Now there's a learning curve involved in writing for your blog, and there's no way around it. The only way to learn to write good blog posts is to write and publish blog posts. Saving them as drafts won't work.
You can practice your serve on a tennis court by yourself too. But until you serve the ball to someone on the other side of the net and keep score in a game, it really doesn't count.
Here's what I told Andy. When you sit down to your "compose a post" page, focus first on these steps:
- Write to deliver valuable information that solves a problem for your typical reader
- Grab their attention and make it interesting to them through stories or examples
- Show that you're a credible expert, use reliable information, studies, stats, quotes
- Gain their trust by writing in a conversational tone, using plenty of pronouns like "you" and "I"
- Ask for their feedback and ask them to share their questions
- Do these steps over and over again: educate, entertain, engage and enrich the lives of your readers
- Re-read, review and edit your post before and after you publish
This last step includes editing for typos and grammar AND for keyword terms you want to focus your post on.
Yes, I do this last. I try to make sure my headline has clear keywords, the first paragraph also does, and that they are repeated once or twice in the body of the post. But that's secondary to writing good information that engages readers.
Now, all my regular readers know how un-techy and un-SEO I am in my approach. I believe in the power of organic search first and trust that Google & Yahoo will do their jobs. I usually hear from SEO peeps whenever I speak about this, and they usually enlighten me when I'm off base. Speak up now if you need to.
Andy, and everybody else, Step #6 is the most important to keep in mind. Do this over and over again. Educate, entertain, engage and enrich lives and your blog posts will come up in the search engine results. If you're doing that, and your keywords are where they're supposed to be, you'll be successful in getting found online.