7 Steps to a Better Blog Post: A+ Checklist

Checklist to Create a Better Blog Post

Are you looking for ways to create a better blog post every time? Do you need an A+ checklist?

Better Blog posts
Blog Checklist

I am in Australia with my friend Carol, the Eternal Traveller. Our first afternoon together we sat in our Airbnb apartment in downtown Melbourne doing what bloggers love to do. We compared notes about blogging. I wanted a simple blog checklist for bloggers who were not interested in professional content writing.

better blog post
New Year’s Eve with Carol in Melbourne

We came up with seven chronological steps you can take to write a better blog post.

Start with Photos

Download your photos from your camera and smart phone. Choose only the ones that you will use in your post. Carol only uses the “best of the bunch” if she takes many photos of the same thing. She processes photos by reducing the size, cropping or adding a filter.

There are many free services including Google and Canva that make this task easy. Microsoft has a free program that Carol uses. I use Photoshop Elements to process many photos at the same time and give them a name rather than a number. Even though I add a watermark with my name on it, Carol quit doing that a year ago. If I upload photos to Canva it looks better if I don’t have my name on them.

She said, “The photos are not printable quality if you have resized them.”

Once they are ready, open your new post and upload photos to the post. Even then, Carol says you might not use them all.

better blog post
Carol’s Blog Checklist

Ready to Write

Copy and paste your research links and facts into your draft post or on a journal page to refer to as you write. You are going to erase these notes before you publish. Check any photo or blog challenges that might fit the post you intend to write. Consider writing in a series. Create your rough draft.

Edit, Edit, Edit, Edit, Edit

To create a better blog post edit once for “show don’t tell.” Eliminate unnecessary words like “really” and “just.” Check sentence structure and tense. Keep tense the same within paragraphs. Reading your post out loud helps.

Add Links

Carol inserts links to past posts she’s written if they fit the text she is currently writing. She keeps another tab open to her blog to easily find those links. I open a tab to my blogging journal in Google Docs. In it, I list links by topics, from both my blogs and other bloggers’ posts. I also add links to Wikipedia or other informational articles I have read on the internet if they have additional interesting information.

Don’t forget to eliminate notes you added to your draft before you publish.

better blog post
Checklists are maps for your blog

Add Maps, Charts, and Infographics

Some professional bloggers write a better blog post by creating infographics like word maps or charts. Charts work well for posting statistics. Amateur bloggers can do the same for added effect. It takes time, but if you don’t post every day, you have time to do this. Google maps are great for travel blogs.

Check Preview for Layout

Sometimes extra spaces or lines appear after you edit. If these are stubborn to remove, click from the visual to the text tab and erase ” ” which means “return.” Carol rereads her preview page many times before publishing. She never publishes the same day as she writes.

I am afraid I need to read my posts more. No matter how many times I’ve read my post, I usually press publish too soon.  The next thing you know Vince says, “You forgot a period,” or something equally silly. Then I have to update my post. Sometimes after I have updated something I published, I click on Facebook, and there is my stupid error. STILL! Or my post is perfect, but I forgot to give it a title.

Disaster!

Schedule Your Post

You can leave your post in draft form until you are ready to post it. When I do that, I tend to read it again and spend another hour rewriting or adding text. Then I need to proofread carefully again. I prefer to schedule the post for a specific day. Even though non-professional bloggers are not tied usually tied to a specific day to post, it does help a blogger’s traffic to post consistently.

Summary

Pro bloggers have pages of checklists, which are very thorough but apply primarily to self-hosted blogs. This simple checklist works for all bloggers. Carol says she spends about eight to ten hours per each 500-word post. She spends most of her time editing, and I have yet to find an error in her work. I am going to keep looking, though! 🙂

It takes me about the same amount of time to publish a post. One spammer told me when I started blogging, “Your post is rife with errors.” I am more careful now, but I still find errors.

Related Posts

Do you have a list you use to make sure your blog posts is ready to publish? If not, consider writing one and sending us the link in the comment section. 🙂

Manipulated Lives by Helene Leuschel: An A+ Book Review

Manipulated Lives Pressed to Publicize

I discovered a team of book reviewers on Rosie Amber’s website. Cathy Ryan wrote an excellent review of Manipulated Lives. Thank you, Cathy and Rosie for allowing me to feature your review on Always Write.

Manipulated Lives

Today’s team review is from Cathy Ryan, she blogs at http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com Cathy has been reading Manipulated Lives by Helene Leuschel.

This is a unique concept for me – a collection of stories based around a particular personality type. The stories are all diverse, depicting the different, elaborate and sometimes dark methods parents, children or peers use to manipulate each other for their own gains and/or agenda, shown from the perspective of the manipulator and also from the manipulated.

Manipulated Lives is the stories of those people and how the darker aspects of human nature change and damage their lives, and also the consequences for the manipulators. The eventual coming to terms with the psychological slant affects them each in different ways, some stories having more of an impact than others but each giving pause for thought.

There’s enough conveyed in the narratives for the reader to build a picture of the characters. They’re given depth and interest, and their circumstances give rise to a host of emotions. Depicted realistically, each story shows the different ways people can be manipulated, whether through naiveté, loving too much or weakness. Anyone is susceptible.

