Gini Dietrich

Nine Tips to Write a Great Blog Post

By: Gini Dietrich | April 4, 2013 | 

Nine Tips to Write a Great Blog PostAs many of you know, I’m writing my second book (Spin Sucks, due out in November!) and, because of that, I’m doing a ton of research (a TON) for case studies, examples, and stories to use to help tell the story.

I keep coming across something interesting: Lots of people are searching for how to write great blog content, but there are very few people who are providing tips on how to do it.

I’m going to get us started and then you can add to the list in the comments below.

Nine Tips to Write a Great Blog Post

  1. Choose a topic. I know this kind of seems like, “Duh!”, but it’s the hardest part of writing. I was just talking to a client yesterday who said, “I’ve been looking at our keywords and I’m out of ideas.” I often use the Google keyword tool, but I find I have better luck putting keywords or phrases directly into Google to see a) if anyone else is writing about the topic and b) what kinds of headlines they’re using.
  2. Create an editorial calendar. It doesn’t have to be, “This is my exact headline and content for the month,” rather do buckets. For instance, we created one for April for a client yesterday that has case studies on Mondays, how-tos and tips on Tuesdays, product features and benefits on Wednesdays, the monthly theme (chosen two weeks ago) on Thursdays, and community building on Fridays. Then our collective teams brainstormed topics for those categories and voila! They have enough content to get them through the month.
  3. Write scannable copy. I like to use subheads, bullet points, lists, and bolded copy to help our readers easily get the main points without having to read every word I write (as hurtful as they might be to me). I’m not egotistical enough to think people don’t scan. They do. I do. You do. Make it easy for them to do that.
  4. Understand search engine optimization. It’s ever-changing so it’s hard to stay on top of SEO, but if you write for the web, you have to understand it. No more ignoring it or thinking someone else will do it for you. You have to do it. I love Yoast because it gives you red, yellow, and green buttons based on how well you’ve optimized and it gives you tips on increasing your efforts. SEOMoz is probably the best place to not only learn, but to get tips and ideas.
  5. Edit yourself. For heaven’s sakes, please do this! I don’t know why this is so hard for people. Edit, read your post out loud, and edit one more time. I prefer to write, publish, and then read what’s actually on the page. I make edits and changes and then update the post. It’s rare someone sees the post before it’s been edited because I can do it inside of 10 minutes.
  6. Choose an image worth sharing. Particularly with people sharing content on Pinterest now, you want to choose an image that motivates users to click on it to come to your site. Also be sure to include the headline or what you want the Pinterest caption to read in the alt text of your image (can be found when you edit the image).
  7. Word count. This one is important because the search engines need a minimum of 300 words to scan the page and human beings won’t read much more then 1,000 words. I always aim for no more than 750 words (though sometimes I’m a little more verbose than that).
  8. Internal and external links. I always include a link to a Spin Sucks post in every blog post I write. What this does is alert me if someone swipes our content, but it also gives us search engine juice from sites that are aggregating it (PR Daily, Social Media Today, Ragan). Then I include one external link for every 100 words. If this post ends up being 800 words, I’ll have eight links to other sites in it.
  9. Ask questions. You’ll see I do that in nearly every blog post with, “Now it’s your turn.” Marcus Sheridan does this really well. He has a subhead called “Your Turn,” and then he says, “As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.” If you genuinely care about what others think, this approach invites people to comment and share. But – and this is important – if you invite people to share their thoughts, join the conversation! I respond to every comment. I do this not because I think I have to, but because I encourage debate, alternative thinking, and professional discourse.

And now it is your turn. What other tips make for a great blog post?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • I publish my post on blogging and then find three other people publish blogging posts this morning, so now I have to go back and link to all of you! And great list!

    • KenMueller like Ken, like to be like Ken…wanna be, wanna be, wanna be like Ken

      • LauraPetrolino Lordy, it’s not even 9 a.m.! Have you been drinking?

        • KenMueller Ken, I wake up this awesome!

        • LauraPetrolino I’m not sure whether to be scared or inspired….

      • LauraPetrolino KenMueller OMG

    • KenMueller I read your mind.

      • ginidietrich well stop it! it creeps me out. oh, and what am I thinking RIGHT NOW??

  • I Love Yoast! Thanks for another fantastic list. This is why I wake up and start my morning with too much coffee and Spin Sucks.
    I would add that it can be beneficial to take the time to control the teaser copy for social sites like Facebook (which, of course, Yoast helps with). While not everyone reads it, we have still found it can increase traffic.

