Creating a blog post from scratch can feel like a monumental task at first. But with guidance and practice you’ll be cranking out amazing posts easily!
It’s not just writing a blog post.
Try thinking about it as creating or constructing a blog post.
Creating blog posts is an art.
It involves creative and technical writing, graphic design, knowing how to use empty space, link building, knowing how to use formatting and layout elements, understanding SEO, and also making it sharable by providing value to visitors, amongst other things.
If you’re a beginner you don’t have to be good at any of these things, it takes practice.
Follow These Steps
Constructing A Blog Post From Scratch
- Find Inspiration: Often the best source of inspiration for topics to create blog posts about is previous work. Look through some of the posts you’ve already written and find related topics or key points that you could further elaborate on in a new piece of content. Transcribe audio from your videos or podcasts and you’ll already have a lot of written content to work with.
- Dedicate At Least One Other Place To Store Content: It’s good practice to store back-ups of ALL your content in at least one other place. Create a folder on your computer to store all contents and assets and then upload a copy to a cloud drive like Google Drive, Adobe Creative Cloud, or Microsoft OneDrive. Once you’ve created all of the content, keep it organized and cleaned up in your places of storage.
- Identify A Topic: Settle on a specific topic. Sometimes it can be difficult to think about a topic or headline to write about but don’t overthink too much. You don’t want to spend too much time twiddling your thumbs when you could be creating!
- Identify The Type Of Post: Before you start constructing your blog post, the first thing you should do is think about what purpose the article will serve to readers. Methods for constructing a step-by-step tutorial will be much different from a review of a product or service.
- Write Out Main Topics And Sub Topics: Write out the main and sub topics as headings in whichever editor you use. This will give you an outline and will help you keep your thoughts organized. You can always change the arrangement of headers as you’re writing and creating content.
- Fill In Written Content: Write the content for each section and go back to do more research if necessary. Use common blocks, layout elements, widgets, and embeds to spice up your posts.
- Create Images And Graphics: Add images and graphics to give people visual representations of your written content. Infographics can offer a lot of useful information for visitors and they add value to your post.
- Publish And Share: Hit publish and share your post to socials.
MAYBE THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING BLOG POSTS
Consider creating the content in video or podcast format first so that you can include it as a resource in your posts, and it also makes constructing posts less difficult and much faster.
SEE SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR GARY VEE’S CONTENT STRATEGY | Read Now|
Step 1: Find Inspiration
Often the best source of inspiration for topics to create blog posts about is previous work.
Look through some of the posts you’ve already written and find related topics or key points that you could further elaborate on in a new piece of content.
Transcribe audio from your videos or podcasts and you’ll already have a lot of written content to work with. I do this for my podcast. Not only can people go back to read the transcription, but now I have more written content to inspire new content.
Other ways to find inspiration
- Research on the main themes of your content
- Learn something new by taking an online course
- Listening to music
- Watching your favorite videos
- Reading a book or anything else that helps you formulate a topic
Step 2: Store Backups
It’s always good practice to store back-ups of ALL your content in at least one other place.
The last thing you want is for your website to go down and have no backups of your content! You’ve put so much precious time and effort into your work.
It’s much better to be safe than sorry. For a lot of you, business depends on your content being available so don’t skip out on having backups.
Create a folder on your computer to store all contents and assets. Then upload a copy to an external hard drive and a cloud drive.
Try to stay consistent with the naming of your files and folders. This will make your life so much easier when you have a lot of content and assets built up in storage.
I use Adobe Creative Cloud the most since I use Photoshop, Lightroom, Spark, XD, Premiere Pro, amongst others for my content process.
I can’t stress how much more efficient my work is with Adobe’s tools!
Google Drive is best for free storage. You get 15GB for free, while Box offers 10GB and Dropbox only 2GB.
Also consider grabbing an external hard drive that holds a few TB so that you can store large files like videos, images, and audio files. It’s a good idea to have folders that include ALL assets for each project.
Once you’ve created all of the content, keep it organized and cleaned up in your places of storage.
Step 3: Identify A Topic
Settle on a specific topic.
The title of your post should accurately reflect your topic and the content within the post.
Sometimes it can be difficult to think about a topic or headline to write about but don’t overthink too much.
This step can sometimes be the one that really gets people stuck.
A lot of people out there stress using keywords and doing keyword research before you start making titles. Just make sure your topic isn’t vague, and make it attractive to click on.
No, I’m not saying you should use clickbait. But a post titled “My Favorite Books” is so much less attractive than “15 Books That Changed My Life”.
You don’t want to spend too much time twiddling your thumbs when you could be creating!
Step 4: Identify The Type Of Post
Before you start constructing your blog post, the first thing you should do is think about what purpose the article will serve to readers.
Methods for constructing a step-by-step tutorial will be much different from a review of a product or service.
By identifying the type of posts you’re creating, you’ll have more direction on the type of content that you want to include.
