20 June 2016

How to Write + Promote a Blog Post in 12 Simple Steps

Writing a blog post can be a tricky task, especially if you don't know where to start or how to go about it. This post aims to answer all your questions and show you how simple blogging can be if you take it step by step.

Sorry that this is going to be a little longer than normal but bare with me. If you have any more questions pop them in the comments below.

Consult your list of blog post ideas

If you're a blogger, inevitably you will have a list of blog post or creative ideas to use that you keep updated and keep adding to as time goes on and you get more ideas. If you don't, make one right now, because this where I start.

I have a notebook for all my blog related notes and this is where all my ideas for blog posts are kept, I also have a notepad app on my phone for when I'm out and about and have a good idea that I don't want to forget, because trust me forgetting a good idea is the worst. A good notepad app is Evernote: it's easily customisable, has lots of features and good recommendations (and comes on all app stores).

Choose an idea

Pick the idea that you think will work best or that you are most inspired about when you think about writing it. That idea will be the one that you can write the best post about because if you're inspired, then you can definitely pass the vibe on to your readers.

If you have a blogging schedule of posting certain topics on certain days, then use that as a guideline for your blog post topics. Personally, I don't do this although I am thinking about having more of a structure to the way I post. For example, having a certain amount of topic posts each month to give a better structure and focus to my blog.

Write the title for the blog post

Starting with the title is a great idea as it means you have an end goal and focus that you can keep referring back to as you write your post. The title should be something that easily grabs readers attention and does either: inspiring, teaching, problem solving or gets a laugh. Having this type of post which the reader gains something from will make them more likely to search your other posts and revisit your blog.

Research for your post (inc. take photos if applicable)

Researching for my blog posts is something I've taken to doing a lot more as I've developed as a blogger. I've found it gives more depth to my posts, means I know what I'm talking about and can help the readers gain even more.

If you are, for example, a food or fashion blogger, it may be harder for you to do proper research for you blog post, although using this point as an opportunity to take the pictures of your outfits or food is a good idea as this is something you'd need to do before writing your post.

More and more blogs I am reading give more depth and detail in their posts including data and external links. All this means that the readers are gaining even more and you'll gain credit as a blogger because you have worked hard and found out everything you could on the topic to make you some what of an expert.

Write the post

This part, depending how all the other steps have gone, can be very easy or very difficult. Honestly, I love writing my blog posts because although I created this blog as a way to further my graphic design passion, I love the writing so much. Especially since leaving high school and only being left will subjects where writing for enjoyment is kinda out of the question, I have loved being able to write and express myself on my blog. And as my English teacher always told me she wanted me to write as a journalist, so I feel like I owe it to her to at least a little bit to keep writing.

There are a lot of discussions on the best length for blog posts. Depending on who you ask you could have answers about shorter post being better for shorter attention spans, all the way to longer posts give you better SEO and keep the reader reading. I found a great article from Elle and Company on whether the length of your blog posts matter

I think this matter should always be personal choice and should depend on the subject you're writing about. Writing as much as you want to on the subject is the way to go, because if you try and stretch it too much it'll just end up as bad quality writing, but don't restrain yourself from going on for ages about the topic, because otherwise you won't cover everything you want to.

Leave it for couple of days

Don't ignore this step whatever you do. Leaving your post for a couple of days or even hours can benefit you greatly. It gives you time to reflect on the topic even if you aren't actively thinking about it. You could even come up with another amazing add on or addition to the post in this time if you skip this and rush on.

Leaving behind your screen and going somewhere else will also take you back to reality and away from all the technology that always seems to enguld our lives (I wrote a life lessons post on disconnecting to check out)

Reread and edit until you're happy

Now you should revisit your post: rereading it for any mistakes and editing it, but also adding any extra information you've learnt or thoughts you've had on the topic since writing the post. This means I get a second chance at it to maybe edit the focus, revisit my aim, make it sound more me or just to check that it is formatted well and easy and engaging for the readers.

Include internal and external links

I always make sure to link to other resources or blog posts and also link to pages or posts on my own blog. Linking back to stuff on your own websites has a lot of benefits, it can increase your SEO (search engine optimisation), but also it means that your readers can read even more on the topic you're discussing, so they get to see another example of the way you write and become even more likely to search round your website more to see what else you have to offer.

I also love including others blog posts and pages, because I am getting to promote someone else's hard work and I know I would appreciate the same being done for me. It gets to showcase the brilliant work that bloggers put in and the range and variety of bloggers that are on offer to read and be taught and inspired by.

Edit, find and take photos

I use stock photography websites to create a lot of my blog imagery because I struggle to find the time to take photos myself, being in full time education still and having so many exams. My favourite two are Death to the Stock Photo and Snapwire, both email across free photo packs which are always amazing. I also sometimes use Unsplash.

I add the text that is going to be put on the image next and makesure it stands out as being a part of my other series and my brand. This is one of my favourite parts because making the images is why I started the blog in the first place, to practise my graphic design.

I use PicMonkey to make the graphics for my blog posts but I would also recommend Canva. Both are free websites that offer paid extra features, although they aren't necessary to make the most of the resources.

Adding your website or blog name or logo somewhere on the graphic is definitely helpful, although I have hardly ever done this myself, I know I should have and want to go back and add it so that the posts always stand out as being my own work and can't be stolen.

Preview the post to check it looks good

Previewing the post is crucial because if you don't and there is some major fault with the way it looks then it dimishes the quality. You want to know that the content you produce is appealing to make sure that readers actually want to look at your blog and read the post.

Schedule and/ or publish the post

I always schedule my posts ahead of time because I always seem to make a lot of posts at once so it is easier for me to schedule everything so I don't post it all in the same day/ week.

This is also a good idea if you have an editorial calendar to make sure the right posts are going out on the right days. Scheduling posts also means you don't have to panic about not having enough content or forgetting to press post.

Post about it on social media

I always make sure I pin my blog post and tweet about it loads to make sure that it gets seen. I also have bloglovin' which helps for people to automatically see my posts on their feed if they follow me.

I would always recommend promoting and marketing your posts on social media even if it is in a discrete way. If you don't attract readers, then you have simply written a post that no one is ever going to read or gain anything from so what was the point.

I recently started using Buffer to schedule tweets about my posts so that I don't have to always remember to post and so that my posts are being promoted.

Check out my other blogging posts for more tips and tutorials.

Do you have any other tips on making blog posts?