    • HeatherTweedy Does it take too much coffee to read the blog?!

  • belllindsay

    It’s funny when one writes lists like these and thinks “Oh, these seem so easy!” – but often people over-complicate things when they are feeling intimidated by a task – like writing blog posts. Most things are pretty simple once you break them down into bite-sized morsels. Great list Gini, I hope you inspire some people to pick up the pen, so to speak.

    • belllindsay ginidietrich As the Queen-of-over-complication-of-the-blog-writing-process, I simply must agree. 😉

    • belllindsay Here’s the thing about you and me: We’re both natural content creators. It comes easily to us so we expect it does for everyone else. As it turns out, that’s not the case. So I challenged myself to think about what I do every day that happens automatically as I wrote this.

      • belllindsay

        ginidietrich Yes, completely agree Gini – that’s my point though – much of anything in life really isn’t THAT complicated – it just SEEMS complicated until you break it down into bit-parts! Then you look at each individual part and realize “Hey, I can do that!” – I love it!

        • belllindsay ginidietrich Lindsay you just set me up with another opportunity to use my favorite phrase…. “It’s Like Anything Else.” 
          Takes hard work, thought, and the willingness to look at how things work together. That’s true of any endeavor. When people ask me in job interviews what I love to do, I usually tell them “make everyone think it’s magic when in fact it’s just discipline, creative force, and an eye for details.”

        • belllindsay

          JoeCardillo ginidietrich “Oh oh, it’s magic!” Name that tune. 😉

        • belllindsay

          JoeCardillo ginidietrich Except for neurosurgery. I bet that’s pretty complicated.

        • belllindsay JoeCardillo ginidietrich I swear when I saw this I automatically took a step towards the door with the intention of going to the supermarket just to hear that song.
          I bet I could do neurosurgery…..badly. =P

        • belllindsay

          JoeCardillo ginidietrich Your supermarket plays The Cars…?? Sa-weet!!

        • belllindsay JoeCardillo ginidietrich Aaand now I’ve got their first album stuck in my head

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  • Gini,
    This is more of a blueprint on how to effectively prepare a blog post for publishing. Make sure you have a google-worthy topic, a schedule, all the juicy keywords and loaded up with internal/external links.
    Problem is, you can still produce a crappy post. Why? Because many bloggers get most of this right but when you arrive at their very well laid out post, the content is thin, redundant, and/or even absurd. Too many bloggers blogging by numbers just to get the eyeballs. What they write is garbage but as long as they get the traffic, who cares?
    It’s the sad state of blogging that the people who can actually write get lost in the rank toilet bowl the blogosphere has become. Too many people doing it by the numbers. Your tips here will get you a well laid out, google-friendly blog post, not necessarily a great one.
    Just my stupid opinion 🙂

    • danperezfilms Dan, you have hit it on the head. The hard part isn’t “How to write a blog post.” The hard part, the part I was hoping that this was the answer to is, “How to write an EXCELLENT blog post.” 

      I’m afraid the answer to that is “To write an excellent blog post, first write 1000 crappy blog posts…”

      • blfarris danperezfilms Fair comments. Perhaps my follow-up is, “How to write 1,000 crappy posts to finally get to the really great writing.”

        • ginidietrich I’m always in awe of writers like you who can just sit down and spit out great posts. So when I saw the title to the post I was hoping you were giving me the secret. I’m slowly learning that most great writers don’t really KNOW how they do it — they just do it, every-damn-day, and that is part of what makes them great.
          Your post was terrific, I am always looking for the shortcut — I’m beginning to think it’s not there.

        • ginidietrich blfarris Gini, there’s nothing really wrong with this post. It is helpful which gives it value. However, in this social media age, we’ve confused a great blog post with great writing. Eyeballs trumps quality. That’s cool, I get it – that’s how the game is played today. 
          But just because ‘NSync sold more records than The Velvet Underground, it doesn’t make them better.
          All hail mediocrity 🙂

        • blfarris You know what it is? Doing it. Every day. Every. Single. Day. I should copy and paste some of my early blog posts into one place so people can see how HORRIBLE it was in the beginning. Heck, today is 10,000 times better than it was even two years ago. I think that’s what we tend to forget. As my piano teacher used to say: Perfect practice makes perfect.

