By Mel Devent
Once you start down the road of becoming a blogger, you take on the responsibility of presenting your users with fresh, interesting content. And you have to do it constantly. There’s no easy solution. However, there are methods to make yourself the most productive blogger you can be.
Here are six steps you can follow to write more effective blog posts and keep providing your readers good posts time and time again.
1. Come Up With Ideas and Headings
Before long, coming up with fresh blog ideas becomes difficult. Don’t wait until you need them. Whether you’re having a conversation, surfing the internet, or watching TV, every time a blog idea comes to you, make a note of it.
The more thinking time you spend on topics related to your niche, the more questions and insights you’ll have. At least some of them can warrant a new post to keep readers informed. Make notes. Even better, write them into a calendar so you have a timeframe that becomes a schedule.
Once you have an idea that demands your attention, research some popular keywords on the topic, and come up with several different titles that leverage these keywords. Put all of your ideas into an editorial calendar, like this free one from Bluewire Media.
2. Compile Useful Sources
Now that you have an idea and a headline, you can start digging into the research. You don’t want to waste time on something that’s old news, or has already been extensively covered, unless you have a truly significant contribution to make.
What you want to do in the course of your research is come up with long-tail keywords. You want keyword phrases and questions that you can incorporate into your writing. Use a keyword tool that will help you determine which keyword phrases are currently the most used by the various search engines, especially Google.
Do some searches on these keywords to see what kind of information is popular and how it’s presented. Copy and paste URLs from the top SERP (search engine result pages) articles that provide reputable and useful information.
3. Define Your Structure
Use this list of URLs to collect useful information. Copy and paste entire articles or key sections under each URL to keep track of where it’s coming from. Note how your preferred keywords are being used.
Once you have the list fleshed out with the actual info, you should be able to see the kind of article you want to write. Skim through all the text looking for the information that supports or relates to your original idea. Select the best material and copy it into a separate document. Label each section with the key points it contains.
Now look for flow. Rearrange the information in a logical structure. Ask yourself what doesn’t work, what’s missing, and what seems repetitive or frivolous. Keep gathering or deleting information until you have an article built around your keywords and your premise.
4. Write It
By now you should have a well-structured article full of useful information. Start rendering this collated information into your own style. You have to look for opportunities to inject your own perspective and your own thoughts by constantly asking yourself who, why, and how.
You’re just using the information and structure you came up with as a resource and a roadmap. If you’ve broken up the article into sections, you can rewrite one section at a time and take a minute to review and rethink the section in terms of originality and value.
Don’t plagiarize, no matter how catchy a phrase or how clever a conclusion is. You should be writing from your own flow of thought. Don’t stress over things like punctuation, links, or images. Minimize distractions and voice your thoughts. If necessary, use a very brief note as a placeholder to help you easily identify points you can revisit later.
5. Edit It
This is the part that most writers don’t care for. In fact, it tends to be boring, but it’s also necessary. There are several things you have to cover. Start by reading the post. Don’t just skim over the text. Actually read it out loud if you have to. Alter phrases or punctuation where it provides better flow or more clarity. Don’t forget that your spell checker is limited. For instance, it may allow “to big” where you meant “too big”.
If you’re citing facts, quotes, studies, or publications, you should probably include links to the original source. Check for extra spaces, awkward paragraph breaks, correct use of hyphens or italics – and keep checking until it looks clean and professional.
This is a really simple process when you’ve made it a regular habit. It may not be necessary, strictly speaking, but keyword tool to building your audience and ensuring the future of your blog.
Check that you’ve included your long-tail keywords without keyword stuffing or make them seem forced. Next, ensure the right tags are in place. This would be meta tags like description, title, keyword lists, and WordPress or other site tags you need to add. Also be sure your post is in the right category so it’s easy for users and crawlers to find logically.
Finally, check it with your SEO plugins or similar tools to be sure you haven’t overlooked anything. keyword tool is the one I recommend.
Writing can be exhausting, and producing regular blog posts can be frustrating. Instead of forcing yourself to write, get in the habit of following the six steps above. Producing quality content will come easier and faster.