How to Effectively Plan a New Blog Post

You know, planning a new blog post can be one of the most common problems for a new or recurring blogger. At the same time, the quality of one’s content can dwindle if you don’t take the proper time to consider what it is you want to write about, and stay on task. So how do you go about creating that perfect post idea?

Write When You’re Most Productive

To start, you should try writing when you’re the most productive. If you really want your content to sizzle, you need to be on top of your game, ready to outperform. For example, sitting in a comfortable chair and listening to music might be the best writing environment, while a silent library works for others. Naturally, it’s impossible to be able to sit down and be in perfect writing form 24/7, but being prepared to write is important to developing exceptional content.

Before you begin writing, why not try arranging your desk area in a way that suits you? Make your environment as comfortable as possible to get yourself into the writing mood. Try opening a window. Sounds crazy, right? Whatever you might think, creating an atmosphere that you feel at ease in will make you that much more productive.
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You Need to Sell Your Blog Posts!

One of the biggest mistakes that bloggers make – but still expect reactions and feedback – is to ignore the basic fact that in order to engage their readers, they need to sell their blog posts. No, I’m not talking about literally selling your content on article market websites. I’m talking about selling ideas through your blog posts to your most favorite customers, your readers. Are you ready to close this sale?

It’s not a big stretch of imagination thinking of your ideas as if they were products you need to sell through you blog posts. Looking back at a past article on Blogsessive, we can link the proper blog post structure to one of the most basic, yet highly effective selling technique: The AIDA Model.

What is AIDA?

AIDA is an acronym that stands for: Attention, Interest, Desire & Action, and is a selling model developed back in 1925 by psychologist E.K. Strong Jr. Don’t be fooled by the date. The AIDA model still holds strong and is still being considered by many as the copywriter’s best friend.
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How Not to Blog: Don’t Force Page Views on Readers

As many of you know, when submitting a story to social news or bookmarking site, you risk having a lot of traffic to that page alone and having people leave your site immediately after reading the post in questions. There are several things you can do to keep readers engaged and direct them to different articles: really great content, related posts, links in your sidebar and many more.

But the purpose of this article is not to teach you how to go about getting legitimate traffic; it is to show you how not to act to get the same, yet temporary result. There’s a new practice: something mixing the multiple page posts with the well know “read full post link” used on blog homepages. It translates into going to the post page, reading one or two paragraphs and seeing a “read more” link.
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What About the Readers’ Perspective?

What About the Readers' Perspective?Blogging, before being a tool of expression and communication is a tool of desire, especially these days when thousands of people start a new blog each day, hoping to become successful.

It doesn’t matter how each and every one of them defines success. It can be a big readership, new relationships, business leads, money making or whatever, in the end, it starts out from the desire of doing better for yourself.

Unfortunately, that’s the point where most bloggers get stuck. Success is a two-way street, a give and receive relationship between the blogger and its community, and a blogger that cannot see his work from the readers’ perspective is bound to fail.

Have a clear and easy to digest message

As bloggers, you are the experts, your ideas make sense to you and probably a lot of your readers too, but don’t expect everyone to be able to understand and follow your thoughts as easy as if they were of your level.

In order to attract and maintain a good readership you need to appeal to the novice and the expert both. You need to be able to explain things in such way that novices could understand, but interesting enough so that you engage the advanced ones too.

A good way to reach that is to avoid a vocabulary consisting mostly in technical or complex words. Rather than using such a vocabulary, add references to each of your articles, encouraging the novice to find out more about the topic. The experts can still be engaged by leaving enough room for conversation or second opinions, but don’t expect them to come by their own. Ask for opinions. Different people handle the same situation in different ways and those people might be willing, if encouraged, to share their experiences and results.
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Breaking the Blogging Patterns

Most niche bloggers have definitely experienced what is called a “writer’s block”. It’s a natural reaction that comes along with writing to much on the same subject and can be induced by many other things, non-blogging related, like the lack of sleep.

