social media how toDo you blog? Feel like you’re trying to reinvent the wheel time and again?

Looking for some ideas to simplify your content creation process?

What follows are 26 tips, from A-Z, to help you create optimal blog posts every time you sit down to write.

#1: Anatomically Correct

A blog post contains several areas that require our attention and care. Pamela Seiple refers to six parts of the anatomy of a lead-generating blog post:

  • Eye-catching title
  • In-text links to landing pages
  • Sidebar/banner calls to action
  • Social sharing buttons
  • Call to action at the bottom
  • Relevancy—making sure the post is relevant from top to bottom
blog anatomy

Parts of the blog anatomy.

more anatomical parts to include in your blog posts

Example of more anatomical parts to include in your blog posts.

#2: Blogging Platform

By knowing the ins and outs of your blogging platform, you’ll ensure that your posts look as good as they can. Take the time to master the visual editor (or raw HTML, if you prefer) so that you know how to format a post, insert an image and embed a video or podcast.

Whether you’re working in platforms such as WordPress, Tumblr or Posterous, it’s good to stay up to date on the features and new versions.

If you’re not comfortable with the more technical aspects of blogging, try to find someone who can be a resource for you to answer questions as they arise.

WordPress' editor

WordPress' editor where you can toggle between visual and HTML editing functions.

#3: Categories

Whether your new blog post is a stand-alone article or part of a series you’re writing, it should fit into your blog categories as well as your overall corporate content strategy. Meaning that you want to stay on topic and have your posts fit into the categories you’ve established.

For example, HubSpot has nine categories on their blog. Posts are written to fit in with each of these categories. Writing about category topics such as analytics, blogging, email marketing, HubSpot TV, etc., allows both readers and writers to stay focused on what they can expect to see on HubSpot’s blog.

When you choose your categories, ask yourself, do they make sense, and do they fit into the objectives of my business? Having clearly defined blog categories will help you continue generating meaningful content and topics for your blog.

blog categories

Write posts that fit into your categories.

#4: Description

Most search engines will use a maximum of 160 characters for your post description on their results pages. If you don’t create a meta-description (defined as a “…concise summary of your page’s content”), a search engine will often take the first 160 characters it finds on your page instead.

Note too, that when you create a meta-description that is fewer than 160 characters, you’ll see the full description in the search engine. Otherwise it will be cut off.

example of a meta-description

An example of a meta-description created within the All-In-One SEO Pack plugin in WordPress.

example of how a post's description appears in Google search results

An example of how a post's description appears in Google search results with and without the meta-description.

#5: Editorial Calendar

Bloggers find editorial calendars helpful for scheduling and organizing topics for posts. Some people use their calendars to track more elaborate details.

Michele Linn suggests using specific tabs in a spreadsheet to track info for each post such as: post date, author, tentative title, keywords, categories, tags, call to action and status. She says “By tracking more than topic and date it will help to make sure the key elements you need for SEO, digital optimization and conversion are accounted for.”

Download a sample editorial calendar worksheet.

example of a template for a master editorial calendar

An example of a template for a master editorial calendar as shown by Michele Linn.

#6: Fine-Tune and Revise

Like other forms of writing, a blog post is rarely completed in one draft. Many writers find it helpful to take a post through several revisions and fine-tune the post as you go along. Check grammar, spelling and punctuation, and make certain that all of your links are working.

#7: Guidelines for Writing for Search Engines

By following a few tips and best practices, you can increase the chance that your blog post will be found by search engines—by Google in particular.

The State University of New York at Plattsburgh offers these helpful writing tips:

  • Google likes text
  • Google likes formatting
  • Google likes freshness
  • Google likes accessibility
  • Google likes outbound hyperlinks
  • Googlebot isn’t psychic, so remember to link your pages
  • Google likes you to tell it where you are
  • Google likes experts

#8: Headings

Joost de Valk offers some good suggestions regarding blog headings. He writes, “The heading structure of your pages is one of the very important aspects of on-page SEO. It defines which parts of your content are important, and how they’re interconnected. Because they have different goals, a single post needs another heading structure than your blog’s homepage or your category archives.”

He offers five basic principles about heading structure:

  • The most important heading on the page should be the H1
  • There is usually only one H1 on any page
  • Subheadings should be H2s, sub-subheadings should be H3s, etc.
  • Each heading should contain valuable keywords; if not, it’s a wasted heading
  • For longer pieces of content, a heading is what helps a reader skip to the parts that he/she finds interesting

Headings should contain valuable keywords.

#9: Images

Blog posts are made up of more than words and headings.

Judy Dunn recommends five ways the right photo can increase readership and blog views:

  • Convey the overall feeling or emotion of your post
  • Illustrate a metaphor or analogy that is part of your main idea
  • Evoke surprise or curiosity
  • Complement your headline
  • Make your reader smile

Judy points out too that readers are visual learners and images can help people take in and retain information better.

#10: Journalistic Approach

Bloggers can learn a lot from traditional journalists and the ways that they approach their news stories.

Mickie Kennedy offers five things that bloggers can learn from journalists:

  • Get your facts straight
  • Trust has to be earned
  • Give credit to your sources
  • The inverted pyramid works (basic overview in first paragraph and then delve into more details in subsequent paragraphs)
  • Editing and proofreading are essential
inverted pyramid

As shown on

#11: Killer SEO and Blog Design

Cyrus Shepard makes an important case for having a beautiful blog. He says, “…the overall design of your site is the first thing visitors see and it significantly influences bounce rate, page views and conversions.”

Cyrus suggests that certain elements on the page will add to a blog’s success:

  • Search box
  • RSS feed
  • Breadcrumbs (helping users navigate),
  • Flat site architecture by minimizing the number of clicks it takes to reach your content
  • Images
  • Keep your best content above the fold
  • Link to your best content
  • Don’t overdo links
  • Watch ad space
  • Encourage comments
  • Add sharing buttons
  • Test the blog for speed
  • Check your blog in different browsers
  • Pick a powerhouse blogging platform (e.g., WordPress, Posterous, Tumblr)

For a resource that will help remind you of these killer SEO suggestions, check out Cyrus’ infographic, Blog Design for Killer Search Engine Optimization.

