After working hard on an article and attracting visitors to your site, the last thing you want them to do is leave without reading anything! After all, you’ve spent your time and put in a lot of effort on that article. You want your visitors to read it, enjoy it and maybe learn something from it!
Tapping into my blog-reading and writing experiences, I’ve compiled a list of things that will help you create a post that won’t encourage interested readers to leave your blog once they get there. Part I of this two-part series focuses on laying the foundation for a well-written blog article. Look for Part II next Tuesday, which will focus on the finishing touches of your post.
Define your goal: Before you begin, you need to clearly define what you want to accomplish with your article. This critical step will prevent you from creating a post about something that doesn’t strengthen your site. Since I recently created lindseyperkins.com, I’ve been searching for blog topics that will help me build credibility as an intelligent writer and assist me in selling myself to potential clients.
Keeping my goal in mind, I’ve been browsing Twitter for interesting headlines and clicking on links, only to become frustrated. My frustration stems from misleading headlines, poorly written articles or poorly constructed posts. Not wanting clients and potential clients to make similar mistakes, I thought it would make a great blog topic. I chose to approach the topic in a positive manner and create a list of things I should strive for each time I write.
With this post, I’m demonstrating my knowledge about writing for potential clients, providing food for thought for blogging newbies and creating fresh content for my newly created website, which will help optimize my site. It’s also helpful for me to create a list of things I want to avoid on my own site.
What you want to accomplish might be something as simple as establishing yourself as someone knowledgeable about cooking. But identifying your goal will ensure that every article strengthens your blog.
Create a focused outline: Before you begin writing, you need to create a focused outline. The important word here is focused. Bring you back to middle school when you couldn’t begin writing that paper before you showed your outline to the teacher? Most people skip this step, but creating an outline will help you organize the thoughts flying around in your head. You should scrutinize every bullet point carefully and decide if that information helps you accomplish the goal of your post. Also, the outline will help you stay on topic when you begin the writing process.
Don’t wander when you write your draft: You did so well by creating a focused outline. Don’t screw it up now! You might be providing great insight into a peripheral topic but it will get lost on the readers because they’re focused on learning more about your topic in your headline. If I lead you to believe that this is about crafting a blog article and then start talking about how to make a great dinner, you’re going to get frustrated and leave.
If you find that you keep wandering off topic or that your topic is too much to tackle in one article, go back to your outline and look at ways to break it up. Turn the article into a multiple-part series and go more in depth on subjects that you originally just going to gloss over. This was originally going to be one post, but it turned into two!
Look for Part II Tuesday, which will focus on the finishing touches of your post.
Photo courtesy of spacecadet/Flickr