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.