In this blog post, I'll take you through every step of the blog writing process. And keep reading 'til the end because I've got a blog post template to help you write the perfect blog post.
By the time we're done, you'll be able to write an awesome blog post in under 30 minutes.
So, what's the problem?
Writing a blog post hasn't always been easy for me.
I used to stare at the blinking cursor, paralyzed with writer's block.
It wasn't that I didn't know what to write about. I had ideas. I just didn't know how to start the damn thing or how to organize my thoughts into something coherent.
Sometimes I started with a bit of data to identify the problem. Other times I just keyword-stuffed the first paragraph. And other times I just ignored the intro altogether.
It wasn't until I started using a blog post template that everything changed.
Once I began following this blog post outline, writing a blog post became a fun process rather than something I dreaded.
While informal writing is best for a blog post, spelling mistakes and other grammar mistakes are never going to be a good look.
Even though you may find this hard to believe, I use Grammarly to help me fix my many grammatical mistakes. You can just imagine what my content would look like without it. Eek!
Helps me write all of my blog posts and sales pages. I always finish the content first, then let Grammarly make suggestions when I'm done.
What is your goal?
What is your point for writing a blog post? You need to know that before you get started. Just "creating awareness" or "to get traffic" isn't good enough.
When you find out that purpose you create a blog post with a singular goal in mind, whether it's to get an subscriber, social media follow, or affiliate sale.
Let's see where your blog post fits in a typical customer journey.
From here, the reader could go to your other blog posts, read your about me page, join your email list or straight up just buy your products.
In this journey, the singular goal of your blog post is to convert the reader into an email subscriber.
Step 1: Start with keyword research
If you write about something nobody is looking for you won't get any traffic.
This is a common mistake I see new bloggers make all the time. Always ask yourself why you are writing this blog post.
The only correct answer is: Because my people are actively searching for solutions to this problem.
To find out if your blog post idea is worth writing about, do some basic keyword research first.
You can research what are the burning problems in your niche by doing a Google search and seeing what words show up on auto-complete.
A shortcut to doing this is using keywordtool.io. This is a free keyword research tool that uses Google autocomplete.
Keyword research will always point you in the right direction. This ensures you only write about topics people actually care about.
When I type in "blog post" into Google, I got all these suggestions:
- blog post ideas
- blog post template
- blog post format
- blog post outline
- blog post title generator
So that tells me that people really want help on how to write a blog post. The two main things they want are ideas and a template.
This is why I wrote an article recently on how to get endless blog post ideas here. And of course, it's why I'm writing an article with a blog post template right now.
You can also do keyword research on Pinterest. When I type in "blog post" I get these suggestions:
- blog post ideas for beginners
- blog post template
- blog post design
I also use Quora to help me get ideas on what to write about.
A search for "blog post" yields these popular questions:
- What do I write my first blog post on?
- Where do you get blog post ideas?
- How do I write blog posts faster?
- How can I write high-quality blog posts?
Okay, those were all great ideas, but how popular are those searches and just how competitive are those phrases to try and rank for?
If you don't use a keyword research tool you just won't know whether you're wasting your time writing on a topic you have no chance to see traffic for.
With each of these tools you can see how much traffic (estimated) each targeted keyword gets (on Google) and how difficult it is to rank for each keyword.
In short, it helps you figure out the best keyword to target.
For this blog post I am targeting the phrase "blog post template" and not going for "blog writing tips". My research showed me there is equal popularity for those terms, but far less competition for "blog post template".
If you want more SEO help check out my beginners guide to SEO article here.
Step 2: Write an outline
I hate the "just start writing" approach. This is what leads to writer's block. I find it much easier to start with a skeleton outline first. This gives me a bird's eye view of the entire post first.
Most of your content will be either a listicle or a how-to. Their outlines are simple enough.
- Item 1
- Item 2
- Item 3, etc.
- Step 1
- Sub-step A
- Sub-step B
- Step 2, etc.
After the outline, it's just a matter of "filling in" the content.
I can finish the outline and the first draft in roughly 15 minutes.
My first drafts are always utter nonsense, babbling and straight up word vomit!
Yet the beauty of this is that I can get through the hardest part of writing in just 15 minutes - all because of my outline.
Step 3: Identify the problem and why it matters
Each of your blog posts needs to identify and solve a problem.
Start the introduction describing what the problem is and why it's important to solve this problem.
Every problem has a negative effect, right? That's why it's a problem. Go into this a bit.
Don't save the drama for your momma, this is the time to make your topic sound so important. We're talking practically life and death important here.
If they don't see the severity of the problem, they won't keep reading.
To tell Google what keyword(s) your page should appear in the search results on, make it clear what your main keyword phrase is.
Use your keyword phrase in the title, the first paragraph, and the URL.
Step 4: How you suffered
Now it's time to connect the problem, their problem, to you.
You do this by showing empathy.
