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When I first started blogging, I found myself face-to-face with a huge learning curve. I loved creating content for my audience, but there was so much to learn! Luckily, I managed to figure it out. Now, I enjoy writing blog posts and love the value it adds to my website. If you are starting to blog as a business owner, chances are, you have the same questions I did. So in this article, I would like to share my method for writing a blog post in the form of a step-by-step guide. The tips in this article are tailored to business owners, so I hope they help you, just like they helped me!
Blogs can genuinely boost the success of your business website. First of all, having a blog increases the visibility and ranking of your site. It pushes your site to the top of the search engine results. Not only that, including a blog on your company website is the first step to engage your audience and maintain an effective line of communication.
Your readers want to know what brings value to your service or product. Through blogs, you can connect directly with readers to keep them informed and up-to-date with the latest offerings.
This article will help you better understand how to support your business by writing a blog post.
- How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step Guide
- Step 1: Start with a headline.
- How to Rank with a Personal Blog?
- Step 2: Engaging Content
- Step 3: Supporting content
- Step 4: Editing and Proofreading
- Audit your website in minutes with SEMRush
- Step 5: Updates
- Content Management
How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step Guide
Everyone has different ways to approach creative tasks, like writing a blog article. However, having a bit of structure doesn’t take away from that. In fact, creative activities like writing can often be improved if you have a method to follow.
From my perspective, writing is both a skill and an art. It involves stringing words together to structure content, which is a skill that can be learned and improved. At the same time, writing has to deliver a message that readers understand and value. Now, that’s the art!
Content is just as important. If the writer picks content or topics that are familiar, it can convey a particular authority on the subject. This makes for a high-quality blog that gains the reader’s trust. Authority is achieved by researching, having prior knowledge, responding to the comments section, and receiving testimonials.
This article will help you understand the writing steps you can practice to create compelling and exciting blog posts. Each piece of writing should help you better engage with your target audience. To achieve that, there are 5 main steps.
Step 1: Start with a headline.
Writing a comprehensive blog post? You need to have two key elements; first, a flow, and second, a well-thought-out format. This allows the reader to scroll through the post and quickly get to the information they are looking for. This is why headlines are so important!
Have you ever read a blog that was basically a giant wall of text and found yourself scrolling aimlessly without a clue as to the writer’s intent? I bet you got annoyed and closed the window. However, it becomes that much easier to understand what a particular blog post is about if there are headlines.
Headlines allow readers to quickly scroll through your content. They can then pick out the subtopics and sections that resonate with their needs and interests. This makes for an overall better reading experience, especially if your article is about a general topic.
Tip: To clearly reflect the content, consider using questions as a headline. Headlines can be crafted as frequently asked questions such as
How to Rank with a Personal Blog?
Headlines help the reader find the answer or reinforce what they are looking for in your content. Accordingly, the content of individual posts must be informative. Clickbait headlines are not useful for readers, and vague headlines decrease your blog’s possible search traffic.
You may be asking yourself, so how do I start?
A basic plan (that makes perfect sense) could be to point pen-to-paper and write down your goals. While making a note of your goals, other ideas may come to mind…write those down too!
When you are satisfied with jotting down all your thoughts, take a look at what you’ve written and pick the topic that calls out to you the most. This could be the latest trending topic, a topic close to your heart, or a subject you are exceptionally knowledgeable about.
Then, take a moment to think about your chosen topic. Decide if it is a complex topic that can be covered through many different angles. You might want to break your blog post up into sections. If there is a lot to write about, perhaps separate blog posts would be better. If it is a relatively straightforward topic, it may be enough to write one cohesive and comprehensive blog post.
Another trick is to start with the end and work towards the rest. Once you have your topic, write a short conclusion with an action step and call it a draft.
At this point, you may be wondering, does this speak to my audience?
Making adjustments or comments to your work to identify the blog theme and subject matter is the first step towards condensing your writing. You may think about the voice and tone your target readers may be looking for. It could be formal, casual, technical, or even simplified. It truly depends on your style and your readers.
