While being a general reader their work may look like magic for us, but it doesn’t happen by accident.
They all have a process and a set of framework that helps them work efficiently and publish quality blog posts.
Yes, just opening any text editor and start typing without having a clear workflow wastes time and undermines your own results.
The old proverb “work smarter, not harder” may be cliched, but when it comes to blogging, it sums up what’s required for your long-term success.
Fortunately learning how to write a blog post that people will actually want to read and still drives meaningful traffic to your blog isn’t a complicated process. While there are lots of moving parts involved when it comes to crafting a good blog post, the individual steps are pretty easy to follow.
Stay with me—I’m going to cover everything you need to know in this post, from finding a proven topic to creating & optimizing it for driving organic traffic.
Here we go…
STEP NO #1
Find Topics which are proven to drive traffic
The most common problem I see with new bloggers is they write about anything that comes in their mind…
See, as long as you are running your personal blog, this approach might not hurt you. But if you are a professional blogger and want to drive serious organic traffic to your blog, then you have to write about topics that people are searching for. In other words –Topics with good search traffic potential.
#1. Find high-volume, low-competition keywords
Open the SEMrush keyword magic tool and enter one (or few) words into the search bar and hit enter.
Within a second from your seed keyword, the tool will generate a complete listing of all the various related keywords people are searching on the internet.
Now filter this list of keywords by two metrics:
- Search volume— Search volume refers to how many times a keyword is searched for in Google each month, in a specific country.
- Keyword Difficulty—the difficulty score represented as a numerical value between zero and a hundred shows an estimation of how difficult it would be to outrank the current sites ranking in the top spots on Google for that particular keyword.
With that you’ll have a manageable list of low competition keyword ideas with decent search volume.
For more ideas, play around with the different keyword filters until you get a list you’re satisfied with.
PRO TIP NO 1:
Filtering for keyword difficulty with KD score in SEMrush only gives you a rough sense of difficultly. You should always analyze the SERPs manually for your target keyword to judge real-world difficulty and search intent before targeting a keyword.
PRO TIP NO 2:
Don’t get obsessed with search volume too, because in most cases the competition for most high volume keywords is very high. Rather create in-depth content and optimize it around various long-tail keywords with medium search volume (I’ll discuss in a moment) and eventually, your content will rank on thousands of keyword resulting in thousands of visitors to your blog.
#2. Look at what’s working for your favorite blogs
If you ask me, this is the approach I take every time to come up with new blog post ideas for my blog.
Basically through this approach, we find topics that are generating traffic for our competitors and then create content around those topics to replicate their success.
Here is exactly what you need to do:
So, since I’ve taken Coffee blog as an example, I’ll go to SEMrush domain overview tool and enter one of my competitor’s domain in search box.
It looks like they are getting around 646k+ organic search visitor per month and ranking for more than 89k keywords in Google.
Next, we need to switch to PAGES tab to find out which page are generating the most search traffic for them.
So looking at this report, we can immediately see that best home coffee roasters, how to make cold brew coffee and Best Espresso Machine might be good topics to write blog posts about.
After knowing your competitor’s most traffic generating blog post, you should further check which keywords they are ranking for, how they have created, and structured their blog posts to get an idea of whether it is possible for you to replicate what they have done with their blog post.
So as you can see finding topics that people care to search for isn’t hard.. Once you have some proven topic, now move to step #2.
Want to grab SEMrush free trial? – Click here
STEP NO #2
Craft a Compelling Headline for your blog post
The importance of crafting a compelling headline can’t be ignored when learning how to write a good blog post.
Headlines are what sell your content. They represent your blog post across Google search results, social media platforms, and within emails.
Before people even start reading your blog post, your post headline is already shaping their opinion of it.
In fact, various research done over time has revealed that headlines account for as much as 80% of any given blog post’s success.
Though crafting an absolute great headline doesn’t guarantee the success of your blog post content. The benefit conveyed in the headline still need to be properly satisfied in the body of your blog post (content).
So, how do you write an attention-grabbing headline that’ll encourage people to click, read, and share?
Most of the copywriting expeerts often siggest that writer should devote 80% of their time writing headlines and rest 20% on content.
But i don’t think like that way…
While it is important to spend some time crafting headlines that’ll encourage people to click and share – but at the same time, you also can’t afford to allow yourself to get hung up trying to craft your dream headline- because eventually you’ll eat through time and have little to show for it.
This is especially true as you’re just starting the process of writing your blog post and you’ve still got a blank page staring back at you.
So, I will recommend that instead of spending hours on a headline upfront, start working with a simple title that you can change later.
