How to write blog post: checklist
Few years ago it became very popular to have a personal blog. People from all over the world started to create websites where they posted their own thoughts, interesting facts, recipes, and other stuff. Thus, few years ago business got one extra chance to be promoted.
Nowadays, all big and small companies added to their websites such an intriguing section as “blog”. It was such a brilliant idea as they could tell about their products there to help users to understand them better, they could organize the discussion, get shares to the social networks which means they used the chance to attract more visitors, expand their battlefield, and also get higher rate of conversions. In such way, blog proved that it is pretty powerful tool and is a “must” if you want to use all the ways of promoting your business and yourself as well.
But there is always a “but”. Sometimes people overestimate themselves and don’t take it seriously when it is about publishing a post. There are actually two ways how a new blog post can influence your business: help you to win or put you deep down to the bottom of the SERP. To not let the second scenario happen let’s try to find out what things should be done before your blog content gets to be posted.
Writing a blog post step-by-step
The process of creating a post for your blog includes tons of actions and they must be made not in a random way. It is not logical to post an article and then think if it is relevant to your readers needs, right? For example, if your audience comes to the website to see posts about SEO it will be awkward to post something about gardening.
Most of the parameters that have any influence on how your SEO campaign goes, depend on website visitors. In the very beginning of your blogging trip you can’t know for sure who they are. That’s why it will be logical to create your reader’s persona. It is general but fictional representations of ideal customers. With its help you will better understand your future visitors which makes it easier for you to create content according to their specific needs, behaviors, and opinions. As a rule, the creation of personas is based on market research and insights that you have from a real customer. In future there will always be a possibility to improve the persona you’ve created earlier.
2Topic with title that works
Considering your future reader’s persona that you’ve created, you can start picking up topics. Yes, you’ve read right. Many topics are better than just a single one. In such case, you will have some benefits. First of all, it is a wide range of what you can choose from to write a new post. Also, when picking up the certain topic, think about how it can be connected to your future posts to refer to them. In this way, you will get more visitors and higher value of the time spent on your website. Your new reader will get the ability to check old posts and find important information related to the one you’ve represented in the newer posts.
The working title is a pretty specific thing. Make it attractive and catchy. For example, if you are a crocheter and want to write about cowls you can choose something like “Extremely easy to make cowl” or “How to crochet a cowl in less than 60 minutes”. No one wants to spend a lot of time on a simple detail of clothes but everybody is willing to have it. Consider what can be the most important for your audience.
..is the king. How many times have you heard that? I bet, billions.
For creating great content, you will need:
- Main idea
- Relevant keywords
The main idea should be present in each sentence. Every time you start a new one, keep in mind why you are writing this article, don’t let your thoughts take you away to the dreamland.
Choosing the relevant keywords will work not only for your traffic but also for the love of the search engines. It is a well-known statement. When picking them think of those that could help to promote your business the most. There are many different ways of how to choose keywords for SEO so let’s move on to the next point.
On the way how you organized your future content depends how easily it will be written. What can this point include? Write a simple step-by-step outline, what you want to tell to your readers, what points are more important than others, what should be described first of all. You can divide your text into sections, create lists, do additional research if it is needed, add images and infographics that will make your content even more interesting and attractive.
It is one of those things that should be in your head while you are doing all the work: starting from the choosing of a topic and ending with the promoting your new blog post that is finally published. Don’t stuff your content with keywords, think of what is interesting to your audience, not you, do your own research on the topic, read what experts think, pick the information carefully and write it down successively. Don’t let your brain confuse you when it has so many ideas. You can note them all and later pick the ones that are really important and fit the main idea of your post.
Give yourself time and don’t rush your thoughts. If you feel that you are squeezing last drops of inspiration, give yourself some rest. Make a cup of tea or coffee, listen to the music, dance, do yoga, relax, after all. But don’t let the procrastination happen, though. Go back to writing when you feel a new wave of inspiration.
After the post seems to be written there is a next step which may look not that important, but it is, actually.
It should be done after you’ve typed the last character. Not earlier. Experienced writers don’t recommend to reread your text before you finish it. And there is reasonable explanation for that. First of all, you may distract yourself from the main idea and forget about what you were going to write. Also, it is better to concentrate on proofreading to fully understand if you’ve put all the thoughts into your text. How will you estimate it if you haven’t finished your writing yet?
While editing, pay attention to the images you’ve picked for the post, especially if they are relevant to the text content. Some bloggers don’t care about it that much and in the end of the day they lose their readers. Don’t make the same mistake, be a blog perfectionist!
