Last Updated on April 22, 2023 by Gagan Dias
How to write a blog post for SEO
A majority of you probably spend a hefty amount of time writing and promoting your posts. But some bloggers neglect to put work into their posts past writing a simple first draft and posting it to their site. That’s a crucial mistake.
And there’s more; you may think that once the writing is done, you’re free to start the brainstorming process over again. But that’s where you’ve been mistaken.
The process doesn’t end at just publishing the post. If you don’t take the proper steps after writing your post, chances are your analytics will be looking a bit down in the coming days.
So Before Your Post, be sure to:
1. Examine Your Competitors
We all know that in order to gain an audience while blogging, you have to post original content that expresses your own unique perspective. And sadly, we have to face the fact that someone has most likely already written the same things we plan to write on their own blog.
In order to save yourself the time and effort of writing a post that’s been written 100 times before, you have to examine posts that your competitor sites have produced.
So before you write your next post, go to Google and type in a search phrase that’s related to what you plan to write about, then read some of the top posts from your competitors. I usually skim through the first 5 results to determine whether my ideas are viable.
When reading the posts, ask yourself these questions:
• “What examples are my competitors using?”
• “How have they explained the topic?”
• “What do they leave out?”
• “What points did they include?”
And most importantly,
“Can I contribute to the topic?”
If the answer is yes, you can move on to the next step with confidence.
But if the answer is no, it’s better to step back to the brainstorming table and save yourself the time of writing a post that isn’t giving any new thoughts or insights.
2. Define a Goal
After you’ve decided that your post is worthy of writing, it’s time to decide why you’re going to write it.
Let me explain:
Every post that you write for your blog should have a purpose. For instance, if you’re blogging for your company, the reason you’re writing blog posts is probably to promote your services in some way (a.k.a content marketing). If this is the case, you need to figure out how the post you plan to write can tie into your business goals. Whether it be getting new clients for your Facebook Ad agency, or leading more people into your dentist’s office.
Or maybe you’re just a regular blogger trying to gain an audience. It may seem like the only goal is to just, well, blog. But that’s not necessarily true. Some goals that you might want to establish are:
• Earning more email subscribers
• Getting more e-book downloads
• Getting more course downloads
• Promoting your other posts
• Promoting other social media channels (Youtube, Facebook, etc)
So if I’m trying to get new readers to download my e-book, for instance, I might write a blog post detailing the recipes of 5 of my favorite meals, then link back to my e-book download at the end of the post.
Setting goals might not seem as important for bloggers as it is for businesses, but I think you’ll be surprised at the results of putting in the effort to cross-promote yourself.
3. Conduct Research
One surefire way to write killer content is to collect data and conduct thorough research on your topic.
Researching will allow you to get a better understanding of what you’re about to write about, and it also allows you to pick up bits of information that can strengthen the authority of your post.
Say you’re planning to write about email marketing and you come across a study conducted by another agency that details how writing shorter subject lines result in a 30% increase in email CTR (click-through rate).
If you’re smart, you’re going to grab that piece of information or graph and save it for when you begin to write.
Think about it this way: If I were to write “shorter email subject lines get better clicks” or include a full-blown graph with data from multiple different types of emails, which one would you consider to be more authoritative?
Take it from me: there is nothing more authoritative than including published research on your topic. It shows that you’ve put effort into giving correct information, and also strengthens your point of view on whatever subject matter you plan to blog about.
Don’t forget to cite any sources that you include in your post! Stealing information is never cool and could get you into a lot of trouble.
4. Write an Outline
If you’re one of those people who tries to write a perfect post on the first try, you’re putting yourself at a major disadvantage.
Think of preparing a blog post like going on a vacation; you can’t just walk out of the door tomorrow and go to Hawaii (unless you live there). Going on vacation takes planning and preparation, and so does writing a blog post.
One of the best things you can do is to get all of your ideas and thoughts on paper before you try to write anything comprehensible. Writing down your thoughts and forming the structure of your blog post before you start writing will dramatically increase the quality of the finished version.
So before you write your post, open up a word document and list the main points of what you want your post to be about. Then, rearrange those points into an order that makes sense to you.
After that, start writing anything and everything you can think of that relates to those points.
Don’t worry about writing well, forming sentences correctly, using correct grammar, or any of that formal stuff. Feel free to just puke up phrases and sentences wherever you go.
Once you’re finished creating your outline, I suggest stepping back for a day to clear your mind from your post. When you come back the next day, you’re going to be ready to put the pieces together and form your second draft.
5. Craft a Great Headline
Once you’ve formed your post into its final form, it’s time to craft a killer headline that’s going to engage and interest your readers.
Headlines are one of the single most important aspects of your blog post. Think about how many times you’ve clicked on a post simply because the headline sounded like it was going to provide value to you. The number is too high to count!
That’s why it’s extremely important to take the time to write out a strong headline. I’m not kidding when I say this: you might even consider taking as much time on the headline as you do writing the entire post.
Here are some general tips to use when writing a headline:
1. Be sure to fit one of your main keywords into your headline; this will boost your rankings for that keyword by a long shot.
2. Use numbers (ex. 5 Amazingly Simple Ways…)
3. Make it as specific as possible
4. Try to convey a sense of urgency. This can be done by asking a question (ex. “Are you making these crucial mistakes when writing your blog posts?”)
If you get stuck when making a headline, feel free to use one of the many headline generators on the web. But don’t just slop a keyword into the generator and call it a day; if you do use this tool, be sure that you’re refining the headline you choose to fit your needs.
That’s it for now! I hope you guys can use all of these tips to write better blog posts that perform well.