By far the most important thing about ‘how to make a blog’ is your content.
People are searching the information highway for answers to their problems, information and help and Google strives to keep the internet a source of good quality information that can be accessed quickly and easily.
A blog is an online journal or diary which should be added to consistently. Without good content there is nothing for people to read and no reason for them to return. You can only build a readership of loyal followers by giving them what they need.
It takes practice to write good content and construct it in such a way that readers will find it interesting and easy to read.
These days there’s no excuse for spelling errors and glaring grammatical mistakes, MS Word or Open Office both contain tools that will help you – use them!
The other thing you also have to bear in mind when writing anything for your blog is optimization – the use of effective keywords, put in just the right places, and repeated often enough to attract the search engines.
Writing Good Content is More than using SEO Tools
They’ll tell you if you haven’t used enough keywords or if you’ve forgotten to use a keyword in a subheading, but if the words you use in between those keywords are not compelling then you’re wasting your time.
If, when you proofread your article for the second time you find it dull or irrelevant, what kind of impression will it give your visitor?
Exactly, they’ll probably read the first paragraph and never come back.
The Blog Post Layout
When visitors arrive for the first time (or second or third or 99th) they’re probably looking for something. If your keyword has triggered the search engine to serve up your blog post they’re going to expect to find relevant content. Don’t disappoint them.
The layout of your article should be attractive with
- A good title
- Short paragraphs
- Headings and subheadings containing your keyword(s)
- Bulleted or numbered lists wherever possible
- At least 300 words
- Lots of “white space”
- A call to action if required
- A prompt to leave a comment
The Blog Post Title
The optimum size for your title is around 70 characters – that’s characters not words. Remove your keyword from that 70 characters and you see how little you’re left to play with!
The title of this article (How To Make A Blog Part Seven: Are you Content with Your Written Content?) contains 67 characters, a space counts as one character.
So how do you write a title that will compel a visitor to read your post?
Use of the following phrases has been proven to work; many are in the form of questions and include the keywords “blog titles.”
- Do you Know How to Write Good Blog Titles?
- Blog Titles – Do you make these Common Mistakes?
- 10 Ways to Write Better Blog Titles
- What are the Reasons behind using Effective Blog Titles?
A question elicits an answer in the reader’s mind and they will continue to read your article because they want an answer to that question.
Titles that contain “ (a number of) Ways to” means there’s a list, which is also enticing.
More Reasons for Writing Effective Blog Titles
And then there’s SEO side of things.
Including your keyword in the title is also essential for:
- Attracting the search engines
- Attracting links from other bloggers
- Attracting links from social media sites
- Archiving (depending on how your blog is set up)
- Titling RSS feeds
Your title isn’t going to disappear; it should continue to attract readers from all the above sources indefinitely.
I know it is not always possible but you want to try and use your keyword phrase towards the beginning of the title.
People are constantly searching for information and when they find your post they’re going to scan it quickly to see if it’s relevant to them, that’s why subheadings, bulleted points and the use of bold and italics is so important.
You have to break your article down into digestible chunks. Don’t confront a reader with a solid page of text unless your blog is about quantum mechanics or a subject of interest to academics – they’re used to it!
A reader’s eyes will bounce from the title to the subtitles and down the bulleted points.
If you need further help writing effective blog posts we recommend The Copywriting Scorecard for Bloggers which explains a system for measuring the quality of your blog posts from both your potential reader’s perspective and that of the search engines.
Writers’ Block and Inspiration
If you’ve been following this ‘How To Make A Blog’ series from the beginning, you’ll remember that we recommend you start a blog about something you’re passionate about.
If you’re trying to build a blog around something that doesn’t excite you, how are you going to write articles that excite and engage your reader?
- Planning is always good. Carry a notepad around with you and jot down ideas, or use your cell phone to record your thoughts.
- Planning batches of blog posts before you write them will make your blog posts flow in logical order. Sitting down in front of a blank screen knowing that you have to write a post NOW can result in a poorly-written and uninspired read.
- If you want to write five posts a week plan them the week before.
But where can you get inspiration?
Other people’s blogs and forums are excellent places to find inspiration but rehashing what another blogger has posted is not going to produce the unique and compelling article that you need to write.
TV & Magazines
If you’ve chosen a popular niche there will be a magazine about it, subscribe and see what’s being written about. Television can also prompt ideas; you probably already watch several programs relevant to your niche.
Using Google Alerts, RSS Feeds and AllTop
Google Alerts is an excellent way of keeping on top of what’s happening in your business. Google will deliver relevant links to your inbox daily and a quick scan of the titles can offer lots of ideas. For example, in the blogging niche if we were to receive a Google Alert that announces a major algorithm change, you can be one of the first to write a post about it.
Subscribing to RSS feeds can bring up-to-the-minute ideas from other blogs – it’s down to you to put your unique spin on the subject.
I like using AllTop to find ideas from other blogs.
We’ve all done a search on Google and been confronted by blogs that contain very similar articles – it’s unavoidable in some niches. Your challenge is to stand out from the crowd by being unique and creative.
Never be afraid to share your past failures with your readers, it helps to build relationships. The best bloggers are very personable and transparent so consequently their readers trust them and trust can be a major factor in the purchasing process.
Using the main points above about content creation – especially creating attention-grabbing titles will help in your future e-mail marketing campaigns too.
Creating Your Own Products
Once you get comfortable and confident with your content creation you might want to think about creating your own product, specifically an e-book or e-course. Creating and selling your own products online can be one of the most lucrative ways to make money.
Again you need to create something unique, and there are a number of important things you should know about digital product creation. It has to be “packaged” properly – even though it’s going to be delivered digitally, and the marketing side must be thoroughly understood.
For more information about creating your own product “Create Your Own Best-Selling Product in Under 7 Days” will put you on the fast track to what can be a significant income.
Creating regular compelling content is probably the most important aspect of ‘How To Make A Blog’ – without well-written content you’ll have a very lonely blog.
What’s your views on blog content when it comes to ‘how to make a blog’? Please share your views in the comments below.
In the next post on the series, “How to make a Blog” we shall cover the topic of “Good SEO Habits”
The previous blog posts in the ‘how to make a blog’ series:
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