Do you want to learn how to write a great blog post?
If you don’t have a method or system to guide your blog writing, you’ll quickly run into problems. Writer’s Bloc, inability to write or finish writing and ineffective writing are symptoms of being unmethodical.
What you need is a step-by-step process to guide you from start to finish, even if you have no previous experience writing for a blog.
That’s exactly what I aim to provide you within here.
In this complete guide to writing a blog post, we’ll look at everything you need to know to successfully write an effective blog post.
A. What Is A Blog And Why Have One?
A blog is a website, or a part of a website, that has regularly updated content, and is written in a more personable manner than other types of website content, such as a straight news article or sales page.
In the past, blogs were mostly associated with individuals who wrote about their life experiences and reflections but now have also become an inseparable part of most online businesses.
Blogs are essential for both individuals and businesses to build relationships with their consumers.
There are so many benefits to having a blog.
It provides value to your audience, brings your website organic traffic, builds trust, credibility, and relationships with your readers, creates an engaged audience, enables you to provides you with an effective way to build your email list or promote products, and hence gives you a great way to make money online.
Every product marketer needs to build a blog at some point, in order to achieve long-term (or substantial) success in his efforts.
B. How To Create A Blog
If you do not yet have a blogging platform of your own, it’s simple and easy to create one.
Step 1. Choose a niche for your blog.
Your niche is the main topic your blog will be focused on. Choosing a niche, as opposed to blogging about various random topics, will help you build an engaged and interested audience. It’s also better for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Our niche at cybermarketspace.com is internet marketing, and particularly affiliate marketing, but you can choose from whatever niche you are interested in. Just make sure it’s something other people are seeking as well.
If you intend to market products on your blog, you’ll also need to consider whether your niche will provide you ample opportunity to promote products relevant to your niche. For example, promoting gardening tools on a cooking blog isn’t going to convert well, and may annoy your readers.
Step 2. Pick an appropriate domain name.
Your domain name is the name of your website, your primary website address. Example: cybermarketspace.com.
Your domain name should make sense in the context of your niche, and be relevant to it. In addition, If you can include the name of your niche or main keyword in your domain name, it will be better for SEO.
To get a domain name, you’ll have to pay a recurring fee to a domain name registrar service, like Namecheap, for a few dollars a year. I registered cybermarketspace.com with NameCheap because of the low price, and have been very satisfied with them.
Step 3. Host your website online.
Next, you’ll need a quality web hosting service to get your blog online. Webhosting plans provide you with a server to host your website on, upload content, install software, and create email accounts, among other things.
But if, somehow, despite the low price, you can’t afford a web hosting plan right now, get it here for free!
Step 4. Install a Content Management System, such as WordPress.
Unless you want to hire someone to code and design a website for you or do everything yourself, it’s better to install Content Management System. I use and recommend WordPress, used by nearly 80 million other websites. It’s free, easy to use, contains an ocean of plugins, and integrates well with third-party apps.
Step 5. Select and customize a WordPress theme
You have a large number of free themes to choose from, but if you prefer a professional theme, EnvatoElements is a popular source for professional WordPress Themes.
Step 6. Start Writing!
This is what it’s all about!
Now that you’re ready, we’ll go into the exact process you need to write a blog post.
C. How to Write a Great Blog Post: A Complete Step-By-Step Guide
So how exactly do you write a blog post?
Step 1. Select the Subject of Your Post.
The first thing to do is to choose the topic of your post–what you’ll write about.
This shouldn’t be hard since you have already chosen the niche for your blog (see above). Now you just need to focus on keywords related to your niche.
How to do this? Brainstorm! Alternatively, you can input your main keyword in a keyword tool to find related keywords.
You can use free keyword tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, Answer The Public, Google Trends, etc, to find relevant keywords that get traffic.
Step 2. Research Your Topic Keyword.
Use a keyword research tool to check whether your target keyword generates enough monthly searches to make writing your post worth it. At the same time, you’ll need to make sure the competition isn’t too high for you to rank in Google’s search results.
A rate of 1000 monthly searches is usually good, but if the competition is high and you’re a new blogger, shoot for lower volume keywords first (as low as 100/month or less).
In addition to search volume, it’s equally necessary to double-check search intent. I.e., what people are looking for when they use a particular search term. Are they searching for a product to fix an issue, a tutorial, an article, a diagram?
How do you check search intent? Google the term and see what kind of results show up. If other articles and blog posts appear, that’s a good sign.
Step 3. Write Your Blog Post Headline.
Yes, write your headline before you write your blog post. In fact, write several of them to choose from.
Your headline should be your guide to writing your post. Your post should be written to deliver on your headline. This keeps you on topic, and from going off on a tangent, only to struggle at the end to bring the loose strands together in a single headline.
