20 Blog Post Questions to Help You
I’m often asked how to write a great blog post. While it sounds like a brush off, the best thing you can do to improve your blogging is to keep blogging.
Your writing improves with every post you craft since you build writing muscles and greater facility by placing word after word on the page.
To help you give your blog posts a boost, here are twenty questions to help you create better blog posts, more consistently.
- What is the topic of the post? How does it fit with the blog’s overall content offering? Is it integrated in your editorial calendar? This can be useful for providing answers to many of the questions covered here.
- Who’s your target audience for this post? Understand that this may differ from the blog as a whole since it may be a sub-segment of your audience. Is there a marketing persona you can use?
- Are there specific products to be highlighted? What role does the product play in the post? What product information do you need? How specific can you be? Do you have product pictures and/or related video?
- What is keyword (phrase) the post is focused on? Remember don’t over use these words.
- What type of blog post are you writing? Among the options are current news, how to, or essay. Is this post part of a series? Is it a regular blog feature? This can be very helpful in providing a format to follow.
- What’s your hook? How will you lure readers in and make them read more of your content?
- What’s your story? To make your content memorable, tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. It’s also useful because readers remember stories more than plain facts.
- Is research needed? Is there information that needs fact checking? If so, who will do it?
- What articles on your blog will you link to? Think about the information on your blog and website broadly. Make sure that you place your link on the relevant words.
- What external links will your post reference? While you may think why should I send readers off my site, the reality is that blog readers expect to be able to get further information from other sources. Additionally, it’s good form and supports your credibility.
- What’s your post title? A strong title does a lot to attract a reader base. Therefore, it’s worth your effort to craft the best one you can! The rule of thumb is to make it less than fifteen words. Where possible, it’s useful to include your keyword, preferably close to the beginning of the title.
- What voice do you need to use? At a minimum, do you need to write in the first person or the third person? Is the language formal or informal?
- How do you incorporate branding into your post? This is related to voice. What type of language do you use? Is very formal or more conversational? Do you use large, hard-to-pronounce words or just short, plain words.
- Do you have a photograph to associate with your column? Incorporating a photograph into your blog post helps attract attention since they’re eye candy. Who’s responsibility to find one? Make sure that you have the IP right to use it. Add a caption and related content for search engines.
- What other media will be included? Do you have video, audio or presentations to incorporate into your blog post. It’s useful to change up the media mix.
- Does the blog have guidelines for post presentation? How does the article need to be formatted?
- What are the conclusions you want readers to draw from your article? What are the lessons you want readers to learn from reading you column?
- How can you engage your readers and encourage them to comment? At a minimum, include a related question to get the conversation going.
- Who will copy edit your post? At a minimum, it’s important to have another set of eyes read through your content to ensure that it makes sense. Also, to check for grammar and spelling since a spell checker can tell that a word’s spelled correctly but it can’t tell if it’s the right word.
- What technical support do you need? Do you have a friendly geek or webmaster to help you with any potential glitches you may have posting your article.
The more you write and blog, the more these questions will become second nature. While it seems like a lot to consider for each post, understand that using this list makes it easier to get outside support while ensuring that your blog posts maintain a consistency.
Hat tip to Lois Geller for suggesting this article.
Here are some related articles of interest.
- 31 Ways to Make Your Blog Stand Out
- 31 Blog Design Mistakes (& How to Fix Them)
- 111 Ways to Jumpstart 2012