The five elements of a perfect blog post

“How do I create the perfect blog post?”

That question by a young student stopped me in my tracks. After all, is there such a thing?  I had to dig deep on this question and turned to the qualities of my favorite bloggers to find some common themes.  They seem to fit for me — leave a comment and let me know how they land on you!

1. Hoist a hearty headline. Your title is the first thing people see in their blog readers and it may very well determine whether somebody reads your post or not. Headlines can be painful to write — it’s like ad copy. It has to be short and impactful. Try to use an action word that grabs attention. Jay Baer is a master of this on his Convince and Convert Blog. His headlines grab you, shake you, and demand your attention.  I can almost visualize Jay thinking up an active verb to draw you in!

2. Offer an original (personal) view. There is really only one way to differentiate yourself as a blogger.  Challenge yourself to write a post that ONLY you could write. Don’t pontificate about what’s “out there.” How does the subject relate to YOU, your observations, your experiences, your life, your stories? This isn’t narcissism — it’s the soul of originality.  I love the way Danny Brown accomplishes this. He writes about how his life is going in the social media context. He finds a way to connect with us every week because he shares what is unique to him — a discovery, a victory, a disappointment.  It is uniquely Danny every time.

3. Have the courage to be real. When you are creating a work for the world to see, it is frightening to be imperfect.  And yet, how can you be original WITHOUT being imperfect?  The best bloggers are real. Human. Less cautious than the average author.  A role model for me in this respect is Gini Dietrich, especially when she uses her video blogs to connect with readers in a highly personal way. Gini lets us know when she’s stressed, disappointed, worried, mad — basically what is happening with her in the moment. For heaven’s sake, she even had a video of her Thanksgiving dinner!  I think there is awesome power in that authenticity.

4. Don’t just write, re-write. People will spend more time with you if they enjoy your writing.  And to demonstrate a best practice, I’d like to introduce you to the sweetest writer on the social web: Stanford Smith of the Pushing Social blog. This man is an artist and I can guarantee you that he sweats over every phrase and challenges himself to discover new and exciting ways to tell his story.  A blogger can’t hit it out of the park every time, but when they do, it’s probably because they found a way to make the words sing. A trick — read your post aloud to see if it has a natural, conversational tone.

5. Entertain me. “Entertainment value” is not a phrase commonly used in business classes or journalism schools. And yet with the cacophony of voices vying for your attention, isn’t entertainment paramount today?  Are you more likely to enjoy and remember a post titled “An analysis of SEO implications for blogging” or one titled, “How to be a Google Whore” — which used humor to illustrate a dead-serious issue in our field? Mix it up. Add video, photos, interviews, reviews, humor. Be surprising.  I think Joey Strawn is a great example of an entertaining and slightly off-kilter blogger. He is even drawing cartoons to go along with his blogs.

Now you might find it odd that I haven’t mentioned anything in here about the actual subject you are writing about!  Does it matter?  If you create a post with 1) a captivating headline, 2) a unique personal view 3) a personal risk, 4) an entertaining spin through 5) words that sing, won’t that be a joy to read? Of course it would because you’ve crafted a perfect blog post!

What do you enjoy about your favorite blogs and bloggers?  I would love to hear about what makes a post memorable for you …

All posts

  • Soulati

    What an overhaul! It doesn’t feel like you! What also contributes to “perfection” is timeliness. Grab fodder from the now moment and opine with a unique view, perspective. I was disappointed yesterday when a link took me to a post six months old; I’d like current datelines with tomorrow’s news.

  • markwschaefer

    @Soulati Very important. I had actually toyed with adding timeliness. OK, make that point number 6. I’m sure there will be many others! : )

    Thanks for commenting!

  • Mark,

    Wonderful advice. Love the idea of including humor to keep your posts interesting.

    The only one I would question is #4 – “Don’t just write, re-write”. I would argue that it should be “Don’t just write, re-write but don’t re-write to death”.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you shouldn’t work on your stroy telling and writing craft but getting it 100% perfect should not be the goal. Part of blogging is being relevant to the current conversation. If you wait till the blog post is just perfect, odds are good you will have missed the window.

