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!
One of my biggest pet peeves is when articles, blog posts, and other content market themselves as “life changing advice” or something else remarkably useful, and then just end up being lists that don’t give ou any feedback or direction as to how to implement the tools or strategies mentioned.
I also hate marketing advice that is “100 strategies that will change your life” No one has time to invest in 100 strategies, and a list that long is not going to give actionable advice on anything. I’d rather read one in depth article about one useful strategy so that I can decide if that strategy will work for me.
But then the marketing companies that are writing the articles won’t make as much money, because I’d realize I could implement the strategies myself. Is listing 100 things a method to get authors (and other people who need marketing help) to think that there’s no way to manage it all themselves, making it likelier they’d hire a company who supposedly knows the magic of all things marketing?
I think yes
You know how sometimes you have a song stuck in your head, but you don’t know what it’s called or who sings it? Well, thanks to advertising, I often find I have that “It’s a funny way to make ends meet” song stuck in my head. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well here it is:
The Gossip- Heavy Cross
Yeah, so I’m not a perfume person, but I do love the Dior commercial that features the above song.
I love the song, which I had never listened to completely until 3 minutes ago, but the visuals are pretty great too.
Also, the way the singer says “You” is so weird that you could imagine it being “Dior”.
Very good choice. Bravo advertisers who made that decision.
I often wonder what order certain commercials are conceived in. Did the Nationwide marketing team start with the idea that people baby their cars and then try to find the perfect song? Or did they see “Love is Strange” on a list of options they could afford and work from there?
Anyway, those are my rambles for the evening. I’m going to stop watching so much tv soon. Seriously.