How to Prepare for Your Next WordPress Blog Post
Blogging on WordPress is easy and fun. The platform is simple enough for anyone to manage and modify. But, sometimes coming up with a new topic to write about can be challenging. Here’s how to prepare for your next WordPress blog post. We have 5 easy steps that you too can apply!
“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” -Joseph Chilton Pearce
Step 1: Research
What do your target readers want to learn about? What topics are they mostly interested in? This is what makes research critical in blogging.
It calls you to identify and understand what makes your readers come alive and subscribe for more of what you have to offer. As Russell Baker puts it, discover what makes grass green. That will help you identify which areas to cover as well as guide you in optimizing your WordPress blog post for search engines.
Here are 4 tools that can help you in your research:
• Keyword Tool
Better known as Google Suggest, this tool helps you identify popular search queries. Queries are what people type in search boxes. To use the tool, you simply put in a keyword or phrase you have in mind.
Next, select the Google domain you want to focus on. It could be US Google.com if you are targeting US clients, or any other domain that is linked with another country. You can also choose which language you want the results to display.
After you hit the search button, it will generate keywords that internet users are interested about. You can use that in your: blog title, post permalink, meta description, heading, and body paragraphs.
That way, you also optimize your WordPress blog post for SEO. The idea is…the more people who are interested in finding that keyword or phrase, the more chances you have in getting found in the search results.
• Google Alerts
One good way to look for new ideas is by reading fresh content online. And, you can track them through Google Alerts.
Simply login using your Google account, and create an alert for any topic that’s relevant to your niche. If you are interested in sandwiches, for example, you can put in the word “sandwiches” in the Alert box.
You have the option to receive results as it happens, once a day, or once a week. You can also modify which sources you want to receive alert from, the language you prefer, the region you want to focus on, and the number of results you want to see.
Through this alert system, you will be tapped on the latest updates online. You can save them to read later using Google Pocket extension, Evernote, or simply add them to your bookmarks.
• Community Feedback
Feedback can come in a lot of ways. They are available in blog comments, social media engagement, Twitter hashtags, and subscriber messages.
How do people respond to your campaigns? What do they say or possibly think about a certain topic you have written about?
Ideas are just around the block. Intend to spare some time to know the responses that come from your clients or target market. After all, they are the people that you are writing for.
• Easy Blog Ideas Plugin
Just recently, we came across this plugin that can be used for a WordPress blog. It’s authors call it “Easy Blog Ideas”. Pretty suave for bloggers, isn’t it?
It was created by an inbound marketing team who faced the same dilemma of creating a new blog topic. What it does is it uses the data from social media to come up with the best performing content for a specific topic.
The free plugin supports the 5 popular social media networks, which are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Pinterest. To top it all, it works with any theme.
When you install it, it also creates title and slug suggestions for your WordPress blog post. You can modify it if you want.
Although it appears to be new in the market, more than 90 users are already enjoying it. It just might work for you too.
Step 2: Narrow Down Topic
Now that you already have a topic idea for your WordPress blog post, the next step is to make it more specific. What exactly do you or CAN you write about?
Sometimes you have great topic ideas but you are not very much familiar about them. When writing, it’s valuable that you know what you are writing about. You can save those ideas for later, and spare some time to learn more about them.
But if you already have a topic idea that you are interested in and that you are confident to write about, narrow it down to create a better understanding about it.
For example, if you want to write about sandwiches, you can narrow it down to “My 5 Favorite Sandwiches for Birthday Celebrations”. To do this, you can ask:
- Is there an event that you want to align the topic with?
- What is your blog’s mission? Is it in anyway represented in the topic?
- Do you want to convince, entertain, inform, or do a demo?
In all these, your goal is to determine a specific idea to share with your readers. Just pick one to get you started. You can always IMPROVE IT LATER.
Step 3: Brainstorm
What ideas can you share regarding the topic you’ve chosen? How do you want to present them?
“You have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” -Lee Iacocca
Brainstorming allows you to explore the many possibilities you have with your narrowed-down topic. It is practically important because it helps you organize your thoughts, and enables you to craft a complete message.
You can start by completing the sentence: My goal is to ___________. Knowing what you want to “happen” or achieve IN your WordPress blog post streamlines the writing process.
In this topic for example, your completed sentence could be: My goal is to help readers know how to prepare for a WordPress blog post. For that, I will outline easy steps that they too can apply.
Simply write your thoughts out. Listen to the needs and interests of your readers, or allow yourself to be carried away with your chain of thoughts.
Once you’ve identified your mission or goal, you can start asking questions to prepare for your outline. They are what you can call “key questions” which stick well to the ideas you want to relay.
In this topic, the key questions could be:
- What are the key steps in preparing for a blog post? (Answers: research, narrow down topic, brainstorm ideas, outline ideas, and prepare images)
- Are there research tools that bloggers can use? What are they? (Answers: Keyword Tool, Google Alerts, Community Feedback, and Easy Blog Ideas plugin)
These key questions will help you identify the exact message you want to write about. They will also help you determine how to present your ideas.
Step 4: Outline Ideas
This is, by far, the easiest step in preparing for your WordPress blog post. You simply refer to the key questions you came up with, and arrange them according to how you want to present them.
Here’s one example:
You can make your outline more specific if you want.
Regardless of your topic, the goal of outlining is to single out the main ideas and identify those that can be written under their scope. You can do it on a piece of paper or on a simple Word document.
Have the freedom to explore what could be, and enjoy. It’s your post. It’s your craft.
Step 5: Prepare Images
Once you’ve completed all those 4 steps, you’re all set to write the body paragraphs of your WordPress blog post. Use your outline to guide you in the process. Remember the ideas you learned from research or experience.
But before you start writing the actual blog post, you can choose to prepare your images first. That way, you save time by first gathering everything you need to include in the post. Consider the ideas you have available, and look for relevant images.
Here are some free sources you can refer to:
You can choose videos or any other media instead. Whatever you decide to put in your blog, what’s important is they help make your blog more interesting and easy to understand.
What do readers look for in a blog? Are they simply up for something beautiful, entertaining, or informative perhaps?
All throughout your post, you want readers to have the best experience they can have. And, images can help make that happen. You can plan ahead of time to make your images consistent in terms of quality, size, and format.
**Photos courtesy of Google Suggest, Google Alerts, and Easy Blog Ideas WordPress plugin
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