Just as writers experience these blocks, readers are no exceptions. They too can experience what people call reader’s block.

The good thing is that writer’s block and reader’s block can be treated or prevented by using the same medicine: Diversity.

Breaking the patterns

Diversify by breaking your blogging patterns

At one time, many of us felt that a certain writing style or topic is more appreciated by our community. The obvious choice was to expand that topic and create follow-ups, or write aticles on other topics, but use the same writing style.

For a period of time, that proves to be a good strategy, but in the long run, you and your community will experience saturation which will lead to a block. This is where diversity should step up and break your blogging pattern.

Blog post alternatives

There are quite a few types of blog posts and writing styles you could experiment with and even mix them up as you find fit for your next article.
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Blog Writing Tips to Turn Ideas into Great Content

Writing TipsBlogs live and grow through quality content. Writing a blog post is not a big deal if you have low expectations, but writing a post that will attract community reactions, traffic, social media love, links and new readers is definitely not that easy. It implies a creative writing style, engaging phrases, catchy headings and a good, logical and easy to follow article structure.

Here are five blog writing tips to help you give a better shape to your wonderful content ideas!

Expect unexpected ideas

If you ask me, writing is more about imagination than rules. It’s definitely not math. The harder you look for content ideas, the harder they’ll come to you, or come in the most appropriate shape. Keep an open mind and expect new ideas in everything you do, every comment or post you read, every movie you watch, every discussion with your friends.

It’s said that good journalists see a news story where other people notice nothing. That’s no different when it comes to blogging.

Start big and finish bigger

A great opening paragraph is decisive for making your visitor read the whole story. It helps build interest and a higher level of patience. But as soon as you fail to maintain that interest high, that great opening paragraph will only be a waste of good content ideas.

Focus on ending your story with at least the same quality level as the opening paragraph. Not only you’ll have a happy reader, but most probably one that will come back to read more each time you publish.
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Blogsessive’s Group Writing Project & Contest

Update: Contest is closed. It’s time for the jury to play its part. All entries will be made public with the contest winners announcement post, next Monday. Thanks to everyone who submitted their entries to this group writing project. It will be a very interesting reading!

The end of September brings a killer contest on Blogsessive under the form of a group writing project for all blog owners, and, since this is a killer contest, your skill can win you some killer prizes. Here’s what the contest winner will get:

  1. One identity package – logo, business card and letterhead design – by yours truly;
  2. One “Personal license” for the Edge premium WordPress theme, created by Blog Design Studio that as you probably have guessed, offers blog design services;
  3. 500 business cards printed using your newly won design by U Printing, company that offers business cards and business cards printing services.

Also, there will be 2 consolation prizes, each of 250 business cards by the same U Printing.

What is a group writing project and how to participate?

A group writing project brings together bloggers with the same interests, all writing and publishing blog posts on a given theme/topic. The topic is usually decided by the one that initiated the project, which is me in our case.
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Top 5 Reasons Why Blogging Rocked Our World

Have you ever wondered what was it that made blogging turn into such a mass phenomenon, with billions of bloggers and readers spread all over the world? What’s behind the huge mass appeal? Sure, in the beginning it was a simple and accessible way to maintain an online diary, but that’s definitely not a powerful enough factor to affect the shaping of the future of the online environment.

The more I though about it, five reasons began shaping in my mind, strong enough to set things in motion and to rock our world. Read on and find out what these reasons are and don’t forget to share your opinion with me after you finish reading.

Blogging gave us back “reading”

In a world ran by television shows, Hollywood movies, adverts, gaming and cheap entertainment, blogging gave back “reading” to people.

Sure, some of us never gave up on reading. Some of us still devour literature, but I’m sure you’ll agree that less and less people still do that. Most reading we do these days is magazines and newspapers, and even those are affected by the low interest in the actual concept of reading.

