15 Questions To Ask Before You Publish Your Next Blog Post
Here’s a brilliant infographic from ProBlogger which neatly outlines the questions you should be asking before you hit publish on your next blog post. We recommend you print it out or keep it on your desktop and refer to it each time you finish a blog post to keep you right on track with your blogging.
Click this link to view a larger version of this infographic.
10 Tips For Great Blogging
Ten Tips for Great Blogging to ensure your blog is found, is read, is returned to, is acted upon, is shared and benefits from interaction.
1. Punctuation, Grammar, Spelling – Writing a blog post should undergo similar practices to writing a book – planning, preparation, writing, editing, spell checking, reading it aloud and only then, do you hit publish. I have to admit that I am guilty of not proofreading properly sometimes, just doing a quick skim read and then wondering why I missed an occasional typo. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are just as important in a blog post as they are in a book, in a published article or in an examination. Use the spell checker, use a thesaurus and/or dictionary and if you feel your punctuation or grammar could be improved, read it aloud or ask a friend or colleague to do so.
2. Quality Pictures – Try to include good photographs in your blog posts. Every blog post should have a minimum of one photograph, partly to create visual interest and to break up the text and partly to serve as a photograph to pin on Pinterest, thereby serving as a link to your blog post.
If you use a photograph that does not belong to you, credit the source. not yours, then credit them. Try to use your own original photography if you can. The photograph above was a simple one I took of our windmill on my iphone. I used it as I wanted a fairly plain background to place the text against.With so many people having smart phones now, it is much easier to snap a quick photograph if you see something suitable when you are out and about.
3. Blog regularly – Try to blog fairly regularly. If you post 3 or 4 times a week, then schedule some posts if you are going to be away or if you have a busy week coming up. Try to have a regular topic once or twice a week, e.g. Tuesday’s Tip or Fabric Friday.
4. Personality – whether your blog is a personal or business blog, your readers should be able to get to know you by reading your blog. This doesn’t mean that you have to include details of your social life or your family life in every blog post if it is a business blog but let your readers get a sense of the person behind the business and the blog by incorporating a sentence or two of your life into a percentage of your blog posts.
5. Share on social networks – There are so many social networks available now that it is important to share your blog post there too. Don’t rely on your blog being found on its SEO alone, help potential readers find it by sharing it on all or some of the following social media platforms: pinterest, twitter, facebook, google +, and linked in. Remember your aim is to get more traffic to your website and use your blog as the core of your social media – to bring traffic from the other networks back to your blog and hence to your website.
6. Interaction – It can be very hard to get comments on your own blog (unless you are a guru) if you don’t comment on other blogs. I know it is difficult to find the time and I don’t comment on as many other blogs as I should. However, I often interact with the blog writer on facebook or twitter instead. It is also important to respond to those who write a comment on your blog, not necessarily every commentator but occasional ones. Enjoy the conversation and become part of a community by using your blog in this way.
7. Knowledgeable – if you don’t know enough about the subject you are writing about and you are leaving gaps, there is a high likelihood this will either be pointed out by someone in the comments or some won’t return to your blog again. If you don’t know enough, do some more research before you hit ‘publish’. Ensure your content is unique too – if you have taken information from another website or blog, credit that source.
8. Be Compelling – A blog is not a text book so make it as interesting as you can – in terms of layout, using images or diagrams to break up the text if it is long, and be as entertaining and informative as the subject matter allows.
9. Join blogging groups – Joining an offline blogging group will further your relationships with other bloggers, increasing support for your blog. It will also help to iron our any problems you may have as you can get answers to your questions. I always come away buzzing from our KLCK bloggers network meetings. Blogging groups can be online too – I’ve noticed a Dublin Bloggers group set up on facebook recently and there are bound to be hundreds more too – either in terms of geographical area or in subject area.
10. Ease of Navigation – Remember that a reader may come to your blog initially via a post you wrote a year ago. Can they find related posts easily? Are your posts categorised? If they want to contact you, is your ‘contact us’ page set up? Can they see a picture of you in the About Us page or in the sidebar? Can they access your most recent post easily? Ease of navigation is important as readers may wish to read more posts in that subject area or just to read more of the wonderful content you have written. Remember to include a call to action too – readers need to know what you want them to do and how they can benefit more from your service or products.
Blogging is a great tool and if used well, can result in incredible returns – both in terms of building your profile, monetary rewards and personal benefits.
Have I left out any tips? Do you have any to add?
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Build Your Website With WordPress
True or False? WordPress is only for blogs
False. While WordPress may be primarily known as a blogging platform, you can use it to create a website too. We used it to create a simple design for our Write On Track website, and while we chose to incorporate a blog into the design, the fact is that you can create a stand-alone website with no blog if you prefer (although we always recommend incorporating a blog for fresh content and SEO).
Contact us to find out more about how we can help you create a simple, easy to manage website using WordPress.
What can public speaking teach us about blogging?
Having a good content structure is critical to writing blog posts that people can easily read and understand ~ Lilach Bullock
We agree with social media consultant, Lilach Bullock when she says:
Good strong content serves you and your reader better. It enables you blog to get traction faster and builds your credibility as a content creator, faster. Having a good structure makes the writing process so much easier for you.
