Writing a blog post should be simple, right?
You sit down in WordPress, create a new post, and then you start writing.
But it’s not.
You actually have to think about what you want to write about that will keep people around on your blog, sign up for your mailing, and potentially explore more of your site.
Writing just to write doesn’t really accomplish that.
When you write a blog post you’re making an investment into your business. You’re saying, “this blog post is meant to attract people and help me build my audience.”
If a blog post doesn’t do that, then what purpose does it serve?
For that reason, it’s very important that you understand how to write a blog post.
Now, me saying “how to write a blog post” makes it sound like there is only one true way and that’s not the case at all.
However, I do believe that you should master one way before you spread your wings and fly to other methods.
So in this post, I’m going to show you the simplest way to write a blog post that people love.
How to Write a Blog Post
First things first. If you don’t know your audience then there really isn’t any point in trying to write for them.
Blogging is all about coming to an understanding of the type of people that are going to read what you write.
For example, when writing this blog post I’m not thinking about the person that has already written 100 blog posts and understands how they want to do them.
I’m thinking about the person that is just getting started with their blog and they are staring at a blank screen not knowing where to start with things.
That means I have to use language that they understand.
It means I have to consider the things they know and don’t know, along with any fears and insecurities they might have.
Why is this stuff important?
Because if you really want people to visit as many pages as possible on your blog then you need to make a connection with them. People don’t make connections with IKEA manuals.
They do make connections to people that seem like they understand them.
So how do you understand your audience?
You don’t need to do anything crazy like creating customer profiles or doing deep psychological analysis.
Simply imagine the type of person that would be searching for the topic you’re going to write about and consider the things I said above. If they are coming to your blog it’s because they are looking for something and so you just have to make sure you deliver that.
If you can do that in a way that makes them feel okay with reading all of the words that you put on a page, then you’ll be in a good place.
Okay, so now where do you begin?
Before you run screaming to the hills telling me that you’ve already left school and you don’t need to write any more research papers, that’s not what I’m getting at.
Research is going to be one of your most vital tools when writing blog posts.
Because you need to understand two things:
- Exactly what people are looking for
- What others have already written on the topic
Here’s the thing. It’s very easy to get lost in your own blog bubble and feel that just because you’ve written something to the best of your ability then it’s going to be good enough to get people to read it.
That isn’t going to be the case.
Your blog post is brand new. It’s fresh on the scene.
There are usually going to be a lot more blog posts that have come before yours. If yours doesn’t cover the stuff that the ones before it cover, then why should yours stand at the top of the mountain?
I’m not saying yours has to sound like any of the rest, but you need to keep in mind that people are coming to your site because they believe they will find what they need.
What happens if they don’t?
So before you even take a second to type a word on the screen, do some research to unlock the things that others talk about.
How to Do Research
It’s nothing complicated.
Simply go to Google and/or Pinterest and search for the topic that you’re going to write about. Click on the first couple of posts that you come across.
Take the time to read or scan them. From there what you want to do is take note of the big points that they talk about.
You’re not copying them or even trying to sound like them. You’re just taking notes of the topics and ideas that they cover.
So for example, if I’m writing about aquascaping for cichlids (gardening for fish basically) then I would take the following notes:
- pH level of water
- type of fish
- how much light is needed
- nutrient requirements
- where to plant
Essentially, I’m developing a structure for my blog post. As you can see, I’m not writing down paragraphs of information or even copying anything from the blog posts themselves.
I just want to make sure that my blog at the very least covers that the well-ranked posts cover.
And this is where you have an advantage because you’re approaching the topic with fresh eyes. You might see that there are some points that these posts missed and so not only do you cover what they covered, but you cover MORE things that they missed.
As you can see with this method the time it takes to do research shouldn’t be that long at all.
But, you’re not done with the research yet.
You should do one more thing. Head to Google and search for the topic you’re going to talk about.
What you’re looking for are two things:
- People also ask
- Searches related to…
They’ll look like this:
This will give you an idea of the OTHER things that people are looking for or thinking about when searching for your topic. Get those into your posts and you’ll stand a better chance of ranking for the topic.
Now? It’s time to write!
One thing that your English teacher in school was right about is that all writing should have a beginning, middle, and end.
The same goes for your blog posts. It seems silly for me to have to point this out but I’ve come across blog posts with a beginning and middle, but no end or even worse blog posts with just a middle.
Your reader is there for a reason. The goal isn’t to write the shortest blog post ever.
The goal is to write the most helpful blog post that anyone has ever come across.
People new to blogging always tend to think that shorter blog posts are better but there is never a metric that has proven this. In fact, all metrics point to longer blog posts performing better.
Just because you don’t like to read long posts doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be written.
The problem is that people don’t like to read long posts that don’t help them.
If someone comes for a recipe on pound cake they don’t need to know the history of your grandmother. They just want the pound cake.
However, they might have a ton of questions about the pound cake making process and that’s what your blog post can cover.
