I’ve got to write a blog, now what do I do?

February 5, 2020

Where do I start?

You’ve got a website and decided to do a blog. But the problem is that you haven’t done one before and have no clue where to start.

You added the content onto your website didn’t you? Well, this is similar. Your blog should have an interesting topic for people to read and a headline that will capture their attention. Think of it as telling a story.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

WHAT AM I GOING TO WRITE ABOUT?

Pick an interesting topic that you already know about. Choose a topic that you like and others might like to hear about also. It could be your career or hobby.

If you don’t know a lot about the topic then research your subject in-depth. Read everything you can on it. The more you write about it, the more people think you’re an expert on the subject.    

THE HEADLINE

Think of a headline that will capture the reader’s attention. When you go to Reddit, or Facebook, or look through Google news, what makes you read a particular article? It’s the headline.

Some might say the headline is more important than the actual post. It makes the reader start to read the article. The words can be mesmerizing, but if the headline is lame a reader is going to move on.

You might see a headline like “Fireman saves cat in a tree”. Well, that’s pretty boring. You’re almost certainly going to bypass that one.

MAKE IT INTERESTING

Another headline might read “Fireman saves a two-headed cat from a 100-foot tree”. Now that’s made you open it because two-headed cats are not usual, and what made it get 100 feet up into the tree? You might read that article if you’re curious or like cats.

My point is that a headline has to be interesting because readers have so many choices these days. Think about why you read an article. Is it the headline or the topic?

The most amount of time a reader will check a headline is 1 second before they move on to the next. They’ll also only read your post for 8 seconds before they move on. Your headline has to stand out, and your first two paragraphs have to keep them engaged.

USING A PHOTO AFTER THE HEADLINE.

You may or may not use a photo to enhance your topic. For example, if your article is about perseverance you might want to have a photo of a man pushing a boulder up a hill. If your topic is aircraft engines then a photo of a plane will make the point. Think logical.

WRITING THE POST.

How do you write? At length, four hours at a time with coffee breaks, or ten minutes here and there? Either way, determine a post length and decide on the approximate amount of words. It’s your time.

Take as long as you need to write the article. Sometimes giving yourself a deadline will help you concentrate. It’s knowing you have to get it done by a certain time, or day, that will make you focus.

HOW LONG SHOULD MY POST BE?

About 1000 words is a good length for a post. After about 500 words readers get fed up reading. Unless it’s a technical subject or it’s an exceptionally interesting article. I know I do.

The piece has to be interesting to keep a reader’s attention. Although, 500 words might not be enough to make any point you may have. Which brings me to my next tip.

DON’T REPEAT YOURSELF

What some writers tend to do is repeat themselves. It’s important to remember that people don’t want to hear the same thing twice unless you’re making a point.

Even then it may seem to the reader that you believe they’re stupid and didn’t get it the first time! Time is precious. Don’t waste the readers’ time.

EDITING AND FACT CHECKING

You’ve finished writing the article. Now what? Now it’s time to check every fact. Go back to your sources and make sure they’re correct.

Check the spelling with Grammarly. Check the content with Hemingway Editor to see if you’re writing is any good.

Amend all suggestions. Too many adverbs? Take them out. Sentences too long? Shorten them.

AFTER THE FACT AND BEFORE POSTING

After all the fact-checking and spelling corrections read the article aloud to yourself. Does it sound right? Make corrections if it sounds a bit odd.

Better still, have someone else read it and tell you if it’s any good. Ask them to check the headline. Ask whether they would read it based on the headline alone. Does the article flow? Does it sound interesting?

SEO

You should optimize your post for SEO, Search Engine Optimization. Once you post the blog how do you know Google can find it? How do you get on page one of Google? That’s down to SEO.

Google uses a crawler which checks all websites on the internet. If your blog is about gardening or fencing, then the crawler will read it. It will then categorize it into the gardening section. If you Google gardening you will find 2.7 billion results. How do you get yours found?  

SEO is difficult but not impossible. Read up all you can on it and persevere. There’s way too much on SEO to discuss here. One easy trick is to add words, phrases, and information into the blog as many times as possible.

POSTING YOUR BLOG

I’ll assume you already have a WordPress site and know how to add your blog as a post. If not there’s plenty of instructions from WordPress or YouTube videos to follow.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE2-0JM-Mno

CONCLUSION

Promoting your blog is another story. It all depends on what social media you use. Got a Facebook page? Add the blog. Got an Instagram page? Add a link to the blog. You can also get Google Analytics to check who’s reading it.

That’s it. Here’s a checklist for a basic blog.

  1. Write it.
  2. Make it interesting.
  3. Keep the sentences short.
  4. Edit.
  5. Promote.
  6. Post.
  7. Repeat.

If it’s interesting people will read it. Good luck.

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