How to Write Your Blog Post Part I – Before you start

Things to think about before writing your blog post

Writing a blog is like cooking - image of ingredients

Writing a blog post is a bit like cooking – you need all the right ingredients before you start to make it a success.

You may be eager to get that blog post you’ve been dying to write for ages up and live, but before you even begin tapping away, there are several essential questions you need to have established the answers for before you start. This is critical if you’re going to engage people with your blog post and keep them reading until the very end.

Who’s your audience?

If your blog post is a mere stream of consciousness then a) no one will read it and b) if they do attempt to, they won’t understand it and most likely, neither will you.

Make sure that whatever the subject of your blogpost, that your audience is getting something of value out of it, whether it’s information, wisdom, humour etc.

What’s your keyword?

There is great debate about the importance of keywords in blog posts – some say you must tailor your content to them and some say they’re not so important. I say, they’re important, just as long as they’re used wisely (more about that later).

But firstly, let’s establish your keyword. Be a bit clever and use the Google Keyword Tool to work out what other people are searching for and how many times its being searched for. If possible, find a keyword tool that is well searched for with a low or medium number of results.

Before you write a blog - Google Keyword Tool screenshot

Search for ‘Google Keyword Tool’, enter your proposed keyword and determine whether it’s the right one to use.

What images are you going to use?
Flickr Logo

Ask people for permission if you want to use a Flickr image in your blog post

Images are ideal for telling your story and making your blogpost more interesting to read. If you have personal photos, use a couple of these to highlight points. If you don’t have any images, see if you can find anything suitable on Flickr (ask for permission first, most people will say yes, especially if you include a link back to their account). If you’ve got the budget, use stock images from places such as Shutterstock.

Shutterstock Logo

You can buy images from as little as £29 for 5 downloads

If an image absolutely won’t be the right thing to use, choose some important text from your post and make a quick and simple image in something like PowerPoint or Word. Colour and visuals really will increase engagement on your post.

 

What do you want people to do at the end of reading it?

Do not lead your reader to a dead-end. Don’t just finish your blogpost with nothing. It’s so depressing and rather disappointing for the reader.

Before you work out what you add at the end, work out what you want people to do after they’ve read your blog post. For example, do you want them to buy something, or click to a related website, or leave a comment, or share it? If so, tell them! If your platform allows for it, use something like Shareaholic that makes it easy to share your post to all the main social media platforms.

Writing your blog is the easy part, getting traffic to it is takes effort.

Sharing using Social Media

An example of just some of the social media sites your readers could share your post to.

Can you include other people or organisations into your blog post that can help spread the word once its written?

Be crafty with your blogpost and see if you can include links to people or companies who can help you spread your blog about. Once you’ve found suitable links, see if they have a Facebook or Twitter page that you can post it to, or include them in a tweet with a link to your post. After all, if you only have a couple of hundred followers on Twitter, but someone with several thousand follwers retweets your tweet that includes them, or better still, tweets their own thing about your post, then your exposure is suddenly a lot greater.

If you’ve done all your preparation for the above, then you’re ready to start writing your blog post!

 

Comments

  1. Eliza – this is absolute gold. Thank you!!! The other thing worth mentioning (that I had to get my head around) is that it takes time I think. You need to be really patient – building up a following and an audience is step by little step and it happens gradually.

Trackbacks

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  2. [...] you’ve not yet written your content, why not take a look at the series of articles ‘How to Write Your Blog Post’. It’s a very good place to [...]

  3. [...] Got an idea that you’re keen to write about? Before you start, read this – ‘How to Write Your Blog Post.’ >  [...]

  4. [...] also use this to understand what else people may be searching for. This is definitely a tool to use before you start writing your blog post. Use Google Keyword Tool to: set the foundations for a blog post that’s optimized for search. [...]

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