Almost every money earning niche you can think of has been saturated by bloggers. So how are you supposed to stand out to become successful in your niche?
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Google’s changes have brought this blogging technique to the forefront. And bloggers who learn how to do this right will stand out in 2014 and be able to build their blogs, even in a crowded field.What is this technique?
Writing longform blog posts
After roughly a decade in which frequent short, punchy blog posts did well for many bloggers, that form is tired. And Google is viewing short posts with increasing suspicion as possibly mere keyword-stuffing gambits. Longer, more detailed and informative posts are on the rise. Besides appeasing Google, long posts can deliver more value to readers, show more authority, and build more reader loyalty.
How can you take advantage of this trend? There’s a right way and a wrong way.
Where long posts often fail
Some bloggers are catching on that longform is a good approach, but don’t understand how to write a compelling long post. Many bloggers who’ve caught on to this trend are writing longer posts — but by simply not editing themselves. They still only have 300 words of information if they’re being concise, but they’re just blathering on for 1,000 words or more. That’s not the way to win with longform posts. That’s the way to annoy readers and make them unsubscribe.
Successful longform posts require more sophisticated writing skills.
How to write long posts that rock
The first thing I noticed when I got into blogging was how different blog posts were from magazine articles. With the rise of longform, blog posts are becoming more like feature magazine articles. And like great magazine articles, successful longform posts need more meat in them. It’s harder to sustain readers’ interest spouting ideas off the top of your head for 2,000 words. Longform posts need research, or interviews, or both. Good longform posts break new ground and present something fresh. They’ve got case studies and examples. They’ve got screen shots and charts. Quotes and sidebars.
Long posts need not just more information but better writing — a tale woven together with a strong sense of story or narrative flow, so that readers don’t get bored and give up before the end.
Writing well is the best revenge
So what’s the killer skill for 2014? It’s knowing how to write a great article. That’s essentially what long blog posts are — they’re articles. What’s more, if you have any dreams of earning some freelance writing money, strong article writing skills are in heavy demand. Beyond magazines, more and more top websites and businesses are realizing that article marketing is a more effective compared with placing ads — and are willing to pay handsomely for well-written articles.
I’ve personally gotten more than one $2,000 article assignment for clients who only published the pieces online. It’s the next phase beyond blogging — slick, online magazines with deep-pocketed owners who pay top rates.
How to get the skills
If you don’t have experience writing longer articles, start studying up. The learning materials are all around you. Grab a favorite magazine and look at how feature stories are put together. Analyze why you found that story so enjoyable. How does the writer use language? What are their opening sentences, and how did those make you want to keep reading? Then, apply those article-writing techniques to your blog. Take the plunge and do an interview or two. Create a chart. Teach something in more detail. Stretch your limits. Tell a narrative tale.
Making a commitment to deliver more entertainment and more information with longer posts is this year’s ticket to finding more blog readers and fans.
How do you intend to sharpen your blog writing skills to contend with other long form bloggers this year?