The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.


Developing a template for an effective blog post can help you pound out more content in a shorter period of time. I’m a big fan of checklists and templates, but it’s also important to remain flexible and let your creativity fly. A good structure starts with a template or checklist then showcases the writer’s individuality. Here’s a basic checklist you can use to write a winning blog post, in less time.


1. Write a Good Headline

Crafting your headline can sometimes take as much effort as writing your entire post. Your headline is the first thing readers see, and it’s intended to entice them to read more. A good headline says, “Go ahead and click, you know you want to see more.” It’s a little bit like a good strip tease, it leaves some things to the imagination but definitely gets their attention.

If you don’t know how to write a compelling headline, you can always use the surefire headline templates at Copyblogger until you gain some experience. They also offer some great resources and pointers on creating magnetic headlines, here.

2. Make Good Use of White Space

Let’s face it, we’re information junkies and most of us spend way too much time on the Net. We read and consume massive amounts of information in digital formats. And all that screen time leads to eye strain.

Think about it.

If you visit a page crammed with colors, images, and big solid blocks of text that scroll on forever, do you take the time to read or do you just hit the back button and try another webpage?

According to the U1 Group, white space is critical.

“We recently did research for a government agency. One of our findings was that the agency’s website was overly cluttered. There was simply too much content packed onto the individual web pages, leaving users feeling overwhelmed and confused as to where to focus, let alone where to click, on the website.

Users found the website did contain useful information, but they felt unmotivated to read on when faced by dense pages of text. Part of the problem was the way content was presented on the website and that there just wasn’t allowed for sufficient whitespace.” (Read more here.)

Too little white space results in user overload and loss of interest. Embrace the enter key online.

You can also use bullet points and lists to help break up the visual monotony and keep the post flowing.

3. Utilize Images and Video

If there’s one thing visitors like on the Web, it’s videos. Most would much rather hit that play button than read to obtain the same information. They want to feed their overstimulated brains and be entertained.

However, be very careful about stuffing your posts with too many videos, or even autoplay features they can’t shut off. There’s nothing worse than finally getting everyone to bed and sitting down to consume some quality Net time and being greeted by a blaring autoplay in another tab. Some instances call for quiet reading, and you should respect your readers enough to provide that option for them.

Images can help you communicate effectively and break up blocks of text. But Derek Halpern has wise advice for using images: choose carefully, your images affect your conversions.

4. Linking Matters

One of the great things about blog posts is their ability to drive traffic. Search engines love blog posts and use linking to travel from one Website to another. When you write, be sure to take the time to go back and insert links. Not only do you want to cite sources of your text or images used in the material, but you want to provide further resources for readers who want to dig in deeper.

External links to other Websites should always be checked before including in your posts. Only link to reputable websites with quality content to avoid getting slapped with penalties from search engines for associating with spammy URLs.

Internal links are also an important part of your posts. You can get further mileage out of your old posts and drive search engine spiders deeper into your Website through internal linking. Darren Rowse at ProBlogger recently advised his readers to participate in repurposing old content.

5. Call to Action- The Point of It All

If you’re blogging for business, you have a purpose for your actions. You blog regularly (or pay someone else to do it) to help your online business and attract potential clients or customers. Don’t be afraid to ask them to do something in exchange for the “free” advice or information you’re providing. Ask them to click, enter an email address, or buy from your Website.

HubSpot has terrific examples of calls to action that entice readers to click. What you’ll notice about each one is they are uncomplicated. They present a simple solution to a common problem you’re likely to be experiencing. Their (often free) service solves your problem and provides one-click access to make it happen. Check out services like Evernote, DropBox, and Pinterest to see how this works so well for successful online companies.

6. Polish Your Reputation

If you’re going to be blogging regularly, you’re going to be the object of a little online scrutiny. Your words are either going to inspire and resonate with someone or irritate and even infuriate others. Plus, people are generally nosey and it’s easy to “snoop” online anonymously.

Google your own name regularly and monitor what comes up in search engine results. If you need help cleaning up your online presence, hire a reputation management professional.

