Blog posts and how they come to be are a bit mysterious, especially if you’re new to the blogosphere. And if you haven’t passionately written since your college years (which is almost everyone), then they’re even more of a conundrum.
Or maybe I’m simply describing my personal experience, regardless I know some of you feel me on the not writing since college thing.
If you’ve landed here, I’m assuming one of two things:
1. You’re contemplating starting a blog and are researching every last bit of information you can find.
2. You’ve been blogging for a bit, but you’re unsure of your writing direction.
And if you don’t fit into my assumptions, then please stay – you’re more than welcome to learn how to write a badass blog post.
Before we get started, I need to make something crystal clear for you.
…. Are you ready?
Writing like a badass doesn’t happen overnight, it doesn’t happen in a month, and sometimes it won’t happen for an entire year – or more.
Don’t freak out fellow blogger babes, because time will pass regardless and it’s more important what you do in that passing time versus what you don’t do. So if time is passing and your writing sucks, it’s all good.
Just keep putting the pen to paper or your fingers to the keys.
Please – don’t stop (under any circumstances).
For me, it took a full year for my writing to blossom, to take on its own form, to become its own rhythmic flow. It took a lot of blog posts, re-reading my older posts, reading other people’s styles, and then fine tuning my own…. and that’s how I made it here.
I can comfortably say – I’m comfortable in my writing (for now, anyway).
So while the below list is a guide to write a badass blog post, it’s not a guide that promises viral posts, instant fame, or high traffic numbers. It’s a guide, that when followed carefully and consistently, will produce results (I swear it).
With that said blogger babes, let’s get into it.
1. Brainstorm the Blog Post Topic
First and foremost, what will you write about?
By now – your site should have a consistent theme that highlights different categories and sub-categories. And if that statement is complete jibberish to you, then please read this first and meet us back here.
Back to what I was saying…. Your first job is to decide what the topic will be. For me, I either focus on yoga, travel, blogging, or life inspirations – 4 total categories + sub-categories (which you can see under my menu bar).
Once the overarching category or theme is decided, then it’s time to brainstorm the exact subject of the post.
This is where things can get tricky… mainly because we’re not always feeling inspired, creative, witty, or what have you.
To combat any not so inspirational ish – I highly recommend keeping a notebook nearby to jot down blog post ideas. Ideas will flutter into your mind at the least expected moment or the most inappropriate time, so please – keep the notebook nearby.
2. Research & Plan the Post
You officially know the topic of your blog post, hooray! And now the work begins…
As bloggers, it’s our responsibility to know our shit. I find it incredibly frustrating when I land on someone’s site expecting one thing, yet quickly find out none of the correct information is there.
Please – don’t be this person.
Just do the work babes.
When I go into research mode, I typically scan Pinterest for whatever my desired topic is, browse through a few other posts, do a quick Google search to see what comes up, and then I get to note taking and outlining.
If your post is a tutorial of any kind, it will require more time and effort. Again – do the work and the post will speak for itself!
3. Create a Catchy/Informative Headline
Number three used to trip me up real bad, as in my post titles were absolutely horrible.
At the beginning of my journey, I titled every post with a 101 on the end. I thought that by titling everything with 101, readers would decipher the informational component, that it was a tutorial of some kind, that it offered a well of knowledge.
Well, to no one’s surprise (except maybe mine own), this was a terrible tactic.
Lesson learned, I no longer do that, and all past blog post haves been renamed.
So here’s the deal with blog post titles – they must be informative enough to let the reader know what you have to offer, yet enticing enough for them to click-through and read. And in addition to this seductive/informative title, it also needs to be SEO friendly.
Don’t freak out – I’ll explain.
SEO = search engine optimization or in simpler terms – the tactic for Google to notice you, love you, and rank you in the first few pages of search results.
To achieve all 3 components in a blog post title, here’s my suggestions:
- Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner* to research your chosen topic. This will give you a good idea of how often people are searching for this specific topic. Be sure to include this keyword or phrase within your title – this is mandatory!
- Do a quick search on Google and notice the similar post titles. Only take notice, no copying! Use other people’s work as an inspiration to fuel your own.
- Play with the order of your words within the title, add a dash or colon, capitalize everything or only some letters – just play.
*Google Adwords is a platform to create ads. You are required to sign up for an account, but the keyword tool is free, it’s not required to actually create and purchase an ad.
4. Create/Take Graphics
This step doesn’t have to be number four, but I find that once the graphic for the post is made or the pictures have been taken, I’m much more motivated to do the damn thing!
Do what works best for your flow – if you like to write everything out and then create graphics, go for it. If you like to do this step midway through to refuel your soul – do that. And if you want to follow my modus operandi – then please do that.
To create Pinterst worthy images (like the one up above), I recommend:
- Canva – this one is my absolute favorite.
- PicMonkey – another favorite in the blogger community.
- Unsplash – free stock photo site and the images are epic!
- Paint – good ol’ fashion paint, it can never steer you wrong (said no designer ever, but I’m not a designer, so have at it)!
5. Write the Intro
We’re halfway into our badass blog post – the groundwork has been laid, the framework is built, and now it’s time to do the work – starting with the blog post introduction.
