Blogging is not just a great way to let your creative juices flow and practice your writing skills. It’s also an awesome chance to engage your audience and promote yourself as an expert.
Regularly crafting and sharing a blog post gives you an easy way to share your voice with the world.
But that same simplicity can also make it harder for you to stand out from the crowd. It’s recently been found that there are over 2 million blog posts written each day!
Yet the blog post as a marketing medium is far from dead. You’re reading one right now, after all. But it does mean that you have to take a bit of a different approach than every other blogger out there.
So how do you make sure that you can rise above the blogging noise? Simply put, you need to look at your blog post as a product that needs promoting.
Let’s take a look at the anatomy of a perfect blog post:
- Come up with a unique and validated idea
- Find what you need to produce your post
- Package it in a pretty and easy-to-use way
- Market your product to the right crowd
- Track your results and make tweaks if needed
Step 1: Find the Right Topic
Whether you have tons of ideas for your blog or no clue where to start, your first step needs to be separating the good ideas from the bad.
You don’t want to spend your time writing about a topic that nobody’s interested in reading about. Or one that has already been written about almost to death.
Your goal here is to find a topic that is worth your time and effort. One that is already in demand and is ready for your unique take on the subject.
Check out these places to find inspiration on topics that are worth writing about:
- Google Trends helps to reveal topics that are currently trending online.
- Reddit and other online communities allow you to delve deeper into trending topics.
- Keyword Planner helps you to evaluate how many people are searching for your topic.
- Buzzsumo will show you popular content that’s already been written on your topic.
Step 2: Craft a Clickable Title
Once you’ve found the perfect topic for your blog post, the next step is to come up with a title that draws people in and has them actually wanting to read it.
Think about the types of titles that have caused you to stop scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed. Then ask yourself what it was that hooked you about those headlines.
Want some quick headline creating inspiration? Check out these attention-grabbing title templates:
- X Little Know Ways to ________
- Who Wouldn’t Want to ________?
- Here’s the Simple Secret to ________
Come up with a few title ideas that intrigue you and jot them down. But no worries about perfection at this point!
You just want to have a working title that will help point you in the right direction. You can always come back after you’ve written your post and perfect this part of the process.
Want to test the effectiveness of your title? Try running it through a free headline analyzer tool to see how it will perform for you.
Step 3: Write to Market
It’s important to have a plan in place before beginning to write your blog post. This is where using a simple outline can come in very handy.
Lay out a raw “sketch” of what you would like your post to look like, including your title, subheadings, and a snippet of detail that you want to cover in each part.
Then you just have to fill in the blanks!
Be sure to keep your “ideal reader” in mind as you’re outlining your content. You’ll find that writing is much easier when you’re focusing on a specific audience.
Make sure that your blog post offers your ideal reader:
- Value that they can immediately recognize
- Easy-to-follow language (no “insider lingo”)
- Factual content that entertains as it informs
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to throw in some visuals to increase your post’s chance of being read and shared.
It’s been proven that adding some kind of graphic used every 100 words or so earns blog posts double the number of shares. Boom!
Where can you find graphics? Try one of these helpful image sources:
- Giphy is a great place to find fun gifs for list-style blog posts.
- Check out Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook for posts to embed into your content.
- Canva gives you an awesome and easy way to create your own infographics.
- YouTube or Vine offer tons of videos that you can insert into blog posts.
Step 4: Proof and Optimize
You want to make sure that your blog post is not only free from the typical no-nos like spelling or grammar errors, but that it’s also easy and enjoyable to read.
Ask yourself if your post is structured clearly. Do your ideas flow in the most effective and understandable order?
Remember that most of us are busy and tend to have a short attention span when it comes to online content. Is your post easy to scan at a glance?
Here are some tips to help increase the visual appeal of your blog post:
- Avoid big blocks of text
- Keep paragraphs under 5 lines
- Make use of white space
- Don’t be afraid to use single sentences
You also want your post to be picked up by search engines to increase its reach. That’s where SEO (search engine optimization) comes into play.
Here’s how to make your blog post more attractive to Google:
- Use your targeted keywords in a natural, non-salesy way.
- Make use of keywords in the post body, title, and subheadings.
- Include keyword-rich descriptions in the alt-text for all images.
Once you’re sure that your post is easy-to-read and can easily be scanned by both readers and search engines, it’s time to put on your editor’s hat.
Check your entire post for grammar and spelling errors. After all, you want visitors to comment on your helpful info, not your typos!
You can get a quick overview and some helpful editing tips by running your post through the Grammarly Writing Assistant.
Want to make sure that your blog post is highly readable and easy on the eyes? Check out the Hemingway Editor app.
If you’re like many of us, you might also have developed the bad habit of being a bit on the wordy side.
Your best bet is to cut out any words that aren’t necessary to get your point across in the clearest way.
Keep your sentences short wherever possible. And you might even try reading your post out loud to yourself to see if there are any parts that cause you to stumble.
Chances are if your words are hard to read out loud, they’ll be hard to understand for online readers, as well.
Step 5: Publish and Promote
Congrats on all of your hard work so far! You’ve finally made it to the point of publishing your post and sharing it with the world.
After spending so much time and effort on writing the perfect blog post, you might be feeling a bit anxious about hitting that publish button.
What if no one likes my post?
Criticism can definitely be a scary thing! But an even scarier thought is no one being able to find your post in the first place.
Check out these top tips for promoting your post once it’s been published:
- Promote it on social media. Don’t be afraid to share your post with your followers on Facebook, Twitter, or other social platforms. Sharing management services like Buffer can help make this easier for you.
- Reach out to those you mentioned in your post. Ask them if they would be willing to link to your post or share it on their own social media profiles.
- Answer questions about your blog topic on Q&A sites like Quora or Reddit.
- Pin some of the images from your post to related boards on Pinterest.
- Share it with your email list if you already have one. If not, this is the perfect excuse to get one!
- Republish it on blogging platforms like Medium, WordPress.com, or Tumblr. Just be sure to include a link to the original post to avoid copyright issues.
- And more: Look into these 5 Tricks for Successful Blogging Results.
Step 6: Check on Post Performance
It’s human nature to want to improve over time. But that can be hard to do when you aren’t sure what you got right or wrong in the first place.
You want to make sure that your blog performed well and that you’ve come up with a technique that can be replicated for future success, right?
But how do you know how well your post is doing, other than checking on how many shares that it’s getting on social media platforms?
Take a look at these other important parts of blog performance monitoring:
- Number of post views
- Time spent on page and bounce rate
- Sources of visitors to your post
- Number of comments made
- New subscribers or sales
Want to know what readers are saying about your post off of your blog? Just paste the URL into the search bar on social sites like Twitter or Facebook.
You’ll be able to see who has shared your post, what they’re saying about it, and even engage directly with your readers via thread comments.
Taking part in conversations about your content will stoke the “flames of interest” and get folks even more excited about future posts on your blog.
Want to know where else your post is being shared? Install the CrowdTangle Link Checker extension for Chrome to see the other places your content is popping up online.
Writing a blog post that attracts both readers and search engines is definitely an investment of time and effort. But the ROI that you get from that hard work can be bigger than you’ve ever imagined.
Your content marketing success or failure ultimately depends upon how well you serve your target market through entertaining and helpful blog posts.
As for the bottom line on what it takes to write a better blog post…
Just make it all about your ideal reader and you’ll never fail to come out on top.