You’ll also want to clean up your website and any other pages you’re driving traffic to so visitors will be left with a good impression of you and your business. Make sure your homepage, contact page, and about us pages are all in order, as well as your social media profiles.

Writing Faster

7. Embrace Social Media

The lifeblood of any blog post is social media. Spending time on social media channels helps build your audience and advertises your latest blog posts, products, and thoughts. Social media is a large part of doing business online and if you just haven’t acquired a taste for it, you can always hire someone to manage your social media presence for you.

8. Don’t Forget to Have Fun

The heart of the Internet is certainly information, but presenting that information in a fun and lively package can help prevent writer’s block, boredom, and burnout. Infusing your posts with your company’s personality, values, and mission can help set your brand apart online.

9. Keep a Swipe File

I don’t believe in writer’s block because I’ve never had it. Seriously, almost ten years of writing professionally and I’ve never had the dreaded BLOCK. If I don’t know a lot about a topic, or have written everything I know, I read what others are writing about the subject. And I start a conversation with myself. Then I write. I write anything, even if it’s bad. I can always rewrite it later but I’m never faced with paralyzing fear and the endless blinking cursor on a blank page.

If you’re plagued by writer’s block, keeping a Swipe File is a must. Templates, writing starters, ideas, and trending topics can pull your butt out of the fire as many times as you need. Start a bookmark folder for when you’re surfing the Net to collect things you think you can use later. Use Evernote, OneNote, or OmniFocus to collect your ideas and snippets so you can access them quickly.

10. Always Keep Learning

If you don’t care enough about your business and industry to stay abreast of changes in your field, do yourself a favor and hire someone to do your blogging for your business. Keeping your mind fresh with new information will spark your creativity and your writing will reflect your interest.

Learning new things is good for your brain and it’s good for your business. Check out our post on how to get a DIY MBA to help your online marketing.

What tips do you have to write great blog posts fast? What would you add?

And in case you didn’t notice, if you’re not comfortable performing your own blogging, social media management, or marketing, it’s always a good idea to outsource. REV Media Marketing has just what you need to make it rain new business, online and off. Contact a marketing professional today to talk about what REV can do for your business.

Most of us learn best through visuals. So what better way to learn about social media than through SlideShare presentations?

We’ve searched high and low to find 50 of the best that will give you a solid grounding in social media marketing. Feast your eyes on these…

1. Introduction to Social Media

This simple, charming SlideShare is a brilliant way to ease yourself gently into the world of social media marketing.

2. How to Master the Art of Social Media

Wanted to attend SXSW, but you couldn’t make it? You can now get in without a ticket! This presentation by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick is from SXSW 2015. The key points from this presentation are:

  • Be valuable
  • Be clever
  • Be gracious
  • Be organized
  • Be dramatic
  • Be optimal
  • Be bold
  • Don’t be clueless
  • Be active
  • Be curious

3. Go Viral on the Social Web: The Definitive How-To Guide!

What is viral content? And how can you create it? This SlideShare reveals the ingredients of viral posts. You won’t bake the perfect cake every time you’re in the kitchen. But sometimes… magic happens!

4. A Complete Guide To The Best Times To Post On Social Media

What are the best and worst times to post on social media? TrackMaven reveal the results of their research. They cover Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogging and Email Marketing.

5. The World’s Biggest Social Media Team

Tourism Australia employ just three people as social media marketers – a small social media team. In this SlideShare, they reveal how they’ve multiplied their reach so they’re effectively a team of millions of people.

6. Pack a Punch with Visual Marketing

Want to know why images matter in social media, and how you use can them to engage your followers? This is the SlideShare for you.

7. What the F**K is Social Media?

Got questions about whether social media is right for your business? This is the SlideShare for you.

8. Why Social Media?

Need more convincing that social media is right for you? This blast from the past (2010) presentation shows that convincing arguments for social marketing have been around for several years.

9. The Number One Mistake Everybody Makes on Twitter

What’s the number one Twitter mistake? We’re not telling. You’ll have to watch the SlideShare to find out.

10. 6 Questions to Drive Your Social Media Strategy

Need some out-of-the-box questions to help you rethink what you’re doing on social? Mark Schaefer’s got that covered.

