How To Keep Writing Quality Blog Posts

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Blogging

Image by ‘_StaR_DusT_’

So, maybe you are thinking of starting a blog or you have one and it is fairly new. You know you have to keep adding fresh and unique content, but you are not sure how.

Maybe the idea of writing several posts a week scares you! What if you wanted to write a new post every day! Where do you get the ideas from? What do you write about and how?

Allow me to share with you some of the things that I use to create blog posts for my own blog or posts that are used as guest posts.

Work Space

Fortunately I work at a desk, I suggest you do too, or a table, somewhere where you can spread out and have things around you like a notepad and pen. Trust me, even though this is the digital age, the notepad and pen is still one of the most needed tools for a blogger.

You will get plenty of ideas, and they need writing down with a line or two of explanation behind the idea and your thinking. If you do not write them down you will forget them, it’s a lot nicer to have a list of ideas that you can pick and choose from instead of sitting facing the blank screen trying to start writing from scratch.

The Perfect Working Area

Image by ‘Michael Heilemann’

So where do I get my ideas from?

Favourite Blogs

If blogging is what you intend to do then I know you will be reading and learning from several blogs you return to regularly. It is what we all do; it is a great way to learn about new WordPress plugins, new advertising ideas and more importantly post ideas.

Read what these blogs are posting, if you find it interesting, take a few notes, write down some expanding ideas, and then write your own post. We are not talking about plagiarism, but re-writing the post idea in your own words. Do a Google search for relating posts for other information to add to your own post. Make it unique and yours.

You will be amazed at what ideas you get from your list of favourite blogs.

Google Alerts

Google alerts is a great way to get ideas for writing posts, I used it for finding great articles and ideas for social media sharing like Tweets for Twitter. You create a feed in Google based on a search term for example ‘Blogging tips’ and then every day Google will send me a list of articles that are related to that search term.

Have a list of search terms that cover the topic of your blog and every day you will get plenty of great articles and websites to look at to find ideas and information.

Twitter & Facebook

As a blogger you will probably be doing a social media campaign, as well as finding great articles to share with your followers you will see in your feeds plenty of articles and posts that people have shared with you. Take a look at those with headlines that catch your attention, if you enjoyed reading certain articles, then it is safe to assume that others will enjoy reading them too, so take it as a base of a new article.

Get Ideas By Watching TV & Chatting At The Bar

What? Am I serious? Yes I most certainly am, watching TV and chatting to friends down the pub can be a fantastic way to find ideas for writing posts for your blog.

I remember watching an American TV show about a guy who filmed ‘prostitution’ that was happening in his area. (He was trying to clean the area up not make sleazy videos) ?

He was uploading them all to YouTube and his own website to name and shame these people, what resulted was the videos going viral and his site making money from advertising revenue that became his wage.

This documentary became the idea behind a guest post I wrote about using YouTube and controversial videos to make an online income from advertising.

I have on my list an article idea I picked up from listening to a conversation on a train the other week, a Belgium guy studying here in the UK was talking to his new ‘train friend’ about how much his girlfriend was paying to study and gain a law diploma in the USA.

My article idea was if Law courses cost that much and people are happy to pay it to get a stressful hard working job with no guarantees or security then why do folks dislike paying a few pounds a month to learn what successful people do online to make millions?

Once you have realised that ideas are everywhere you will be carrying a notepad and pen with you all the time and when you have a list of ideas to pick from, what do you do next?

Plan Out Your Post

On another piece of paper I would write down a rough title or description of the article I intend to write then start a list of bullet points with things that I want to include in the post.

You really do not need to worry about it too much, even if you only think up 3 bullet points, it’s enough to get started. And that is what I would do next, start writing.

Writing A Draft Post

I don’t write directly into the blog editor, I recommend using a programme like Microsoft Word. The beauty of this is you are not tempted to hit publish before it is really ready.

Using word means you can write in your leisure and read, re read and edit as you go along, adding in markers showing where you want images or links without spending the time looking for the right image. I would do that when the article is written.

Once you get typing, you start to elaborate on the points you have written down and you will find as you write more, you will think of more things to put in your post. It will flow more easily as you get stuck in. Write down any new ideas you get on your notepad to prevent forgetting them as you continue typing away.

Talking To A Friend Of A Friend

When writing it is recommended that you write as if you were talking to a friend of a friend. What that means is that you are not writing as if you were talking to your closest friend, with the lack of boundaries and using slang that you would normally use, nor are you writing to impress a college lecture with big complicated words.

You want your writing to flow freely, be easy to read and it has to be very understandable. I was once told that Google preferred articles to be written in English that a child can understand. The reason for this is that there are a lot of non-native English speaking people around the world who speak and read in basic English, who would also benefit from your blog writing.

I was told this can help with ranking, how true that is I cannot say, but as for the non-native English speaking people, it makes sense not to alienate them, after all the internet is called the ‘World Wide’ Web!

If you create posts peppered with big, complicated words, you can very easily lose a lot of readers. I don’t think you want to do that, do you?

That would cause a serious discombobulation within your readers! (See what I Mean?) ;-)

Keep Paragraphs Short In Easy To Read Chunks

When writing, it is advised to try and keep paragraphs short. A blog is not a book, concentration levels are not what they used to be. If someone visiting your site sees that your article has paragraphs resembling a Charles Dickens novel, they will soon leave!

Articles need to be in small, easy to digest chunks. At the most 5 sentences long, or a single point and no more. It can be hard to get the balance right, but re-read what you have written. If the sentences appear that they need to be together due to the importance of the subject matter, then find a breath break and start a new paragraph.

