Things to think about before writing your blog post
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.
What images are you going to use?
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.
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.
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!