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  • Simple Steps to Improving Quality of Posts

    25 March 2008

    Most bloggers are always facing the challenge to create blog posts that will attract new readers and continue to interest subscribers. Creating high quality content on a consistent basis is a serious challenge, yet it is essentially a requirement for a blog to reach its full potential. Almost all bloggers are aware of the importance of unique, engaging, and thought-provoking posts, but many are not really aware of what they can do to drastically improving the quality of their content.

    Any blogger that is dedicated to being successful and willing to put in the effort that is required has the ability and the opportunity to improve the quality of content that is being published. Some bloggers feel that they are not the best writer or that they don’t have as much knowledge as some other bloggers, so they assume that a high level of quality is out of their reach. While these things will certainly help if you have them, there are plenty of ways that we can all improve on our current process of developing posts. Here we’ll take a look at 9 steps that you can take to push the quality of your blog posts much higher than you thought you could.

    1. Don’t Force Yourself to Publish Frequently

    While I do feel it is important for bloggers to publish new content regularly, you shouldn’t feel the need to publish a new post every day just because other bloggers do. Each blogger should have their own publishing frequency that works best for them. If you have the option of posting low-quality posts every day or higher quality posts 3 times a week, I would advise you to go with the 3 posts a week. It’s much harder to develop a loyal audience with lower quality content.

    In many cases bloggers keeping pumping out new content because they feel they’ll be left behind if they don’t. Once you free yourself from this mindset and you determine to focus on quality rather than quantity, you’ll see that you can produce posts that you are more proud of.

    2. Set a Schedule

    It’s a good practice to have a schedule that you at least attempt to follow for your posts throughout the week. This doesn’t mean that you have to post at specific times each week, but it can help your preparation by knowing when you need to have posts ready. This can really help the quality of your content as you’ll know ahead of time what you need to do, rather than waiting till the last minute. Personally, I like to write most of my posts on the weekend and then continue writing throughout the week as I have time. With a basic schedule I know at the beginning of the weekend exactly how much I need to do to be prepared for the week ahead.

    3. Pay Attention to Results

    You can learn a lot about what your readers appreciate and respond to by analyzing your stats over a period of time. All of us will face peaks and valleys in terms of traffic, but you may be able to find that particular topics or types of posts are drawing consistent results (either good or bad). Satisfying your readers is obviously important, and their opinion of the level of quality of your posts is really what matters. Pay attention to these results and learn from your experiences and you should be able to create more content that they like.

    4. Listen to Your Readers

    Many of your readers that leave comments will give you feedback that can be used to improve the quality of your posts. Take this opportunity to reflect on the opinions of your readers and find ways to make your posts more useful for them. Some bloggers use polls and surveys to get feedback from readers in addition to just the comments. You should also have a contact form or a way for readers to email you so that they have the chance to reach you privately if they prefer. I’ve gotten some valuable feedback via email from my readers and I feel that this has helped me to improve my product.

    5. Value Ideas

    Producing high quality content is much more than just being a skilled writer. The idea for the post is probably more important than the actual writing itself. Especially if you are blogging in a saturated niche, unique ideas are critical. Schedule time to brainstorm and develop ideas for your upcoming posts. Personally, I find it to be very productive to keep a binder or notebook of ideas and initial post outlines. I keep my notebook with me at most times and whenever I have an idea for a post I write it down.

    6. Take Time to Research

    Some posts you’ll be able to sit down and type pretty quickly with little effort involved. Others may require you to do a bit of research in order to really create something of quality. I think most bloggers put off these types of posts because they don’t allocate the time to do adequate research for posts. If you can schedule an hour or two each week just for researching your posts I think you’ll see significant improvements in quality. It will also allow you to cover some topics that you couldn’t otherwise cover.

    7. Pay Attention to Format

    The same blog post formatted in two different ways can bring about greatly different results. Reading articles on a computer screen is not always easy, so help your readers by formatting posts properly. Use headers and sub-headers, whitespace, lists, bold text, etc. to make it easier for readers to digest your content. Michael Martin has a nice article at Pro Blog Design about 30 Ways to Improve Readability.

