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8 Ways to Write a High Quality Post

March 24, 2008

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Writing a high quality article is certainly not an easy task. You already know how to write a successful post, but now you’re going to learn how to write a high quality post effectively and understand how to be productive when creating your articles. Combine productivity and an amazing post each day and you’ll have a goldmine of valuable content on your hands.

1. Close everything else you have open.

While it might be hard to completely distance yourself from everything you do online during the day, all of those distractions can not only make writing a post take a lot longer, but they can also ruin the quality of your post as well. When you open up Wordpress or your writing program, close everything else - the internet, any instant messaging systems, and make sure you log out of your email - you don’t want to be tempted! If you need to, leave an online page open for research or reference, but make sure you don’t stray off to any other sites that’ll just prevent you from doing your work.

2. Know about your topic.

You should know about what you’re going to write before you do. If you sit down thinking that you’re going to tell your readers how to code a certain part of a Wordpress theme, make sure you actually know how to do that yourself. Why teach people about something even you don’t understand how to do? Sure, you can reference other articles and basically just take their information, but that’s not going to do you or your visitors any good. Before you write an article on any subject, make sure you’ve researched it and know it completely, even if that means putting off writing about it for several weeks or more.

3. Have a schedule set and stick to it.

If it helps you, make a schedule for yourself and your blogging. Learn the power of planning for blogging success. You can plan out what you’re going to do throughout the day, including the time you sit down and write your content. During those timeframes, do only what you’re supposed to be doing. When writing an article you can also give yourself a certain amount of time to perform each task, such as thirty minutes to an hour with writing the article itself, ten minutes to come up with a good headline, twenty more to proofread, etc. This will make you feel like you’re not rushed and yet it will also force you to stick with what you’re doing and not take forever.

4. Write an outline for your post.

For some people it’s easier to create an outline for an article instead of writing it from start to finish. Grab a piece of paper and jot down all the main ideas of your post. If you’re writing a list, such as this one, write down all the key points but not the details. If there are any certain witty lines you’ve thought of that you want to include and not forget, write those down as well. Then when it’s time to write the actual post you can refer to your outline and fill in all the blanks.

5. Take breaks when you need to.

If you sit down to write and are going good for a while but then your creative juices stop flowing, don’t make yourself keep writing - that will only make the article quality suffer. When you find this happening get up and take a ten minute break. Walk around, stretch, go outside and get some fresh air if possible, or maybe get a small snack. Do whatever makes you feel relaxed and energizes your brain, and then come back and start writing again.

6. Always proofread at least once.

When I first started blogging I didn’t proofread my articles at all, which let grammatical mistakes and typos just slip through. When someone reads an article with bad English or a lot of misspelled words, they won’t be impressed and might not even continue reading if it’s bad enough. No matter how good of an idea you have for your post, it will be ruined if you don’t proofread it at least once or twice and catch all the errors you made. Even better, ask a friend or relative to read through your article before you publish it and see if they can catch any mistakes you might have missed!

7. Edit and touch up your article.

After you have finished writing your actual post, edit any mistakes you may have found after proofreading and touch up what you’ve written. Make the article appealing and attractive to readers - add an image and center or format it properly in the right place (try the Photo Dropper plugin if you use Wordpress), add links to other articles on your blog or those on other sites where appropriate, include quotes that will be interesting or useful, or anything else you deem necessary. Preview the article to make sure it looks all right and that everything is in the proper place and all the links work.

8. Never publish something you don’t like.

Let’s say you have an amazing idea that you can envision becoming one of your most popular articles, or an idea for some strong linkbait or social media content. You sit down and write, except it’s “one of those days” and your writing quality is suffering and the words aren’t flowing like they should. Instead of publishing something you don’t like and is only half as good as it should be, either save the article as a draft that you can edit some other day, or delete it altogether. It’s better to not have a post at all one day than waste an idea on something that is low quality and won’t be appreciated. If you feel it’s not as good as it could be, don’t publish!

