There will be over 31.7 million bloggers in the world by 2020. Do you want to join them?
Blogging is a fantastic way to grow businesses, spend your free time, or make a living.
However, writing good blog posts is a whole other story.
It times time, skill, and organization.
I’ve been blog post writing for 7+ years, and want to share some of my best tips to help you become a better writer.
Ahead you will learn how to write better blogs, stay organized, and save time at once.
Crack your knuckles and follow along!
Take the time to research topics
Some times you get spontaneous blog post ideas and begin writing right away.
I’ve done it, too. However, I would highly recommend that you begin researching blog topics ahead of time.
This allows you to create a content calendar, which maps out all of your future content. You won’t have to sit there staring at a blank screen waiting for the next idea to pop up.
Here’s how to properly research topics.
Step 1: Use a tool like BuzzSumo
Visit BuzzSumo and enter a keyword related to the topic you are writing about and hit the “Go!” button.
This will take you to a page displaying the most viral content around that search term. You will see how many social shares they’ve received, total engagement, backlinks, and more.
Use this for inspiration. Furthermore, I would suggest that you check out the blog posts from competitors to take notes. Analyze things like:
- Word count
- Visuals they use
- Tone and voice
- Main points and sub-points
Step 2: Find relevant sources and references
Blog posts should be actionable and interesting. You won’t achieve that with a wall of text. You need to include statistics, data, and real life examples to take it to the next level.
That’s why after you’ve determined the topic of the blog post, start collecting some resources.
For example, if you’re writing about dog food, you could search Google for queries like “Statistics about dogs.”
You can then bookmark the results, keep them open in other tabs, or include them as notes in a content calendar.
Step 3: Organize all of the data
If you want to become an epic blog writer, you need to keep all of your information organized. Create a spreadsheet with the following rows or columns:
- Word count goal
- Keywords(More on that later)
- Publishing date
Feel free to add other tabs for other information you’d like to manage. Overall, it should look something like this calendar from Buffer.
Research good keywords to crush the SERPS
SERPs stands for search engine results pages. If you want to rank on the first page and drive massive traffic, you’ll need to research and target phrases users commonly enter in Google.
That’s where a keyword research tool comes in handy. I’ll touch on where to place keywords in a moment, but here’s how to find them in the first place.
Step 1: Use a research tool like Wordtracker
Head over to Wordtracker, search for a relevant phrase, and click “Search.”
On the following page, you will have information like keyword search volume, competition, and how often it’s anchored. Most importantly, Wordtracker compiles keyword ideas.
Make sure that the “SEO” button is clicked, or else you will be getting data for the PPC version.
Continuing, you want to target a mix of low, medium, and high competition search terms.
This helps you rank for easier terms, while still having some high volume/competition terms to potentially index for.
Step 2: Place them in the right spots
Once you have some keywords, what the heck do you do next?
For starters, search terms have to be placed sparingly to ensure a healthy keyword density.
Normally you want anywhere from 1-3%. It’s also crucial that you use them naturally, and make them flow well in sentences.
With that understood, here are the areas you should enter keywords into:
- The URL of the blog post
- The title and tag
- Within the meta description
- In the body
- Inside of header tags
- As the alt text for images
- As file names for media that you upload
Search engines crawl every nook and cranny of your website, so the idea is to put phrases you’d like to rank for in those locations.
Come up with a catchy title
They say that some of the best copywriters spend half their time writing copy and half their time writing headlines.
Their that important.
In fact, 43% of people only skim through blog posts, so you better have a headline that grabs their attention. Otherwise, they’ll skip past your content and click on a competitor.
But how do you write good headlines? With a few of the following strategies.
A sense of scarcity makes people want to click through and read a blog post because of a psychological phenomenon called FOMO, or fear of missing out.
It is simply the worry that someone will miss out on something great if they don’t participate.
