How to Write Blog Posts That Jump off the Page

Cynthia Herron Blogging 24 Comments

When I began blogging sometime ago, I did so with the desire to connect.

I knew little about social media and even less about blog posts.

What I did know—I liked writing, I adored reading, and I enjoyed mingling with like-minded people.

I’d studied other folks’ blogs, and I began to subscribe to a few of my favorites. Topics that interested me were writing, mom stuff, crafts, recipes, Christianity, cooking, and even leadership, to name a few.

I started my blog with no agenda, other than to write whatever was on my mind from time to time (although if you’re a writer seeking publication eventually, a blog is a great place to start).

Writing for your own self-satisfaction is fine.

 Writing for yourself and an audience demands something more:

 

  • Consistency. In other words, a regular posting schedule will increase website/blog traffic. I initially began blogging Monday through Friday. As you might guess, that worked fine for awhile. Then I began to burn out a wee bit. Since writing novels is my first priority, blogging had to take a a back seat. I opted for a MWF posting schedule.

 

  • Compelling content. Some folks are geared to fluff. Others like more meat and potatoes. I’m a bit in-between. I write about nostalgia, memories, humorous happenings, and various slice-of-life events. I also dish about the writing craft and Christianity. I try to leave my readers with something thought-provoking or a bit of advice learned during my writing journey. I believe the key to prevent stagnation is to vary the content a bit, but to stay true to the mission of your blog. For instance, I try to uplift and encourage. Your mission might be to share mouth-watering recipes. That’s okay! That’s what makes us unique.

 

  • Photographs/Visuals. These aren’t necessary, but they do liven up an otherwise ho-hum page. People will be drawn to great writing. Clear, concise words and intriguing subject matter are non-negotiable. Since we tend to be visually acclimated, however, pictures can indeed add a new dimension to an already exceptional post. I used to use most of my own photos, but now I primarily use the free downloads at FreeDigitalPhotos.net. There’s no registration and no cost involved as long as you give a photo credit.

 

  • Relevancy. Remain in the know. Currently, I’m not crazy over television programming, but watching the news and observing the news-makers is a must if we write. We can’t write intelligibly if we haven’t a clue as to what’s going on around us. I always think of my friend Jill Kemerer who has a great affinity for magazines. She’ll tell you straight up that they’re a great diversion, but they’re also something else—a great teaching tool. And for writers, staying abreast of fun, fashion, trends, and BOOKS is extremely important in our profession.

 

  • Authenticity. Be real. Be yourself. Your readers will know if you try to fake it. We can’t all be like Nancy Know-It-All, and that’s good. People want to hear our own individual voices. One of my favorite, tell-it-like-it-is writer friends is Jessica Patch. Jess posts MWF and she has a heart for Jesus and a perky spirit. She’s funny and unpretentious, and often, she just comes right out and says what so many of us think, but don’t have the courage to actually voice…outloud anyway.

 

Additional blogs with bling are those with these common denominators:

  • Humor
  • Action
  • Teachable moments
  • Applicable take-aways

 

Blog posts that bomb exhibit:

  • self-absorption
  • Rants
  • Poor writing
  • Disconnect with readers

 

Blog posts are labor intensive. They require time, energy, and creative thought. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a sabbatical from blogging, which I’ll do periodically this summer.

With some planning, posting doesn’t have to be drudgery.

Blogging can introduce us to new friends. It can open exciting doors and lead to fun opportunities.

***

What are your favorite kinds of blog posts to read? To write?

Can you share a tip or two that you’ve learned during your blogging journey?

Care to give a shout out to one of your fave bloggers today? 

Photo Credit: Ohmega1982/FreeDigitalPhoto.net 

Blessings Always,

Comments 24

  1. Jessica R. Patch

    Thank you so much for all your kind words!! It really means so much to me! 🙂

    I say you do a fabulous job of encouraging and showing authenticity! I love reading your blog and connecting with you.

    Have a great weekend!

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    Cynthia Herron

    Jess, your blog post today is a must-read! You had me in stitches this Friday morning. Great way to start the weekend!

    And I love connecting with you, as well.

  3. Loree Huebner

    You have some great tips here.

    Blogging for me used to be a challenge. I love it now. I think it is important to be authentic, like Jess, and in the know, like Jill. I admire both of their blogs, as well as yours. I’m always interested in what you all have to say, or what’s on your mind.

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    Cynthia Herron

    Loree, your blog was one of the first I traveled to when I began my own. I liked your “voice” and the way you made historical facts come alive. (And to tell you the truth, the romantic photo of you and your beloved dressed in your period Civil War costumes didn’t hurt either. I thought, “That’s one gal I’d like to know better.” You seemed fun!) I’m still bound and determined to discover why I can’t leave comments on your blog. Technology is great when it works, but a pain when it doesn’t.

    I appreciate your kind words.

    Have a super weekend!

