Today I am sharing a piece on Krista's blog Blog Beautifully about elements you can add to your blog to make it more robust. I am so excited for that post to go live, and I wanted to offer an extension of that post today.
If you want to create long-form content, but you aren't sure where to begin, this blog will hopefully allow you to see where you can extend your content. This process will allow you to see all the ways that you can create longer content without sacrificing the quality of your content. After all: long-form, quality content is key!
For more on how to create long-form content, check out my article 10 Tips For Creating Remarkable Long-Form Content where I go in more detail on this process.
Create Blog Post Standards
When you create a standard for what you will and will not publish on your blog, you get yourself into the mindset of that standard. Then you can continuously churn out similar, amazing content according to brand standards.
So, what might you include in your blog post standards?
- Length of blog posts
- Type of blog posts (think educational vs. inspirational)
- Who the blog posts should be geared toward (beginner, intermediate, advanced?)
Basically, anything you might include on your Guest Post page, you should also have to follow. If you wouldn't allow a guest poster to submit the blog, you shouldn't publish it under your own name.
Write As Much Content As You Can
When you get ready to create your long-form content, the first thing you should do is write a blog post how you normally would. My process is normally as so:
Brainstorm the idea -> Create An Outline -> Load The Outline Into My Website -> Skip around the outline writing the parts that excite me until I have a first draft
This may take several hours or several days for me. In my eyes, there is no one way of creating content.
Creating your content, though, is the first step to creating long-form content.
Why I Like To Create Outlines
I love the outline method to creating my blog posts because it allows me to skip around. Once I have the bones of an article done, I can start wherever I would like to start. So, if that means writing the first paragraph first, or even skipping around to the middle paragraph, I can do that.
I also like to create outlines because I am particularly word-y when I don't have an outline to go off of. I LOVE to create long-form content, but I don't like to create content without a cause. When I have a "strict" outline to go off of, I can rein in my words. I put strict in quotation marks here because I do adjust my outline by taking away and adding parts to it after its initial creation.
Evaluate Your Content
After you have written your content to the best of your ability, it's time to evaluate it. Run through this list of questions as you are reading your content out loud. Jot down any places throughout where you think you can improve. You must write it down, because chances are you will forget if you don't.
Am I Rushing Through Any Parts Of This Article?
When I get tired, I rush. I try not to, but at the same time, I know this is true about my writing. So, when I am evaluating my content, I like to mark down where I see myself rushing. Then I go back in later to expand on that part of the blog post so that it gets an equal amount of attention.
Am I Making Assumptions About Your Reader?
Usually when you create a blog you are talking "down" in some capacity. That seems like an awful thing to say, but it's true. You are talking to someone who doesn't know as much as you do about a topic. So, you may be making some assumptions about your readers ability. Obviously, you don't want to break it down like your readers are in pre-school, but you need to be able to see the assumptions you may be making about your readers.
Have I Explained All Concepts Thoroughly?
One of the easiest ways to add content to your articles is to explain concepts. This goes to the making assumptions points, if you assume that your readers know the basics of a certain topic, that can confuse them. So, with certain topics, you may want to make sure you have thoroughly explain the associated concepts.
For example, if you are a parenting blogger, you may know about a lot of different parenting styles. If you are teaching your audience about a new parenting style, you may assume that they know the basics or they can Google it, but don't do that. Yes, your audience can just Google a topic, but why should they have to? Create a section of your article where you discuss the basics of that parenting style instead!
Is It Organized In The Best Way Possible?
Next, how does your organization look? Is it all over the place, or do you have a steady flow? I am a header and subheader lover. All of my content provides my audience with clear headers so that my readers know what's happening and what's to come. When you organize your work, you can also easily find gaps in your work. When you have a lengthy post that's just one long article, it can be easy to write a lot without actually saying anything. So, section off your work so you can see the bigger picture.
Is My Content Actionable?
Last, but not least, is your content actionable? If not, you may want to add a section of your article that is, that way you can add content to your blog, and make it easier to use. If you are creating educational content, you want your readers to be able to use every blog post you share online.
Walk Away From Your Content
In my opinion, one of the best things that you can do for your content is to walk away from it. Take a quick break and let your content breathe for a bit. This is helpful because it allows you to see your content for what it is, instead of what you want it to be.
You Should Never Publish Content You Have worked on one time.
In my humble opinion, you cannot create the best content if you have only worked on it once. That separation allows you to do things like:
- Catch typos
- Research the topic
- Fill in the content gaps that you left the first time
- Create content in a new state of mind
and so much more! Overall, your content increases in quality just by stepping away for a while.
When I created the original outline for this article, the header Create Blog Post Standards was not a part of the outline. I went in later and I added that section after a night of sleep, as well as this section to explain that section further. You never know what you might be able to come up with if you leave your blog post for a while.
Add Extra Resources
Your content's long-form nature doesn't have to come in terms of words in your article. The resources that you add with your article can also make a huge impact. Today on Blog Beautifully I shared 10 extra things you can add to any blog post like expert quotes and worksheets that will help expand your article and make it more robust. You will love this article because I provide a ton of ideas on how you can make your article go from good to great!
Today on the blog we discussed how you can create lengthier content that you are actually proud of. It is so important in today's age that the content that we put out is not only lengthy, but content that is well-organized, helpful, and work that we are proud of. Anyone can create content that drones on for days and call it long-form content, but the important thing is that the content you create makes sense. I hope this article has helped you figure out what that content looks like for you!