Welcome to part two of two in this series on “How to Construct the “Perfect” Post.” Did you have a nice intermission?
Here in the second act we will cover the last few tips I have for you to make your content sing out like the proverbial fat lady. Remember, you may have composed the grandest aria ever but if your presentation is scrawny and slim, nobody can hear it. So let’s continue to make your presentation gloriously obese!
No, no. We’re just getting started!
The blogosphere is a community. We pingback, we trackback, we reblog, we love to link. It’s just like a hippie love-in, cyber-style. All of these things make blogging unique and exciting. And sometimes in a post, you’re going to want to share links either to other blogs you love, or maybe your various social media.
So you go bbbbblllleeeecccchhhhhh and basically vomit up a link into your article, like:
Do not click on that garbage! And do not put that in a post!
Obviously, my next tip is:
Link dumps dirty up your sparkling blog.
Use the handy button with the chain icon in your text editor’s toolbar to turn that link into a bit of text. You can find a tutorial on that process in an article that I posted a few weeks ago on Clark WP. It’s sexily titled “How to Create a Link in the WordPress Visual Editor.”
Yeah, see what I did there? That’s a pretty text link that doesn’t interrupt the flow. You can do that within your own masterpiece. If you don’t know about that function, go ahead and click on my article up there.
But not yet! Finish this article first! Jeez!
The Unending Conversation
This is essentially what good blogging is: Someone writes a brilliant post, another blogger responds, and so on, until the magic dances across the webs. It’s an incredibly fun process to watch unfold, especially when something you wrote is picked up by others and shared.
But get over yourself just a second. Because this will never happen if you don’t treat blogging a bit more like a conversation than a monologue. Give other people the chance to participate when it’s appropriate to your topic. If you want the community aspect of blogging to be a part of your experience, then it’s important to make your readers feel like they’re a part of something.
Engage the reader as if in a conversation.
Think of your posts as an open letter of sorts. Invite discussion. And respond when the discussion ensues. This will build your readership and is a rewarding part of doing a blog.
Of course surly misanthropes abound on WordPress, too. That’s another road you can walk if you choose. It’s perfectly fine to be that way, but it’s bound to be a pretty lonely path. Besides, why are you blogging if you don’t want readers, hmmm?
Danger Lies Off the Beaten Path
If you’ve created a nice trail for yourself, i.e. an engaging and fascinating topic, that’s a great post just waiting to happen! Keep on point, soldier. There’s a time and a place for stream of consciousness, but not in a “perfect” post, I’m afraid.
I’m just saying that when you’ve hit on an excellent topic, stick to it. Hone in on your fine details and deliver a shattering thrust to your reader. I don’t mean run ’em through with a sword, that’s a metaphor. But a well-delivered strike will cap off your article and leave your reader satiated. And I know I’m mixing metaphors like a drunken barkeep astride a cavorting unicorn. Just showing you what it’s like when I let my hair down and cut footloose—
Stay relevant to your topic.
It’s ideal to make a fantastic point with your piece rather than be all over the place. People appreciate good form, they don’t often get it.
Possibly, your topic is madness. In that case, disregard the above admonition and let it rip!
Yet Another List Post
Technically, this very article is a list post. I know, I know. Sometimes that’s acceptable, and I’ve disguised it somewhat. It’s just not the sexiest format to go with if you’re trying to create the “perfect” post.
Speaking for myself, I rarely make it through a post that is an itemized list. It’s too much like reading someone’s shopping list. And, yes, I’ve posted lists.
This is something you need to reconsider, though. Shake it up. If you must list, disguise it a bit. Or use some of the other tips I’ve suggested, like breaking it up with images. For the love of the lord of your choice, don’t go over thirty items on your list. Reel that big fish in and trim it, okay?
Don’t make lists. They’re boring.
The Big Finish
Once more, here’s the list (ha!) of tips we’ve gone through:
- Break up your material into smaller digestible chunks.
- Consider breaking your post into sections.
- Use images in your posts.
- Try not to go “Gone with the Wind” with your posts.
- Link dumps dirty up your sparkling blog.
- Engage the reader as if in a conversation.
- Stay relevant to your topic.
- Don’t make lists. They’re boring.
We’ve tried to go beyond the usual with these two posts, and I hope you enjoyed them and got something out of them. I’m by no means an expert, but I play one on WordPress. Really, the biggest tip I can give you is to have fun with blogging. Make friends and broaden your knowledge.
And don’t worry so much about creating the “perfect” post. Just be perfectly yourself and the other stuff tends to follow.
There are two articles in this series, and you are reading one. They are: