How to Write a Blog Post: Cook Your Texty Cake with a Chef

Here’s an informative post from Omnipapers, using a cooking metaphor to illustrate the finer points of crafting a solid blog post. This is a thorough overview, covering the importance of including links, readying tweetable content and more. An editor from the site asked me if I’d share this here, and since I have a solid interest in blog development and writing, I thought it might be useful. Have a look and share your thoughts in the comments.

Via Omnipapers:

It’s not a secret blogging is the best way to interact with your audience today. Whether you have a big enterprise or just a personal blog to share your hobby, the main thing for you is writing a good blog post, eye-catchy for your readers. Plus, you should create a blog post with a good structure to let people know about that important and useful information you are going to share with them.

This article will tell you about creating a blog post, ideal for your audience, in terms of cooking a yummy rainbow cake; it will reveal all ingredients and recipe of cooking a tasty (and texty!) blog post. So, wear your Chef’s hat and repeat carefully!

How to write a blog post

Ingredients for cooking an ideal blog post

Every blog post has its structure. There is no ideal formula, but I’m going to tell you about its most important and necessary elements. Just follow my advice, and we’ll make our blogs better and more delicious for our readers. Do you consider your blog posts ideal? Well, let’s check the list of ingredients (elements) every ideal blog post should include:

  • Headline
  • Introduction with a hook
  • Subheadings and lists
  • Images and photos
  • Tips and advice
  • Videos
  • Tables and diagrams
  • Relevant links to other sources
  • Relevant quotes
  • Conclusion with a call to action

How to cook an ideal headline

Write a headline that will help you attract your readers’ attention. Taking a look at your headline, a person decides whether he wants to continue reading your text. Copyblogger statistics tells that 8 out of 10 people will read your headline but only 2 out of 10 people will read your whole blog post.

Looking at our infographic, we see that our headline is an appetizing cherry: when you see it, you want to eat a piece of this cake.

There are many recipes of writing headlines. To make a long story short, I’ll outline the most important moments:

  • Your headline should be useful for readers. People want to know if they get some benefit from your post.
  • It should contain the idea of your whole post. Readers want to understand what you will tell them about.
  • Your headline should give a sense of urgency; it should contain something that makes a person read your post in order not to miss anything. This trick does not always work, but if you can use it – do it. Neil Patel perfectly described this trick in The Definite Guide to Copywriting. I recommend you this book.
  • You can come up with your own formula of a perfect headline; but if you do not have enough inspiration or time – check the list of the best headline formulas from Chris Garrett: everything you need to do is to choose the most appropriate formula and fill the gaps there.
  • You should also understand there are different headline formats. According to Yaro Starak from Blog Profits Blueprint, the most widespread and effective ones are “How” and “Why” headlines.

After we’ve learned the main principles of writing headlines, let’s try to write it actually. To come up with the best idea, usebrainstorming: write at least 25 variants of your headline. Sure, you’ll write common and banal headlines first, but sometimes we need to get rid of bad ideas before we come up with something really worth writing.

To come up with a good headline, you can also use Online Headline Generator: it will give you more than 200 titles for less than 15 seconds. You’ll just need to choose the best ones.

After we’ve determined the list of the best headlines, we’ll have to choose the one. Use Emotional Headline Analyzer to choose the headline with the best EMV (Emotional Marketing Value): emotional impact to a reader with the help of a text means success.

Our headline is ready!

Start writing a good blog post with introduction

Sprinkle the main idea of your post before writing the story itself. Take a look at our texty cake: we’ve sprinkled it with colorful topping. Doesn’t it look delicious? Introduction is the second main element of a good blog post, that’s why it should be attractive and have a hook to make people interested in reading your post.

Use more subheadings and lists for more comfortable reading of your blog post

Using subheadings is appropriate every time you want to tell your readers something important. It’s as important as adding some raspberries to a pink pie shell of our rainbow cake. Subheadings improve the structure of your text and help you organize your thoughts.

If your text has many elements – use lists to make it easier for your readers to scan your post visually.

“Use subheadings and lists to section your content for better perception” – Click to Tweet

Images, videos, tables and diagrams will help you cast your vision

Visual and interactive elements in your blog post are very important, as they can be used to tell people about something that’s not easy to express by words. Images and videos are the most delicious ingredients of our texty cake which let us create and use content in a way where a simple text will never work. People love visual effects because they do not usually have patience and time to read very long articles.

“Your blog post’s readers will prefer videos and images to a text as they’ll tell more info than words” – Click to Tweet

Links influence your online reputation

Let’s be philosophical a bit… When you bake a cake, what ingredients do you choose for it: good or average ones? I am sure you choose good ones because you do not want to poison your friends with this cake. And if your friends ask what ingredients you used to bake such a yummy dessert you would tell them about products and their manufacturers for sure.

Blogging works the same: when you use relevant links to authoritative resources – you build and improve your online reputation among readers. If your article provides useful information with good links readers can add it to bookmarks and use it again and again.

