Almost every day we receive an email from one of our Brand Ambassadors asking “How do I properly create a blog post?”. Many of our Brand Ambassadors want to blog but have no idea how to get started. Translating ideas into content is something that requires a little knowledge and lots of practice.
House&Canvas regularly publishes guest posts from our Brand Ambassadors. We require that the post be unique and exclusive to us. If approved, the post is edited by our team and posted on our blog. In return, we provide a link to the Brand Ambassadors Instagram account or personal blog. Our Brand Ambassadors are also eligible to earn a referral commission from their posts by including their unique promo code.
This guide was developed to help our Brand Ambassadors create high quality, informative posts that get published. These skills will help you earn commission as a House&Canvas Brand Ambassador, help build your social following, and will help ensure that your content has the best chance of being published elsewhere.
There is no right or wrong way to express yourself in a blog post. This guide is not intended to stifle your creativity. Our intention is to introduce you to key concepts that are typical of successful posts. We hope that this guide provides you with the tools you need to confidently begin blogging. Brand Ambassadors who publish on our blog will receive feedback in the form of editing. It is our hope that our Brand Ambassadors will become better bloggers by taking note of any edits we make.
We consider helping aspiring bloggers to be an honor. It’s our hope that this guide will help provide the tools and confidence needed to contribute to the House&Canvas blog and other blog platforms.
Write With Purpose
Writing a blog post can be a cathartic experience. It’s exciting to share your thoughts on a platform when you know they’ll actually be read by someone. When you are writing to get published you need to write with a clear purpose. You can express your feelings, but too much expression can quickly change your post from something useful and meaningful, into a rant.
Writing with purpose means you have plotted out exactly what you want to say and why. A blog post with purpose is more like an essay than a creative writing project; you should know the beginning, middle, and end before you start typing. Your personality can make an ordinary post extraordinary but if the post is all personality without purpose, it won’t provide the reader with anything useful, and it won’t encourage people to share.
Using short sentences and simple words will take you much further than a post that ends up being wordy, disconnected, or tangential. Most new bloggers try to “wow” the world with their vast vocabulary, or ability to construct complicated sentences. Successful blog posts have to flow, they have to be easy to follow. It’s common to find posts from aspiring bloggers that look good on the surface, but make no sense or add no value. It’s important to continually remind yourself of the point you are trying to make, and evaluate whether or not your writing is contributing to proving your point in a clear, concise manner.
Writing with purpose means you have considered your audience. It’s important to write to the audience you are trying to attract. One of the biggest mistakes a new blogger makes is writing for themselves. When you write for yourself you assume that everyone else has the same information you do. You may not have to explain what paint is to a group of painters, but if you’re explaining a technique, it’s important to assume your audience has no pre-knowledge. This is where simple, “plain English” word choices and short meaningful sentences come in handy.
New bloggers that have a background in writing tend to write really good articles for people in their industry. The mistake almost all new bloggers make is writing an article as though it’s being published in a topic-specific magazine. As a result, they don’t consider the fact that search engines, and the visually impaired, rely on accurate descriptive words to “paint a picture”. This is especially true when images are used. Some people and all search engines cannot see images. To be found by search engines (which is how you will get most of your traffic) you need to be descriptive when discussing items of importance. “A can of paint” means a lot less to a search engine than “A quart of House&Canvas Chalk Finish Paint”. Using accurate descriptive words will ensure the search engines know exactly what you are talking about, so they are able to rank your post accordingly. As you get better at creating posts with purpose, you can begin experimenting with adding some more personality – until then keep it simple and make sure it makes sense.
Know Who Is Telling The Story
One of the areas where new bloggers often make mistakes is with inconsistent narration. It is not uncommon to find blog posts that are a confusing mess. Often this is because the narration is inconsistent, and past, present, and future tenses are used incorrectly.
Trying to do too much will make your writing confusing. The easiest narrative for most people is the first person narrative. When you are writing from the first person, you are writing in your voice. You should be able to read it out loud, and it should make sense. First-person narration is a great way to tell a story, explain how you did something, or review a product or service. Mastering first-person narration, and writing with purpose will ensure your post has the highest chance of success.
Use A Template
A template is used to outline and organize the ideas you intend to present in your post. Most posts should have around 2-5 ideas that are to be expressed as headings. Under each heading, you should be able to write a paragraph or two. If writing a few paragraphs about an idea is too difficult, choose another idea. If you have difficulty writing paragraphs in general, break each idea down further by writing your talking points underneath your headline ideas It is not unusual to have multiple templates, particularly if you are creating different types of content such as how-to articles, product comparisons, or reviews.
1) “Why I Bought House&Canvas Paint”
Intro: “I was searching Google the other day…”
- Color Selection
- Easy Application
- Works On MDF
- Available Online
Conclusion: “I am very happy with my purchase…”
2) “How I Refinished My Bathroom Cabinets”
Intro: “The cabinets in my bathroom had seen better days..:
- Instructions (numbered)
Conclusion: “I am so happy I decided to paint my cabinets..”
Using a template will help you organize your ideas and stay on track. The biggest difficulty new bloggers have is creating posts that read easily and convey meaning. Using a template helps guide your writing to better ensure that your post will engage the reader and effectively convey the intended message.
Choose The Right Images
Words are important to both the reader and the search engines. Images are important for social sharing and enhance the aesthetics of the post. The posts that get the most traffic are usually the ones that do everything right. Your images and your content should flow together. Some posts overwhelm the reader with images. One image per heading or for each step in a “How To” is usually sufficient. Many blog sites are dominated by mobile users so too many unoptimized images may cause the visitor to leave before the page finishes loading. Too few may not keep the visitor engaged. There are no rules of course, but it’s good practice to ensure every image you use enhances the post in some way.
Building links is an important part of blogging. Providing links to external sources (like Twitter) lets the search engines know that your post exists.
You also need to link externally (to other pages) in your blog post. There is no minimum number of external links you need in a post. Simply put, if you are writing about an article you read somewhere – link to it; if you are talking about the sandpaper you bought at a hardware store online – link to it as well.
At a minimum, you need to support any claim you make in a post with a link. If you say “millions of people use this paintbrush”, you should be able to link to an article that backs up that claim. If you can’t support the claim with evidence, you should be writing “I think millions of people use this paintbrush” instead. Remember that the reader may not have the same knowledge you do. Is important to not assume something is common knowledge unless it actually is. Backing up your claims with credible links will make your posts perform better on the search engines, and avoid alienating your readers.
Share Your Content
When you finally write your first blog post, you will need to promote your link as much as you can. Usually, bloggers have social media profiles with a network of people to help promote the story. It’s important to distribute the link to your post as much as possible. Search engines follow these links in order to discover your post. The more links you get, the more likely it is that your post will gain traction on the search engines. If your content is high quality and interesting, you are more likely to get social shares and rank higher on the search engines.
How To Submit to House&Canvas
House&Canvas accepts blog submissions exclusively from our Brand Ambassadors. If you are not yet a Brand Ambassador we encourage you to explore the program and see if it is the right match for you,