As rewarding as it can be, blogging can be tough. Sometimes I am all set to write and then when I sit down, I've completely forgotten what I want to say. Seriously frustrating. That's where an editorial calendar comes in handy. I jot ideas down as they come to me in a notebook, my phone or whatever is available and add it to my editorial calendar when I can. Once I know what I want to write about I like to have a plan. I am one of those people that ends up doing nothing if I don't have a clear plan. Having a cheat sheet has helped me remember what each post needs.
1. An Awesome Title
The title is not only one of the first things you have to grab your reader's attention, but it is also super important for SEO as well as social media. I like to use Google AdWords Keyword Planner to help me choose a post title.
2. The Opening Paragraph
I read somewhere that you have the first paragraph to draw your reader in and that is it. If you don't grab their interest in that first paragraph, they are gone. In retrospect, that seems super obvious. Let your readers know what you are going to teach them. Make them want to keep reading.
3. An Eye-Catching Image
Most people do judge a blog post by its cover and that proverbial cover is your image. Take a quick peek at Pinterest. What stands out and what doesn't? Don't be afraid to experiment with different sizes and colors to see what works best for your brand.
4. Content Content Content
Of course, all of these elements are important, but content is THE most important of them all. You can have the most beautiful images and opening paragraphs that would make world-class copywriters swoon, but if your content is lacking it will hurt your blog. People may come for the pretty graphics, but remember: they will stay for the content. I can't stress enough how important value is. Give a lot and give it often.
5. A Clear Call to Action
A call to action can be so many different things. A way to sign up for your newsletter, a question, a poll or a worksheet to fill out. I love when I have the option to DO something at the end of a post that I've read.
6. Share the Love
Now that you've spent time working on your killer post make sure you give your readers a way to share it!
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