    Readability isn’t the only issue to consider with formatting. Adding images to your posts can also help to make the post more attractive and draw more attention. Some bloggers feel that you should use an image in every post. Personally, I think images can be effective when they are used properly. If the image relates well to the topic of the post and catches the eye, it’s usually going to be an improvement to the post.

    8. Find Your Voice

    Most people read blogs because they like the blogger or because they can relate to the blogger. If you’re in a crowded niche there are probably several other blogs that your readers could subscribe to if they wanted to get information on your specific topics, but hopefully your approach to blogging will stand out from the others. When writing your posts, try to approach it from your own unique perspective, and give readers something that they can get attached to. The quality of your content can be significantly improved by distinguishing your writing style from other bloggers.

    9. Be Consistent

    Taking the time to produce great content really isn’t going to matter if you wind up taking a month between posts. As I said earlier, you don’t need to post frequently or every day, but you should have some consistency in order to retain readers and build a loyal audience.

    Consistency doesn’t only apply to publishing content. It also applies to your effort. Even when you are not publishing new content you should be focused on developing content to be published in the future. Just because you’re not going to be publishing a post on a specific day doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work on your blog. Take that time to brainstorm post ideas or to work on your upcoming posts.

    What’s Your Opinion?

    What do you feel is most important to developing high quality content?

    This post was written by Steven Snell. 

    21 Responses to Simple Steps to Improving Quality of Posts

    1. Eric March 25, 2008 at 11:41 am #

      Great post:

      I am in total agreement with Items 1 & 2. When I was starting my blog, I was going to post four times a week and quickly realized that twice a week was my sweet spot for creativity, so that’s what I do.

      Your best tip is to set a schedule. It’s the only way as far as I’m concerned.

      As another tip, I bought a digital voice recorder and keep it with me to record post ideas that pop into my head during the course of the day or to record experiences that I might want to write about.

      Eric
      http://www.EngineersCanSell.com

    2. Barbara Ling (aka Owlbert) March 25, 2008 at 11:45 am #

      I think the most important aspect to high quality is being alert to those way-out ideas that suggest themselves to you when you’re least expecting them.

      I’ve gotten some of my best ideas while being beaten up in karate sparring, pulling out my hair when dealing with teenagers and the like. It’s quite character-building. :)

      Barbara

    3. Nick Smith March 25, 2008 at 1:37 pm #

      You’ve clearly been listening to your own advice because that was a great post! I totally agree with Barbara – it’s important to switch off and let your brain chip away at something else. That way when it comes to brainstorming your next post you’ll be refreshed with a new perspective and a hunger you wouldn’t have had if you’d have forced yet another post upon yourself.

    4. Michael Martin March 25, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

      Well said Steven. I need to follow the 2nd suggestion, about setting a schedule, much more closely. Sporadic posting has become a real flaw in my blog lately. :(

    5. Chris Leone March 25, 2008 at 5:29 pm #

      Thanks for this post, Steven. Having just started my blog, these are the kinds of posts that are worth their weight in gold (figuratively).

      My blog’s third post related to your 5th point – as much as I love technology, nothing can replace my little black idea book I always carry with me. You never know when an idea will strike…

    6. Steven Snell March 25, 2008 at 11:05 pm #

      Eric,
      Thanks for mentioning the voice recorder. That’s not a strategy I use myself, but I’ve read several places that it can help.

      Barbara,
      Maybe I should start karate if it helps with ideas.

      Nick,
      Thanks for the compliment.

      Michael,
      I would like to see you set a schedule if it means there will be more posts from you.

    7. Alan March 26, 2008 at 2:34 am #

      Blogging is therapy and a hobby for me and not a source of income. My goal is to post once a week with a good content, a nice layout and some graphics.