It doesn’t have to be set in stone, but at least have a working title before you write your post. Even the headline I chose for this article changed by the time I finished drafting it. This post turned out to be much longer than I originally planned!
Here are some tips for writing an effective headline.
1. Create an attractive title.
- Many people don’t read past the headlines, so make it interesting enough to catch their attention!
- It could come in the form of a question that the audience is interested in an answer for, or a How-To headline.
- To get their attention, promise readers the answer to a problem that irks them (you may need to do research to discover what their main problems are). Be specific, so you don’t overpromise, or end up with a vague answer.
- Use case studies. They are not only specific, but also interest people in learning how to replicate the success mentioned.
- Use strong language, using power words, and literary tactics like alliteration and rhymes, to make your title attractive. But just don’t try to be overly clever.
- Don’t try to be a ‘wise guy’, using sophisticated, unfamiliar, or ambigous words. They won’t interest your readers; it turns them off.
- If you’re not writing about a topic that interests your readers (not just you), you’ll get very few readers and followers.
- Eliminate impotent, empty, and unnecesary words.
2. Optimize for search engines.
- If possible, compress your headline to 65 characters or less. After about 60 characters, headlines start to get cut off in the search results. So no matter how clever the rest of your headline may be, people won’t even see it.
- If you can do so naturally, put your target keyword in the headline.
3. Learn from those that know.
- “Copy” the style of great headlines you see, and use templates, if they help.
- Overtime, however, you’ll learn your own style, and once you have one, make changes only gradually, so your readers aren’t jolted by your sudden change.
4. Impress upon the senses.
- Avoid abstractions in favor of concrete, sensory words. They engage and leave a more lasting impression upon your readers.
5. Don’t give it away yet!
- If you give away the solution in your headline, people may feel they don’t need to read your post, now that they know the answer, or can look up more about that next.
6. Don’t do that hateful thing.
- Don’t mislead people, intentionally or not. It breaks trust and credibility, and leads readers away from your blog.
- Misleading can happen not only by lying, but by overpromising. You want your readers to leave satisfied with the answer you’ve given, and ready to hear more of what you have to say.
Step 4. Do Your Research.
You don’t have to know everything about your topic before you write about it.
Here’s a secret many bloggers won’t tell you: bloggers often don’t know anything about a topic until they decide to write about it!
But the important thing is that you research the topic before writing about it, else you can’t provide anything of value to your audience. Write down what you learn in case you don’t remember it later. (I mean, what would be the use of research you can’t use later on?)
Pro tip: Always check your facts, and use authoritative sources so you don’t end up embarrassed later on.
5. Organize Your Raw Content in an Outline.
Having researched your topic and taken notes, it’s time to arrange that content in an outline. You can do this with sections, tips, lists.
You can be as detailed or as general as you wish. As an analytical person, I like to be as detailed as possible, but whatever works for you.
6. Write Your Post!
The preparation stage is over! Now let’s get into the actual drafting stage.
There are two ways you can write a draft. You can do it (1) in one sitting or (2) gradually write a section at a time.
The first is preferable since it helps your post flow better, and you from forgetting ideas as easily. But time constraints and long complex topics may compel you to take the latter course instead.
What you write will be based on the outline you have created.
7. Create a Captivating Introduction.
Apart from the headline itself, the intro is the most crucial part of your blog post, because you both need to capture your readers’ attention to keep them from just taking a quick glance and leaving your site, perhaps forever.
Grab readers’ attention. You can try this by telling an interesting story or funny joke, being empathetic with your readers, or grip them with fascinating fact or statistic. Or you can describe your post’s purpose, explaining how it will address a particular problem relevant to your readers’ experience.
Tips for writing an effective introduction:
1. Step inside their their perspective.
It’s a common mistake to make blog posts sound too academic. That’s not the way a blog should be. After all, this isn’t high school or college class, and unless you interest your audience, they’ll simply leave.
To capture your audience, you need to be empathetic with them and make them feel you are reading their minds.
Trigger them–in a good way. As you write, feel the emotions you want them to experience, and when that transfers into your writing, you’re audience is likely to feel them too.
2. Draw your readers down the page.
Interest them, and keep them interested.
- Open your post with a question or short sentence. This is more inviting to the reader than a large paragraph block.
- Gut your Intro. Cut out all unnecesary words.
- Get things moving quickly. You can slow down later.
- Use brief sentences.
- Use brief paragraphs. Preferably no more than 3 sentences each.
- Let each sentence connect with the other, so things flow smoothly down the page. Reading your page aloud will help you check the flow.
- Make your readers crave the solution.
- Allude to their fears. Refer to the consequences that will or could occur if the problem is not solved.
- Present your post as the solution.
- Tip: Ask a question that addresses the problem facing your audience, then explain how your post helps them overcome that obstacle.