In blog posts, most successful bloggers tend to use conversational styles. This makes for easy and enjoyable reading material. By speaking with a voice that potential readers may find helpful, you will likely reach more readers and grow your business.
Step 2: Engaging Content
This step looks at how to make your thoughts relevant to your audience. This entails thinking about the search intents of the reader.
What questions would my readers have?
What supports and structures will they need?
How can I make it accessible?
Identifying the reasons why a reader clicks on your content drives the content. So ask yourself, why are my readers visiting my website?
Next, reflect on other websites such as competitor websites. Another question to ask yourself, what sites are readers also searching for? What are they missing that I can provide? What website may help me gather more information about the needs and interests of my reader?
This process usually entails using keywords that drive traffic from search. Now, ‘keyword’ may seem like a technical term, but don’t let that put you off. Understanding keywords can help you grow from an excellent blogger to an amazing one, so let’s take a closer look at keywords.
What is a keyword?
A keyword is a term that describes the content on your page. A keyword doesn’t have to be one single word. It could also be a short phrase, such as ‘business owner’ or ‘blog ranking.’
Essentially, it is a search term that you can use to rank on the first page of Google. Did you know that 75% of people click on the first 3 websites listed in a search result? Ranking higher makes a big difference in attracting site visitors, and keywords play a significant role in your ranking.
While keywords may sound rigged at first, the key is to use them naturally and appropriately. If you use keywords appropriately, search engine algorithms will pick up on that. It signals to search engines that your blog has relevant and authentic content. So, they are more likely to rank your blog higher in search results. This is great for improving SEO and increasing traffic.
On a more internal level, figuring out your keywords can improve your blog post content. Using keywords helps with content organization. It makes your writing more focused on achieving your target and gives a potential reader a clearer picture of your ideas.
When looking for keywords, I tend to glance over them to get a sense of their relevance. If they resonate with my topic, then I start to organize them in an outline. The outline allows me to see the flow of the writing.
As you develop a marketing strategy for your websites, keywords that promote search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing will support your blog ranking organically (i.e., no ads).
How do I search for keywords?
Keyword searches can be done in several ways. Start by typing your idea for a keyword/phrase into the Google search bar and see the different words/ phrases that come up. Do this a few times until you become familiar with the content and keywords used for your chosen topic.
For a more organized approach, consider using a keyword tool. Several keyword tools are free, and many others charge a fee. Here are a few to get you started:
- Ubersuggest: This keyword search tool is easy to use and comes with a free Chrome extension. One cool feature of Ubersuggest – it shows you the questions people ask concerning your keyword. Use this info to come up with relevant headlines and sections for your blog post.
- Google Adword: Google, the most popular search engine of all time, has its own keyword search tool, known as Google Keyword Planner. It is free, intuitive, and has useful features such as forecasts and search volumes.
- Moz: It may be tempting to pick the most popular keywords, but it can be challenging to rank highly with these words. To make wise keyword choices, Moz is the tool to use as it gives you ‘difficulty’ and ‘opportunity’ scores for each keyword.
- Frase: Frase is an AI-powered keyword search tool. It is not free, but they do offer a free trial. If you are tight on time, Frase is one to consider as it incorporates a lot of features into one tool and is easy to use, even for beginners.
- SEMrush: Let’s be real. We want keywords that are relevant, popular, and profitable. That’s where SEMrush comes in. It shows you the competitor ads for a particular keyword. Use high-ranking ads to improve your writing.
Use the box below to test keywords for your blog ⬇️
- Use keywords. Ensure that you are adding valuable content that contributes to the chosen topic. Posting keywords without meaningful writing to give them context can lead to a reader clicking out of your website. Even worse, trying to artificially fluff your website with popular keywords could seriously backfire. Search engine algorithms can detect pages that overuse keywords (also known as ‘keyword stuffing’). These sites tend to rank lower in search results since they tend to be spammy and typically not useful.
- Use headers. Subject lines support your writing and give valuable structure to your blog post. This is especially important if your article is long or about a general topic. Use headings and subheadings to guide your reader through the content. To take it up a notch, consider adding a table of contents to complex blog posts. Your reader can then easily click through to the specific section that interests them.
