Writing effective blog posts is a learned skill, like learning to drive a car. You can spend weeks or even months studying material and watching videos, but until you actually get behind the wheel and start to drive, do you truly learn the ins and outs of that skill. Blog writing is the same way. You need to just jump in and start writing. “Trial by fire,” as some say.
The process of writing a blog post often takes more than just a couple of hours. Once you factor in your research, planning and actual writing, don’t be surprised if it takes a full day, or maybe a few. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s wasted time. If you want your blog to be seen on the first page of Google, then you need to invest the time.
Now that we’ve touched on the time investment necessary, let’s get into what you actually need to be doing from start to hitting that publish button.
The Anatomy Of a Perfect Blog Post
This is a representation of the blog post structure we use for our blog content creation. Understanding the basic anatomy of a blog post helps you effectively create an outline and keep your content consistent.
Not all blog posts are created equal. A well planned and executed blog post has the potential to go viral and refer thousands of people to your website.
Optimizing The On-Page SEO for Google
When it comes to organic traffic statistics, roughly 70% of users ignore the paid ads at the top of each Google search. That tells us that the majority of users are only interested in the organic search results. When executed correctly, your on-page SEO strategy can ignite the search result performance of your blog posts.
Optimizing your blog SEO is all about the page layout, content structure and then optimizing various elements of the page for on-page SEO. Contrary to popular belief, your blog post SEO is about more than just keywords.
When it comes to your keywords, adopt the KISS principle; Keep It Simple Stupid. At a high level, as long as your keyword appears in the title, headline and is on the page, you’ve done your job.
But how do we determine what keyword or phrase to use? Let’s use Ubersuggest, since this is a free, accessible tool.
Step 1 – enter the main keyword you want to rank for. Let’s start with the term ‘blog post’.
Step 2 – click on ‘Keyword Ideas’
Step 3 – Review the results and pick the keywords that make sense for your topic and audience
Once you’ve selected the keyword/s you want to target, start with including that in your headline. The next step is to begin optimizing your post with it. The only caveat to this is to make sure that you use the keyword in a way that flows with the text and does not disrupt the reader’s experience or appear to be ‘stuffed’ in the post. If you go down the road of keyword stuffing, your content becomes unnatural to both the eyes of your target audience and to the Google algorithm. One piece of advice I continually share with other writers to help avoid keyword stuffing is to write on the topic and not on your keywords. By that I mean to just write what comes to mind and make it flow and easy to understand. After the fact, you can go back through and add in the keywords where it makes sense.
Be sure to also use your keyword/s in the meta title and meta description. The meta title and meta description are what Google uses to categorize your blog post on the search engine results page.
As you’re going through your blog post and optimizing for on-page SEO, you’ll want to pay attention to the following elements of your webpage and ensure the keyword is included in each of them.
- Meta/SEO Title
- Meta Description
- Image ALT Text
- The main body of text
Remember to optimize for the reader’s experience using natural human language. Make it conversational. Your goal is to provide solutions to the reader’s problem or answer their question. If you make that your focus as your writing, then the traffic will follow.
Captivate Your Readers with In-depth Practical Value
In a sea of millions of other blogs, how do you make your blog posts stand out? You need to commit time and effort to create in-depth, high-quality content. Take the time to research your topic and see how others are writing about it. Look at the top 3 to 5 that are ranking on Google and take note of their format and style.
Developing 10X content is your next step. By that I mean write your content so that it is 10 times better than what is ranking. That is going to require more detailed and in-depth content than what the competing blogs are putting out. Our target word count for our blogs is between 1500 and 2000 words depending on the topic. We do that because blog posts need to be high-quality and provide unique yet useful content to the reader.
If you can create more unique and in-depth blog posts on a consistent basis, that will empower your blog posts to pull in more traffic and increase your organic search rankings. Ranking on page 1 of Google is not going to happen overnight, but if you’re consistent with producing the quality content that’s required, you’ll start to see a huge improvement in your search rankings.
Editing Your Blog Post On The Fly
We use WordPress for our website, so as we’re writing our blog posts, we are constantly hitting that preview button to spot-check the formatting as we move through the blog writing process.
We’ve simplified our editing process down into three passes. The first pass is to just read through the content and correct any grammatical, punctuation, headings and tone of voice.
The second pass is for internal and external linking.
- No links in the first paragraph
- No more than 1 link every 100 words
The third pass is for all the images on the page.
- You must have a featured image
- Insert other images at your discretion to break up the content for ease of reading
- Follow SEO guidelines for ALT tags and filenames
We’ve created a simple ‘Before You Leave The Page’ checklist to run through.
Now Go Create Something Amazing!
We hope this article on how to write effective blog posts is helpful. It’s something that you see a lot of people doing, giving the illusion that it’s easy to do until you actually start to write. Fortunately, it does get easier if you stick with it and follow the format we outlined above. Soon you’ll be on the road to creating amazing blog content that will blow past your competition.