10 Characteristics of a Blog and a Quality Blog Post
Blogs are important to the internet. It ranges from someone’s journal to informational websites, from assertive writers to helpful coaches, and from anything under the sun to lines in between, a blog has it all. Individuals and groups have the freedom to voice their thought and concerns and share them with millions in the world through the power of the internet.
A blog, by definition and niches, is vague. There are too many definitions for it that it is hard to pin down to only one, and a lot of niches that cover various topics from as simple as parenthood to as strange as aliens. The most popular blogging niches, however, cover health and fitness, personal finance and development, food blogging, and beauty and fashion.
Blogs can be written in many different styles. It can be introspective to a person’s life, or it can also influence politics and business which has the power to change the world.
Whatever the blog’s style is, there are some universal characteristics they all share. These characteristics are what make these blogs readable and connectible to the readers.
Ten Blog Characteristics You Should Know
We provided you the top ten blog characteristics you should know to write well-crafted and highly engaging blog articles.
- Being Dynamic is Key
Does a blog relate to the website? If so, how? Are they the same? Or are they different? Websites are used to present, but blogs are used to connect. In other words, websites are stagnant, whereas blogs are more active and engaging for you to connect to your readers.
Website information posted on their pages doesn’t require regular updates. It can stay the same for as long as website owners want. Conversely for blog posts, it requires updates like writing on your journal entries. Publishing dates and meta tags are included in blog posts, and posting new entries consistently is the key to a successful blog.
- Posts are Displayed with Recent Ones First
Blog posts are shown differently unlike personal diaries in a notebook. For blog posts, the most recent one is always displayed on top, while the older ones are at the bottom. It’s in a chronologically reverse order. Your newest posts toss your old posts down the list until they do not appear on the landing page anymore.
Older posts do not completely disappear though. They are only archived on the next pages. Some bloggers categorize them by year or month of publishing for easy management and organizing.
- Blogs Use Similar Structures
Though not all, but most blog sites use a similar structure.
First, there is a header with a menu to systemize the page and make a clean and neat impression to readers. The main content area follows suit. This is where blog posts appear by relevance or date of publishing.
At the bottom part of blogs are terms and conditions, contact pages, and relevant links about the blog. These are all arranged neatly in a footer. There is also a sidebar which brings to light famous entries, social profiles and moves to action.
- Content are the Blog’s Topliner
Each blogs have their specific niches where their posts revolve around. Posts can be of different types such as photos, videos, and written articles among others. The majority of blog posts, however, are in the form of writing. Blog articles can be written as an opinion piece, current events post, or instructional guides depending on how the author or blogger wants it to be. To make the posts more engaging and visually appealing, images and videos are inserted in-between texts.
On the other hand, travel and fashion blogs are usually of a different kind. Instead of focusing on words, bloggers of these blogs focus more on photos and videos with no to minimal captions. Business-related blogs also post infographics to relay information instead of instructional articles. Regardless of the style of blog content, what’s important is the quality of the published content.
- Have Attention-Grabbing Headlines
Headlines are very important in getting more readers. Making titles for blog posts isn’t an easy feat. One doesn’t just put words together to make headlines. He/she needs to learn the art of making an appealing one. An effective headline should be able to generate clicks and drive traffic. It should also lure readers to read on or see what you have published.
- Blogs Need to be Relevant at All Cost
Blog posts should have relevant content to stimulate interest and open discussions between people. Blogs should be original and unique at the same time regardless of what types they are, the medium used, and the formats and styles.
Most importantly, a blog post should deliver what it promises to its readers: engaging and relevant content related to the niche, as well as the headlines.
- Blogs and Links are Complementary
Blogs and links are two peas in a pod. When you check decent blog websites, you can see how they all share the same characteristics in link building. Link building allows bloggers to promote their blogs and content more to the readers.
Internal linking allows bloggers to lead readers to other relevant posts on their website and increase traffic along with providing a great reading experience. Whether it is done as a marketing strategy or not, it is a good way for knowledge and opinions to be shared in a systematic way.
- Blogs should have Personal Flair
Just like a diary, blogs should also be as personalized as much as possible. A little flair of personal touch makes the blog more relatable and engaging. A weblog is a personal online journal that has been around for ages. The term blog originated from that word, which only heightened the importance of personal touch on a blog.