Break up the article if you can with well-chosen images; at least have one at the beginning of the article to help draw the visitor in. Again, an article without images can look like a book and to a visitor, that can mean a lot of reading, and reading can take a lot of focus and concentration, which is to many, a lot of hard work. And the truth is, people don’t like hard work.

Keywords & Keyphrases

Keyphrases

When writing a blog article it helps if you can get some long tail keywords included in the body of the text and the title.

You have to be careful here because you want your article to be readable by people. It isn’t written for the search engines but written for your site visitors. However, adding keywords can help an article’s ranking in the search engines and get more people to visit your site. But be warned, overdo it and you will be penalised by Google and readers alike!

A long tail keyword is recommended as the shorter keywords have been used by big names for many years, you will never rank for the keyword ‘Click Here’ as there is just too much competition.

However if you are wanting to write about ‘the story of Ibiza’ for example, and you found that 800 people a month were looking for ‘the story of Ibiza’ and there was little competition from other sites, it would make sense to use that keyphrase several times throughout your post. You could find that your article appears higher in Google’s rankings, getting you free organic traffic!

I know, I did it by accident lol ‘Google, Ibiza Bob and The Story Of Ibiza

You can use the ‘Google Keyword Tool‘ to research and find your Keywords & Keyphrases for your articles.

Affiliate Links

When writing a post, you may want to include links to affiliate products from specific keywords or keyphrases. An example of this would be linking to AWeber (with your affiliate link) via the keyword ‘AWeber’. When writing the draft of the post I recommend you add brackets and bold the text to remind you that when publishing the post you want to include the affiliate link (i.e. [AWeber]

Again do this a few times and try not to overdo it. Sometimes it helps if you insert your affiliate link to the affiliate product into keyphrases like ‘To Learn More about AWeber, Click Here’. Again as part of your draft post, you add as a marker next to the sentence to be linked? [AWeber aff link] Trust me, this really helps to remind you to add the link when you come to finally publish your post.

Internal Linking

If the post you are writing relates to a previous blog post, link to it. This is great for keeping people on your site and reading your content. If they enjoyed the post, they may enjoy other related posts and a link will make it easier for them to find it.

Google likes internal linking. It shows that you are a large site and that you want people to flip through your site to view and read your other quality articles. Google prefers this kind of site, compared to some 5 minute site you set up as a vehicle to promote your affiliate product and make a few sales from the search results.

Google wants and loves content, always has, always will! So it is safe to say that you must write great quality content. Your articles need to be helpful and fairly long, personally I would say 650 words should be the minimum, perhaps 500 if you have plenty of explanatory images. But I do detest, and I am sure you do too, landing on a site to find a 300 word, vague and useless article surround by loads of adverts.

Hmmmm, I wonder what they want me to do? Click on adverts perhaps? I never do, they have wasted enough of my time by getting me there.

Ask Questions

When writing a post, try and ask a few questions in there to get the reader thinking about what you are writing and offer your own answer, so they are not left thinking for long. They want to learn, but they don’t want to have to figure it all out for themselves. So a question in the post is to engage and stimulate, without leaving them less informed than before they started reading.

You should also ask questions at the end of the post. This is to encourage people to leave comments because you want readers to interact with you and your site. This can help you to create relationships with your readers, which is very important in internet marketing and blogging.

When they offer an opinion or answer your proposed questions in the comments box, you can reply and chat to them. You cannot begin to believe how powerful that can be in the mind of the reader. You took the time to answer them back! Very powerful, and it encourages them to re-visit your site because you took the time to reply to them.

And Finally…

Content is king. I shall repeat that, ‘Content is King!’ That is possibly the most important tip I or Matt can give you for writing good posts. Make sure it is full of great quality content. If people see you as an expert because you are providing them with all this helpful information, then they trust you more and be more willing to invest their time in reading your posts. They want to finish reading knowing they have learnt something.

Google loves content, they want an internet where the user experience is good and that comes from supplying people with valuable, useful and unique content.

But what do you think? Do you use any other methods or techniques to help you produce quality blog posts? Where do you find inspiration when thinking of a topic to write about? Let us know your opinions, or ask us any questions that you may have by leaving a comment below!

About Andi Leeman

Andi is part of Tim Lowe’s R&D team and writes for Tim's Minions, a fun based educational site covering all aspects of Internet Marketing & Social Media. You can learn more by following him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

  • Maria Wendt

    Great tips. I especially like the “Talking To A Friend Of A Friend” tip. It’s true; talking to a friend will result in slang. I’ve found that out the hard way. Thanks for the great article!

    • Andi Leeman

      Hi Maria, thanks for the kind comments, yes talking to a friend of a friend is probably one of the best tips I can give. Reminds me to be fun and easy without putting people off from being over friendly. I am sure I have put some people off but ‘you cannot please all of the people…’ as they say. :-)
      All the best
      Andi

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      No problem Maria, Andi did an excellent job writing this guest post for us!

  • http://www.nopassiveincome.com/ Chris @ NPI

    Great and very helpful post. Watching Google alerts is really very good tip. Thanks Andi!

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      I’ve found Google Alerts to be very helpful. I’ve set it up so that I get daily updates for certain keywords/keyphrases. Thanks for the comment Chris!

  • http://SynergyMarketingPro.com/ Louisa YS Chan

    Practical and helpful. I like the part about getting the work space ready – makes such a difference to the flow! The internal links are something I am trying to implement now – I seem to see this more often!

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Internal links are definitely something that you should start using. Makes it easier for people to find your other content and keep reading your posts.

      Thanks for the comment Louisa!