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How to Write an Effective Blog

Most companies that offer content to their customers send out blog posts fairly regularly because they can be a useful tool in communicating ideas. Blogs can be about almost anything, but there are some simple rules to follow if you want your blogs to be effective. Most of these are suggestions and not hard and fast rules. Blogs are personal. Some bloggers have a writing style that makes people want to read their posts and others may earn readership by their content, with practical, useful information.

If you plan to write blogs, make sure you know your audience. Blogs are only effective if the right people read them, so keep those readers in mind as you write. If your audience is made up of dentists, it probably would not serve you well to write a blog informing them how to choose the proper size ring for the sprued patterns you’ll be pressing.

Second, choose the right topic. Blogs can be funny, serious, technical, or educational, but most importantly, they must be of interest to your readers. They have to keep the reader’s attention, so make them relatively short, easy-to-read, relevant, and if applicable, embed illustrations or photos. Images like these can enhance the post, improve its flow, and make challenging concepts easier to understand. Generally speaking, blogs should not focus on selling a product, or special deals your company is offering. There are other more effective vehicles for that information.

Before starting to write your blog, make sure you know the topic well. Conduct some research, if necessary, and make sure all of your facts are correct and accurate. And, make sure that YOU are enthusiastic! Readers can tell if you aren’t, and, like listening to a boring speaker, nothing turns off a reader’s mind like a boring writer.

One of the most important things you can do to catch the reader’s interest is to create an intriguing headline that is informative, will capture their attention, and if it’s short and focused, will be easily found by search engines. Be as specific as possible so you manage your reader’s expectations.

 

Planning the Blog

Though they are usually brief, writing an effective blog can often take longer than you might think. But, like most projects, it’s important to spend the time to carefully plan your post before you actually write it. In some cases, the planning will take longer than the writing. It’s like the saying carpenters use: Measure twice, cut once. Plan, plan, plan.

 

Consider Writing an Outline

Outlines can be very helpful. Before you dive into your subject, it may help you to organize your thoughts with an outline. It can help you determine what you’ll write and in what order you’ll write it. The outline is just a rough guide so you can stay on topic and ensure that you cover all of the points that you want to get across. It also helps to keep you reined in so you don’t ramble on.

 

Writing the blog

When you start writing, keep in mind that what you are creating is a blog post, not a novel. Your sentences and paragraphs should be short and inviting. Make your reader’s job as easy as possible. Think concise.

If you don’t write the blog in one sitting, and you add to it over several sessions, the danger is veering off-topic. Try to write most or all of it in one session – even if you rewrite the blog over several visits to it before it is published. Like most skills, writing becomes easier the more you do it.

The reason for brevity is because most people don’t have the time (or patience) to read lengthy tomes. If the blog is somewhat lengthy, it’s a good idea to break it up with images. Pictures, diagrams, graphs make complex (sometimes boring) subjects are much more readable if there are things to look at besides type. Not to mention that they may help the reader to understand the subject better.

 

Editing Your Blog

Although spelling, sentence structure, and grammar are important, what’s equally important is making sure the blog flows properly.

 

Avoid Repetition

Few things are more annoying than reading the same words or phrases over and over. Few things are more annoying than reading the same words or phrases over and over ; )

Read through the draft and check for words that can be replaced to avoid repeating yourself.

 

Read Your Post Out Loud to Check Flow

If something sounds awkward when you read it out loud, it will probably read awkward in your reader’s mind. It might seem a bit weird, but force yourself to read your post aloud to check for crazy wording or contrived sentences.

 

Have Someone Else Read Your Work

This is crucial for inexperienced or casual bloggers. Asking someone else to check your work ensures that your work is as good as it possibly can be.

 

There it is. The blog. The modern way of disseminating concise, technical, fun, educational, and sometimes meaningful information. Anyone can do it. Take up your pen, or your mouse, and start writing (or typing).

Bernie Jaroslow

Bernie Jaroslow, CDT, has over 40 years of experience in the dental laboratory industry. He is currently the Marketing Manager at Whip Mix Corporation responsible for all marketing support including developing content for digital and print, creating product instructions, packaging and sales literature.

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