Category Archives: Writing

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:

Every blogger and content writer should think of their audience first of all. Only happy and satisfied readers whose problems you solve will come to your blog again and again, generating its traffic and turning from readers into customers step by step.

Here’s the deal:

Writing a good blog post helps you interact with your audience. So, you should know how to create and structure top-notch content and let people know about that cool info you are going to share.

Are you sure you know how to create a blog post that rocks? Now, we are going to tell you how to write a blog post in terms of cooking a rainbow cake.

Sounds weird? We are sure, writing a post is like cooking something delicious; and we’ll reveal all ingredients of a perfect blog post and a recipe of “cooking” a texty (!) blog post.

Want to know the best part?

Check it out:

How to write a blog post

And now, it’s high time to talk about the ingredients for “cooking” a blog post that converts:

Headlines

A headline serves to attract readers’ attention to your post and helps them decide if they want to read it. Simple as that, isn’t it?

But did you know only 2 out of 10 people read your blog post after checking its headline? As well as appetizing toppings, your headlines should make people want to “eat” your blog post.

What is the recipe of writing an ideal headline?

  • Make it useful.
  • Use modifiers (for example, we used two modifiers in the headline of this blog post: “easy” and “how to”).
  • Mention the idea of your post.
  • Give them a sense of urgency (read Neil Patel’s Definite Guide ti Copywriting to understand when this trick works).
  • Come up with your own best headline formula.
  • Follow a headline format that will work for sure.

To make it easier, you are welcome to use different tools that help you come up with new ideas for good headlines. For example, try Online Headline Generator to choose one of 200 titles or use Emotional Headline Analyzer to choose a headline with the best Emotional Marketing Value.

Introduction

drake

Before writing your story itself, use the introduction with a hook. As we all know, this is the best way to make people interested in what you are going to tell them.

Plus, introduction is the second main element of a cool blog post after a headline.

Subheadings and lists

These elements help your readers scan your post visually to see if it has something interesting and useful for them.

Try to use a subheading every time you are going to tell something important.

Use lists to section a text that has many different elements: they help you organize thoughts and structure your text better.

Visual elements

Visual elements are very important for your blog post to have: they tell and demonstrate your readers something that is difficult to describe with words.

People love visual effects, as they do not want to spend hours on reading different texts online. So, do not be afraid and lazy to use the following elements in your posts:

  • Images
  • Photos
  • Tables
  • Videos
  • Diagrams

Relevant links

Using relevant links to authoritative websites in your blog posts helps you build your online reputation. Provide readers with useful information, confirm it by linking to opinion leaders, and motivate them to add your post to bookmarks.

“Tweetable” quotes

According to Derek Halpern, people are more likely to share your content if you give them a chance to post it in Twitter.

holmes

What can you do to make it easier for them?

There is a WordPress plugin from TodayMade that lets you make tweets from texts. Do not hesitate trying ClickToTweet instrument as well.

Call to action

Writing a blog post is important but finishing it is equally important, too. The last piece of your texty cake should be conclusion with a call to action.

Ask your readers to comment what they think of your post, let them share your article in their social media profiles, invite them to subscribe to your newsletter, etc.

And now, when you’ve finished reading this awesome post, would you be so kind to let us know what you think of it? ;-)

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

Poetry For A Moment In “The Witness”

The Veteran, by Dorothy Parker:

Plaid

Image: Calsidyrose via Flickr

When I was young and bold and strong,
Oh, right was right, and wrong was wrong!
My plume on high, my flag unfurled,
I rode away to right the world.
‘Come out, you dogs, and fight!’ said I,
And wept there was but once to die.

But I am old; and good and bad
Are woven in a crazy plaid.

From the collection Complete Poems

This poem appeared at the end of a fascinating portrait of Michelle Lyons, formerly of the Texas prison system, who witnessed hundreds of executions in her role as head of public information. It’s part of a well-assembled character sketch titled, “The Witness” by Pamela Colloff for Texas Monthly that gives a unique look into some of the nuances of this position. After reading this multi-layered, compelling story (discovered at Longreads), this poem seemed a wholly appropriate inclusion at its end. Check out the entire story here:

The Witness by Pamela Colloff for Texas Monthly

What do you think? Are you a fan of Dorothy Parker’s work? Do you ever enjoy #longreads? What are your thoughts on how time or responsibilities can change a person? Let us hear from you in the comments.

