So you’re sitting on the couch, watching a hilarious episode of Family Guy and then it hits you. You get an awesome idea for your next blog post.
It’s brilliant. It’s so good you’re afraid you’re gonna forget, so you run to your computer, open up your internet browser, go to your wordpress dashboard and start typing like a lunatic.
Next thing you know, it’s finished. You’re confident that this post is going to get read, shared, and spread all over the place – so you press publish and envision all of the links, comments, and retweets that are gonna start coming in.
But they never do.
No retweets, no links and 2 spam comments later, you feel like crap.
Hey, it’s OK. It happens. It’s happened to me a few times, but there’s something you can do to avoid this. Here’s how: Craft an awesome blog post – why? Because awesomeness works and it gets spread. (Corbett said it best)
The Practical Step by Step Checklist
There’s no shortage of information out there about how to craft killer blog posts but as always, I like giving you the most important and effective points because there’s no need to do stuff that doesn’t work. I hate wasting time so I’m gonna share with you the 6 points I make sure I cover before pressing publish on my own blog posts.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t have posts that flop ever again; it just means you’ll have a better chance of publishing something your readers will actually consume and share.
This is THE most important piece of your blog post. If your headline doesn’t get the attention of your visitors, it won’t get read or spread; no matter how great the content is. But of course, there are exceptions to this “rule”.
I read almost everything Seth Godin publishes on his blog, because I believe he’s a marketing genius and he’s known as a thought leader in this industry. Here’s the thing though… YOU & I, we’re not Seth Godin and we’re probably not considered thought leaders (not yet at least) – so we need to write great headlines to get our stuff read. Period.
I try my best to not only keep my posts useful and entertaining, but also as relevant as possible. The best way you can do this is by sharing the experiences that your audience can relate to. One commonality that I see in successful bloggers is that they’re “in the trenches” along with their readership.
They don’t just teach. They do and then teach; and then they keep doing so they can keep teaching. When I did my blog redesign, I talked about it. When Pat started his niche website, he shared the process; and when Ana got a ton of Twitter traffic, she shared what she learned.
So you got the headline and the topic down pat.. what’s next? Choose the type of post you’re gonna write that content in. There are different types; you can use a list post, crowdsourcing, pillar, Ask the readers, Round up, Interview and a few others.
Choose wisely but don’t sweat it. You’ll know which type works best for you topics as soon as you think of them. Some will be tough, but most won’t. I wrote an article that talks about these different types of posts and their functions – be sure to check it out here. I wouldn’t want to waste your time saying what has already been said before.
I’m probably gonna write a follow up post about how to open up your articles, videos and podcast episodes. No matter what mode of content you’re creating, the first 2 lines (or 20 seconds) has to grab and keep the reader’s, or listener’s, attention.
Here are a few ideas to get you started. Start with a question that relates to the topic. Or you can say something that create a sense of curiosity in the mind of your reader. Even if you have a great topic and a great headline – this first line will mess it up for you if it doesn’t get people to continue reading. But more on that later, let’s move on…
I don’t have to tell you how important the actual content is in this whole process. Remember, entertaining/inspiring, awesome, useful and relevant content always wins. But here are some things I haven’t mentioned:
Make the content easy to read. Break it up with sub headlines. Use bold and italics when appropriate. Don’t make it a link-fest. Use images to take your point further, or just to make it look nice. Add a call to action; tell your readers what you’d like them to do next. (ie. comment, like it, share it, tweet it)
Promoting your blog post is where most people drop the ball. People are led to believe that awesome content gets found and spread on its own. (highly unlikely)
The reality of the matter is that, “Content is no longer King. It has become a minimum requirement to do anything online” – credit to Francisco for this quote. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
By the way, speaking of promotion.. Please tweet this post:
Thanks! Let’s continue…
Great content is being created left and right. I know a lot of you guys are putting out awesome stuff every week (I have awesome readers), but in 2011 and beyond – that’s what we’re suppose to do. Mediocre content gets you mediocre results; to get thousands of readers coming to your site, you have to promote your stuff like mad.
On To My Favorite People On The Web..
That means you guys.. :0) – What else do you do to create awesome blog posts? Is there anything I missed or anything you’d like to share with everyone else? You know where to leave it..