I read a great piece on Copyblogger this week about a strategy for writing one great piece of content a week. I love this concept, because working in SEO, I see a ton of thin blog content, and working in publishing, I see a lot of authors who feel pressured into posting every day. This leads to that thin content that no one really wants to read, and it also leads to authors being overwhelmed because they’re spending all their time blogging and none of their time writing their books, poems, stories, or preferred medium.
Personally, I usually write blog posts in one sitting, maybe two. But I do like the way the author of that article breaks down the required steps for a blog post into manageable tasks. Here is my mental checklist for blog posts (which sadly, I don’t always follow, but lately I’ve been better).
Craft Headline (sometimes I do this first, but I usually analyze after I’ve written the post to see if I can come up with something better)
Add photo/graphic (such a pain sometimes, but it really does make each post so much better)
Add tags/categories (I only do one category, and 3-5 tags, as I like them to be a focused as possible)
Scan for keyword usage (not always necessary, depending on topic/point of post) (When I do do this, it includes checking the content, url, meta description, and photos for my keywords and related terms. Sometimes it won’t make sense to have them in all of these places though, so remember, you’re writing to get a message across, not just keywords).
Schedule post/social shares
After it posts, share social, try to bring people to blog.
I do try to include a question or something to get people commenting, but I don’t like to force it.
I don’t do what the author of the copyblogger article does, and email people about my post. But I do share on Facebook and Twitter, and sometimes when I find related articles, I will comment on them and mention that I have a related post. I don’t do this all the time though, and I don’t go too far out of my way, since I like to comment on people’s sites to build community, not to self-promote.
So, that is what goes into my blog posts. Do you have any other checklist items that I don’t? Or strategies for crafting exceptional content? Let us all in on your secrets!