is, once again, overall FABULOUS. Why? Because YOU wrote it.
How to write a GREAT blog post?
Before starting, disclaimer here: I’m no expert here, nor am I pretending to be the best at writing blog posts. Some people are way better than me, I’m just here rambling, hoping you’ll enjoy it every single time a new one is published.
To write the blog post that will impress and amaze everyone, there are many things to take into consideration. Let me make a list, because we all love lists, don’t we?
Find a FABULOUS topic
Before heading into the choice of the topic, there is one thing you should know: there is no such thing as an original topic. Whatever you decide to talk about, someone already did before, or will after you. It is the cold hard truth, but that doesn’t matter. What makes something original and different is the WAY you are talking about it. So if you want to talk about book covers, DO IT. Just don’t steal someone else’s blog posts and ideas but DO IT YOUR OWN DIFFERENT WAY.
What book bloggers talk about: BOOKS. Book reviews, book discussions, blogging, ARCs, book covers, screaming about books, buying books, losing books, loving books, TBRs, book hauls,…
What YOU should talk about: Whatever crazy idea your brains has about books, or something different to change things up once in a while.
The only rule: IT COMES FROM YOUR HEART and you want to write it – not you HAVE to write it.
Write, write and write the blog post
Once you got the idea, comes the writing part. Some of us like to have drafts, to make plans, to have an idea of how the post will go before heading into this. Some others just go in headfirst and hit publish right afterwards. Find what works for you. Try both and see which one makes you feel like a fabulous blogger.
On the length of blog posts: There is NO rule here. I have noticed that, when it comes to discussions, or any blog post except bookish tags, it is good to write down around 500 – 1200 words or something, enough to speak your heart about the topic, develop your points and that usually works well. But there is no rule, really ; what matters is, whether you’re chatty like me or to the point, that you, well…make your point.
On blog post titles: titles are fun! I’m not going to mention SEO or anything complicated here ; but in titles, it’s GOOD to mention what you’re actually going to talk about in the blog post. Be clear, concise or long, be #hashtag fun or ALL CAPS screaming. BE YOURSELF. It makes people come.
Add pretty shiny things to structure your blog post (images. gifs. books. all the things)
We all like looking at pretty, funny, sometimes animated things. We all like to read a blog post without feeling like we are reading something long. We all like to breathe sometimes as well, rest our eyes. In order to do that, and make your blog posts shine brighter and stand out, it is always good to do things differently, meaning adding some fun things to make your blog post more FUN and PRETTY.
What do you mean, shiny things? When you read my blog posts, you’ll notice that I tend to structure my blog posts with GIFs, images, titles, quotes. Other bloggers like to have these things they call separators, little things to make the blog post breathe, leave space for the text to show in all of its glory. See what works for you, but think about the blog posts you LIKE to read: do you like huge chunks of texts or when there are images and such?
About featured images: some blog themes (on WordPress, I don’t know about the other platforms) offer the option to have a featured image for your blog post. It’s the image on top of the blog post, also the one that will be shared on social media if you’re connecting Twitter, Facebook to your blog. It is GOOD to have a featured image, one image to actually “represent” your blog post as a whole.
Hit publish while thinking about your readers
I’m HUGE on the community-side of blogging, so obviously I’m going to talk about this. As I said before, to make a blog post great, for me, you have to have interaction. How to do this? ASK questions, obviously. Once you’ve talked about the books, tackled the topic at hand and everything, don’t forget to ask your readers what they think about it all. If you’re not, chances are they might read and nod along or disagree, but not necessarily feel concerned about sharing their thoughts with you.
Some people ask TONS of questions, others two and other just one question. Important thing to remember is: once you wrote the last line of your blog post, if it’s not ending in a question mark…maybe think about adding a question? If you want to hear from others, of course.
Your blog post is live? Make it LIVE.
See the pun I did there? Okay. It was bad. A GREAT blog post doesn’t end once you’ve hit publish. Actually, it only starts living in that very moment. When people start commenting, sharing, viewing, liking the blog post. It means it’s on its way to greatness, so don’t ruin it but cuddle it and make it even greater.
DO: ANSWER to your comments. It’s okay if it takes you time to answer, as long as you do: for me, it shows me that you cared enough about my answer and the time I took typing a comment. SHARE your blog post on social media if you are there. Once in a while, MENTION it in other blog posts when it is relevant.
You’re the only one able to make your blog post great. Despite all of the advice you might read, here, on other blogs, everywhere, what matters is you, your voice and uniqueness. It’s useless to copy other blog posts and most of it all, even if it seems like it’s going to be GREAT, it won’t be YOU. Blog like YOU are. Write the great, crazy ideas from your heart. THAT, really, is what makes it great.