- Write long posts. Write detailed articles that answer your readers’ questions. Lengthy posts tend to rank higher on the Google Search Engine. Generally, aim to write about three thousand to five thousand words per blog post. One caveat, though, don’t forget to preserve quality while working on quantity. Nobody likes to read repetitive blog posts, so take care to ensure that your content remains exciting and useful.
- Focus on engagement. As a content creator, ensure that your blog posts address the subject material by asking questions and engaging with the reader through your content. Search common questions on Google and search engines to identify keywords to embed into your writing. Write relevant content and point out trends to address the most popular search queries in your area.
Step 3: Supporting content
Now it is time to write supporting content!
Once you’ve identified a piece of content, think of ways to explain it to your readers in diverse ways. Words are powerful, but sometimes, a picture can speak a thousand words. Add a relevant image or two to break up your blog post into smaller segments. If you have photos of your own, great! Nothing reflects your own brand, like personalized images. It can be an effective way to show trust and vulnerability towards your readers.
If you don’t have images of your own, not to worry! There are tons of free image sites online where you can easily search for a picture and add it to your blogpost without copyright issues. Can’t find the image you have in mind on a free site? There are also paid sites such as IvoryMix, where a small payment gives you access to millions of high-quality images to brighten up your blog,
Featured images help readers pause and think about the concept or skills you’ve presented in your writing. This engages the reader to visualize and structure the information. Images don’t have to be photos. They can be a recreation of the work, videos, a chart, or a highlight of the blog content.
All that to say don’t skimp out on the supporting content. A cleverly-placed photo or a colorful graphic can make a big difference and transform your blog post from ‘meh’ to ‘wow.’ So, don’t be afraid to add a pop of color.
Step 4: Editing and Proofreading
At this point, the first draft of your blog post is ready. You have a headline, content that uses the best keywords for your business and supporting images or photos to jazz it all up.
Your blog post is looking good, and you are keen to hit that publish button. But hang on for just a moment! Before you share your thoughts with the world, there is one more step – editing and proofreading.
Editing and proofreading are two different concepts. Proofreading involves removing surface errors such as grammatical errors and inconsistencies that may distract from the end-product. Meanwhile, editing consists of making changes and suggestions that will improve the overall quality of your writing. Editing enhances your quality of writing by providing a clearer and more transparent sound and logic. To produce high-quality blog articles, both editing and proofreading are necessary.
Proofreading is typically done when double-checking your work. Read through your post while looking for typos or grammar mistakes. It may look perfect to you but remember that our own mistakes sometimes are the hardest for us to spot. So think about getting a second pair of eyes to look at your work. Ask a trusted friend or family member to read your piece as a final touch before publishing. Or alternatively, walk away from your writing for a while. This time will give you the space to read your paper with a newer perspective (some people call this “fresh eyes”).
You could try proofreading your own work, hiring a proofreader to work with you, or alternatively use software. That’s right, there is software for editing, just like there is software for newsletter publishing, keyword search, and email lists! For an editing tool, I recommend Grammarly.
Grammarly goes beyond detecting simple typos. It supports writing by making suggestions for word usage, punctuation, grammar, style, and plagiarism.
There are various ways to use Grammarly. There is a free browser extension, desktop app, Grammarly Editor, downloadable software for Windows, iOS, Android, and iPad. No matter what device you use, Grammarly has got you covered. Grammarly offers its basic version for free, with an option to upgrade to the paid app.
The editing process tends to be more in-depth. It involves a proactive editor making changes and suggestions to improve the work’s quality by ensuring that ideas are expressed soundly. While editing, the voice and tone are optimized for the intended audience. In other words, the editing process is made up of a rough copy edit (this may be followed by line and copy editing) (this stage can be repeated multiple times) and followed by a final copy.
As it is more involved, editing usually takes several hours, depending on the draft’s quality. One way to minimize the amount of time it takes to edit is to use headers and subheads (subheaders) in your writing. Headings help the reader understand where one concept begins and ends. It also highlights each section’s key points, making it easier to scan, read, and evaluate the piece’s value.
