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There’s no question that there’s a ton of blog posts out there on the web talking about the best ways to write blog posts. It can quickly get overwhelming and frustrating when you don’t know which direction to go.
Today, I’m going to share several pieces of my own blogging puzzle that I focus on to help me create blog posts that will get a ton of hits and comments.
What I’ll talk about today:
- Creating meaningful and valuable content.
- Incorporating captivating and pleasing images.
- Blog design and layout.
- SEO and keywords.
- Publishing and social media promotion.
Creating Meaningful and Valuable Content
I will admit that it’s not always easy to come up with new content, and when I commit to writing a blog post, I want it to be meaningful and worthwhile. The purpose of my blog is to develop a connection with my readers and to engage in valuable conversation.
Some bloggers can’t go one day without posting something new. This is fine, I guess, if you post valuable content. I would rather post one or two really good posts per week than to throw together poorly constructed posts every day that don’t get any feedback.
Luckily, coming up with new content gets a little easier. My 4 kids are always saying something or doing something cute, sweet, funny, annoying, or amazing. I just let my kids inspire what I write and usually the content flows better than sitting down trying to think of what I’m writing next. I also draw from local and national news, interesting posts I’ve read from other bloggers, or maybe a book or TV show.
The content is BY FAR the most important aspect of blogging. This is why we write, isn’t it? We have ideas we want to share and people we want to engage with who hopefully will become loyal and contributing fans of our work.
Without quality content, nothing else that is done will matter. You can have the best pictures and titles ever created, but if your content is lousy and not interesting, your post won’t get attention. Content is where I spend 95% of my time during the blog post creation process.
Many times I will come up with ideas which I develop into post titles. I don’t always have a full idea of what I’m going to write about at that point, but if I like the title enough, I’ll go ahead and throw it into a WordPress post and save it as a draft. That way, the idea never leaves and I can take time to think about what I want to say, come back later, and write the post. I write my posts in Microsoft Word so that I can do a thorough spelling and grammar check. I’ll then copy and paste the final version into WordPress.
Incorporating Captivating and Pleasing Images
After I’m satisfied with the written content, I will add images. This is my favorite part of building a blog post. Almost all of the images you see on my site come from my iPhone 6 Plus. I’ve been very satisfied with the quality of the camera on the iPhone and find it convenient to be able to edit photos right from my phone. If I’m away from my home PC, I use several apps to help me edit. Update: I now use a Canon digital camera as my primary tool to capture images.
Adobe Photoshop Express is a really good app to do basic edits to photos and is FREE. If I’m really satisfied with the original photo, I may throw it into Instagram for light filtering.
I have definitely learned the less editing and filtering done to a photo the better. I like the pictures I take to be as original and raw as possible, but there are times when I do adjust for red eye, brightness, and other basic properties.
If I am working with photos on my home PC, I use several free tools (see a pattern, here??). If I’m not using a personal photo for my featured images, I’m usually on Pixabay.com choosing from thousands of free Images.
Once I’ve selected my featured image, I have several tools at my disposal to add text to them. Picfont.com is a very easy to use website where you can upload your image and modify different aspects, including adding text. I also downloaded a free photo editing program called PhotoScape. PhotoScape has more options and features than Picfont, but depending on what I’m creating both suit my needs just fine.
Blog Design and Layout
A major part of getting a lot of traffic and search results is ensuring the layout of your blog is user-friendly. A ton of ads, unorganized sidebars and low-quality images all contribute to user frustration.
Think about your blog from the perspective of your reader. What would they want to see? How would they expect to get to a certain section of your site? Is your navigation menu easy to follow? Do links take them to where they are supposed to go?
Start with your theme. There are many themes for WordPress that limit your customization options. I highly recommend investing $50 or less into a premium professional theme. The Genesis Framework is the standard in WordPress themes.
SEO and Keywords
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical in sending organic traffic to your site. There are so many articles (some good, some bad) all over the internet with different views and tips on how to make SEO work best for your site.
For my own blog, I focus on including as many relevant long-tail keywords as possible. Of course, Google’s Keyword Tool, among others, all provide great help in choosing the best keywords for any topic you choose.
Publishing/Social Media Engagement
I’m done with the post! I sit back and let WordPress publish the post not only to my blog, but to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. I make it a point to share the blog post multiple times throughout the week through the Hootsuite app.
I also schedule every blog post in Tailwind. If you haven’t heard of Tailwind, it’s a great tool to automatically publish to Pinterest and Instagram. I have seen a dramatic increase in traffic to my site as a result of Tailwind. They offer a free trial, but the premium features won’t break the bank.
If I’m active in Facebook groups that week, I’ll share it with the group during the appropriate share time periods and use that time to engage with other bloggers.
There you have it, folks! My simple and effective method for writing and publishing blog posts.
What steps do you follow to write and publish? I’m interested in your methods and any additional tools you may use that could be beneficial to my process.