    I think this is even harder when you are just getting started and you haven’t found your voice. At some point you need to publish the post and move on if you are going to improve.

    Thanks for sharing,


  • First off, I’d like to say that I’m honored and thrilled to be contained in the list with those others. They are all people I read daily and respect alongside yourself, so it’s a thrill to be mentioned.

    Whether or not there is a “perfect blog post” is a tough question, because there might be a perfect blog post from a specific person on a specific issue on a certain day, but even then you are stretching the sheen of reality. Different posts will strike different people in different ways and that’s the beauty of blogs. There are so many out there that each one can be perfect to a group of people and disastrous to others.

    By nature we are imperfect. Each day we learn and grow in our crafts so we bring something new to the table each time we sit down to write. Each imperfect blog posts gives us something to write the next day. I’m not sure there is such a thing as a perfect blog post, but I’m not sure I’d want there to be either.

    P.S. This does not count for comments, there are such things as perfect comments. You just read one. You’re welcome. : )

  • markwschaefer

    @JoshuaDuncan I completely agree with you Josh! I give that adivce to people constantly. Over-editing is often a sign of a lack of confidence, a search for unattainable perfection. Just gotta let it rip sometimes. Thanks for the spot-on advice.

  • markwschaefer

    @joey_strawn Dear Mr. Perfection, Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder and blog posts are no exception. For example, i know that many people like your blog. There’s no accounting for taste i guess. Keep up the good work my good man!

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  • Hey there mister Mark,

    First, I hope you know what you’ve let yourself in for by having Gini Dietrich following me (even though not meant that way) – she’s flustered enough at always being one step behind 😉

    Love the way you’ve broken this down into different segments and how they can all flow into each other to create, if not the perfect post, a damn good one. I’m with you – I’ll always go for people that are passionate, knowledgeable and write for themselves first and the audience second. That’s not to say ignore your audience – but if you can’t please yourself, how do you expect to have others enjoy your blog?

    One thing I’d add is formatting. While the content is definitely the lead and the attention-grabber, if your formatting is crud it will affect how readers interact. I’ve left posts before because the formatting has hurt my eyes.

    Keep sentences short, don’t have sprawling paragraphs, use bullets and headlines, and images to complement the content.

    You don’t *have* to, but it sure as hell helps. Oh…. and THANK YOU! 🙂

    And agree with the four guys you feature here – all great bloggers, all with their own take on blogging. And that’s not an easy thing to achieve.

    My favourite bloggers? With permission, I’ll link to them:

    Cheers sir!

  • @joey_strawn “P.S. This does not count for comments, there are such things as perfect comments. You just read one. You’re welcome. : )”

    And this, Mr Strawn, is why you rock. 🙂

  • @markwschaefer @Soulati To be fair, though, the best posts *are* timeless. Unless you need to discuss a current point of view, obviously. But some of the best posts I’ve read recently have been ones from folks whose archives I’ve gone into.

    The sign of a great blogger to me is to be able to draw you into a post regardless when it was written. If the words are right, the date doesn’t matter.

  • @markwschaefer Haha. A burn and a compliment in the same sentence. Well played. Well played indeed.

    @DannyBrown Thank you, sir. You are quite awesome yourself.

  • markwschaefer

    @DannyBrown Well said. Nothing to add — agree with it all. Thanks for the great link!

  • @joey_strawn Oh, you should know about @markwschaefer and his burn with compliment approach, Joey – just ask that Chris Brogan fella 😉

  • See that, @joey_strawn ? No burn from @markwschaefer here, matey – I do believe you owe me a beer. 🙂

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  • carlamossonline

    Thanks Mark, this post was perfect!

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  • markwschaefer

    @carlamossonline No i doubt that, but thanks all the same : )

  • Mix it up from time to time.

