A Simple Way to Improve Your Blog

Aside from choosing great titles, there’s another tremendously effective thing you can do for your blog.

The title is indeed the most important part of a blog entry. But after you’ve gotten someone to start reading, you have to hold the reader’s interest. And the way to do that is not all about subject matter. So many blog entries have great subject matter, and still they’re… well… boring. Even interesting content is boring if it’s presented in the wrong way. On the other hand, many blogs address everyday subject matter in a way that engages the reader.

How do you bring this to your own blog?

Don’t just present the solution. Rather, start with the problem. Don’t just tell us what happened. Rather, tell us how important it was and how likely it was to turn out badly. Before you tell us what you want us to know, make us want to know it. No one cares about the deep wisdom you have to offer until we feel the pain and passion that goes along with it.

Ironically, this should be easier when you’re just writing about what happened today, as you’re just trying to tell a story, though a true story. But you can do the same thing with other forms of non-fiction. Ad copywriters learned this long ago. If you want someone to read about your new product, first you must whet his appetite and make him want to know more. You have to do this within the first few sentences of ad copy. Journalists also do this with their news stories.

The same applies to blog entries. In today’s 100+ blog-roll world, you have maybe a paragraph after the title to challenge the reader and make him want to read on, or else he’ll go on to the next entry in his feed reader. So put the problem up front. Make him wonder what’s coming next, and he’ll read on to find out.



Insightful, as usual.

Wow. Thanks, Jim. When I saw there was a comment from you on this entry, a synapse way in the back of my mind thought you might disagree with something I wrote here, since you tell a story so well on your blog, put the tension up front, keep me reading. The only reason, in fact, I added a “Fun Blogs” section to the links at the right was that I realized I was reading most of your entries and looking forward to them, no matter what the subject. Thanks again.


Leave a comment