For example, When I first started writing this blog post, my writing title was very plain and simple – How to write a blog post?
But as I moved through the process of drafting outline – and then onto actually writing the body copy, the headline took more shape as I identified and clarified all of the working components required to create this ultimate guide to learning how to write a blog post in 2020.
Before making this post public, the simple title “How to write a blog post” became “How to Write an Awesome Blog Post in 8 Steps [Proven Framework for Bloggers]“ – Which is significantly much more interesting for potential readers who stumble upon this guide on Google search result or Social Media.
With that being said, here are the few tips which i always follow to come up with captivating headlines:
#1. Use specific Numbers and data points:
Numbers are a time-honored trigger to get your readers to pay attention to your blog post. Various research has shown that headlines using numbers immediately hook the reader’s interest.
The primary reason why headline with numbers works great is because they promise to be quick and easy to read, and that’s important in today’s busy world.
- Example: If you’re going to write about “Where can you find freelance Work Online?” , headline it with “12 Places to Find Freelance Work Online and Make Extra Money” to get more clicks in search results or social media.
#2. Highlight Value in your headline:
Why should someone read your blog post? What’s in it for them? The benefit you are going to deliver should be clear, simple and direct in the headline.
Your blog post headline should promise something and the more specific you can make that promise , the better result you will get.
- Example of a good headline: How to create an Eye-catching infographic under 30 minutes
The headline above promises the desired result (eye-catching infographic) within a set time period (under 30 minutes).
The key here is to prove that your content will provide them essential info as quickly as possible.
#3. Use Words that drive attention by giving reader rationale:
Don’t be afraid to use strong words, to emphasize and attract readers,
There are tons of keyword list available on web, which have been tested out and proven to get more clicks.
Your power keyword should trigger strong emotion and reactions in your readers mind, be that curiosity, sympathy, inspiration or even anger.
Here are few example of power words that you can experiment with.
Helpful resource – 100+ Power Words to Write Better Headlines by Ninja Outreach
#4. Use Punctuation:
A study done by OutBrain and HubSpot found that simply adding a hyphen or a colon to a headline can improve the CTR up to 38%.
STEP NO #3
Write an Outline For Your Post
Writing a blog post without having an outline is like driving a car without a map (or in today’s time Google map). It might be fine if you are going a short distance, but if you are going to cover a lot of ground – then you need to know where you are going. Otherwise, you are likely to get lost and waste your time.
Similarly, before jumping to the writing part, you should consider creating a blog post outline for a few very important reason:
1. Keeping the flow Going:
First thing first, a proper outline helps you define the general flow of your article. You know already where to start and when to conclude. That helps you post make more sense That helps your posts make more sense and not be a big mess of thoughts all over each other.
2. Staying on Point
Without an outline, your thoughts gets a little jumbled as one idea inspires another and you begin losing track of the last point you were just exploring. But an outline will help you keep your though on track and provide the actually value you’ve planned to deliver with your post.
3. Writing Gets Easier
A proper blog outline saves the time you spend on the writing and editing stages. Since you have paved the way, You don’t have to waste your time figuring out what to write in each part of your post. All you have to do is follow the outline.
Here is an example of outline i created for my SEMrush review:
Though I personally like to use a mind mapping tool like Coggle for creating my outline, you can also create your outline directly in Google Docs or even in a notebook or diary.
PRO TIP: Before creating your outline, analyze top 10 results of your target keyword to get a good idea of what others have already covered in their posts and what you should include and exclude in your blog post.
STEP NO #4
Hook Your Readers With a Great intro
“First impression is the best impression.“
If your blog post introduction is not effective, then the readers will not bother to read the rest and hit the BACK button.
As I said earlier, a good headline is what makes your readers open the blog post. Similarly, a good intro is what makes them decide whether to read the whole post or not.
So, how to craft an intro that captivates your readers?
To find this, I analyzed intros of over fifty successful blog posts by well-known writers in different niche.
And here is what I realized – most of the compelling blog post intro has been crafted with a common technique – “The Pain and the Pleasure.”
The technique basically triggers an emotional response – the fear of something – and then promises to offer solutions to their problem.
Here is the four elements which is found in most of the successful intros:
1. The hook: It is the opening line of your intro that pulls the reader into your blog entry. It can be a single sentence, a phrase, or even a word.
2. The Problem: Hook needs to be followed by a problem your reader faces. It might be losing weight or preparing pancakes at homes or maybe reducing the weekly grocery budget.
