Sunday, 3 December 2017

The ultimate guide on writing a blog post | checklist, tips and scheduling.

The ultimate guide on writing a blog post, including a free writing a blog post checklist, blog post writing tips and scheduling.
Thanks to Carolina Bonito for the beautiful visual representation.
Writing a blog post can become very hard! Especially, when you’re starting out or when you have no idea what to write about. There are a lot of ways to write a blog post but personally, when you have a set structure to follow it becomes much easier. You can change things around to suit it to your needs but I hope this blog post helps and you can use it as a guide for yourself. This post is very lengthy so get comfy and grab your snacks.


Grammar and punctuation:

Check your grammar and punctuation. Sometimes, extremely bad grammar and punctuation can stop new readers from coming back to your blog. So, just be careful and think to yourself "if you would read a blog like this?" and, "would you return?". 


Always include pictures. I personally love when I have a visual representation to represent the post that I am reading. A picture changes the vibe of the post and attracts you more to it. 

Writing style:

Have a writing style which represents you. Sometimes, typing the way you speak is a great way to blog. You don't want to sound like you're writing an essay or some professional letter. That's why it's always best to have a writing style which represents who you are. 

Make it easier to read:

You need to make sure that your post is easy to read. So, use paragraphs, images or bullet points to spilt up the content. This is a must if your content is very long. It helps to spilt the post up and avoids the readers from getting bored quickly. 


Check the post multiple times and make sure you read it in the 'preview' window. You should also leave the post for a few days then come back and check it with a fresh head. 

Know how to paste correctly from word:

I like to write my content on word first then transfer it onto my blog when I'm done. This just helps me organise (and track) my content. I learnt, when you paste straight from word, you also bring a lot of unwanted coding with you.  
So, to avoid this, when you open a new post, make the page 'HTML' and paste the content. If you want to take anything away from this post then please make it this! It's super important. There is an example below so you can understand what I mean. 
Learn how to correctly paste from word document into your blogging platform or blog post. See the mini picture tutorial. Avoid transporting coding from word document into your blog post.
(left): You can see all the unnecessary coding from Word Document, if you don't use "HTML"
(right): You can see how there is no unnecessary coding because I pasted it into the "HTML" section first.


Organise your 'labels' and don't get carried away with it. I also learnt this the hard way and had to go back on every post and change it. No one tells you this, but make sure you don't abuse the 'labels' section. 
If you have a post about 'beauty' then make the label according to the post. For example: If you're writing about eyeliner, you could use 'eyeliner' 'beauty' 'the brands name' or 'review'. Don't do this: 'black eyeliner' 'makeup' 'black' 'colourful' 'brand name' 'review' '2017 review' 'great'.  
It helps you organise things better and I hope this helps you see that. Also, on your homepage your labels are how you pick the categories. So, if you have 'beauty' in each beauty post and when all readers click on it, they'll be able to see it. Lots of different random labels just make it messy and hard for the readers to find what they're looking for. 


Make your own permalink. A permalink is basically the URL of that page. Sometimes, when you leave the permalink to be created automatically, it doesn't add all the words or changes some of it. So, if you customise it yourself, it's just a great way to finish. 


Make sure you have (and write) a 'search description' for your post. Basically, when you share the post or search it, the search description will show up describing the post, rather than your whole post. You need to make sure your settings will allow this too. 

Use page/jump breaks!

Page/Jump breaks are crucial! Not only does this help readers to click on your post but it's catchy to the eye when reading through a blog. After the introduction of the post, if you have a page/jump break then it cuts the text off from the home page. Readers have the option to click on the post, in order to read the whole text. This also allows users to visit your posts and not just read everything on the home page. 

'Justify' alignment:

Personally, this one is a preference but using the 'justify' alignment makes the post look more tidy and easy to read. So, the whole content is aligned straight. But, this is a preference. 

Word count and research:

I normally research a lot in order to make my blog the best it can be. I would never post something I wouldn’t read or wouldn’t enjoy writing. But, when researching about SEO and blogging, I came across this interesting topic. Your blog post should be around 600+ words. The higher the word count the more higher your post will rank. But, alongside the word count you need the correct key words and search description etc. 

Never copy:

Lastly, never copy! Never copy and paste anyone’s work or try to change a few words around thinking no one will notice. The more unique your content the better. 

How to schedule ahead:

The ultimate guide on writing a blog post, including a free writing a blog post checklist, blog post writing tips and scheduling.
Thanks to Eric Rothermel for the beautiful visual representation.
After multiple years of blogging, I have just come to realise how much I underestimated scheduling posts! I feel like many people underestimate the value of the 'schedule' button. It's a life saver which lets you schedule posts ahead of time and also allows you to become more organised. Here's how to schedule ahead:

Write down all of your ideas - Buy a new notebook and start making a list of the things you would enjoy blogging about.

Section ideas - Make sure your have different sections for different ideas. Sectioning just helps to plan things in the long run. You could also write all of your ideas down, then organise them later. If you have posts about 'beauty', then put them under that section.

Calendar - Buy a calendar which have the big squares on for the days. Then, start to organise your posts and briefly write in the days a rough draft of titles or ideas. *Tip* Make sure you write in pencil at first!

Start Writing - Once you have started to gather your thoughts and ideas then begin writing.

Schedule - Once you are happy with your post then schedule it for the date and time.

Calendar - Then, once you've scheduled a post write it in pen on your calendar so you know how much you have scheduled.

Schedule day - Once you have scheduled the post, make sure you post it on your social media and share it everywhere.

Repeat - Lastly, repeat the process for the next post. 


The ultimate guide on writing a blog post, including a free writing a blog post checklist, blog post writing tips and scheduling.
The written version of the checklist is below.
I also have a plain one for you all to download and print so you can make your own checklist.
Go to my blog Dropbox to download this or the plain checklist. 
1. Draft the idea
2. Make a draft title
3. Research around the post (If needed)
4. Make sure you always have an introduction and conclusion
5. End by asking the readers a question about the post
6. Write it

1. Take pictures (if needed)
2. Edit the picture(s)
3. Size it correctly
4. Name the picture appropriately!!
1. Find images (ensure permission is granted)
2. Edited (if needed)
3. Name the file correctly
4. Give credit!

1. Check for grammar/punctuation mistakes
2. Read it aloud!
3. Ensure there are paragraph/headings/bullet points (if needed)
4. Make sure it makes sense and flows
5. Add pictures Write a caption for pictures (and leave credit)
6. Come up with a catchy title
7. Customise the permalink
8. Give any credit you may need
9. Give useful links (if needed)
10. Carefully select the ‘labels’ and keywords
11. Write a ‘search description’ for the post
12. See the preview of the post
13. Schedule or post it

1. Share on social media
2. Comment about your post
3. Make sure to thank all those who share your post
4. Respond to all comments
5. E-mail any companies/bloggers (if needed) 

I know this was a super long post but I hope it helps. I would spilt it in three posts but I thought if I kept it all together then it would make more sense and be easier to find. I hope this helps you with the writing process of a blog post. 

How do you write a blog post? What tips could you share?

Thank you for reading!
Until next time, take care and keep smiling.
Ramshaa Rose

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