Your introduction should follow the same formula as the title – informational, seductive, and SEO friendly. The first snippet of a post should peak the reader’s interest enough to stay put. It’s tough keeping anyone’s attention these days (thank you social media), so it’s imperative to make the first introduction an unforgettable one.
Now with all of that said, I want to keep it real here – because that’s what the journey is about.
Some days – I cannot write a catchy/seductive introduction to save my life. My words barely form a sentence. The sentences barely form an idea. And the entire opening paragraph feels like a modge podge of thoughts. But guess what – that’s life.
Life is a modge podge of ideas, thoughts, words, and sentences. And sometimes – none if it will make sense.
If this is the case for you, just roll with it. Write out a decent introduction and keep flowing through the post, then come back to it, slowly tweak a word or two, add or delete a sentence, and then let it be.
6. Write the Meat of the Post
Once the intro is written, I typically take a break and let the post marinate. I like to either sleep on it (because I’m just plain tired) or wait a few hours and then come back to my words.
This is what’s helpful for me… If you like to feverishly write until something is complete, by all means go for it. And might I add – kudos to you!
When writing the meat of the post, let yourself become entranced by the subject, your words, the meaning behind the words, the message that is being put forth into the world – or in less woo woo terms – just keep writing.
When I first started blogging, I got stuck on every sentence. I re-read everything a hundred times over before moving forward. This is a NO NO. This constant stop and go pattern is essentially a roadblock for your creativity and writing.
Just keep writing.
And don’t worry – we will edit this baby, at least three times over.
7. Keep it Digestable
Number seven was another tough skill for me to learn, especially because all formal education teaches a different style when it comes to writing.
You’ll notice that many bloggers, myself included, keep their paragraphs short, include a shitload of one liners, create headings and sub-headings, and bold/underline/italicize/and capitalize a bunch of extra ish.
The goal behind all of these tactics is simple – to keep the reader’s attention!
This unique way of writing and presenting the information took me about 9 months to learn, understand, and properly articulate to my readers (aka you). I played with different header sizes, different block quote designs, the amount of images, etc.
If you’re still a bit unsure of this “digestable” component, here’s a few pointers:
- Use horizontal lines to break up different components. I use these A LOT in my blog posts and love them for breaking up ideas.
- Use lists, of any type, to let the reader quickly scan the materials and then focus on what they personally need.
- Major clue – people will hardly ever read an entire post, so at the very least, let them scan it and find one piece to remember.
- Use headings and sub-headings to dictate a new subject or thought, then use these consistently throughout all of your posts.
- Use different punctuation and symbols to throw your reader off or keep their eyes moving – break up the words (see that dash there, it has a purpose).
- Use images when necessary, but don’t overdo it. I overly used images when I first started blogging… and while people do love images, too many will distract the reader from the main message.
8. Edit, Edit and Edit
And now it’s time to edit, proofread, spell check, check supporting links, then read it again, and maybe read it one more time for good measure.
The edit process is pretty straightforward, simply check yo self and make sure everything is legit.
Here’s my typical process for editing:
- Read the post, in preview mode, then go back and make edits. I do this preview/edit thing a good three to five times.
- Use the spell check tool – duh.
- Fix anything that completely doesn’t make sense (this happens to me every post, it’s normal).
- Check any links you included.
- Make sure the post is formatted correctly – aka digestable.
9. Add ALT-Text to all Images
We’re SO almost ready to publish our badass blog post.
But first – ALT Text & Images.
This is another one of those concepts that just didn’t click for me, it took me too many months to understand the reasoning behind this concept.
In a nutshell, here’s the deal:
- When uploading an image into WordPress, there’s a section titled ALT Text (alternative text).
- This section is what displays when your image is pinned to Pinterest (it will be pinned, trust me).
- The ALT Text should mimic your post headline or possibly even provide a bit more detail to entice people to re-pin your post.
If you’re still unsure of this ALT Text business, shout out below and we can clear up the confusion. And please don’t be shy – I’d rather you shout out then stay confused for months (like me).
10. Publish & Share
Your post is now ready to be published and shared all throughout the virtual world – especially, via social media.
It’s incredibly important that you share, share, and then continue to share your work.
Use whatever social media outlets work best for you, create the image needed, e-mail it to friends/family, include it in your newsletter – JUST SHARE IT.
And you made it – congrats blogger babes!
You’ve officially created a badass blog post that will entice readers to click-through, to stay and read your awesome work, and then share with others – because they love you that much.
Okay, okay – that’s the perfect scenario, in a perfect world.
But truthfully, when you follow this guide (consistently and carefully) – the above scenario will start to unfold. People will stay and read what you have to say. People will sign up for your newsletter. And people will spread your message.
Just remember – keep writing, keep publishing, and keep sharing.
Let’s Talk – How do you craft your blog posts to keep people engaged? What challenges do you face when it comes to writing? What unique tips and tricks can you offer others who are new or need some extra love?
As always – comments, suggestions, feedback, or general blog love, please leave it down below!
Until next time – xoxo.