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Every day, over 7 billion blog posts are published on the vast and never-ending ocean of the internet. Out of those billions of blogs, few can be seen on the surface of the water, sparkling and shining like jewels.
The rest get lost within the depths of the ocean, rarely seen or read. These are poorly written, planned and not SEO friendly blog articles.
Now, there’s so much information out there but not an extensive guide that walks you through the entire blog writing process.
From ideation to the last line of the blog, this guide has all you need to know for writing a perfect blog post in 2022.
4 Things To Consider Before You Start Writing
A well-written blog can convert attention into a potential transaction, start a domino effect of awareness, and accelerate online brand presence. The possibilities are endless.
That’s why first, ideating and clarity on certain things is necessary.
You can’t directly jump on the train of writing or typing. Sit back and think of the things that you should have complete lucidity on before writing.
Fortunately, you don’t need to pick your brain thinking that; we have done the job for you.
Here are 4 points to which you should have complete understanding and answers, with no room for ambiguity, before starting your blog post.
1. How Does It Add To Your Content Strategy?
Every piece of content that you curate is not a stand alone. It has its own purpose and intent, interconnected with the other content curated. For instance, if a blog post talks about a problem your target audience faces, there has to be a post that educates them about a solution; your service or product.
Think of content strategy as a roadmap to achieving your ultimate goal; brand visibility, sales or high ROI. Every blog post is like a building block to construct that roadmap. You don’t want to drive aimlessly, knowing where to end up but not how.
That’s why every article needs to be well-thought out and written with a clear purpose. Articles can’t be arbitrary posts without a connection to each other. Otherwise, they reflect a lost sense of direction in terms of what your brand is trying to convey. And if your audience is unable to understand and connect with the content you present, it completely defies the purpose of communication through it.
Hence, brainstorming and planning article posts are crucial for your content creation strategy. First, list out the topics you want to cover, pain points to address, and article posting frequency. Then, once they are in place, visualise and curate how each article post was written will fit into your content strategy.
You know that each blog has a purpose and an intent. Before you begin to formulate your thoughts into words, make sure that your approach to the blog aligns with the strategy.
The blog you will write is one small but extremely significant part of a bigger picture. Hence, understanding where the blog fits into the larger picture of the blog strategy is necessary. Your writing style, tonality and approach all depend on this understanding.
2. Who Is Your Target Audience?
Your blog has a purpose of serving, being it generating awareness, calling people to take any action to buy your product or service or both. But as important it is to have a purpose, it is more important to know who your goal serves.
If you’re selling a pen, you will look for a person willing to buy one or one who loves to write. That’s your target audience. Your product or service directly or indirectly helps them find a solution to their problem. The goal is to talk directly to them and convey your brand story and solution through words.
Now, you can sell a pen to a person who isn’t looking for one. But the chances are extremely low. That’s why it’s only sensible and smart to present a solution to those who need it or will benefit from it; target audience.
The target audience is who you are trying to communicate with through your blog. Identifying and understanding your target audience is the backbone for writing any piece of content you intend to publish on the internet. Therefore, prior to writing a blog post, know your audience. Cater your words and style accordingly, focus on the problem they face so that your blog creates maximum impact.
3. What Is The Intent Of Your Blog Post?
Even before you start to craft the first sentence of your blog, your intent should be crystal clear. From the beginning to the end, your blog’s intent or purpose should be reflected consistently and effectively.
You can’t deal with multiple pain points of your audience or angles in a single blog post.
There should be a singular intent of focus for your blog, and that’d be the priority. You don’t want competing priorities in a blog. It will create confusion and diminish the power of the message you are trying to convey.
Remember, you can walk and chew the gum at the same time, all you want. But not when it comes to blogs. You board one train of particular intent and craft your words accordingly.
Keep the focus and intent clear as day, and your blog will be an effective piece of communication.
4. What Is The Specific End Goal?
By far, you know where your blog fits into the content marketing strategy, the target audience and its intent. So, you have the roadmap and a sense of direction. But you’re not quite ready to drive yet. You need to know your final destination, your blog’s end goal.
Is it to increase brand awareness, generate leads or provide post-sales support? The end goal of a blog affects the direction and approach you to take while implementing the intent. Perceiving the specific end goal of your blog before writing will allow you to creatively craft a blog that drives the intent home.
Let’s say your blog’s end goal is to sell a pen to the reader. To do that, your blog should clearly convey how a pen will help them; that’s the intent.
That’s why you can present your intent through compelling reasons to justify the outcome of your goal only when you know your ultimate goal.
9 Steps To Writing The Perfect Blog Post
Until here, you’ve tackled the four essentials to know before writing a blog. Next comes the biggest slice of the cake or the cake itself; writing the blog.
Writing a blog post is not difficult but writing a good one is not a cakewalk. So, enough with the cake analogies, let’s get down to business (literally).
