Sunday, October 26, 2014

Lets make your blog post shine

blogging tips and tricks steps to take before publishing blog post


You know that feeling when you've come up with an amazing blog post idea? You are are up all night composing this wonderful masterpiece and totally buzzed from all that caffeine. 


You finish the post and you are so damn proud of yourself. You are basically on cloud nine and there ain't no one going to bring you down.

You can't wait to hit publish and share this piece of awesome-ness with the world.


Don't.


Seriously, don't hit publish.


A guide to making your blog post shine


There are couple of things that you need to do before that and today, I wanted to discuss those vital steps. So lets get started on the steps that you should take before you publish your blog posts. 

The checklist : Because lists are awesome

Lets turn that rough draft to into the kind of post that readers will engage with and share. When you finish typing out that final word, take a second to scroll up and check if your post has the following key elements:

  • Compel me: There's literally a bazillion blog posts being published each hour and my news feed is overflowing. Use no more than 6 words in your title to tell me why I should read yours! If possible, include one keyword in that killer headline. Stats have proved that including power words, a number or even a negative title can make for some intriguing headlines.
  • Pull me in: Make your first 100 words the strongest. Your opening paragraph should give the reader an overview of what's to come. Give your best so that the reader can't help but continue reading!
  • Lets get visual:  Don't be booooooooooooooring. Visual displays will pull your reader in so make sure to use high quality images. You can get some high-resolution stock photos from sites like Unsplash or take some of your own with your phone's built-in camera (you can use free apps like Aviary and PhotoWonder to jazz it up!). A great header image will also make your content easy to share on sites like Pinterest.
  • Don't ignore SEO: Use ALT tags on images, add key words and link to your older relevant posts (don't forget to check if your links work!). SEO can be intimidating and super scary so you might want to check out XOMISSE, she has some great SEO tips for bloggers. Remember that you are writing for your readers, not just the search engine so don't over do it!
  • Tell me what to do: One important thing that a lot of bloggers overlook is a call to action. Blogging is a community activity so ask questions from your readers, engage with them, respond to comments and interact with your fellow bloggers.

Time to ask the tough questions: Because tough love, you know.

Are you sticking to the point? Does it fit your audience? Is it useful/entertaining? If the topic you are discussing is well trodden ground, ask yourself whether you are adding value with a fresh perspective?


What will your reader remember about your post? Would you want to read this post on another blog? Would you consider sharing this post if you read it on another blog? Does it solve a problem?

And finally, the most important question: Are YOU enjoying what you post? Are you doing it because you want to do it? Or are you simply doing it to 'keep up' with every body else? 

The Final Coat: Are you ready to glow?

Once you finish that brilliant post, you'll be itching to hit publish. But waaaaaait. 


Let it stew for a few days, or at least a few hours before you press that button. Every time I finish a post and send it off, I remember things that I should have/could have included. But it's too late to edit so put some space (and time) between you and your post. This will not only allow you to look at it with new pair of eyes but it will also allow you to add/subtract stuff that you may have missed earlier. 

True story: A year back, I saw this vacancy posting for a copywriter so I prepped up my resume and sent it off. Seconds later, I realized that in my excitement I had sent the resume with a terrible typo! I have still not gotten over that mortifying incident. #EpicFail


So YES, proof reading is always worth your time so try to pick out those spelling errors and typos by giving it a thorough read through. 

Read the full post. This might seem a little silly but take your time to read the post as a reader, not a writer. Again, this will help you weed out any mistakes and it will do wonders for your quality.


Fun Fact: Before I published this post, I found 11 typos. ELEVEN (not counting the ones I'll probably find AFTER I hit publish!). Proof reading is important, guys!

When it comes to blogging there is no doubt that quality is key. But finding your voice is equally important. The key thing that all my favorite bloggers possess is uniqueness. These amazing people are ones that have chosen not to take the safe route. They are the ones who have taken risks and come up with wonderfully creative and bold new ideas. They are the ones who have continued to share posts that are both engaging and relevant.

So my final message?

Find your blogging voice, write your heart out, edit ruthlessly and continue to surprise your readers!

Questions for you: 

Do you have a blogging checklist? What questions do you ask yourselves before you hit publish? 

