You’ll find tips for writing blog posts all over the web and they vary from blogger to blogger. These are my six simple steps. Follow them and you’ll write your best blog post yet.
Define Your Goal
I think this is the most important step: What do you want to accomplish with this post? It may be that you just want to convey information and showcase your expertise, and that’s fine. But personally, I think every blog post should have an ulterior motive.
For example, maybe you want to increase your newsletter subscriptions. Once a week, write a blog post that’s relevant to, and makes reference to, some exclusive information you included in last week’s newsletter. Or maybe you wrote a killer guest blog post and you want to make sure people see it. Write a post that’s relevant and link to your guest blog post. If you included a relevant link in your guest post you’ll be sending your readers from your blog, to the other blog, and back to your blog again for double the traffic.
When you’re planning your posting schedule for the week don’t just jot down the titles. Decide what you want to accomplish with each post, too.
Outline Your Key Points
We all know about the short attention span of online readers. You don’t have time for rambling around, so make an outline of the key points you want to make. Don’t worry about fleshing them out just yet. Just hit the high points.
Write A Killer Opening Paragraph
Again, because of that “short attention span” thing, you need to get the reader’s attention in your opening paragraph if you want them to stay on your page. I like to state the problem I’m going to address and let the reader know I have the answer. I may even give them the answer in the very first paragraph if it doesn’t make it too wordy, and then proceed with a more in-depth analysis.
Answer The Question
This is where you’ll add a few sentences of explanation to each of your key points. Answer the question as quickly and thoroughly as possible. This may seem like a no-brainer, but too many bloggers get caught up in the act of writing and never get to the point.
Your title should address one question and your content should answer it. Going off on a tangent – whether it’s relevant or not – just makes for a longer, wordier article that people don’t want to read.
Answer the question first. If you want to include additional information, and it doesn’t make your post too long, then include it after the answer. If it makes your post too long, though, why not turn it into another blog post? Your visitors would be much more likely to read it and you’ll have another URL on the search engine indexes.
Include A Strong Call To Action
This may or may not go back to your original goal for your post. Most of your visitors would be very happy to share or tweet, they’d probably love to go read your guest blog post or subscribe to your newsletter, and they’d enjoy leaving a comment. The problem is: Most of them are in such a hurry they don’t think about it. But a strong call to action at the end of your post is a nice little nudge to push them in the right direction.
Preview And Edit Your Post
Almost every blogging platform out there has a button that allows you to preview your post before it’s published. Find it and use it so you can see what your post is going to look like to your readers. Instead of having one long paragraph that nobody can read because you couldn’t be bothered, add in some formatting to break things up and you’ll see some surprising results.