In her latest post, Lilach outlines the elements to a well-structured blog post, and as she points out, this formula is one that will be very familiar to those of you who have received any public speaking training in the past.
The four main elements to well-structured blog posts are:
- Tell ‘em what you are telling ‘em,
- Tell ‘em
- Then tell ‘em what you told them.
If you would like to learn more, then check out A blog post structure that works on Lilach’s blog.
The Importance of Blogging for Business in 2012
Last Tuesday’s tweetup with the #intdesignerchat was well worth following for so many reasons as many interior designers were tweeting on the topic of blogging – focusing on the importance of blogging for business in 2012.
The transcript of the use of the hashtag is here and it shows that 163 people contributed as well as lots of other interesting information which demonstrates the success of using a hashtag to publicise an event and build a community.
Here’s some of the responses to the questions posed by the organisers – all of them focusing on business blogging.
Q1 What are the benefits of having a business blog?
- My blog lets me communicate with my customers
- Having a place to direct people to see your work
- People can get to know me through my blog
- Potential clients can ‘suss’ me out before they call me
- Can go into greater detail of my expertise than on a website
- I can stay connected to clients through my blog
- My blog is like my shop window with fresh displays everytime I post
- It’s a great way to work through ideas as you research
- My blog helps to establish my credibility
- It’s a great place to host my portfolio
- I can show my expertise on my blog
- I can connect with like minded designers and potential clients
- A blog is a great way to foster relationships
- Your blog tells who you really are
- A blog can build trust
- Blogging has opened doors that wouldn’t have otherwise.
- Allows engagement. Casual and friendly.
- SEO benefits – drives more traffic to my website
- Blogs offer up-to-date content. Magazines can be dated by the time they are published
- People buy from those they like. Blogging introduces you to them
- Your blog is the core of your online presence
- A blog forces you to keep current and up to date
Q2 What are some of the basics of good blogging (that some people may forget or neglect) and that will help to grow business?
- A good blog is one that has a clear vision and is authentic
- Remember you are blogging to your clients not your peers
- Get the focus right for every post
- If you have nothing to say, don’t post for the sake of posting
- Always respond to comments
- Blog consistently and at least once a week
- Always give credit if using other people’s photos
- Be Yourself – do not write in a voice that is not authentic
- Remember to proofread
- Blogging is for clients, twitter is where you talk to your peers
- Have a strategy planned to deal with negative comments
Q3 Do you have any tips on how to get more attention for your blog?
- Tweet links to your posts
- Share your blog on directories and sharing sites such as Stumbleupon
- Use youtube too
- Put highly searched keywords into the tags
- Be topical
- Be slightly controversial
- Offer sneak peaks
- Offer giveaways and contests
- Be original
- Be different to your competition
- Schedule your tweet links to your posts
These are some of the advantages of business blogging as well as including lots of tips as shared by many interior designers who are blogging. If you would like to join in the next #intdesignerchat, they take place on Tuesday nights at 11pmGMT. If you feel you would like some more help with your business blog, do get in touch with Marie and I and we’ll be happy to answer any questions or prepare a quote for you.
As a matter of interest, what is the best tip, in your opinion? I think the best one is to write for your customers/clients, not for your peers. Write for those that will be buying from you, not for those in your industry.
How to Write a Blog Post a Day
An apple a day keeps the doctor away – just what might a blog post a day do for you and your business?
This idea came from the NaNoWriMo initiative whereby people are encouraged to write the majority of a book during the month of November. 50,000 words which makes it 1667 words a day. People can sign up to NaNoWriMo to register their word counts each day and get support from each other. The emphasis is on quantity, the advice being that the quality will come with the editing during later months. It is particularly designed for those who are nervous of starting a book, procrastinating, wanting it to be perfect from the first word and this encourages them to grasp the mettle and just write.
Apparently the Post a Day challenge started back in January but bloggers can join at any time. The Daily Post at wordpress offers tips for blog topics and offers advice on how to write a blog post. I have to admit that I wasn’t overly impressed by their tips for inspiration and topics but I like the idea of giving yourself a goal of a post each week or even each day. In preparation for NaNoWriMo, they are encouraging writers to write a post a day. You can sign up for the post a day or a post a week and see what others are doing, join in a community and learn from others.
Writing a post a day is certainly a challenge for even the most avid of bloggers. It is one thing to come up with ideas for blog posts which can be difficult at times and it is quite another to find the time to sit down and write interesting blog posts. However, it is worth remembering that not all blog posts need lots of content. I find that writing a blog post can take anything between 15 and 90 minutes, depending on the length, the number of links I include, the research I need to do and the number of images I include.
I am going to partake in this challenge, not on this blog but on one that I started last month. Called Wallpaper Review, it is about wallpapers. It is the type of blog that will vary its posts from advisory posts on wallpapers to posts that might have a single image with just a couple of lines of text. I’ll let you know at the end of October how I got on and how traffic to this blog improved during the month.
As stated on the NaNoWriMo website, would you prefer to write an imperfect-but-complete novel or no novel at all? The same goes for blogging – would you prefer to grasp the nettle and start a blog or have no blog at all? We offer blog coaching at Write on Track so if you are nervous about starting and would like some coaching to ensure you are ‘on the right track’, do get in contact.