Headings are excellent for readability. But headings alone are not enough. Headings need to be supported by sentence structure. For your blog post to make sense, there needs to be a connection between the heading and the sentences that follow it. Good editing can do wonders for sentence structure and to clarify the writers’ point of view.
How can I speed up writing blog posts?
Blog writing is fun and rewarding but also time-consuming. As a business owner, you have several different tasks on your plate. It makes sense to want to write fast and produce quality blog posts without wasting too much time.
A few ways to speed up your writing:
- Practice makes perfect. To write fast, you need to develop efficient writing habits. This means one thing – practice, practice, practice. Spend time writing and then identify what works (and doesn’t work) for you.
- Actively seek knowledge. In the world of blogging, you can never learn enough. There is always a new course, software, or skill to be discovered. Personally, I am always learning how to improve my blogging skills. I often participate in workshops, tutorials and read “ultimate guides” to support my writing. These give me invaluable tips that I can use in my own blog. Everyone has their “simple formula.” Frase.ai exposes you to related content, keywords, and frequently asked questions. for me.
- Formatting is key. Another handy ‘trick’ to speed up your blogging is to use design to support your writing. Once you have an idea of the topic, outline your headers. This can act as a mental mind map. Then, all you have to do is fill out the info under the headings, and voila! You will have a well-organized blog post in no time at all.
- Use links. Links can be helpful as well. Adding sources to your writing will show your readers that you have researched the topic. It is a quick way to improve the trustworthiness of your blog. Smart use of links can also stop your blog from being too repetitive. If a specific question has been answered extensively elsewhere and is only slightly related to your topic, adding a link can be time-saving, and you won’t have to spend time writing unrelated sentences.
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How do I keep readers interested?
Would you like to hear a shocking statistic? After all that hard work and hours spent writing a blog post…
The average reader spends 37 seconds reading a blog post.
Yes, you read that right. Only 37 seconds, in comparison to the 3.5-hour average it takes to create a blog post.
As you can see, you don’t have a whole lot of time to grab your reader’s attention and get your message across—all the more reason to create engaging content that will keep your audience reading.
If a reader spends more time on your blog, it indicates a high satisfaction level. In other words, it shows that their user experience is positively improved. The user experience (UX) is “how a person feels when interfacing with a system.” Naturally, if someone feels good when they visit your blog, they are likely to stay longer.
This is a clear shift in thinking. Back then, it was all about aesthetics and brand. Now, the focus is on how people use your website and feel about it. In 2020, we quickly learned that people increased their access to content through different forms such as mobile devices and various browsers. Not only that, some have individual needs, such as the need to access content through voice commands.
Tip: As a blogging business owner, consider your audience’s needs and preferences to create your blog.
Readers stay longer when the blog is:
Relevant – meaning it resonates with the reader and with the times. This can be linked to the world around them, political action, social justice, or interests. Google defines relevance as how “useful your information is to your customer’s search.” Stay focused on writing helpful blog posts that are related to your field.
Easy to read – Writing a blog post that is easy to read makes use of headers. Not only does this help with formatting, but it also boosts SEO too. This is because the website is made aware of the sequence of content on that page. Then, the page can be more easily adapted to accessibility needs.
Plus, headers support the writing flow by clearly offering an introduction, body, and conclusion. It makes it easier for the reader to navigate the post and read your content.
Mobile-friendly– Increasingly, more people are using mobile devices to surf the web. You can bet that a significant proportion of your readers are also visiting your blog on mobile. Therefore, it is super important to create a highly adaptable website that loads correctly on mobile devices. A web page that adapts to mobile users encourages new users to find and navigate to your page.
Fast loading – One of the biggest turn-offs when visiting a web page is a never-ending loading wheel. If your blog loads slowly, your readers are likely to leave before the page has completed loading. Down goes engagement, and up goes bounce rates!
