Some days creating a blog post seems like a big production, right? When you’re committed to publishing on a schedule, there will always be days when you absolutely can’t imagine completing a blog post in time. You’ll check your editorial calendar, sit down to write the post, and instead of feeling inspired, you’ll have a running loop in your head of “gotta get it done.” And it’s definitely hard to write with that song playing in your head!
Most people will say that if you aren’t feeling it that day, you shouldn’t publish. But I think there is value in committing to a schedule — we only improve our skills through regular practice.
Truthfully, getting started is half the battle. If you can find a way to start and push everything else out of your mind for just a little while, you can get it done and move on to the next thing. And the sense of accomplishment you feel in getting it done will help you get that next thing done faster — and better. That’s why today I’m sharing a checklist for creating an awesome blog post — save this for those times when you need a little push to get started!
1. Outline your post.
The hardest part of writing a blog post is just getting started. Outlining first will give you the space to get all your ideas out on paper, then you can go back and organize them later. It takes the pressure off of getting it “right” from the beginning.
2. Write the middle section first.
Do you ever sit at your computer with a blank page in front of you, unsure how to begin? You don’t want to just jump right into the meat of the content, but you have no idea how to introduce it either. That’s why I write the middle section of my posts first. You probably already know exactly what you want to write, it’s just that intro that’s tripping you up. So skip it! Once you get the rest of your ideas out, you’ll have a clearer idea of how to introduce them so everything flows together.
3. End with a next step for your readers.
If you don’t give your readers something to do once they’ve finished reading your blog post, you’re missing an opportunity to keep them engaged. After all, they made it the end of your post, right? Maybe they’d like to read a similar post, share their thoughts in the comments, subscribe to your email list, or buy one of your products that goes into more detail on the topic. Give them a takeaway from your post, then invite them to take the next step. Adding a P.S. to your post is a fun way to do that!Give readers a takeaway from your post, then invite them to take the next step!Click To Tweet
4. Write your introduction.
Now that you’ve written everything else, you should have a better idea of what to write in your introduction. The introduction is a great place to talk about your personal experience with the topic at hand, or share your inspiration behind the post. Why do you think it’s important for people to take time out of their day to read what you wrote?
5. Edit, edit, edit.
When I’m writing, I often have a hard time getting out of my own head. My natural tendency is to form ideas in my head first before committing them to paper. But that’s exactly how I start overthinking things. That’s why I’m constantly trying to force myself to just get my ideas out on paper and edit later. The editing stage is for improving the flow between your content and taking out anything unnecessary. And don’t forget to check for spelling and grammar while you’re at it! You won’t always publish perfect posts, but a little proofreading can go a long way.Edit later to improve your content's flow and omit the unnecessary.Click To Tweet
6. Break up the post for easy reading and skimming.
The nature of the Internet is that people are probably skimming your posts more often than not. Add clear headings and keep your paragraphs short for easy reading and skimming. You can also use graphics, blockquotes, and click-to-tweets to highlight important information and break up your paragraphs.Break up your blog posts for easy reading.Click To Tweet
7. Schedule your social media.
When you’re trying to get a blog post ready at the last minute, the last thing you want to do is schedule your social media when you’re done — I get it, I really do. But it’s so much easier to schedule the social media to promote your post when it’s fresh on your mind. I love CoSchedule (referral link) because it adds a box for scheduling social media within the WordPress post editor, and if you change your post date, the related social media will adjust with it.
Tell me in the comments: What do you think makes an awesome blog post? Is there anything you would add to this list?
P.S. Need ideas to get started? Check out my ultimate guide to blog post ideas.