Take the average email marketing campaign as an example. When urgent words are used in emails, it’s proven to increase open rates by 14% and transaction to click rates by 59%. You’ll experience more people clicking onto your blog by taking the same approach.
Backlinko uses a subtle hint of urgency in the title of this locked blog post.
By adding “No One Talks About” to this end of this title, it implies that there’s hidden strategies waiting for the reader to learn. This would entice them to click through in fear of missing out on these rare tactics.
Urgency can be much more in-your-face, however. A title like “9 SEO Hacks You Won’t Want to Miss” is very direct in its meaning, for example.
Form it into a question
What do your readers want to get out of your blog post? There is at least one main thing they would like to learn about.
You can include that in the title as a question, like Search Engine Journal did for this article.
It’s fair to say that someone looking for information about publishing hundreds to thousands of URLs might be considered about risk. So, including “Is It Risky for SEO?” is the perfect question because it’s most likely in the readers mind already.
Now it’s time to move onto the fun part — actually writing the blog post!
Create the skeleton of the post
With a lot of the ground work out of the way, you can begin writing the skeleton of the blog post.
You should never, in my opinion at least, begin writing randomly. Staying organized will make you more efficient than a Tesla factory.
You’ll breeze through writers block, finish posts faster, and feel great about yourself. Here’s how to plan out your article…
Begin by mapping out the major points. These are the main takeaways, strategies, and arguments you would like to cover.
I’m in WordPress for example, so I would simply make these into bullet points.
Next, map out your sub-points. These are the individual steps or ideas that would go under each major point.
Finally, collect resources and references that you would like to use while writing, and keep those handy.
This should only take a few minutes, but it will save you hours in some cases.
Write the first draft
Remember in high school how you had to write a first draft for papers and then edit them?
Great, because you’re going to put your essay writing skills to the test when blog writing.
The first step to writing epic blog posts is always to compose the first draft, which you then edit later.
On a site note, I read a book once called The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly.
The famous author said that copy is very emotional, so it’s wise to let all of your thoughts flow from your head and out your fingertips.
Don’t think or critique what you’re writing too much. That’s for later.
Get all of the ideas you can onto the screen as fast as possible, which brings me to my next point.
Proofread and edit
We’re almost done!
It’s now time to proofread and edit the blog post.
I recommend using the following order of procedures.
Clean up the formatting
The first thing to do is to ensure that your blog post is formatted with header tags, lists, bullet points, and images.
Without these, articles end up messy, unorganized, and boring.
Use H1, H2, and H3 tags to separate ideas, points, and steps.
Bullets and lists can be used to quickly summarize information.
Visuals like photos, videos, or infographics add extra value and keep the article more entertaining. Noticed how I use plenty of visuals and gifs in this blog post?
Fix any grammar or spelling mistakes
Little details like grammar can make or break a blog post. Trustworthy bloggers and companies will have great spelling and punctuation — that’s what users are going to expect.
If they stumble upon your blog and it’s riddled with errors, it makes you lose credibility.
That’s why the second step in the editing process is to go through and fix any mistakes. I recommend using a free tool like Grammarly to make it perfect.
Click the upload button and this will take you to the next page.
Then, paste in any text that you would like to spellcheck. It will let you know if it’s 100% correct or needs some adjustments.
Blogging is a surefire way to get customers, grow brand awareness, or just have some fun!
It all begins with researching great topics. I recommend using a tool like BuzzSumo to do so.
Then, take the time to create a content calendar that maps out your future content, ideas, and references.
From there, use a tool like Wordtracker to research SEO keywords. These need to be included in the areas I touched on earlier if you want to rank in the SERPs.
Take the time to craft an interesting title before you begin writing. Heck, spice it up a little after you’re done, too.
Form an outline that contains all of the major points and sub-points. That way when you begin writing you can fly through it without writers block.
Carefully edit and proofread your post before publishing it, as well.
Once you’re happy, publish that bad boy for the world to see!