The perfect post – Content marketing 101

Do you ever wonder about how to write the perfect post? Do you ever wonder about how some of the greatest marketing and content writing professionals manage to always write great content for their audience?

I’ve been working for more than a decade writing and rewriting posts for different individuals and companies. You can say that I have some experience in this industry. Or, that I am already a well trained professional as a content writer.

Forget it.

How other view and value your work depends not only on your personal style of writing but also on how they relate to it. It depends on their emotional response to a specific text. It depends also on how you manage to establish an effective line of communication with your employer and as a consequence, adapt to their needs, their guidelines and at some point, their values. Nevertheless, there are a few things that may ensure you that what you have written, even if it’s not considered to be a work of art, may still be published and get high regards.

How to create the perfect post:

Let’s start by admitting that there is no such thing as a perfect post. I have used the word only as an emphasis and not as a factual thing. The word “perfect” has a specific meaning in this context by trying to underline the importance of following a specific set of guidelines in order to write publishable content. Obviously, after more than a decade spent writing about different topics, I came up with my own set of guidelines. So far, they allowed me to rest assured that almost everything I write gets to be published. Let’s discuss my checklist, point by point:

how towrite the perfect post

The topic

While there is no perfect post, you can brainstorm for a great topic, a great title and of course, the perfect timing to share your knowledge with the audience.

Find a great topic, a great title and the perfect timing to share your knowledge with the audience. #contentmarketing #bloggingtips Click To Tweet

Let’s take one step at a time and talk about these elements upon which your success depends more than anything else.

If you work as a content marketer for hire, you will probably have little to worry at this point. I mean, most of the people who will hire you to write, will also give you a hint about what they need to publish. They will give you a topic, a bunch of keywords and maybe even a title and a structure for your article.

Things tend to get a bit tricky when you write for your own blog or, if you plan to submit your work to a publisher as a contributor.

Why?

Well, you need to come up with something that might be of interest for your audience. It may be a hot topic, if your blog is news related or, a piece of green content your readers will find valuable and informative if you write on a specific niche.

Don’t worry, there is a method that works for me and I am sure it will work for you as well. Forget all about keywords, search engine rankings, website traffic etc. and try to think about what you would like to read instead, considering that you write on a specific niche. It will help you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there a topic that I didn’t cover yet?
  • Do I consider that topic interesting?
  • Are there any questions that I need answer to?
  • Are there any questions that I know how to answer?
  • Would I read and article that answers those questions?

Research

The first thing you need to do is to study the topic you are going to write about. Otherwise, it will be impossible to deliver a valuable article. Your audience needs as much information you can collect on this specific topic.

First, make a list of everything you know about it.

Then, research what other people have to say and try to be thorough. If there are any statistics available, include them into your post. Learn as much as you can and save the most important links. You will need them later for citations. Save all data that you think it may be relevant to your chosen topic.

Why is research important?

Well, let’s consider that you are an expert in aviation safety. You’ve decided to pinpoint some of the most important additions that should be made to your country’s list of safety regulations and back your opinions with actual data. While your expertise in this field may be top notch, you need some statistics and real numbers to help you assert your conclusions. This is where research comes in handy. You cannot just come up with a statistical data without linking back to the source. It wouldn’t be believable. However, if you research the topic thoroughly, you will have something to build your opinion on. Research is the backbone of your personal report.

Catchy titles and subtitles

You have selected a topic and then you have researched everything about it. As a consequence, you know more than you ever did on this subject. Therefore, it’s time to write your article and share what you know with the audience.

First, however, there is yet another major thing to think about: The article’s title.

“On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece”, Copyblogger writes.

This means that everything depends on how you manage to capture the viewer’s attention with your title only. While I cannot teach you how to write effective titles, I may be able to help you not ruining them.

The most important piece of advice I have here is to try not to answer anything in the title. Let me give you an example.

1. Study finds that people who work more than 8 hours a day, die younger.

2. How does a busy schedule affect our health?

how to write the perfect postNow, please answer a simple question. If the two above sentences were titles of blog posts or news articles, which one of them would have convince you to click on the link?

The first one  already answers a question. It doesn’t matter how  good the rest of the article is, people will know more by just reading the title. Maybe, 2 out of 10 will click for more.

 

The second one poses a question. If you are interested on the subject, there is more likely you will click on the link and read the rest of the story. In this case, it’s more probable than 2 out of ten will browse for the next news story while the other 8 will read this one.

Write your draft

It’s time to actually do some work. Write your piece, give it your best. don’t forget about citations, relevant links and of course, valuable information. Are there any other things that matter here? Well, yes, there are.

  • Check your sentences. If they are too long, brake them down into shorter ones.
  • Do the same with paragraphs. Break large chunks of texts into smaller paragraphs. It adds readability to your content.
  • Use headings, subheadings, quotes and bullet lists. They will also help you make your article more readable. It will also look visually better.
  • Select an easy to read font and verify its readability. If your text is hard to read, increase the size of the font.
  • Always check for errors. Check as you type, check again when the article is finished and then read it once again before hitting the publish button. If it helps, use a third party proof reading software like Grammarly.

Choose your visuals

All you have done so far is to research the topic, write your article and proofread it. Didn’t you forget something? What was that other important thing… Ah, yes, THE VISUALS.

It may seem rather redundant to speak about the visuals but believe me, there are many writers who tend to forget how important they are. They forget how important is to match texts with relevant visuals.

People are visual creatures. Social media and its impact on our society should be proof enough for it. If you want to be successful as a writer, you need to know how to visually represent what you have wrote. Consider the following statement:

An article without visuals is like gulyas without paprika. #contentmarketing Click To Tweet

Do you agree?

Visuals are an important part of the original recipe. Without images, the article is tasteless.

Check the draft visually and publish

Once you have done writing, you should also check the draft, visually. Click on “preview” and check how everything falls into place. Is your blog post readable? Does it look good on a laptop? What about if you open it on a mobile device? If you are content with your answers, click publish and wait for your readers to engage with your content. If not, go back to the editing part and rearrange the parts of the text that seem to be out of place.

Instead of conclusion…

… I will reiterate what I have already said: There is not perfect blog post. There is however the perfect way to prepare to write a great post. And, if you are preparing well, there is no way you won’t be able to deliver a good article. For you, and for some of your readers, it may prove to be the perfect post, nevertheless.

What do you think about my list and what other important steps you would like to add to it?

One Comment

  1. MCD said:

    Very interesting article. There are some things I wouldn’t have thought to be important, or at least, not as important as you’ve underlined them to be. Glad that I read this. It made me reanalyze my habits.

    August 27, 2017
    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.