      • blfarris To write a truly excellent blog post, you have to be an excellent writer. Sadly, there aren’t many in today’s blogosphere. Plenty of keen strategists, though 😉

    • belllindsay

      danperezfilms Dan, I completely agree with you here – I’ve always believed that the content itself – if it’s quality – will rise to the top. I hated the whole “SEO!! Keywords!!” aspect of writing for the web and to be honest never worked that way. That said, Gini has really shown me how much simple keyword optimisation, links, etc., really works to help your work get seen by more people. You have made a really important point here though – bottom line – if you don’t write interesting, story-rich, compelling content, no one will read past the first paragraph either way!

      • belllindsay danperezfilmsIf getting eyeballs to your site is your #1 priority, just throw in a jazzy headline and these tips will work fine. But writing, like painting, composing, mastering an instrument, filmmaking, etc, is still an art form, right? You can paint in all the colors and still have a shit post. The true artists tend to oft go unnoticed in the highly competitive and strategic blogosphere of these times.Sadly, the more eyeballs a site gets, the higher it ranks and then it attracts a slew of people who will comment on even the most ridiculous blog post just to get their names/blogs seen in the comments and hopefully boost their own SEO. So much for writing “story-rich, compelling content” – it doesn’t matter if you follow the master’s blogging rules. Mediocrity rules.
        I will say that on this site, the content (for me) tends to range from middling to very good. That’s reasonably high praise from me 😉

        • danperezfilms belllindsay That’s more than reasonably high praise from you!

        • belllindsay

          ginidietrich danperezfilms Surely *I’m* in the very good range. 😉

  • John_Trader1

    Like this list, it’s a solid guide to all of the essential ingredients needed. One that I would encourage bloggers to use more often is videos embedded within a post. I don’t necessarily mean create a unique video for each post (although if you can, hats off to you), but the use of other videos that help prove your point or offer an alternative opinion have been working well for me.

    • John_Trader1 Agreed. The truth is that many comms/marketing professionals say “multimedia is key” but don’t take the medicine often enough.

      • JoeCardillo John_Trader1 Isn’t that the case, in general? It’s easy to talk about what works, but incredibly difficult to do it for ourselves (Case in point: The Arment Dietrich website).

        • ginidietrich JoeCardillo John_Trader1 Totally. Guilty of it myself

    • John_Trader1 Like Gin and Topics! Wait til you see this week. bdorman264 sent me one that made me laugh so hard, I had to watch it three times to get the whole thing.

  • SpinSucks

    John_Trader1 VIDEO!! Great addition. Thanks for sharing John!

    • John_Trader1

      SpinSucks Video: It’s the granola on top of the content oatmeal that gives it flavor and substance. (cc ginidietrich)

  • SpinSucks

    heathertweedy Thanks for sharing Heather!!

  • Great list! I’m curious about the 1 external link every 100 words ratio? What made you develop that ratio in particular?

    • LauraPetrolino It’s an old SEO trick…I don’t know if it matters so much anymore, but it works for us.

  • DickCarlson

    10.  Write to ONE person.  Don’t write a blog post like you’re making a speech to an audience.  Write as though you’re speaking to a single person sitting in front of you.  Then read it back, out loud.  If you sound like a pompous ass, well — you are.  As Elmore Leonard so famously said, “Try to leave out the parts that people tend to skip.”
    11.  Real people use sentence fragments.  Contractions.  And start sentences with “and”.  Many of them have never seen the AP Style Book.
    12.  If you’re worried that you’ve included something that’s too personal, you’re finally getting the hang of blogging.

    • DickCarlson I really love #10, Dick. I always write with my mom in mind…because she reads everything I write and because she doesn’t live in my world where a lot of what we talk about every day is common knowledge. I find, by doing that, it’s easier to connect with a broader audience. Really great tip!

    • DickCarlson Re: “11.  Real people use sentence fragments.  Contractions.  And start sentences with “and”.” And dashes — lots of dashes. At least for me.

      • RobBiesenbach DickCarlson And the ellipses…I love the ellipses.

        • ginidietrich RobBiesenbach DickCarlson My name is Joe and I have an ellipses problem. But I don’t want to recover because ellipses are such a great feature of natural, spoken language.

        • belllindsay

          JoeCardillo ginidietrich RobBiesenbach DickCarlson ME TOO!! Love the dash. I write as I speak, so the fluidity of natural speech gets ‘illustrated’ in my text – with commas, dashes, elipses, (bracketed asides), etc.. I love when people GET that!!!

