There are millions of bloggers cranking out millions of blog posts every day.
So how can you stand out from the crowd? How can you get your blogging content in front of people who actually care?
You need to know how to write a blog post.
But not just any blog post. You understand the secrets of writing an EPIC blog post.
A post that will attract passionate readers, generate loads of comments, get a ton of social shares, and mark you as a blogger people should pay attention to.
In this free guide, we’re going to give you step-by-step tips on how to write a great blog post (which is the foundation of a successful blog).
Let’s dive in.
Step #1: Select A Great Topic
Before you start writing blog posts, you need to select a great topic that will capture the reader’s attention. This is one of the best ways to separate yourself from other bloggers. A great blog post always starts with the reader in mind. Yes, you obviously want to write about subjects that interest you. But if you want people to read your blog content, you also need to write about subjects that interest others.
How can you know what people are interested in?
Here are three really simple ways.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
How can you know what people want to read? One of the best ways is to see what they’re searching for on Google. If a lot of people are searching for a specific topic, it means that people are really interested in it.
SEO is the process of writing your blog posts with search engines (and the people searching) in mind.
So how do you know what people are searching for? SEO tools make it really easy. These tools allow you to do keyword research, which is the process of finding the words, phrases, topics, and questions that people are entering into Google (and other search engines). Once you identify a topic with a high amount of monthly search volume, you can begin crafting your blog post.
Let’s look at an example using the SEO tool Ubersuggest (which is free). Say you run a blog about coffee and you want to write blog content about the best dark roast coffee.
When you type “best dark roast coffee” into Ubersuggest, it shows you the monthly search volume (1,300 searches). This means that around 1,000 people are searching for this topic every month and that it would make a good topic for a blog post.
You can also see related terms and phrases people are searching for. You could either write individual blog posts on these topic ideas or include them as sections in one bigger blog post.
This SEO strategy allows you to find the topics that people are searching for on Google and then create great content around those topics.
A second way to pick a great blog topic is to see what content is already being shared a lot on social media. If a particular piece of content is getting shared by a lot of people on different social networks, it means that it really connects with people.
You can also use Ubersuggest to see this information. Go to the “Content Ideas” section and simply type in any phrase. For example, let’s say you run a website about dogs. When you type in the phrase “dog walking”, you are shown a variety of posts that have been shared on social networks thousands of times.
Analyzing this content can give you a good feel for the topics that will resonate deeply with your audience.
Amazon can also be tremendously helpful in finding topics that people are really interested in. Head on over to their “Books” section, type in any keyword, and then look for books with a lot of good reviews. Once you’ve identified a highly reviewed book, open it up and look at the table of contents.
For example, say you want to write about content marketing. A quick search reveals this popular book:
The table of contents provides you with all sorts of blog post ideas related to content marketing:
Step #2: Choose An Irresistible Post Title/Headline
Once you’ve selected your topic, you need to craft a headline/post title that will be irresistible to your readers. A great headline will pique people’s curiosity, increase audience engagement, and generate more social media shares. The headline is the first thing people see and usually determines whether or not they read your post. If someone tweets your post or shares it on Facebook, the headline is the main thing people will see.
The headline of your blog post can make or break it, so you need to get it right.
So what makes a good headline? Buzzsumo recently analyzed more than 100 million headlines to determine what works best. They discovered that the best headlines contain the following phrases:
Notice that almost all of these phrases tap into people’s curiosity. They make people wonder what’s in the post itself, which leads them to read it.
When writing the headline for your blog post, try to incorporate one of the phrases from above. This will increase the odds of someone reading your post.
Another way to ensure that your headline is as good as it can be is to use the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. Type in your headline and the analyzer will give you a score, as well as specific ways you can improve the headline. The higher your score, the better your headline.
Don’t skimp on your headline. It’s the primary thing people will see on social media and plays a huge role in how many people read and share it.
Step #3: Hook Readers With A Compelling Intro
If you want people to read your blog post, you need to capture their attention immediately. You can’t afford to have a long, meandering introduction. Your intro needs to connect with the reader from the start. If it doesn’t, they’ll leave your site.
One of the best ways to keep readers moving down the page is to use the “Problem/Promise” formula.
The post begins by highlighting the big problem that your readers are facing. For example, say your blog post is about choosing the right running shoes for pavement. You could begin by talking about the pain people experience when they run on the pavement with the wrong shoes.
By calling out the problem, you connect with readers on an emotional level. You show them that you understand their pain.
Then you promise to reveal the solution to their problem in the rest of the blog post. In the running shoe example, you tell the reader that if they keep reading they’ll discover the best shoes for running on pavement.
By using the “problem/promise” formula, you engage the reader right out of the gate and keep them moving down the page.
There are millions of blog posts out there, and you need to give people a reason to read yours. A strong, compelling introduction is absolutely necessary to make this happen.
Step #4: Write Your Great Blog Post
Now it’s time to write your post. Here are some strategies that will make your writing much more effective.
Write Like You Talk
Unless you’re writing about a super technical subject, try to write just like you talk. Your goal is to make things as easy as possible for the reader.
