How To Write A Blog Post: A Tried and Tested Technique
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A guest post by my colleague, Ivan Bayross
On multiple occasions at the WordPress meetups I attend, or in other informal blogging groups, I get questioned about how I write my blog posts.
The how to write blog posts query comes to me in different ways, such as:
- How do you write your blog posts?
- What’s the best way to write posts that get attention?
- Can you recommend a good way to write blog posts?
- Where do you get your inspiration for such great post content?
Apparently these how to write blog posts queries are coming from enthusiastic, but new bloggers, who can create amazing content on their pet topic(s) but are not very computer proficient.
The truth to be told I’m sometimes surprised at the number of times I’ve been asked to share:
- If I had a specific structure of a good blog post
- Tips on writing great posts
And so on…
So I thought I’d create my own blog post on this subject, so that everyone who reads this post could benefit a wee bit. (Yes, I know I’m crafty).
While there are a ton of excellent free editors available which can be used within a blog site’s Admin panel, I’ve experienced a bit of frustration when I’ve created my masterpiece of a blog post only to lose it all because my Internet service provider decided that it would be a good thing for my soul to crash my work.
Didn’t happen to you? Awesome. BTW, there is something called the law of averages, but I digress.
I use a desktop editor, there are several of these available today, MS Word, Open Office Writer, Abiword, Jarte and more. If you are keen, do a search in Google for the phrase: Free MS Word Alternatives and you will be pleasantly surprised at what shows up. Just take your pick if you really do not like Word or do not want to buy it.
Me, Oh I use MS Word happily when I’m in the mood to type out my blog post. That said, I use Dragon Naturally Speaking when I’m in the mood to dictate my blog post and Word does the heavy lifting for me, which is most of the time really. I’ve been using DNS for a heck of a long time now and DNS has learned to understand my Indian English accent, hooray! Yep, DNS interfaces with Word pretty well.
I create my blog post content offline, and only when I’m happy with the result do I get into “the lets upload this post to my blog site” mode.
What I Use As a Blog Post Workflow
To create a great blog post I have defined a workflow for myself as follows:
- I decide a blog post topic to write on. (Largely based on my passion at the moment)
- I spend about an hour or two doing some research on Google identifying the kind of keywords people use on the Internet when they are searching for the kind of content I’ve decided to write about.
- Hallelujah for the historic data available via the Google Keyword research tool. I gather my bunch of keywords in a nice Excel spread sheet.
- Then I sit down to write the post content.
First off, I choose a nice selection of keywords (one to three tops) to include in my blog post title. Having sensible keywords in a post title is something important that my guru taught me a long time ago and, it works.
Then I zero in on another group of keywords (three to five tops) that will be used within my content in the most natural way possible.
Next I decide under which Category (or categories) I’m going to release my post under. I generally post under at least two or three categories. BTW, I’ve hosted my own blog site using WordPress.
I select a nice bunch of keywords to use as Tags for my post.
Then I write a great description on the value my post will bring to its readers in 155-160 characters. Yes, I do perform miracles on occasion.
All of this is driven by my deep-seated fear of my blog posts being ignored by Google due to no description or a lousy description, forcing Google to choose its own description from within my blog post content.
Then I decide on where to acquire a few great images to spruce up my post. I try my very best to use images that are copyright free to use. Or else I buy them from a very modestly priced website where I have a yearly subscription. As far as possible, I give credit to whoever created the images.
Finally I sit down to craft the actual content itself.
Ensure You’ve Hosted Your Own Blog Site
Please buy a domain name for your site. Then host your own blog using WordPress. There are really a ton of very modestly priced hosting companies which hire out terrific assets for a monthly fee that ranges from $5 to $10.
I have more than one site. They are all individually hosted and have their own site names. If you want to be taken seriously as a blogger, then avoid putting up your blog posts on free blogging platforms such as Blogger, WordPress.com or others.
I constantly keep hearing horror stories about how bloggers lost their entire body of work overnight because they broke some obscure hosting rule and the blog site just deleted their blog completely. Don’t let that happen to you. It’s always sad when you lose a body of work irrespective of how valid (or invalid) the reason(s) are.
Publishing Your Blog Posts
Since the blog post content is ready by now (hopefully), it’s time to publish the post on the site.
Log in to your WordPress Admin panel. Click the link to create a new post. The WordPress editor should be displayed in your browser.
What I normally do is copy and paste the title of the blog post from my desktop editor into the title area of WordPress. Then immediately Save the post as a draft. This helps make sure that when WordPress creates the URL for the blog post, it will use the blog post title.
NOTE: WordPress allows you to edit all blog post URLs freely. Having this facility is great to make sure that your blog post URL has the right keywords within it.”
Next, I copy the body text of my post into the blog content area. Then I do whatever formatting is required for the textual content of my blog post. i.e. Bold face, italicize, underline important stuff, change font-size and/or color, add sub-heads and so on. I also keep saving my work regularly.
When my blog post content is set up as I want it, I upload my images to the WordPress Media Manager area. From the WordPress Media Manager, I insert these images into my content exactly where I want them. I always caption my images.
When done, I proof read my post content at least twice. You may be amazed at how many howlers I’ve fixed at the last minute. Ah well, never said I was perfect.
- Set the categories that the blog post will be bound to
- Add the tags chosen earlier
- Copy and paste the description I had so thoughtfully cre
ated earlier in the work flow
- Click “Publish”
- Schedule the post for publishing at a later time
And I’m done.
What’s comes next is that I simply follow the very same work flow for my next blog post. (I really need to get a life). Hang on a sec, this is the life I chose and truth be told, right now I’m enjoying this.
If you liked this blog post, I’d love to read your comments. If you know or use any other techniques to write a blog post, then please mention in the comment section below.
Ivan Bayross is a techno geek author who has published more than 63 books. He advises business organizations on how to use the Internet and Digital Marketing to increase their profits. You can reach him at OpenSourceVarsity which offers a ton of free tutorials.