        • belllindsay JoeCardillo ginidietrich RobBiesenbach DickCarlson total dittos here. I’m both an elipse and exclamation point-aholic. I always end up deleting at least 5 exclamation points from a first draft because exclamation points are a natural written translation for how I talk. Ha!

        • belllindsay JoeCardillo ginidietrich RobBiesenbach DickCarlson Yes, when I was working with an editor I became very self-conscious about my dashes — I had them in practically every paragraph. Though, like you, she assured me it denotes a natural way of writing, I tried switching to semi-colons, but those just seem … formal, pretentious.

  • Invite all opinions. I wonder about blogs where the comments are always filled with nothing but praise for the writer.

    • Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes While we certainly get a lot of that here, you know I do welcome discourse as long as it’s professional. Many times it’s you guys who make me think about something differently. I love that.

  • Love this list and I love editorial calendars. You actually gave me ideas for one I’m creating so thank you! I spend the most time finding the topic and images to go along with the posts. Once I know what I’m writing about, the content just comes out and like you said, edit yourself twice! Especially if you use prepositions at the end of sentences, not that I would EVER do that 😉

    • yvettepistorio Yay! I’m glad this was helpful. And no, you would never use prepositions or confuse effect and affect.

  • In addition to external links quotes are very interesting and engaging.  I’ve seen many blogs include quotes from relevant resources that support the overall topic of the blog.  It is the same as what you see with journalism and writing a news article where relevant sources are quoted and tied to the story.  I’ve seen you do this too, as in number 9 with Marcus Sheridan.  It makes the blog more engaging and conversational.  Thanks for sharing your tips!

    • jolynndeal This is something I incorporate too. Sometimes someone else just says it better and there’s no sense in paraphrasing a great quote.

      • yvettepistorio jolynndeal I agree. Why paraphrase and or water it down when you can quote a great resource!  I also think it shows your followers that you take time to research your topics and have a vast network of resources.

    • jolynndeal What I really love is when the bloggers quotes him or herself. That always makes me laugh.

      • ginidietrich jolynndeal Yeah honestly, I have no idea why anyone would think that is a good idea. 
        It makes me wonder why “anyone would think that is a good idea.” 

        • ginidietrich jolynndeal There. See how stupid that sounds! Heheh

  • First and foremost, my picture; I’ll go from the casual to studio shots…those seem to drive the most traffic. I also seem to be wildly successful when I talk about myself…all the time; I just wonder why it hasn’t caught on and others are picking up on it. 
    Your tips are pretty spot on. Just like anything, if you are going to jump in you should be prepared to give it all you have to at least see where it takes you. My struggle is taking it from a ‘casual’ blogger to something meaningful and purposeful and with a set schedule. It’s very easy for me to just sit on the sidelines and watch all the action going on around me. However, that doesn’t mean when I go in with two minutes left in  the game and the outcome has already been determined and most of the fans have left that I don’t enjoy it. That’s half the battle I suppose. 
    If you are going to do it, do it right…just be prepared that whatever schedule you set it comes around quicker than you think. Kind of like sales, it can look really easy at times, but it ends up being a lot harder than you think.

    • bdorman264 Not just sales…life. The only thing that works is hard work!

  • I would also add that while it is important to chase perfection it is also important not to let it paralyze you. It is important to just write.
    Sometimes your posts may be a little softer than you like, but it is part of how you become a better writer.

    • Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes Vital. Sometimes, you just have to push the “go” button and move on. Sage advice!

      • dwaynealicie Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes I remember when we announced we were no longer a PR firm. My mouse hovered over that publish buttons for hours. When I finally hit, I was shocked at the great feedback we got. Sometimes you do just have to hit it.

  • The only part of this that stops me dead in my tracks is your statement that editing only takes you 10 minutes. It takes me that long to just to weed out the spelling errors my tangled fingers and synapses add to the process.
    Totally, totally agree about the hardest part being finding the topic. Next, for me, is finding the angle to make the topic interesting and more than a simple regurgitation of what has already been written about said topic.

    • allenmireles The echo chamber makes me crazy.

    • PattiRoseKnight

      allenmireles The only way I can proof something in 10 minutes is if I turn everything off and focus on the proofing and proofing only.  I am a visual person and when i see that email preview pop up at the bottom of my screen it distracts me and then takes 40 minutes to proof.  That’s my tip for the day.

      • PattiRoseKnight allenmireles This is why I do all of my writing before anyone gets to work. I keep email, the social networks, and my phone off until 9 a.m. most days. That gives me a solid four hours (three today because I was lazy) to focus solely on writing on editing. That’s why I can do it so quickly.

