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Are YOU making these Three Mistakes on your blog?

Help with better posting?

Why is that some posts with really good content don’t get read?

1 Your Posts are TOO Long

Have a look at this post I did a few days ago.

Two words. Information Overload.

I was really excited to do this post actually. It took me about 3 hours to do this. I gathered all the interesting quotes on blogging, organized them. Then I had this great idea of putting them down as a virtual interview. Any blogger would be interested in reading that, right?

Wrong!

Who has time to read all that? It doesn’t look anything like a blog post, but more like a report!

I got carried away and forgot the most important (unwritten) rule for writing a great blog post – one that actually gets read. It needs to be short and sweet. It should not read like a book chapter.

Which sounds more appealing to you?

      4 things you can easily do to start publishing with wordpress

     42 things you can easily do to start publishing with wordpress

I am guessing most people would quickly click and read the first one. Assuming the writer doesn’t ramble too long, it should take a few minutes to read it.

What would you do for the second post. Two things If you are interested in the topic, you might bookmark it to read later when you ‘have time’. Or worse, make a mental note of coming back to it. No points for guessing how many actually manage to keep that promise.

With me so far? Some people strongly suggest making one point per post. I think you can do a few, provided you don’t go overboard with the sub-points you are making.

Secondly, if you think you have lots to say, split your post in few. This keeps the readers happy and also keep them coming back. Happiness all around.:)

2 Your Headlines do NOT Say Anything about the Post    

Headlines are extremely important for a success of a post. You might have spent hours working on a post but if the headline does not alert the reader to what is coming, it simply won’t get read.

One of my post has always been very popular. It always gets many clicks every single day. I suspect the reason adding to the clicks could be the headline?

8 Things you did not know about Pakistani Food.   What do you reckon?

Now look at this one.

Just some book for thought. Ouch!

Bad Bad headline.

Could I be any more obscure? What was I thinking? Would you be inclined to click on a post titled as above? Do you think any of these options might have worked better? (Right off the top of my head)

Perfect gift for someone who should write their life story

Writing an autobiography. An easy guide that motivates you to do just that!

3 Your posts are Not Scannable

When I first started blogging, I would write in the usual way, you know, writing in paragraphs. That’s what our English teacher told us to do and even as adults we don’t dare breaking this rule.

Well blog writing is different and your posts should be screen friendly – if you want people reading them that is.

  • Break up your writing into smaller paragraphs than you usually would. One line is acceptable as a paragraph in blog world.
  • Add headings, bullet points, and bold important bits that you want to attract attention to.
  • Make lists.

All of these make your post easy on the eyes.

So after saying all that, what do you think makes a post really appealing? Are you doing anything differently to when you started blogging? Have you made any changes to your writing style? 

      Subscribe to join my hobby bloggers club – even if you are writing for pleasure, doesn’t mean you can’t be good at it. 🙂

36 Comments

  1. MA Jan
    Posted on April 23, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    appealingly concise and to the point. I like your hitting the nail on the head.

    I am about to start a blog of my own. Your advice ( current as well as previous post) is very handy indeed.

    • maryawrites Says :
      Posted on April 23, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      Thank you very much for that. 🙂 You want to start your own blog? Wow, thats certainly news to me. heheh. But it’s great. Do that soon! 🙂

  2. broadsideblog Says :
    Posted on April 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Great hints.

    I can’t believe how many people refuse to break up their interminable posts with bold, italics, lists or white space. NO one is that interesting that we want to navigate through their laziness.

    I’m a career journalist who learned early the need to pull readers into your copy with heads, decks, graphics, photos, art — and a snappy lede (the first paragraph.) I never ever take readers’ attention for granted. That’s the blogging mistake I see most frequently.

    • Marya Says :
      Posted on April 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      You are spot on!

      Ahhh, the snappy lead. Must write more about that. Thanks very much for coming by. 🙂

  3. samyak Says :
    Posted on April 23, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    once again, a great post to help new bloggers like me.

