Blogging is about:
- Establishing credibility: building trust amongst visitors, search engines and your subscriber base.
- Gaining search engine index real estate: pushing more data out there to get indexed.
Blog to the robot, and blog to the human.
To the robot:
You will want to make sure your site is set up for optimal search engine digestion. You’ll want your permalinks to contain keywords. This is simply a matter of global configuration that, once set, will serve every blog post the same way. For WordPress sites, the Yoast SEO plugin will complete most basic SEO configuration requirements. It helps also to use html headers like <h1> and <h2> in your blog post that, ideally, contain keywords. This will give a dumb robot a basic overview of what’s going on in your post.
To the human:
More important to blog to the human than to the robot! Search engines use algorithms, sure, but they were created by humans in the interests of serving up excellent search results. When you do get traffic to your page, traffic the “robots” provided, you want those human visitors to find your site engaging and leave them wanting more.
You should make your blog post informational and easy to read. Section headers and the use of the bold and italic help reader compartmentalize blocks of information. You also want to use a little bit of eye candy – you yourself know it is much easier to read something that you can attach images too. Images should be contextual, as this will also help guide readers through your piece.
With images, standardization is something I value as it creates an ordered appearance; as such, I make sure all the images I use in all of my blog posts are the same size. I use the Advanced Image Styles plugin to create padding on all my images: I do this because I’ve noticed that when you post images amongst text, out of the box, they look fine on computers and tablets but look squished against text on mobile. I put 20px padding on all my in-text images to fix this. I always use JPG images because they are lighter weight than PNGs. I reserve PNGs for site header logos.
My Blog Post Creation Process
First, I create my post.
I try to write at least 500 words. Although, as many bloggers have suggested, longer blog posts lead to higher rankings. Unfortunately, on some topics, I can’t hit that count; in this case, it is still an issue of quality over quantity – you don’t want to unnecessarily fluff out text. I think, as a general rule, if you’re not including at least 500 words, perhaps you’re not providing enough information.
Then, I go back in and decorate the text.
What I’m trying to avoid is pushing out a block of text that makes readers have to squint to read it and use extra brain power trying to compartmentalize. I section out the text and create headers to make for an easier read. Then, I go on Canva and create 500px by 500px images to accentuate my sections. I insert them 300px by 300px, although sometimes smaller depending on section size, in my post and decoratively align them with some padding. This is done in the interests of creating an enjoyable blog experience to visitors.
Then, I post and proofread.
At this point I usually go ahead and publish my post. I then view the post as it is available to the public in another tab while keeping the editable version in the first tab I was working in. As I’m reading through, I usually will find a typo here and there that I will correct in the other tab. You really don’t have to be a master of the English language to make a good blog post. I think it is more important as a blogger to write in a style that best connects with your readers. That said, you don’t want your post riddled with typos, so it helps to run through it a few times before you call it a day.
Spend Time Optimizing Your Post
I spend as much if not more time optimizing my blog post as I do writing it. This is important. You do not want to fall into the quantity over quality trap when it comes to blogging – you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot. Every blog post should be done artfully – this will eventually expand your reach and build trust amongst readers and search engines.
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