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  • 1. bount yvirt ualsupport .com http://www.bountyvirtualsupport.com/preparations-for-your-blog-post/Blog Posts - From Preparation to Promotion - A 4 Part SeriesPART 1: BEFORE YOU PUT PEN TO PAPERHave you ever wondered how writers and bloggers seem to be able to churn one great blog post out af teranother? Me too. So af ter digging about the web I have f ound that there are guides and rules to bef ollowed when it comes to writing a blog post. Today I will show you how to prepare and f ormulate one. Atf irst it might seem like a bit of a headache to learn but if you keep practicing your style it will eventuallybecome second nature.1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCEIn any style of writing you must know who the reader is, even in creative writing. When you know who thereader is then you know the style of language and inf ormation to f ormulate. This is also true f or a blogpost. There are millions of blog posts being published every day and if you have your target audience inmind it will be easier f or your audience to f ind you.2. IT STARTS WITH AN IDEAYes, that little spark of inspiration is where the blog post starts to become reality. When that idea comeswrite it down as soon as possible bef ore you f orget it. It doesn’t really matter where you write or type yourideas, just the act of doing so makes it real.One very handy process f or your ideas is to sketch up a quick mind map. There are plenty of wonderf ul andf ree mind mapping tools on the internet like MindFree and MindMeister that you can use. Just rememberthat the whole idea of mind maps is to get your ideas down quickly and there are no right or wrong ideas at
  • 2. this stage, it’s just a great tool f or getting those creative juices going.This is also a good time to start thinking of a good headline – remember attention grabbing yet relevant.3. FORMULATE A STRUCTURE FOR THE POSTFrom poetry to novels to essays, they all have a set of rules that guides the author in the style of writingthey wish to achieve. The same is true f or blog posts. In the next post I will investigate dif f erent styles ofcontent but today I only want to look at the basic structure of a good blog post. For the most part blogposts have a casual and interactive style with the idea f or the reader to be able to quickly scan and interactwith the post. So lists, bullet points, larger f onts, simple words and short sentences, paragraphs and postsare the order of the day. Also, don’t f orget to add images, videos or podcasts to help with visual appealand to strengthen your message. Some bloggers like to use a variety of templates f or their posts like theexamples I have listed below. A good idea would be to keep a f ile of f our or f ive dif f erent templates that willf it most of your posts. Here are a couple that I really like.Michael HyattStart with the headline.Write a great lead paragraph.Use a relevant image.Tell a personal story.Make your content scannable.Invite others into the conversation.The template that I like the most however is the f ollowing one f rom Social Triggers.
  • 3. Pin ItLike this? Learn how to use psychology to get more traf f ic and sales with Social Triggers. Some bloggersf ind that writing according to a template limits their creativity but f or the most part templates are great f orkeeping you f ocussed and on task.4. RESEARCHDo some online research to f ind other material that will give your post extra weight and authority. Thebetter the authority of your source the better f or your post. This is where you can gather all of your ideasand other material f rom the web and dump it all into a f ile on either Evernote or Microsoft OneNote.Don’t f orget to keep the source links so you can give credit where credit is due. Whatever you do, don’tplagiarise. Not only is it seriously bad f orm but it’s also illegal. Be saf e and credit everything that is not
  • 4. yours.5. ASK QUESTIONSStart engaging with your audience on social media, f orums and other online networks you are involved with.Ask a question regarding the blog post you are about to write. For instance f or this post I asked a questionon Twitter a day bef ore publishing. That way you are priming your audience f or what’s coming next on yourblog. Television stations do it when they are advertising a new TV series or episode so there is no reasonwhy bloggers can’t do it as well. Don’t f orget to engage with your audience and maybe even add a couple oftheir ideas into your post and give credit to the original author. Your audience loves to help so ask andinclude them in the process.6. KEYWORD RESEARCHGo toGoogle Adwords Keyword research tool and type in your keywords. Google will come up with a numberof variations to your keyword and f rom there you can select one or a f ew that are f airly popular to add toyour blog post. Try not to use the most popular keywords because the whole idea is f or your blog post toland as high as possible in the search rankings. Here’s a quick video f rom Dr Efficiency that shows youhow and why to use the google tool. Just an added tip – remember that you are writing to a human readerf irst and a search engine second.7. CALL TO ACTIONAt this stage of developing your blog post it’s a good idea to have a call to action in mind. You are writingthe post because you want people to read it and hopef ully love it enough to want to buy your products orservices. That’s the ultimate goal but f or each blog post your call to action can be as simple as asking yourreader to share the post on social media, sign up f or a monthly email subscription or to make a commentbelow to continue the conversation.8. WRITE THAT FIRST DRAFTNow that you have gathered enough material f rom your researching ef f orts, you will have a pretty goodidea about how to f ormulate and actually write your blog post. So get a blank page on your f avourite wordprocessor and begin writing your f irst draf t. And there you have it. The time it takes to go through thesesteps is only relative to the amount of ef f ort you put into your preparation. If conducted properly the prepwill probably be the most time consuming. When you have the groundwork covered the rest is easy. Do youhave any points or even rituals to add to this list? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Ifyou love this post then please share it.