  • SpinSucks

    KammieK Agreed!! Thanks for sharing Kammie 🙂

    • KammieK

      Of course SpinSucks I gotta esp rem to “ask more questions”! #fabreminder

  • And I thought I was crazy to need to edit a post on page vs in the Compose view. For whatever reason, my editing efforts are much more effective when done in the ‘preview’ view. I don’t know what it is about reading it in the editor that trips me up so much. Great list!

    • LizJostes LOL! I’m glad I’m not the only one.

      • ginidietrich LizJostes I’m the same way, but I’m also a horrible editor of my own stuff in general. I think having it in preview mode helps you displace yourself or something. I also write all of my articles as emails for first drafts and then email them to myself for first review, same thing. Helps to have  my “Laura the writer” personality, email it to my “Laura the editor” personality for a critical review 🙂

      • ginidietrich LizJostes I think “preview” is the new “print.” It’s amazing what I find in preview mode that I don’t in compose. And not typos, either. Just awkward turns of phrase, poor word choice, repetitiveness, etc. It’s weird. And, yes, no matter how many times I preview and edit, there is always something I fix (quickly) after posting.

        • RobBiesenbach ginidietrich LizJostes Preview is the new print!  Great analogy.  I’m like you Rob, I always see a mistake after publishing.  It’s like something I heard once, “If you want to find a mistake in your marketing piece, you will when you receive 10,000 copies from the printer.”

        • jolynndeal Oh, god — flashback! The days when you were stuck with 10,000 hard copies, as opposed to just correcting the pdf! I mean, I suppose those days aren’t completely past, but they’re definitely fewer and farther between …

        • RobBiesenbach Hey, you’re not going to SOBCon, are you?

        • ginidietrich I hadn’t planned on it. Should I? Looks like a good lineup.

  • Almost used that exact image yesterday but with different words on the sign… Great minds….
    To help with number one, I keep a running list with common questions.

    • Tinu I love being on the same brain waves as you! I’ll take that any day!

  • The thing about rules like this is it can be very dispiriting. Where’s the joy and fun from expressing an idea you just have to get out there? But I think the key is to know the rules or structure so well that it’s internalized and you ultimately forget it.
    Like when a great golfer steps up to the tee, he isn’t thinking about the 27 technical elements of a perfect swing (I made that up). He’s already trained on all of that and now is the time to let his instincts (and those internalized skills) guide him and just swing away. Same with playing an instrument, acting on stage or any other craft. If you’re thinking “third fret, second string,” you’re not going to create great work.

    • RobBiesenbach It’s funny you say that because I really had to think about my daily process to write this. I’m sure I forgot a step or two because it has become second nature. I also think some people would make fun of the way I do things. I write, then choose a headline, THEN see if I can optimize it and add keywords. That’s totally backwards, according to the experts.

      • ginidietrich RobBiesenbach I think those experts have it backward. The first thing to think about is what’s to be said. Work out how to say it clearly. Then work on how you’ll get people to read it. This last step is where keyword optimization, headlining, and optimization for scannability come in.

  • PattiRoseKnight

    I have a question….is there a tool that Google doesn’t have?  I love their translate; makes my life so much easier!!!

    • PattiRoseKnight They haven’t figured out clones yet.

      • PattiRoseKnight

        ginidietrich PattiRoseKnight I’m sure that when that is an option Google will be the first one

        • HowieG

          PattiRoseKnight ginidietrich No Google helped ay for the research that produced the first Cloned Sheep in 1991. They are working on cloning PR Agencies now.

        • HowieG

          PattiRoseKnight ginidietrich I heard Google is cloning Tony Romo so the bears can have a new QB.

        • PattiRoseKnight

          HowieG PattiRoseKnight ginidietrich Do not even joke about the Bears not having Jay….that would send me into a state of depression.

  • PattiRoseKnight

    LOVE LOVE LOVE scannable copy – I mean really love.  Most of the time if I look at a post and it’s too long I put it aside to read later and we all know what that really means….
    And asking a question at the end of your post will (hopefully) get people engaged and talking… works with the crazies (love that word)…

    • adammbsmith

      PattiRoseKnight ginidietrich That’s what sub-headings are for!
      This article is a perfect example, because I just scan read points 1 to 9 because I’m lazy.
      But now I’ll go back and read it properly…. honest 🙂

      • PattiRoseKnight

        adammbsmith PattiRoseKnight ginidietrich I really wish everyone would blog like this – if it pertains to me I’ll read the whole thing if it is more like a thesis then forget it – i will close and move on.