For example, a post about the “ Top 10 Cameras For Vlogging “ will likely need links or embeds if you want to do affiliate marketing, or drive sales in some fashion.
You’d also probably want to do significant research and testing on a bunch of cameras so that you can include accurate information.
Types Of Posts
- Step-by-step tutorials
- Reviews of products and services
- How-to guides
- Photo or art galleries
- and Creative pieces just to name a few
Step 5: Write Out Main And Sub Topics
Write out the main and sub topics as headings in whichever editor you use.
This is a great way to overcome writer’s block. Starting can be the most difficult part of the process for writers and creators.
It’s much easier to write and create content if you already have the structure for your post.
I like to create everything for my posts in the WordPress editor so that I can constantly preview exactly how everything will look on the page (always remember to save the content outside of your blog editor).
Depending on how extensive you want the post to be, you can add as many levels of headings that you need to best present the information. The structure of your headings affects how visitors see and understand the content.
Step 6: Fill In Written Content
Write the content for each section and go back to do more research if necessary.
You want to make sure you’re providing as much value as possible to your visitors in a way that is easy for them to consume.
For writing blog posts, it’s good practice to only use a few lines and space out your content rather than huge blocks.
A lot of people are used to writing papers for school or reading books with huge blocks of text.
If text is spaced out and sentences are short and succinct, it’s much better for a wider audience to read.
Keep in mind what kind of post you’re making. If you’re writing an academic article, maybe you need to group everything into larger blocks of text.
Use Common Blocks, Widgets, Formatting, Layout Elements
One thing that will really take your blog posts to the next level is the way you structure content.
- Custom HTML
- Media and Text
- Page Breaks
Unique Blocks and Elements
- Widgets and Embeds
A lot of beginners tend to only use a few common blocks like Headers, Paragraphs, and Images.
I’ve seen so many people do this, and I definitely did this when I started.
Try to use as many of these as possible. Most people will appreciate a bulleted list over a list that’s in-line with your text.
Also making use of font size, CAPITALIZATION, bolded text, and italics will make important information pop out at visitors.
Step 7: Create Images And Graphics
Add images and graphics to give people visual representations of your written content. A lot of people prefer to learn things visually or don’t necessarily want to read a bunch of words.
Infographics can offer a lot of useful information for visitors and they add value to your post.
Providing a variety of ways for visitors to consume your content will result in more visitors, and makes your content more shareable.
Often times visitors will share things that look cool and provide helpful information to their friends and followers.
You MUST Optimize Your Images
The images that you use for your posts should be optimized for the web.
If your image file sizes are too large, your page load speed will be significantly decreased. This is something you want to avoid.
It’s recommend to keep your image file sizes below 150–200 KB if you can. Try to keep the file sizes as small as possible.
How To Optimize Images
- Simplify the content by removing layers if you’re using an image/graphics editor
- Reduce dimensions
- Change the image type to .JPG and reduce the quality
- Use an image optimizer plugin (WordPress)
You want to reduce the file size without ruining the aesthetic of the image.
It’s okay to drop the quality of .JPG files to 30–50%.
Usually people won’t be able to tell the difference in quality, but play around with it and see what you think looks good.
I use the Autoptimize plugin to optimize scripts, styles, and images.
Converting To .JPG Photoshop
- File > Export > Export As…
- Under File Settings — select JPG format from the dropdown
- Reduce quality
It’s give and take when it comes to finding a balance between image quality and page load speed!
Adobe Has Everything You Need
Adobe’s suite of tools have everything you need for creating content. I use all of these.
Photoshop for creating and editing images. It’s hard to beat.
Lightroom for editing photos and saving presets. Also a mobile version that’s great for editing photos on the go.
Spark for quickly creating unique graphics. Popular for social.
Premiere Pro for professional video editing.
Creative Cloud for storing all assets and files. Great for managing all of your creative assets.
Illustrator for making logos and other vector graphics.
Luckily, I’m a student. Students save 60% on Creative Cloud which includes all Adobe software!
Step 8: Publish And Share
Once you’ve put together the written and visual content, you’re ready to publish!
Always proofread and make sure everything looks how you want it to. Try previewing your post and see what it looks like on tablets and mobile devices.
Hit publish and make sure you share your post on socials!
It’s your job to attract visitors so get your content out there.
Don’t be spammy. Try to be helpful.
More Tips For Creating Content
As you continue creating content and blog posts, you’ll be able to refine your process along the way and you’ll become much faster at publishing.
Never be afraid to add your own creativity throughout the process. It’ll often set you apart from others. 💎
Always be looking around and finding new ways to provide value to visitors.
Consider adding these additional pieces of content:
- Free image or photo downloads
- Embeds from other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn…
- Exclusive offers
- Creative incentives for sharing
- Other helpful articles
Originally published at https://austinhoward.tech on January 14, 2020.