According to CrazyEgg.com, “slow sites kill conversions. In fact, 47% of consumers expect websites to load in two seconds or less.” This means that there is little time to convert readers who may leave the website before it loads. Moreover, Google has started to penalize slower websites by pushing them down on the search results.
Avoid this by making sure your website loads quickly on both desktop and mobile browsers. One tip is to choose responsive themes. Pick more straightforward themes and test them out by doing a preview on many different devices. Another tip is to optimize images. Ensure that the correct file format is used, compress your graphics, and do not use unnecessarily large images.
Easy to navigate- With a focus on the reader’s experience, analyzing website accessibility is more and more celebrated! The more complex the system, the more involved the planning and feedback embedment. Website owners risk revenue losses if not prioritized.
Surprisingly, links have a lot to do with the navigation of the website. For example, when embedding links, you must consider if you would like the reader to be navigated to a different page or want the link to open in a separate tab. Opening the link in an additional tab means that the reader will stay on your site and will not be redirected while still having access to tabs to refer to later.
Interesting Content – finding a point of interest is key to holding attention and adding value. Sometimes, the theme (or niche) is interesting enough for supporters to contribute suggestions and questions to support brand growth.
This may be why an average of 25-words per sentence is recommended. Readers are more likely to stay interested when they can fully understand the concept of each sentence. Sentences that answer their questions and follow a cohesive thought-stream are especially attractive. To make it more readable, aim to keep paragraphs to a length of three to five sentences.
All blogs are different, which is why relying on your readership for feedback is crucial. The best people to ask for feedback is your audience. You can send out a newsletter survey or simply post on social media asking for feedback. Actively engaging with your readers in the comments section can also encourage reader feedback.
Another fun way to boost interest is with image placement. Images support text by offering visualization of the concept. Visuals help to anchor readers in the content and allow for access to content in diverse ways. Just make sure they don’t slow down your site.
Here are a few quick tips to refer to as you write your blog post.
- Sentence length: Keep it short and straightforward, a maximum of 25 words.
- Paragraph length: Again, shorter is better. Think three to five sentences.
- Image placement: Add visuals and/or graphics every 300 words.
- Links: Have links open in a new tab to avoid losing readers.
- Header tags: Make use of header tags and stay organized. Use header 1 as your headline, header 2 for subheads, and header 3 for sub-headers.
- The flow of information: Improve flow by having a clear introduction, body, and conclusion to your blog post.
Step 5: Updates
After clicking publish, it does not end there. Come back to your content from time-to-time and double-check that it continues to rank. If your analytics are looking poor for a particular blog post, do some editing to make it more appealing.
Supporting info like images and sources might need some updating, or perhaps it is the content itself that needs sprucing up. When revising content, ensure that your content strategy is still relevant. Ask yourself: Are readers still interested in these points?
If readership has changed or wants you to expand on content, adjust your content to fit their needs. Have a content strategy that keeps your audience engaged and addresses their needs. This can include search engine optimization, researching frequently asked questions, and looking at popular content in your area. Content management is essential for optimizing your work and updating it year-after-year. Ensure that your blog content remains consistent with your readership.
The Perfect Post… Is there such a thing?
I think this is possible! Indicators of a perfect post are high SEO ranking (I aim for 80% or higher), analytics, measuring clicks on your article, and the number of social shares. If your blog posts are interesting and add value, site visitors and loyal readers will want to share your content with others. As your audience shares and engages with your blog posts, it will increase visitors’ traffic clicking on your content.
A blog is an effective way to connect with your audience and boost your brand. So, it is worth taking the time to learn how to write useful blog posts that can improve engagement. As a final thought, just remember to keep blog posts consistent, relevant, and engaging.
What is a keyword? • SEO for beginners • Yoast. (2018). Retrieved 27 December 2020, from https://yoast.com/what-is-a-keyword/
Keywords 101: Free Keyword Research and Tracking Tools. (2020). Retrieved 27 December 2020, from https://neilpatel.com/blog/10-free-keyword-research-tools-to-help-plan-your-new-site/
Content Marketing Checklist (2020). Retrieved 21 February 2021, fromSEMRush Follow my blog with Bloglovin
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