#12: Lists

Lists have become a very popular type of blog post.

Nate Riggs offers three types for bloggers to consider: brief, detailed and hybrid lists.

The brief list has little description but can entice readers to bookmark the post to use the list as a resource down the road or to share it across their own networks.

In a detailed list, each bullet is a complete thought and serves as a good way to communicate complex information.

The hybrid list combines the elements of short and detailed lists, often with descriptive narratives or explanations in paragraphs between the actual lists.

Nate’s post has a lot of useful information about lists as a powerful content marketing tactic and is a good example of a hybrid list.

#13: Metrics for Blogging

Magdalena Georgieva identifies five metrics to keep an eye on to know how your blogging is going: visitors, leads, subscribers, inbound links and social media shares.

As Magdalena says, “Measure the performance of your business blog regularly to identify weaknesses in the content you’re producing, what topics your audience truly cares about, and what blogging tactics work for you.”

When you find topics and approaches that work particularly well, try to replicate those efforts and be willing to let go of features that aren’t performing well. Magdalena recommends looking at your five most successful blog posts and asking, “What do they have in common?”

#14: Names, Titles and Bio

Not only are readers interested in the content in your blog post, they also want to know who wrote the post and their role at your organization.

Sometimes you’ll come across a thoroughly researched and well-written post only to find an attribution of “admin.” Even if the blog is only written by you and you’re the administrator of the blog, be sure to include your name, title and a way for readers to contact you.

#15: Original vs. Curated Content

The type of post you write can contain completely original content or can consist of content that you’ve curated.

Pamela Seiple addresses the issue of curated content and makes an important point when she says, “There’s a misconception among marketers that curated content is lazy and unoriginal, but we think it’s the complete opposite. It takes time and careful evaluation to create quality curated content and the result is oftentimes a very valuable piece of content that helps people seeking information on a given topic to cut through the clutter on the web and save time.”

The 26 tips series here on Social Media Examiner is an example of curated posts, pulling in the expertise of others who have written on the topic. As a curator of this kind of post, I love the journey of the research and find it especially rewarding to see the content pulled together in a way that hadn’t been previously available. Curated posts can be incredibly gratifying!

#16: Publish and Promote

Kristi Hines speaks about the publishing and promoting stages of creating a successful blog post. Kristi says that one thing you want to do during the publishing stage is to ensure that your post has some kind of call to action. “Think about what you want people to do once they’ve read the post….”

Promoting a blog post can involve a fair amount of thought and strategy, as you’ll see from Kristi’s approach. She has a different plan in place for “averagely awesome posts, awesome posts and killer awesome posts.”

What differs for the three types of posts is how many social networks she shares the posts with, whether she includes the post in her writing portfolio and whether it’s included in her custom RSS feed or utilizes blog commenting promotion and direct messaging partners in social media to see if they’ll help spread the word.

Kristi describes promotion as taking from a few minutes to a few hours, and recommends taking the time to build a good foundation before you expect to execute a successful blog promotion.

#17: Questions

What are you going to write about post after post, week after week, year after year? Sometimes thinking about content for your blog can seem daunting.

Lee Odden offers a great piece of advice: “One particularly effective way to get content ideas for blogging comes from reviewing web analytics for the kinds of questions people type into search engines like Google or Bing that deliver visitors.”

In one example, Lee said that he noticed that numerous visitors each month were typing in the question “What does a community manger do?” and search engines were sending them to one of his posts about that topic. He used it as an opportunity to explore other related questions about social community managers and providing content in the form of answers.

What questions are your web visitors asking before they arrive on your pages? How can you maximize your content to answer readers’ questions?

#18: Research

Well-researched blog posts can differentiate your content from your competitors’. Being known as a go-to source in your industry will help make your blog stand out. Where do you go to research posts?

I find that utilizing a variety of sources helps me gather the information I’m seeking.

For example, while I can often find a lot of useful content via web-based searches, sometimes there’s nothing like a visit to the library or a bookstore where I often will discover a helpful book on the shelf that I wouldn’t have known existed if I hadn’t been standing there physically eyeballing them.

Oli Gardner makes a good case for using social media research for your blog posts. He suggests ten social media research strategies:

#19: Stand Out

When you’ve been blogging in a competitive marketplace for a while, chances are good that you’ll see other bloggers writing on topics similar to yours. It doesn’t mean that you have to stay away from the topic completely; rather you can use it as an opportunity to see what worked and didn’t work in their post and write yours in a way that will help you to stand out in the topic area.

By reading the comments on similar blog posts, you will get a great view of what questions and thoughts people had after reading the post and you can take a slightly different angle by making sure you cover those areas in your article.

#20: Title

How important is the title of your blog post? Simply put, very important!

Brian Clark writes that the title is the first, and perhaps only, impression you make on a prospective reader.

He says, “Without a headline or post title that turns a browser into a reader, the rest of your words may as well not even exist.

But a headline can do more than simply grab attention. A great headline can also communicate a full message to its intended audience, and it absolutely must lure the reader into your body text.”

example of an eye-catching title

An example of an eye-catching title from

#21: User-Centered Content

Possibly one of the worst mistakes a blog post can make is missing the mark of its readers, forgetting who they are and their needs and interests.

Georgy Cohen goes as far as to say that content can serve as customer service and that to be helpful, content should be user-focused (asking what our users’ problems and priorities are), communicated clearly and presented in succinct language.

#22: Valuable Content

In the perfect blogging world, creating valuable content would be at the top of every blogger’s list for their post objectives.

