Ever since the term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger in 1997, people from all over the world have taken to the World Wide Web to share their thoughts and discoveries. The famous Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho once commented, “Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, and opinions.”

It is a fundamental part of our nature to share the world as we see it with those around us. From politics, fashion, business, to life advice, almost every individual has something to say, and blogs are perfect places to say things.

The beauty of blogging is that it is a flexible medium of communication that fits and adapts to your unique needs. Your blog can be a minimalistic journal, a complex presentation using multiple forms of media, and everything in between. Whether you’re a business executive sharing your secrets to success, or a makeup-savvy teen, blogging can be for you!

“But where do I start?” or “How do I know what to write?” you may ask. There is no right or wrong way to write a blog; rather, it is about what works for you and what gets your thoughts and ideas out to the public. However, here are 6 general guidelines that, while they may not be for everyone, have worked for successful bloggers in the past.

Make the headline count

The headline is an important statement! Put some thought into it. It needs to be a short but interesting phrase that draws the reader in. The appeal of your headline is the determining factor for people to decide whether or not to read the blog entry.

Have an outline

Create an outline of your main concept or idea, and what sub-points you want to highlight within that idea. This will give you some structure for your writing, but don’t stress about sticking to the outline if it means that the piece will suffer as a result.  

Keep it simple

Make sure that all of your points support your main theme. Keep in mind that just because something is beneficial or informative, doesn’t necessarily mean that it belongs in that particular blog post. Only include items that are relevant to your topic.

Avoid repetition

We all have that one point or that phrase that we like to emphasis over and over again, but if the reader begins to sense repetition in what you’re communicating, they may quickly lose interest and move on. Keep your audience’s attention captive by moving from one point to the next without restating the same points that you’ve already mentioned.

Add visual content

Readers, especially those who are internet-reading orientated, are six times more likely to remember an image than text. By adding a topic-related photo, graphic, or video to your blog post, you are increasing the number of readers who will remember your blog post.

Share, share, share

Last, but certainly not least, give your readers an opportunity to share. Add social share buttons that post your entry to social media sites such as Facebook, Google+, and Twitter. Including share buttons insures that, once you’ve written that perfect blog post, your readers can easily share it with the world at a click.

The most important thing to remember when writing for your blog is to be original! Your uniqueness as a person is what sets you apart from every other blogger on the internet. No one can communicate your thoughts and ideas quite like you can, so don’t be afraid to be you.

“To be original is to be yourself” – Marc Newson.