    I get frustrated when blogs become so formulaic. I love it when someone surprises me with humour, a unique thought, a beautiful turn of phrase. I remember seeing Jenn Whinnem’s post on Jayme Soulati’s blog a while back it blew me away. Such beauty: it combined honesty, humour and craftsmanship.

  • lauraclick

    You definitely highlighted some of my favorite bloggers here, Mark. Except for that Joey fellow…he’s trouble. 😉

    I think you hit all of the highlights, but one I might add is that the best posts teach me something. I realize that not all blogs are written to help people learn. But, I find the best posts for me are ones that solve a problem, answer a burning question and offer up some advice. I’m here to learn, so my favorite bloggers are ones that help me be better.

  • markwschaefer

    @jonbuscall obviously that post had a big impact on me too! Maybe that was the perfect post? @jennwhinnem is an awesome writer! Great observation Jon!

  • markwschaefer

    @lauraclick Excellent point Laura, so I think we are up to 7-8 instead of five points. Thanks for taking the time to share today!

  • markwschaefer

    @DannyBrown @Soulati Funny thing though. Last week I was referencing a post from September to help somebody and tweeted it out since i was on the page. Somebody tweeted back — “loved this, even though it was an older post.” Six weeks makes it old? : ) I’m glad YOU think some of these posts are timeless Danny! The blogosphere might think otherwise!

  • renepower

    Some great points made on the crafting of the blog, but it doesn’t stop when you upload… that’s just the beginning…

  • BloggingBizMom

    I love that you touched upon adding personality. I read a blog post a month or so ago that claimed using the words “I” and “you” in a blog post were no-no’s.

    How am I going to share my experiences or give a review on something I’ve used if I can’t use the word “I”?

    Even YOU used the word I here!

  • RepuMetrix

    @jonbuscall Good point Jon – and a great discussion you’re advancing Mark.

    I remember when my brother, who at the time was doing everything possible to break into the film industry, gave me the low-down on the Hollywood movie formula. Every movie I watched after that converation was scrutinized using a magnified lens, and thorough understanding of the calculated approach used to capture the audience long enough (first 30 minutes) to ensure the window of time to ask for a refund would lapse.

    I became super-critical of the “formulaic” approach, and wide-spread application of the formula, that the rare time I would go to the movies, it would almost always be a low-budget, indpendent film. It didn’t make for a great conversation starter among peers, who were strictly watching the films I avoided, but it gave me a different perspective and outlook on life.

    Fortunately, this outlook/perspective carries itself well in social media channels. I could not only spot the formulaic from a mile away, but it seems that it doesn’t take to long to connect the dots on why posts hit it out of the park. For this reason (and too many others to list), number 3 resonates the most with me. Social isn’t strictly about understanding the benefits of kinship, enorsing and perpetuating what is fashionable and trendy, but about being you. Part of being you ought to be about having the courage to be critical, to think differently, sometimes outside of the norm, and that, to me, means being real.

    Joseph Fiore | RepuMetrix Inc.

  • @markwschaefer @lauraclick Now wait just a minute……….

  • markwschaefer

    @RepuMetrix @jonbuscall First let me say what a pleasure it is to have you back on the blog Joseph. You have been such an articulate and important contributor here and I’m delighted you fit us into your busy schedule!

    I mentor young people all the time and that is the number one piece of advice I provide — dig deep and be yourself. I love the way @nicolefletcher took this to heart in her recent blog post recounting our conversation =>

  • lauraclick

    @joey_strawn @markwschaefer I think I have the right, Joey. After all, I am the Bonnie to your Clyde! 😉

  • markwschaefer

    @renepower Rene I had to read your comment three times to understand what you were saying but I think this is a very wise point. I usually spend just as much time on the comments — which are typically better than the original post! I think that is a sign of a perfect post, no? Lively engagement? Well said!

  • @lauraclick Touche, Laura. Touche.