      I run three businesses all fashion related; one is a global brand, another is an offshore manufacturing plant and lastly an e-commerce site. With close to 200 hundred employees, 10,000 customers and lots of travel my time can get to be somewhat limited. I speak to what I know and hope it benefits some in my industry.

      To keep motivated I look at my posts as the start of a book that I’ve always wanted to write.

      Thanks for the post, it validates some of my personal feelings.

    8. Tom Beaton March 26, 2008 at 4:29 pm #

      Hey Steven,
      Those are all very sound principles. I feel that once you get into the habit of working that way, all is good, but it just takes work to get that habit solidified.

    9. joshua March 26, 2008 at 4:46 pm #

      Hey, they are really nice. but I don’t think that everyone would work according to this.

    10. Steven Snell March 26, 2008 at 11:13 pm #

      Joshua,
      I don’t think everyone will either. But for those who want to create better content I think it would help.

      Tom,
      That’s a good point. Thanks.

    11. Eva White March 27, 2008 at 8:28 am #

      Very nice post, and very useful for the new bloggers. It is most important to maintain consistency and it is most important for the success of a blog to maintain consistency.

    12. adnan March 27, 2008 at 1:13 pm #

      Great post Steven, and it ties in well with what I’ve tried to do in the past. Setting a schedule in all honesty is easy to do, but the hard part (like Tom mentioned) is to stick to that schedule, and make sure that you achieve every goal on the list everyday.

      Another thing that’s worked for me, is to not force a post, just because you need to post. Sometimes you can be under a lot of pressure to post daily, and that can result in half-baked, half-assed posts that really give no benefit to readers.

      I’m sure this is the case for many of us (and even the big bloggers have seen that posting multiple times a day really isn’t beneficial), and I would recommend re-evaluating your posting scenario and perhaps cutting back on the number of posts in return for better quality.

      Another thought-provoking post Steven, thanks!

    13. Steven Snell March 27, 2008 at 9:57 pm #

      Adnan,
      I agree that forcing posts is a bad idea. I have done that several times where I wasn’t that thrilled with a post but I did it just to get something out. 9 times out of 10 the results aren’t good. On my blog I’ve cut back the posting schedule a bit and traffic has stayed at the same level, if not increased. Subscriber growth is always sporadic, but overall I don’t think it’s been affected by less frequent posting.

    14. Cindy King March 28, 2008 at 5:29 pm #

      Hey, I really liked reading this…

      A blog schedule is what I’m working on now.

    15. 1lear (very funny stuff) April 1, 2008 at 9:10 am #

      If you love blogging I don’t think you ever have to force the posts. They flow through you like water through a fireman’s hose at a 4 alarm fire. If you don’t get this type of flowing for your posts then change your blog or your hobby. Blogging is not for everyone and the few who do make money from it 99% of the time have great content.
      I use wp to create my comedy site and just putting funny videos and pictures on it wasn’t enough because a call to add posts to all of them just flowed through me and now when I add something that is my m.o.
      I love it when people leave a comment about how great the site is and how much they laughed.
      Well thats my post here.

    16. Alex April 15, 2008 at 5:25 am #

      Hello,
      I think that media is a big deal with posts. I run a stock blog and having good ideas are one thing, but having good ideas and then being able to add some images to enhance the readers experience really adds a lot of appeal. Plus they look good too!

      -Alex
      http://www.thestocktalk.net

    17. Joel Drapper October 16, 2008 at 12:02 am #

      I need to start adding pictures to my articles. When you are writing the content you don’t seem to notice, but when you are a reader, the images really help. Thanks for the tips!

    18. Sanjeet December 28, 2012 at 10:16 am #

      Hey Steven,

      You said it right.. Actually I too noticed it, I usually feel an urgency to write posts, but didn’t want to post something just for increasing the quantity. Quality matters more actually.

      Though I am a newbie in the Blogging field & have started my blog, I got the idea to start a blog when I got out of my college this year in June, just to give youngsters something better & relevant to read & I am happy that my passion for writing is working well. The reason is I focus on quality.

      Thanks for reminding me :)

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