3. The Solution: Now that you’ve identified your reader’s problems, this is where you tell them that you have a solution to their problem. You don’t need to go into details at this stage, but you do have to let them know that you know how to solve or overcome the problem they are facing.
4. The Promise: This will lead them into your blog post’s body seamlessly to keep them reading… Typically, this will be something along the lines of, “And that’s exactly what I’m going to show you in this article…” or “Follow these tips to…” but you can certainly get creative.
Here is a practical example from Jon Morrow’s blog Smartblogger (written by Glen Long) :
STEP NO #5
Optimize your Blog Post for the zero-click searches
Google algorithm has gotten very smart at figuring out not just what queries users are searching for, but what their intent is behind every search.
So, being a blogger or content creator, it’s no longer just about delivering content that matches the words and phrases people are using in Google searches. It’s all about delivering satisfying answers to the reader’s question and problems.
This has resulted in a growing number of Zero click searches in SERP (Search engine result page).
What is Zero-click searches?
A zero-click SERP is one where the answer to the user’s search query is displayed directly at the top of a Google search result. As the search intent of the user is satisfied directly, so they often don’t have to click any actual search result links appearing in SERP.
Often, many zero-click searches are answered by a simple featured snippet or knowledge card.
A featured snippet result works by pulling a summary of an answer to a user’s query directly int the top of SERPs, thus removing the need for the searcher to click on an organic search result.
Here is how it looks:
While this makes arguably better, easier and faster search experience for users (as they receive their answers with less effort and time spent), it creates problems for content creators (like you and me) as they can’t control the experience of their readers.
However, being a content creator you don’t need to get disappointed. The advent of featured snippet and knowledge panel means that there are also a ton of new opportunities to get creative and break into these high-visibility featured snippets. Thus outranking your organic competitors and giving yourself the best shot and bringing the most engaged readers to your blog.
So, how to optimize your blog post for landing into Google’s featured snippets?
#1. Create content specifically to answer questions of your readers
Featured snippets are generally informational in nature. In the words of one of my favourite digital marketer Neil Patel, ” If your content doesn’t answer questions, it won’t land into the featured snippet. That’s all there is to it.”
Google’s crawler searches through millions of sites to find the content that will best answer a user’s questions.
When the crawler find the one, they display the content in the form of featured snippet, which makes it easier for the searcher to locate the information they are looking for.
With this in mind, you need to understand which question your readers are asking, and how you can tailor your content to answer those question accordingly.
#2. Structuring plays a very important role
The easier you make it for the search engine to understand your content the more likely it will be rewarded with a featured snippet.
For that reason, just answering the queries is only half of the battle. You should also include lists, numbers, and steps that summarize the key points in a post.
Here’s how to format your blog post for snippets:
- Write descriptive headers and use header tags like h1, h2, h3, etc.
- Create a structured hyperlinked menu (table of content) near the top of your post using the same proper text formatting.
- Use short and punchy sentences that provide direct answers.
- Use numbered lists, bullet-pointed lists, tables, or graphs.
- Add a relevant image along with the snippet query you’re answering.
A good practice to get Featured snippet:
If you read any of the Hubspot’s article, you will notice they add a well designed and structured box to directly answer all the questions related to their blog post topic.
And this is the reason why their every post is rewarded with hundreds of featured snippet for different search terms.
The key here is to structure your post in such a way that Google can easily scan and put your content into featured snippet area.
STEP NO #6
Make Your Blog Posts Easily Scannable for readers
In today’s time, people rarely read content from beginning to end.
In fact, many research has already proven that only 16% of your readers read your blog content word-by-word, while other 79% would just scan your posts.
Maybe it’s because of our “microwave,” instant gratification culture or maybe it’s because millions of other articles on the same topic are vying for people’s attention.
So, what is the solution?
You need to become adept at writing scannable content that matches the behavior of content consumption in today’s time.
So, what exactly is scannable content?
“Scannable contents are short, sweet, and to the point. Sentences and paragraphs text use clear and understandable language. Bold text, bullets point, and numbered list highlight the key point of content. Links to relevant content are used to provide readers with supplemental information. White space is used to prevents the screen from looking crowded and makes it easier for the eye to follow the content.”
This writing pattern is basically geared toward twenty-first-century readers, who primarily read content on the web as opposed to general books or another print medium.
And believe me it works.
According to research performed by Jakob Nielsen, of the Nielsen Norman Group, scannable and objective copywriting resulted in 57% better readability compared to a more traditional blog post format.
So, now the next question that you should obviously ask is “how to write blog post that is easily scannable for readers?”
01. Write short paragraphs
If you’ve read few of my blog post, you might have notices that I prefer to use very short paragraphs in my blog post.