  5. Sarah Forgrave

    Awesome tips, Cynthia. Wasn’t Jessica’s post a hoot today?! I love when blogs give a hint of who someone is without being self-absorbed. It’s a tough art to learn (or is it a science?). 🙂

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    Cynthia Herron

    Sarah, I think it’s both. And one you’re brilliant at! Love the things you share on your blog: health tips, recipes, momisms, writing tips. You’re a natural.

    And you’re the perfect definition of what I talked about here today. You’re authentic and a breath of fresh air.

    Waving at you over from my neck of the woods…

  7. Keli Gwyn

    You’ve offered some great blogging tips, Cynthia. I’ve been making an effort to shift my blog from being writer-focused to reader-friendly. I was kinda scared to make the shift in content for fear I’d lose the readership I had.

    To my surprise and delight, things are working out far better than I could have expected. I’ve had comments from non-writer friends, relatives, and others who never commented on my writerly posts. What’s really cool is that I’m having more fun blogging now than ever before.

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    Cynthia Herron

    Keli, you do such a wonderful job at connecting with all of your readers. And you are a great teacher, as well! (I haunted your blog long before I made my presence known! 🙂 )

    I think when we vary our content, that seems to generate enthusiasm. Sometimes, I’ll reference writing or tie it in, but not always.

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    Cynthia Herron

    Patti, I love your blog! It’s cheerful and uplifting, and you certainly do add a smile to my day.

    Thanks for sharing Laura’s link above. I’ll have to visit.

  10. Stephen Brayton

    Yes, yes, and yes! All very good points. I’ve thought about blogging more times per week, but I didn’t want the pressure and trying to come up with something that matches all your good points would take me away from other important things, like writing my stories. So I blog once on Friday on the regular writing related/author interview blog and once on Monday when I post on the book review blog.

  11. Tim Desmond

    Thanks for the tips. I was referred here by writer/blogger Sunny Frazier. A little over a year ago, in my previously employed work place, I emailed to staff certain things related to our jobs, comments and problems. Sometimes it upset some coworkers. In those, I had a tag line of ….”I’m not a blogger.” It was meant as a joke of sorts. Some friends got it, others, well I’ll never know. Since then I started a blog and it has been a different world trying to connect with others, along with the problems and points mentioned in “Jump off the page” here. Thank you for this, one more level along my learning curve which seems to be rising exponentially steeper in front of me. Yikes!

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    Cynthia Herron

    Tim, I’ve found one of the biggest things is consistency with posts and providing relevant material. Not everything we write has to be rocket science (unless we’re trying to connect with that audience), but our style and what we choose to blog about needs to resonate with our readers. Providing something of interest and value are key. And sometimes just plain “fluff” is fun, too, as long as it’s not the sustaining focus of our blog.

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    Cynthia Herron

    Stephen, as long as you’re consistent with what you’re doing it sounds like you’re developing the self-discipline that it takes to maintain a regular blog schedule. Many experts maintain that if we want to connect with a wider audience, we need to consider blogging more often, but not at the expense of our writing. There must be that happy medium.

    Thanks for visiting!

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  15. Carole Avila

    What I love about this article is that it’s just the right length. Informative with a lovely “voice” -a smooth cadence that was a pleasure to read. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
    Sincerely, Carole Avila
    Posse Member

  16. Melanie Jackson

    Thank you, Cynthia. I am about to plunge into the world of blogging, when I early-retire after next month, as part of getting more web-active. Very useful advice! And I’m curious to see one of the messages that got Tim in trouble with his co-workers …

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    Cynthia Herron

    A regular blogging schedule can be labor intensive, Melanie, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to connect with fun and interesting people. Study your favorite bloggers and take note of the features you like. Decide what your blog focus will be and what content you’ll offer. It may take several posts to hit your “stride.” Don’t worry about how few or how many comments you get initially; often times our behind-the-scenes stats will reveal more folks who visit than actually comment. You’re going to do great!

    Congratulations on your early retirement!

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  19. Jill Kemerer

    Cynthia, you just made my day! Your blog title caught me on Twitter, and what a blessing I stopped by! Yes, I try to use my powerful addiction to magazines for the good. 🙂

    In fact, I know all the latest news about Will and Kate from this week’s UsWeekly! Ha! Ha!

    Great post–I love blogs that have a strong voice. 🙂

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    Cynthia Herron

    Jill, you’ve blessed me! Little did you know yours was one of the blogs I used to stalk. lol!

    And gal, if you were here right now, I’ve got a mountain of mags I’ve not been able to even crack open!

  21. Rainy Kaye

    Nice post 🙂 Also, posts tend to be better when focused. New bloggers especially need to be careful not to ramble and lose direction.

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    Cynthia Herron

    Rainy Kaye, great point! Sometimes, it takes awhile to get in the groove. I’ll always remember the mantra of a former professor: “Tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em. Tell ’em. Tell ’em what you just told ’em.”

    Thanks for stopping by!

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