Looking at a piece of clay, all on its own, without the work of the artist, this is all you have…a block of clay. Without the cutting and working and sweat, blood and tears of the creator, the clay will remain an uninteresting block; incapable of captivating anyone’s attention. What does a hunk of clay have to do with blogging? Stick with me for just a couple of minutes and you’ll see. You’re blogging for a reason. Whatever your purpose for blogging, your goal is the same: to gain readers.
What happens a lot of the time is that we come up with the most AMAZING blog post idea while driving, exercising or showering (this is my most productive place!). In our excitement, we rush to the computer, tape recorder or video camera and let our thoughts run wild. We hit keys with great fervor, making sure to include the important points of the thoughts racing through the brain. We really are putting our blood and sweat into this post that is going to go viral for sure!
The tears come into play a day or two later, when the blog post we published has gone virtually unnoticed. How does this happen? How can blog posts reach excellence? Let’s take a look.
Instead of running full steam ahead when the amazing ideas come to you, slow down and define your topic. Often, we become a little crazed when inspiration strikes, and wind up rambling a little too far off the beaten path. An excellent blog post will have a specific and defined topic from start to finish.
Once you have an idea of what you want to write about, you need to develop a title. Now, some people like to write their article and THEN let the title ideas begin to flow. Some people like to title first. Whichever way works best for you, your title must must must be catchy. When we say catchy, that doesn’t mean advertorial. There are certain things that make a title attractive, such as:
The use of the word “you”. When you speak TO the reader in your title, they pay attentionClear and Concise communication of a benefit – why should they read your article if they won’t get anything from it? Be clear. And then, be concise; no one wants your title to be as long as your article!Keywords – for SEO purposes
Comprising a good title takes time. When considering your titles, pay attention to what your article will say ( or does say if you title after the fact). Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. The title of “Ten Great Ways to Build Traffic to Your Site” better have ten great ways to build traffic to my site
Essentially, the title is meant to draw readers in. This is your first impression. Once this is completed, your first lines need to be well laid out in order to keep the reader interested. This is your handshake. Throughout your blog post, what you need to keep in mind is that you are offering something to your reader. Be clear about what you are offering. Can you place specific information, tips or points to your article that will give it more depth and meaning? Go back over your article once it is complete and ask yourself if there is anyplace you can dig deeper or provide more fruitful information.
When your blog is written and posted, you then need to make sure you promote it. What good are all of your amazing ideas if no one sees them? Promote your blog posts on social media and other avenues such as through pinging.
The last part of an excellent blog post is dialogue. Your blog is essentially a social interaction between yourself and your readers – or the readers of the blog where you are guest posting. Be sure to check back on blog posts for comments and actively engage with those who have jumped in to the conversation you have started.
Blogging is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. For the lump of clay that is your initial idea to become something beautiful, you need to chip away at it and look at it in different lights and try a different pen; whatever it takes to produce the work of art your readers deserve.