What do you think? How do you write quality posts effectively? Leave a comment on this article and let us know if you have any rituals or certain things you do to create a better post in a more productive manner. And if you liked this article, subscribe to Super Blogging so you won’t miss others like this in the future!

Creative Commons License photo credit: *L*u*z*a*

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Comments

42 Responses to “8 Ways to Write a High Quality Post”

  1. Jug on March 24th, 2008 2:13 am

    Great post as always, Tay. ;) I like #5 the best because a lot of bloggers hurry and finish their posts ASAP. They don’t take breaks thus their posts, when published, are often disorganized. BTW, I just sphunn this post of yours. :mrgreen:

    Jug’s last blog post..Five Reasons Why Networking is Crucial for Blogging

  2. Tay on March 24th, 2008 3:37 am

    @Jug,

    Thank you! I agree with you, sometimes when I’m writing a post I’ll be going strong at first but then my brain starts going somewhere else. It’s best just to take a quick break instead of continuing to try and write in that distracted state. And thank you very much for the Sphinn!

  3. James Chartrand - Men with Pens on March 24th, 2008 6:33 am

    Know what’s funny? It’s the picture that made me click through from the reader to your site. Great one.The post is great, too. I think if people took more time to think about what they were writing rather than pressure themselves to produce, they’d create better content overall and get better results from their efforts.Cheers!

  4. Matthew Griffin on March 24th, 2008 7:40 am

    Great advice, Tay. I’ve recently been using outlines more to jump-start my articles. It’s definitely an effective way to get started and stay on topic.

    Matthew Griffin’s last blog post.. The Efficient Web Designer: Simple Adjustments That Will Dramatically Increase Your Productivity

  5. OldSailor on March 24th, 2008 8:02 am

    Nice tips. It is difficult to avoid multi tasking (Tip no 1) as we are used to this way of working  to race  against time.

    OldSailor’s last blog post..Easy to Use Portable Echo Sounder or Depthmeter

  6. Koka Sexton » Lead Story » New theme with Hulu integration on March 24th, 2008 11:47 am

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  7. Koka on March 24th, 2008 4:18 pm

    Tay, Thanks for the comment. I had just assumed that you had minions at your disposal. No disrespect intended. I love your site and think it’s evolution is outstanding. :)

    Koka’s last blog post..Looking for a Web Host

  8. Tay on March 24th, 2008 5:27 pm

    @James Chartrand,

    Thank you! I’ve always stressed how important it is to use images. It IS a beautiful photo, isn’t it? And you’re exactly right. Thanks for your comment.

    @Matthew Griffin,

    I’m glad outlines have been helping you. And yes, they do help you stay on topic more than if you sat and tried to write an article start to finish - with an outline you can flow clearly from one point to the next. Thanks!

    @OldSailor,

    I have though, that when I try to multi-task and have other windows open, I take even more time. If I’m trying to write a post and do other things at once, the post could take hours to get finished or still not be done at the end of the day. When I sit to write the post by itself, I can get it done, then move on and not have to worry about it. Good point though, and thank you for dropping by and commenting!

    @Koka,

    You didn’t disrespect me, in fact I was pretty flattered! Thank you so much, I really appreciate what you have to say and your words have put a smile on my face!

  9. Steven Snell on March 24th, 2008 6:34 pm

    For me outlining is really important. Finding the right structure is a critical piece of the writing process.

    Steven Snell’s last blog post..Web/Graphic Designer Group Interview

  10. pablopabla on March 24th, 2008 9:54 pm

    I would sum it up as “write as if you are writing your best and final post for your blog”. :D   That should be motivating enough :D

    pablopabla’s last blog post..Your Post : To Break or Not To Break

  11. Tay on March 24th, 2008 10:42 pm

    @Steven,

    I definitely  agree with you. And especially with the kinds of articles you write, outlining would definitely make things easier, save time, and make the article flow better. Keep up the great work!