  • markwschaefer

    @BloggingBizMom I can see how somebody might go overboard and in the name of putting your community first and try to outlaw “me” or “I.” There are a couple of well-known bloggers who literally write about themselves and their greatness all the time and that is simply narcissistic. But those are the pretenders. There is a difference between writing about yourself as an act of self-promotion and writing about your experiences and views in a way that is authentically helpful, nurturing and compelling. I think that is a feature of all of the writers featured here. You can’t fake compassion. These folks are the real deal. Thanks for your thought-provoking observation!

  • HowieSPM

    As always very thoughtful post Mark. Two things I really like about you. One is you really care about helping others suceed. It’s sincere and not ego driven like many so called ‘Rock Stars’ in marketing who really just care about their fame and bank account. Secondly you are self confident enough give exposure to others on your blog that you admire and do good work.

    I connected with Gini because of Mitch Joel and you via Twitter. Then Joey and Danny via her blog. I like good people who are also very smart people. And these are 5 great tips! Cheers.

  • Great list here Mark – “How to be a Google Whore” was hilarious and thanks for the intro to Stanford Smith – looks like I can learn a lot from him as I do you – cheers!

  • SBoney

    Good post Mark, but i have to take issue with your last point: “.. I haven’t mentioned anything in here about the actual subject you are writing about! Does it matter?”

    in my humble opinion, that statement sums up much of what is missing in society today – Substance. I think we need to be moving in the direction of greater focus on content (moral, written, emotional, etc.) and less focus on superficial style.

    Other than that, your other points are on the mark (oops) and already have me thinking.

  • suddenlyjamie

    Morning! 🙂

    In one of your comments, Mark, you said “dig deep and be yourself.” I think that is SO important and a lesson that needs to be learned and revisited over and over. Though I am, first and foremost, a writer, I often find myself getting caught up in a voice that isn’t my own. I read a lot of blogs, books, articles, and emails. I work on a lot of different projects – each requiring its own tone and personality. It’s really easy to lose my own identity in all this maelstrom of content and character.I have to make a conscious effort to recalibrate each time I sit down to write for myself.

    One of the reasons I love reading you, Mark, is that you always “bring it.” And the “it,” in this case is you. That’s what makes you stand out – not just your opinions, but the way you present them and the Real conversations that you have with your tribe in the comments. It comes across so clearly that engaging is not just a task on your to do list – it’s something you enjoy and which brings joy. Maybe that’s the secret sauce: JOY.

  • markwschaefer

    @HowieSPM Just two? : )
    Thanks so much for your very kind words and support Howie. Always great to see you here in the community!

  • markwschaefer

    @GACConsultants Glad you are introduced to Stanford, Mark. He is a real inspiration! Thanks!

  • markwschaefer

    @SBoney Hey Steve. I think you are bulding on this “timeliness” and “education” element a few people have expressed. The best posts certainly have that impact on me. So yes, we could certainly add “substance” as another point. Who would represent a best practice for consistenly offering substance? Thanks for taking the time to comment today!

  • markwschaefer

    @suddenlyjamie What a very interesting insight Jamie. If somebody writes from a place of joy ( as well as fear or doubt) that would certainly come through wouldn’t it? Really keen insight. And thank you for your very kind sentiments!

  • kale26

    Sometimes the quest for perfection can be positively paralyzing. I love the encouragement from this post to instead focus on authenticity and speaking in your own voice.

  • So excited about sending a few excerpts from {with a link to} your B2B Blogging eBook about “how to execute a blog well” to our opt-in subscribers today Mark 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @markwschaefer @DannyBrown Seriously, Mark! You couldn’t have put “be real” as #2??

  • ginidietrich

    Mark, I think there is one point you’re missing and that is the ability to create conversation among your community. You have a community; not just commenters; not just engagement. There is a difference and not one that most bloggers have managed to figure out.

    As to “being real.” First, thank you! It’s not easy to show your weaknesses – I used to freak about having on lipgloss and having every hair in the right place before I recorded videos. Now I’m just me in whatever place I am at the time. Wait until you see tomorrow’s video – I have been really sick and I sound like poop. But I’m going to record, anyway, because even I get sick (as much as I hate to admit that).