Watch your language! Spelling mistakes, typos, even slang may cause bad user experience. Of course everything’s relative. If you write for young people or teenagers you should use the words that they use in their everyday speech. But it doesn’t work for attraction of the audience that is out of that age. The happy medium is when you use the language that is universal for all ages.
No one would ever like to read long boring posts without formatting, images, special effects. There are few common tips for making your blog post look brilliant.
- Subtitles. Pick up just one single type of subtitles formatting for all blog posts that are published. Furthermore, it is the best practice to create them keyword-rich. In this case, subtitles will help your content to be an appeal to both readers and search engines.
- Bold or italic text will help readers to find main ideas that you’ve wanted to bring out in your post. Also, such format will grab their attention and highlight important parts of the text content.
- Graphs make it easier to understand analytical information, especially when the text is stuffed with special terms and hard to read for people that are not experienced in the certain field. Base your graphs on fresh relevant information and the newest researches. A quick glance at the understandable graph will make readers come back to your blog at least one more time.
- Lists are easy to read. Users won’t wonder when the block of information will finish 🙂 Also lists help to skim information more effectively.
- Short paragraphs, just like lists, make your content look simpler visually so the readers can estimate at once that the author was thinking about them when he was writing the post. People love when somebody, even random blogger, thinks and cares about them.
- Images catch the eye first when a reader reaches your blog post. Think about it while choosing images for your post. The top one must be the most catchy and informative. In this case a user will pay attention not only to the picture but also to other content on the page.
Some people think that it is not that necessary to write one. But trust me, it may have more impact than you have ever thought. Some readers, when they see long post may skim the text, read infographic and… conclusion. They expect to see brief information there. Sometimes after reading conclusion they scroll up to find certain facts. But there can also be few tricks when you write a conclusion. Just add call-to-action there. Did you know that different types of CTA may bring you different results?
What CTA can you use?
- Invite users to read related articles to receive the higher value of the time spent on your website.
- Ask readers a question. It can be a kind of trigger for getting more comments.
- Propose them to click or check some pages to increase your conversions.
After the writing is finished, start taking care about optimization of post to make it friendly for the search engines. Except keeping away from keyword obsession there are few points to make your post SEO friendly.
- Meta tags: Title and description. First one is a ranking signal for the search engines so it must be relevant to the page’s content, contain keywords and be smartly made. Description should be filled with the text relevant to the content as well. It will provide searchers with a summary of what the post is about before they click into it. Average length that is recommended – between 150-160 characters. According to the researches, the best starting is a verb word like read, learn, find out, etc. Even though Google doesn’t consider it as a ranking signal, your CTR rate will increase if this tag is created right.
- Anchors must be present whenever you add a link to another page, and it doesn’t really matter if it is yours or another website. Always pay attention to what pages you link to because your rankings depend on this factor.
- Take care of mobile optimization. In spring 2016 Google announced that it rolled out the mobile-friendly algorithm. So it is obviously better to have a responsive or mobile designed website to get some extra SEO points for the website.
Every link to your website from some powerful resources is a sign for the search engines, especially for Google, that you must be rated higher. And vice versa, when you link to the websites that have good rankings, your readers trust increases. The online reputation is built thanks to link building. That’s why you must add them to your post before clicking the “Publish” button.
Internal links are as important as external ones, they improve your SEO and guide readers to where they may click next.
No matter what kind of links you have in the post always check if they work, what their number is (too many won’t work great), if they have required attributes. Even though some people think that it makes no odds if a link opens in the same tab as the main post, it is pretty irritating because readers may want to go back to where they were reading, and when they come back they have to look for the part they have last seen. So make sure all the links open in a new tab.
Ever thought of your new blog post promotion before it is even posted? No? I knew so. You can start promoting the content before publishing. It is easy to do, for instance, sending teasers or previews to your readers, forums or communities, everywhere where your audience can be found. As an additional thought, you can send it to the influencers of your field. Ask them for review to eliminate possible mistakes in the future. If your content is precious they may even want to share it with their followers.
Social networks are a powerful tool for increasing the traffic on your website. Use this chance by adding the possibility to share your post’s content or a post in a whole. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Blogovin and many other networks are there to help you to become more popular.
There are huge amount of recipes on how to write perfect blog post. But if you do it by yourself – you should count on yourself and no one else when using all the tips. It is important to always consider your audience as the main core of your post, find relevant keywords you are going to use for your SEO campaign, make structured outline, use natural language. Write without the procrastination, work on SEO attributes, choose relevant and nice images, promote your blog post before publishing and make sure your readers are able to share it after it is on your website.
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