While our definitions about valuable content may vary, Ahava Leibtag has created a very helpful step-by-step checklist that reminds us to ask five questions:

  • Can the user find the content
  • Can the user read the content
  • Can the user understand the content
  • Will the user want to take action
  • Will the user share the content

She suggests:

  • Findable content includes: an H1 tag; at least two H2 tags; metadata including title, descriptors and keywords; links to other related content; alt tags for images.
  • Readable content includes: an inverted-pyramid writing style, chunking, bullets, numbered lists, following the style guide.
  • Understandable content includes: an appropriate content type (text, video), indication that you considered the users’ persona, context, respect for the users’ reading level, articulating an old idea in a new way.
  • Actionable content includes: a call to action, a place to comment, an invitation to share, links to related content, a direct summary of what to do.
  • Shareable content includes: something to provoke an emotional response, a reason to share, a request to share, an easy way to share, personalization.

Download the checklist for future reference.

valuable content checklist

Ahava Leibtag's Valuable Content Checklist.

#23: Word Count

How many words should you have in your blog post? Some blogs have set parameters for optimal length and put a value on whether a post is short or long.

Corey Eridon has an interesting perspective on word count and suggests that focusing on blog word count might not be as important as you think it is. “Some topics take 100 words to explain, some take 1,000, and that’s okay.”

Corey suggests that writers focus instead on whether posts are optimized for mobile, use effective formatting, communicate in a clear manner and that outlining the points you want to cover may ultimately be a better use of your time and energy.

If you’re restricted to shorter posts by the parameters set up in advance for your blog, then you could also follow Corey’s advice to link to longer-form content you’ve developed around the topic.

Bottom line: Don’t let the quantity of words dictate the quality of your post.

#24: (E)xcerpt

On the heels of our discussion about blog word count, a shorter blog post can also be an excerpt or summary of what readers will find in your longer-form content—e.g., eBook or white paper—but it needn’t be restricted to words.

You can also use an excerpt of the transcript or a brief description to demonstrate what information the users will learn if they watch your video or listen to your podcast.

great excerpts

Mike Stelzner provides great excerpts from his expert interviews on Social Media Examiner.

#25: Your Story

Readers like to get to know how writers tick and often appreciate hearing a few personal details and insights from the person who has taken them on a journey through a post. While business blogs shouldn’t be thought of as personal journal entries, you can tell your readers a little bit about how you operate.

For example, I stated above that writing curated posts like the 26 tips series here on Social Media Examiner is one of my favorite types of posts to write. (Truth be told, curated posts are also some of my favorite types to read.)

In the description of “research” above, I also shared how research is one of my favorite parts of blogging and how I enjoy researching both online and offline by doing the footwork of visiting libraries and bookstores in search of materials.

What parts of yourself are you willing and able to share with your readers?

#26: Zone for Writing

Ideas for blog posts come at all times—when you’re driving in your car, sitting at your desk, and yes, even in the middle of the night!

Chances are good though that the actual writing of the post will happen in multiple drafts and revisions, and depending on how you work, it may take place over a period of days.

What can be helpful is to create a time and place where you can get into the zone for writing and allow yourself to go with it, with as few interruptions as possible.

What do you think? How do you keep your blog posts consistent and dynamic? What tips would you add? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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  • Excellent post, thanks for this resource!

  • Ragunath

    How long did you take to write this Article?

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Ben. Hope you find it helpful.–Debbie

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  • deb1221

    While I can’t be sure exactly…let’s say safely, a number of hours. Posts like these do take awhile to do. I find doing them in a number of sittings helps. As I wrote in the post, I do find curated posts like these to be very gratifying to pull together. Hope that helps!–Debbie

  • Good Summary!  Thanks for sharing!

  • Awesome tips Debbie, love the sample editorial calendar you linked too, much better than then one I was using. Thanks for sharing.

  • SandyFischler

    Great post and exactly what I needed! 

    I’m perplexed as to why you leave out Blogger as blog app, being owned by Google gives it an edge up when it comes to search. 

  • Renia Carsillo

    I’m with Jamie on the editorial calendar! Lots of great stuff here! 

  • cherylpickett

    Great tips Debbie. As far as a possible addition, how about O is for Omit the Overwhelm meaning, make sure you stick  to one idea per post. Sometimes bloggers get excited about a topic and get going on semi-related tangents that muddy up the issue at hand. If that happens, it’s usually best to start another post, which is also good for you because now you’ve got a jump start the next time you’re ready to write :-).

  • deb1221

    Hi Sandy,
    Thanks for your comment and question. Re: Blogger, actually many people don’t think that it’s a great choice for business blogs in regard to SEO.

    Here’s a post that explains a little more about why.


    (if link doesn’t work here try googling “best blogging platforms for seo hubpages”

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Dave!

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Jamie. Yes, I agree, Andy Wibbels did a nice job with the spreadsheet.–Debbie

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Renia. Glad you like the editorial calendar, too. –Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Cheryl,
    Great point. You can even make it into a series. –Debbie

  • Thanks Debbie for this wonderful article.  This gives me so much information I need for my very own blog!

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  • deb1221

    Excellent, Lou! Music to a blogger’s ears.

  • Shay

    I found this incredibly helpful. Thank you so much… I’m off to do some more research and learning and hopefully elevate the experience my readers have on my blog. 

  • Virtually Savvy

    Great post Debbie! Thank you. I just recently read that it is best to keep tags to less then 10 on a blog post. Any insight on that?

  • deb1221

    Great, Shay. Thanks for reading.–Debbie

  • Chandi at Skin Strong

    This is so timely – I was working on my editorial calendar when I got this.  I really like the editorial calendar that I easily downloaded and will use.  Our company is a little different in that we have professional athletes that will be writing guest posts at least 2-3 times a month – giving them tips is helpful for them as well.  One of our goals this year is to ramp our blog and, as usual, you guys are a great help!

  • deb1221

    Hi Katie,
    I can’t say that I’ve come across a recommended number about tags but I think Darren Rowse, @problogger  provides some good advice when it comes to tags.

    He says:

    “The most common problem with tagging is that it is used for the same
    purposes that categories are. Your tags aren’t categories. They are complements to your categories.

    Think of tags as the colorful little page markers you might use to flick
    back to your favorite pages in a book. The tags don’t describe the book
    as a whole, instead they describe individual sections of the book.