Using the same student loan debt example, you can say how this debt personally affected your ability to buy a car, buy a house, and even find a partner.
Add more than just facts. You need to describe how having this problem made you feel.
This is where you should add words like: hopeless, lost, depressed, and broken.
The "suffering words" I used were "paralyzed with writer's block" and "dreaded".
Give them all the feels, yo!
No matter your niche, you can write in a way that takes the reader through an emotional journey.
They need to connect with you and they won't connect with you on a human level if you talk like a robot!
People don’t remember facts and figures, they remember how you made them feel.
I started this post by sharing with you that I struggled to write blog posts when I first got started blogging. This is exactly what you need to do - in every single blog post.
Doing this allows you to build a connection and that is key to developing a further relationship with the reader.
Step 5: Your lightbulb moment
You know how they feel because you're in the same boat. At least you were in the same boat.
Until something magical happened. Something that radically changed your life forever.
It was as if the Red Sea had parted. OMG it was like a vision you had that must have come from an angel!
This is your lightbulb or AHA! moment.
Describe how your life has changed since this revelation.
It's not just about specifically what has happened in your life, such as buying a car or a house. It's more about how this change has made you feel emotionally.
For this article, I said blog writing became a fun process rather than something I dreaded.
Make sure you have the correct writing style down for your blog. For most blogs, this means writing informally.
In school, you are taught to follow certain rules to writing. But your blog post is not a research paper, and those rules do not apply.
In fact, you need to throw away everything you've ever learned about how to write an article out the window!
When you write a blog post, you need to write it informally, as if you are talking to a person... because that's exactly what you're doing.
A blog post is just a conversation between you and the reader.
Step 6: Your solution
This is the meat and potatoes of your article. Now it's time to deliver the goods.
You will want to be thorough and describe your solution to the problem. You need to provide real value here. Otherwise, you are wasting everyone's time!
Most of my blog content is separated into easy-to-follow steps, others are separated by list items.
For example, this article is 10 steps on how to write a blog post. I also have list-type articles like this list of the best WordPress plugins for new blogs.
This type of content is the easiest to write (because you can start with a skeleton outline) and they are easy for the reader to consume.
To make my content easy to read, I separate my content into headings (h2) and make my paragraphs really short.
Paragraphs can even be one sentence long, like the last one. That's perfectly okay because the goal is to keep the reader on your page and scrolling.
You can find more help on how to design your blog posts here.
Step 7: Add images
Text is boring. Add pictures throughout your content to break up large blocks of text.
If you're doing a how-to article show screenshots or pictures of the process.
You can see my list of the best places to find free stock images here.
The two images every blog post should have is a featured image and an image for sharing on Pinterest.
The featured image can also be the image that you share on Facebook and Twitter.
I create all of my website graphics (logo, featured images, Pinterest pins) using Canva Pro.
Even though I have Photoshop, Canva is still my go-to tool for graphics.
Step 8: Add internal and external links
Your article isn't ready until you make it a valuable resource. This means you should add both internal and external links.
There's a few reasons you should be linking to other websites.
And here's why you should add internal links
This WordPress plugin makes it simple to internally link your blog posts. My favorite feature? Adding links from old posts your new ones.
Step 9: Your call to action
I see so many articles that end and just... end. The next logical step for anybody reading that article would be to close the page.
I've written thousands of blog posts the last 15 years. Something I've learned is that human beings follow orders from authority figures.
This is true in real life but also in blogs. And if you write an awesome blog post you are the authority figure.
At that moment, the reader is so into your content they will do practically whatever you tell them to do!
And yet, time and time again, I see articles that end without giving me the next step.
Human beings are not that complicated. People want to be given direction. They want to be told what to do.
End every blog post with a call to action.
You've written great content, now it's time to make sure the reader doesn't leave! If they leave, odds are they will never see visit blog again for the rest of their life.
Your call to action will depend on what you want your reader to do.
Here are some examples of call to actions:
One more thing. Make sure to pick only one thing for your reader to do. I've learned that if you give the reader too many options, they will do nothing!
Step 10: Write an awesome headline
The last step in the blog post writing process is to write the headline.
Nobody will ever read your blog post if your headline isn't great. This is your first impression and you literally have about 2 seconds to catch their attention.
Typically a user will be scrolling on their phone and it's your job to make them stop scrolling and click on your link.
Here is the anatomy of a great click-inducing headline:
Number + Adjective + Keyword + Promise
- 5 Awesome Ab Exercises To Get You Ripped In Two Weeks
- 17 Genius Dog Training Tips To Turn Your Dog Into A Saint!
Let me break down the headline formula here.
Start your headline off with a number. Listicles get clicksicles.
For example mind-blowing, awesome, genius.
Use your 2-3 word keyword phrase in the middle of the headline.
Make a BOLD promise... then deliver! It is not clickbait if your content delivers on your promise.
To test your headlines you can use this headline analyzer tool.
Blog post template
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