    One thing I’d add to your mention about @Livefyre User . I believe you were joking about casting aside your blog post on ROI because the Reader is full of the same old baloney. That’s why I love to read you, Danny, jaybaer joey_strawn nittygriddyblog shonali troyclaus and others that aren’t “mainstream.” They are uniquely them and not in the SM echo chamber. If everyone tries to achieve that goal of being original, think of all the glorious things we’d learn! And then let’s please get people to stop RTing the list of crap instead of the real gold. That drives me batty.

  • ginidietrich

    Hmmm…that was suppsed to be dannybrown not “livefyre user.”

  • @ginidietrich Amen! That is all. Thanks for the nice things you said and I’m glad to learn that you enjoy reading my blog. : )

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich dannybrown but Danny uses LiveFyre.

  • HowieSPM

    @lauraclick @joey_strawn @markwschaefer I put Joey in an elite Pantheon: Gary Trudeau, Berkley Breathed, Bill Watterson. But he has not reached Ziggy or Garfield Status just yet!

  • HowieSPM

    @ginidietrich @markwschaefer @DannyBrown I was actually shocked once when Mark blogged about a subject I once discussed in a blog long time back and he asked me to post the link here. It said a lot about him to want to expand the discussion beyond him.

    Ok that felt weird talking about mark in 3rd person like he is not around anymore. Just practicing ok =)

  • JayBaer

    Incredibly honored to be in this post, especially with so many others for whom I have tremendous respect (not the least of which is the author).

    I am guilty as charged at spending a lot of time crafting headlines. It’s important to me, and I am convinced it makes for a better blog with more readership.

    As to Gini’s comment about being “real” I concur. Nobody on this list (and certainly not Mark) are parrots. For me at least, the reason I don’t often get involved in the echo chamber is probably because I’ve been a consultant/agency guy for 20 years. What that made me realize a long time ago is that your peers are really not your target audience. Certainly, I want to have relationships with others in the industry, and referrals from other folks are terrific. But if you look at my actual revenue, only a very tiny percentage of it comes to me through the hands of other social media types.

    I write my blog for my readers, period. I don’t write it for other social media professionals or gadflies. If the two groups happen to crossover sometimes, fine. But that’s a happy accident, not a strategic imperative.

    Play your own game. Always exceed expectations in everything you do. Realize that it’s never as good as you think, and never as bad as you think. If you have success, just hand the ball to the ref -you don’t need to make self-congratulatory T-shirts.

    Those are my operating principles. Always have been, always will be.

    I will say, however, that I do not feel I operate on the “real” level the way Gini does. Or Amber. Or Danny. Or many others. I’m just not as comfortable showing myself in that way. I’m going to work on it though, as I’ve heard from many people that they want more of that from me. Watch for a series of posts explaining some of the stuff above, where I come from, etc.

  • Stanford

    Mark, Glad to be a part of this starting line-up. I’ve stolen a fair amount of ideas from all of them 😉

    I listened to a Third Tribe webinar the other last night where Sonia Simone (another hitter) referenced an observation:
    “When you ask a kindergarten class ‘Who is an artist?’ all of them raise their hands. When you ask a first grade class, nearly all of them, by third grade only one or two sheepishly raise their hands.”
    It’s sad that people believe that only a select few can be creative. Business and the world would be drastically different if we were encouraged to be ourselves, act with purpose, and strive to add to the conversation.

    Thankfully, I’m still holding on to the magic of being an artist – thanks for your encouraging your readers to do the same.

  • @Stanford Your are definitely an artist in what you do Stanford. I like to think that I am in many regards, but I take a lot of queues from you. Thanks.

  • @JayBaer I’d agree wholeheartedly with Mark about your headlines Jay. You are one of the rare blogs that I will stop and read almost any time I see it come up. A lot of that has to do with your expertise and a lot has to do with your writing ability and headlines.

    Thanks for being an inspiration and I look forward to getting, reading and UnReviewing your new book. Have a great holiday!

