Tag Archives: blogging

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? 😉

Minus Manhattan Artwork Feature

Big thanks to Minus Manhattan for featuring my artwork today!

Minus Manhattan


My photomontage, “Light Electric,” featured at the Minus Manhattan site.
For more like this, check out my creations at Flickr, 500px, or Pinterest.

Readers of rsmithing.com would likely enjoy this well-curated and prolific visual blog by Chase Turner, with a huge selection of “links and stories on photography, art, politics, design, advertising, technology, music, and culture.” The site has been featured on The Daily WhatGizmodoJezebelAmerican Photo MagazineThe Village VoiceBoing BoingBlackBook, and Buzzfeed.

Thanks again to Minus Manhattan for the feature!

Evernote, Three Months In

At the beginning of this year I made it a point to get in the habit of using Evernote. I’ve kept reading its praises and since I’m in the world of collecting ideas for future blog posts, it made enough sense to give it a try.

evernote

I should say that I’ve previously relied on emailing myself ideas, links, images and other content, filing them away under “read later” or “ideas” in Gmail. This has kinda worked, but I don’t really find myself going through that content often. The idea of a standalone app dedicated to capturing ideas and organizing them at least makes sense to me for that reason. I get the concept, but it’s still taking work to make myself use the program.

Part of the adoption curve for me is having content actually in Evernote. Without many notes to search, there’s not much to draw from, so I can see how some users may get turned off if, say, within a week or two they aren’t reaping tremendous benefit.

But so far for me, it’s been at least good for peace of mind, knowing that all the stuff I’d otherwise be emailing myself is now tagged and easily referenced. In fact, it was the process of going through my notes in Evernote that led to this blog post, so hey… there’s something! I’m interested enough to keep using it, and I’m surely only scratching the surface, given the capabilities some of its power users explore. There will be more to come on this for sure.

What do you think? Do you use Evernote or a similar service? What’s your process for capturing ideas, to-dos or things go investigate later? Let us hear from you in the comments.

For When You Don’t Feel Like Blogging

Writing a blog post shouldn’t be a big deal, especially if you’re serious about blogging. That said, there are going to be days when you just don’t feel like it.

Blogging

Check out the full series of blogging-themed images
I created over at Flickr and feel free to use them on your own blog.

Having done this for over a year now, a couple times per week steadily, I can fully attest to the occasional lack of motivation – but I always fight through and deliver the goods. Along the way, I’ve picked up these tips for those dark moments when you might not feel like keeping up with your own blog.

1. Have some posts in the bank

In those spells when you feel like writing, or when an idea hits, try to go with it. Take two minutes to get your thoughts into a few sentences or headings you can easily expand upon later. I’ve found the best tool for doing this is dictation software, or at the very least, the drafts feature in WordPress. I’ll even email some ideas to myself as a way of quickly capturing a subject or notion I know can be expanded upon down the road. That way, when the time is right, the content is ready to go.

Language Is A Virus

Another great site for
writing inspiration: LanguageIsAVirus.com

2. Know your inspiration

Have some role models or examples of sites you enjoy on hand to get you thinking about material for your own blog. Or, as Janet Aronica aptly states over at Shareaholic (among the many other excellent tips there):

“Consume the content you want to create.”

By being able to easily refer to your sources of inspiration, you’ll be more likely to generate your own material with your unique perspective – which is the very best part of having your own blog. Set up some bookmarks, feeds, subscriptions, or whatever aggregation method works best for you so you can get inspired and have your own creative juices flowing.

3. Keep it simple, genius

A blog post does not have to be 10,000 words, nor should it be. In fact, brief is often better. I’ve found some of my most popular posts are sometimes the ones with just a compelling image and only a few sentences. Being handy with the phone cam and always on the lookout for quality visuals to share is something I enjoy, and also something I recommend for having interesting blog fodder at the ready.

What do you think? Are these suggestions useful? What tips would you suggest for drumming up motivation or inspiration in blogging? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Blogchat: Sundays on Twitter

There’s one thing I’ve really gotten into the social media realm lately: Blogchat. This is a chat on Twitter where folks talk, er… tweet, about blogging-related topics.

Blogchat - Sundays at 9:00 p.m. EST on Twitter.

Graphic by me via iPhone, using Hipstamatic & Phonto

I’ve made so many connections there, garnered blogging tips, and become more adept at Twitter by taking part. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in getting more from blogging (as a blog reader, I assume you may have an interest). Once, I even helped suggest a topic for an upcoming chat:

[tweet https://twitter.com/MackCollier/status/236110645077106688]

To participate, follow the hashtag #blogchat on Twitter, stay on topic, and keep hitting “refresh” on whatever means you use to keep up with the conversations. It’s fast-moving, so using a tool like TweetChat or HootSuite with multiple columns or tabs can be very helpful, although I’ve navigated it successfully just by using Twitter from the browser, or even by iPhone. It’s led by Mack Collier and happens every Sunday at 9:00 p.m., U.S. Eastern standard time. Recently covered topics include time management for bloggers, copyright issues, and using images.

[tweet https://twitter.com/MackCollier/status/267818974874583041]

There’s also a monthly open mic for non-specific blogging-related topics. Even if you don’t specifically participate 0r prefer just to listen in, that’s totally fine. You’ll probably still pick up a tip or two, and it’s a good way to see how the conversations flow.

Participating has encouraged me to explore other Twitter chats, and I’ve found them consistently beneficial, especially given the breadth of perspectives from some experienced and friendly folks. Try it sometime – and have fun chatting.

What do you think? Have you ever participated in a Twitter chat? What are some other resources you recommend for blogging advice and ideas? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Happy Birthday! On One Year of Blogging

This week marks one full year of blogging here at the rsmithing.com. In some ways, it certainly feels like a year. In another ways, I can’t believe it’s been a year already.

Distressed Happy Birthday Cupcake

Original by Keristars, via Flickr. Edited in Pixlr.

First of all, THANK YOU for reading this and thank you even more if you’ve ever commented on a post. I sincerely appreciate your feedback and the fact that you find my ramblings interesting enough to keep on reading.

I started this blog for my own personal enjoyment, education, expression, and curiosity. It’s been a rewarding journey that’s greatly boosted my knowledge of social media in general, and has been a satisfying creative outlet I look forward to growing every single week.

One of the most fun things about this is interacting with some of the folks mentioned in my posts, like Neil Strauss, Delta Airlines, and for-real professional writers such as those featured in Esquire and The Atlantic.

I’ve been contacted to help promote one of my favorite bands, and interviewed some of my favorite artists. I’ve also discovered a plethora of resources on how to get the most out of blogging, and made many meaningful connections with like-minded individuals along the way. It’s all definitely been very fulfilling.

So here’s to the future, and again thank you.

What do you think? How long have you been blogging? What have you learned in the past year, either from blogging or otherwise? Let us hear from you in the comments.

How To Write The Perfect Blog Post

I don’t often straight-up repost content without elaborating much, but wow — this is one great infographic. And I don’t often say that either. Click for full-size, see what you think & share your thoughts below (credit: Alex Mangini of Kolakube, Derek Halpern of SocialTriggers; first spotted at FamousBloggers via Gregory Ciotti):

PerfectBlogPost

What do you think? Do you employ these practices? Is this really a recipe for perfect post? And if not, what else would you do? What would you do differently? Let us hear from you in the comments!