UPDATE: comment from Author Pamela Colloff

Tomatoes, I Have Never Understood You

Nor you me…

20140722-202327-73407054.jpg20140722-202401-73441470.jpg20140722-202432-73472726.jpg

But I am enjoying these heirloom summer babies pretty much on the regular lately. All shots here produced via Hipstamatic.

So Deep As The Sky

So Deep As The Sky

There is nothing under the sky
we can’t learn or unlearn
nothing preventing us
from ascending

There’s a deeper understanding
beyond any of us
beyond it all
beyond

Time and reflection can happen
but still we wonder
let it lead us
on down

Time can carry us elsewhere
as it will always do
never ending
irreverent
true.

Let it happen.

Musical accompaniment: Men At Work – Overkill

Photo Synthesis – Jerry Uelsmann Review

Jerry Uelsmann: Photo SynthesisPhoto Synthesis by Jerry Uelsmann

This is a great introduction to the world of Uelsmann’s photo magic. I saw this book 20 years ago in a creative writing class, of all places, and made the effort some years later (after Amazon.com was invented) to seek it out and am glad I did. Looking back on my career and life since then, I can say unequivocally that it changed my thinking and helped set me on a creative path I’m still having fun exploring.

I copied & pasted this review via Goodreads.com, a site I’m only now getting into, since – although I love good writing – I’m always hard-pressed to find works that I can really sink my teeth into. How fitting that my first review there is for a book of photography… but whatever. It really is a fantastic collection, and if you’re at all interested in perusing some mind-blowing images, I highly recommend it.

What do you think? Are you on Goodreads? How do you find the next book you’d like to read? Let us hear from you in the comments.

In The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death and Duran Duran – Audiobook Review

I just completed the audio version of In The Pleasure Groove: Love Death and Duran Duran, narrated by John Taylor, bassist and co-founder of Duran Duran.

In The Pleasure GrooveThe band have long been one of my favorites. In fact, the very first record I ever bought with my own money was Seven And The Ragged Tiger. On cassette, of course.

Duran Duran Rocks

I’ve been into Duran Duran’s music since I was 10 years old, because I like the sound: exotic, upbeat, futuristic, yet with an undeniable groove. It was an older female cousin who turned me onto them and I noticed that girls really liked the band – “those guys must be doing something right,” I thought, and I’ve been following their career and enjoying their music ever since the early ’80s.

John Taylor of Duran Duran

John Taylor of Duran Duran in the ’80s, living the dream. Photo: New York Times

Of course I’m biased as a fan and music lover, but I’ll still say this book was great overall. The initial description of Taylor’s upbringing and childhood seemed long at first, but it’s a relevant setting of context for the ensuing fame story, as we watch this lad from Birmingham navigate punk and disco into new wave and rock, all as a bassist and band member with artistic vision, along with those of his band mates who soon become heartthrobs, almost to their detriment.

Duran Duran Still Rocking

The guys are still at it, recording and touring to this day. Here they are at Coachella in 2011 performing their very first single, “Planet Earth,” and obviously enjoying the thrill. Taylor ends the book with a description of this very moment:

It’s an outdoor festival, so tour manager Craig will not get to give his usual cue to take the house lights down. Tonight, that’s one of God’s jobs. And what a job of it he’s doing. A glittering bauble of sunlight fights to stay above the horizon. A full moon appears – a late-coming VIP that takes a seat above the lighting gantry at 11 o’clock high. Nature presents for us a better light show than any human could ever have created.

My heart is pounding. There’s no better time than this, when I’m about to take stage and the future belongs to me. This is what the moment feels like as I walk out onto the stage one more time. Roger’s drums kick in. An eight-bar count and I’m in with him, the galloping groove that started it all for me. Thirty thousand California kids, eyes and teeth smiling, cameras and cell phones popping, a million tiny seductions all at once. And the music never sounded better.

I would recommend the book to anyone with a passing interest in what it’s like to be a working-class kid who falls in love with music, reaches the height of fame because of it, and handles the aftermath (good and bad) with grace.

What do you think? Ever read a book by a rock star? What were your impressions? Is there any music favorites from your youth the carryover to today? Let us hear from you in the comments.