  • @DannyBrown Thanks for your list of “favourite bloggers” Danny. Looking forward to being included really soon 🙂

  • @ginidietrich What a nice thing to say, Gini. Thank you. Funny, 3hatscomm and I were just talking about the echo chamber yesterday, I’m sure you read her terrific post on it. I think she is another really original voice.

  • markwschaefer

    @kale26 That is so awesome that you were energized by the post. Be sure to connect me withour blog! Authenticity is really the only competitive advantage any us of can truly sustain!

  • markwschaefer

    @ginidietrich I was going to say “Amen” but Joey already beat me to the punch. Thanks for being such a good role model on the blogosphere Gini!

  • @ginidietrich joey_strawn nittygriddyblog shonali troyclaus Hmmm, either my Mac is being cruddy or livefyre is still causing issues with typing speed in Firefox on your blog, Mark. cc: Jenna Langer


    Gini, couldn’t agree more. One of the reasons I don’t read some of the “bigger blogs” anymore is they forgot how to forge community. They blog, post, reply to a couple of comments and leave it at that. I like to exchange mindsets as both a blogger and blog reader – I can’t get that if I’m absent, or the blogger’s absent.

    Oh well…

  • @DrRae Ha, always on the lookout! 🙂

  • @JayBaer Looking forward to the “real” stuff, sir – if it’s half as good as your “made up stuff”, we’re in for a treat. 🙂

  • kale26

    @markwschaefer Although it is a goal mine, I don’t have a personal blog yet 🙂 But I blog for my company here: We’re always looking for guest bloggers and would love to have you!

  • markwschaefer

    @JayBaer This comment is a legitimate blog post in its won right. Thank you!

    I am also pushing myself to get out there a little more. Like @ginidietrich I am starting to do videos without lip gloss. : )

    But I learned something from her last week. I did a video about interactive media at art museums and she said “that’s great — we learned something about you, you like art.” This was a bit of a revelation. As a business blogger, it never occurred to me that being self-revealing is important in the least. But I also recognize how much I appreciate it in people like Gini. So Jay, you and I can form a self-disclosure support group.

    Thanks for being a role model in your own right Jay!

  • markwschaefer

    @Shonali So very happy have you as part of the {grow} community today. I am going to check out your blog!

  • markwschaefer

    @Stanford You can stop writing now. You’re making the host look bad!

    Relevant point beautifully stated. “Embrace the inner artist.” Where were you when I needed you? Thanks for your inspiration Stanford!

  • @DannyBrown Yup, we’re on it Danny! Only happens in Firefox and we’re getting to the root of the issue as we speak. Thanks for the heads up

  • markwschaefer

    @kale26 Sure I am always up for helping out folks in the community. Shoot me an email.

  • @DannyBrown Delighted and pleased with today’s entry 😉

  • @jennalanger @DannyBrown While you are on this issue Jenna, is there a tutorial you can direct those of us who do not know how-to share { as you Danny so eloguently do 😉 } Facebool and Twitter links?

  • jacobvar

    love your post and the gold mine of new bloggers I have to read. Gotto now read a post on how to make the time to read all these fine folks blogs 🙂

  • @DrRae Yes, video tutorials coming soon! Try typing the @ symbol followed by the first letter of a friend on Facebook or Twitter. Once you connect those accounts you will see a list of those friends where you can select who you want to mention.

  • @jennalanger Of course 🙂 thank you Jenna for this gentle reminder and “video tutorials coming soon!”

  • ginidietrich

    Mark, Do. More. Video. Without lipgloss.

  • markwschaefer

    @jennalanger @DrRae Video tutorials will not be needed unless livefyre solves several technical issues, including an apparent incompaitbility with Firefox, which is the number one browser used by my readers. : (

  • @markwschaefer Hey Mark, our engineers are working hard at fixing those issues. Since I wasn’t blessed with programming skills, I’ll be working on the tutorials (I can take a mean screen capture).