Really short, in fact most of my paragraphs are not more than one or two sentence in length.
And this is not by coincidence, there is a reason behind it.
“Short paragraphs gives readers a visual clue that the content will be easy to read and put into action”
Don’t agree with me? Allow me to provide you with an example:
Here are two piece of content, one with a large block of text and the other one with a much smaller and more digestible blocks of text.
Now you tell me – Which piece of content you found more aesthetically pleasing and easier to read?
I would bet you’d say the second one (though exceptions are always there😂)
Because the second piece of content is broken up in a way that allows you yo move seamlessly from one point to the next without taxing your brain in the process.
The key here is to include minimum one idea per paragraph (obviously😀) and maximum of four sentences.
PRO TIP: Whitespaces are writers close friend😜, so use them to the best to make the page look less cluttered.
02. Use Subheadings to Break Up Your Post
If readers come to your blog post and just see the texts (even it is broken up into short paragraphs), nothing will stand out to them. Because a page filled with hundreds of short paragraphs of texts will make harder for reads t figure out what the post actually covers.
So, you should break your post into 5-10 (depends on posts) sections and give each sections a subheading that clearly communicated what the section is about.
That way your readers will easily scan the whole content of post and prioritize what’s relevant for them and what not.
For example, The post you are currently reading “How to Write a Good Blog Post”, I could have written the entire content of this post in one large section..
But instead, I broke up the entire content in 8 steps with relevant subheadings and added a list of bullet point links that takes the reader to relevant section.
03. Use bullet points
In the Words of Brian Clark (content marketing expert)
By creating short summaries of each section using bullet points, you can help readers in extracting key data without having to think too much about it.
In fact, this tactic has been used by most of the big online publications in all niches from a very long time.
The key here is to use the bullet list to highlight the most vital aspects – the information you want them to take home.
04. Consider Putting in a Table of Content at the top
The table of contents serves two purposes:
- It gives readers an overview of the whole blog post content.
- It allows readers to go directly to a specific section in just a single click.
So, If you are publishing a longer post (like the one you’re reading right now), consider adding a clickable table of contents at the beginning of your blog post.
Adding a table of contents to your blog post is pretty easy. You can either use a free WordPress plugin like the easy table of contents or you can create a custom table of content like the one you see on our blog post with HTML and CSS.
05. Consider Putting in a Table of Content at the top
One of the common copywriting mistakes especially new bloggers make is they overuse the passive voice in their copy.
Here is a simple example:
- Passive voice:– A new update was released by Google.
- Active Voice:- Google released a new update.
As you can easily notice, the active voice is simpler and more direct, on the other hand, passive voice sounds more academic and formal.
So when you’re writing your blog post, you should utilize active voice as often as possible. It will help you make your content more engaging and readers will also connect with you.
06. Use Lots of Visual content
A simple image has the power to make a boring post much more fun and appealing.
Yes, researches has shown readers’ eyes are drawn to images.
So, putting images especially when those photos are closely related to the content – keep the readers engaged with content for longer.
If you have noticed, I personally use lots of screenshots in my blog post. In fact, few of my blog post (like Thrive Architect Review) has more than 50-60 screenshots.
Especially if you are creating how to post or ultimate guides, Screenshots are essential. It helps you readers visualize what you are saying through your texts.
07. Create Clickable Tweets
Though this tactics is not closely related to making your content scannable, but this will surely help in increasing your site engagement and getting more shares on Twitter.
You might have seen those beautiful quote boxes on popular sites like forbes or Backlinko.
In fact, I also use clickable boxes in my content too:
These clickable boxes not just make your post visually more appealing but also helps you get more twitter share…
If you want a similar click to tweet box like the Brian using in Backlinko’s post, just install Social snap Pro on your blog (PS: Free version does not have click to tweet feature)
Social snap offers several design styles for Click to Tweet boxes to help match your site’s design.
08. Write Like a Human Being
The more human-like your writing is, the better it’ll be for your content success. Because people are more likely to keep reading your blog post if they feel a sense of connection with you.
Write like you generally talk with someone, just use better grammar. Your blog content shouldn’t sound like a textbook or government bureaucrat. It should more sound like a conversation.
PRO TIP: Always use “You” and “I” within your blog post, it makes it feel like a conversation between your readers and you.
This writing style will definitely help you build a strong connection with your readers.
STEP NO #7
Wrap It All Up With A Strong Conclusion
You’ve spent the past few hours working on the catchy headline, Supportive body, and amazing visuals.
Now it’s time to wrap thing up.
