Everyone who reads an article knows that there are good articles, and there are great articles -- but what makes a great article great? Blogging or article writing serve multiple purposes including promotion and marketing as well as self-fulfillment, but the simple fact is that not all bloggers -- and not all blogs -- are created equal.
Good articles are knowledgeable, but great articles are passionate. Good blogs are posted weekly, but great blogs are posted daily. Good articles are shared by hundreds, while great articles are shared by tens of thousands.
Related: How to Blog and Get Paid
Recently, my internal communications manager, Taylor Nash, and I decided to analyze several hundred top-performing articles on Entrepreneur.com and two other major blogs in order to identify common traits of the world’s top bloggers and contributors. If you are trying to use article writing or blogging to build your online following, here are six traits we found in common with elite-level bloggers and contributors.
Bloggers can invest energy and time only to realize that their voice is not being heard. In terms of writing style, experiment with different deliveries until you hit the right note. It will come. But, you must post -- and you must post regularly. Once a week seems to be the most regular, but twice a week seems to grab more attention.
Serious bloggers post more. Consistent posts reflect your commitment to the things you like to write about. Being regarded as an expert is a natural progression and byproduct of consistent posting. We see that experts have bigger audiences than amateurs.
2. Audience awareness
Your audience is an ever-evolving group of readers and viewers who want to hear what you have to say. The more you know about your content, the more you should know about who would be interested. That means you should know how they want you to write, and that they want information about current topics. Identifying these pieces is key to connecting with your followers.
Be personal. Include a few personal anecdotes -- and make them laugh. If they laugh, you become real to them, and they will be back. Being personal is being transparent, and we have seen that transparency works. Transparency is credible. Transparency encourages the reader to trust you, the blogger. Transparency requires accuracy, research and dedication.
4. Word choice
When speaking to your readers, don’t try to be overly clever with your words. You never know who is reading your blog. They could be a long-time follower or a first-time subscriber. Either way, they need to be able to easily connect with what you are saying.
5. Staying focused
The general rule of thumb is to pick one topic per post -- and stick to it! Blogs are not long, so covering multiple topics within one post can cause the reader to become confused and disinterested. By sticking to one topic, you enable the reader to gain a deeper understanding of what you are talking about and walk away with a clear message.
6. No nonsense
Blog readers want their information to be succinct. Editing out the fluff from your writing will keep your point clear and get rid of all the unnecessary filler details that readers don’t need or care about. A great exercise is to write an 800-word post and then edit it down to 500 words, while still keeping your main point intact.
By keeping these six tips in mind when you write, you will always have the foundation for a great blog or article. Don’t forget to pay attention to your “comments” section, too. Readers often provide feedback there as well as great questions. By answering these questions via blog posts, you show them that you do read their comments and care about what they think.
If you are trying to build a business in today’s world, you should seriously consider writing articles or blogging. Using these six traits as a guideline will bring countless new customers and clients.
Related: Learn to Write, for God's Sake