7 Content Writing Secrets Every Blogger Should Know

Ever have this happen?
content wrting
You’re sitting at your desk, you’ve just spent the last 3 hours sculpting the perfect post, you finish, hit publish, and think to yourself…

“This is a winner.”

Then, you sit back and wait for your readers response.

Several hours later you return to your post anticipating favorable likes, re-tweets, and shares.

“WHAT!”

“No re-tweets, likes, or shares!”

You feel a bit discouraged but return the following day to see if anything’s changed.

The second verdicts in – and it’s NOT good (only three re-tweets, two likes and a share.)

Frustration pours over you and you begin to mutter…

“I feel invisible – is all this writing worth it? Am I doing something wrong? Why are others doing well, but not me? Maybe I need more Facebook friends or Twitter followers?”

Let’s take a closer look and see…

Good content writing is similar to baking a cake. The ingredients you put in, or leave out, will determine whether or not your post rises or falls.

Are you missing any of the following content writing secrets?

Content Writing Secret #1content marketing

The Headline: Every post has a title.

The main purpose of the post title is to attract attention and get clicks from interested prospects. If you turn boring post titles into captivating headlines you’ll easily get more clicks and visitors.

So imagine this…

You create a killer post. It’s the mack-daddy of all posts (Yes – it’s really good!)

Then unfortunately you attach some lame headline, hit publish, and send it to search engines and social media sites.

What Happens?

Zip-Nadda-Nothing! The text-link fails to capture anyone’s attention and therefore slips right through the fingers of your would-be prospects.

Not because your posts aren’t good, because I’m sure they are, but if you can’t “get the click,” your writing remains anonymous, and no one wins.

Here’s an in-depth post, and tutorial, on how to write content and find the best headlines. Another great source is Jon Morrows – 52 headline Hacks.

Content Writing Secret #2

The Opener: The first sentence has 2 main purposes…

The first main purpose is to get them reading.

The second main purpose is to keep them reading.

What can we do to make the first sentence so compelling, so simple, and so interesting that our readers continue to read?

Answer: Make it short.

You can start the first sentence with a short question, or statement.

  • Losing weight isn’t easy
  • Have you ever done this?
  • It was bound to happen
  • Does this make sense?

If you keep the first sentence short and easy to read, the reader will be compelled, by their curiosity, to read on.

Content Writing Secret #3post writing

Want more readers? Make it Look Easy.

Separate large paragraphs into short punchy sentences (one to three sentences max).

Think about it, what’s the first thing people do when they land on a post?

They quickly scan the headline, picture, and text, then decide whether or not to jump into the post based on time, interest, and readability.

Lots of white-space helps the post look easy more inviting and less intimidating to read.

On the other hand long paragraphs and big blocks of text deter readers by making the posts look difficult and time consuming.

Content Writing Secret #4content writing strategies

Write Like Your Speak: In Stephen King’s book, “On Writing,” he stated that the best writing mimics the spoken word.

When we write out sentences using words like – you are, you would, they are, it is, do not, can not, should not, would not, etc.

They sound robotic and make the reader labor through the text.

Read the 2 following examples out loud and experience the difference.

  • You are going to lose readers if you do not follow these content writing secrets. It is not hard and you certainly do not want that to happen – do you?(Sounds Robotic – right?)
  • You’re going to lose readers if you don’t follow these content writing secrets. It’s not hard and you certainly don’t want that to happen – do you? (The text mimics speech)

A Good Rule of Thumb Write content just like you speak it.

Content Writing Secret #5write content

Write For Two: We must account for 2 readers.

First, there’s the Thinker Brain. This type of reader will devour every written word. They’ll eat every morsel of information you provide.

The second reader is known as the Skimmer (me). They’ll skim over the entire post scouring sub headings, bold, or italic type, only stopping when a useful nugget appears.

How do you write for two?

  • For the “Thinker Brain,” walk’em through every detail step by step.
  • For the “Skimmers,” place interesting sub headings throughout the post. The sub headings should highlight the step by step text that follows.

Sub headings are mini headlines designed to grab the attention of “would-be” skimmers.

Content Writing Secret #6writing content secrets

Read it Out Loud: When you’re done with your first draft, read the entire post out loud and iron out any stammers and stutters.

You want the text to flow smoothly so the reader slides through it WITHOUT stopping and starting.

Quote… “It’s perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly ~ C. J. Cherryh

You can also use SoundGecko to read the article back to you while you take care of other tasks. Watch this video from Ms. Ileane:

SoundGecko Chrome Extension Converts Text to Speech

Content Writing Secret #7

Give it a Rest: You’ve labored over this post, it’s finally finished and you’re ready to hit publish?

STOP!

Before you publish that post – give it a rest. Why? Because, no matter how good we think our post is today, tomorrow never lies.

