You’ve probably heard and read all these stories about people making money blogging, having their financial freedom and live their dream life. And you would probably love to do that too. But how do you make money writing a blog and master the search engines game?
Let’s face it! Blog writing and writing consistently great posts to create a successful blog can be very stressful. Will you find the right audience? Who’s your ideal reader? How do you come up with fresh post ideas and avoid writer’s block? Will anyone read it? You might feel stuck and not know where to start.
Don’t worry; we’re here to help! This post is your step-by-step guide to writing the perfect post or article. Let’s dive in!
Note: I’m assuming you have already started a blog. You’ve chosen your domain name and hosting provider, gotten your design, branding, content management system figured out and all set up. If you haven’t yet, please check out our full guide liked right below.
Choose Your Topic
This is usually the hardest part of blogging, and many people feel stuck. To get started, you have to do some research and brainstorming.
Think about your target audience. Who are your ideal readers? What are their needs and concerns? How can you help them solve their pain points?
To have a better idea of how you can approach this stage, ask yourself the following questions to generate blog topics:
- Why did you choose to start writing content related to a specific niche or category?
- Are you knowledgeable about this niche or category?
- What does your reader look like?
- Which information is he/ she looking for?
- What topic will bring the best value to them?
- How will your website and help your readers solve their pain points? Should you publish tips and tricks related to a subject? Listicles? Guides or How-tos?
Consider writing the answers down on paper or use an app to keep tracking of your ideas. This will help you create your first post draft as well as outline any ideas for upcoming articles.
Once you choose the topic, you can move on to the next step.
Outline Your Article
Every blogger has a unique style of writing blog posts. Some begin writing as soon as they sit in front of the computer. Others like to create an outline of the post first in order to make sure that they cover all the aspects of the topic and create a good flow.
If you’re the latter, the first thing you should do is a quick search on Google. Type in the search bar the words related to the subject you want to write about. You’ll see a drop-down menu with Google’s suggestions related to your topic. You may want to look into the different options and figure out about the content, and the information people are looking for.
Based on this information, you can outline your post. This way, you’ll not only provide an easy to read blog post but also include all the relevant information.
Set Your Short, Medium and Long-tail Keywords
Now, that you have the topic for your blog post, it’s time to set up your main short, medium and long-tail keywords.
Keywords are one the most important SEO ranking factors that help Google understand what your content is about. When done right, they make your post pop up in the eyes of your readers and rank higher in search results.
There are three common types of keywords:
- Short-tail keywords or head keywords – those are usually 1 or 2 words with high search volume
- Medium-tail keywords – usually 2-3-word phrases with a good search volume, neither too high nor too low
- Long-tail keywords – four or more keywords that combined lead to a more specific search.
Besides those, you’ll also find the latent semantic keywords. This is a word association Google makes to help you decide what you are really looking for. You may find the latent semantic keywords at the bottom of your search page.
Start Writing: Your First Draft
Once you’ve set your main keywords, it’s time to write your article. Keep in mind that you write for humans. The web audience is quite different from other types of readers. People on the Internet are always in a hurry, and many of them tend to scan an article rather than reading all the way through. If you want to provide a great user experience, you should consider following some best practices:
- Write short sentences and paragraphs – this is easy on the reader’s eyes and helps scan your content quickly. Remember that blog posts shouldn’t require the same level of focus a Tolstoy novel does. Keep your sentences short and simple; no more than 20 – 25 words. Try to group them in paragraphs no longer than 2-3 sentences.
- Use a conversational tone – web readers prefer a conversational tone unless you’re writing a scientific article. Try to avoid complicated words and specific industry jargons as much as possible. Keep it simple.
- Insert bullet points and number lists – those are a good way to make your text easy scannable.
- Break large blocks of text with images and graphics – research shows that people remember just 10% from text information, but if you include an image in your text, they’ll remember 65% of the information.
- Use headings and subheadings to organize your content – when done right, headings and subheadings will help you create a proper hierarchy of your article. Headings and subheading also allow your readers to quickly identify the subtopics of your post, making it easier to read and understand.
Edit Your Article
After you finish writing your first post draft, you have to edit it. The goal here is to make sure that everything is okay and you ready for publishing The editing stage includes the following steps:
Check for grammar errors and spelling mistakes
Remember that writing a great post is all about publishing an error-free article that’s visually appealing. So, you should take a break from writing and focus on something else. Then read your article again. Find and fix any grammar errors and spelling mistake.