And if your website provides links to weak and rubbish resources, wouldn’t it be a sign for your readers that your own website is rubbish, too? To avoid this, follow a simple rule:

“Linking to other high-quality websites will earn more trust from your readers” – Click to Tweet

Add quotes to your post and make your content “tweetable”

Another good way to make your cake more delicious and generate your content effectively is adding relevant quotes and giving a chance to share them in Twitter. Derek Halpern wrote about such an experiment, telling about his fellow blogger who tested out this method and noticed that 800 people clicked his “tweetable” link.

If your blog contains many quotes, I would recommend you to try a good WordPress plugin from TodayMade or use such an instrument as ClickToTweet: it lets you make tweets from any posts and check the number of clicks.

If you have 1-2 quotes only, I would recommend you to do it by hand in order not to overfreight your website with plugins. It’s not difficult to do, and you don’t need to be an HTML guru to succeed.

For example, let’s make the following quote for Twitter:

“When you provide a quote to share, you give people what they want to share exactly” – Click to Tweet

When you click a “click to tweet” link, that’s what the URL will look like in your URL bar:

https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=When+you+provide+a+quote+to+share%2C+you+give+people+what+they+want+to+share+exactly+-+http%3A%2F%2Fgoo.gl/uiz7uv

As you can see, it’s quite easy to build such an URL. It has three parts:

  • the 1-st one: https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=
  • the 2-nd part is your text: When+you+provide+a+quote+to+share%2C+you+give+people+what+they
    +want+to+share+exactly
  • the 3-rd part is a short link to your page: +-+http%3A%2F%2Fgoo.gl/uiz7uv

Short links are possible to create with the help of Google URL Shortener.

You should also remember that not all formats are available here. Use definite codes to get right symbols:

  • + for a space;
  • %3A for a colon;
  • %2F for a slash
  • %2C for a comma;
  • %27 for an apostrophe.

After this, you will simply create a link in your WordPress editor, and it will look like this:

<a href="https://twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=When+you+provide+a+quote+to+share%2C+you+give+people+what+they+want+to+share+exactly+-+http%3A%2F%2Fgoo.gl/uiz7uv" title="When you provide a quote to share, you give people what they want to share exactly">Click to Tweet</a>

Congratulations! You’ve done it! Our cake has become more attractive and delicious.

Finish your post with conclusion and call to action

Eating up the last pie shell of your cake, try to make a conclusion and add a call to action. Yes, do not forget asking your friends if they liked the taste of your rainbow cake! Speaking about blog posts, you can ask your readers to share your article in social media for example, to comment, to subscribe to your newsletter, etc.

As a bonus, I suggest you to save this mini checklist of a delicious texty cake from a chef:

  • Put an attractive headline to spark your readers’ interest.
  • Sprinkle introduction with a hook to convince people to read on.
  • Fold subheadings and lists in to section your content for better perception.
  • Spread images and videos to cast your vision.
  • Add tips and advice to your text. Be helpful and explicit.
  • Cut videos. It can be an extra way to illustrate your point.
  • Add tables and diagrams for visualizing data from your text.
  • Add relevant links. It will help your content a lot.
  • Fold relevant quotes in. People love to share quotes, especially on Twitter.
  • Spread with conclusion and call to action.

Bon appétit! : )

Music of 1984

princeI’ve often thought 1984 was an incredible year for music. So many iconic releases. Such an exciting time for entertainment: movie soundtracks, MTV… break-dancing. So I was very happy to see this list of the 100 best singles of 1984, complete with YouTube links to each track (where available). And the writing accompanying each track is exceptional. My favorite has to be this brilliant characterization of “When Doves Cry” by Prince:

After the shrapnel of Prince’s introductory guitar volley settles, a hypnotic Linn drum pattern syncs with a synth figure courtly enough for a minuet. Vocals of cold menace and desperate abandon vie for preeminence until climatic screeches of pain carry the day.

Check out the entire list at Rolling Stone100 Best Singles of 1984: Pop’s Greatest Year

Noise Statement

Considered-Perspective-Richard-Smith-RSMITHINGS.com_

Here is noise the way that it goes. So goes the flow and into another row.
Lest we forget the next noise. Another time around, we go.

Wonder if the time will go by? Another time falling behind.
As if we ever wonder for another, there is nothing more to moving under.

If the time rolls by and we all still go, what will time before then show?
If we only could get the final sign, can another grow.

Under the understanding behind with another flower to grow.
Another sign, another time, another dent to the mind below.

Image: “Considered Perspective

Top 25 Mobile Photos of 2014 at Flickr

My photo, “Summer’s Requiem” is #14 – woohoo!