For instance, take any post that you’ve written, prior to today, and read through it once more. Discover anything? (Typos, wordiness, long sentences, white-space, etc?)

Our posts will be more powerful and professional if we “let it rest” and review it tomorrow with fresh eyes.

I’d love to hear your take on these 7 content writing strategies.

Any BIG takeaways?

Have you ever read back an old post and saw obvious blunders? (me)

Leave a detailed comment below and let me know if you can add to this list. Thanks for reading!

About 

Glen is a blog and marketing consultant who's written for Problogger and is currently featured on Alltop.com - Visit Glen-Andrews.com for blog, traffic, and income strategies.

82 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Great tips here. We’ve all had that same feeling, I’m sure. Wondering whether anyone was actually reading what we wrote because we didn’t receive comments or likes, or anything else we were hoping for.

    Small changes like the ones laid out in your article can get you a long way to fix that.

      • It does, sometimes. But luckily for myself, I have never been a quitter, so I got through all the hard times when starting a blog an it paid off!

        • Isn’t it fascinating how some will do whatever it takes to succeed, and others quit when they hit the first road block.

          kudos to you Leslie for NOT quitting. :)

  2. I agree with #7. Reviewing the article with fresh mind may add new ideas and enrich the article. As long as you don’t hold the article for too long though :)

  3. Hey!

    Good writing! I am pretty impressed! Why? At times, I do the same mistakes like what you said above. Thinking back…damn! That’s shameful!

    Nonetheless, thanks for highlighting this.

    Reginald

    • Hi Reginald, your writing is never shameful.

      We can only do the best that we can with where we are today, and if we work on our skills everyday, we’ll find ourselves getting better and better.

      Some people call this luck. :)

  4. I’m a skimmer for sure and I’ve learned over the years that it’s easier for me to write that way. I’ve even found that it brings more visitors to my site.

    • I don’t know why, but I don’t like reading long text on a computer.

      If I’m going to read a PDF or a long article, I have to print the pages (crazy or what?)

      Thanks for skimming the post Jennifer (lol) :)

  5. Sometimes getting a fresh set of eyes to read the article will give you some insight, constructive criticism, and some ideas. Although, I am sometimes in a hurry to just complete another article – I fail to follow these steps, and hit the Publish button!

    • Hi Chavol, I would call you a “getter-doner.”

      Just hitting publish is okay if you’re getting the results you want. If not, try something new and see if it makes a difference.

  6. Aasma

    Hi Glen,

    I think #7 is really critical, I know once we complete any task and think that it’s the best one but after some time we automatically get an idea to make it even better. So I think it’s important to not publish your article instantly, instead wait for 1-2 days so that you can easily make some adjustment or changes to make it better.

    • Right on Aasma.

      Isn’t it amazing all the little nuances that we don’t think about, or see, when we’re crafting the initial post, that become so blatantly obvious the next day?

  7. Love your tips Glen especially #6 and #7. I’m trying to do #7 more often. I tend to hit publish right away as I’m so excited about the latest thing via a post. Making it easy for a reader to scan and read quickly is an important one. If I land on a post with tiny text and no place to scan I may not stay and read it all.

  8. Hi Lisa, I know, letting a post sit over night is hard, especially when we have something really useful to share.

    Sometimes, if I’m in a hurry, I let it rest for a few hours then come back and make adjustments.

    Hope you’re doing well Lisa! :)

  9. Awesome post for the bloggers!

    Am a part time blogger, freelance writer too.

    I specifically following your writing secret 2, 3 and 7.

    Will follow the other tips which you’ve listed here from my next article to present it with good quality.

    Thanks for writing the ” writing secrets” Glen :)

  10. Good post Glen, we are aware that content is the heart of SEO. Google loves fresh and quality content. And, I can say you shared great tips with us in order to come up with strategies where we can enhance our writing skills and become effective in content writing. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I never knew such secret content writing secrets before…This is an amazing post as I always look out for content writing secrets from an amazing writer like you….I am going to see more posts written by you so that I can review your writing skills and let people know about you Glen….

  12. I once read a post on Darren’s problogger.net that took 15 minutes for me to get through, that makes me what?
    If the post contain useful and timely information I think one has to read it and understand every word of it.

    My take away is #7, am still finding it difficult to master it.
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. “It’s perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly ~ C. J. Cherryh
    I love this quote! I’ve also found that writing as a single stream of consciousness and worrying about sentence structure and editing later is the best approach to writing.

  14. must say i did enjoy this read,you can pick up a lot by just reading,blogging is not as easy as i thought it would be though.

    • I totally agree Alex. Blogging is not easy and it does take some time to create a system that works. Unfortunately, most never stick around long enough to put a system in place.

