Hey, thanks for joining me around the blogger’s friendship table. I’m glad you’re here because I want to share with you 6 really easy steps to improve your blog posts. If you blog using the WordPress dot com platform, or an
I’ve been blogging for going on two years now and though I do not consider myself a blogging expert, I would like to share with you what I do. My previous blog used to be a self-hosted site but now I’m back with WordPress dot com. And you know what? I’m lovin’ it!
I’ve been able to customize my blog theme by having some CSS code added which I’m very happy about. Oh, and I recently upgraded to the Business Plan and now I can add some plugins that I like.
I’m talking about reading an individual post, not about blogsite esthetics or structure. So, let’s focus on post writing style now. And remember, these points are extremely beneficial for the blogger who uses a free blogging platform such as Blogger, Squarespace, Wix, WordPress dot com, etc.
So, let’s take a look at the super easy steps or changes that will help improve your blog posts!
6 Super Easy Steps to Improve Your Blog Posts
Here are some super easy ways to step up your game with your next blog post. Quickly, let’s look at the steps:
- White Space
- Sentence Variety
- Paragraph Length
- Active versus Passive Voice
- Same Consecutive Sentences
- H2 and H3 Headings
In general, posts are easier to read when there is ample whitespace throughout the content. This means ensuring your images have space above and below and your paragraph breaks have space in between them.
If you are using WordPress, either dot com or dot org, you are more than likely using the new Gutenberg Editor. One of the block features you can use is called Spacer and it allows you to insert whitespace between subheadings.
The Spacer block has a default depth which I generally keep between my H2 headings, more on that later. For the H3 headings, I like to reduce the space a bit. Check out the whitespace in this post.
If you don’t do anything else, this step of adding whitespace will improve your blog posts quite easily.
Do you want to know more about Gutenberg’s block features? This post will show you what they are and how you can make some reusable, my favourite feature! Gutenberg’s Best Feature: Reusable Blocks
2. Sentence Variety
Who likes to read long sentences that don’t have a natural break in them? And did you know that a sentence longer than 20 words is considered long?
It’s okay to have a variety of long and short sentences. It is even okay to have a few really long sentences but definitely mix it up with shorter sentences. However, just don’t have all or most of your paragraphs full of long sentences.
Make it easier for your reader to read.
You do want her to read your post, right?
3. Paragraph Length
In addition to long sentences, long paragraphs are also a no-no. I like to keep my paragraphs no longer than five sentences. Sometimes, a paragraph is a single sentence as in #2 above. So, keep it natural but don’t overdo it as it will look ‘forced.’
4. Active versus Passive Voice
Oh, boy, what is she talking about? I’d love to explain it to you but I believe that it is better for you to read this explanation. What I do know is that you want to have more active voice sentences than you do the passive voice. If you follow the above
Now, I’m not saying that passive sentences are wrong but you don’t want to have your post full of the passive voice. In fact, to this point in this post, I have written more active voice sentences than passive sentences. Yay!
5. Same Consecutive Sentences
This is an easy fix. Read through your post to see if you have more than three consecutive sentences beginning with the same word. If you do, change the first word on one of the sentences and you’ll be fine. Oh, and this includes your lists, too.
You’ll need to be creative when drafting your lists. For example, I often write lists in my Bible Study posts and have had the same word at the beginning of each item. Here, look at this:
There are three primary works of
- He draws people to Christ
- He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and
- He imparts spiritual gifts to the Body of Christ
How would you fix this list so there aren’t three sentences starting the same? How about this solution?
There are three primary works of the Holy Spirit’s role. He
- draws people to Christ
- convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and He
- imparts spiritual gifts to the Body of Christ
So, do you think the solution, above, is a good one?
Also, for each heading you use, the count for consecutive sentences starts over. That’s a good thing!
6. H2 and H3 Headings
I love reading a post that uses H2 and H3 subheadings. When they are worded properly, it helps to identify what the next section contains.
Did you know that H1 headings are reserved only for the title? The little Google bots crawl through the titles to generate the search results. That means you don’t want to misuse the H1 Title Heading. So, please don’t use H1 headings in the body of your blog!
Also, H2 headings are the most common subheadings. However, I like to use H3 headings within a larger H2 section to help break it up. Kinda like what you see in this post. There are two H2 headings and 8 H3 subheadings.
So, here’s the scoop. SEO likes to see subheadings in your post. Did you know that? You don’t have to go overboard with them but two or three are nice. I usually have four subheadings because my last one is always called “Wrapping it Up” or “That’s a Wrap” and is reserved for my closing remarks.
What do you use for your closing remarks and call to action?
Oh, and the big thing about headings/subheadings is to limit the number of words within each heading to about 300. This makes it easy to read. That’s because this is a blog post, remember, not a book!
Two More Tips to Improve Your Blog
Here are two more steps or tips to help improve your blog posts. I have read that many bloggers write the way they think or speak. I do it as well as it makes me approachable, but if the verbiage is awkward, I definitely edit it. Why? To make for a more pleasant reading experience for my avatar.
I know that you aren’t writing an English essay where your writing style must be ‘just so,’ but remember that you are writing for an audience. Some people won’t mind the awkwardness but most will. I even heard at a blogger course I attended at college, that someone won’t even finish reading the post if there are grammar, sentence structure
So, here are those additional steps to help improve your blog posts.
So, bonus tip #1, proof your post so it sounds like you but is also grammatically correct with correct punctuation. And don’t overuse the exclamation mark, okay? None of this!!! when one is sufficient. Also, you don’t need to use the exclamation mark on every sentence. That’s redundant.
If you need some extra help with grammar, check out the Grammarly site. It’s a great add-on to help you with spelling, punctuation,
Bonus tip #2, when proofreading your post,
- read it out loud, several times
- read it from the bottom up, one paragraph at a time
- then, read it one final time before you pray over it before it is published
Did you notice how I avoided the third consecutive sentence in the above list?
That’s a Wrap
Oh, and if you want to read about the Gutenberg Editor, these posts will help you gain confidence with it:
- Have Fun with the New Gutenberg Editor
- Here’s My Perspective of the Gutenberg Editor
- Gutenberg’s Best Feature: Reusable Blocks
Well, that’s it for now! It won’t be long before I see you again at our blogger’s table!
Cindy Barnes has been called by God in the early 80s to be a teacher of His Word. She is a serious student of the Word, focusing on the Inductive Bible Study Method since 2007. Her passion is to teach women how to study the Bible using this method. In addition, she desires for women to develop an intense yearning to draw closer to God through reading and writing out the Bible.
Cindy teaches hundreds of women in her private online Bible Study Group who express their joy of growing deeper in their spiritual walk.
You can stay in touch with Cindy on Facebook through Women’s Tabletop Friendship.