The competition gets tougher every day when it comes to writing online. There are so many bloggers out there now that the web is saturated with strong opinions and conflicting views about almost everything.
As professional writers it’s our duty to ensure that we provide the most relevant, well researched information in a format that makes it easy to use, understand and source. Writing a good post can earn you credibility, more traffic and a long-lasting authoritative voice.
I put together a list of tips I go by when writing a post in WordPress, I’ve broken it into several parts to make each post easier to digest.
Before You Start Writing
Get wordpress – if you don’t use it, you should, it’s free. Hosted blogs are a waste of your time, you are writing on rented space and you receive no real benefits from your traffic. Purchase a domain name ($10 a year), get some inexpensive hosting, and install wordpress. Say what you want to say, just be sure to do it on your own space.
Write ahead – Life happens, having a stack of posts ready to go means that when it does your reading audience doesn’t have to know about it. Some call it their insurance policy, I call it my travel policy.
Write when the urge hits you – Often I will pick a topic (like this one) and start writing on it. I’m longwinded, so 1500 words later I’m satisfied I’ve made my point. Staying methodical in your writing makes it easier to break a long thought process into smaller, more targeted posts.
Write in batches – If you have a recurring post, or a long series of them to publish, it’s more efficient to write them in batches. WordPress allows you to save them as drafts, or pre-publish for a specific date.
SEO – WordPress itself is fairly well optimized, and of course there are some tricks and plugins to enhance that. Copy should remain on-topic, limiting posts to one general idea makes them more relevant to your keywords and potential search terms. The articles to follow in this series will show you formatting for images and text which will help to further optimize your work.
Keep a list – As you research keep a list of quotes and images you want to use along with their sources. Both are good tricks which add depth to copy and reinforce ideas. Always credit your sources and collecting them as you go along saves time later. Often I start a post with just a series of links I want to use, then build from there.
Consider your audience – What do you want from your reader? Make it clear and write with the intention of giving them an obvious path to get there.
Link to yourself – Use yourself as a reference wherever you can. Keep that in mind as you write.
Link to other people – Don’t reinvent the wheel for every idea, if someone has already written it well, link to them. Providing your readers with a source of good information will earn you brownie points. On the flip side, whoever you link to can (and probably will) know instantly.
That said, a word to the wise: what you publish is there forever (yes, even if you delete it later), electronic data never goes away. Publish accordingly.