You have created your blog, and now you are facing the computer’s screen, and asking yourself what to do, where to start, how, when. You have so many questions marks that we can hardly see your face. What can I say to you… been there, done that! Take a deep breath and read this post, you will see how fast all those clouds will vanish.
First of all you need to be really aware of what you want your blog to be, not only regarding the contents but also the way you will present it. You have a nice gift to deliver but now you need to take care of the wrapping, because it will make the whole difference, and you have so many options: the paper, the ribbons, the format of the package, to whom… Oh no! I almost can see all the question marks coming back. Take another deep breath. Let’s simplify it. The idea it’s to have fun not a migraine or a panic attack. By the way, if you are breading with the help of a paper bag, don’t waist it, use it to take some notes, you can also bookmark this page to make it handy.
There are few simple rules that you can follow so it is impossible to fail
You need to catch your readers attention. Try to be:
- short (2 lines max)
- informative (people need to have at least a clue about the issue)
- creative, catchy
2 – Subheading
Whenever possible and needed, is the best way to be more clear and precise about the subject.
- follow the same rules of the title
3 – Lead
It’s best way to introduce and contextualize the subject, answering to the « 5W »: what, who, when, where, why. Try to:
- use 3 lines (max)
- be sure that you didn’t miss a « w »
- creative, catchy
- avoid the « news agency » style, by being too factual
4 – Keywords
They are the fast lane to get your article referenced on the search engines. Try to:
- get most of your tags/keywords on your title elements
5 – Teaser/Catchy element
You need to attract peoples attention. Try:
- an amazing expression
- a brilliant idea
- a stimulating question
6 – Express your ideas logically
This is probably one of main differences from writing a paper article. Try to:
- use more paragraphs
- index your text
- introduce headings in bold: to prevent huge blocks of text
- never justify your text
- put in bold everything you want to emerge
- don’t forget sobriety: mind the Christmas trees.
7 – Medias
Don’t forget that a picture is worth a thousand words. Every post should have a picture that illustrates the topic. Chose the most beautiful or the most powerful. When your not the author don’t ever forget to introduce the copyright.
- If it’s a short article (<1200 characters, including spaces) you can enter a second multimedia support (photo, audio, video, Instagram, Tweetillustré, etc.) but only at the end of the article, so you don’t break the reading.
- For longer texts, insert a media 8-900 signs all around to boost the interest and bring a breath.
- Don’t forget to use:
- Instagram (photos or short videos of 15 seconds)
- Soundcloud (at the end of a meeting, use your smartphone to record 3 questions – max 2’30 sounds)
- Youtube – record short video to upload to Youtube or take directly with YouTube Capture
- Google maps app and other graphics.
8 – Hyperlinks
Any article is a window to the infinite riches of the web. Make your readers enjoy the view. Any notion, references, place, name may also link you to a web page. It’s also good to know that nowadays Google references more the articles by the hyperlinks that you insert than the Keywords on your title elements. But don’t forget to:
- research and validate every hyperlink
- hyperlinks must be opened in a new page to keep your article open
- do not put links indiscriminately
- instead of putting them on the text you can chose to put them in brackets or at the end of the article telling the reader what they refer
- you need to keep your readers connected with your text, if you open the window to much they can fly chasing one of those clues.
9 – Tags
Before saving your article, do not forget to #tag it with the Keywords related with it.
10 – Verification
Before you publish your article, be sure:
- to verify all the practical information and their links
- that you have fulfilled all the previous rules, namely that your ideas are presented logically
- to verify the spelling
- to analyze the balance of the layout
- to reverify everything again
It’s better to work in a word processing program, like word, pages, openoffice. After reading it and make all the necessary amendments you justa have to copy paste to your blog window. Then you just need to use the rubber on your toolbar to erase all the word processor formatting.
11 – Publish
Then verify it again
12 – Social Media
Finally: if you are really interested on giving a chance to your article to be read and shared, you need to spread it throughout the social media. Take into account that each social media has its own register, so you need to adapt your message to it. You also need to feel the rhythm of each social media: no more than 3 daily posts on Facebook, at the risk of alienating your « friends », and at the right times, from 8:30 to 9:30, from 12 to 13h, 18 to 20, and at 22:30 if you are still operational. Do not forget to include the url of your … item to your post, after previously reduce it via bit.ly. Remember Google+ for SEO of your article on Google. And on Twitter, include a photo or video to be visible, relevant #tags and the address os the opinion leaders in your field. You can Tweet many times by varying the message and the recipients. Integrate in any case the mains keywords in order to systematically appear in a specific research and increase your chance of being retweeted. Build your network step by step and think « viral ». If you want a higher penetration rate: take out your credit card and sponsor your posts…
Maybe you want to take a look:
a guide to never write a bad post again
several links to improve articles headlines
secrets of a killer blog post (infographics)