Ten steps to create a blog post that wins
Blogs are the most popular content type.
Which blogs made you think, or taught you something new?
Most importantly, which brought you closer to the brand that created them?
Which ones made you think, or taught you something new?
Most importantly, which drew you closer to the brand that created them?
Ultimately, writing a blog post should accomplish that for your business (or your client’s business).
On top of that, a good blog post written for SEO should pull in ideal traffic from search engines and convert those visitors into leads.
Yep, blogs can and should be profitable. Blogs must be able to stand alone and do the hard work behind-the scenes.
A well written blog can make you look good and inspire your readers to buy your products or services. It happened multiple times to me – just one blog was enough for someone to buy your products or services. How do you make a blog post that wins?
“Does content really matter that much?” they wonder.
1,000 times yes! “Does content matter that much?” they wonder.
Yes, 1,000 times yes!
Maintaining a blog on your website with regularly published blog posts is possibly one of the single best things you can do to improve your SEO and search visibility.
see 55% more visitors than those that don’t blog, and they see 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages across their websites.Blogging is also how you establish trust between a brand and its audience. consumers are more likely to trust a brand if they have read its content.
read at least 3-5 pieces of content before talking to a salesperson.
Companies that blogContent is #1. It matters more than any other factor – not just for SEO, but also for connecting with customers.
What to do before writing a blog post82%It’s a myth that you can just sit down and hammer out a blog post in one day.70%It’s not possible – not if you want to meet your goals and create profitable content.
To give yourself the best chance at writing incredible, results-getting blog posts, make sure you have these preparatory steps handled.
Research your audience
Is your audience already defined for your brand? You’re doing great! You already have research and insight into what they want to read and what questions and problems they need answered.
These things are vital. You’re setting yourself up for failure if you don’t understand your audience and the needs they have for your expertise before you start writing a blog post. It would be like walking into an auditorium to give a speech
knowing anything about why those people are there and what they expect you to talk about.
Don’t write a single word of your blog post until you have your audience knowledge down. This
is a good place to start.Brainstorm a blog topic your audience will want to readYou can’t write about any random topic you pull out of your head – it’s unlikely anyone will care.
For that reason, it’s important to do a little strategic brainstorming to find the right blog topic.article by Ryan RobinsonLike audience research, this step helps you figure out exactly what will draw in the people you want to read your blog.
Specifically, look at the intersection of:
The topics that will speak to their problems, questions, or pain points. These topics can be identified by audience research. This is not as difficult as it seems. Sometimes, a blog topic will spring up naturally through the everyday interactions you have on social media or the questions customers ask in emails or your live chat.
The key is ensuring you or your team are always listening to catch these opportunities.
Map your topic to a keyword
Let’s say you’ve come up with a great blog post topic that sprang from a customer question.
- How will you optimize that post to ensure other people with the same question can find your blog with a Google search?
- You need to map the post topic to a keyword your brand can win (“winning” means your post will rank in the top three results, ideally at #1. You can rank higher in search results, which has many benefits.
: A dental practice comes up with the topic “tooth sensitivity after fillings” from a patient question, “Why is my tooth sensitive after getting a filling?”
Check the search volume and the keyword difficulty (KD) of the exact match results.
If they’re too high (either too difficult or too popular to edge into the rankings), look at the variations and related terms.
: “Tooth sensitivity after fillings” has a KD of 41 (possible), but a variation, “tooth sensitivity months after filling” has a KD of 25 (easy) and a search volume of 260.
Build and optimize your blog post around the keyword you found that’s easiest to rank for – usually the one with the lowest KD and a relatively low search volume.
- Here’s an example of a dental clinic that did this, currently ranking #2 for the keyword:
- If right now you’re thinking, “Wait, why would I want to rank for a keyword with low search volume?” consider this. It doesn’t matter how many people visit your blog. You want the
- traffic – the people with the most potential to turn into customers.
- Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on. Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.
- Time to write: How to create a blog post in 10 steps
Finally, it’s time to write your blog post. These steps will help you create valuable content that will get results.
1. Research your topic
If I’ve done my job, hopefully, it’s clear that you need to research during every stage of writing a blog post. You should validate everything you do, from your audience to your keywords to your topic.
In this vein, Google your keyword/topic to find out what searchers are searching for. Analyzing the results tells you three things:
The type of blog content ranking for the term – long-form (over 1,500 words) or short-form?
The type of information included in ranking blog posts (what facets of the topic do they cover? Which questions are they answering? What depth do they go? How deep do they go? You should not match what you see in Google searches, but
up the Ante
to create something better. What is missing in the top posts? Write an outline and structure the post2. Make a plan and organize the post
Now, you have enough information to begin writing your blog post. (Phew! I always begin with an outline. An outline helps you figure out:
- The key points you want to cover in the blog.
- How to order those key points both logically and for engagement.
- How to structure your post with headings so it’s easy to scan and read.
How to include your keyword in strategic spots, like inside H2s and H3s.There’s no need to get complex, here. You don’t need to be complicated here. Write the introIt’s time to write the introduction, arguably one of the most important parts of your blog post.
