Creating a great blog post isn’t difficult. Following a basic structure formula that gives your posts great “bone structure” will give you the ability to drape them with creative style, solid information and compelling resources.
Craft a Great Headline. Include an active verb and try to squeeze some of your key topic words in as well. The search engines love the headlines and a strong headline will not only attract Google, but will also compel your visitors and regular readers to read on. Here are some dos and don’ts.
Write a Compelling Lede. Provided your readers hang around to see what the headline is all about, a compelling lede will keep them reading. Establish what the post will cover, of course, but also flex your best writing muscle and write something people want to read.
Start with Bullet Points. Use bullets to get your ideas in an outline form. If you’re writing a list post, keep your bullets as your core structure. If you’re not, use your bullets to develop sub-heads.
Develop Sub-Headlines. Sub-heads help create a scanable page and make it easier for people to read on a computer screen and digest the information. (pssst… Google loves sub-heads, too).***Now is also a great time to ask your friends on Twitter what they think. Chances are you’ll get some great feedback that will mean a strong post in the end.***
Fill in the Detail. Flesh out your bullet points and/or sub-heads to really bring the point home. Keep yourself on track (rambling is way too easy to do, especially if you feel passionately about something) and keep your readers in mind.
Find a Great Image. I recommend Flickr. Under the “advanced search” link, check the creative commons button and make sure you credit the photographer. If you want to go with stock photography, istockphoto.com is low cost and has the best selection. Stock Xchange is free and you can usually find something decent.
Double-Check Your Headline. Now that the post is complete, make sure your headline still reflects what your post is about and gets a reader’s attention. Can you refine it to be even stronger and more effective?
Edit, Proof, Correct, Polish and Revise. Errors in grammar can kill a blogger’s credibility and traffic. Take time to make sure you’re putting out your best work. There’s a certain immediacy to blogging, and a stray comma or run on sentence doesn’t typically have dramatic consequences. But avoid the five grammar errors that make you look dumb.
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