    Use the same tags over and over again. The tagging
    system is useless when the tags you use vary. For instance, if you have a
    series of posts on writing articles, you could tag them as
    “journalism,” “writing,” “copywriting,” or a hundred other variations.
    The important thing is that you choose one of them, and then reuse it on every post you ever write on the topic.”

  • deb1221

    Hi Chandi,
    Love it when that happens!
    Glad you found the post helpful. Best of luck with your blog.–Debbie

  • Ashley

    You followed your own tips. 😉

    Thanks for this handy post; so many useful gems!

  • Completely agree with these and pleasantly surprised that we’re doing a majority of them – YEA! We have multiple authors contribute to our blog (at a community college), so while we provide them with ‘tips on writing a good blog post,’  it can still be a bit challenging to wrangle.

  • Debbie, dang lady, this was incredibly thorough and the visual aids you chose were excellent, I can tell you spent a ton of time on this…and I’m sure many others bloggers will benefit from it as well.



  • Long read but worth reading.

  • This is great! So many good reminders here. I admittedly don’t follow all of these regularly, but I need to work them into the routine.

    Thanks for the great post!

  • deb1221


    Thanks, Ashley. –Debbie

  • deb1221

    Yes, yea for you and your team! Not always easy to do.–Debbie

  • Mary E. Trimble

    Thank you for the excellent article. I’m a writer, novels (3) mostly, but am almost ready to publish a memoir about our two years in Africa with the Peace Corps. I’m seriously looking for ways to on-line market, and this piece will be very helpful.

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Marcus! Glad you liked the visual aids. I really had fun too with snag-it’s arrows and bubbles. They do a very nice tool. –Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Rahul, Yes I was thinking about the length just about the time I got to “W” Word Count–realizing that it was getting on there in length but there was just so much to say!

    Glad you found it worth your time.–Debbie

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Jon!

  • Needed to read this today…

  • deb1221

    Hi Mary, Oh good, glad you think the post will be helpful to you.

    I’ll be interested in checking out your memoir about the Peace Corps. Will look for your novels, too!–Debbie

  • deb1221

    So glad you did. –Debbie

  • Great post Debbie! The editorial calendar is a great tool along with the other resources sprinkled throughout the post. Thank you!

  • Teal Sullivan

    I really liked the suggestions in this article…great job… reminded me of the process as well as to add those share’ opportunities… this may sound lame…but where do I get the share buttons?  are they downloadable on Social Meddia Examiner site?

    thanks, Teal

  • Janetdsweet

    Perfect to have all of this in one place. Thanks, Debbie!

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Margaret. Editorial calendar has been a big hit!

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Teal. Re: share buttons, if you’re on a self-hosted wordpress blog you can check out the plugin directory for different choices of share buttons. –Debbie

  • Blogging without a doubt is a neat way to stand apart the crowd and get the respect, one deserves . An absolute selfless article which shows the credibility of the writer.

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Janet. The print friendly icon at the top of the page (next to the date of post) does a really nice job of printing out the post.–Debbie

  • deb1221

    Thank you, Mudassirhashmi. Very kind 🙂

  • I like the way this post is laid out…easy for me to read and digest. Great content is much appreciated!

  • April Rendonvera

    Very informative, helpful article, Debbie. Thank you so much for the research and effort that went into preparing this. I was just preparing to write an article about necessary components for writing great blog posts for my clients – I’m going to send them here to read yours instead! Extremely thorough and detailed, without being “wordy” or drilling too deeply into the tips. I also prefer curated blog posts.

    Great job and thank you again!

  • deb1221

    Oh, good, April. Glad the post was helpful to you.

    I’ve been reading a good book about curated content called, Curation Nation by Steven Rosenbaum that you might find of interest, too. And, really like this publication on curated content,


  • deb1221

    Thank you, April!

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Eryn. Some days just aren’t long enough to read all the great content people are generating out there. Glad you found this easy to read and digest.–Debbie

  • Very informative, and #16 is so crucial make a call to action! 

  • deb1221

    I know and so often the call to action isn’t either loud or clear enough for most users to act.–Debbie

  • This is definitely going to be used as a reference guide for when I continue blogging. #5, #7, # 12 are something I need to improve on. Thanks for sharing great tips!

  • Stephanie Bishop

    I am so excited to digest these suggestions and apply them to my blog. The list, links, and photos are so very helpful. Thanks for researching and posting!

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Rachel. I really like the search engine tips, too. If you haven’t already, click on the SUNY Plattsburgh link, I had to summarize their suggestions but you may find even more good stuff there.–Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Stephanie,
    Thanks. Very happy to hear that the post is helpful. Great fun researching and posting here, as usual!–Debbie

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  • Hi Debbie

    WOW this is probably the most extensive list I’ve seen in one place! I guess that speaks for the curated content 🙂 I now understand that concept better so thanks! I have 3 questions please:

    1  Where does Typepad fall in the list of suggested blogs to use?

    2  In your section on beautiful blogs you list the elements that should be included. What about the appearance of colors, fonts etc. White seems to be the most popular but I’m just not a fan of it. Overall blogs seem to be pretty basic in design?

    3   Seems like many business, consulting, writing blogs offer free gift for subscribing but sites like cooking for ex. do not, at least not as much. Your thoughts? Thanks for giving us so much to think and strategize around!


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  • deb1221

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for reading, commenting and for your questions.

    1. I personally don’t know a lot about Typepad but in a recent discussion in the blogging networking group in SME’s clubs, Mike Stelzner posted this comment which I think sheds some good light:

    “Social Media Examiner is a self hosted WordPress blog.  Now we are
    huge and have multiple dedicated servers and a content delivery network,
    but this does allow you the most control.
    Search engine advantages are another thing to consider.  Just think of Seth Godin.  He is stuck on (note: mike had the url here which i dont’ think will work if I include here in the comments, but it is a Typepad blog) and has not benefited from the SEO benefits as he got big.”

    2. Some people do a very nice job with the design (color schemes, etc) and feel of their blogs. However, what is of real concern today is how “responsive” the design will be when people try viewing on mobile phones and tablets so there’s a lot of discussion about that these days. 