    “writing for pleasure” is what i do and i have a feeling when you write for pleasure, you drift, get carried away and the rules of blogging get ignored.

    but you are right, blogging is different from your everyday writing or writing a diary.

    thats why i will always like my diary. it doesn’t complain on a longish post, i can drift, get carried away and it will put up with everything.

    and then, the smell of old pages… i am drifting again. time to go.

    thanks again, always a pleasure to read your stuff.

    cheers.

    • Marya Says :
      Posted on April 30, 2011 at 7:58 pm

      Thank you very much for that. Yes, blog writing is different to ‘journal’ writing as one is writing for an audience.
      Some people choose to write for friends and family only,and surely not every rule applies to that kind of writing. Its like when I receive an email from a friend, I would all of it right? Most people blog thinking they are writing to their friends, when most of the time that’s not the case.
      Sorry for the late response.

  4. bookjunkie Says :
    Posted on April 23, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    great tips….I will consider them all when I write my next post. I love the short and sweet bit…totally agree 🙂

  5. Sandra Bell Kirchman Says :
    Posted on April 24, 2011 at 5:58 am

    Very good stuff, Marya. Some of it, of course, I knew, but some was new to me. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? (And I do know I write too much in one post…*sigh*…I’ll try to do better in the future.)

    • Marya Says :
      Posted on April 30, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      Thanks Sandra. Its always great to hear from you. 🙂

  6. v3ronicavida Says :
    Posted on April 24, 2011 at 6:18 am

    Thanks for the tips…will try to improve on future blog posts!

    • Marya Says :
      Posted on April 30, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      Cheers for your comment. Do write again. 🙂

  7. Necessity [used to be] the Mother of Invention. | ThoughtTavern Says :
    Posted on April 24, 2011 at 7:38 am

    […] article sometime back which I need to blogify before i post it here.   I have taken the advice of Marya and vowed not to post lengthy content.  One thing I cannot help though.  It is going to be even […]

  8. Ava Aston's Muckery Says :
    Posted on April 24, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Marya

    I am stealing every single tidbit you posted. I have been stuck at about 600 views a day, and I think I have been committing all of these blog sins. I think I need to pour some draino in my noggin and clear it out.

    Thanks for the great tips. What’s the use of writing a great blog and using all of my “A” material if no one reads it???

    Blessings,

    Ava
    xox

    • Marya Says :
      Posted on April 30, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      Ava, I love your feedback. Looking forward to reading more of you, keep up the good work. Cheers 🙂

  9. Durish Says :
    Posted on April 25, 2011 at 6:05 am

    great post!

    I did go through your last post of the “virtual interviews with world’s best bloggers” & honestly the length just did me in.

    now the problem with my blogging is, that its all about personal experiences & the values/lessons that we can extract from them & thus it becomes a tough task to shorten them.

    any advice for making it better and attracting more traffic?

    • Marya Says :
      Posted on April 30, 2011 at 7:51 pm

      One question first, are you writing for your family/friends or are you after a bigger audience? Or do you want to do this professionally. Once you have this part figured out, you can work on the rest. Hope this helps

  10. Tanya Says :
    Posted on April 29, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Thanks! You confirmed that I need to to do two things; shorten my posts and to put more time into titling my posts.

    • Marya Says :
      Posted on April 30, 2011 at 7:39 pm

      Thanks very much for dropping by Tanya. Glad to be of help. 🙂

  11. bardicblogger Says :
    Posted on May 3, 2011 at 12:05 am

    Great post. I’m relatively new to blogging so very useful tips for me. Thanks!

  12. Chitra Sivasankar Says :
    Posted on May 23, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Hey Marya, I have been following your blog for quite sometime now. I accept with the second and the third. Two things that had to be taken care of. But regarding the first one. I don’t think the length of the passage does not push the readers away. In my opinion, you got to write it long if it must be that way and similarly the vice versa.