    @PabloPabla,

    That might work once or twice, but not for every post! Because if I knew the world was ending and I had to write my last article, it would be as long as a novel and contain absolutely everything - and you can’t duplicate that many times. ;)

  12. Roshill on March 25th, 2008 2:43 am

    Great post Tay really like it i am bookmarking it to help me when i am posting………..I wanted to know which template are you using i just can’t figure out you have two separate columns for  putting up ads and a sperate one for  categories its kind of spacious . Kindly please  do let me know.. … http://scandalouscelebrities.blogspot.com/is also using it. Thank You with best RegardsAsim

    Roshill’s last blog post..$132994 from Adsense in one Month

  13. Firetown » Blog Archive » 8 ways to write a high quality post on March 25th, 2008 3:22 am

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  14. Biodun on March 25th, 2008 5:30 am

    Useful info, thanks for this great post. 8. Never publish something you don’t like.This is true, if you don,t like what you’ve actually written then, there is a great tendency that others might not like it.

    Biodun’s last blog post..UK Webmaster Forum looking for Forum Leaders

  15. Matt on March 25th, 2008 12:14 pm

    I totally agree with all the points discussed, especially #2 and #5. I often have so many core interests I could write about, that I have trouble deciding what to write next! Also, I think it should be mentioned that actively trying to become a better writer is very important for any blogger. Great post!

    Matt’s last blog post..Learning By Teaching

  16. Tay on March 26th, 2008 10:44 pm

    @Roshill,

    Thank you, I’m glad you liked the post! As for the theme, I am using the Revolution News Theme by Brain Gardner (it’s not free though, but I got mine by winning a contest). Anyway, I’m afraid I don’t understand the question. The other blog you showed me has a different theme and it just has two sidebars. This blog, however, has a sidebar and then two smaller ones split up below the main one. Let me know what you mean and I’ll try to help if I can.

    @Biodun,

    Exactly right! If a blogger doesn’t like their own work, how can they expect others to? Also, if you write a post you don’t like, you’re wasting that topic that you wrote it on.

    @Matt,

    Glad you enjoyed the post! Also, I agree with you - becoming a better writer is important. A blogger should try and do at least one writing exercise a day to improve.

  17. Roshill on March 27th, 2008 1:18 pm

    Well i really liked ur theme well i just needed a three column theme 1 for posts and other 2 just for adding stuff i was messing around with my sites html ummm….. guess i morphed it though its uneven i like it but i would be happier if it get straightened out ….. Today i DECLARE ON ur blog that i will blog efficiently and my posts will be good enough to read . I got 3 whole months before i shift to my univ in Canada . I hope you will come visit it after a month or so . Well ur the only one whoever commented there i let you down then you even added my name to your friends list well i guess that’s something impossible now but i hope if i do better in future i can redeem what i lost thank you . And happy blogging!!  Curtsy and regards from:

    Roshill’s last blog post..The Ground Hog Carols

  18. togota on March 28th, 2008 5:01 am

    8 ways, i think there are more

  19. Madhur Kapoor on March 28th, 2008 2:14 pm

    Nice tips Tay. I prefer writing my posts at night so that i can’t be disturbed in between.

    Madhur Kapoor’s last blog post..Madhur Kapoor’s Entertainment Week

  20. Sumesh on March 28th, 2008 2:55 pm

    The only tip I seem to not follow is closing other apps frequently. I need the browser for cross-reference and research, and IM for occasional doubt-clearing by talking to friends.
    Maybe I’ll be more productive on Darkroom, but it’d burn me out pretty quickly, so I’ve stayed with WLW for now.

    Stumbled.

    Sumesh’s last blog post..Virender Sehwag scores fastest test century [cricket]

  21. Tay on March 28th, 2008 4:06 pm

    @Togota,

    Of course there are more than eight, there are hundreds of ways to write a better post. But honestly, if I listed all those ways, even the unimportant ones, wouldn’t that be WASTING your productivity? Sometimes a shorter, but value-packed post is better than a longer, stuffed one.

