It hits you like a TON of BRICKS! It’s an idea for that KILLER blog post that is just bound to bring you all the traffic that you’ve ever dreamed of.
With the idea fresh in your mind you sit down at your keyboard and BANG it out – desperate to hit publish as quickly as you can for fear that someone else will beat you to the PUNCH!
Image by pallotron
As SMOKE rises from your keyboard you complete your post, quickly add a title to it and proudly hit PUBLISH!
Visions of an avalanche of visitors, incoming links and comments swirl before you.
Reality hits you like a SLAP in the face. There are few visitors, no comments and no links. It’s not a KILLER post – it’s DEAD.
Ever had that experience?
I have – many many times over.
Today I want to start a series of posts that will walk you through an alternative workflow for constructing a blog post – one that takes…. time.
Image by Samyra.S
If there’s one lesson that I’ve learnt about writing for the web it’s that a key element to writing successful blog posts is that in most cases they take time to CREATE.
I emphasize ‘create’ because I think too often as bloggers we ‘PUNCH’ out content as though we’re in a race or under some kind of deadline. It’s almost like we’re on a production line at times – unfortunately the posts we write often reflect this.
In this series I want to suggest an alternative approach – the crafting (or creation) of content.
This process is a more thoughtful process that is about crafting words and ideas – shaping posts into content that take readers on a journey.
To kick off this series I want to suggest 10 points to pause at when writing a post on your blog. I’ll include a link to each post that follows in this series as I update them.
Instead of rushing through a post – I find that if I pause at these key moments my post rises to a new level of quality and posts tend to get more traction with readers. They don’t guarantee the perfect post – but they certainly take you a step closer to a good one.
- Choosing a Topic – take a little extra time defining your topic and the post will flow better and you’ll develop something that matters to readers.
- Crafting Your Post’s Title – perhaps the most crucial part of actually getting readers to start reading your post when they see it in an RSS reader or search engine results page.
- The Opening Line – first impressions matter. Once you’ve got someone past your post’s title your opening line draws them deeper into your post.
- Your ‘point/s’ (making your posts matter) - a post needs to have a point. If it’s just an intriguing title and opening you’ll get people to read – but if the post doesn’t ‘matter’ to them it’ll never get traction.
- Call to Action – driving readers to do something cements a post in their mind and helps them to apply it and helps you to make a deeper connection with them.
- Adding Depth – before publishing your post – ask yourself how you could add depth to it and make it even more useful and memorable to readers?
- Quality Control and Polishing of Posts – small mistakes can be barriers to engagement for some readers. Spending time fixing errors and making a post ‘look’ good can take it to the next level.
- Timing of Publishing Your Post – timing can be everything – strategic timing of posts can ensure the right people see it at the right time.
- Post Promotion – having hit publish – don’t just leave it to chance that your post will be read by people. Giving it a few strategic ‘nudges’ can increase the exposure it gets exponentially.
- Conversation – often the real action happens once your post is published and being interacted with by readers and other bloggers. Taking time to dialogue can be very fruitful.
Taking extra time at each of these 10 points looks different for me in every post that I do – but I believe that every extra moment spent of these tasks pays off.
Some times the pause I take in one step will be momentary while in others it could take hours or even days to get it just right. Sometimes the above process happens quite automatically and other times I need to force myself to stop and ponder something like a title or the timing of a post.
Each of the 10 points above have much more that could be said about them so over the weeks I’ll be tackling each in turn in the hope that we can have some good discussion and sharing of ideas around them. I’ll link to each of them from within the list above as I release the posts.
For each point I hope to give some insight into how I tackle them and will share a few practical tips and examples of what I’ve done that has worked (and not worked). Don’t expect posts each day on this series – like all good things – this will take us some time!