    • Marya Says :
      Posted on May 26, 2011 at 11:57 am

      Hi Chitra. I agree with you that it doesn’t push readers away but it does mean sometimes that your post gets bookmarked and then forgotten about. I know I bookmark a lot of things that I don’t have time to read on the spot, and then forget about them. 🙂 Thank you so much for reading my posts, much appreciated! Have a good day! 🙂

  13. David Goorevitch Says :
    Posted on June 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Good, straight up suggestions. Thanks.

    @davidgoorevitch

    • marya
      Posted on July 1, 2011 at 12:42 am

      Thank you David. Much appreciated! 🙂

  14. Avadhut Says :
    Posted on October 12, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Hi Marya,
    I read somewhere that your blog should be atleast 500 words long or there will be trouble in google search for your post.

    Is it true?

    • marya
      Posted on October 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm

      Actually, if you find the answer to that one, let me know. Although, this is the first time I have heard of it. I kinds suck at SEO and all that stuff. I try to rule the world through content creation. 🙂

      Its good to have you on board. Looking forward to getting to know you better. 🙂
      Marya

  15. Praveen Rajarao Says :
    Posted on October 13, 2011 at 2:04 am

    Marya – Nicely written and I agree 100% with having a short and crisp post and avoid long and extensively written articles.

    • marya
      Posted on October 13, 2011 at 2:09 am

      I agree. (Says the lady who has written a 3000+ words post.)

      Seriously though, generally it’s best to write concisely. For me 700 words is a good, doable length. However, if one posts less frequently, like I do, you can make them a bit longer too. I think a variety of lengths work really well to be honest.

      Now, what to do if I said something before but I am changing my mind a little on that issue … hmm. Maybe take it off the popular posts link?

      Thanks for dropping by Praveen. How is it going? 🙂

      • Praveen Rajarao Says :
        Posted on October 13, 2011 at 2:44 am

        Marya – I think the length of the post depends on how well the author is able to keep the readers engaged till the end. That is a challenge when it comes to longer posts, where the readers tend to lose interest if the post is not interesting.
        Thanks for the reply, i read your guest post on ProBlogger, congrats on that. Keep them coming.

  16. Guulo Says :
    Posted on November 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Gulity as charged on all three! I tend to be the school of the thought is that content is all that matters, but in today’s age apperance is everything and attention grabbing is only a few seconds. Your blog is amazing, very happy to have come across it. Maybe not a good idea since I have been reading the past hour instead of working.

    • marya
      Posted on November 22, 2011 at 4:39 am

      Guulo, you made my day! 🙂

      Had a quick peek at your blog and it is great. Maybe look into making your posts a bit more scannable and screen friendly, your content looks fantastic though. Will definitely explore further when I have more time. Hope we can get to know each other better .. 🙂

      Marya

  17. Guulo Says :
    Posted on November 24, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Hi Marya,

    Thank you, im new to this so to find your blog i felt like a kid in a candy store :). And thank you for the advice and feedback, i will work on that. Already i made changes due to your advice and i have seen positive outcomes, hope it will grow to an enriching experience. And I am glad to be on board and find connections. Thanks! 🙂

    • marya
      Posted on November 25, 2011 at 4:17 am

      That is so sweet Guulo. I am so happy to have you here. 🙂

      Marya

  18. Allison Says :
    Posted on January 3, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Thank you for this great advice! I am going to read many more articles on your blog (and I may even start using my Twitter!)

    • marya
      Posted on January 4, 2012 at 12:58 am

      Cheers Allison. Hope you find lots of practical tips and inspiration on my site. Let me know if I can help further with anything ok? And yes, do check out twitter, you might be pleasantly surprised! 🙂

      Welcome to writing happiness.

      Marya

  19. Deloras Winkfield
    Posted on March 26, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Really great site thank you so much for your time in writing the posts for all of us to learn about.