Blogger Tutorial 4 of 10: Posting How-To's - Maximizing the Impact of Your Posts.

You have your idea and it's been stewing in your head. You can't wait to start typing. That's just what I would encourage you to do. After your original thoughts are out and the text is starting to take shape, it's time to insert links, clean it up and make your posts search engine friendly.

Here is a brief outline of how to create posts that are informative, thought-provoking, and well-written.
  1. Start with a title, something informative that draws the reader in.
  2. Don't try to make it perfect. When you have something worth saving, save your post as a draft.
  3. Now do some online research. Whatever your post is about - the sun, global warming, romance, or the downfall of civilization - there are bound to be other people out there writing about it.
  4. Find 3 to 5 other websites that have worthwhile information on the same topic.
  5. Armed with these links, go back to your post. Now look for words or phrases that you can create links with those you gathered in step 4. For instance, if you are writing about mortgages, you can link to a mortgage site. The words to the left "mortgage site" are actually linked to "http://www.mortgage101.com/".
  6. Now read through and edit your post. Does it make sense? Is it concise?
  7. Keep in mind while writing and editing that people reading online tend to scan. Unless you have an extremely compelling story, break your text up into short paragraphs or lists. Use bold text to make important words or concepts stand out.
  8. VERY IMPORTANT: Last but not least, use the "Labels for this post" option. Enter one very descriptive label and 2 three more general subject area labels. The labels for this post are "blog tutorial" (specific), "blogging" and "blogger" (more general terms). These labels help people navigate your blog and also help you keep track of what themes you are writing about. There may be a main theme that you consistently write about that you don't recognize yourself until you look at your post history and labels!
BONUS TIP: This advanced tip requires you to also be ethically-minded. DO NOT proceed if you are out to trick people into reading or clicking on something.

If you regularly review products or books, you can take advantage of the many affiliate programs out there when using links. However, you have to set boundaries. When I write about a service or product, I ONLY recommend those that I use and enjoy. I also disclose in writing that: 1. I use the product and 2. Any affiliation I might have with the subject of the post. For me, this doesn't happen often, but I try my best to be transparent. And I never recommend a bad product (actually I tend to discuss how bad it is) or link to something I don't personally use.

For instance, I wrote a very early post about the Roomba vacuum. At first, I was simply using the link "http://store.irobot.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=2174932&cp=2174940", that I found by going to their website. But, then it dawned on me, if I am recommending this product and sending people to their website, is there any way I can receive some money? Not a lot, but hey, why not try? So I found and signed up for the iRobot Roomba affiliate program. Now, if someone clicks on a link the post and buys something, I might be lucky enough to earn a little money for providing good information to someone looking for it.

This is not the main focus of my blog, but if done carefully can be a nice boost to offset the costs of creating and maintaining your blog.

Happy posting!

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