So, how do you write a powerful conclusions for your blog posts?
Well, in my opinion, a good conclusion should tie your blog post together. At the most basic level, it should do the following:
- Resolve the problem.
- Summarize what you said.
- Suggest action that the reader can take.
You can even follow the TAC Formula to write an effective conclusion.
- T – Transition
- A- Ask
- C – Call to action
Understand it with an example:
Start Your conclusion off with the transition. Your transition can be a word, phrase, or sentence that transits people from your blog body content to the conclusion section.
Here’s an example:
Next, It’s time to ask your reader a very SPECIFIC question.
Be as specific as you can, so that your reader can Initiate the conversation in the comment section.
Finally, end your conclusion with a CTA (call to action). You can ask your readers to comment on your post, share on social media, or maybe join your email newsletter.
STEP NO #8
Optimize Your Post for Search Engines
Just learning how to write an awesome blog post doesn’t gurantee that you’ll get lots of readers for your post
For that, you need to optimize your blog post for important SEO ranking factors so that it can rank higher in search engines and drive lots of readers to your post.
So once you have written your blog post, Follow these simple steps to increase your odds of ranking well in search result.
#1. Write A Strong Title Tag & Meta Description
Your title tag and meta description are what appears in Search engine result pages. They are the first thing your target audience will see before visiting your blog post through organic search.
Here’s how to write strong title tags and meta descriptions:
- Include your primary keyword in your title tag and meta description (this is important for SEO).
- Keep your title tag around 70 characters (so it won’t get cut off in Google search results).
- Make sure your meta description fits within the 155 character limits.
- Describe your content’s USP in the meta description to get more click.
You can also use Portent’s SERP Preview Tool to check how your proposed title tag and meta description will appear in actual Google search results.
#2. Use a Short URL for your Blog Post
Short and Keyword-rich URL are considered SEO friendly.
In fact, Google itself recommends short, descriptive URLs.
KEY NOTE: Keep your URL length somewhere around 50 – 60 characters and use descriptive words that are relevant to your blog post’s content.
#3. Include Keywords throughout Your Post
Remember the keyword research we did earlier in #step 1?
Make sure you are including your primary keyword along with other variations of that keyword phrase throughout your blog post.
This will help Google understand what your content is about so that they can rank in for the right terms in search results.
NOTE: Don’t go overboard, place keyword wherever naturally possible. Keyword density no longer matters in 2020. Even your primary keyword appears only 2 times in your whole blog post, that’s completely fine.
#4. Internally link your other blog post
Internal links help Search engines like Google find, index and understand all pages & posts of your site.
If you use theme strategically with your blog post, they can send page authority to your important pages.
In short: Using the right internal linking strategy can boost your SEO!
So Whenever you publish a new post, add 3-6 links to older posts. Similarly, you can also go to old posts and link to your NEW post to easily index the new post in search engine.
Here are few best practices for good internal linking:-
- Use Keyword-Rich Anchor text when you are internal linking your posts.
- Don’t Use The Same Anchor Text For Two Different Pages
- Strategically link to important and relevant pages.
- Use Follow tag only with all internal links.
#5. Link to Other Relevant Posts
Just like internal linking, external links also plays a major role in search engine optimization.
In fact, a study conducted by marketing firm Reboot also shows that there is a positive correlation between a page’s outgoing links and its search rankings.
if you have noticed, I have also linked to various external post through out this article.
PRO TIP: Not Just SEO, external links can also helps you make connection with industry leaders in your niche.
Final Thoughts: How to Write a Blog Post that People Actually Want to Read
That’s all about how to write a good blog post. Here are all the important steps again, in checklist form – should make things easier to follow as you’re going through the motions:
- 💡 Step 1: Find topics that are proven to drive traffic
- 🏅 Step 2: Craft a compelling headline for your blog post
- 📄 Step 3: Prepare the outline for your post
- ✏ Step 4: Hook your readers with a great introduction
- 👨🔬 Step 5: Optimize your blog post for the zero-click searches
- 📰 Step 6: Make your blog post easily scannable for readers
- ✍ Step 7: Wrap it all up with a powerful conclusion
- 🔍 Step 8: Optimize your blog post for SEO
This is the same process I follow to create every piece of content you read on Bloggingnova.
Though it takes time to master the art of writing solid blog posts, but if you are disciplined about following the process mentioned in this article, you’ll see your skills & result improves with each article.
I will recommend better bookmark this page and use it as a reference until you are consistently writing the best post you can muster.
Are there any additional tips you can add to our readers on how to write quality content?
Let me know in the comments..