    • HowieG

      PattiRoseKnight I never read this blog. I scan 6 or 8 sentences. And you all wonder why my comments never make sense. ginidietrich taught me in high school use cliff notes and see the movie.

      • belllindsay

        HowieG PattiRoseKnight ginidietrich The movie is NEVER as good as the blog post.

  • susancellura

    This is very timely for me, and I appreciate it. We’re working to build social media into one of our stronger tools at the company, and this will be very helpful in coaching colleagues who don’t quite get it. Thank you!

  • I have said it before, but I seriously need to do number 2!!! I have the hardest time coming up with what to write about!!  I sent this blog to sydcon I think we need to collaborate on this and see if documenting themes, etc will help me. I feel like I constantly have writers block and dont know what to blog about?!?

    • sydcon_mktg sydcon I can help! I can easily give you a list of things to write about in about 20 seconds.
      Here, I’ll start:
      * WordPress basic tips
      * WordPress intermediate tips
      * WordPress advanced tips
      * How to choose a web designer
      * How to choose a web content creator
      * Questions to ask your web design firm
      * How much does it cost to develop a new site?

      • ginidietrich sydcon_mktg sydcon Ok, except for the fact that we do all custom and don’t play much in WordPress unless forced!

        • sydcon_mktg But that’s the thing! If you write the stuff people search, you become the expert and they want to hire you to customize their site. We don’t do media relations, but I talk about it all the time here. I do that because that’s what people search and then I can educate prospects on what we do and sell them on an integrated process.

        • HowieG

          ginidietrich sydcon_mktg I agree Gini. People underestimate relational searches. I might sell wine but if I blog about wine glasses someone searching for wine glasses might find my content….then see my uber selection of boxed wines and gallon jugs and place and order.

  • susanavello

    This is great info as always. I need to do more of #8 – smart idea, for sure!

    • susanavello If only to prevent people from stealing your content!

  • I’m a big fan of humor and infotainment. If you can make it fun to learn, people will come back.

    • JayDolan And you’re very good at it!

      • HowieG

        ginidietrich JayDolan I remember that one post where Jay related How Social Media is just like genetically modified killer corn stalks and I laughed and totally understood everything he taught me and that was when i knew I wanted to be a Social Media Ninja vs a Guru.

        • belllindsay

          HowieG ginidietrich JayDolan Ninja > Guru

        • HowieG ginidietrich JayDolan Gurus can’t kill mutant cornstalks. #fact

  • What grade level are you appealing to? 6th – 7th -8th! The New York Times is written for 8th grade competency.
    Be sure the acronyms you use are understood by your readers. “When in doubt spell it out!” Exempli gratia: Can you tell me what – FITCAL, SNAFU, FUBAR, means.
    Are you using the right word: Which means burn? Flammable or inflammable!

    • jdrobertson “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader: Blogger Edition” (Coming this fall to WordPress)

      • LauraPetrolino jdrobertson Bless you my daughter. I thought I was doing something original but like Zerox – I never do anything original! Oh! Well! Win some – lose some –

    • jdrobertson Yoast will actually tell you if you’re reading level is too high. I hate it when it gives me a red button on that. I have to go back and change things!

      • ginidietrich jdrobertson In the past I have worked for General Dynamics Electric Boat Division (shipyard building submarines), Hover Marine,builders of boats that float on a pillow of air, HMS custom transformers, Adjunct instructor School of Education, several community theater groups in the publicity field et al. Take any one of those fields and tell me how Yoast knows what reading level I should be writing. Microsoft word will tell me at what level I am writing but how does it know at what level I should be writing. And what about gender? I have just finished writing a book (ROBBY) and find women like it more than men even though it is somewhat of an adventure story involving WWII.

  • Super glad you posted this, I’m working on blogging more and these are good reminders.

    • JoeCardillo Super glad  you’re working on blogging more. I like your writing style.

      • ginidietrich JoeCardillo Thanks! Lot of work to do…but it’s a good problem to have.

  • HeidiCohen

    Gini–Great and to the point outline. Being organized is half the battle for most bloggers. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

    • HeidiCohen Thanks Heidi! Where’s your smiling face?!

  • #6. Where does everyone get their images? And how often are they Pinterest worthy?

