Do you know the 3 “C’s” to help you write better blog posts?
The 3 “C’s” aren’t theory or pie-in-the-sky ideas. They are the method I use to write all my posts. They’re my yardstick to know if I’m writing a post I can feel good about hitting “publish.” Know them and write better blog posts. Period.
The 3 “C’s” became even more clear to me after corresponding with an insurance colleague members on my favorite Google+ community- Insurance Inbound Marketing. He had published a link to his recent blog post, and I decided to take a read.
Here’s my reply to him after I read the post…..
Love what you did with this post. Clear, concise & conversational- exactly how a blog post should be. And exactly what consumers want to see.
Within my answer lie the 3 “C’s” and I’ve listed them below, along with explanations.
Here’s the 3 “C’s”
- Be Clear
- Be Concise
- Be Conversational
It all starts with your headline.
Your headline needs to state EXACTLY what the post is about. Readers respect this. There is SO much content to sift through on the Internet, people MUST be able to know what your post is about before they dig in. We don’t have time, energy or resources to read everything. NOT possible.
I still struggle with headlines. They’re tough to create. You only have so many words to get your point across and it needs to be insightful and make an impact. Because, obviously, you want people to read what you’ve written 😉
And again, telling your readers exactly what they’ll read in the post is key to showing you respect them and their time. So give them what they want.
Here’s a variety of resources to help you write solid headlines
Note- I read all of the following blogs/publications and each has a slightly different spin on how to write “good” headlines. My suggestion? Pick the approach that best mirrors how you write and settle in.
- How to Write Magnetic Headlines (free ebook courtesy of copyblogger.com). You can also search “headlines” on their site and get a ton of articles as well.
- How to Write Great Headlines Without Hype or Gimmicks (Stan Smith- Pushing Social)
- 5 Easy Tricks to Write Catchy Headlines (Jeff Goins)
- How to Write Attention Grabbing Blog Post Titles- With Examples (Unbounce)
Honestly, there are probably a million other sites, but these are all sources I respect and use.
Besides the headline, clarity involves making sure your subsequent paragraphs mirror the idea in your headline. The more you circle back to your headline in the copy that follows, the more clear the post will be.
Don’t say in 1000 words what you can say in 500 words. Again, it comes down to time. Readers appreciate you getting to the point right away. Say what you’ve got to say and be done with it.
Use headings, short sentences, short paragraphs, bullet points and whatever grammatical devices are available to make the post “scannable.”
I recently said at a meeting of colleagues, “You need to write your post so if the only thing someone reads are the headline and headings, they will still get the main idea of the post.”
Resources to help you write concise posts
- Blog Like Hemingway: 5 Writing Tips to Improve Your Blog (Problogger.com)
- Why You Should Write Short Articles, Too (copyblogger.com)
I’ve beat this soapbox for a while, but for the love of all that’s good, do NOT write your blog post like it’s a technical manual. These are so snooze-worthy, drool coming out of the side of your mouth, it makes me want to scream.
Insurance is still a HUGE offender of this rule, hence the reason I still am beating that soapbox. I see so many posts that still spout off technical crap, without the smallest shred of explanation and then wonder why no one’s reading their content.
BECAUSE IT’S SO BORING IT MAKES PEOPLE WANT TO JUMP OFF A BUILDING.
Or get a colonoscopy without anesthetic.
In any case, is my point clear?
Pick your one person and write to that person. Pretend you’re sitting across the table enjoying a cup of coffee. Insert yourself into your posts. Be friendly. Be funny. Be a person. PLEASE.
Resources to help you write conversational copy
- The Practical Guide to Writing Conversational Copy (Problogger.com)
- 23 Top Tips to Make Your Blog Posts More Conversational (Problogger.com- I love Darren and his crew obviously!)