With the 2017 UK Blog Awards coming up on Friday 21 April, we’ve been doing our research on this year’s nominees and picking our own favourites from the shortlist.

The awards got us thinking: what makes a blog award-winning?

We’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to creating your very own award-winning blog. Follow these ten points and who knows – you could be at the 2018 UK blog awards!

 

Step 1 – Get planning

Before beginning to write anything, it’s key to understand what you’re going to write about. (Sounds pretty obvious)

Blogging takes time, so it can be difficult to schedule content consistently.

Take a look at Gadgety News nominated in this years digital and technology category. It’s clear to see regular and consistent content, something gained from a pre-made blog plan.

Create a theme and establish a target audience, then create a plan. A plan will help you know what blog needs to be written and when. (Now you won’t miss a post)

So first thing’s first – sit down and get your ideas flowing.

 

Step 2 – Grab ’em with a headline

The headline or title of a blog is a major click point.

If your title is catchy, people will click.

BANG2WRITE nominated for this year’s PR, media, marketing and communications award knows all about catchy headlines. Bang2write has readers hooked from the get go.

Make sure to check what’s trending and what readers are looking for. Find out what they want. Do readers want ‘how to’s’ or stories? Either way, make sure the title is clear and catchy and people will click.

 

Step 3 – Grip them in the intro

Now we’ve got people in from the headline lets make sure they keep on reading.

Don’t make readers dig for gold, time is precious. Readers will leave if they don’t read something revolutionary in the first sentence.

Don’t leave the best tip will the end, people won’t scroll through what they’ve already heard. Start with something fresh and new, this will get readers excited.

Social media blog, nominated for this year’s PR, media, marketing and communications award, knows all about the perfect intro. Social media blog makes sure readers are sold within the first 10 words, keeping them eager for more.

 

Step 4 – Draft to perfect

An award-winning blog doesn’t come with spelling mistakes and incorrect grammar. Looking at this year’s nominees, it’s clear to see award-winning blogs are planned thoroughly and executed to perfection

Start with a draft of the blog, making sure you’re not aimlessly writing and waffling. Get your point across in as few words as possible.

Once the blog is written, make sure to check over as many times as needed. Don’t be afraid to delete and re-write paragraphs.

Time perfecting your blog post is time well spent.

One of our favourite apps to help in this process is Grammarly. It ensures typos never slip through the net, even when you’re writing online. Hemingway is another app to help you improve your writing. The app highlights any unnecessary words and phrases, and makes suggestions on how to make your writing concise and to the point.

 

Step 5 – Create an aesthetic

In today’s visual world, making a blog aesthetically pleasing is super important. The Hopelessly Nomadic nominated in this year’s Photography category has an aesthetic to please any eye.

It’s easy to spend time perfecting a blog’s front page and creating stunning visuals. However, a blog cannot succeed unless it has great content to drive it.

Including an image on a blog helps keep readers engaged and interested. From a graphic you’ve made or a free image that fits the blog topic, images add an edge to any post. Imagery when sharing your content on social media also helps bring up the click rate.

 

Step 6 – Give the people what they came for 

Make sure content is relevant to your target audience.

Write about current affairs and trends, attracting new readers.

If content is in line with trending topics people will want to read. Award-winning blogs such as this year’s Lifestyle nominee Brogan Tate XO stick with the times, giving readers what they came for.

If you want an engaging and growing blog then give the people what they’re searching for!

 

Step 7 – Be helpful

People read blogs for advice.

Making sure your content is beneficial to readers will keep people engaged, something Part Time Working Mummy has shown to be true.

When people feel they’re getting something for free they want more. Giving away sneaky bits of helpful insight keeps people eager for more.

If people find something useful – people will share.

 

Step 8 – Gather the guests

Having guest bloggers or being a guest blogger yourself is a great way to expand an audience.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to other bloggers, were all in the same boat.

Offering a collab, mention or link can be a great way to double an audience and reach new people.

 

Step 9 – Categorise your content 

Having categories makes finding the right content quicker and easier for readers.

Readers are picky about what they read online, so they’re more likely to read an article thoroughly if they know it’s relevant to them.

If blogs on an array of topics aren’t split up into clear subject areas, readers won’t scroll through to find what they’re looking for. Make it simple and straight forward for readers and they will read some more.

 

Step 10 – Get posting

Now, this could be the best tip yet – START POSTING.

A blog can only be award-winning if it exists, if it’s not there people can’t read it.

Get practising, keep writing; posting and growing content.

Keeping a blog consistent brings healthy organic growth, and stops the audience becoming stagnant.

 

We are super excited for this year’s UK Blog Awards. A huge well done to this year’s nominees; wishing you all the best of luck.

To those of you reading these tips and thinking about how you can apply them to your blog, we expect to see you nominated for next year’s awards! Link your blog below and we’ll take a cheeky look!

Keep on the look out for more top blogging tips from the Luminous team soon.