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How to Cook Up a Great Blog Post Every Time: A 6 Step Strategy for Creating Irresistible Content
Our experts came across these previously published articles we thought you would find useful.
These are re-posts from the original sources. Author: exploreb2b.com
One of the greatest hurdles, for any blogger, is to keep producing compelling content that will satisfy your readers and keep them coming back for more. This simple, six step strategy provides a blueprint for creating irresistible posts your readers will want to devour – time and time again.
How can you keep your readers satisfied and persuade them to keep coming back for more? What’s the secret of those superstar bloggers who seem effortlessly to produce one compelling post after another?
I don’t know about you, but I think this is one of the biggest challenges for anyone writing content online.
Just like Moms (and domesticated Dads!) who wrack their brains, day in day out, to think what to serve up for dinner, you have to keep finding ways to satisfy your readers’ appetites – and, like kids, they can be fussy eaters.
But it’s not as difficult as it might seem – you just need to have a plan.
Here’s a 6 step strategy to help you keep your customers satisfied:
1. BE A SQUIRREL – FORAGE AND KEEP PLENTY OF INGREDIENTS IN STOCK (WHERE YOU CAN FIND THEM!)
If you suddenly fancy baking a cake, it’s infuriating to find you’re fresh out of flour or some other crucial ingredient. Similarly, if you want the ability to write a blog post at the drop of a hat, you’ll need a good supply of raw materials to hand. So be sure to keep your cupboard stocked with goodies.
My main virtual larder is Evernote. I use it every day to save items of news, articles, blog posts, videos, web pages and my own bright ideas – anything at all that might come in handy for future articles. I also use Google Reader to collect information from around the web.
It’s easy to go shopping for ingredients for your blog posts – and it shouldn’t cost you much. One of the great things about the internet is the way it makes information so accessible – and most of it’s FREE. The trouble is, you can end up with virtual cupboards packed to the gunnels with great stuff – but how do you find that article you saved a couple of months ago?
Have you ever gone out to buy something you need, only to discover, later, that you had some back home after all (probably stashed at the back of an untidy cupboard)? Infuriating, isn’t it? It can cost you time – and money. That’s where a program like Evernote is so helpful – it makes it super easy to store and categorize your materials.
You don’t have to use Evernote – there are lots of other free and paid ‘organiser’ programs available online, or you could just develop your own storage system. But, however you go about it, you should build up your own little library – a stock of resources you can tap into whenever you’re ready to get writing. And whatever you do, make sure you keep it tidy – so it’s quick and easy to locate something when you need it for that next blog post.
2. FIND OUT WHAT’S ALREADY SELLING LIKE HOT CAKES
Do a bit of market research to discover what your readers are really interested in. What are the hot topics of the day? Take note of the kind of articles people are sharing, Tweeting, Digging and Stumbling. What are they ‘liking’ and talking about the most? Which blog posts get the most positive feedback and comments?
And notice what’s catching your own eye – what do you want to read about?
Don’t worry if there are already tons of articles out there about the topic you have in mind – because that’s a sign you’ve hit on a best seller. You need to act like a canny market trader – if customers are buying lots of chocolate chip cookies, be prepared to give them more of the same. You might bake a mean carrot cake, but you could be wasting your time making one if you’re catering for chocolate chip cookie addicts.
When I was a child, we knew two young girls who would eat no vegetables and apparently had baked beans with most of their meals. Those kids just loved baked beans. You might think they’d have got bored with them after a while, but apparently not – they just kept lapping them up.
It’s the same with your readers. You’ll find them insatiably devouring numerous articles on the same old topics again, and again, and again. This is because people are always hungry for ways to resolve their greatest challenges, some of which never go away – like how to keep coming up with new ideas for blog posts!
So don’t be afraid to write about a well-worn topic – in doing so, you’re simply giving your readers more of what they’re asking for. Having said that, your article will have more of an impact if you tackle the subject in a new and engaging way. You’ll need to make your chocolate chip cookies a little bit different by adding some of your own special ingredients if you want to get the edge over the coffee shop down the road…..
3. FOLLOW TRIED AND TESTED RECIPES
This is where I recommend yet more judicious thieving. Just as you need to ‘steal’ other people’s ideas for the subject of your posts, don’t be afraid to imitate the way other bloggers structure their content. And don’t worry – provided you don’t literally ‘copy’ their content, they’ll be cool about it. Because they probably stole those ideas from someone else, who no doubt nicked them from some other guy, who almost certainly acquired them……. You get the idea?
I’m not advocating plagiarism here, the blatant copying of someone else’s handiwork – that’s unethical and potentially illegal. But all authors are ‘thieves’, to some extent, even the best of them – you just have to master the art of ‘stealing’ intelligently. It’s all about learning and gaining inspiration from the way other writers do things.
What I’m suggesting is that you notice how other bloggers put their articles together – the kind of formats they use that work well. Those posts and videos that really grab and hold your attention – what is it about them that’s so effective?
For example, you can’t go far wrong with the good old ‘list’ post or an instructional ‘how to’ article. Those formats never go out of fashion because they’re a great way to offer people practical solutions to their problems.
One of the best ways to succeed is to copy what works.
4. LET YOUR CONCOCTION ‘STEW’ OVERNIGHT
Ever noticed how casseroles and curries often taste better the day after you’ve made them? Well, I think blog posts can sometimes benefit from this treatment. There may be times when you create a spontaneous offering that’s best served up straight away. But I find it usually helps to draft an article out and then let it ‘rest’. In the process, new ideas may spring to mind, images or connections that hadn’t occurred to you before, which might add some extra spice to your piece.
Mixing my metaphors here, but I also like to take my embryonic blog posts for a walk with the dogs – though it has to be said this is only an effective strategy when the dogs are on their best behavior and not requiring too much of my attention. Dog walking might not be your thing but, however you do it, I think it’s a good idea to give your thoughts some air, away from the computer screen, before you write your final draft.
5. SERVE IT UP WITH FINESSE
Looks count. Think how much more appetizing a meal is if it’s well presented. The most delicious food might not whet your appetite if it’s just dumped on the plate in an unattractive heap. In the same way, many people will be put off reading your content if it’s presented in dreary, lengthy paragraphs of unbroken text – even if it’s full of fascinating material.
Remember – you’re competing with lots of other bloggers serving up similar dishes – so you want to make sure yours looks absolutely irresistible. This means paying attention to the appearance of your post – making sure it’s attractively laid out and easy to scan-read, with plenty of space on the page. For example, I’d suggest you use short paragraphs and consider dividing the content up with sub-headings, bullet points or numbered lists.
And don’t forget to add some garnish to finish it off – maybe a striking image or a bit of humour.
People don’t go out for a meal simply to nourish their bodies with wholesome food. They expect to have fun and enjoy themselves. Likewise your readers – they don’t just want to be ‘informed’ by your articles – they want to have a good time. So make sure reading your post is a pleasure, not a chore.
6. MAKE SURE IT STANDS OUT ON THE MENU
Last, but not least, if you want customers to select your dish, you’d better make sure they notice it’s there. So don’t forget to add that killer headline to attract their attention. If you’re not sure how to do that, check out these simple headline writing tips.
Ok – over to you. What’s your secret for delivering scrumptious posts your readers can’t resist? I’d love to hear your ideas.
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-HP, Information Industry Executive