To get many people to read and follow your blog posts, your content must be meaningful and quenching. When visitors click on your posts to see more, they expect to gain valuable information that could help them solve a problem. Running a blog is not just about providing content regularly, but is more about ensuring the articles you publish provide insight into common issues ailing a large section of your audience. For this reason, you should dedicate yourself to instilling all the qualities that your audience would like to see in your posts.
Writing an informative blog post is a procedure, and if you are new in blogging or you just launched a blog and would like to create a community of loyal followers, you definitely must get everything that pertains writing your posts right. For those not skilled yet in this art, it might seem difficult to navigate the way, and that is why you need a mentor to take you through every step so you can publish impactful blog posts. With this simplified six-step guide, you will gain some useful ideas that will help you plan and execute your publishing strategy for your blog post.
Step 1: Research About Your Audience
Before you start working on the post, you have to know who will be your target audience and their expectations. Know their age group, demographic composition and tastes as far as choosing what to read goes. If you are addressing a younger generation, this should encourage you to use a tone and language that resonates with the expectations of this group. You cannot use the same style of writing while targeting seniors and the younger generation.
These two are worlds apart when it comes to tastes and preferences, so you have to specifically understand what your audience would like to see then replicate that in detail. What questions would the group you have identified want to be answered and where are they likely to be situated? This kind of targeting is what will separate a generic writer from a blogger. A blogger is someone who picks a specialisation they can address as an authority, and if you would like to build a strong portfolio, this is what all your posts should say about you. You don’t post about tech today then the next day you are talking about marriage issues.
Step 2: Planning stage
The first thing you need to note is that you need a couple of hours to compose a meaningful blog post, unless of course, you are so experienced that you have all that is required at your fingertips (which still doesn’t imply experienced bloggers don’t take time to plan. Such bloggers are not easy to come by). Before you go into any writing, the first step that should guide you through your writing is planning. You need a roadmap that will define the contents of your blog post as well as structure and tone.
Planning, in my opinion, is the most overlooked step in writing a blog post, and that could be the reason many blog posts don’t yield as much outreach as the authors expect. There are few aspects of planning that help you to start off strong and put together a meaningful piece that flows well.
Pick a topic:
You don’t just write about anything, but you pick a subject on which to base your post. The idea behind this is to choose a topic that is interesting to you and easy to work on. You might want to replicate someone else’s idea on the choice of a topic, but the downside of this is that without the motivation and passion for pursuing the topic you will not be able to come up with a post that flows naturally.
Write an outline
After you have picked a topic, the next step is to come up with an outline for your post. This part does not need to be large as it is more like a summary of what you intend to highlight in the blog post. This is where you outline the structure of your post as well as the tone and expected length. A good outline should help you achieve a natural flow and knit together the thought process of readers as they navigate through different points delivered through your post.
You might be an expert in your field, but one thing that is for sure is that you don’t know everything. You also don’t want to present information that would later turn out not factual, so to ensure you only include factual mentions and references; it is advisable to dedicate time of your writing to research. The point is to ensure the facts you provide in your article are verifiable, but this should never be taken to mean copying the ideas of others.
Step 3: Composing a Catchy Headline
The headline is the first part of your blog post the audience will see. How you structure the headline determines if your audience will have the curiosity to see the entire article. This is, in my opinion, one of the most important parts of composing a blog post because no matter how good its body is, using a headline that does not inspire action will render your ‘well-crafted’ article ineffectual.
In this part, you could choose one of two options for composing headlines. One, you might decide to come up with a headline after completing the article, or two, you might just decide to follow this format where you compose the headline before you proceed to write the body. In either case, the bottom-line is to ensure you compose a catchy headline that should act as bait while also giving a clue about what readers should expect to see. One of the most common techniques is asking a question on the headline, focusing on a question that most people would most likely want to be addressed.
Step 4: Writing the Post
With all facts verified and a headline in place, the next task you have in the queue is the writing part. The steps above this might surprisingly be the most difficult and might eat up most of the time. This is because the actual writing is just a reflection of what you have already outlined in your plan above and should not be difficult if you have a meaningful outline.