11. What I Wish My Kids Would Believe When I Tell Them Stuff

Successful social marketers have a unique mindset. They never stop learning.

We especially love the 3 steps on How to Pitch in this SlideShare:

  1. 10 slides
  2. 20 minutes
  3. 30 point font

12. How to Tell Your Story (the Right Way)

Marketers love stories. Why? Stories are fundamental to the human condition. More importantly, a good story grips us from start to finish. If you can tell a story, you can hold your audience’s attention.

Gary Vaynerchuk shares what it takes to be an effective storyteller in the digital age.

13. The Seven Deadly Social Media Sins

There are some social media sins your fans and followers can never forgive. Are you committing these? Watch and learn…

14. Social Media Secrets

Learn powerful techniques you never knew existed. Did you know you can add four images to a tweet? Or plan your life with secret Pinterest boards? Or track your social performance with Google ripples?

Shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone…

15. 20 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Pinterest Features You Didn’t Know Existed (But Totally Should)

Want to know some more hidden social features? Here’s another SlideShare you should probably keep under wraps…

16. Fix Your Really Bad PowerPoint

Want to create your own SlideShare? In this presentation, you’ll find out the mistakes most people make with presentations – and how to avoid them.

17. How to Produce Better Content Ideas

Feeling stuck for new content ideas? Check out this SlideShare to find out how ideas happen, and to pick up techniques you can use to improve your ideas.

18. Crap. The Content Marketing Deluge

What’s the biggest threat to content marketing? Content marketing. You can’t just create any content. Your content must be mindblowing.

The problem is, most content stinks.

19. Top 10 Mistakes in Behavior Change

Getting started with social can mean a complete change to marketing mindset. Plus, you’ll have to remember to update Twitter and Facebook every day.

This SlideShare reveals how you can gently integrate new habits – including social media – into your life.

20. Social Media for Time-Strapped Entrepreneurs

Too busy to keep your Facebook page updated? Find out what you can do to have a big impact on social media in just a few minutes a day.

21. How To Make National News in 3 Easy Steps

Want your business to hit the headlines? Ryan Holiday reveals the exact techniques he used to get national media coverage.

22. How to Create the Perfect Social-Media Post

Perfect social media posts pass the “re-share” test. When people see these posts, they just have to share.

Find out the secrets to turbocharging your posts in this presentation from Guy Kawasaki.

23. The 25 Basic Styles of Blogging … And When To Use Each One

Do you the difference between Meme blogging, Piggyback blogging and Detractor blogging? We didn’t until we checked out this SlideShare. It provides a fascinating insight into the different types of content you can create for your blog.

24. Why Content Marketing Fails

Content marketing is the buzzword of our times. But just because it’s buzzing is no guarantee of success. Rand Fishkin of Moz gets into the nitty gritty of the psychology of content, and why some content works, but most content is “meh”.

25. Competitive analysis using Social Media Monitoring

Don’t be put off by the boring title! This SlideShare reveals how to use social media to spy on your competitors. The info is gold, but it’s densely packed.

26. Social Media Is..

An alternative take on the basics of social media from Lee White.

27. 36 Visual Content Creation Tools the Pros Can’t Live Without

Want to create visual content, but you’re not an illustrator or designer? Donna Moritz will get you sorted. After watching this SlideShare, you’ll start creating visual content as if you were born doing it.

28. Best LinkedIn Company Pages

A LinkedIn company page can help you stand out from the pack. Learn from the best in this presentation.

29. Most Memorable LinkedIn Posts

More great case studies from LinkedIn. Want to learn how to create engaging content from the best in the world? You can’t go far wrong starting with these examples.

30. SOCIAL MEDIA – Statistics That Will Make You Rethink Your Marketing Strategy

Did you know: Businesses that use Twitter generate twice as many leads per month? This presentation is packed to bursting with nuggets like this. If you’re in the fence about social media, this is the presentation to sway you.

31. Social Media and Marketing: Evolution or Revolution?

Is social media an evolution from traditional marketing, or a completely new way of doing things? With over 2 million views so far, this is a presentation that’s not to be missed.