Even so, blogging stepped in at the right moment, offering a wide range of topics, opinions and voices. Nowadays, we follow hundreds of blogs daily, read enormous amounts of text blocks and continue to train our reading skills. Ain’t that wonderful?

Blogging gave us back “writing”

Most of us gave up creative writing back when we finished school, no matter how far we went. With blogging, we (re)discovered skills and interests long forgotten. First, a bit shy, but more concise, meaningful and powerful with each post published.

Sure, we can’t compare to Tolstoy, Voltaire or even modern authors like Stephen King, but we do it. We do our best and try to improve our skills.
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Writing Reader Engaging Posts

From where I stand, the greatest advantage of blog writing is, without doubt, the instant feedback. Unlike classic media, like newspapers or magazines, our blogs give us the possibility of getting valuable opinions on every post that we publish. Of course, not all feedback should be considered valid, but this is a matter of personal choice and analytic skills.

Writing reader engaging posts is definitely one of the biggest challenges of every blogger, since these posts are usually excellent ways to create and grow a community around your blog. At a short glance, among the advantages of writing reader engaging posts we find:

  • Community growth – Obviously, writing quality posts has the power to turn casual visitors into loyal readers, as long as you maintain a good flow;
  • Social media exposure – The more interesting and better written the post, the more people will want to share and recommend it across services like Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon, Mixx and so on;
  • Conversations – A good post is more likely to entice readers to engage in commenting. This is a great way to further develop the topic or even generate new content ideas;
  • Networking – Engaging posts are great ways to network with other bloggers in your niche. Write something appealing and you’ll surely make their link-round-ups;
  • Quality traffic – Of course, all of the above are great ways to generate either a great deal of traffic or quality traffic.

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The Proper Structure of a Blog Post

We’ve all heard the cliché “Content is King”. And it’s true – the more quality content your site has, the more both the readers and the search engines will like you for it. However, good content only means something when it’s presented properly: you could have the best tips on how to make money to be found anywhere, but if the structure of the blog post isn’t right, then it’s just as if those killer tips weren’t even there.

Let’s start at the beginning: the crucial part of any blog post is the introductory paragraph. This should be no more than a couple of lines and should be short and snappy, summarizing the article. The purpose of the first couple of sentences is to inform the reader about the post to come, and entice him or her into reading the whole thing with promises of some juicy content.

Next comes the main content. Different points should always be separated by different paragraphs, possibly with their own sub-heading. Either these sub-headings or the first sentence of each new paragraph should be the “leader” sentence. This is somewhat akin to the introductory paragraph: it should summarize the lines to come and almost force the reader to carry on exploring the post. Like the first paragraph, the leader should be short and snappy, ideally containing a controversial phrase. Controversy sells best on the web, and a unique and intriguing leader sentence will lure your readers into continuing to read the paragraph. Example leader sentences could be: ‘I can make you rich, with little effort on your part, in seven days flat.’ or ‘For years people have wasted their money on expensive blogging platforms without realising there was a free alternative.’ The rest of the paragraph should solely be based around the leader sentence, and should embellish it until a new point needs to be made. Remember: new point, new paragraph.

In addition to all of this, you need to keep your reader interested. Break up paragraphs often to avoid big chunks of text. As the average time spent on a website is purely a matter of seconds, you need all the help you can get into persuading the reader that your blog post is worth reading. If you have lists, then always use numbers or bullet points. Never nestle or embed them, that is to say never put lists in an ordinary sentence using commas in the middle of a paragraph. In fact, always try and turn things into lists where possible. They’re easy to reference, read and find. “Top 20 Blogging Platforms” sounds much better than “An in-depth discussion of the pros and cons of several of the leading blogging platforms”. People always need to be able to easily access and digest information.

Don’t forget your summary paragraph: a short round-up of what you’ve been talking about, and if necessary a conclusion. Ideally, include RSS and further information to aid your readers. A cliff-hanger which subtly promotes your next post is another great idea.Good luck!

A guest post by Heebie.