8. Deftly Draft The Body of Your Blog Post.
At this point, having done your research, you should be able to write your post based on what you know. But if you feel the need to research further, you are free to do so.
This is where you deliver on your promises; and more.
The content of your body is based on the outline you have previously made.
Tips for writing the content of your blog post:
- Break up the text. Don’t intimidate your readers with long walls of text. Use subheaders, sub-subheaders, etc, to break up the text, help your readers navigate or scan your post with ease, and to support the main headline. Bullet points and numbered lists also help break up the text (as do images, discussed below).
- Stick to a format, and formula.
- Give your audience something unique.
- Be generous with your knowledge, and thorough. Give readers what they need to know. (Don’t annoy them (for example) by saying they need to buy your product or go somewhere else to find the answer to the question your post was supposed to solve.)
- Just as you should start out strong, so should your ending be.
- Each section of your content should be structered and written to support your headline and intro.
9. Creating the Conclusion.
Let your conclusion be motivational.
Show your readers how far they’ve come, what they can do after reading your post, and what things will be like once they put what they’ve learned into action.
Raise their expectations.
Above all, it’s important to tell them they must act by creating an effective call to action–telling them what you want them to do next. This can be something like asking them to subscribe to your email list or signup for something, download an ebook, etc.
Pro tip: Never introduce new information in a conclusion! A conclusion should (briefly) reflect what went before and what to do next.
10. Enhance Your Post With Images.
So you’ve finished writing your blog post. Congratulations! But there are still a few more steps to take.
Every post should have images.
Photos and infographics help break up the text wall, add interest, and explain complex topics in a simple, understandable way.
As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Where can you get images for your blog post? There are three sources to choose from: (1) free images, (2) stock (paid) images, and images you make yourself (or someone else on your behalf).
1. Free images.
I am somewhat amused when I see people giving credit to Google as their image source. Google is not a source for free images! They only display images, most of which have a copyrighted or other restriction on their use.
Unfortunately, however, free image sites will often leave you unsatisfied, unable to find the graphic you were looking for.
2. (Paid) Stock images.
These are images you pay for a license to use. You can buy quality photos and images from sites like Shutterstock, iStock/Getty Images, and Alamy.
3. Create images.
Creating unique images, and especially infographics, is great for SEO, a free way of getting backlinks.
Fortunately, it’s easy–even for people with no experience–to create aesthetically pleasing graphics using tools like Canva. (The blog banner at the top of this page and the infographic at the bottom of this post were both created using Canva.)
And, of course, shooting your own pics is another way to get free images.
11. Proofread Your Blog Post.
- Correct basic writing errors.
You’ll need to fix obvious writing issues like grammatical and spelling errors, and improper word choices.
Grammarly, a free writing app for desktop or mobile, is an excellent tool for doing that.
It also helps to get others to read and proofread your post and give their feedback. With Grammarly Premium, you can also have real, professional editors proofread your work.
Also, check the flow of your article by reading it aloud.
You needn’t be a perfectionist. While you should polish your post as best you can (and continue to do so), there simply isn’t enough time to make it perfect.
2. Revise your writing style.
Avoid: repeating yourself, abrupt turns, going off on tangents, being inconsistent, and using uncertain, ambiguous, weak, or unnecessary words.
What you should do: write smoothly, engage the senses, put things in their natural and logical order, and be consistent.
Don’t worry about cutting things out or adapting them right before publishing.
3. Double-Check Your Format.
Are you using subheadings generously? Bullet points? Is your post scannable? Are you using enough short sentences? Short paragraphs? Do you have appropriate topics and tags?
4. Review your visual appearance.
Does your post have a featured image? Is your post visually engaging (including the formatting)? Is it easy on the eye?
12. Optimize Your Blog Post for Search Engines (SEO).
1. Include a meta description, a 150-60 character summary of your article, in your post. Use action verbs like “discover…,” “learn…,” “read…,”. Metadescriptions give people a snapshot of your article which they see in search engine results.
It’s easy to create a metadescription if you use the Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin.
2. Include your target keywords in your post title and subheadings.
3. Create anchor text. (Clickable text that links to another page) that links to other pages on your website.
4. Have at least a couple of H2 (format) headlines that include search terms.
5. Make your website mobile-friendly. Mobile traffic will make up a big chunk of your traffic.
13. Publish Your Blog Post!
This is really the easiest step of them all. If you’re using WordPress, just press the Publish button and it will be live!
At least…if you were using the WordPress editor. But what if you were using something like Google Docs? No problem, you don’t have to go through all the trouble of reformatting and so forth.
Just use Wordable to easily upload your blog post from Google Docs to WordPress. That’s what I did for this post!
D. Wrapping Up.
Well, you’ve come a long way toward understanding how to write a blog post–from start to finish.
Now the important thing is for you to go forth and write!
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