I think you are pretty amazing, so I'd love to hear your blogging tips! So tweet @nbookaholic or leave a comment below - I can't wait to hear from you. <3

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Want more? Check out my other discussions.

Happy Reading/Blogging! :)

xoxo

15 comments :

  1. Great post Nuz!! I always love the visuals that you use in your blog posts :). I'm always one of those people who has to write down ideas and blog posts before even thinking of typing them. My ideas flow better when I write them down. You know your advice about proof reading really reminded me of something that my Thesis advisor used to say. He said that when should always finish essays earlier (at least a week or so before the due date) and let it sit for a while and then go back to it because then you actually see what needs to be edited and if you're on track. I found what you said interesting about using no more than 6 words in a title. I hadn't really thought about that before, but that's great advice :). And I'll try to respond to your email soon!!

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  2. You have some great tips there. To be honest, I don't really have a check list before I post something. I read it one more time to see if I missed any mistake, I look if I like the placement from pictures and that's it. I might have to follow some of your tips before posting!

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  3. This is literally the best post ever. I love these tips. Your posts are always engaging and proofread so well. I love lists too. I always go over my posts with a checklist.

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  4. Nice post today! I do disagree with the short title one though-I'm drawn to longer titles on my bloglovin feed, and I also prefer to use longer titles on my posts. I think this one is a preference thing :)

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  5. Awesome post! I love your ideas, although I agree with Finley Jane about long post titles. Since everyone is doing short, when I see a long post title, it tends to stand out.

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  6. Love your post, Nuz! You really do give amazing tips and advice:)
    I totally agree with the proofreading part.I make a lot of mistakes while typing, and when I read them as a writer, I ignore them.It's really hard to find mistakes in your own writing.

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  7. These are definitely great tips to remember :) I'm a fan of letting it stew. I always schedule for the future, not just hit publish, and that gives me time to look at it again later.

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  8. Handy tips Nuz. I know if I let a post or a review to simmer a bit, I always end up spicing it up and it shows. My first drafts are not pretty! I know I'm weak on images and I really want to start making more of an effort there.

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  9. Great tips! I know there are a few I could work on. I do usually prep quite awhile before posting so I can check again before it's live but it seems like I still find some mistakes.
    I need to learn how to make simple little image headers. I hire mine out for blog tours but could maybe do some for some of my own discussion posts. If I could just learn how... I do have lots of pictures, I take pictures of everything!

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  10. Lovely post Nuzaifa! I definitely need to start implementing into my post writing. I often get a little too excited about things. :P

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  11. These are definitely good tips, but not for me. Part of my "thing" and what makes blogging fun for me is that it's pretty much completely by the seat of my pants. I write what I'm thinking in that moment. Yes, I check for spelling errors. Grammar not so much, as the idea is to write the way I speak. So if you read my posts out loud with the purposely bad grammar it's like I'm talking to you.

    I do need to work on SEO though. I pretty much ignore it now, and I know I shouldn't. I'm still terrible about tags. And I don't use images because I petrified of accidentally grabbing an image and having Getty sent me a huge bill. I'm not any good at photography either. But it's OK. I actually prefer posts on other blogs without a bunch of images. It's all about the title for me.

    Great post. I'm definitely sharing.

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  12. This post was so great! I need to educate myself on SEO. I have an SEO Wordpress plugin and that's about all I know! Thank you for the awesome post! I shared it on my post going up in the morning!

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  13. This is an extremely fabulous checklist. I completely agree!! I'm notorious for typos and even though I proof several times before publishing, I usually find problems later. Gah! And I completely suck at SEO. I just don't understand it. So I'm following that link to read a bit more and hope it clicks this time. I'm a big believer of not starting posts with "I'm sorry I didn't..." etc. DON'T APOLOGISE. I think more bloggers need to just own their blogs and be fabulous and not apologise all over the place. ;-) anyway. I LOVE THIS POST. You are too wonderful.

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  14. This is a really great post :) Sorting good from bad ideas for posts was something I struggled with when I began blogging. I just published everything and didn't take time to really develop or evaluate anything. Thankfully I saw the error of my ways and straightened out.

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  15. Great post! Thanks for sharing these awesome tips :)
    Personally, I do not have checklists but I always let it stew for couple of days before publishing it.

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