I manage our business’ blog, write the blog titles, edit the content our team writes, optimize the blogs, write blogs for HubSpot, and am constantly consuming industry content from others. So what's the biggest issue I see with blogging? It's the lack of detail.
“Excellence is in the details. Give attention to the details and excellence will come.”–Perry Paxton
I understand why the problem arises though; you want to produce as much content as possible in as little time as possible.
So you think “Hey, maybe I don’t need to take a screen shot to explain this, people understand it right?” Or, “People reading this probably understand my industry or job role so I won’t bore them and elaborate.”
Cue the typical "game show buzzer" sound signifying that these statements are completely wrong.
Why This is a Problem
Not going into detail makes the content feel rushed, inorganic, and ultimately unhelpful. I’ve skimmed so many blogs that I immediately press the back button on because I’ve read that information so much before and it’s not something detailed or different that I want to spend my time consuming. So how can we fix this?
How to fix the problem
If you’re explaining a tool, process, strategy, or anything you’ve implemented in the past- include screenshots! It’s easy, it’s quick, and it makes explaining things in the rest of your blog post very easy. Plus, you can appeal to the visual learners as well as those who follow step-by-step directions better.
Call me a kindergartener but if a blog post is over 700 words and doesn’t include pictures I’m out of there. I use this tool called Snagit to screen shot for blog posts but most computers now come with built in screenshot software! (Yes I did take a screen shot of a screen shot!)
2) Bullet points
Some people would disagree with me and think bullet points are the lazy person’s way to write a blog post. But a lot of details can be found in bullet points if you use them correctly. You can:
List out statistics
Explain things step by step
Wrap up long sections of content
List out important takeaway points at the end of posts
See? Those bullet points were detailed and informative, and as always I like to practice what I preach!
“Details create the big picture” – Sanford Weill
3) Cite Other Sources
Like I said before, there are so many people writing about the same thing that details seem to get lost. But there are great resources out there that have information you can pull from.
This helps you back up your point while including more details. I like the statistics that I find in other people’s posts, and HubSpot is great about their use of those. But if I want to prove a particular point, http://www.nationmaster.com/statistics is another great resource to use.
4) Link Internally
Citing outside sources is great, but siting your own internal sources can also help provide details. Sometimes you’re writing a blog article and another article you or someone else has already written comes to mind.
Or maybe you have a website page that would provide more details as to what you’re talking about. Linking to this is a great opportunity to get your readers to stay on your site and read more content as well as provide more details on a topic. It also helps with internal link building throughout your site-- a benefit to SEO.
Blog posts are a great place to promote advanced offers as well. You can link to these advanced offers within the post so your readers have the opportunity to learn a whole lot more about the topic, and become a lead!
"It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." - John Wooden
5) Other Media Sources
Another great idea to further detail your blog posts are to include other media sources. Personally, I love a good .gif to really bring the humor and lighten the mood. But you can also use them to drive your point home.
Videos are also a great resource to use for this. You can create your own video verbally explaining in detail what you’re talking about in your blog post, demonstrating the steps to do something for a how-to article, or just as a slideshow of photos relevant to your article. Of course you can always use other people’s videos to do this if you don’t have the resources, but make sure you give them credit!
Blogs can seem very preachy and boring, so much so that people can lose interest in your writing very quickly. If you implement interactive elements into your blog you can keep your audience’s attention and include them in the learning process. My favorite way to make a blog interactive is to propose questions throughout the article. This will help them engage in your blog after reading by leaving a comment answering your question at the end. Remember those professors in college that would just drone on and not bring the students into the discussion? Yeah, don’t be that professor.
For instance, including a button within the text of your blog for your readers to “click to tweet” is also a great way to make your audience more interactive. If you place the “click to tweet” button next to really interesting statistics, facts, or photos your readers will be more inclined to share.
These are all great ways to provide more detail in your blogging strategy and to break the bad habit of blogging for content purposes over educational purposes. To learn more about blogging, we invite you to download our blogging for business guide. What are some additional ways you add detail to your blog posts?
Originally published Jun 6, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016