One thing I hear over and over again is how stressed out business owners get when it comes to writing blog posts.
7 Simple Tips for Reviewing Your Blog Posts from Top to Bottom
Nobody enjoys the process. Well, nobody but me that is. But in honesty, my own blogs are a little harder to write and post than client blogs. There’s something about writing for your own purposes that makes your fingers stall out on the keys.
In light of these struggles (and in the hope that you can put out at least a few great blog posts this summer), I’ve put together my top 7 tips for reviewing your posts.
Think of this as a post-writing checklist to give you that added bit of confidence before you hit “publish.” Before all these steps, just keep it simple. Just write. Don’t overanalyze, don’t go back and correct yourself, and no matter what, don’t give up halfway through. Just get it out on paper, give yourself a ten-minute break, and come back to it to review it with fresh eyes.
Here are the tips, starting right at the top of your blog:
Start your review by making sure you have an optimized title that grabs attention and promise an audience a result, answer, or story. The best kind of optimize title looks just like the one on this blog. It tells you that you’re going to get an actionable list you can use to review your blog posts for better results.
I have a format that I use for some (not all) blogs. I’ve heard from several sources that it’s one of the best ways to optimize a title for SEO. It goes like this:
(Odd Number) (Superlative) (Noun) (Preposition) (Verb) (Other Descriptors)
7 Simple Tips for Reviewing Your Blog Posts from Top to Bottom
I’m not going to dive too deep into this right here, but I may include a full blog on titles in the coming weeks, so stay tuned if you want to know more. (and don’t feel bad about Googling “superlative” because when I first heard it, I had to Google it too!)
2. Voice, Tone & Style
This is so hard. Honestly, I still struggle with voice, tone, and style in blogs. Especially when they’re for Fine Point. In the past, I had a tendency to tighten up my language. It came out sounding overly formal, almost to the point of tense. Not an interesting read, to say the least.
One piece of the puzzle that I’ve introduced for both myself and clients is a Brand Voice Guide. What the heck is that, you ask? Basically, it’s a guide that outlines what your brand voice should sound like. Think about the most outspoken and charismatic person you know. Now think about the quietest and most reserved person you know. The difference in how those people communicate is MASSIVE, right?
A Brand Voice Guide helps you nail down the specific characteristics of your brand, almost like your brand is a person. It gives you a place where you can go to check your own work against templates and examples of what your true brand voice is. Plus, it keeps employees and marketers for your business on track.
If you would like to learn more about Brand Voice Guides and how you can create one on your own or with the help of a professional copywriter, please visit the website.
3. Check Your Grammar
The amount of times I’ve opened an important document from a company and found that spell-check has gone ignored astounds me. There’s no excuse not to take that single last step and click on the “Spelling and Grammar” tool in Word. Everyone has it. It takes less than a minute. Yes, it might miss a few incorrect words or grammar issues, and yes, some of the “issues” it finds are open to interpretation, but hopefully, it will catch about 95% of your mistakes.
Another tool you can use that’s a bit more effective in checking spelling and grammar is Grammarly. It’s a free extension you download through your web browser, and you can also get it on your desktop.
The basic version of Grammarly checks for grammar, spelling, and punctuation, but the premium subscription goes into details like passive use of verbs, formality, inconsistent style, and plagiarism. Using it is great for 2 reasons. First, it can help you correct errors in your writing, and second, it can help you learn what issues come up again and again in your writing so you can improve.
4. Split Your Post into Sections
If your blog is a solid wall of text, it’s a problem. People are intimidated by massive walls of text. Just getting started reading it is tough when it looks like an added workload. What people really want with a blog is to be able to scan it for the information they need. So on top of breaking it into paragraphs, you want to break it into distinct sections with headers.
List posts (like this one) are a great format because they give you the chance to create sections that make sense for your reader. They also make it easier for you to organize your thoughts as you write.
If you don’t have sections built into your blog already, go through and see where your ideas transition. Find a theme for a few paragraphs and put them together under a heading. It’s as easy as that!
5. Check for Optimization and Use of Keywords
If you want your blog to work harder for your brand, it needs to get the attention of people searching for the information you’re putting out. Search engine optimization for blogs can be pretty complex, but there are few ways to optimize your content without breaking the bank, hiring a copywriter, or putting in hours of research.
One of the best ways to find your target keywords is to search your topic in Google before you start writing. What comes up? How are people phrasing their search terms? Most importantly, scroll to the bottom of the page to check out the suggested keywords. That’s where you’ll find some of the related keywords that you need to use in your blog post to get more eyes on it.
6. Create a Call to Action
Your call to action is the one thing you want your readers to do, believe, or take away from your blog post. Everything in your post should build up to a call to action. That doesn’t mean it needs to be at the end of the post, but you do need to introduce the idea slowly.
A few examples of calls to action for a blog post include:
Directing people to another page or post,
Asking them to invest in a product or service,
Getting them to book a free consultation, or;
Sending them to an affiliate marketing page where they can buy a product or service.
See if you can find the call to action in this post (there are actually two!)
7. Check your Formatting
There’s nothing more distracting than bad formatting on a post. Sometimes we’re at the mercy of our web designers on this, so if your blog posts look awful and you can’t fix it, reach out and I will be happy to connect you with someone who can help for an affordable price and quick turnaround.
A few of the most important formatting steps you can take are:
Make sure your titles stand out from the rest of your body text with different fonts and sizes.
Check your spacing between paragraphs.
Check your mobile optimizatiriting & Editing offers help with blogs, from hands-off copywriting services so you can ignore your blogs (forever!), to content calendars to help with planning, to introductory courses on how to write and post blogs. on (i.e. how does it look on a phone?)
If you’ve copied and pasted your post from Word or another processor, check that there are spaces before and after your hyperlinked words. For some reason, hyperlinked words get jammed up against the words beside them when there’s a hyperlink attached.
I hope this helps you in your quest for better blogs for your business! These are just a few strategies I’ve picked up on over the years, but they’ve made blog writing faster and easier for me, and I know they’ll be useful for you, too.
If you walk through these steps and you’re still unhappy with your posts, feel free to reach out and book a consultation. Fine Point Writing & Editing offers help with blogs, from hands-off copywriting services so you can ignore your blogs (forever!), to content calendars to help with planning, to introductory courses on how to write and post blogs.