Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Hello there! I am Moe, of Five Sixteenths & I'm a post-grad (class of 2011!) Southern girl who blogs about life, art, DIY's, thrifting adventures with my boyfriend, & blogging tips + tricks. Blogging has opened up some fun opportunities & helped me discover more about myself. Starting a blog is a great way to branch out of your confort zone, interact with like minded people, & develop your creative spirit. When I first started blogging, I had no idea what I was doing. While sometimes the best things develop organically, I often looked for a good resource on where to begin & what exactly to do with my space of the blogisphere. For the most part I felt lost with no way of discovering my blogging voice.
Reflecting back on my humble beginnings, I decided to put together everything I wish I'd known into one place - a Blogging 101 eBook. I embarked on this project pretty recently, at the beginning of May, and hope to have it completed in August of 2012! I also offer a bunch of articles on Boosting your Blog over on Five Sixteenths.
Today I want to share with you 5 things to remember when writing a blog post:
Keywords in the title - What is your post about? What are the key things you want a potential reader to know about the post? Consider titling your posts with words relating to topic. For example, this post is titled 5 Things to Remember Before you Hit Publish. Which is exactly what the post is about! Consider giving a few of your reoccurring posts the same lead in title.
On Five Sixteenths, I usually post DIY's on Monday with a lead in title of Make it Monday. Every post also has a descriptive subtitle so that readers know what they are clicking on. While being vague is alluring, readers want to know exactly what they are clicking on. Their time is precious & you don't want them to click on a vague post title & then quickly hit the back button!
Link to previous blog posts - Your post is prime real estate for advertising previous posts on your blog. Are you posting a DIY that goes along with another DIY you've posted? Link to it! This works great in reverse as well & builds up some excitement. I've posted the finished product in an outfit post & then posted the DIY the following Monday. You're readers will come back because they want to know! Linking to other posts on your blog also begins to develop your story. A first time reader wants to get to know you so give them a reason to continue clicking through your blog. Linking to other posts tells them exactly who you are. I usually try to link to at least two other blog posts. I also have a small sentence at the end of my reoccurring posts describing what the feature is & where to find more posts like it.
Tell a story - Remember to be honest & to tell a story in your posts. Talk to your readers like they are you friends. They want to get to know you! Ask yourself if you are being honest & true to yourself in this post. Does this post reflect the you that you've mentioned on your about page? Be an honest & respectable blogger by being genuine.
Evaluate the Image width - Remember me saying something about your post being awesome real estate? This is true for your pictures as well! Make sure your pictures are high quality, color corrected realistically, & wide enough to fit your post body. Think of your blog like a magazine - you don't want too much white space. The most successful blogs use images that take up the entire post body with a little bit of padding on the side. Here's how I found that I like my images to be 650px in length: First, I like to use Google Chrome because it's easier for me & faster, so that is what this is based off of. There are many ways to do it, but I think Google Chrome is the simplest..it highlights everything for you! Go to your blog & right click on a section of your post body. Select 'Inspect Element'. A bunch of crazy gibberish should come up on the bottom of your screen. Mouse over some of that crazy gibberish until you see this:
That will tell you the width of your post body. My post body is 661px wide so I make my images 650px to leave a good buffer around them. I change the width by clicking the HTML tab & locating each width=" " occurrence. Inside the " " I put 650, but you will put your number. I also delete each height=" " occurrence so I don't have to figure out the percentage between the new & the original numbers. Blogger automatically resizes the height!
Use those labels - This is something I see under used a lot! Labels make it easier for readers to locate posts on the same topic. It also helps you link to every post on a certain topic. All my DIY posts are labeled with DIY that way when I want to link to every DIY post all I have to do is locate one post, click the label DIY, & copy and paste the url that appears in the address bar.
This is helpful if you want to have a button on your blog that links to all posts on the same topic! Just like Justine's buttons on the right side there. If you click How To: Blog, you'll be taken to all her blog tutorials!
I use Blogger for my blogging platform & my favorite part of editing a post is the preview option. This lets me see how a post will look when it goes live on the blog. (I am sure a lot of other platforms have this too). When I think I've finished a post, I click preview to see how it looks. It is then that I go through this check list & see what needs to be added & formated. These 5 things make your post appealing to search engines & to readers, allow you to easily organize your posts, & help you generate better content.
I hope these tips have inspired you to use your blog posts to their full potential! If you're interested in more blog tips, take a peak through Justine's library of posts or pop on by Five Sixteenths!
Share with Justine & I your must-do blog tips before you hit publish. Have I missed anything?
**Thank you so much Moe! This post was great! If anyone would like to contribute to this series you can email me at email@example.com with How To: Blog as your subject :)**