32. Is Second Life a Social Network?

When you hear “social network”, you probably think of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, right? But social is actually WAY bigger than that. If you’d like to do some unconventional thinking about what makes up a social network, this presentation is a great place to get started.

33. The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to LinkedIn

One in three professionals on the planet uses LinkedIn. If you’re missing out, this presentation is a brilliant way of getting started.

34. How to Monitor Social Media in 10 Minutes a Day

In ten minutes you can run a mile, eat a snack, or drink a mug of coffee. You can also stay on top of your social accounts. HubSpot shows you how.

35. 36 Content Marketers Who Rock

Want to learn content marketing from the very best? This SlideShare profiles some of the greatest content creators who share their top tips for creating buzzworthy content.

36. Steve Jobs On Marketing: 8 Lessons Every Marketer Must Learn

Pearls of marketing wisdom from one of the greatest minds of our era. Here’s one of our favorites: “Innovation is saying no to a thousand things”

37. The 4 Most Powerful Facebook Advertising Tools Marketers Aren’t Using

Are you missing out on the power of Facebook ads? If you’ve ever wondered what Facebook ads could bring to your business, this is the presentation for you.

38. How to Thrive: A Redefinition of Success

Okay, this one isn’t about social marketing. But it’s an important reminder that life’s about more than going viral. So if you’re ever feeling stressed by social (we’ve all been there!), take a break with this.

39. The Paradox of Exceptional Marketing

Ever wondered why we’re on earth? Or what the Fermi paradox is all about? Or what any of this has got to do with marketing? If so – or if you just like a pinch of crazy to spice up your day – you’ll love this presentation.

40. Enterprise Winning: Big Companies Getting Value from Enterprise Social

We often talk about the benefits of social to small businesses. But how can social be of use to large enterprises? This presentation offers some interesting case studies of big businesses going social.

41. IBM’s Point of View on Social Business

“Social business starts when you put people at the center”. This SlideShare contains some fascinating insights. But IBM – you really need to work on your headlines!

42. Social Content Marketing with SlideShare

SlideShare means business. It’s a brilliant social marketing platform in and of itself. This presentation shares what’s possible with SlideShare, with a focus on SEO, lead generation and integration with other networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

43. Building A Content Marketing Strategy

“Wandering works in fairy tales. But it’s disastrous when it comes to lead management.” Without a coherent strategy, your content marketing efforts are likely to fall flat. Save yourself from wandering down the rabbit hole by watching this presentation.

44. 23 Simple Methods to Promote Your Business for Free

Need to make a splash on a budget? Social media is a great place to start. But if you need results sooner, this SlideShare will help you conjure up some fresh marketing ideas.

45. How Growth Hacking Rewrote Marketing’s Best Practices

Growth hacking is all the rage, because it’s a really effective way of growing a business. It’s also ideal for creating viral content. This presentation shows you the basics of Growth Hacking, so you can start to adopt a growth hacker’s mindset.

46. 120 Awesome Marketing Stats, Charts and Graphs

We love a good chart, and this presentation is bursting with them. If you’re into social media metrics, this presentation will make you one happy gal (or guy).

47. The Who, What, Where, When, And Why Of Social Media Lead Generation

What’s one of the main reasons businesses use social media? To find new customers. This presentation gets to the heart of the issue by showing you how social media can help generate leads for your business.

48. 20 Signs You’re Probably Not Working For a Social Business

You might have a Twitter account. But that doesn’t mean you’ve got a social business. Find out whether your business really is social by checking it against the benchmarks in this SlideShare.

49. Get People to Open your Emails

Email is one of the most powerful tools in the marketer’s toolbox. It may be old school, but it’s here to stay.

How can you make sure your emails are opened? Find out in this SlideShare presentation.

50. 50 Random Twitter Rips for Business

These Twitter tips might be random, but they’re also highly effective. Every one is gold, and we’re sure you’ll find at least one you’ve never read before (we found several!).

Bizarre Ways to Use Twitter

Most people use Twitter to follow the news, stay in touch with friends and stalk celebrities.

Brands, meanwhile, use Twitter to engage their followers by sharing interesting content.

