Wednesday, 21 March 2018

How to write captivating blog posts | A journalist's tips

I’m not going to tell you what to write (you can write whatever the hell you want) but I do have some tips to really make your blog posts pop!

Since working at a newspaper I’d like to think my writing improves monthly, possibly daily. I’m lucky enough to have an editor and colleagues who give me helpful tips which have drastically improved my blog posts – in my opinion.

The other day I read some of my old blog posts from 2015, 2016 and even 2017 and wow, they were a bore to read.

Be concise

No one likes repetition. I can’t stand it when I read an article, blog post, etc. and the same thing is repeated over and over again. For example, if you’re writing a beauty review and you start it with “this is the best product ever” and three scrolls down you’ve said the exact same thing it gets a little boring.

Cutting out repetition will make your posts sweeter, shorter and is more likely to get your reader engaged.

The same goes for the vocabulary you use. Using the same example of a beauty review if you call a mascara “good” seven times it’s just not captivating. You don’t need to know an extensive range of words either thanks to sites like which I use all the time. You can put in any word and it will give you others that have the exact/or similar meaning. However, always use an online dictionary to check what exactly the new word means to avoid looking like a dumb arse. 

Your introduction sells your article just as much as your headline

When you share your blog post the three things a person will see and be drawn to is first the image, second the headline and third the introduction (usually about 25 words will show up when sharing on Twitter etc.)

I like my introductions to either tease the reader to get them to click or be straight up and give away what the article is about. It really depends on the topic. If I’m reviewing a beauty item I won’t give away what I think of it in the intro because I want my readers to click it to find out. In my last review, the first line was “I hate it so much but I also kinda love it. I’ve never ever felt so indecisive about a beauty product before…”

That first bit of text gives a person a taste of your content. I can promise you that if there are spelling mistakes or it sounds dull the majority won’t click.

Grammar and spelling mistakes

This one is a no-brainer but I can’t lie, the English language is a complex one so I wouldn’t stress yourself over it.

Of course, it looks more presentable and some people are so annoyed by bad grammar that it seems to ruin their day but most of us blog for the fun of it. Don’t let it kill the enjoyment.

What I will say is there are some very handy videos on YouTube that explain things like how to use symbols such as ();:’”,. A quick Google search can teach you the differences between words like they’re, their and there also.

I recommend reading your blog post as you write it, subsequently and after having a break from looking at it. I like to write one then do something else like get a coffee and reread it with a fresh mind.

Word will highlight grammatical errors but besides that, I use Grammarly which you can install in your internet browser and it highlights them too – very handy!

If this post taught you anything and you plan to use it please do let me know in the comments! If you have any tips we’d all be very grateful if you shared them.

Also, if you’d like me to read over your blog and give you some personal tips feel free to hit me up. I don’t charge a penny!

Written by VavaViolet’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief Sophie Blackman.

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