When people think of starting a blog, they are often concerned that they will not be able to create enough high-quality content.
The good news: writing a blog post can be way easier than you think. Follow the steps below, and soon enough you will start creating and publishing high-quality content.
Step # 1 – get a blog post idea
The first step is to think of an idea you have for a post. It can be a topic, a problem, a statement, an advice you want to give. It doesn’t have to be a super smart or profound topic; if you follow the steps below you will see that everything can be turned into an interesting blog post. I keep a list of “blog post ideas” for future use, and tap into them when I have time + energy to write. Personally, I have excess of ideas and absence of “quiet time” to write.
Step # 2 -brainstorm on paper
Got an idea? Great. Now it’s time to take a few pieces of paper (I recommend scrap paper. All those A4 you accidentally printed, the one-sided meeting agenda prints you don’t need any more, etc.). Once you have some paper, you are ready to start brainstorming. You can try one of these two methods:
Mind map – jot down ideas relating to the topic you chose, surround them with circles or boxes or any other geometrical shapes you like. Create lines connecting between them. Each semi-topic is surrounded with a shape and branches out to other mini- topics. Soon you will have an entire page covered with content.
Create a list – this works great especially when your final output is a list or you want to write about a sequential process. This post, for example started as a list on paper.
If you want to write a guide for “cool things to do when it rains,” start by writing ideas on paper and continue until you have at least 15 different ideas. Don’t censor yourself throughout the process; even if you write down an idea that you think is stupid, this idea can spark another idea that can end up being pretty good. Don’t worry – by the time you publish the post, you will screen out all the “bad ideas.”
Step # 3 – open a word processor and start typing
At first, you want to get everything you have on paper to the computer. As you start typing, things will become more ordered and of course you can always add new ideas that come to mind while at it. At this stage you are still enforcing zero judgment – your goal here is to get everything into a document as fast as possible, so grammar, wording, order and coherence do not play a role at all. You still want to be connected to your creative energy rather than your analytical energy.
If your paper notes are disorganized (as is often the case with mind mapping), cross over sections you finish typing, so you don’t accidently type them twice.
Step #4 – eliminate
Go over what you now have on the screen and delete everything that’s boring or doesn’t support the overall context of the post you want to write. Often at this point you will find that you steered away from your original topic and now most of your content is about something else. Accept it, and “pivot” your post topic to the new stuff – what you have the most interesting volume of content for.
Step #5 – order
So at this point you already have your “top content” in the document; it is time to order things in a sequence that makes sense, create paragraphs out of sentences, and add connectors between these paragraphs. Each paragraph should feel like it’s right where it should be.
Step #6 – add an opening and a closing to the post
Not much to say here. Write an opening paragraph and a closing paragraph. Keep them brief. People want to get straight to the point and often even skip the opening paragraph.
Still, opening and closing are important, for two reasons: visitors to the post who do read the opening paragraph, would use it to judge whether to read the rest of the post or not; regarding the closing paragraph, you want to leave your readers with a closure, some sort of wrap-up of everything they just read. Perhaps you also want to include a call to action –suggest that they read another post you wrote for example. I am not good in closing paragraphs (see below).
Step #7 – polish
Now is the time for grammar and style. I won’t get into details here. Simply go over the entire post at least two times for styling.
Step #8 – optional – do some SEO
Read my post about finding keyword ideas. See if you can replace some of the words in your finished post with some keywords you found. Don’t force it. If it doesn’t feel natural on the text, drop it. I hardly ever do keyword replacement in my posts, good content is way more important in the long run.
Step #9 – get an image
Choose an appealing image – you can look for free images online (remember to give the photographer credits), you can buy stock photos, you can take a picture. Pictures are always a great addition to the blog post. By the way, you can take any of the images on my blog and use them as long as you link back to my blog. You can simply copy and paste this – photo credit: Roni Krakover
Step #10 -think of a catchy title
But don’t exaggerate. I hate click traps such as: “this man thought he was walking into his house. What happened next will amaze you”, “10 things that women can’t do no matter how hard they try”, “seeing what this monkey does is guaranteed to change your life forever”, “the 7 secrets of people who have a lot of sex”, etc. I never click them, and neither should you. More often than not you will find yourself reading a boring piece designed to solely get advertising exposure. But more than that on another post.
Step #11 – upload
Upload to your blogging platform, choose the right category and tag. Add the image. At this point you also want to make sure that any links you included in the article work and lead to the right page.
Step #12 – share
Let the world know about your post. Use all social media outlets you have to announce the news.
Step #13 – go to sleep
You worked hard. Your brain must be super tired right now. I know mine is. I’m going to take a nap. Talk soon.
*Note: every post worth reading takes time to write.
*Photo credit – Ryan McGuire