Something about the new year has me in the “get back to basics” mood. After all, it's not fair to assume everyone here wants to be a ‘professional' blogger, and some of you might be just starting out with your blog. A successful blog – ‘success' being whatever you define it to be – is built on a strong foundation. What's that foundation? Good, consistent content. That means solid blog posts! No matter what you write about – personal style, fashion trends, industry news, whatever – or how much you write, awesome blog posts tend to have these similar elements.
Does your blog post have a beginning, middle and end? It sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised how often a post will sound jumbled. Sometimes they seem to end abruptly or not end at all! I like to think of ending my blog post like tying a ribbon on a gift I'm wrapping. Does it pull the package (post) together nicely? Another popular writing method is to start with the end, write backwards and edit from there. A genius way of looking at it when you've got writer's block just beginning a post!
You've got the bones to your post, but is there meat to them? I'll let you in on a little secret. When I edited the weekly Links a la Mode roundup a couple of years ago, I always looked for blog posts with some kind of story to tell. The effort to tell a story – how an outfit relates to you, what the individual pieces mean or your opinion on a current trend – is absolutely what sets you apart from the pack. For every LALM pick I made, there were 10 that weren't chosen because there wasn't any substance, no story to tell behind their outfit posts.
Another thing that sets you apart from the crowd (and the fashion blogging universe is a big one!) is your voice. Your writing style is a perfect compliment to your personal style in that it's a chance for you to really show your personality. Even if you're mostly posting outfit photos with few words! Be funny, quirky, elegant, informative…no matter what, make sure that voice truly sounds like you. “Write like you talk” as they say!
We are probably all familiar with photo editing of our outfit shots, but what about taking that careful eye to your text? Editing your posts is how you get your structure in place, your story in order and your voice succinct. Readers will recognize when your post is all over the place with no focus. It happens easily when we're trying to fit way too much! Edit, edit, edit – then edit a little more.
I won't go into too much detail in this one. Make sure you've got photos or video. People need something to look at to help them understand your story!
This one is for the marketing and promoting side of blogging. Is your blog post something your readers would want to share with their own networks? You can never truly know which posts will get great traction and which ones not so much – but you can do your best to set each one up for success. Make sure your photos are tagged and keywords in the right places, and make it easy for others to share your post across social media sites. Give them a boost by promoting each post on social media and in your newsletter.
Give this list a run-through next time you write a blog post!
[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]