    • Word NinjaI remember bethhayden called that a “photo badge” when she discussed her book, “Pinfluence,” here … I try to use my own original photography when I can, usually taken with my iPhone. If I can’t think of something to take a picture of, I draw something and take a picture of it, like a panic button for one (BAD) old post about crisis communication. I used a meme generator site to do a Grumpy Cat once, and people repinned that. I also search for relevant Creative Commons images. 
      It does take a little extra effort to make sure your photo is aligned with your post’s content and can simultaneously stand alone as a pin. Actually more than a little effort, but still less than I spend on trying to craft a good title. But it’s satisfying when the effort pays off and you find you have created Your Perfect Blog Post!

      • dwaynealicie  bethhayden Thanks! I’ve considered taking my own as well and hesitate because of the extra time commitment, not knowing if it is worth it. I’ll have to check out Pinfluence, which sounds like it may change my mind.

      • HowieG

        dwaynealicie Word Ninja bethhayden I started using my own Vermont photos. And they have usually no relation to my post. I also create 27 backlinks to dwaynealicie ‘s content which is normally scathing comments on Mashable ranting about Pete Cashmore’s horrible editorial practices. I think the back links help me a lot.

  • NicoleBeachum

    marketingcloud SpinSucks Understanding #SEO and the importance of high-quality, unique content is definitely key.

    • marketingcloud

      NicoleBeachum Absolutely! Glad you liked this post by SpinSucks!

  • SpinSucks

    Jfarhoum Love this post…they are really helpful. Thanks for sharing Jen!

  • SpinSucks

    HRAlignedDesign Glad you found them helpful! Thanks for sharing and good luck with the blog Janet!

  • You know… just when I think I’ve got it, you come through with additional good tips. 🙂  Thanks!
    –Tony Gnau

    • T60Productions Ha! Just when I think I have it, something changes.

  • JenPalumbo

    ginidietrich Great post today!

    • ginidietrich

      JenPalumbo Thanks Jen!

  • HowieG

    You left out:
    Be interesting. Have great content. Always include a like to Howie’s blog. 
    But besides that you did good Ma’am.

    • rdopping

      HowieG and include a link to How’s blog

      • belllindsay

        rdopping HowieG Both of you need an editor. 😉

        • HowieG

          belllindsay rdopping who edits these days? Plus in Canada editing is outlawed.

        • rdopping

          HowieG belllindsay rdopping I hate my phone.

        • belllindsay

          HowieG rdopping In Canada, everything is outlawed.

    • HowieG You want a link to your blog AND cupcakes? I can’t win.

  • Fab tips ginidietrich and in the hallmark of what I consider a killer blog, even better discussion with the likes of belllindsay danperezfilms and many, many more. (And h/t to not thinking value has to be ‘perfect’ or ‘awesome’ all the time.) This post is great on the mechanics of blogging greatly.. writing greatly is a whole other story. I type that thinking I write pretty well, but blog.. not so much and it’s something I need to improve (like my use of Yoast, etc.). 
    THAT typed, I think my tips are: 1) get out of your own blog. I too am big on linking elsewhere, so that means trying to mix up what I read, comment, share. And 2) have a point. Many things I read that I don’t like have no point – other than clicks and links, shares and ‘subscribe now!’ – there’s no narrative, no beginning, middle, end. I know I ramble sometimes, know I’m not always ‘on message’ but I do try to have a point, and more than hope, a plan for writing something that gets readers thinking.  FWIW.

  • rdopping

    Awesome tips. Has anyone mentioned avoiding complicated language? It’s so much easier and friendly to read content that is conversational. You know, like a story.

    • rdopping WTH? BRB. OK.

      • rdopping

        ginidietrich rdopping Whattya mean? Did I say something wrong?

        • rdopping I was trying to be funny with acronyms to make my comment complicated.

    • rdopping Serious-amundo. There is no quicker turnoff (except for arrogance) than reading a bunch of filler language when someone could have just said something directly. Except for nuclear fission. That, I don’t want dumbed down.

      • rdopping

        JoeCardillo rdopping Totally. Broheem.

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  • SpinSucks

    giesencreative Love these tips! Thanks for sharing Jack 🙂

  • ezilon

    stevensuchar I love the part about asking questions. It gives them a more personal feel and allows others to join in the conversation

  • All good advices. Everyone talks about writing long posts, Big G loves 2000 words and more posts, etc. I usually find them at minimum hard to finish and I wonder how can anyone write one of them more then once a week, not usin ghostwriters I mean.