As blogs evolved from private to more public issues such as politics, what remains through this day is how interpretative blog posts are. When posts require neutrality, personal touches are evident in the individual’s form of writing. Each blog has the “About Me” section where authors talk about themselves and a personalized brand signature.
- Open Discussion should Always Be Encouraged through Published Content
Most engaging blogs have the comment section where readers can say their piece. The comment section is typically found at the end of every published blog content. This section aims to engage readers in a conversation and provide them an opportunity to give their feedback to the author regarding the post. When bloggers generate reaction and response from readers, it means that he/she is on the right track.
- It All Goes Down to Communication
With or without discussions, the main goal of a blog post is still communication. The end purpose of blogs is to convey a message that bloggers want to tell their readers. For example, promotional blogs are published to attract customers and open discussion between readers and the blogger in a move to convince them to purchase the product. If no sales are generated, at the very least, there was a move to spread the word and ultimately widen the target market.
Blogging is one of the best ways to communicate with the world whether you want to share knowledge, entertain people or providing solutions to problems. Communication, which freely expresses your opinion and response from the public, is the most important characteristic of a great blog.
Essentials of a Quality Blog Post
Blogs are not one click and you’re done. Creating blog posts, even a single one, means you have to spend time and effort into making quality content. Investing your time and effort can help generate more traffic to your site.
Aside from time and effort, other factors also influence your blog. Some of these factors include your chosen niche, audience, and style of content. But regardless of how varied your blog posts are, you have to be aware of the things listed below if you want to make a good impact on your readers.
Carefully Laden Layout
50 milliseconds are what it takes for you to make a good impression on your readers. That is why you have to be careful of how you layout your blog posts. If you just put on words without visuals, it tends to be boring and you will lose the most important 50 milliseconds of your blog post’s time to shine. The best layout for blogs is to break out texts from each other so they can be read easily and insert photos that are appealing in-between paragraphs. You can even make use of videos, GIFs and other interesting visuals to make it lively.
Just About the Right Length
The length of the post is one of the many concerns of bloggers and soon-to-be bloggers. How long does each blog post must be?
Many people believe that posts should be kept short considering the short attention span of readers. Take note that there are also readers who can read lengthy posts from start to finish without losing focus.
The trick to the length relies on how engaging your post is. As long as your posts contain valuable information and are written in a way that does not bore the readers, you can have it as long as you want.
Don’t settle for a 500-word post blog if you have more to say. Likewise, do not make a 3000-word blog if you can finish writing it in just 500 words.
You should concentrate on the quality of the content above anything else. You don’t have to worry about the length as long as you have the value your reader needs.
Original and Unique Content
You can never have a unique niche because whether you like it or not someone has already covered that niche before. But one thing you must do, do not ever copy-paste content from other blog sites.
For you to offer original and unique content that can be considered “different” from other sites of the same niche, you have to provide a different approach to the same topics that have already been covered. To approach differently, you can have an original and unique style of writing or tone of voice when presenting different ideas; or even a different point of view from other sites.
Research, Research, and More Research
As said earlier, time and effort should be invested in creating blog content. This time and effort should also be invested in research. Research is important to produce informative and quality content.
Researching makes it easy to produce unique content because it gives you insights into past published articles as well as readers’ opinions of the topic. It allows you to dig deeper into the topic which can lead to a more comprehensive and unique output.
Without research, you may produce unreliable content which is a big no-no for a blog site. Producing unreliable content can make you lose your readers too. Hence, you have to back-up every claim you raised by evidence such as supplementing links and citations from reliable sources.
Got the Courage to Start Your Blog?
Once you decide to start your own blog, you need to follow these steps.
First, choose the blogging platform and your blog’s name. The most recommended self-hosted platform is WordPress.org.
Second, you need to choose your web hosting service. Bluehost is recommended for new bloggers. They offer a free domain name once you sign up and also provide you with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
WordPress.org works well with Bluehost as they described the latter as “one of the best and brightest of the hosting world.”
Blogging is very vague when defined, but don’t let it stop you. Any blogger sees that the beauty of blogging comes from how diverse it is. The characteristics we have presented are more of a guideline than rules, except for communication. Communication is the heart of blogging and everything else is set to engage and please our readers.