The following are the only nine steps you need to know, understand and implement to formulate the perfect blog post.
Step 1- Outline A Structure For A Smooth Content Flow
The fear of a blank screen can put the best writers at their wits’ end. Even though you know what to write, typing it out systematically at the start might seem intimidating. This often leads to a poorly constructed blog structure that has no content flow.
You end up jumping from one topic to another and writing in separate sections incoherently. Hence, without a seamless flow from one point to the other, a blog ends up reading like different topics poorly stitched together.
This dominantly decreases the quality of your blog. No matter how well it is written, without a flow, the readers will be unable to comprehend the blog’s intent.
The blog section on your website is a treasure trove for brand visibility and revenue generation. And poorly structured blogs throw down a gauntlet to your blog section’s success.
That’s why you need a basic framework or outline to help you build every blog post from the ground up. A framework isn’t just jotting down a few pointers for you to elaborate on.
It is a detailed layout that will allow you to write in an orderly manner. Moreover, it makes the readers navigate through your blog effortlessly and makes reading a pleasant experience.
Hence, an outline strikes the perfect balance to foster creativity in an organised manner.
But how to create an outline for your blog? It’s simple and can be achieved by following the below-mentioned steps.
- Know Your Topic Inside Out
You can’t start outlining without researching your topic. Hence, the first step is to do thorough research on the blog topic. For instance, if the topic is “benefits of blogging”, you should be well-versed with the nitty-gritty of blogging.
- Have A Clear Working Title
Next, it is necessary to know what exactly your blog is going to talk about or what question does it answer for your audience. Like, the working title “How Does Blogging Benefit Businesses?” evidently tells you that the blog should enlist the various advantages of blog writing for businesses.
It might not be as catchy as the final title, “5 Benefits Of Blogging For A Business“, but the purpose is clear. Of course, you can always jazz up the title later.
- Put Down All The Pointers And Decide The Format
This stage is the outcome of your research process. First, dump all the ideas and pointers that your blog should cover. Ironically, this process has nothing to do with the organisation. Writing everything down might seem like chaos, but it is part of the process.
Here, you also decide which kind of blog format to follow. A blog writing format, like a listicle or cheat sheet, simply takes your blog representation game to the next level. Demonstrate basic information in an appealing way and increase the conversion rate.
- Structure Your Pointers Into Sections
Now that you have a big pile of pointers and ideas, it’s time to sort them out! You’ll find many things fall under a broader category which will be your sub-heading. In a similar manner, you will have a few or more sub-headings depending upon the length of the blog.
Once you have your sections in place, you can easily designate each pointer or idea under them. And that’s how you organise the chaos of written ideas into a structured blog!
- Re-structure And Add More Details
With the working title and sections in place, you have the outline just about ready. All you need to do is to arrange the sections so that every section smoothly leads to the topic of the other section.
Add a few more details or headings if necessary. And there you have it, a perfect outline for a perfect blog post!
Step 2-A Solid Opening To Hook The Readers
It’s the first thing that gives the reader an insight into what the blog entails and what it has in store. A strong opening makes sure that your audience is captivated to stay and read further. And to make that possible, you have to hook the reader from the very first line of your blog.
You don’t want your audience to run out of steam while reading your blog. Hence, start strong, and craft attractive and relevant content. The short attention span in the first 30 seconds of someone clicking on your blog is all you got.
Within that time, you need to hook the readers and make them want to read your blog further. So, how do you do that?
Let’s dabble on three ways to do that.
- Throw In A Powerful Question
A good question pertinent to your topic holds power to invoke thought and curiosity. Ask a question, and engage the readers into staying for finding the answer out.
- State A Common Problem
We, humans, bond more over each other sorrows than happiness. That’s why by stating a common problem faced at the beginning, you bond with the reader by emotions and empathising.
- Start With An Exciting Fact
Statistics and evidence based information instantly excite and build credibility. The reader is encouraged to read further and know more about the given topic.
If you get the opening right and get the readers hooked, from there on, it’s a smooth ride to perfection.
Step 3- Write The Way You Speak
Robots don’t write compelling blog posts; human beings do. Creativity is the essence of writing a blog post, and only humans can invoke that. Don’t focus too much on “writing for the search engines”. Instead, focus on communicating and connecting with your audience.
Today, people and Google both are smarter than ever. If your blog post sounds robotic, is stuffed with keywords, and straightaway reads like a sales pitch, the reader will simply lose interest and leave the website. And possibly never look back.
On the other hand, Google will penalise you for practices like keyword stuffing and hinder your visibility on the search engine.
People want to hear stories and feel connections. They want to believe and talk to other human beings, not machines. Hence, write as you speak to your audience. Use a conversational tone with a friendly approach. This also helps build a sense of trust between the reader and the brand.