    3. I guess it depends what you mean by free gifts. I think what works very nicely is when blogs have free e-books that they’ve put together (e.g. HubSpot does a great job with this) some type of compelling and worthwhile information that someone really wants to have and doesn’t mind giving you their email address so they can download it.

    I think a cooking blog could do that if they were offering let’s say, our favorite chili recipes, or superbowl snacks, etc.

    Hope this helps!

  • Awesome Debbie.

    This was CliffNotes of Blogging served in one well written article.

    Thanks for sharing this summary. Was some valuable downloads here also. Loved that content calendar tip.


    Are Morch
    Hotel Blogger

  • Great post. Interesting from top to bottom, directly to my favorites. Congrats.

  • Sinead HW

    Thanks for your advice, Debbie, it’s a great resource. I’ve now downloaded, linked to and RSS’d just about every bit of info on here. As someone fairly new to blogging the idea of curating blog posts especially appealed to me. Do you need to seek the permission of other people’s blogs before linking to them?

  • Tim W

    Thanks for the advice, great content

  • Renee

    Great information-thanks for curating!  Very helpful.

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  • This was so well-researched. Almost like a bible for blogging. Thanks Debbie! About to start my own blog and feeling a bit challenged by what i want to focus on etc. 

  • deb1221

    Thank you, Are!

  • deb1221

    Cristian, appreciate you taking the time to read and comment!–Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Sinead,

    Glad you’ve downloaded, linked and rss’d. Attribution is the key. Bloggers are very thrilled to have other people find and use their content–just be sure to quote and give credit where credit is due. –Debbie

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Tim!

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Renee. My pleasure!

  • deb1221

    Hi Binte, Like a bible…I’m completely honored. 

    Good luck with your blog. I think you’ll find it’s a wonderful undertaking and that there’s a lot of great support and interest out there. Social Media Examiner is a great resource and a great place to interface with other bloggers and wanna-be bloggers! –Debbie

  • Promila

    Great post. Very helpful. Thanks Debbie.

  • Fantastic post. I love having everything in one place – almost like a blogger checklist. Thanks so much!

  • Hi Debbie! It is awesome. Very helpful tips have been posted for writing great blog posts. This post is very helpful to me. Thanks for sharing.

  • Heidi Gibson

    Dear Debbie

    WOW what a great read!. Great resource..(as an aspiring social media guru) .i liked it so much I put it on my FB page !!! Keep them coming

  • This is a great resource for all of us bloggers, *bookmarked*

  • Rich

    Your blog was very helpful and obviously well thought out first. Thank you for sharing!

    So my last attempt at posting this was ignored, and the one from Faye is still up. I guess you get paid for that one? You can do better – or at least it is hard to do worse.
    You can post my 1st sentence above by itself if you are censoring comments, but I would appreciate an email response if nothing else, on Faye’s “infomercial” link, please.
    But I wanted to comment about a comment you didn’t respond to.

    The link in the comment from Faye, about 9 hours before this one, is in really poor form. The information linked to is extremely misleading and prays on people’s weaknesses. I have seen the link before, and when you read the fine print at the bottom, it admits the information is misleading and only loosely based on real circumstances. The standard So and so from “Your City of residence” and the tag that resulting in “This expires in 1 day” are setting people up for a financial loss – while intimidating the reader using a deadline. Living in New Mexico, the news station is not anything we ever had here, but may be convincing in more densely populated areas.

  • Elizabeth

    Wow, that s an amazing blog post, really succint and with excellent explanations and incredibly valuable tools.  Thank you so much!  I will share 😉

  • Indeed, great post Debbie. In fact, I came across this while gathering up information for my own curated post, so it was well timed.
    Julia @

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Promila. Apppreciate your comment.

  • deb1221

    Thanks, LInda!

  • deb1221

    Hi Henry, Glad this is helpful to you. –Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Heidi (aspiring social media guru!) Thanks for reading and sharing, too!–Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Dirty, Thanks! –Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Elizabeth, So glad you found the post helpful. –Debbie

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  • Telling how it is

    How can this site give advice on writing a blog when their can’t even get it right? When creating a blog don’t get heavy on the graphics like this website. It becomes hard to read and you will lose a users interest. Be selective on what you present for it will make it hard for the user to direct their eye through the content. Minimalism is key. Also if you are making an article with a list of tips or reasons for whatever point that you are trying to prove, make sure that you keep it to roughly 3-6 points. You lose the users attention when you have a list of 26 points. Be clear and concise with the content that you post. Lastly make sure that you have something intelligent to talk about. No one wants to read about your dead cat or how or how you still live with your mom.

  • deb1221

    Hi Rich, Sorry to hear you had trouble posting a comment previously, thanks for giving it another try.  I agree that readers need to exercise care and caution around stories that promise quick-fixes and money-making opportunities. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. –Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi, Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions here. This is a rather long post and there are others of much shorter length on Social Media Examiner. Hope you’ll continue to look for posts that are of more interest to you. –Debbie

  • Debbie,

    I agree with Marcus. I am so impressed with this list. What a great overview. So much good stuff here. (And thanks for including a link to my post on images over at For Bloggers, By Bloggers!) 

    I love a post where I actually learn some new things. I especially love #25 (“Your Story”). That is what makes bloggers stand out, when they let their readers in close. Thanks for doing this.   : )

  • deb1221

    Hi Judy,
    Thanks for your comment and stopping by here. It’s always wonderful to hear from one of your sources. I loved what you said about images.

    So glad your material could be part of the post. Looking forward to seeing you around the spheres! –Debbie

  • April Rendonvera


    Hi again. Thank you for the super link – I have been devouring the info there (and linked) for at least an hour now, and just subscribed. I especially liked reading “Can ‘Curation’ Save Media?” and “Is Curation the New Search – Yes! Here’s Why”
    Thanks also for the book suggestion – I’m an avid reader and just added it to my list. Chapter 15 looks interesting!


  • Thanks for the insight Debbie.  Makes interesting reading. Writing great blog posts clearly requires more than just adding content to a site.   