That’s all well and good. But there’s so much more you could be doing with Twitter. As Nancy Reagan once said, “There’s a big, wonderful world out there for you.” Don’t miss out.

Here’s what you could be doing on Twitter…

Get to the Front of the Queue

When Christi Tasker’s flight from Chicago to London got severely delayed, all the passengers around her started making phone calls to book a new flight. Not many of the were getting far.

Christi, instead of making a call, turned to Twitter. Christi explains:

Ann, American Airlines’s sweet Twitter customer service agent was remarkably helpful. If only I could say the same for the airline attendant who was yelling at passengers… Fortunately, Twitter paid off there, too. When I showed the flight attendant the tweet advising me to move to the front of the plane so that we could deplane sooner, the flight attendant declined. I told Ann, who then suggested I show the attendant the request again. Then she complied.

This won’t work with every company – it depends on how much they’re using Twitter for customer services. But increasingly, it is a way to get fast results.

More and more consumers are turning to social media to complain, and they expect a fast response. Recent research found that 42% of customers expect a response to their social media complaint within one hour. Businesses are aware of this trend – and of the public nature of social media – so many of them are upping their game.

Learn How to Write Concisely

Concise writing is a vital skill in the digital age. If you can’t grab attention and make an impact with just a few words, your readers will go elsewhere.

Tweets are always 140 characters or less. When writing tweets, you’re forced to sift out the chaff and focus on what matters. That’s excellent practice for all types of online writing.

Want to see for yourself exactly how much punch you can pack into 140 characters? Check out the winners of Copyblogger’s Twitter Writing Contest. Also take a look at these attempts at Twitter fiction by some famous writers.

Talking of concise writing, @cookbook shares recipes in 140 characters. Why not follow @cookbook to learn how to cook and how to communicate big ideas in as few words as possible?

Find a New Job

Did you know that more than half of jobs are never publicly advertised? They’re in the hidden jobs market. The best way to find these jobs is through networking.

The key is to network with people inside companies you’d like to work for. Twitter makes this easier than ever before.

Forbes writer Susan Adams explains what to do when you’ve found people to follow in your target companies:

Once you’ve built up a good roster of people to follow, start retweeting (forwarding) intriguing tweets by those people. You can also write notes to them, using the “@” symbol and their Twitter handle. This is a good way to build relationships.

Test and Refine Your Blog Post Ideas

Writing a blog post takes a ton of time and effort. So when you write something that fails to connect with your audience, it’s a double downer. First, because it hurts to be ignored. And second, because of all the time and creative energy you wasted.

Fortunately, there’s a way you can test blog post ideas before you write them up. You’ll find out which ideas resonate with your audience, so you can focus your creative output on those.

Growth hacker and entrepreneur Andrew Chen explains how he does this:

Recently I’ve been running an experiment:

  1. Tweet an insight, idea, or quote
  2. See how many people retweet it
  3. If it catches, then write a blog post elaborating on the topic

Next time you’re short on ideas, why not test a few with your audience, and see which take off?

Write a Book

Thousands of people have used Twitter as a way of writing and publishing the novel that we all have inside. Perhaps unsurprisingly, few of them have garnered much traction.

Far better to use Twitter to get ideas and insight while you’re writing a book.

Author Don Miller suggests four ways to use Twitter to help with book writing:

  1. Tweet a chapter idea and ask if anybody has given the idea any thought. If you hear crickets, skip that chapter.
  2. Got a powerful one-liner? Tweet it and see if it gets re-tweeted. You might turn that one-liner into a complete paragraph or more.
  3. Stuck on an idea? Tweet and ask anybody if they’ve read an interesting article about it. Twitter is a great resource tool.
  4. Use Twitter to summarize an idea. The great thing about 140 characters is it makes you condense your thinking, which is often the essence of good writing.

Network at Conferences

We’ve previously covered how you can use Twitter to sneak into conferences. It looks like a lot of fun – we recommend it!

But you can also use Twitter when you’re attending conferences, as a networking tool. Follow the conference hashtag, and see who’s tweeting about the conference. If you see someone interesting, send them a tweet and ask if they’d like to meet for coffee. It’s a really easy way to expand your circle of contacts.