When you write in simple, straightforward, conversational language, it’s much easier for the reader to understand what you’re talking about.
To ensure your post is simple and straightforward, do two things:
Use Lots Of Subheadings, Paragraphs, and Bullet Points
Good blog posts use subheaders to break everything down into easy-to-read sections. They also make it easy for readers to skim your post and get an overall sense of what it’s about.
Within each section, break the text down into multiple paragraphs. Your goal is to avoid having big walls of text, which can be very intimidating to readers. As a rule of thumb, try to keep paragraphs to between three and four sentences long.
Also, consider using bullet points, especially if you’re listing out a number of related items.
Always keep the reader in mind when you’re writing. The easier it is to read your post, the longer they’ll stick around.
Backup Your Arguments
Wherever possible, back up your arguments with authoritative information. Consider using:
When you use authoritative information, it shows readers that the information in your blog post can be trusted. You’re not making things up. Rather, you’re relying on proven data.
Sprinkle Visuals Throughout Your Post
Visuals make it much easier for readers to understand what’s written. They clarify points, offer helpful examples, and capture the attention of the reader.
You may also want to embed supporting videos to your post.
Step #5: Craft A Compelling Conclusion and Call-To-Action
Your conclusion should be much more than just a recap of the information you shared in your blog post. Good blog posts compel the readers to take action. If you want people to comment on your post and share it on social media, you need to directly ask them.
In other words, you need a call-to-action.
Brian Dean recommends the T-A-C formula for conclusions:
Don’t treat your conclusion like a throwaway. It’s a key part of every blog post and helps you to directly connect with your audience.
Step #6: Get Constructive Feedback
You’re not quite ready to publish your blog post. First you need to get constructive feedback from one or two other people. We all have blind spots, and getting input from others can help you identify sections of your blog post that aren’t clear, don’t make sense, or just don’t flow very well.
If there’s a particular section of the blog post you’re struggling with, make that clear. Also, if you haven’t yet edited the post for spelling and grammar, make sure your editors know that as well so they don’t spend a huge amount of time on those issues.
If you need help with grammar and spelling, Grammarly is an excellent tool. It automatically “proofreads” your document and identifies problem areas, typos, grammatical issues, etc. It then suggests alternatives.
Step #7: Make Revisions
After you get feedback, you need to make revisions.
As you work through the suggestions given by others, try to set aside your ego as much as possible. Remember, the goal of blog writing is to create an awesome piece of content that will seriously help your readers. You don’t have to accept every piece of feedback, but you should at least consider each one.
For each suggested change, you can either accept or reject it. If you choose to reject a suggested change, you should have a clear reason for doing so. If you’re not sure about a particular change, you can always get feedback from another person.
Polish your post until you’re very satisfied with it. As you go through the post, look for the following things:
Step #8: Optimize For SEO
Finally, you need to optimize your blog post so that Google (and other search engines). can know what your content is about. The better you optimize your posts, the greater the odds of them showing up in searches. The more they show up in searches, the more traffic you’ll get.
Here are a few very simple ways to optimize your content for SEO.
Use Keywords Appropriately
Remember those keywords we identified all the way back in Step #1? They need to be sprinkled throughout your blog post (but not too much!). Put your main keyword in:
Just be careful that you’re not jamming your keyword in as many times as possible. Google looks down on that.
Use A Short, Descriptive URL
Google doesn’t like long URLs with lots of random numbers and letters. They prefer URLs that are short and describe the content of the page.
So, when you upload your blog post to WordPress (or whatever CMS you use), keep the URL short and simple.
If your blog post is about pavement running shoes, use a URL like:
Link To Internal And External Pages
Try to link to somewhere between 2-5 internal pages (pages on your own website) in each blog post. Internal linking helps Google understand how the pages on your website relate to each other and which pages are most important.
Also, try to link to authoritative external pages throughout your blog post. Authoritative pages are well-known, established websites (as opposed to someone’s random blog). External links help Google understand the topic of your blog post and demonstrate that your website is also a source of trustworthy information.
Step #9: Upload And Publish Your Post
You’re finally ready to get your blog post out to the world! The last step is to upload it to your own blog hosting platform and then publish it.
If you don’t have a blog yet, I strongly recommend WordPress. It’s used by hundreds of millions of websites and can handle just about everything you throw at it. It offers millions of themes and plugins that you can use with your blog. If you need help choosing a web hosting site, check out this guide.
After you publish your blog post, check what it looks like on both a desktop and a mobile device. You want to make sure that everything is easy to read and the images all look correct.
Start Blogging Today
Yes, writing a high-quality blog post takes some serious effort. You need to be willing to do the keyword research and explore social media to find hot topics. You have to spend time crafting irresistible headlines and ultra-compelling introductions. And you need to work hard to write in such a way that readers have to keep reading.
But the work is worth it.
If you consistently write great blog posts, people will take notice. They’ll share what you write with their friends on social media. Google will send searchers to your site. Your audience and brand will keep growing and you’ll be able to create the life you dream of.
So don’t wait any longer.
Start writing today.