You’re insanely busy, I don’t know how you multitask so efficiently. Nevertheless, you’ve decided running a blog will help you achieve your goal. Unfortunately, even though you’re busy, you’re the only person qualified or able to write the content you want to publish.
Of course, blogging takes time and effort. This is new for you, so there’s also the learning curve. Plus, doesn’t it need to be quality blog content in order to work?
It sounded like such a clever idea when you started. Now, it’s more overwhelming than anything else.
Don’t worry! Not everyone is a natural chef, but they follow recipes and do alright. The same goes for blogging. You can follow a few steps to consistently put out decent content. There is no prerequisite to be a genius writer, simply follow the directions.
Blogging is easier when you follow a set pattern.
Here’s my point: Instead of making it up from scratch and being disappointed by the results, save yourself endless headaches (and improve faster!) by following a preset structure.
Without further ado, here is my recipe for writing quality blog posts even as a new blogger who is pressed for time.
|Expected time|| 1-3 hours
|Expected blog length||800-1,800 words|
|Required tools||An open mind, writing software, an internet connection, a website to publish to.|
You can also watch the original live chat I held to discuss these same principles.
Table of Contents
- Step 1. Brainstorm a blog topic by talking to others.
- Step 2. Craft a headline that captures attention.
- Step 3. Decide what attitude this blog post will have.
- Step 4. Write a barebones outline to cover your material.
- Step 5. Draft your blog post.
- Step 6. Use editing tools that offer free writing advice.
- Step 7. Add in your graphics.
- Step 8. Make final edits for best performance.
- Step 9. Hit publish!
- Try Publishing a Blog Post
Step 1. Brainstorm a blog topic by talking to others.
I find the best blog topics answer a question in some way. The question can be big or small, though it’s easier to answer a specific question than a tackle a broad issue.
The best blog post topics usually answer a question somehow.
Try picking a question you can answer in 800-1,800 words. That’s a pretty standard blog length. When you first get started, take note of which topics lend themselves to short and long answers.
My best blog posts all came from answering questions posed to me by people in real life. To replicate this for yourself, think about conversations in your own life that relate to the theme of your blog. Consider frequent topics that get covered with customers, co-workers, and friends. How could you address these in a post?
These are strong starting points to generate a solid blog post idea. In a busy world, people appreciate useful content.
Step 2. Craft a headline that captures attention.
Your headline sells your blog post.
It doesn’t matter how amazing your blog post is if nobody reads it. Any future reader should understand what makes your blog post worth reading. The headline is the first interaction they get that compels them to take action.
There is just one problem. Crafting a halfway decent headline is hard work.
The headline needs to be informative, while also appealing to the reader’s emotions. It should convince the person to learn more about what you have to say. Being able to write headlines that do both takes time and practice.
Here is a quick strategy that helps:
- Brainstorm 15-25 solid blog title ideas.
- Choose your top three.
- Run them through headline analyzer tools to get different kinds of feedback.
- Weighing out this feedback, choose the one you feel best fits your goals (or go back in for a final tweak).
- Run with that blog title.
My favorite headline analyzers are:
- Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer
- How Engaging Is Your Headline?
- Blog Post Headline Analyzer
Step 3. Decide what attitude this blog post will have.
Great writing appeals to our emotions. Now that you have a blog topic and headline, it’s time to think about which emotions you should appeal to in your post. A few emotions are frustration, sadness, guilt, anger, curiosity, or even surprise.
There is no single correct answer here. Which you choose should depend on your audience, blog topic, and your overall goals.
Choosing an emotion to target in your blog post will help you define a structure and theme when it’s time to write the content.
I prefer an immersive approach to this, and explore these emotions with a photoshoot. Yes, that’s where my featured images come from. I use this time to capture what my audience will connect with. The resulting photos determines the mood of my blog post.
Step 4. Write a barebones outline to cover your material.
An outline sets the goals and content of your blog post. This gives you the opportunity to explore your main talking points and how they will relate to each other.
An outline helps you lay a solid foundation for your blog post.
Use this time to do in-depth research. It’s best if you can back up any claims you plan to make in the blog post with sources.
This process is a perfect time to design the flow of your content. Think all the way back to school, when we learned the essential outline structure of an essay:
- Supporting arguments
Your blog post should follow a similar structure, depending on exactly what you plan to write about. Here is what the flow of mine looked like before writing this piece:
- Following a recipe helps you write quality blog content.
- The steps of writing a blog post.
For each section of your outline, try to think of a self-explanatory subheading. It will probably sum up your supporting argument in that section. These subheadings will be larger than the rest of the text and make the blog post easier to read in the end.
Step 5. Draft your blog post.
It’s time to write.
Pro-tip: Write something awful the first time, and do it quick. The point isn’t to write something amazing. It’s to give you something to edit.
The first draft of your blog post doesn’t have to be great.
So don’t fret the writing style or anything else. Expand your outline and write a simple, plain blog post. It doesn’t need to be interesting or good yet.
Don’t edit while you work. Go write the damn blog post.
Step 6. Use editing tools that offer free writing advice.
Thank goodness for technology. These days, there are free tools that analyze your writing and give you editor feedback. All without needing to bother anybody else!
My tools of choice:
The editing process looks a little like this: I take each section and drop it into Hemingway App. This helps me avoid the passive voice, using complex phrases, or writing too many difficult sentences.
After cleaning up the article this way, I use Edit Minion for a second opinion. It’s good for checking your homonyms and highlighting word repetition throughout the text.
Editing each section one at a time gives me the chance to add spunk and style into my writing.
Step 7. Add in your graphics.
Multimedia does wonders for making a blog post interesting for the reader. By now, I’m guessing you have ideas about what graphics would support your content.
Here are a few places you can find free images and animated GIFs. The only caveat is that you need to give credit to the artist or website you downloaded it from:
If you feel creative, you can also draw your own graphics! I do that on occasion here with my cartoon figures. If you have a camera, you can run your own photoshoots.
Once your images are ready to roll, make sure you optimize them before uploading. If you’re not sure how to do that, follow these step-by-step instructions.
Finally, add your blog text and images to your new post.
Step 8. Make final edits for best performance.
You are so close! The hardest part is over. If you aren’t ready to deal with search engine optimization (SEO) or other fun tweaks, you can skip this step.
But, if you want to squeeze the most out of your hard work, go ahead and follow these final steps.
- Rewrite your title with the search phrase you want this article to rank for at the beginning. You can set this as your page title… which is different than the headline viewers will see on the page.
- Write a brief pitch, about 150-160 characters, explaining what the article is about. Set this as your meta description.
- Set your permalink to something short and memorable. Don’t be afraid to include that search phrase from earlier!
It’s time to preview the post. Give it one final read. Fix any last spelling mistake or flow issues. Double check that images show up where and how you expect them to.
Step 9. Hit publish!
This is it! Your post is finally ready to go.
Publish it to the world.
Try Publishing a Blog Post
To recap my recipe for creating quality blog content:
- Brainstorm a blog topic by talking to others.
- Craft a headline that captures emotion.
- Decide what attitude this blog post will have.
- Write a barebones outline to cover your material.
- Draft your blog post.
- Edit using tools that offer free writing advice.
- Add in your graphics.
- Make final edits for best performance.
- Hit publish!
Does this process work for you? It’s your turn to go out into the world and publish a blog post. If you use my system, please come back and share your result in the comments below.
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