There are many online proofreading tools to help you during this process and make it easier. Some are free. Others require a paid subscription. Either way, you’ll be able to find a free version or a free trial. This way, you can try more solutions for proofreading your work and choose the one that fits you best. Grammarly is one of the best options out there.
A great practice successful bloggers use is asking someone else to read their work. You know what’s saying: four eyes see better than two. At this stage, you can also consider shortening your sentences and paragraphs. Perhaps you need to cut and even rewrite some parts of your post. Go ahead and get through whatever needs to be done in order to have the best content quality possible.
Check for plagiarism
As a blogger, it’s absolutely necessary to use a plagiarism tool or software. Not only it’s absolutely unacceptable to copy someone else’s work and publish it as your own, but Google will punish you greatly by downgrading your ranking score. Avoid plagiarism at all cost.
Grammarly and Copyscape are two great tools to use when checking the authenticity of your writing.
Optimize Your Blog Post for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
We mentioned earlier that you should use medium and long-tail keywords. This is all because of SEO scores. Here’s how you can optimize your content.
In order to get a higher ranking in search engine results, you should use both on-page and off-page SEO techniques. The more of the following techniques you implement, the better.
- Use your main keywords in the title tag – some say that the title tag is the most important on-page SEO factor. Use your main keyword here and make sure that it reads naturally. Also, consider writing your blog post title as close as 60 characters (including spaces) as possible, without going over.
- Use your keywords in headings and subheadings – headings and subheadings help you define the structure of your article and are important for on-page SEO. Use your main keywords in at least one heading and one subheading, as long as they fit in the context.
- Insert your keywords in the body copy – there is not a clear rule in terms of keyword density. Use them when they read naturally but be careful not to go overboard. Google could downgrade you if your keyword density is too high.
- Insert your keywords in the images’ Alt Tags – as image Alt Tags help Google understand what your blog post is about, they are an important SEO factor. That’s why you should add a rich-keyword description to the visuals included in your post. Or at least use one of the keywords in the picture’s name.
- Insert internal links – link to relevant other articles on your blog. Cross-linking your articles will boost your SEO.
- Add external links – this SEO strategy aims to increase your overall domain authority, search engine rankings, and organic traffic. Find authority websites with similar or related content, and link them in your post.
- Think about Social Shares – Insert ways that readers can share your content if they found it useful
Next, upload your CMS. Before hitting Publish, use your main keywords in:
- The meta description – that’s the small snippet of content right below your blog post title and URL. The meta description is the short text snippet that shows up in the search engines. It contributes to your SEO efforts which is why you should write an engaging description and insert your main keywords.
- The URL of your post – as the first 3-5 words that appear in a URL are extremely important, you should include your main keyword here.
Upload the Text to Your CMS and Publish It
So, you wrote, proofread and optimized a great post for SEO. Now’s the time to make it visible to your target audience. Things are a little bit different here, depending on the CMS you use. Here’s how it goes:
- Copy and paste your text from your Word document into your CMS
- Upload your images and/or videos
- Format your blog post
- Add meta description and make your blog post URL short and friendly
- Hit the “Publish” button
That’s it. You’re done!
Promote Your Post
Last but not least: take a few minutes to promote your post on different blogging platforms and share it on social media networks. This way, you’ll have a better chance to reach your audience and drive traffic to your site. Check out Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Those are the hot platforms bloggers are using right now.
In order to make your posts look amazing on social media, you should create beautiful and engaging visuals, along with rich-keyword descriptions. Visuals always capture readers’ attention better and make you more memorable. The plain old text doesn’t cut it anymore. That said, stick to simple images. Don’t go overboard on bright colors or patterns. It’s worth taking the time to teach yourself some basic graphic design. If you’re not available to do so before writing your post, maybe reach out to a friend or hire a graphic designer to help.
Keep in mind that the posts that do best have a consistent style when it comes to visuals. What do we mean by that? If you’ve started to use pop art on your site, don’t jump to black and white all of a sudden. Figure out what your style is and stick to it. This will help you create not just a site, but a brand online.
Remember your first draft might not be perfect, and you shouldn’t expect it to, but one thing is sure: it should clearly articulate your expertise, engage your target audience, and leave your readers wanting more.
Don’t stress about this. Follow the steps above, and you’ll get used to the process.
If you’re looking for more tools to help you master your writing process, check our post Blogging Tools for Beginners | My Favorite Resources.