  •  Thanks for a great post, it was nice to get so many thoughts in one place. We all appreciate you taking the time to put it together for the rest of us. I shared a link with the rest of my RWA chapter.

  • I am currently redefining the editorial lign and strategy for my corporate blog. This post supports and reinforces some of my ideas and introduced me to new concepts, thank you very much Debbie ! 

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Shefiu.

  • deb1221

    Hi Erika, Appreciate your comment and thanks too for sharing with your chapter.–Debbie

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Mazza. I’m glad to hear the post is of assistance to you. –Debbie

  • Frank japhet

    its so strait Big up.

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  • One of the better posts on blogging I’ve ever read. Nice.

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  • deb1221

    Thank you, Frank!

  • deb1221

    Hi Mark, Appreciate your comment!–Debbie

  • @twitter-15587499:disqus Brilliant post and resource. You didn’t just mentioned all important points, you actually used them as well in this post which makes it a great reference for all bloggers. Thank you!

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Nick! Appreciate your feedback.

  • Great post! I’m the blog admin/cheerleader for our company and trying to get everyone to contribute is extremely difficult. I just emailed them all a link to this blog and picked out a few specific tips for them to try to use in their next blog submissions. I’m hoping your clear and entertaining content will inspire them to create something similar!

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  • deb1221

    Hi Alison, I’m so glad. Let us know how it goes. Some before and after stories would be great to see! –Debbie

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  • Rosaanna1401

    Thank you Debbie for this clear, interesting and very helpfull post. Greetings from Holland

  • deb1221

    Hi Rosaanna, Thank you, and how wonderful to hear from you–from Holland!–Debbie

  • Thanks a lot. Very interesting article. saludos de España

  • lilianhermans

    Thanks a lot. Very interesting article. saludos de España

  • deb1221

    Thank you, Lilian. I love to hear that people are reading all over the world.–Debbie

  • Hi Debbie,

    We maintain a blog for one of my companies ( itoctopus ), and that blog is really meant to help our current and our future clients. When we write a blog post, we really think of our clients – how we can help them. I think that’s key to our success.

    It’s very important to have a company blog.

  • deb1221

    Hi Fadi, You raise a great point. I think it’s really key to remember (and envision) who you are writing for when you’re constructing a post. Company blogs, done well, can be such a great service to customers and prospects. Thanks for your comment. –Debbie

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  • Raghunathlohar

    i m a wordpress blogger what should i do next??

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  • deb1221

    Hi Raghunathlohar,

    If you’re new to blogging you may want to read posts here on social media examiner to get the lay of the land. You can use these 26 tips as a way to think organizationally and strategically about your posts, what your writing, how to come up with headlines, thoughts about SEO, editorial calendars, etc.

    Do you have a more specific question? Thanks for reading and commenting.–Debbie

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  • Adrian Biljan

    Coming from a newb blogger, this is a Must Read. 

  • 🙂 Quite like a manifesto, this. I always jot down ideas for blog posts and then just go for it. But now, after reading this entire post, I see how much time I can save by making an editorial calendar, especially with my increasing workload.

    Superb list of tips. Thank you, Debbie. Some of the tips are overwhelming, because I don’t really follow all the rules. I blog for fun. I really oughtta get more serious. Thing is, the thought of moving from “Blogger” to “WordPress” after using Blogger for ten years scares the what-not out of me. 

  • Ericka Henderson

    Amazing post. Very comprehensive and offers a variety of info to draw from. Much appreciated, Debbie!

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  • Jonnie

    Great tips Debbie.  Sad that you take the time to share, write and give away your own personal experience and beliefs about this subject and what has worked for you and that some would actually criticize you for listing too many tips. I learned a great deal…and I didn’t mind the length of the list at all.  Voracious readers don’t have a problem with 26 tips.  Maybe some have a problem learning the alphabet. 

  • I think you did an exceptional job with this post.  It was so thorough.  I’ve printed it out so I can follow it like a checklist.  Also, I’ve already tweeted it.  Thank you.

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  • lilianhermans

    Hi Debbie, here Lilian again. I read your tips again to know more about the subject, to improve my blog and I wondered if you would recommend to use tags next to the categories as stated in #3.
    Thanks for your reply.

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Adrian!

  • deb1221

    Hi Vidya, Sometimes rules are made to be broken.

    I think the operative word in your response is “fun” and I don’t think anyone would argue that a writer should have fun with their work. I wish you many more enjoyable days with your posts and if the platform you’re on is working for you, then it’s working! Best, Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Ericka,
    You’re welcome. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. –Debbie

  • deb1221

    Thank you, Jonnie. All in the day of a blogger 🙂 I feel very gratified by the responses. And to you and all the voracious readers out there, thank you!–Debbie

  • deb1221

    Thanks, JC!

  • deb1221

    Thanks for letting me know. Glad you’ve been finding the content there of value to you. –Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi again, Lillian,

    Thanks for asking….As I indicated below in the comments where I quoted Darren Rowse re; tags–tags are very important in conjunction with your categories. Not an either or situation. They both fulfill different needs. Here’s what Darren says about tags:

    “The most common problem with tagging is that it is used for the same
    purposes that categories are. Your tags aren’t categories. They are complements to your categories.

    Think of tags as the colorful little page markers you might use to flick
    back to your favorite pages in a book. The tags don’t describe the book
    as a whole, instead they describe individual sections of the book.

    Use the same tags over and over again. The tagging
    system is useless when the tags you use vary. For instance, if you have a
    series of posts on writing articles, you could tag them as
    “journalism,” “writing,” “copywriting,” or a hundred other variations.
    The important thing is that you choose one of them, and then reuse it on every post you ever write on the topic.”

    Hope that helps.


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  • Very useful checklist.  I appreciate you putting things out so clearly and visually.  Great too.  Thanks.

  • Tynga .

    Great post! Is there a way to include unique description for each post in blogger? I’ve been searching but can’t find a way. Thank you!

