How to select topics for a Blog?
- Choose a topic which people are searching.
- Choose a topic that matters to your readers.
- Restrict your topics within 12 to 15 words.
- Keep the most important words in the beginning of the topic which should clearly outline the content of the article
- Try to use power words like free, discover, secret, easy etc. in the topic
- Do not use these in the topic – single quote, question mark etc. (I do not use them but depends)
- Before finalizing the topic, search on the blog if the topic is already covered. If a similar topic is covered than it is better to extend it rather than write a new one
- Choose topics that are shareable. Well, might be 50% of them
- Try to choose topics which solve a problem for users
How to plan content for a Blog?
- Keep it between 800 to 1500 words (short can be sweet but long are epic).
- First paragraph of the article is most important part. Keep it short and write all the important points in it so that people are inspired to read further.
- 20 words in a sentence would increase the readability of the article.
- Write small paragraphs of up to 5-8 lines.
- Use sub topics(make it bold/bigger or both) where ever required. Sub topics should say what user could expect in the paragraphs that follows(people read them while scanning the page).
- First few words of each paragraph should be written properly as people read them while scanning the page.
- Try to use simple words in your content.
- Ask questions if relevant at the end of the article for comments.
- Avoid repeating a particular word multiple times, use synonym instead.
- Do not write stories, write something useful so that people should gain something out of it.
- Refer multiple sources for content. Do not use one source for content. Search engines might be able to see it as duplicate content even if you write it in different words.
- Give links to sources. It increases the authenticity of the article.
- Try to use bullet points wherever possible as they are easy to read.
- Do not underline words as it could be mistaken as link.
Are there any Guidelines for Images Too?
- Search Google/sxc.hu/Wikipedia/Pixabay etc. for images and try to use copyright free images to prevent problems.
- Avoid images with watermark.
- Resize images to exact sizes to decrease the page load time. Page load time is an important indirect factor in SEO due to which optimizing images becomes even more important.
- Put appropriate alt tag on every image. Alt tag is like explaining about the image to a blind man.
- Name the image appropriately like alt tag.
- Give source for the image wherever required.
- Get help from graphic designers for image works if you are not expert in Photoshop.
- Try to limit the maximum size of the image to 100 kb or learn basics of Adobe Photoshop.
- Avoid animated gifs in content as it distract.
What about Videos?
- Youtube should be preferred choice for videos
- Post only targeted videos and use them if only they are very relevant to the topic
- Explain about the video in blockquotes
Some of the basic points you must not forget
- Do not copy content in parts too
- Check copyscape or other duplicate content checkers before posting articles. I would advise taking a premium account of copyscape if you are serious about your blog
- It is a wrong notion that all external links on the your articles should have nofollow tag. Believe me, it is not going to hurt your ranking in a big way if you have dofollow links.
- The article should revolve around the topic. Minimize writing junk just to make up for high number of words
- Proofread for all types of spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, misplaced words etc. carefully
- Ask somebody to read it for you before you publish
Do let me know if I missed something or you have further points to add to the list.