I enjoyed all the stories but my favourites are ‘Tess and Tattoos’ and ‘Runaway Girl’. All of them are written extremely well and appropriately for the particular characters. Tess’s unfolding story is very touching, a compelling and lonely old lady who lost everything, reliving parts of her life to a sympathetic listener.

‘She was heartbroken each time she looked around her four walls. In the not too distant future, her relatives would all board a plane and travel thousands of kilometres, however, not in order to chat and spend time with her, but so that they could lower her urn into the hard Scottish ground.’…

Source: Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT MANIPULATED LIVES by @HALeuschel #TuesdayBookBlog

About the Author

H.A. Leuschel

Helene Andrea Leuschel was born and raised in Belgium to German parents. She gained a Licentiate in Journalism, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London, and Edinburgh. Helene moved to the Algarve in 2009 with her husband and two children, working as a freelance TV producer and teaching yoga. She recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. Manipulated Lives is Helene’s first work of fiction.

About…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

..Cathy Ryan and the things I love..and general randomness 

Reading, of course,? and audiobooks. Books have been a constant throughout my life and I love sharing those I’ve enjoyed with others.

I’ve been writing reviews and blogging about those books I’ve enjoyed for a few years now and still find it very satisfying and pleasurable. Apart from anything else, it’s a good way for me to keep track of the books I read and listen to and if it’s helpful and/or enjoyable for others so much the better.

All reviews on the blog are just my personal opinions and thoughts on books I’ve read/listened to, they’re not meant to be professional critiques. I hope you enjoy reading them nevertheless.

I also enjoy photography and take my camera wherever I go. My photos are under copyright as my own, any others are taken from resources on the internet. Read more at Cathy’s About Page

Please leave her comments, and check back at her blog to see her other gems.

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If you have a post you would like me to repost here, email me at tchistorygal@gmail.com or leave me a comment.

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Waistlines Go West in Western Australia!

Miss Me Yet? I Just Got to Australia.

Waistlines Go West I think means spread out! I’ll be at the east coast of Australia from Dec. 26-Jan 16. I’m starting with my western waist from birthdays and Christmas feasting. I can’t imagine what is going to happen if my waistline goes any farther west!

Another Great Eternal Traveler Post

The bounty of the Margaret River region of south-west Western Australia is renowned for its quality, freshness and lack of food miles. There are more than 120 wineries, eight breweries …

Source: Waistlines Go West in Western Australia!

How Stop Words Plug Search Engines

“Stop! Don’t use that word in your title, Amy. It’s a STOP word.”

stop words plug search engines
Stop Words

“Peter, is it true that stop words plug search engines?”

“Yes, that’s true.”

I don’t have any other words to use. How do a figure out a keyword, title, or a slug without a stop word, Peter?

“Good question, Amy!”

“You mean it wasn’t a stupid question?”

“Nope. Amy, stop words are so common, they make up 25% of bloggers’ posts. Most bloggers don’t know how to get around them.”

“So what happens if you use them?”

Stop Words Plug Search Engines

Stop words are some words, which are partially or completely ignored by search engines.Words like, the, an, a, of, or, many, etc. Constitutes about 25% of the blog posts around the web….They often cause many problems to search engines like ambiguity, server load problems.” Google Stop Words: Everything You Should Know

I get that. Too many choices make me go in circles and become indecisive, too. Google wants to get us lots of choices within seconds. So it throws out the common words and tries to give searchers the nuggets of meaning first. I remember when searching for something gave crazy responses. A search for blue purses might reap everything from blue skies to blue tooth.

Plugins Battle Search Engines

Yoast SEO plugin constantly chirps at me to take the stop words out of my title, slug, headlines, and keywords. Sometimes I want to strangle Yoast SEO. I work and work to take out my stop words, but I just can’t.

Here’s why!

Filler words sometimes add meaning. Writers have to use stop words to improve the flow. The good news is that Google is getting smarter about filtering out stop words.

Like Santa, Google knows when you are being naughty or nice with your stop words. For example, The 99, means the State Highway 99, where 99 without the stop word, just means a number valued at 99. Google somehow knows the difference. Yay for a smarter Google.

My new Yoast SEO Plugin has opened my eyes to many mistakes I made during the past five years I’ve blogged. But what I am learning is that Google may be farther along than Yoast SEO Plugin. It’s a digital intelligence race to understand how the human mind works.

Websites often ask you to add horizontally. Computers cannot do that, but humans can. Humans think differently than their digital counterparts. Computers are trying to replicate our networking way of thinking. I guess we had better hope that they never can! We will become obsolete! 🙂

 

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You Know You’re In Australia

Round Australia Road Trip #28

By Carol Sherritt

Introduction

Thank you, Carol Sherritt and Leanne Cole for planning the most wonderful trip for me. I’m on my way today.

I won’t be able to see everything. I don’t think anyone has. Australia is a big place. Enjoy this mini trip around the country.

Round Australia Road Trip #28You know you’re in Australia when kangaroos are having breakfast on the lawn, there’s a sunset picnic on the beach, this is the only phone that works, beer… Round Australia Road Trip #28

Source: You Know You’re In Australia