Let’s not forget about adding personality to your blog articles. The holy grail to ensure not sounding robotic and elicit emotion in your audience. But what does adding personality mean?
Personality in writing a blog post basically means being authentic and having a unique voice. This authenticity and uniqueness combined with tonality and writing style will develop your blog’s personality. Personality also ships in a relatability factor to your content.
If your blog doesn’t have a personality, it’s like having pasta without the sauce; dry, flavourless and unappetising. And who wants to read a blog like that?
The aim of writing a blog post is to convey and communicate a story. Using unnecessary difficult words confuses the reader and disrupts the flow of information.
Moreover, beating around the bush is never a good idea unless you’re avoiding something embarrassing to talk about. Hence, while writing a blog post, come straight to the point.
Crisp and jargon-free content is the ideal combination for writing any piece of content. Let’s understand this with an example.
“Today, Search Engine Optimisation is an indispensable benchmark for each and every online business organisation around the world.”
This can be written in a much crisper way without altering the intent like:
“Search Engine Optimisation is an essential benchmark for any online business organisation today.”
When the crux is to convey, why complicate it?
Your story should be simple, well-written and easy to understand. If people wanted to rack their brains, they would read Quantum theory, not a blog.
Step 4- Use Images That Are Relevant To The Content
Images with your blog posts are like visual treats for your readers. They keep the readers enticed, engaged and interested. In addition, sometimes, it also helps readers to visualise and relate to the content written.
There’s no hard and fast rule as to how many images you can add per blog post. However, one per 150 words is the common denominator of some of the best blogs on the internet.
The first image in a blog is added right below the title. That’s called the lead image. Your image should be engaging and attention-grabbing, just like your headline.
The lead image is the face of the visual representation of the content. Naturally, it should be relevant to written content. You can’t talk about the moon and add an image of your local pizza store.
Relevancy is of prime importance here. Just like your content should be relevant to the given topic, your images should be coherent with the content. Otherwise, it’ll look simply ridiculous.
The only question that is left answered is where to find relevant images? Everyone is not a photographer with a vast range of quality images. Well, just like a million other things, the answer lies on the internet.
Websites like Unsplash and Freepik have innumerable quality images for free. You can choose from the many options available and cherry pick to your liking. You can also get their premium version if you want to take your image game up a notch.
Step 5- Add A Strong And Compelling CTA
CTA stands for Call To Action, which literally means asking the reader to take action. In a blog, CTAs are mostly included in the conclusion. That’s because, by the end, you have explained the topic at length. And it’s time to tell the readers to take the next step after reading the blog.
We discussed a blog’s specific end goal and its importance earlier. Through a CTA, you ensure that your blog’s end goal is conveyed to your audience. It can be direct or indirect, straightforward or subtle, depending upon the intent and the end goal.
If your end goal was to sell a pen, your conclusion should have a CTA encouraging the readers to purchase. How skilfully you present determines the quality of your CTA.
Here, simply adding “Buy our pens from here” would be very unappealing and rather instructive.
Instead, writing, “Pen is mightier than the sword, and that’s why choose yours wisely from our wide range of collection” is an effective yet subtle way to invoke the same action.
Hence, a blog post without an effective CTA is a golden opportunity missed. There are many versions and ways of writing a CTA.
Let’s have a look at a few most common ones.
- Ask To Drop A Comment!
One of the most common but constructive ways is to ask the readers to engage and stay on the website. Eventually, leading to brand awareness and sales.
For example, “Did you enjoy the random facts about pens? Let us know in the comments below.”
- Call For A Debate!
Create dialogues and initiate conversations, debates and ideas through powerful questions and asking the readers to get involved. This type of CTA works best when you’re writing about something that isn’t black and white.
For example, “Do you agree that the pen is mightier than the sword? Tell us why or why not in the comments below!”
- Sell Your Product or Service
In this type, we are directly asking the readers to check out their products and services to purchase. Simple, sweet and direct.
For example, “Check out our brand new ballpoint pens.”
- Share The Blog On Social Media
Shares of blog posts on Social Media platforms signals the search engines that your content is of top quality and relevance. This, in turn, gives an SEO boost.
For example, “Did you find this blog helpful? Feel free to share on Facebook or Twitter!”
- Invite To The Mailing List
Email lists are crucial assets in marketing for many businesses, and CTAs asking the readers to join the mailing list are quite common but impactful.
For example, “Want more blogs like this? Subscribe to our mailing list to never miss a blog from us.”
Step 6- End With A Impactful Conclusion
When it comes to conclusions, simply summarise your blog. It’s a no brainer move. Conclusions don’t need to be fancy or unnecessarily long. Be crisp, write the main points that encapsulate the blog in its entirety and bring it to a close.
