What makes a good blog post? The key to better blogging is a simple checklist that holds you accountable to providing content to your audience that is both interesting and applicable. Here is my short list of blog post must-haves. I use this frequently to reflect on my blogging journey to be sure I’m traveling in the right direction and keeping you, my readers, in mind at all times.
1. Evergreen: The best blog posts have content that can always engage readers. Tips and tricks, recipes, craft projects…these are great examples of content that will always gain new audience over time. They’ll be just as valued 5 years from now as they were on the day that you published them.
2. Sincere and Genuine: Readers can spot a half-hearted effort a mile away. There’s no “phoning it in” in the blogging world. They need to hear your heart and feel your interest in every word. Blogging just to blog is lackluster and falls flat. And fast. Be sure to stay true to the passion that got you started.
3. Relatable and Personality-Driven: Readers are especially loyal to writers who are relatable and share their personality with honesty and integrity. When your readers relate to you and invest their interest in your lives, they are that much more likely to stay actively engaged on your blog. Your personality is your greatest asset! Let it shine!
4. Engaging Call to Action and Life Application: Each post should contain some sort of call to action or life application. You want your readers to walk away with something they didn’t have before they visited your site. Whether this is a new creative idea, a printable or new recipe, or even a renewed sense of self, your content must offer something they don’t have already and are seeking.
1. Paragraphs/Headings: Most people read their favorite blogs in between life in its daily routine. Skimming, especially on mobile devices, is the name of the game. Long, unbroken lengths of text are difficult to read, and drain interest quickly. Pepper your posts with headings, bullet points and most importantly, paragraphs. If they are going to skim, work on ways to identify the power points of your message so that they catch it on the go. Don’t let them get lost in a sea of letters and as a result, click away.
2. Proper Spelling: With today’s technology, there really is no reason for spelling and/or grammar mistakes. Yes, the occasional error is going to happen and nobody’s perfect. But please take a quick moment before hitting publish to check spelling. Take the time to review your blog as a whole to be sure your voice is coherent. Yes, we can write “as we speak,” but that comes with moderation. If readers are lost in poor grammar and spelling catastrophes, they will have a much harder time validating your content as something that adds to their personal knowledge bases.
3. Quality Images: While no one expects everyone to be a professional photographer, you do have to be mindful that the quality of your blog post images reflect the quality of your content. Readers inadvertently make judgements on whether your blog is of interest to them purely by the images. As with any “job interview,” your first impression is key. Blog posts should have images that compel readers to click to open, captivate them to continue reading and connect with them to stir engagement.
4. Pinnable Graphics: Take the time to create pinnable graphics. Pinterest is such a powerhouse these days, and for readers on the go, there is nothing worse than hitting the “pin it” button only to find that Pinterest couldn’t find any images to pin or worse yet, the available images have no lead to remind them later as to why they pinned that particular post. Do your research on best fonts, proper sizing and most successful images to develop simple pinnable graphics that will prompt more sharing, but more importantly, serve as resources for your readers when they are looking to revisit your content later.
If you think your blog posts could use a bit of work, remember that you can always go back and revise your posts, improving them for future visitors. As I continue to travel the path to better blogging, I am constantly tweaking old posts to improve content, presentation and SEO. We’re all a work in progress, and all have areas in which we could improve. There is an endless resource of information, tips and tricks and keys to better blogging, so I plan on making revisions a normal part of my workflow in the days and weeks to come. If I’m not seeking to learn and improve, than I’m not serving my readers. I’m always looking to raise the bar and welcome any tips you may have to better blogging.
What are your blog post must-haves?