Creating a riveting website post is something people do every day. There is no such thing as a “boring” topic in the hands of a talented writer who is willing to do a bit of extra legwork to craft a website post that really shines.
Here, learn the 7 essential steps to creating the perfect web post.
1. Choose A Useful Post Topic
The key to completing this step is developing an awareness of what blog post readers need to know or do. In other words, what problem can your post help solve or what question can you answer?
Sometimes this involves responding to known questions or problems, and sometimes this involves putting forth an answer to a question readers didn’t know to ask or a problem they don’t know they have.
In either case, the more useful your post topic is, the more likely it is to be shared.
2. Choose A Structure For Your Website Post
Once you have your topic in hand, it may feel like the heavy lifting is done. But in fact, you can look at your topic as if it is a diamond thoroughly encased in coal.
Your structure is what will chip the coal away to present blog readers with a shiny diamond – one they want for themselves and also want to share with others.
The post structure you choose should represent the best means of presenting the information. Here are several common structures to use when you create a post:
- The list. Sometimes called a “listicle,” this post structure outlines information in list or checklist fashion.
- The how-to. Popular with the DIY (do-it-yourself) community, this post structure offers a step-by-step format for accomplishing something.
- The long-form. Whether formatted in journalistic or essay form, this long-form post format should be used with care. For best results, be sure to break the text up with lots of graphics or photos.
- The expert interview. Interviewing a well-known individual in the field is a great way to give your post a chance to reach a wider audience (i.e. the expert is likely to re-share the post to their readers as well).
- The promo. A promotional blog post format is designed specifically to generate interest in something you or your client is selling. This kind of post can work really well when paired with a contest or giveaway.
- The review. There are two styles of review posts: sponsored and independent. The latter tends to be more trusted among readers, since the reviewer (you) was not compensated in any way to share your opinion.
- The series. The series can be viewed like an online curriculum of sorts, with each successive post going into more depth or exploring different facets of a topic over time.
3. Create A Post Outline
By this step, you have your topic well in hand and have tentatively identified the best structure to convey the information. Now it is time to lay out what you plan to write about.
Taking a bit of time to outline your topic ensures you won’t miss or repeat certain information. It also helps you stay on topic and keep to any word count limitations.
4. Research Your Topic
The amount of research you need to do before launching into the writing phase can depend greatly on the topic and the structure you have chosen.
You may decide to write one section at a time, researching as you go. Or you may want to do all your research up front and have it in-hand as you write. Either way, just be sure you can support any assertions or facts with legitimate sources, should that question arise post-publication.
If your research includes finding experts to offer commentary, it can be wise to complete this before you start writing in case you run into snags with locating the right expert to speak to a particular issue.
5. Start Writing
Pretty much everything else you’ve read up until now is just the manual labor of planning for a successful blog post. The real fun for most writers comes when you actually get to sit down and start writing!
It can be tempting to gloss over some of the preliminary steps to get to this stage faster, but all that preparation gives your brain time to organize and create and ruminate and process what you are learning about the topic.
This often means that once you do start writing, your content just flows.
6. Proofread What You Have Written
Somewhere in between Tip 5 and Tip 6 is a good time to take a break – overnight if possible. This is because you are going to need fresh eyes to proofread your own written words.
You want to proofread for the following:
If you can recruit a friend or colleague to be your “backup proofer,” this can help you catch mistakes your eyes may not see because you are already too familiar with your own content.
7. Choose Your Headline
Last and often most importantly for viral sharing potential, it is time to choose your headline in earnest. You may have been writing along the theme of a working headline, which is great and helpful, but now it is time to go back and refine that headline if needed.
Be sure your headline uses active voice (so long as your post information is non-scientific) and compelling.
A compelling (hard to ignore) headline includes these elements:
- Accurate (factual)
- Optimized (for sharing)
While there is always the occasional viral post that just “gets lucky,” most such posts are deliberately crafted to attract their own success. By following these tips, you give your new post its best chance of being read and shared.