Well, this is quite an honor. Of the 500 million+ photos uploaded to Flickr in 2014, one of mine was in the mobile top 25 according to their blog (#14, shown below), along with 24 other really great images — and one of only 5 black and whites. Thanks, Flickr!

flickr2014topmobile25Here’s what I say about this image at its page on Flickr:

On the first day of fall, I was headed into a building for an early morning appointment. I looked down and noticed this leaf with the morning dew when walking in, but did not get a shot. After the appointment, it was still there with the glistening morning dew, and I stopped in my tracks so as not to miss it. The heart-shaped leaf and tear-like droplets framed by the concrete sidewalk all made the perfect metaphor at the changing of the seasons: happy reflections on the season past… maybe even sadness at its passing. But ahead of that: lovely things to come. To me, the best compositions are musical; you can almost hear them hum when you study them. So naturally, this would be a requiem. I converted to grayscale, added a slight vignette at the top and sharpened just a bit to highlight the macro-vision detail of the leaf’s veins, amplified by the water.

Thanks again for this incredible honor. Go follow me there and follow the Flickr Blog for a regular curated stream of consistently cool imagery.

 

Masters of Photography Art Feature

Many thanks to Masters of Photography for featuring my art! The site regularly features many excellent artists with a great layout, too. Very honored!

Originally posted on Mírame y sé color:

Richard Smith explores unexpected interrelationships between everyday images through surrealist photomontage. Working with elements from nature, pedestrian objects, specially-commissioned photos, and scenes from his travels and neighborhood, he fuses these components into ethereal yet cohesive views that transcend their origins. A self-taught graphic artist with 20+ years of professional experience, Smith incorporates assimilated photographic techniques and modern photomanipulation approaches into his hand-craftedcompositions.

Smith has been recognized globally for his photomontage art, with his pieces being shared across several U.S. and international creative venues.

View original

 

Add Now Playing Song to Playlist in iPhone

How hard would it be to include an “add to playlist” option for a currently playing song on an iPhone?

Apple Add To PlaylistThe near-largest technology company in the world, and the most profitable (Apple, duh) has yet to muster the resources to make this happen.

I’m not asking for anything fancy – maybe just tap and hold the artwork for a song in music? Or maybe use that menu in the top right? Easy!

iPhone owners have been asking for this for years. And years. And years.

I used to be able to do this on my iPod 4, for goodness sake. I’d hear a song, think “hey, that’s good for this playlist” and add it. Boom, done.

As of this writing, the only way to add songs to playlists is a cumbersome procedure of selecting the playlist first, navigating to a track, then manually adding that track.

Yes, more important threaten humanity, but this has gotta be in like… at least the top 50, right?

Please, Apple — add this feature in iOS for us. 

And to anyone reading who agrees, please request this from Apple feedback, or at my post on the Apple boards here. Thanks. 

We Can Land A Probe on a Comet, But…

We can’t seem to get the hang of text transcription.

WSJ2

In a mind-blowing feat of scientific achievement, the European Space Agency successfully landed a probe on a comet this week. That’s amazing. In its video coverage, the Wall Street Journal assembled a video wrap-up with a transcription that was well, interesting…

WSJ1The transcribing robot is clearly on something and needs to go home. I picture its voice like that of Slater from the film Dazed and Confused in a finer moment.

Here’s a summary of the event at the official Flickr blog, which links to the ESA’s Flickr stream which, as you might guess, is full of some dazzling imagery and updates from the Rosetta probe these days.

esa

And here’s the full text of the Wall Street Journal transcription. Remember to picture it read in stoner voice:

a tiny robot called feline meet St day … this means to buy a few that … shows the man to just three km above the surface of the call for many of the scientists who work there has been a ticking along with another crucial moment has finally come … feel that has landed … it is the first time in history … as a spacecraft landed … on the alien landscape awful cough the the the uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh the the who believe that most of whom the YouTube is … nobody looks great it and as of this of this … sickness who looked as though one more crucial with the head … up to seven not descend from its mother ship present or … feel a let’s get to work … the job is to learn as much as it can about the comic and as quickly as possible its ten instruments will be taken back to that the errors that … feel as cameras will take high resolution images of its new home into a … the lender will analyze the composition and structure of the comments of this material … has also driven system that will be the material for twenty centimeters below the surface … there will also analyze the water and comic be sixty seven to see if it’s the same chemical flavor as that found on a … if this is confirmed … it would bolster the theory that the sum of its Walker … could have been brought him back on its … beelining also collects valuable data as the sixty seven was closer to the sun … in particular the question of dimensions of life … why has the right to marriage on the ears … oh … and the process by which like the marriage … of a generic in the mirror so specific thrust on us to send … the speedo mammal these critical questions and luckily in the comments have the … the way to offer a clue statistic for that … whatever happens to the land … was at the will continue to travel alongside the comic and take measurements … for Keystone of eighteen months …

-Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2014

What do you think? Ever had any funny experiences with text-to-speech software? What are your thoughts on human beings being able to successfully send photos from the surface of a comet? Let us hear from you in the comments.