  • deb1221

    Hi, Glad you’ve found the tips useful!–Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Tynga, Sorry to say that I don’t know very much about Blogger. I took a quick look and am not finding anything either. I’ll let you know if I learn otherwise. Thanks for reading.–Debbie

  • Fernando Ruiz Corregidor

    Great post Debbie, very useful for me…!!! – If you do noy mind, probably I will translate it into Spanish and share with some blogger friends, if it will be ok for you? (of course, I put you as the original autor…)

  • deb1221

    Hi Fernando, Glad you’ve found the post useful. Gracias!–Debbie

  • Ketan

    Wow! Even as I was reading the tips, I wondered if it is possible to write one such post daily! Of course, not.

  • Ketan

    While the post is amazing, it may not always be possible to get into the ‘zone’ if you are employed as a salaried writer. You have to stick to editorial calendars. There are rounds of review, editing etc. And by the time your content is ready to be published, you may have missed the deadline. For instance, most of the times I do not feel like opening my personal laptop once I am home, as I would have been typing for several hours anyway. So I cannot get going with my personal blog. At some point along the way, you do realize that writing is an art – a creative activity and not easy to fit into an assembly line content production model. I have plenty to write, but top quality really comes when you can get into that ‘zone’. What would you recommend for such writers who have plenty to write, but not enough ‘white space’?

  • Tynga .


  • I love the idea of curated content; it’s like cherry picking the ‘creme de la creme’ of the subject and can only offer the ultimate value to the reader.  This is a really insightful and educational read and thanks for it.

  • deb1221

    Hi Ketan, You raise a really good question for writers who really want to write but who are pressed for time. I’m in a writer’s group where we talk about this question, and the question of writer’s block and the assorted other issues that come up for the writer (in addition to reading and workshopping each other’s essays and short stories).

    I’ve heard some people say that committing to a doable amount for you, whether it’s a page, 1/2 page, couple of paragraphs is what’s key. Jotting down notes on the go, dictating them or finding some way to capture the thoughts. To make the most and best use of whatever amount of time you have.

    Coincidentally I had just started reading a book entitled “Ron Carlson Writes a Story” when I had read your comment. The book (a wonderful little volume) is really about fiction-writing but I think the messages can be applied to all types of writing. And this point really resonated with me.

    Ron Carlson writes, “The most important thing a writer can do after completing a sentence s to stay in the room.  The great temptation is to leave the room to celebrate the completion of the sentence or to go out in the den where the television lies like a dormant monster and rest up for a few days for the next sentence or to go wander the seductive possibilities of the kitchen. But. It’s this simple. The writer is the
     person who stays in the room.”

    And so as simplistic as it may sound, in answer to your question, I’d say stay in the room. I know I’m going to try and do the same!

    Hope that helps. Best, Debbie

  • deb1221

    You’re very welcome!

  • deb1221

    Hi Trish, Me, too. I’m loving the idea of curated blog content more and more. Content is swimming by us in rapid streams 24/7, and curated content is one way to slow it down and dig up the treasures. Best, Debbie

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  • Using a finite numbers (5 reasons, 10 tips etc)  in the post title always tends to work well both to boost organic CTR and email open rates.

  • deb1221

    I agree Anshul. Numbers in the post title are very effective with organic CTR and email open rates.  Interesting how that works…

    Thanks for reading and commenting.


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  •  The comments section of a blog is one that I really need to spend some
    more time investing in. I fail to revisit a lot of initial comments that
    I leave and need to remedy this. However, the only way I tend to go
    back is if I am sent an email saying another person responded to my
    comment… Is there another way to get a ping?

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  • That’s what I call thorough. 

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  • Paulo Messias

    Interesting post, with valuable information.

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  • basilbart


    Great work, I liked your way to put your thoughts on this.
    Always, there are many  an
    interesting              information.
    I’ll come to you once again.

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  • An excellent article Debbie on many levels and you’ve explained the logic behind the technique so that even a Plumber or DDS or any SMB can use this model to enhance their Blog. Strong work! [sidebar] I just saw on my Google+ stream this piece was reshared (5 months later) so for the SMB’s I send to this article, pay close attention to not only Debbie’s advice, but the dozen’s of comments on how spot on this piece is!

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  • Neal B.

    This is a huge resource. I’m used to simply write what is on my mind and now I realized that there are more things that I can do to improve my blog writing skills.

    What do you recommend in terms of blog posting frequency?

  • I’m starting a blog in the coming weeks and this post was extremely helpful! However, my blog will be more focused on micro-travel and less business. Any suggestions on how to go about expanding an edgy travel blog?

  • Hands down, one of the most helpful posts I’ve read. Any suggestions on optimizing travel blogs?

  •  Very nice post. I have just made a print out of it. So that I can read this comfortably!

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  • Copywriter Matt

    Excellent tips. When it comes to writing a blog, there’s a whole lot to consider. Great content is essential, but it’s only part of the equation!

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  • Thank you for this comprehensive list.  I found your blog when doing a search for how many words I should aim for in each blog. I found much more than that! 

  • I agree this. Numbers in the post title are very effective with organic CTR and email open rates. Interesting how that works…

  • Great post.These tips are so helpful for me.Thanks for sharing.

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  • I have a question on curated posts, how do you credit the people whose content you have used? Also, do you contact them to request the use of their material? I agree that curated posts are some of the best ones to read.

  • I’m glad I added this post to my favourites. It’s quite comprehensive.

  • I’ve always said that tools are only as good as the skills of the people using them and the moving target of social savvy customers along with a rapidly evolving social web make social media marketing skills acquisition a bit tricky. I think part of the answer to the distracted approach to social media marketing efforts like corporate blogging could be arrested by mastering these basics.
    If I were only to give 5 content marketing tips to a company that wanted to get the most for and from its customers through blogging, here are the tips I’d give:
    1. Customer. Problem. Solution. Gather information related to what your target audience wants, likes and needs related to your industry, company, products and services.  Develop key value propositions about what your blog will stand for and the things your blog will solve for those people the business is trying to reach.
    The mistake many companies make is to either talk solely about themselves, their products and services or worse: to never talk about themselves, their own products and services. A balance is the key and the trick is to find that balance for your own situation.
    The “customer” for your blog need not be limited to people who buy. Other audience considerations include the people who influence buyers but may never be buyers themselves, journalists, other bloggers, industry analysts, business and marketing partners, existing customers, current employees and potential employees. What problems will content published on a blogging platform solve for them that will also help advance your business?
    2. Define the Topics.Once you’ve decided on goals, audience and key value propospitions the blog will communicate, the next step towards constructing a great corporate blogging plan is to identify the topics. The outcome of this exercise is the start of your blog editorial plan. Some inspiration and long tail definition for topics can come from a SEO Keyword Glossary and the Social Media Topics Glossary.
    In fact, any content or media produced and promoted through a business blog should be leveraging SEO best practices. Being visible through search as well as sharable through social networks is a powerful combination.

