I’ve been writing my blog four times a week for over seven years, and I’m still surprised by which posts are the most successful. I’ve written what I think are killer posts with some terrific experiences I’ve had, along with fantastic photos, and I barely get a response or comment. Then I’ll put up a post with a few nice photos and very little text and I’ll receive over a dozen comments or e-mails.
So, to help you understand how to write a good blog post, I’ll share my own personal experience below…
My most successful posts seem to fall into these categories:
1. Personal: The posts with the most comments and e-mails have been ones that are of a personal nature. My mother passed away in June of 2012 and I wrote a very personal and endearing post about her and my relationship with her. The response was overwhelming and so touching. The outpouring of love and sympathy was beyond what I expected. Readers related stories about their own mothers’ deaths or commented how my mother reminded them so much of their mother.
2. Questions: I also find when I ask readers a question, an opinion, or for their feedback in the post, I get a big response. Two years ago, a professional photographer read my blog and thought I’d make an interesting subject to photograph. She offered to take my photo for no fee to use on my blog. I couldn’t decide which photo I liked, so I posted them and asked my readers to help me make up my mind. I received over 50 responses.
3. Stories about negative things: I wrote a post in April 2013 about receiving rude and unacceptable treatment in a restaurant and how I would never go back. Again, there was a large outpouring of support from people and many said they would remember to never set foot in the restaurant. I once posted safety tips for visitors coming to Paris that included a warning about pickpockets and street scams, and I received many comments and e-mails about experiences of pickpocketing.
4. Related travel content: Although my blog is about things to do and see in Paris, lately I’ve been writing about my wider travel experiences, with posts in the last two years about trips to Lisbon, Venice, Seville, and other parts of France. I was hesitant to post them since my blog is Paris-focused. The response was extremely positive and, in fact, they have become some of my most popular posts. The posts for each place stretched over a number of days and readers said they felt as though they were there with me. One of my trips was to a small, picturesque village in southwestern France which led to one of my readers asking me if I would organize a tour for her and a friend of the area for a few days at a later time.
At the end of the day, it’s great to get positive feedback and comments from my readers, but I still can’t always predict which posts they will respond to. By incorporating a mix of content about my life in Paris as well as related posts about my travels to nearby cities, I try to keep it fresh to advance the loyalty and growth of my readership.
To read more of my story with tips for starting your own travel blog, go here.