We are going to start at the beginning, but I don’t want you to think that’s where you need to start. I know a lot of people that feel more comfortable writing out the middle portions of their blog post first and then filling out the outer edges.
For many people, the beginning (the intro) is make or break. You either hook the reader in here or you completely lose them.
I always try to start a blog post with something catchy. Either a joke or a question or a statement that is quite shocking.
For this post, I’ve decided to go with a question from the perspective of someone that is struggling to write a blog post.
It should be easy but for some reason, it’s not.
Using a question like this means I’m targetting a very specific person. This person will see this question, nod their head in agreement, and then be more enticed to continue reading the rest of the post.
If you can make the person reading the post feel as though you are speaking to them at the beginning, then you’ll have them hooked.
Once you do that if you can identify the pain/problem that they’re facing and then explain that you’re going to show them how to get rid of that pain/problem that will lead them nicely into the middle of the blog post.
Sometimes I like to use the beginning as a chance to tell a story of how I went through the exact same problem that the reader is currently going through. This allows them to know that I empathize with them because I’ve been there.
This doesn’t have to be long-winded. If you’re adding content that doesn’t serve a purpose then there is no point for it to be there.
This is where you get to put everything that you researched to good use. This is the meat in the sandwich and people will expect you to deliver upon the promise that you’ve made.
You didn’t know you made a promise?
You did with whatever post title you decided to use.
If the title of this post is How to Write a Blog Post, then you’re going to expect there to be information on how to write a blog post within it.
That’s a reasonable expectation to have.
Because there are so many different kinds of blog posts, there really is no formula for this section. Just cover everything that you can think about.
If you’re doing a simple list post, then make sure the content is engaging and not just a basic list.
This is where so many people fall flat.
They spend so much energy on the middle they tend to rush through the end just so they can get it over with.
However, if you can get someone to read through your post, then the End is going to be the most valuable part of the blog post because it’s your opportunity.
This is where you get to guide people to other blog posts, sign up for your mailing list, or purchase one of your products.
However, before you do all of that you’ll want to summarize what the person should’ve learned from the blog post. You might be wondering why you need to do that after people have already ready the blog post and the answer is simple: people like to scan.
The sad reality is that most people will not read your blog post when they get there. They will scan through it to see if they can catch anything valuable from it so when they get to the end you want to make sure to emphasize what they could learn if they took the time to go through it carefully.
After that is when you can start throwing in your promotional material.
And that’s it really.
Writing a blog post is pretty simple as long as you’re prepared.
The biggest challenge though is getting people to stop and read your post.
How to Get People to READ Your Blog Post
Look, you just don’t know where someone is when they are reading your blog post.
They could be skimming Pinterest in the checkout line and have come across your post.
Maybe they are having an emergency and they found a post by you that can help them.
Rarely are they sitting at a computer with all of the time in the world and making a conscious effort to read every single word that you type.
Most people that come to your blog are going to scan your content.
That’s natural. You can’t prevent people from doing that.
But what you can do is get them to pause and look at the content.
Here are some tricks.
See that thing above? That’s a heading.
Your post should be filled with headings. Headings help to people get an idea of the structure of the post which will help them in making the decision on if they should be reading it or not.
Don’t hesitate to use headings every couple of paragraphs. Headings are meant to break up content and blog posts that are broken up are more easily consumed.
Images and Video
People always stop for images.
But that doesn’t mean you should stick any type of image within your blog posts. Make sure the images are relevant.
If you want to have fun with things, then use animated GIFs.
Bulleted and Ordered Lists
It’s just a fact that people like lists.
Don’t hesitate to use them.
Bold and Italic Text
Here is bold text.
Here is italic text.
Use each when you want to bring emphasis to your content.
This is one of the rules of writing that is hard to break for many people. Blog posts shouldn’t have long paragraphs.
People don’t feel like reading long paragraphs and so that means you need to break up your paragraphs.
Even when you think it doesn’t make sense.
If you find yourself writing paragraphs longer than three sentences then you’re writing paragraphs that are too long.
I’m being serious.
It’s okay to just split a paragraph in half without rhyme or reason.
Shorter paragraphs make the reader feel as though the content will be easier to consume.
Learn to make it a habit.
How Long Should a Blog Post Be?
It’s been shown that longer blog posts do better in Google.
Well, it isn’t the fact that they just have a lot more words. It’s the fact that they can cover more stuff and be more comprehensive.
Google’s job is to ensure that its audience gets the information that they want and Google is more trusting with content that is more comprehensive around a topic to do that job.
For this reason, my rule of thumb is that I will not publish a blog post that is shorter than 1,200 words.
Writing Blog Posts for Traffic
Now you can see that when you write a blog post you should do so with intention. Every piece of content that you put out on your blog should pull its weight with regards to bringing traffic to the site.
If you follow the advice above you’ll find that your blog posts are much easier to write and that you should be gaining more traction with them.
If you’re interested in learning more about content creation for your blog then check out our Blog Simple Content Creation course which you can find in the Launch Framework.