  • lauraclick

    @jennalanger @markwschaefer It also appears you can’t comment in places where Facebook is blocked by a firewall. If a company blocks Facebook, you can’t comment via LiveFyre.

  • @lauraclick @jennalanger @markwschaefer That seems bizarre – wouldn’t that only come into play if you sign in via Facebook? I’m not techy at all, so probably talking out my butt, but I’m not understanding how a Facebook filter would affect a comment system? 🙂

  • lauraclick

    @DannyBrown @jennalanger @markwschaefer I could be completely wrong on that. I just know that I can’t use LiveFyre at my office. Facebook is blocked by the firewall there, so I’m assuming it’s related. But, I could be totally wrong. I already let @jennalanger know about it when I had trouble commenting on joey strawn ‘s blog awhile back.

  • @lauraclick @jennalanger @markwschaefer joey strawn Interesting – I’ll have to keep an eye on that as a lot of my traffic comes from Facebook. Cheers for the heads-up, Laura 🙂

  • @DannyBrown @lauraclick We work behind most firewalls, and we’re still looking into the more secure ones like Laura is behind. Thanks for all the feedback through our beta, we’re learning a lot and making updates on a regular basis.

  • thomasson

    Cest une excellente réflexion que je vais prendre à mon compte.

  • @jennalanger @lauraclick Cool, thanks for always keeping us in the loop, Jenna (do you ever sleep???) 🙂

    Just out of curiosity, do you have any ETA on moving from beta into full release? I know a ton of bloggers eager to try the system (they’re just nit huge fans of beta products). 🙂

  • @DannyBrown @jennalanger @lauraclick We’re getting there! The wider-spread we go, the more funny little issues we see spring up that we need to squash. Almost all the work the engineers are doing right now is creating more stable posting processes that insure comments can gets posted no matter what issues exist with the site, internet connection, firewall, or browser security setting.

    Then we have a few more features to finish building, like Twitter import (which is almost done), and we’ll come out of private beta. My best estimate right now is mid-January. We want to launch publicly with a perfect product, and all of you are helping us get it there!

  • @markwschaefer @JennaLanger Thank you Mark for letting me know the issue you are dealing with Livefrye. Firefox is on my desktop to review our website add-ons so your position with Livefrye’s “…apparent incompaitbility with Firefox, which is the number one browser used by my readers. : (” is an important one. Supporting you in having the compatibility you need and want. : )

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  • Sally_G

    Holy Late to the Party Batman! I’m going to throw my 2 cents in anyway, if that’s okay.

    I suspect that the greatest Blog Post writers secretly chant this Mantra: Be A Magnet.

    Any object with a magnetic field will either attract or repel other magnets. I feel that the Writer is only half of the equation – and what truly determines whether or not a Post is ‘perfect’, is the Reader. And since Readers are Shape Shifters at heart ~ it’s best not to spend too much time honing your craft and expressing your Self based on what you THINK they might want, or value, or find perfect.

    This is why BEing your Self is so powerful. Those who like what you say, how you say it, the context you put around it, the community in which you publish it – they’ll find you. And through them, others will find you. They can’t help but be attracted to you – if you’ve got your magnetic field in functioning order, they’ll smash in at the speed of ions.

    It’s important to note that not all magnets are permanently magnetized – they can be temporarily magnetized but then lose their magnetic field some time after they leave the proximity of another magnet(s). Others. like electro-magnets,can easily turn their magnetic powers on and off with a switch – making it easy to retrieve formerly magnetized objects at will.

    And sometimes, you’ll come across atoms spinning in opposite directions, with the result that the magnetic fields cancel each other out, and no magnetic field is created from the object itself. (In cases like this, the site may be supported solely on the power of its stimulating community – or deafened by the sound of chirping crickets.)

    Atoms of magnetic materials contain electrons with the same spin that don’t cancel each other out. If a material has enough of these electrons with the same spin, and don’t contain any unpaired electrons with opposite spin, the net movement of electrons in one direction will create a magnetic field.