Your conclusion should be powerful as well. If you don’t leave an impact at the end, it diminishes the blog’s potential. Simple doesn’t mean ordinary. You can add cliffhangers, raise a question or finish the blog with a poignant statement.
Adding CTAs and thought-provoking statements in your conclusion is also a worthwhile practice. It’s a perfect opportunity to initiate your readers to quite literally take action, to explore your online store or to buy a product.
The thought-provoking and stirring ending to a blog ensures that your reader is intrigued to stay longer on the website, take action and potentially become a customer.
Step 7- Craft A Headline That Makes People Click
A headline should be intriguing and powerful enough to grab the reader’s attention. After all, when on Google, you initially judge a blog by its title. Even though this step is towards the finishing line, its importance is paramount.
People, nowadays, aren’t big on attention; not surprising. If they are searching for a blog on “Importance Of Content Marketing“, they would read the first blog they click on with a catchy title.
And even if your blog contents are better than their counterparts, the lack of charm in your headline will cost you.
Just think, if people don’t click to read your blog, then what’s the entire point of writing a spectacular one?
Let’s understand this better with an example.
A blog headline called “What is Blog Writing?” sounds dull. It’s bland and gives an impression that the information will be limited.
Whereas “Blog Writing 101: What Is A Blog? And Why It Is Not What You Think?” sounds intriguing and inviting. The headline gives an insight that the information will be abundant.
Same intent, same contents, just a better way of presenting it for the appeal of the human mind.
Step 8- Proofread And Make Necessary Edits
Proofreading and editing are not like optional subjects but elementary ones. Writers often skip this step, assuming it’s unnecessary or simply because they find it redundant.
That’s where it might go all wrong. To err is human but to not proofread is a blunder. Writing the blog is the first part of the job. Refining it with rounds of proofreading and editing is the second and crucial step.
Proofreading and editing go hand-in-hand. Often considered one, they are two very distinct steps.
Proofreading entails reading and correcting mistakes on the go. On the other hand, editing involves a much deeper level of correction, like reframing sentences and paragraphs. One step follows the other, and together they ensure your blog is error free and good to go!
To make your job easier, here’s a quick cheat for you.
- Check for grammatical errors
- Cut out the jargon!
- Re-check the content flow
- Add links and images
- Read the entire blog
- Repeat point 5 for good measure!
Step 9- Optimise The Content For Search Engines
You have written the perfect blog, but no one can find it on the vast internet. Why? Probably because you didn’t SEO optimize it.
If you want to build an online presence, SEO-friendly content is non-negotiable. With SEO strategies, amazing content becomes available and reachable to your audience.
Think of SEO optimized blogs as an open gateway to garner website traffic. Without SEO, the gateway is closed, and even though there’s quality information on one side, there’s no way the audience can access it.
But how do you SE optimise the content? Let’s take a quick dive.
- Use Keywords In The Right Frequency
Keywords are the necessary probes of content writing in the digital era. Every piece of content that you write will include keywords. And a blog is no different.
The ideal frequency of primary and secondary keywords is 1-2 every 100 words. For instance, if “Ghostwriting” is the primary keyword in a blog of 800 words. Then, it can be used up to 8 times, and anything above that leads to keyword stuffing.
- Add A Title Tag
The web page title will appear on the SERP and the browser title bar. The title tag is a short and extremely crisp way of presenting your blog topic. The upper limit is only 60 characters, and that’s all you have to put your point across.
- Write A Meta-Description
It is the blurb that appears right under the title tag on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), which entails what the blog is about in a gist. The maximum limit of a meta description is 156 characters.
- Add Image Tags or Alt Text
Often given less importance, this is a crucial step if you’re adding images. Alt-text is descriptions of the pictures used. If, for some reason, the image is not able to view, the description helps visualise and make sense of that image.
In addition, the internet is an inclusive place. Alt text also helps people with impaired vision to understand the images used while information is read out to them.
All in all, alt texts increase accessibility to your website and thus, falls under SEO.
- Adding Inbound And Outbound Links
Inbound links are links to different pages on your websites, whereas outbound links are the other websites. Linking accentuates brand visibility by ten folds and is an important SEO practice.
For instance, if you’ve used a statistic in your blog, simply link the source, and you’ll have an outbound link. Similarly, if you link another article in your blog post, it is an inbound link.
Congratulations, now you know all the steps of blog writing forwards and backwards. If you follow these steps and trust the process, nothing is stopping you from crafting the perfect blog post.
Blogging and content writing are the ideal way to establish brand presence and attract a wide global audience. If you’re not utilizing the potential power of blogs as a content marketing strategy, you’re missing out on tons of opportunities.
If you were struggling with writing a blog post or you were facing a creative block, this article holds the solution for you. So, use this nine-step pedestal as the pathway to a successful blog and witness the growth in action!