    @Madhur Kapoor,

    Thank you! And I agree, I usually write my posts later in the day or at night as well. Thanks for your input!

    @Sumesh,

    If you have good self-control and can avoid chatting with others constantly or wandering off to “fun” sites instead of doing work, then by all go means, go ahead. However, I’m not that kind of person and most aren’t either. I get distracted too easily so it’s best if I do research before and don’t keep everything open. And thanks for the stumble and your comment! :)

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  23. Korean Tech Blog on March 31st, 2008 12:07 am

     I think number one is the hardest too do. I always have about 3 different Firebox windows and 30 different tabs open. It definitely hurts my productivity while writing a post.

  24. Mike on March 31st, 2008 4:42 pm

    @ Korean Tech Blog, I totally agree. I am in the same situation. I need to close down ones that I just need opened and concentrate on what I am doing instead of flicking between them all.
     
    Mike

    Mike’s last blog post..John Chow Is Full Of Shit!! There, I said It.

  25. Ron@TheWisdomJournal on April 2nd, 2008 6:39 am

    Great points and well thought out.I started using a schedule a few weeks ago and it felt like a weight had been lifted. It gave me a direction to go and it forced me to focus on what I needed to do THAT DAY.I haven’t tried outlines, but I think I will. Thanks for the great tips. I’ll put them to use!(found you through Entrecard, now subscribed to your feed)Ron

  26. Tay on April 2nd, 2008 8:21 pm

    @Ron,

    I’m glad to hear the schedule has been working for you! I know it definitely makes more of a difference than it seems it would. Sometimes it’s just nice having something written on paper to go by, to keep you sane. ;) Good luck with outlines and thanks for dropping by, reading, and commenting. Thanks for subscribing as well! I really appreciate it. :)

  27. Sarah on April 3rd, 2008 3:07 pm

    I like the back to basics approach. It is difficult to tune out the barking dogs and the ringing cell phones in addition to the instant messages going off in front of your face.  I guess it is a matter of being here righ now that produces focused quality content.

    Sarah’s last blog post..Artemis SMTP Assistant Launch

  28. Saad Baig on April 5th, 2008 8:01 am

    One of the best ways to getting targeted traffic to your sites is by
    having a newsletter that provides content that your subscribers want to read about.

    Saad Baig’s last blog post..Download Mr Black Mr White Songs

  29. V on April 7th, 2008 5:12 am

    Great post! I’m new to blogging but I have some writing experience elsewhere  and I believe leaving some time between writing and publishing post is another great thing to do if you can afford it. A day or two will give you a chance to rethink what you’ve already written and sometimes can help you see it in a different light altogether… 

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  31. Web Design UK on April 10th, 2008 6:38 am

    These are excellent points and usually ones that we forget about. Thanks for the post.

  32. Claude Gelinas on April 14th, 2008 10:35 pm

    I like Advice # 1 — it’s self-evident but nevertheless very important!

  33. Banago on April 15th, 2008 5:05 pm

    A very informative and well written article. I cannot say which of the points are strong and which less strong; I find it very compact. Well done!

    Banago’s last blog post..I’m Sad to See WordPress Themes Using Tables

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  36. charu on May 13th, 2008 5:20 pm

    This was a very useful information for me. Thanks for posting such useful informations for beginners and the ongoing bloggers. Hope to here from you lot.

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  40. Rhys@monetize your site on October 19th, 2008 10:56 pm

    Hi -

    You said: “Do whatever makes you feel relaxed and energizes your brain, and then come back and start writing again.”

    Great advice - I tend to sit too long at a time and start to atrophy. Is there a blog topic in this? How many different ways are there to ‘re-energise’ oneself?

    Rhys@monetize your sites last blog post..How To Hide Adsense From Social Traffic

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  42. Samantha Eyer on December 31st, 2009 11:57 am

    Great artice, my husband is now my proof reader for my site content. He told me to check out your site for help writing my posts. This helps alot.

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