“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” ― Yogi Berra
And, that would be dreadful. You need a plan.
“Yeah,” you say, “but I need a plan to start a plan!”
These five tips will help you with that very problem.
- Ensure one post, one topic
Recent statistics say that the average online attention span in 2015 was 8.25 seconds compared to 12 seconds in 2000. The worrisome bit is that a goldfish has an attention span of 9 seconds. That means that it’s a tough job to capture the attention of your readers and to keep them reading to the end. One way to do that is to choose a topic for your post–just one–and stick to it. Don’t be tempted to wander onto side issues. If your readers stop reading because they’re confused, you’ve lost them.
- Align with the purpose of your blog
You’ve also lost them if they stop reading to check if they’re in the right place. Preparation of an initial blogging strategy helps you home in on the subject and purpose of your blog which you should be able to express as a single sentence. Stick like glue to that purpose by testing each post topic for a fit with your blog. Ask yourself, “Does the post topic add to the value of my blog with an addition of information or opinion which will fascinate my reader?”
- Write for your ideal reader
You can only write to fascinate your readers if you know them very well. Your ideal reading audience may be larger than the pool of your ideal clients. Have you identified who they are, what they need and how you can serve them? Use that information to guide your creative approaches to writing.
- Select a type of post
Vary your writing with one out of many creative approaches by choosing just the right type of post to complement your topic. Here are a few to get your imagination going:
- Emphasize your points with numbers or bullets in a list post like this one. Readers love lists.
- Use a how-to post to guide your reader through a series of steps to accomplish something they’re dying to learn.
- Conduct an interview with someone who is an expert in your industry or field, with someone who has had an experience with direct bearing on your topic or invite someone to interview you.
- Discuss breaking news in a news post and how it affects your readers or how it may change the way you offer your services or products. They’ll come back time after time to your blog to keep up to date.
- Highlight an event of interest to your readers, whether it be a personal, public, social, political or newsworthy one.
In any type of post, be sure to include keywords.
- Choose keywords to use in your post
Keywords are the words your readers key into a search engine to find what they want to read. And they want to read your blog, right? Research the particular keywords they use to search for the topic of your post which will likely not be the ones you think of. Choose one main keyword which you’ll use at least once as you write and which you’ll designate for search engine optimization. For instance, the one I would optimize for here is “how to write a blog post.”
These five tips: one topic, blog purpose, ideal reader, type of post and keywords are key to planning your blog post. Try them out and let me know how it works out for you.