      Hang in there Alex! :)

  15. Hi Glen Andrews,
    Content is king as we all know ! There is much value of Content ! Well I undersand Content Writing is tuff work but it’s really it is a good article. Well Glen Andrews, there is No doubt. you are a good content writer. Your tips are really useful :)

  16. I will not go for any particular secrete because for me all the 7 are awesome; we must follow them to make our post lethal; each secrete aims to improve one aspect of your post so by doing all the seven your post can become a jewel in your crown; thanks for sharing

  17. Hi Glen,
    Conversational writing has always been my favorite..I used to think that people will consider it less professional..But thanks for confirming that it is not so bad..I believe that people connect with you better when you are communicating with them like a friend and not like an instructor.Other secrets you shared are also kickass.

    Joe

  18. All the secrets are common but honestly overlooked by most of the bloggers. Content should be written keeping in mind that its for the people. Content is king , sooner or later everyone realises this. A reader will come back if he loves what you write.
    So great article.

  19. Amazing! Love these. Short sentences and short paragraphs with a lot of action words can definitely keep your readers enjoy your post. And sometimes they don’t even know that they’ve just finished reading the post.

  20. In the age where “Content” plays the most important role in Internet marketing, articles like this need a huge support. I loved the way you present it too.. I totally agree with your secret #4. Write naturally, it works. :)

  21. Nice post, it is not secrets tho but you can say the most important basics of blogging and writing, one secret i can share with you could be taken from this blog. Find some good bloggers who blog about the same topic as you, and be friends with them, and when ever you write any new post, contact them, ask them to review and give you their honest review, 2 writers are better than one and 5 are way much better than 2. keep your writing style but they can point out things you are missing, let them add more to your post through comments and this way your readers will not only be interested on the post itself but also in the comments and discussion you have started. Think about a blog post as a forum thread.

  22. Great tips on writing great posts. We write so often its easy to forget the foundations on what makes a post turn from good to great.

    Blessings Janet

  23. Nice list of content writing ideas.Here some of the ideas are known to me and some other are totally new to me.After writing a compelling heading we continue the flow to next content to stay the readers on blog.

  24. nice set of tips for good and quality content writing. i really liked the idea of writing like we speak,, this way we can make our article much interacting,,
    thanks for sharing..:)

  25. I think that a catchy heading is more important then anything cuz this is the first thing any visitor see when visiting the blog and click on it if it looks interesting :)

  26. Excellent advice. Probably one of the most crucial is crafting your post to be segmented in a way that makes it quick to read. People scan articles online. It’s how most of us have get the information we’re looking for online, for the simple fact that we consume so much information.

    Breaking up your talking points helps to add emphasis and makes it easier on the reader. We were lucky enough to have a great writer offer this advice in a recent guest post.

  27. Hey Glen,

    I really like the tops, but number 5 above all really got my attention. I never thought about writing for the Thinker Brain and the Skimmers. With all the NLP books I’ve read, you would think that this is something I would do LOL. But it does make a lot of sense to write for the two. Thanks for sharing these awesome tips!

  28. Awesome secrets! :) I agree! I love how I can treat it as baking a cake–full of secrets to make the finish product so awesome! Thanks for sharing all this, I can use all of them! :) Thanks! Kudos!

  29. Hi Glen

    Love Number 4, If it’s good enough for Stephen King…. hasn’t he sold a few books?
    If each step only increased the value of the article by 2% that’s a cumulative 15% improvement in our piece of work. 5% each and thats 41% overall.
    Good article Glen.

    • He he – I think Stephen King has a few books out.

      Thanks for breaking down the numbers Brian so we can see how little adjustments can dramatically impact our posts.

  30. Hi Glen,

    I could well resonate with what you have said. The last point you mentioned is a critical secret.
    Taking a break or waiting 2 or 3 days before publishing the initial post bring in some good ideas to make the content more exciting .

  31. I really like #3 and agree with it. I need to start doing that more often. We live in a World of 140 characters, so quick, to the point paragraphs (with lot of white space) make sense. Thanks for the other tips as they will help as well.

  32. First of all I must say that you have done lots of research before writing this post! And truly there are two types of reader-
    1. Reads every word of a post.
    2. Only reads the headings.
    A perfect content writer always makes his/her posts- interesting to read and learning like a play!

  33. hello @Glen

    first of all thanks for this post and now i want to say about your post. it is very informative and useful. i got valuable point in this post and after all your article is good for every one :)

    Regards
    Rahul Kashyap

  34. I am really bad in Tip # 7. Most of the time I publish the post as soon as I finish and I will always find some small issues later on…Need to spend some time with the post… :)

    • Hi Sanjeev, we’re all so eager to get our work out we don’t think twice about mashing that publish button once we finish a post.

      So the question remains… Is it better to get it done and published, or wait, and publish it when it’s polished?