How much time has passed since you started writing? Five minutes, an hour, maybe even two?
Your head hits the keyboard as you sigh in disbelief. How can this be happening again?
If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone.
Whether you’re facing writers block or a creative slump, creating compelling content can feel elusive.
The good news? While writing great blog content on a consistent basis can seem overwhelming, it is possible.
Just take a look at some of today’s most successful writers and authors. How did they achieve the status of the best and brightest?
Each one committed to honing their craft through consistent efforts.
Whether you’re a newbie blogger or looking to improve your next blog post, you’ve come to the right place.
Here you’re going to learn seven steps to writing a great blog post every time!
Steps to Writing Your Best Blog Post
STEP 1: Make it Convincing
The first paragraph of your post will be the deciding factor. To quote the musical group the Clash, the question on your reader’s lips is,
“Should I stay or should I go?” (click here for your blast from the past)
You have one chance to grab your reader’s attention. Don’t miss the opportunity to craft an opening to your blog post that seizes your audience’s attention from the moment they land on your blog.
Take these tips from Copyblogger to open your blog post with a bang:
- Ask a question.
- Share an anecdote or quote.
- Invoke the mind’s eye.
- Use an analogy, metaphor or simile
- Cite a shocking statistic.
STEP 2: Speak to an Audience of ONE
I speak a lot about the importance of knowing your niche and understanding the needs of your target market.
Speaking to an audience of one takes that knowledge one step further. It embraces your core reader and defines who they are in detail. What does your typical blog reader enjoy reading and what specifics are they researching when they visit your blog?
How to Identify Content for Your Core Audience:
- Put yourself in the shoes of your target market. What challenges do they face, what questions do they have and what problems do you solve?
- What is your competition talking about? Does that seem relevant to your audience?
- Now look to the Internet. Research keywords and phrases that your audience would type in if they were looking for your product or service.
The more time you spend researching, the better you’ll understand exactly what potential readers are looking for and how you can best meet their needs.
STEP 3: Keep it Focused
Stick to one topic per post. Be brief and informative, but always know your goals before you find yourself rambling and down an unrelated rabbit hole.
Steps to getting started:
- Get clear by outlining the key points that will support your topic.
- Now flesh out those key points and express the why, what and how of your post.
- Write down – why your reader should care, what they will learn by reading your content and how this post will make their life/business easier or better.
- Finally, identify the most important takeaway that you’ll leave your readers with.
STEP 4: Make it Readable and Scannable
No matter the length of your post, it’s important to keep it scannable and readable.
Visitors are moving at the speed of light. Make it simple to quickly assess your article and theme.
A few tips:
- Stay away from technical terms or industry jargon that your typical reader (someone not working within your business) wouldn’t understand.
- Don’t use acronyms or other terms that make a reader question what they mean. If a reader can’t quickly discern what you’re message is, they’ll move on with the possibility of never returning.
- Format your post – use h1 through h6 heading elements, bold, italics, short and concise paragraphs, bulleted lists, graphics and other media to break up the post.
- Read through your post. Does it feel clunky or uncomfortable? If it doesn’t flow for you, it won’t for your reader either.
- Edit ruthlessly!
STEP 5: Give it a Great Headline
Your blog post title is similar to any marketing headline. Readers, just like consumers, make snap decisions based on your title or headline.
The goal is to draw readers in through short, catchy and straightforward titles. You want your blog post title to incite interest and produce action, but only through an honest promise of what’s to come.
Tips to a Great Blog Title:
- Evoke emotion
- Personalize the content
- Solve a problem
- Simplify a process
- Encourage an action
- Take a stand
- Reveal a key strategy
- Offer unique insight and advice
- Make a promise your content keeps
- Set expectations
STEP 6: Make Sure its Shareable
The quickest way to creating shareable content is to produce an eye-catching graphic. Not only that, but images make an immediate impact.
Did you know:
Encourage readers to share your content across multiple social channels by offering at least one branded image. What do I mean by this?
Steer clear of anything that reeks of a stock photo or doesn’t feel “on brand” for your business.
Every social network requires a different size image. If you’re ambitious and want to create a unique graphic for each social network, you can find those dimensions in this handy post from Courtney Robertson
STEP 7: Tidy it Up
Always examine and tidy up your post before publishing. Eliminate any needless words or phrases. Keep it short and to the point, removing any adjectives or adverbs that only belabor a sentence.
Run it through spellcheck and if you don’t feel like sentence structure is your strength, hire a Virtual Assistant to review on your behalf.
Add a Persuasive Call to Action
You’ve written a great post and you’re ready to go live. Don’t hit that share button quite yet!
Make sure you’ve added your compelling call to action. This should be the exact next-step you’re asking your readers to take. Whether it’s a subscription or download, give clear instructions. You never want to assume they know what you want them to do.
A great blog post should inspire, encourage, motivate and captivate your audience. The goal is to give them a persuasive reason to return to your blog time and again.