Blog post writing can be daunting, especially the first time. In fact, writing an awesome blog post at any time can be nerve wracking! But just having a desire to share your thoughts is an excellent first step. Giving you that little extra push to be brave and put those thoughts on paper is what we’re going to cover today.
Step One: Pick a Topic Suitable for your Audience
Knowing your audience – the people who are reading your blog – or at least having an understanding of who you want them to be should always be at the top of your mind. Remember, you’re writing for them and not for just yourself. With that in mind, the topic of your blog post should be something they’re interested in hearing or learning more about.
If you’re not sure how to find those topics, start with social listening. Look at posts, comments, stories, shares. Keep an eye out for what people are talking about. For example, while doing some social listening myself, I noticed that a lot of my audience were talking about Tide Laundry Powder and how it’s a powerful product for house cleaning. After doing a little research, I wrote this blog post because I knew it was content my audience was interested in.
Blog Post Step Two: Jump In and Save the Intro for Last
When blogging, your job is to get your reader’s attention and keep it. This means that your introduction needs to grab their interest and encourage them to read the rest of your post. My point? Don’t rush it!! Leave the best until last and get a good feeling for your blog post by writing the full content first. Then, go back and write that kick-butt introduction!
If you’re anything like me, it takes some time to get into the groove of your writing. Leaving your introduction to last usually results in a much more compelling start because you’ve become comfortable with your topic.
Step Three: Think of a Snazzy Title for your Blog Post
You’ll notice here that I said “snazzy” and not “click bait“. This is important! The worst thing you can do to a reader, which will break trust and likely have them leaving, never to return, is to mislead them. You want a title that grabs their attention but doesn’t promise something you’re not going to deliver.
Like with writing an introduction, sometimes it pays off to leave this until the end unless you have something really good in mind at the start. I find that oftentimes the idea of a good blog post pops into my mind before anything else. In these cases, I immediately start a draft with the title so I can keep it for future writing ideas. For instance, my post 5 Things you should NEVER put in your Instant Pots sat in my drafts folder for months before I wrote it and now that I have, it’s become my most popular post!
Step Four: Add Good Quality, Interesting Images
In almost any form of writing, pictures and images are what immediately catch the eye of the reader. Heck, Pinterest was built on the idea that people want to see and save pretty pictures! That’s why it’s so important to have a killer header for your blog post, which you can easily create using Canva or any number of design tools.
But just as importantly, images help break out a constant stream of writing so your reader doesn’t get word-fatigued. It also encourages people to read more because images help lead their eyes down the page.
Images can be any number of things including pictures and photographs. But you can also include diagrams, infographics, Pinterest Pins, headers and even titles!
Blog Post Step Five: Call to Action
What’s even better than having a reader? Having an ACTIVE reader! A Call to Action is simply a prompt that encourages your readers to act… leave a comment, click here, sign up, etc. The goal is to keep people interested and coming back, so try to make them a part of your community. Check out Hook, Line, and Sinker: 7 Tips for a Killer Call to Action for some effective strategies.
Step Six: Get in the Habit of Adding SEO Elements to Your Blog Post
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is arguably the biggest blogging buzz-word but few people actually know what it is or how to achieve in. In short, SEO is a process to help improve both the quality of your posts and the quantity of traffic to your website.
Unfortunately, there is never a guarantee with SEO. You can do absolutely everything right but still not get that first ranking on Google. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and as a good starting point, it’s recommended you implement at least these strategies for each of your posts:
- Be sure that your site is mobile-friendly. Fortunately, most templated website builders like WordPress and Wix do this for you.
- Ensure your post is over 300 words in length as a starting point. That said, current data is showing that bloggers who are writing between 1,500-2,000 words are seeing more success.
- Repeat key words from your title into the first sentence of your introduction.
- Break your text into sections using H2 or H3 headers that repeat your key words from the title.
- Include Alt-text with all your images that repeat your key words.
- Include both internal links (to posts on your site) and external links (to reputable websites).
Step Seven: Shine Up Your Blog Post!
Edit. Edit. Edit. Proofread. Edit. First impressions truly are everything so make sure you don’t have any spelling or grammar errors within your post. Does your page look visually appealing? Are your images crisp?
Personally, I never leave this up to chance and always have someone I trust review my posts before I hit publish.
Hopefully, these seven simple steps will help you feel more confident as you embark on your blog writing journey. As you become more comfortable with the process, you’ll find this becomes second nature and before you know it, you’ll be wondering what took you so long!
In the meantime, here’s a little infographic to help you along. And if you’d like to share, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below 🙂