The blogging language you choose either encourages readers to stay put and click around a site or immediately sends them to the nearest exit. To keep visitors from navigating away prematurely, consider your language and writing style. The following tips can help you compose posts that can bolster your blog’s credibility and can also reduce its bounce rate.
1. Lead the way
A great first sentence gives your audience a reason to continue reading. Imagine you’re writing about friendship. Rather than starting with anything too obvious like “friends should treat each other with respect,” engage your readers with an attention-grabbing statistic like this: “in your lifetime, you’ll make nearly 400 friends, but only a dozen or so will last indefinitely.” Or, lead with a thought-provoking question: “what if your best friend starts asking for too many favors?”
2. Keep an eye on sentence length
Reading an awkwardly long sentence is like listening to someone share a long story without pausing for a breath. When blogging or composing an article, it may be necessary to use a few long strings of words, but to avoid monotony, break up lengthy sentences with shorter ones. Go easy though; too many short sentences can create a choppy reading experience and make your writing seem dumbed-down, as if you’re addressing an audience of toddlers. Make sure to find the right balance.
3. Harness your homophones
Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings, such as two, too, and to, and they trip up the best of us. By using homophones correctly, bloggers appear more professional and credible. Look up the following words, as a starting point, if needed:
Poor, pore, pour
There, their, they’re
4. Limit your exclamation marks
Overusing exclamation points exhausts readers. Say you compose a story about your trip to South America to try to conquer your arachnophobia. Let the scream-worthy details about the journey to a land of giant spiders convey your nail-biting message, rather than relying on exclamation marks for hype.
Occasionally, you might want to express strong emotion using an exclamation mark, as with “Wow! The Goliath bird eater — growing to the size of a dinner plate — is the biggest spider I’ve ever seen. By comparison, my hometown spiders now seem much less freaky.”
5. Place apostrophes properly
Apostrophes can turn up all over a blog, where they don’t belong; however, they have places they actually need to be.
Use apostrophes in place of omitted letters when forming contractions, such as shortening “they are” to “they’re.”
Use them to show ownership, such as “Brian’s pup is the one piddling on the Petersons’ porch.”
Leave them out to form a plural: “By mid-morning, all the pups were tired and homesick.”
Skip apostrophes in possessive determiners preceding nouns: “Each pup wriggled and whimpered excitedly when reunited with its owner.”
6. Get to the point
Typically, blogs have a casual, conversational tone, as if the writer is chatting with a friend (not writing a dissertation). Still, make sure not to just ramble on about pointless matters.
To keep your readers engaged, stay focused, keep your material organized, and get to the point sooner rather than hundreds of words later.
7. Remember to proofread
Think of grammar-checking tools, such as WordPress.com’s proofreading feature in the Visual Editor toolbar, as powerful, not-so-secret weapons. They — and your mastery of blogging language — can turn a composition horror story into a sharp, share-worthy blog post.
Avoiding bad blogging habits is smart, but using savvy images also keeps readers tuned in. Why not check out the types of photography that readers enjoy most?
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