Usually, you want to keep it short and sweet. My intros are usually 200 words long. This gives you enough time to hook your reader and offer up some tempting nuggets to keep them on the page and reading.
However, one of the most effective ways to write an intro I’ve found is to be as empathetic to the reader’s main problem as possible.
State the problem at the heart of your topic that’s plaguing the reader.
Empathize. What does it feel like to be faced with that problem? Ignoring a solution could lead to disastrous outcomes.
- Bring the light at the end. The solution is in your hands! Tell them what it is, no holds barred.
- Finish your intro by promising or previewing the details of the solution, which you’ll reveal in your blog post.
- This intro formula loosely follows a tried-and-true copywriting formula, by the way:
- (problem, agitation, solution).
Here’s an example of that in action via this
4. You can tweak the headline as you go
Wait! Why is the headline writing step 4 on this list? It should be step 1.
No, my clever friends. The headline is the fourth step on this list.
You should give your ideas time to marinate before writing your headline for your blog post.
- Once you have done your research and written the introduction, you will have a good idea about what your blog post is about. It’s been simmering in your brain, and now it’s ready to be plated.
- That’s why I don’t write the headline right away. I want it to be helpful, engaging, and contain my keyword, and it’s always better to stew on it for a bit before committing words to the H1.
- Generally, you should write not just one headline but a bunch of versions of your headline. For good measure, you should tweak your headline as often as possible after you have written the bulk of your post.
- A great headline won’t come from one zing of inspiration.
Your best headline will not come out of one zing of inspiration. AMI Institute’s PAS.
5 is my favorite. Write the meat of the post, relying on (more) researchCopybloggerReady to write the bulk of your blog post?
This section is where you begin to flesh out your outline and fill in the gaps. With your points already laid out, all you have to do is explain them, guide the reader, and provide evidence and examples.
While you’re at it, you should still be researching as you go.
Find statistics or facts to back up your points. Look for original studies and surveys you can link to in your post to add credibility to what you’re saying.
Link to other blogs on your website that add depth to what you’re writing about.
Research what thought leaders have said about your topic and link to them in your post. (Just make sure they’re not competitors. )
For a good look at a well-researched blog, check out this post from
All the research cited in the post is listed at the bottom in the footnotes:Headline AnalyzerShowing you’ve done your homework like this is a huge trust-builder. Show that you are knowledgeable and your readers will listen.
6. This is a reminder to write for SEO
. As you write your post, don’t forget to insert your keyword in key places:
In the title/H1.
In the first paragraph.
- In at least one of the H2s.
- In at least one of the H3s.
- Sprinkled naturally in the body copy. Include a few related terms and variations.
In the meta description.The Balance Small Business7. Include relevant images
7. Images can add visual interest to your blog posts and keep readers interested.
Most brands said they use visuals like images in content 91-100% of the time, according to a
Visuals can add a lot to a text post, so don’t neglect them. Don’t add random images to your blog posts. Instead, find images that help you explain what you are talking about. You can use stock images in blogs if they are relevant and help break up the text. They are relevant and break up the text.
- To make your post stand out, hire a designer if you have the resources.
- 8. Include CTAs
- Do your blog posts need to contain calls to action (CTAs), or is it optional? No.
- Should you?
CTAs are how you get readers moving from reading your blog to signing up for your email list, checking out your products, or downloading your freebies.
Where would you like them to go after reading your blog post? Tell them, and give them direction.
Great example: In their post about men’s wedding attire, He Spoke Style has a CTA directing you to browse their collection of menswear accessories.Venngage survey9. Your conclusion
This is where you have all the necessary pieces for your blog post. Now you need to finish it off in a satisfying way.
Generally, a good blog post conclusion wraps up the post by reviewing the most important points. You don’t have to go over them again – just a brief mention will suffice to remind readers and keep the information in their heads.
What will the new information affect their future? How will it ultimately help them?
Finally, keep your conclusion brief but satisfying. Don’t forget to tie up any loose ends. You’ll be more appreciated if your audience stays for the whole post than a quick stop.
10. Edit, edit and edit
Do not forget to edit your blog post.Review the entire post aloud to ensure that you are correct in word and flow. Edit anything awkward, and add transitions to help your reader move effortlessly along.Employ your spell-checker judiciously, and make sure all your links point to the right places.
Great writing happens in the edits, so don’t write it off as unnecessary.
Repeat these steps to write blog posts that win
These steps are repeatable for most types of content, so you can reuse them like a well-loved tool to create great content across the board.
If your blog posts are rough initially, don’t worry – you’ll get better with practice.
Research, outline, write, tweak, research some more, write some more, and edit, edit, edit to make your content the best it can be.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. This page lists staff authors.
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About this author
Julia McCoy, founder of Content Hacker and 7x author is a leading strategist in creating outstanding content and branding that lasts online. She was 19 when she spent her last $75 to start a seven-figure writing agency, which she later sold ten years later. She is now devoted to teaching marketers and founders the skills and strategies they need to build businesses through inbound content. This will allow them to make a greater impact on the world.