Just like the title, your post needs an introduction that can set the tempo for the article. This is also an important part of the post as it determines if the reader will have any interest to proceed to other parts of the article. The best way to push the reader down to see other parts of your article is to utilise suspense in a manner that the reader will always want to read the next line to connect an idea you initialised earlier.
Write the body of the post:
After the introduction, you should carry on with the body of the content.You also need to know that not many people have the patience to sit and go through the entire blog post. Some readers are looking for specific information, and it would be unfair to give them long texts without breaking your post down into sections. Therefore, the idea of subhead sections comes in. Subheads are short titles that introduce a thought or idea that is separate from others you have discussed above. It could also be to give a pointer that you will expound on a topic discussed earlier. When using subheads, be specific as some readers will skim through to see the specific topics they would like to read about.
Write a conclusion:
After you have done the body of the post, you would also need to offer closing remarks. For example, if the blog post is a review of a product, you would need to give your closing remarks with a verdict or an opinion about the product. This is the paragraph that should have the call to action if you will have to include any in the blog post.
Step 5: Editing Your Blog Post
Writing the post does not mark the end of drafting your blog post. In fact, what remains is very important and could help to reveal glaring mistakes that should never be carried on to publication. Editing your blog post might in some cases be harder than the actual writing because it is at this stage that you are able to spot some errors that have to be plucked out in entirety and replaced with new parts that add more value to your piece. It includes checking grammar and spelling mistakes, which are pretty obvious things you should always do on all your posts.
Besides the simple grammatical and spelling mistakes you are able to spot easily, you also need to scan the post for any misuse of stylistic tools. Unnecessary repetition is another mistake likely to disrupt the flow of your post, and this often occurs when you are in a tight spot to finish a post, so you end up using filler words to reach count. That is why it is advisable to do it in bits, say cover a single topic within a short duration then resume later for the next point and so on.
Read the blog post loudly
Read the post loudly to check its flow. If you notice any awkward sounding phrases while reading out loudly, this is the same way it will read in the minds of your readers. You should rephrase the section that does not read well with phrases that are a bit more straightforward. However, in some cases you are not able to spot bias that is embedded in your work by your thoughts and thus trying to remove such an error is an effort that might not give you the results you desire to achieve.
If that is it, get someone to read the post and ask them to point some of the areas they feel would have sounded better if rephrased. If you can get someone who has experience as an editor you would be better off as this would also help you learn more about composing an error-free post. Finally, you need to check the length of your sentences and paragraphs. Each sentence should contribute to the flow of the article and must never be a long string of words that say the same thing. Readers like to get the message precisely and will not waste time trying to understand what you are trying to convey.
Besides doing all those editing steps mentioned above, I will also use tools like Grammarly to edit a blog post. It is always better to edit the blog post manually as well as using tools to make it more impressive.
Step 6: Finally Publish Your Blog Post
Publishing is the simplest step in this process. This should come after all the steps mentioned above have been accomplished with high accuracy. Most probably you use a script on one of the most popular CMSs, so getting your content out there should be as easy as ABC, right? But there are things people forget at this stage that are very critical for enhancing the performance of your post out there on the web. To help readers searching for a topic similar to the one you addressed to locate your content, add some metadata.
Metadata information should be based on the keyword research you will conduct and may include some of the keywords you have added to the post. When someone searches for the keyword, your post might appear among those that have such a keyword on SERPs. This is of course after you have done a lot of SEO optimization (on-page and off-page SEO), which is a topic we could address in another post as this also requires some work. The second thing you need to remember is to add a category and tags that will help to link the post to others you published earlier.
You may also require some images to illustrate points raised in your content. You don’t necessarily have to pay for images if you don’t have the budget. You can get a few images from creative commons search platform that allows you to access stock images for free, without getting in the way of copyright infringement.
Don’t be discouraged if all the above points seem intimidating to accomplish. Successful bloggers you admire today began at your level and scaled up gradually learning and acquiring new skills. With time, it becomes a natural process, and you are able to compose a flawless blog post effortlessly.
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