6 Basic Elements to Writing a Blog Post
Whilst writing a blog post is not rocket science there are some important things that can impact on how well it works for you. How you approach writing the post will depend on whether this is a business post, a community post, a political rant… you get the idea.
Today I’m going to focus on a general approach to writing a blog post.
Step 1 – Be organised.
Use this quick checklist before you start.
- Have a good idea of what you are going to write about, the post pre-drafted or dot points and a good idea of who you are writing to, so you get the language and tone just right.
- Image(s) and / or Video – whatever media you will use
- Any links you want to make from your post, including any other media uploaded – such as downloadable pdf’s etc. or links to other content within your site or elsewhere.
- A catchy or other headline that contains the important words for your post with a view to Optimisation – key phrases to include in Headings, text, categories and tags.
Step 2 – Get the Content on the Page
We can get so caught up in making something look nice that we lose our thread, waffle too much or miss things out.
- Get all your stuff onto the page, your best ideas, your most insightful… insights and your funniest jokes.
- Capture them before they get lost in the dross of trying to make it look great, optimising for readers and search engines and the million and one other things that can get in the way of publishing your work.
Step 3: Upload and Optimise your Media
Get your media ready to insert into your post.
- If you have images, upload them into your WordPress Media Library
- If you want to link to a video, get the code and put it into your post.
- Use your important words and phrases to name and describe your images in the media library before you insert them into the post.
- Now select where you want your image to go, click on Media Library in the left sidebar, select the image and click to place.
Step 4: Make the post easier to find
Now is the time to do some linking.
- If you have another post on your site, or a page that is relevant to this post, now is the time to link to it. Find the text in your post that relates > highlight it > go to the link item in the icons above your post > click the icon and add the link URL.
- You can do the same to link to content on another website. For example, you will probably also want to read about website security measures such as updating your website software on a regular basis . It’s done in the same way as described above.
You can also take care of categories and tags about now.
- Tags and categories help make your content easier to find by grouping like content together (categories) and helping you add useful tags to bring information to the fore.
- On the right side of the dashboard you will see the places to add categories.
- Keep them relevant and quite broad, you can use more than one category for a post. This one uses WordPress Tutorials (very broad), Blogging (Broad) and Optimisation and SEO (a little more specific but still quite broad).
- My tags are quite specific and relate to actual words on the page – linking to related content, optimising images and a blogging checklist, along with WordPress Media Library. All things I think people will be looking for information on.
I hope you can see how this works
– it’s really important.
Step 5: Let’s talk about Featured Images
People LOVE Images almost as much as they love Video
Using Featured Images can really add to the attractiveness of your post and that means whether or not someone will take the time to read it. Let me show you an example.
Example 1: Small Image on Blog Page.
WordPress allows you to choose a Featured Image (see the bottom of the right sidebar in your dashboard)
- In this example, the featured image main benefit in on the blog page where the image will appear beside the post name and short description.
- This small change makes the world of difference and it has been proven without a doubt that people will be more inclined to read a post from a list if there is an image displayed.
Example 2: Large Image at top of post
On this particular site, the featured image also appears at the top of the post. This is one of the reason I chose this design of website.
- I am able to choose my size (this one is ‘wide’) and makes the post immediately more attractive to the reader.
- Choose this image carefully as it represents your post, ensure you optimise it to take advantage of its prominent position.
- Remember it’s impact when you first got to this post? It even works way down here. Remember this when planning your posts.
Step 6: Further Optimisation – SEO
Most sites have some kind of SEO software installed. You will usually find it below the area in which you write your blog post. Take the time to fill in the form – Headline and description. Use your important words and phrases BUT use them correctly in sentences that make sense. Search engines frown deeply at keyword stuffing and other black hat SEO techniques.
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PS. Here is what WordPress has to say about writing a blog post – they walk you through each section of the page – see what I did there? Relevant, high authority link. 🙂