    Maybe I’d add infographics, just to split hairs. 🙂

    Happy weekend!

    • Andrea T.H.W. Split those hairs! Good advice.

  • ginidietrich

    traceydanner As it turns out, I’m STILL hungry!

  • tnfletch

    Thank you for this post. I just started my personal blog about a month ago. This is probably my third (or fourth) attempt over the past few years. I think what gets me stuck is the lack of good info out there on how to get started. Thanks for the tips, this very helpful.

  • SpinSucks

    barbsawyers Love this post…thanks for sharing Barb!

    • barbsawyers

      SpinSucks My pleasure

  • SpinSucks

    susebb Great post with great tips. Thanks for sharing Susan 🙂

  • SpinSucks

    ljcrest Great tips in that post, thanks for sharing Laura 🙂

    • ljcrest

      SpinSucks Always my pleasure, Gini! 🙂

  • SpinSucks

    jacque_PR So many good tips…thanks for sharing Jacque!

    • jacque_PR

      SpinSucks np, thx for putting together such a great list…and for the tip about using Talkwalker when Google Alerts ceases to exist #boo

  • Hughfmvrem


  • Great tips – no time to read 158 comments so someone might already have mentioned this, but I’d add that you need a killer headline.

    • SusanNeal What!? You don’t want to read all those comments?? LOL!! I feel like I should write a follow-up post and include this as number one.

  • I’m so, so glad you included the one about search crawlers needing at least 300 words. I feel validated in my verbosity. I try really, really hard to keep my posts to 500 words, but 7-800 is usually where they fall.

    • Karen_C_Wilson 700-800 is actually perfect! This one was 796.

      • ginidietrich I have to make sure Lara Dubois Wellman sees this.

  • ginidietrich

    C_Pappas xoxo

  • ginidietrich

    Kato42 Thanks Kate!

    • Kato42

      ginidietrich You guys have great content. Consistently among the favourite in my RSS feed 🙂

      • ginidietrich

        Kato42 I love to hear that. Thank you!

        • Kato42

          ginidietrich You’re welcome!

        • Kato42

          ginidietrich And thank you for following me 🙂

  • All nine tips are great! As a Kent State University PR grad student, we are required to create and maintain a blog for a class. We’ve spent the semester discussing tips and tricks for driving traffic to our blogs.  I now really know the importance of SEO. There was one word I continued to use as a tag but I realized it’s important to use tools such as Google Adwords to know what keywords people are searching. This greatly increased blog traffic because people use various terms to describe the same topic. My blog has been the best way to understand SEO and creating valuable, interesting content that people will want to read again and again.

    • pmccorkl I’m so glad they’re teaching students how to do this and the importance of it all. That makes me very happy!

  • TitusMathew

    TheresaFWeber TheresaFWeber: Nine Tips to Write a Great Blog Post via ginidietrich

  • TitusMathew

    RT TheresaFWeber: Nine Tips to Write a Great Blog Post via ginidietrich. Great article!

  • Hafenbrack

    BCreeksFinest Thanks for the RT!

  • loiscreamer

    Nine Tips to Write a Great Blog Post via ginidietrich

  • SpinSucks

    melissa_agnes Love these tips! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • melissa_agnes

      SpinSucks Welcome!

  • SpinSucks

    LoweyWard Thanks for sharing!

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  • Finding a topic and an angle is always the hardest part for me! But once you have it, everything else seems to flow much better! I also find writing the gyst of the post and then taking a break and coming back with fresh eyes is very helpful!

  • kmkeidan

    With respect to point two, you have posts coming out five times a week. As an almost college graduate blogging about the media/pr industry and professional development, how many posts might you recommend I publish weekly? I like the idea of an editorial calendar but five times every week seems like a lot to me.

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  • Amadou M Sall

    Excellent post as usual, Gini. I’ve shared it on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, and even Pinterest 🙂

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  • godsonechezona

    This is really great! 
    It just so happens that one of my new months resolutions is to be a more active part of the <a href=””>blogging world</a>. I did read a lot of blogs but never had the time to add comments. This year I hope to be better about participating. 

    Thanks for this very helpful post!


  • You definitely share some tips worth taking into consideration here. On the web there is a great demand these days for real, quality, unique and compelling content. Too many people are simply publishing poor content to try and catch the attention of search engines but now the search engines are catching on and it is more important than every to write “great” content.

    Thank you for the valuable tips you shared!

    – Jonathan Moore (Writer Dude)

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