How to Write a Blog Post

How to write a blog post

How to Write a Blog Post

Are you wondering how to write a blog post?  For effective blogging, these 8 simple steps should be followed for every post you publish to your online blog.  They’ve been proven to generate more traffic to your website, increase repeat traffic and sharing, and ultimately lead to higher conversion rates.

1. Customer Personas

Who is your target audience?  In online marketing, this is the first and foremost question you must answer.  Your online blog should use the tone and lingo that resonates with your targeted Customer Persona.

Online Blog Customer Persona

Rising Rita

If you are targeting professional investors, as an example, your Customer Persona may be an up-and-coming female executive.  Use language that will resonate with “Rising Rita” by talking about the ROI she can expect from her investments, the high level of personalized support a demanding executive expects and deserves, along with goal oriented language describing how your solutions help her achieve her lofty goals with very little time commitment from her, all while keeping the general tone of the content very professional.

How to Write a Blog Post for your Customer Persona

Rad Ricky

If you’re selling skateboards, on the other hand, your Customer Persona may be a teenage boy, so be sure “Rad Ricky” is able to connect with your blog post by telling him how sick your skateboards are, and how they get mad air outta the pipe compared to the driftwood dragged around the parks by wannabes.

If you’re curious about Customer Personas and how to optimize your blog and website for them, learn the 3 Things Your Website Optimization Team Must Do to reach peak effectiveness.

2. Keywords

Blogging with a purpose is essential.  Identify at least 3 keywords that represent the entire reason for this online blog post in the first place.  Refer back to the Customer Personas section, because these 3 keywords should be in the lingo your Customer Personas are going to type into the Google search box.

Remember, “Rad Ricky” probably searches for things like “skateboard for pipe launch” as opposed to “skateboard with least amount of ball bearing friction and most accelerated loft potential,” so make sure his lingo is the driving force in your keyword selection because that’s what he understands, that’s how he searches for it, and that’s what gets SEO results.

Also, make sure the keywords you’re targeting get a decent number of searches per month.  If Google reports your keywords get just a couple hundred searches across its entire network each month, it’s probably not worth the effort, since there’s really no potential for a traffic spike.  Use the Google Keyword Planner to ensure your blogging keywords have high monthly search counts.

3. Title & Intro

Make them short, sweet, and to the point.  Your most import keyword should be in the title, and it should be written in a way that grabs the attention and imbues curiosity in your Customer Personas.  For example, one of the targeted keywords for this blog post is “How to write a blog post” and you will find that keyword is also the title!

Some blogging platforms create a permalink from your title.  Make sure the permalink is also appropriate.  It doesn’t have to match the title, although usually it makes sense for them to be very similar.  Make sure the permalink includes your keyword(s) as well.

The first few sentences of your blog post should raise curiosity and essentially hook the user into wanting more.  Depending where your blog post is published, it’s very common for users to see a featured image along with the intro copy and a “read more” link.  This is why the first couple sentences need that extra bit of craftiness, because they will often represent the entire post and ultimately determine if users will come to your blog post or pass over it.

4. Headlines

Proper use of headlines makes it easy on the reader to quickly scan the content of your blog post.  Without headers and sub-headers, it will appear as a massive blob of text, similar to a novel, and chances are that people are searching online for a light read or very specific information, and formatting it in a way that’s easy to scan and digest leads to longer and more subsequent page visits.

The H1 tag is usually used by the website theme.  Therefore, your blog post should use H2 tags for all section headers, and H3 tags for section sub-headers.  This, of course, assumes your site theme is setup properly.

5. Images

Visuals can go a long way!  Again, never-ending text isn’t appealing to the majority.  The proper use of images can help with supporting points made in the copy, transitioning from one paragraph to the next, providing a visual hook to generate traffic, and in general to make the page appear more content rich as users scan through the page.

Infographic for Online Blog

Sample Infographic for Blog Post

 

Infographics are becoming increasingly popular.  As opposed to an image that is supporting the text copy, infographics typically contain the data and messaging all within the image.  The mark of a great infographic is an image that compresses complex data, complicated processes, or ideas, into a simple-to-understand, fun and easy graphic that people “just get” without straining their brains.  And because the infographic is all-inclusive of the overall message, it’s great for sharing across different social media platforms.

6. SEO

Again, blog with a purpose.  The better job you do with SEO, the more people will read your blog, which means more customers.  100% of your blog post should be written specifically for your Customer Persona.  By simply doing that, and using their lingo and the phrases they use when they search, you are already giving your blog a huge SEO boost.

Blogging for Customer Personas

Write the content specifically for me!

Repeat your top 3 keywords, but never at the expense of poor quality content.  Use the keywords naturally.  I repeat:  use the keywords naturally.  You may be tempted to drop keywords in every single sentence thinking you can outsmart Google.  Maybe you get lucky, but eventually you’ll get burned.  Don’t try to outsmart Google.  Do what they recommend, instead, which is to generate highly valuable and relevant content for your audience.  Using the 3 keywords naturally, create valuable content for your Customer Personas – the type of content they will spend more time reading, interacting with, and sharing, and ultimately you will be rewarded with additional traffic.

Every image in your online blog should have ALT text.  In the old days, some browsers couldn’t display images so they would display [image alt txt] in their place.  This ALT text still plays an important part in blogging SEO.  It should be natural text describing the image, with your top 3 keywords where appropriate.

The META Description is the snippet of text that people will see when your page appears in Google’s search results.  Similar to the Intro section above, make sure you craft a compelling 1-2 sentence summary of why users should click on your link.

7. Pathways

Online Blog Followup Offers

Give Me Options, or I’m Out Of Here!

Once someone is reading your online blog, what do they do if they like the post they just read?  Well, if you don’t give them options, they’ll likely just click the back button!

Add Social Sharing buttons.  Don’t over do it.  Choose the smallest amount of social networks you can realistically stay active on and promote those.  Ever see a post where you can share it on 50 different networks?  It just looks silly.

Use Categories and Tags.  Categories break your online blog into verticals, while tags can be used to create horizontals.  The category and tags should be named with SEO in mind, as they create numerous additional blogging links for Google to crawl.  If someone is interested in a blog post, giving them an easy way to find all your other posts in the same category could lead to more browsing through your online blog, which increases the chances of a conversion.

Links to your other blog posts should be strategically placed throughout your blog post.  Don’t over do it.  You have them on your page, the goal is to convert them.  But you always want them to know there are more pages in your blog that may interest them, so it’s a fine line to walk.  In general, try to add at least a few internal links throughout your blog post.

If someone reads the entire blog post, it’s great to offer them a “Related Posts” group of links.  Think about it, if they read every word until the very bottom, they are clearly engaged and primed for a Call-To-Action or an additional blog post.  Take advantage of that.

8. Review

Check for grammar and spelling that is consistent with the expectations of your Customer Personas.  Sloppy blogging will not bring back repeat visitors.

Look at a live preview of the post to make sure the formatting is as you expected.  Sometimes spacing can appear differently in the published online blog post compared to what you see in the WYSIWYG blog post editor, and it’s amazing how many typos you’ll find in the preview that you glossed over in the post editor.

Preview the blog post on both Desktop and Mobile screen sizes to make sure it looks great and is easy to read regardless of the users’ device size.

How to Write a Blog Post?

The answer to this is quite simple.  Follow the 8 steps above each and every time and you’ll be blogging like a pro!  After completing the 8 steps, including the final review, it is finally time… PUBLISH IT!