    So, to write a Perfect Blog Post, you must Be A Magnet with all your ‘atoms’ spinning the same way, moving your ‘electrons’ in one direction, thus magnetizing all those who happen to wander past your force field. (Know what you want to say, why it needs to be said, how it will make a difference – and then Splatter it with the Essence of who you are.)

    And now, I must go lie down. My head hurts and I think I pulled a left-brain cell …

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  • markwschaefer

    @Sally_G All of my favorite writers are checking in! I love this acknowledgment of the role of community in the perfect post, for is such a thing could ever exist, it would only be in the mind of the reader.

    If it was only as easy as being a “magnet.”. I’ve been thinking a lot about this. What does this mean in human terms? How do you really build a community that “sticks?” I believe it as much alchemy as physics but let’s keep talking about it. Thanks Sally!

  • markwschaefer

    @JayBaer that would be “role model” : )

  • grcooper3

    Hey Mark,

    As usual, I’m about four days behind in my reading of your blog. I agree – pretty much – with all five of your points, but the one I try to go by is to tell your own story. It helps to have a great headline, but if you are telling your own story, you will be personal, you will be real, and because it is of your essence it is likely that your prose will flow more smoothly. Where I disagree a little is that point about making it entertaining: I don’t expect everyone to find my writing entertaining (as long as some do!), just as I don’t expect all businesses to find my business services to be what they need.

    Actually, taking a lesson from your and your blog, I’d add point #6: work to build your community – if your story is compelling, they will come and share and {grow}.

    I appreciate being part of your community.

  • markwschaefer

    @grcooper3 Awesome point George. Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder but IN GENERAL I think these points help and there are some other good ideas in the comment section which certainly are right on target. In fact, I wish I could write the post over … as usual. It is really a great community and I’m appreciative that you take the time to stop by and be a part of it!

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  • Ayngelina

    #3 was a breakthrough for me. I was six months into my blog of writing posts that could have been written by anyone and I finally wrote an honest post. I was shocked at how many people responded to it. It was incredibly scary to open a wound for the blogosphere but it’s what made me different from those in my niche. Since then I try to inject as much ‘real’ as I can.

  • Ayngelina

    Great analogy about the children, it also speaks to our fear of standing out and being judged.

  • markwschaefer

    @Ayngelina That is an amazing case study illustrating exactly what I’m talking about. Also, I like the fact that it took a while for you to “find your vioce.” That’s common. Thank you so very much for sharing this Ayngelina.

  • Great advice!

  • Great advice!

  • The Five Elements Of A Perfect Blog Post – I just had to tweet this so I don’t forget it. I’ll think this way the next time a make a blog post – very well said.

  • As you can see by the comments, I seem to have hit on a good formula here : )

    But it’s certainly not easy as I can personally attest! Thanks!

  • The Soul of the post. I always look for that. Does it have eyes, and what does it say that it has seen for me to think about. If it has that I am pulled in and eager for more…

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  • Mark, long time my friend. I think your last point about content is spot on. When I train folks on how to be good WOM advocates I tell them virtually the same thing: it doesn’t matter *what* you talk about — it’s much more *how* you talk about it — with passion and authenticity. Great stuff.

  • Mark, long time my friend. I think your last point about content is spot
    on. When I train folks on how to be good WOM advocates I tell them
    virtually the same thing: it doesn’t matter *what* you talk about —
    it’s much more *how* you talk about it — with passion and authenticity.
    Great stuff.

  • Well said!  Love that! 

  • Great to hear form you. Been too long! 

  • Great post, Mark. You are right about the headline. Be orignal. Be real. Entertain me. Amen, Mark!

  • Mark

    Thanks Jeff!

  • Just got a notice that you commented on this, nice reply and thanks…

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  • Michael Q Todd

    Great thoughts Mark. I get it

  • Thanks Michael. The longer I’m around, the more I’m convinced this is true : )

  • Nice post! Seems you explained by example! Going to stick with your example for a while! Thanks

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