Sep 232012
 

OK. You have a domain, you have set up a hosting account (hopefully purchased not only from but also through this site), you have installed WordPress, chosen a theme and a few basic plugins, and now you are ready to start adding What should a blog post DO?content, specifically posts. Your first question to answer is, “What do I write about?”…right?

Wrong.

Beyond keeping your content relavant to your site’s primary topic or niche, as defined by your site’s primary keyword or long tailed keyword, your first question requires answering the question:

What should post content DO?

Not what topic should it be about, not what style or “voice” it should be written in, not how short (or long) it should be so as to keep the reader engaged. Not even creating a sense of urgency in your call to action. All of those things fall into the “how to do it” category, and we aren’t talking about how to do it, we are talking about just what it is we, and by extension our post, DO, and what a good post does is really quite simple:

A good post will provide great answers to simple questions. That’s it.

Step back from being a blogger for a moment, and be Joe Schmoe, the internet user. Usually, when you go to Google or Bing and do a search, are you looking for a 10,000 word treatise on all of the aspects of a topic, or do you usually have a simple question and are looking for a great, simple answer to it?

If you type into a Google search bar “how to make bechamel sauce”, do you want to find an article that takes 45 minutes to read that tells you everything you could possible ever want to know about the domestication of dairy cows, another lengthy article about how to milk a cow and make butter, and a third article expounding (at great length) on the worldwide production and distribution of nutmeg, or do you want this:

Ingredients
5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Directions
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.

Recipe courtesy of The Food Network (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/bechamel-sauce-recipe/index.html)

Now, does that mean that a post on bechamel sauce should be just exactly what you just read? No, beyond that, there are several other things you will want to accomplish in your post…things like reader engagement by personalizing the post and writing it with your “voice” so it will stand out from all the other bechamel sauce recipes and recipe sites, or getting a reader to taks some specific action like signing up for your recipe email list, perhaps.

There are also some SEO and technique issues to deal with when creating a good blog post, but with that said, with those 113 words in the recipe, you have done exactly what a good blog post will do…you have given a great, simple answer to a simple question.

Bob Hayles

A Luddite at heart, Bob has adapted to being in a tech world adequately. The King of Cheap, he enjoys sharing his WordPress and inexpensive web video production skills with others. He abhors Geek-lish, but translates it into normal human language quite well. He avoids code as much as possible, and breaks out in hives at the mere sight of php, but he will make minor adjustments to HTML. He also reverts to being a Luddite at JuicyMaters.com and is something of a political junkie/blowhard at Common-Sense-Conversation.com.

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