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  • Vishnu Bhatt

    You provide me really valuable information.Really thanks helped me a lot as i am a beginner.

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  • I am a ‘newbie’ blogger, using fbook and twitter as a developmental tool for marketing my business. Your tips are great and a fabulous resource for someone like me! Thanks for taking the time to spread your experience.

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  • Jamie Evans

    This is a great post, I cant believe how much description is in here, really going to help me write my blog posts, bookmarked and will always be using this as a resource for my posts. Thank you very much.

  • Amazing. If you believe, you’ve just inspired me to write my last post.
    Thanks a lot!

  • Facebook and twitter are two most popular marketing tools to promote your business…Anyone interested for social media marketing can use these tools…

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  • Natalie

    Debbie, thanks for sharing this with us. It is very helpful! Just a quick question on meta-description. Is that the same as excerpt that I normally fill in each post in wordpress?

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  • Jmedi

    I found this so helpful! and particularly loved number 15 and 22! Thank you this is a great resource, specially for beginners like me!

  • jim lewis

    Thank you for this information on blogging. I am just beginning and your info is great.

  • What a great post. Thank you for sharing I will have to reference to this post every time I write something for my own blog. I really do appreciate the help and the illustrations and commentary to accompany them.


  • Wow Debbie, you did a very thorough job here.

    While there are lots of important points here my favorite is #19 Stand Out. I think that’s one of the hardest things to do. Bloggers often get discourages with finding unique content and making it memorable.

    But I try to stress with new bloggers especially that just because topics have been written on before you have a chance to bring new ideas to old topics through your own personal experiences. In other words strive to keep your blog unique, interesting and full of ideas.

    Liz 🙂

  • Great post packed with a lot of information!

  • Hristiqn Nikolov

    Hello, i would like to ask you a question. My native language is not english, what
    advices would you give me to write a good content, my english is good, but not
    at expert level.

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  • Adil Yousuf

    excellent posts,i am new in this field and want more tips

  • Trying to find a new direction for our blog and you have really helped me make my decision 🙂

  • Shorya Chauhan

    do u feel it is the technicality that makes a good blogger ..?..i think it is in you….it is your own core and the connection of your heart to your writing that takes it to make you a good blogger or a writer.

  • Shorya Chauhan

    i just feel write what you believe in as a soul ….and you will reach to the hearts one day.

  • Hiii Debbie,

    This is really a much much useful and awesome article. you covered all the points very impressively and in detail. it seems, you disclosed all the secrete to help us. thanks Debbie for this amazing share.

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  • This is so useful I’ve left it up on my computer for a week now! 🙂 Thanks,

  • Trade Alerts

    awesome info, a bit overwhelming though . 🙂 thnx for the share

  • its excellent post .. thanks to share this

  • Felix Brown

    Content is become the most necessary part after the well known Panda update in Google. I would like to thanks for sharing the useful techniques for content writing.

  • emmaus

    Nice Thanks

  • Mike

    Great tips Debbie. Much thanks! 🙂

  • Fantastic post – you really hit the nail on the head here.

  • Very nice post. Thank you

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  • we are party rock

    i like this it helps me a lot

  • we are party rock


  • we are party rock


  • Subha Sadiq

    excellent tips for bloggers helping them to create great content.

  • ken schwartz

    This was very useful….thank you for sharing.

  • jeck

    nice post aponake comment lekte hobe ok

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  • This is one of an evergreen post that holds lot of values to readers till date. Thanks for summing up such great information in an article. Hope I could write one 🙂

  • I do research before I syart my blog. I have my keyword or title & I start jodding down key points that I find interesting & informative.

    Once that’s done I start creating my post. I find it’s much easier for me to outline it out.

    I like to stay in my room. No music playing, just complete silence. It helps me think much better

  • gogogrrrl

    hi, i think Debbie didn’t see your question because you added it as a reply to someone else’s comment? it’s a shame because i wanted to read her answer!

  • Love the concise rundown of the necessary elements of blogging. Thanks!

  • Kirti Pathania

    Great post for someone starting out.

  • Maria Battista

    It was very good, all the resources and strategies. It was helpful.
    Thank you

  • prynca peeru

    Very useful tips .thanks for sharing.I really need these all for my blogs.

  • anniejfdi

    This post looks to be 4 years old – is it all still relevant? I’m a brand newbie to blogging so don’t really know if anything has changed…

  • Grace Duffy

    Here is a updated post on how to get started on blogging, complete with a variety of resources you can use:

    You can also follow our blogging tag to find other articles that might be helpful to you as well:

  • LauraWhite

    This is excellent info. Thank you for writing and sharing this!

  • Actually I have one news Blog,After creating blog how to add adsense account to my blog ? Anyway thanks for this informative article.

  • Asav Sam

    Its really a good blog on writing tips. I appreciate your article. Its important to get quality writing skill. This blog is really helpful to give a light in this issue. So thanks for sharing all that important information.

  • Andriel FightinthaCause Brice

    Debbie thanks a bunch for sharing your wealth of knowledge. I am a new blogger and this is definitely taking me out of my comfort zone. However, I enjoy learning new things. So, I am looking forward to my blogging journey.

  • Hi,This is an elegant blog post. Thank you.

  • good article, thanks for sharing

  • Michael S McDonald

    This post is still helpful, thanks fort the reminder and with this post someone could create content for 26 days!!