How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in an Hour

How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in an Hour

How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in an Hour

The first thing to do? Set that timer for an hour. Another good thing to do is make sure you have a reward for yourself once you’re done. How about a frozen yogurt with sprinkles?

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First 15 Minutes

Brainstorm ten topics. Here are some ideas to kickstart you:

  • A question that your clients always ask. Or one they rarely ask.
  • A news story you could discuss and how it affects your clients.
  • A recent testimonial, and how happy you were to receive it.
  • Reasons you’re better than your competitors.
  • What people don’t ask about your business but you wish they would.
  • Funny things you’ve learned plying your trade.
  • Tell a story about a crazy client you’ve worked with (anonymous, of course!).
  • How you work with people in another field (for instance an app developer and a website developer).
  • How people can work with you (for instance, Social Media Managers: Ten Secrets to Care for Yours).
  • Behind the scenes in your business–describe some of the people who work at your company.

This tweet from Randy Clark might make you think twice:

Second 15 Minutes

Pick the best topic from your brainstormed list.

Choose only one! If you like two, write about the other one next time. Here’s a bit to help with blogging in a post I wrote about Orange County WordCamp, by the way (create five topics). Now speak out loud and write down what you say. Pretend someone else is there, or call a friend and talk into the phone. If you can use speak to text, even better and faster. I like an “hourglass shaped” post, starting with the macro, going to the micro, and back out to the macro. That is, begin with something generic and then get specific. Now write three short paragraphs about whatever your point is. And then wrap it up with another short paragraph.

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Third 15 Minutes

Add Links. Add at least two inbound links to your own blog (if you don’t have any, don’t worry–you will soon!), and two outbound links. For an article of 350 words, I like to have a total of four links. For instance, for this post, I linked to my own blog twice, and two external links. Search on a topic or two that could use more explaining, and add the URLs.

Add Tags. Pick a few to identify the content of your post.

Fourth 15 Minutes

Add Images and a call to action.


Go to Creative Commons and find something you like and plug it in. I like Flickr, but you may find another favorite–be sure the image you like is available for commercial use and modification. You don’t need a lot of images, but at least one or two at a minimum. Find something compelling that represents your words, but don’t stress over it too much. If you have your own images, that’s even better.

light downtown photo

Call to Action

Here are some typical CTAs:

  • Join us now!
  • Add a comment!
  • Sign up for our newsletter!

Here’s a list of 11 Kick-Ass Call to Action Examples that you might like!

Enjoy Your Reward!

Are you enjoying your reward now? Tell me what your reward is in the comments below! (And how did you like that Call to Action?)

Headline Writing: 10 Reasons it’s a Pain in the Asterisk*

Headline Writing: 10 Reasons it's a Pain in the Asterisk

Headline Writing: 10 Reasons it’s a Pain in the Asterisk

You have a perfect topic for your next blog post. You go out and take a million beautiful photos, all photoshopped and sized just right for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest cross-posting. Then you suddenly realize: you don’t have a headline! Has this ever happened to you? Here’s why headline writing is so tough!

Everybody Says to Spend More Time on Headlines

Your headline is the first thing people see. In fact, some people will retweet or report that snazzy article of yours without even reading it. Not convinced by me? Read these articles, then (Copyblogger says to spend 50% of your time writing the headline):

So there’s a lot of pressure to come up with something grand.

A Good Headline Can Help Your Post Go Viral

A Good Headline Can Help Your Post Go Viral

A Good Headline Can Create a Viral Post

If you haven’t read my When Posts Go Viral: Four Lessons, you might want to take a look. A controversial headline (for instance, Is it Time to Quit Facebook?) can spark people’s emotions and cause a small or large furor. Again, no pressure (just kidding!).

Headline Writing: Your Words Need to Be Perfect

Headline Writing: Your Words Need to Be Perfect

Your Words Need to Be Perfect

Like a good tweet, a good headline needs to have all the right elements. It can’t be too short or too long. The important words need to be near the beginning of the headline. And you need to include “power words,” like “secret” and “magic.” And so on. Is that not a pain in the asterisk?

Because Traffic Blah Blah Blah

Because Traffic Blah Blah Blah

Because Traffic Blah Blah Blah

Every blogger wants traffic, right? When that post you wrote explodes all over the Interwebs, your blog gets a boost, you get more followers, and that 15 minutes of fame will follow you from platform to platform. So that’s another reason you have to get it right.

You Can’t Outsource It

Everybody has outsourced everything. I’m surprised we don’t remove our own hair and ship it to the Philippines (no disrespect to anyone in the Philippines–it’s just something I’d prefer to do myself). But if you want your post to be in your own words, then you have to do the work yourself.

Pain Points: Sisyphus, via Beth Scupham

Pain Points: Sisyphus, via Beth Scupham

Pain Points

Your audience experiences pain, just as you experience pain when you try to write a headline. So you want that headline to draw your reader in. The headline has to be magnetic enough so people will want to read it. It might be fun to write, but if it’s not fun to read? Fuhgetaboutit!

I'm Trying to Think But Nothing Happens!

I’m Trying to Think But Nothing Happens!

You Thought You Were Done

You outlined that article, got your topic sentences down, have all kinds of good images, and now you have to come up with a headline? Are you kidding?

The World is A Noisy Place

The world is getting noisier, and more crowded. The Internet has more people competing for the same space. So your headline has to be the juicy, juicy hamburger, and not the bun! It has to stand out.

Headline Writing: Your Headline is the Juicy Meat, Not the Bun

Headline Writing: Your Headline is the Juicy Meat, Not the Bun

When You Try to Think, Nothing Happens

You can only come up with one-word headlines, or headlines that don’t make sense. If you think they’re boring, what will your readers think?

Always keep one eye open. You never know who's lurking.

Always keep one eye open. You never know who’s lurking.

You Come Up with a Perfect Headline and Someone Steals it

It’s not a very good feeling, is it? But if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then is stealing even more flattering? I don’t think so.

*And you know what that asterisk really stands for, right?




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