Have you wondered how to take your next blog post from blah to brilliant? Perhaps you already have a topic in mind you are really excited to write about it. How can you design a post that will capture and keep the attention of your readers? In this article, I will share 7 steps for writing a blog post that will do just that. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom to receive your free printable resource.
Step 1 – Choose a Focus Key Phrase
The planning phase of the blog-writing process is often overlooked, but it is critical. By taking the time to decide a few key elements ahead of time, you will save yourself the pain of needing several rewrites to work these elements into your piece later.
First, consider your overall topic. Ideally, you want to write about things that make you feel excited and motivated. The information will practically pour out of you. This will not only make your blog more enjoyable to write, it will also make it more enjoyable for your subscribers to read. Your excitement will come through in your writing! You also want to focus on topics where you can provide practical ways to help your audience. This in no way means you must be an expert to write a blog post. If everyone waited to become an expert on a subject matter, no blog post would ever get written! Instead, choose a helpful topic, one where you can share practical advice, and then follow the remaining 7 steps for writing a blog post to help guide you.
Now that you have a topic in mind, choose a focus key phrase. The ideal phrase will not only help keep you on topic as you write, it will also be crucial in helping the search engines find and recommend your blog post to new readers. It should be describe your overall topic and be 2 to 4 words in length. Be sure to use your phrase in your title, first paragraph, and at least 2 more places where it will naturally fit in your post. You get bonus points if you also use it in a subheading. (More on subheadings later.)
Step 2 – Create an Outline
Organize your main ideas into an outline. It does not matter if you do this on a computer, your phone, a sticky note, the back of an envelope, or a napkin. Having an outline will keep your writing on theme and moving in a progressive manner.
An outline provides a place to park information during your research phase. You can insert links, thoughts, questions, and photos into your outline to build on later. It can also help you identify weak spots in your main ideas where you need more supporting details. Finally, a good outline fights writer’s block. Use it as a cornerstone to come back to again and again.
Try to include at least 3 main points that support your overall topic. These main points will be converted into subheadings later in the process.
Step 3 – Choose a Title
Now choose a working title that will focus your writing. Don’t worry, you can always tweak it later. An effective title will quickly convey the main message of your blog post without giving away all the secrets that lie within. Craft a title that will make readers want to click to read more. It should be informative and eye-catching.
To prevent your title from being cut off in search engine results, the ideal length is less than 60 characters and never exceeding 70 characters. Don’t forget to include your Focus Key Phrase in your title.
Many users on Google and other search engines will use a question as a search query. For example, “How do I…?”, “Why does…?”, “Who is…?”, “When should I…?” You can use this to your advantage by turning your title into an inquiry. What question might your readers type into a search engine? There’s your blog post title.
Step 4 – Do Your Research
A brilliant blog post must be accurate, so double check your facts. If you rely on 3rd-party information, be sure you are using credible sources such as government agencies, educational institutions, academic libraries, and well-respected experts. While Wikipedia is full of a lot of useful information, anyone can make changes to individual pages, so it is best to use with caution or avoid altogether. When citing external sources, be sure to give proper attribution.
Step 5 – Write Your Blog Post
Now that you have taken the time to plan your blog post, let’s get to writing! In your introductory paragraph, use your Focus Key Phrase and convey the main topic. Use this opportunity to grab the reader’s attention. Let them know the practical value of what is to follow.
Use the main points from your outline to create subheadings. Then expand on those points under each section to create the body of your article. Use your outline to keep you on track as you write. The ideal length of an entire post is 600 – 1,500 words, with a minimum of 300 words.
Conclude with any final thoughts. You might use this time to summarize some of the key points or to tease the content of a future blog post. Provide your reader with either a call to action or a resource they can use. Let your subscriber know what they should do next. This could be subscribing to your blog, downloading a free printable, contacting you for additional information, registering for an event, or the like.
Step 6 – Edit and Revise
Now it’s time to take a hard look at your writing. Make sure it conveys your overall topic and includes your Focus Key Phrase where it needs to be. Run spell check and revise any grammatical errors.
Did you provide practical value to your reader? Is the information well organized under the appropriate subheadings and easy to read? Most visitors to your blog will skim posts to find the answers to their questions. Using clear subheadings, lists, bold type, italics, or other ways to highlight your main points can make your blog post easier to consume quickly.
Improve readability by using shorter paragraphs, sentences, and words. Writing coaches tend to agree that you should aim for a 7th grade reading level. While you might be tempted to use fancier words and complex sentences, it may not serve your audience well. Use an active voice rather than a passive voice. Not sure of the difference? Visit Grammarly’s blog post on the subject.
Step 7 – Search Engine Optimization
Google, Bing, and other search engines rely on certain criteria to boost your blog post in the search results. Following the steps above will already accomplish many of the things the search bots are looking for – Focus Key Phrase length and use, Title, Subtitles, readability, and blog length. Congrats on already having those things accomplished!
Now, there are a few more things you should do to improve search engine optimization. First, choose a featured image that complements your material. Be sure the photo has been licensed as free to use on your site. Canva is a great resource for photos that you can use on your website, printed materials, and social media.
Second, create a meta description/featured snippet that is 156 characters or less & includes the title of the post. This snippet will appear just under the title of your post when it comes up in search engine results.
Finally, try to include at least 1 internal link (a page on your site) and 1 external link (a credible resource).
Now it’s your turn. Follow these 7 steps for writing a blog post and let me know what you found most helpful. If you need any advice along the way, feel free to reach out to me.
Novateur Partners is pleased to provide you with this free, printable, one-page download so that you can easily access the 7 steps when you write your next blog post. Happy blogging!