The blue pill tips

Avoid wordy sentences

Another way to make your content easier to read is to construct short and to-the-point sentences. A personal rule of mine is to limit each sentence to only 20 words or less. This makes it easier for readers to digest each and every point I’m making. If your sentence exceeds the 20-word limit, chances are it can be split into two, shorter sentences.

Read your content aloud during the proofreading process

Even if a sentence is grammatically correct, it may still sound a little off when read by native English speakers. Relying on automated grammar checkers won’t help you avoid this — unless it has a “read aloud” feature. Reading your draft aloud is one of the most important lessons I learned in my 10 years of blogging. It helps me ensure that the words smoothly flow out of the reader’s mouth and mind. If reading English words isn’t your strongest suit, you can count on text-to-speech tools like NaturalReader. This will also enable you to spot grammar and spelling errors without gluing your eyes to your computer’s screen.

Use a free grammar checker

Even if you have perfect spelling and grammar, mistakes still happen. It probably won’t be a total disaster for you if you miss a mistake or two. But why take the chance when you can simplify the proofreading process with a grammar checker? My personal favorite would be Grammarly, which offers a free version for bloggers on a tight budget. To use Grammarly, you can edit your document using the web interface or install the downloadable desktop app. Grammarly is also available as an add-on for Microsoft Office products, including Microsoft Word. The only downside is, the integration only works if you’re running on Windows. Lastly, you can use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker to ensure the originality of your content. It’s often not needed if you’re sure you wrote every sentence yourself. Search engines like Google, however, don’t care if your plagiarism is intentional or not — your rankings will still suffer.

Prioritize honesty

Let me tell you something a lot of bloggers overlook. As soon as they start generating traffic, they become too focused on monetization that they become reckless with their credibility. This becomes a problem if they begin to engage in practices that can damage their reputation in the long run. A classic example is a blogger who blatantly writes biased, positive reviews of affiliate products for the sake of sales. If you do it on a small scale, you can probably get away with it. But as readers begin to notice your tactics, their trust and your whole brand’s reputation will collapse. With these things in mind, I earnestly want you to remember the following tips:

  • When writing product reviews, use the product yourself. That’s the only way to provide authentic and believable opinions that will lead to sales.
  • Don’t make up a fake backstory for your brand. You, as a blogger, will be more relatable to your audience if you share real scenarios and experiences.
  • Don’t be afraid to write negative reviews. If a potential affiliate product didn’t click, find a similar product from another partner and offer it as an alternative. Whenever I write reviews, I make sure to be truthful and include a few cons. I do it even if I’m completely happy with the product after using it myself.

Start utilizing custom visuals

If you’re still not utilizing visual content in your blog, you’re doing it very wrong. No — I’m not talking about free stock photos that average content writers use as featured images. I’m talking about brilliant, custom graphics you can whip up with tools like Visme and Canva. Also, no — you don’t need to be a professional graphic designer to use them. Both tools feature a drag-and-drop interface that will let you make professional-looking graphics within minutes. Incorporating visuals into your content strategy will help you gain more social media shares and backlinks. Most importantly, detailed visuals will significantly improve the experience of your readers.

Include Statistics

Speaking of creating link-worthy content, have you tried creating data-driven posts yet? It doesn’t matter if you did your own study or compiled facts from other sources. If your blog post contains statistics, you have a good chance of being linked to by content writers. Remember, citing statistics from valid sources maximizes the impact of your content’s message. It informs readers that you know your stuff — worthy of their time and trust. This is something that I do whenever the opportunity presents itself. To look for statistics you can use in your content, use Google and add the word “statistics” with quotation marks. Also, set Google’s search filter to grab results no older than a year. This makes sure you won’t be supplied with outdated information when writing content.

Aim to publish link-worthy content

In the world of blogging, quality backlinks are a commodity that you can’t survive without. Unfortunately, they’re also a commodity best earned naturally — not bought or bartered for. Sure, I advocate for healthy link building practices that involve writing quality content and providing value to users. But if you want to build a healthy backlink profile for your blog, start by focusing on your content. Make them informative, valuable, and polished beyond perfection. They must contain information that can’t be found elsewhere. For content pieces that borrow inspiration and ideas from competitors, come up with unique ways to present the revamped information. Here is a post that will help you get started in the right direction as far as content creation is concerned.

Use the Emotional Marketing Value Analyzer

A person’s emotion is a driving factor in their decision to click on a post or not. If you want your audience to read your content, the headline must plant an emotional urge for them to click. This is significantly more important when your content is being spread on social media. This is where the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer by the Advanced Marketing Institute comes useful. It works by analyzing the word composition of your headline and assessing the type of emotion it ignites. To use it, just type in the headline you want to use for your content and click ‘Submit for Analysis.’ The tool shall immediately present you with the percentage of EMV or Emotional Marketing Value words in your headline. It also dissects the emotion it instills in readers and determines if you’re likely to get a positive response.

Learn to make click-worthy headlines

Here’s a hard pill to swallow: You can do everything right SEO-wise and still not get clicks from search engine results pages. If you have this issue, you may not be using headlines that can pique the interest of search engine users. Whether you like it or not, a headline can single-handedly turn potential readers away or invite them into your post. As such, it must be descriptive, thought-provoking, and perfectly optimized. The CoSchedule Headline Analyzer is a great tool that will help you check all these boxes. It focuses on factors like length, word balance, and reader sentiment. I wrote a full-length guide on how to use the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer for click-worthy headlines. Be sure to check it out when you’re ready to turn your content headlines into click magnets.

Add some word variety

A built-in thesaurus will be one of your best friends as a full-time blogger. Apart from finding simpler word alternatives, you can also use it to add variety to your content writing vocabulary. Sure, it’s probably fine to use the word “good” a few times in your post. But when you use it to describe literally everything that’s positive, a thesaurus will be a big help. As a Microsoft Word user, I seldom have problems with word variety when writing — thanks to its integrated synonyms finder. The same can be said if you’re using full-fledged word processors like Google Docs.