As you already know, one of the essential elements of blogging is publishing engaging, highly informative content that people will be interested to read. However, it takes more than just good content to gain leverage in your chosen niche.
You need to go through a certain checklist and use some nifty blogging tools to ensure your articles are not merely ordinary content, but will be regarded as valuable resource.
Going Beyond Writing a Good Blog Post
There are certain actions that you need to execute before you decide to hit that publish button. These important steps are designed to enhance READABILITY and for SEO purposes. Keep in mind that if you are blogging to make money online, you don’t simply ‘brain dump’ and hit the publish button then expect the world to be eager to read about your thoughts, opinions and experiences. You need to have STRATEGY in mind using the right blogging tips and tools – before, during and after you publish your article.
Otherwise, even if you are vigilant enough to post articles on a daily basis, no one will visit the site. No one will read your articles, no tweets, no shares, no comments. No nothing.
Simple Blogging Checklist
If you are keen on blogging to make money online, you need to take a more strategic approach to writing and publishing content. So here is a checklist and blogging tips I’ve prepared to help you make sure your articles are blog-ready before you publish them for the world to see.
So you have completed writing what you believe is a winning post. What next? You need to evaluate it to ensure what you are publishing is something that is worth anyone’s time. You definitely don’t want to merely publish an article to meet a certain quota, right? Ask yourself, if you are to come across the article you are about to post, would you actually spend time reading it? Is it interesting enough?
To guide you, here are some steps and suggested blogging tips:
Are People Actually Searching For The Information You Are Writing About?
This is of course one of the most important considerations, otherwise, all your efforts will simply go down the drain. To address this issue, keyword research is critically important. Here are the suggested tools that you can use:
- Google Keyword Tool
- Market Samurai
If you are still not familiar with keyword research, take time to read my article providing you important blogging tips on the subject. By taking a targeted approach, you will be able to maximize your efforts and increase the chances of generating positive results.
Will People Walk Away After Reading Your Post With A “Take-Away?”
When writing posts, it has to serve a purpose. For example, if you are planning to publish an opinion, then you probably want to make it entertaining, funny or provoke your readers to think.
If you are planning to provide tips and how-to guides (just like this post) then you will want to provide your readers valuable information that can truly HELP them. You need to make sure that you are able to give your readers that sense of enjoying and incentive for reading your posts.
For example, for this article post, I am providing information on blogging tips and tools and a checklist for people to use. In writing this content, I need to make sure that my readers will be able to make good use of the information I provide here.
Is Your Article Unique?
You are probably thinking, it is difficult to come up with a great post that is unique with millions of content churned out on a daily basis and blogs in existence on the web. Focus on designing a post that stands out from the rest. Think of how you can tackle a certain topic from a unique vantage point or discuss something from an entirely different perspective.
- Fine tune your headline. Your main keyword phrase should be included in your headline. Make sure your headline will generate attention and interest.
- Clean up the slug. This refers to the URL of your post, which you can edit. By default, WordPress will include all words in your headline. But if it is too long, you can edit it, just make sure it also contains your keyword phrase. Ideally, your slug should be short and should contain your keyword phrase for SEO purposes.
- Key phrases are added in your content. So you already have your keyword phrase in your headline and slug, right? You also need to make sure that you have it peppered across your content.
- Put sub-headlines. It is critically important that you cut down your content into sections using sub-topics or sub-headlines. This technique basically has two important functions: 1) It helps you break the flow of your article and enhance the readability. You have probably come across articles published as one big chunk of text, right? Chances are, you probably never really bothered to read it. You want your readers to scan through the body of the article, get the general gist of what it’s all about and be interested enough to take time and read the entire article. 2) Sub-headlines also serve an SEO purpose. This will help the search engine spiders to determine which content are important in relevance to the ranking of your post.
Structure and Formatting
Unless you already have some solid reputation, people don’t read your post simply because YOU wrote it, no matter how good you may be. They spend time reading your content because it contains a promise of a certain ‘pay-off’, such as being able to gain more knowledge on a certain subject.
With this in mind, your article should be structured and formatted in such a way that it’s easy to understand and not overwhelm them with too much information. How do you do this? Below are some blogging tips to consider:
- Keep your paragraphs short.
- Use sub-headlines to allow readers to scan through the article.
- Make sure even merely scanning your post, readers will be provided with relevant information. Bold, italicize and highlight text as you deem appropriate to make it readable.
- Use striking images. You don’t simply want to publish a boring chunk of text. You want to also make use of images to communicate certain emotion as well as generate interest.
Take a look at your blog post and take a good look at the phrases that may be relevant or connected with the previous posts you have published. Make sure to hyperlink the work or phrase to your old post. This is important from an SEO standpoint in enhancing internal visitor flow.
External Linking To Relevant Authority Sites
It can also be a great idea to link your blog to relevant sites that have gained authority on the subject matter you are writing about.
Define Your Meta Data
This refers to the description that will appear on Google search results, just underneath the headline. You want to make it compelling enough for people to link on your link as well as serve its SEO purpose. Make sure it is relevant and compelling enough to attract readers.
Include Tags And Select Category
Enter keyword tags that are relevant to your article. You should also categorize your article, based on the specific categories you have already defined or you can create an entirely new one. This will help search engines determine how to categorize and rank your articles, and it can also help you build an archive of articles by category.
Define Your Excerpt
WordPress, by default will auto-fill the excerpt area with text derived from your post. This issue here is that, it has a character limit, which means, excerpts not make much sense. Take time to type out your excerpt or you can copy and paste some relevant sections of your post.
Include A Call To Action
Now this is very important. After you have provided content and valuable information, what exactly do you want your readers to do? What’s the next step? Here are some ideas:
- Ask for comments
- Ask readers to share your post
- Ask readers to subscribe to your newsletter
So there you have it! Although I have tried to cover all the relevant and important blogging tips, I am pretty sure there are some things that may have been left out, missing or need to be emphasized. Please share your thoughts or feel free to add some suggestions. I would love to hear from you.