The well-dressed blog post begins with good writing.
The best posts are heavy on context. But that’s just the beginning. To make sure they’ve got that pulled together look before you send them out the door, they should also have:
A catchy title – A clever headline will capture more attention than a dull one. Just make sure it accurately reflects what’s in the post.
A visual – Adding a photo, line drawing, logo, video or other type of art that creates white space and visual interest, which increases readability. Creative Commons has a database of images and other creative work that can be re-used for free.
Links – Include URLs of blogs posts on the related topics, either written by you, which is good because it’ll drive traffic to your older blog posts, or someone else, which is also good because when your readers click over to that someone else’s blog they’ll wonder who you are and come visit and that’s the first step to making a connection with like-minded bloggers.
Keywords and tags – A tree falling in the wilderness doesn’t make any noise, and a post on your blog that nobody knows about won’t make any noise either. You don’t have to be an SEO pro to add tags. The design themes some bloggers use do this work for them. If you’re looking to bone up on SEO, you’ll find some good resources in ProBlogger’s 2005 series on SEO for blogs.
Promotion – In addition to tags and keywords, it’s good to have a few mechanisms in place to alert regular readers to new posts. You can tweet about posts on Twitter and use other social networks like Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon. Here are some other strategies for driving traffic to your blog.
One thing good blog posts don’t have – spelling errors. I don’t care what Penelope Trunk says, blog posts with too many typos are a turnoff. And not everyone can afford to have an editor proofread their posts. So before you hit the “Publish” button give your post a once over or run it through a spell checker.