Well everyone, it’s my time to shine! This week’s blog post is all about… how to write a blog post! I know a thing or two about this topic (I should hope I do, anyway, since I write these things every week). Crafting blog posts is super fun, because it’s a great way to express your creative side and learn something new. Plus, it’s one of the best ways to provide value to your followers, fans, and customers. Writing a killer blog post might seem simple, but if you’re trying to accomplish specific marketing goals with your content, it’s a lot more involved than just hammering out 500 to 1,500 words of fluff. If you want your blog posts to actually gain traction and attract traffic to your site, while also entertaining and informing, keep reading!
1. Come up with a topic that is relevant to your audience’s interests.
So you want to write a blog post, but you have no clue where to even start. You might feel tempted to just pick a topic at random, but I would advise against this if your goal is to boost readership and attract visitors to your site. The key is to provide value to your audience, and in order to do this, you must do some research on what your audience wants. Google Trends is a great, free tool to see the most popular search queries among certain categories and keywords. Moz is another popular one, though you are only allotted 10 free searches per month before they require you to purchase a full account. You can also simply google for what are the most popular search queries within your industry, which other people have already collected. But keep in mind that it’s often a good practice to try and get ahead of the curve and jump on new and emerging topics as soon as possible to give you a better shot at getting a top spot on search engine results pages.
2. Research, plan, outline.
Now that you’ve come up with a topic, it’s time to research. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about the subject, you still need to do some legwork. For example, I’ve been doing research to write this blog, and writing blogs is the main responsibility of my job! Don’t get too cocky about your expertise, there are always things to be learned and ways to improve. You could spend anywhere from fifteen minutes to two or three hours on research depending usually on how much previous knowledge you have on the subject, and how long the post is going to be. While you’re researching, you’ll quickly see what the most relevant talking points are. Use these to outline the sections of your post in a way that makes sense and is easy to follow.
Now that you’ve done all your research and plotted a basic outline, writing should be a breeze. Make sure to incorporate SEO keywords naturally and seamlessly throughout, don’t overstuff the content with buzzwords. Trust me, your readers will be able to smell something fishy, so don’t do it. You don’t even have to be the most amazing writer ever to pull this off. If you’ve done your research, you keep it interesting, and effectively get your message across, people will read your blog.
4. Use images, videos, and infographics to spice it up!
Most people are put off by enormous walls of text, so you want to captivate their interest by incorporating eye-catching images and informative infographics, and sometimes even videos if the situation calls for it! Either have a photographer snaps some high-quality photos for you or purchase access to stock images. Or, if you’re working with a strict budget, sites like Unsplash, Pexels, and Pixabay are great resources for royalty-free, free-use images that look fantastic.
5. Clean it up.
Now for the final step: Editing! The first read-through should just be focused on content and flow, ensuring that your post makes sense and is engaging and entertaining in the way you intended. The next read-through should be more thorough, and you should take time to go line by line, looking for grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc errors. After you’ve done the first round of edits, it’s always a good idea to have a second pair of eyes on your draft. Get a colleague to proofread it over before sending it off to the presses.
And now you have a blog post! Yay!
This, of course, is a very basic how-to. In the future, we’ll take a deeper dive into all of the many facets and complexities of blog posts. Trust me, it can get a little chaotic, which is why we are starting with this simple guide. Hopefully this has helped you to get started: now go forth and WRITE!