People who don’t blog might see blog posts as words on a screen that give helpful information. However, people who write blogs understand that modern blog posts are purpose-driven and designed to make an impact in some way. That purpose might be driving sales, answering questions, or establishing your brand as a leader in your industry. Whatever the reason, your blog post can get you there.
One in five bloggers say that blogging gives them “strong results,” according to Orbit Media data. Perhaps that’s why bloggers spend an average of four hours writing just one blog post.
In this guide, we’ll strip down the process of how to write a blog post to show you, step-by-step, how to build one that gets the results you expect.
How to Write a Blog Post: 9 Simple Steps
A lot more work goes into a blog post than meets the eye. Behind one blog post on a website are hours of topic brainstorming, content outlining, editing, promoting, and more. Follow the steps below to understand how to write a blog post that succeeds on your site.
Step 1. Brainstorm Topics to Write About
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A good blog post always starts with a focused topic that makes sense for your blog. Before you embark on writing your first blog post, start a spreadsheet or list of general topics you’d like your blog to focus on. For instance, an accounting software blog might talk about taxes, small businesses, and accounting technology.
Then, brainstorm subtopics within those general topics. If you wanted to drill down the small business aspect of accounting, you might form topics like 10 Tips to Become a Paperless Small Business or 7 Benefits of Outsourcing Your Accounting Tasks.
How do you go about finding the right topics to write about?
First, think of the type of post you’d like to write, like:
- Introduction/brand awareness: This type of post is popular for first blog posts. Use it to introduce yourself or your business, talk about the goal of your blog, and invite viewers to learn more by exploring the rest of your site.
- News: Share industry news with a news post. They’re typically short and to the point and may include quotes from experts or links to other reliable sources.
- Listicle: Listicles are very popular in modern blogging. They round up several items relating to the blog topic, which might be something along the lines of How to Get Customer Testimonials for Your Products or Services.
- How-to: How-to posts dig deep into a topic. The goal is usually to rank high in search engines and become a go-to source for information on that topic. These are usually lengthy posts with lots of subtopics and are usually best for established blogs with several other relevant blog posts that you can link to from within your how-to guide.
- Statistical: Share lots of important statistics relating to your niche in a statistical post. The primary purpose of these blog posts is to get backlinks to your post as a source for other posts.
- Story: Share a personal anecdote or relatable story with your audience. Story posts are sometimes sprinkled in with more source-driven informational posts.
Once you’ve landed on a blog post type you want to start with, begin brainstorming. Here are a few ways to come up with topics that align with your blog:
- Find other blogs in your niche, and draw inspiration from their posts.
- Search social media to find out what’s trending or what people are asking. For instance, you might check out what hashtags are trending on Twitter or browse the most popular TikTok hashtags for inspiration.
- Type a topic into Google’s search bar and see what questions people are asking relating to that topic in the ‘People Also Ask’ section in the SERPs.
- If you have an audience on social media or email, ask them what they’d like to see.
- Browse online forums, like Quora or Reddit, for subject ideas.
Step 2. Research Keywords
With a topic in mind, it’s time to research keywords you’ll use for search engine optimization (SEO). Ideally, use a mix of short-tail and long-tail keywords.
Short-tail keywords are usually just one word or two. These short phrases can help search engines understand what your blog post is about to show it to the right people. Long-tail keywords are longer phrases — sometimes even almost-full sentences — that help search engines show your content in highly relevant search results.
Long-tail keywords are more specific than short-tail keywords. Therefore, they usually have a lower search volume and are not as competitive.
Use free keyword research tools to find a few short-tail and long-tail keywords to use in your blog post. They’ll give you ideas of the least competitive keywords that you could have a good chance of ranking with.
Plug those keywords into Google to see what kind of results come up for each. Explore what other blogs in those results are covering, and aim to write a piece that’s even better and more in-depth.
Step 3. Plan the Blog Post
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Your keywords create the foundation for your blog post. Use them to turn your brainstorming ideas into a workable outline that you’ll later flesh out into a comprehensive post.
Start by typing your main topic as your headline. You’ll tweak this later to create an enticing, clickable headline. Jot down subtopics that you want to talk about in your blog post based on the keyword research you did. For example, the keyword how to start selling toys on eBay might be a good idea for a headline.
Now, in your content editor, organize your thoughts into a structured outline. Use H2, H3, and H4 headings to divide your article into digestible chunks. Don’t write any text yet to fill out each section; this happens later. Right now, focus on creating sections that flow from one to the next logically. Ideally, create a new heading to break up any sections that might go over 300 words.
Step 4. Compile Sources
It’s time to conduct more research, but this time for your blog post content rather than keywords.
External links — those that point to other websites from within your blog post — can boost your blog’s trustworthiness. External links also can help your blog build relationships with other industry leaders. It’s beneficial to have at least a few external links of content from reputable sites in your blog post.
Browse your blog post’s content sections to see where you can use sources to back up what you’ll write. Journal articles, news articles, customer review sites, and tutorial videos from industry leaders can all be great places to start.
Find somewhere to organize the sources you want to use. You might create a new bookmark folder in your browser, add them to a Google Doc, or place them right into your blog post outline to refer to later. As you sift through each source, keep notes of key pieces of information you’d like to include in your blog post.
Depending on your blog post topic, your content might benefit from a few expert quotes. Use networks that connect writers to experts, like ProfNet and HARO, to request expert help.
Step 5. Write a Catchy Headline and Intro
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Your blog headline should be something that stands out on your blog and encourages people to click. Possibly even more importantly is having it stand out to people in search engine results because you want them to make it over to your site.
A good headline should:
- Be trustworthy (your post should align with whatever it claims)
- Be unique from other articles on the same topic
- Include trigger words that leave an emotional imprint on your audience
- Include a keyword, if possible
Next, write your introduction. This should be relatively short and sweet, letting your reader know why you’re writing the post and what they can expect to take away from it. It should also touch on a specific problem your reader might have that your post can help them solve.
If you’re feeling stuck with your intro, it’s okay. Lots of bloggers choose to write the introduction after wrapping up their blog posts so that they can more easily tie their ideas into a concise section that leads to the rest.
Step 6. Write the Blog Post
Using the outline you created and information from the sources you compiled, fill out each section of your blog post. You might choose to write it all in one sitting or break it down into chunks over a few days — it’s up to you.
When writing, try to break up long paragraphs into easier-to-read pieces. For instance, make some paragraphs just one or two sentences. Others can be three or four, but avoid having long walls of text to make your post more skimmable.
Also, remember that subheadings are your friend. If you’ve used mostly H2 and H3 headings, add some H4 headings in longer sections. They help you keep sections shorter and make it easier for your readers to find the information they’re looking for.
Don’t forget to write a short, concise conclusion. It should restate some key ideas you’ve talked about in your post. Include a call-to-action to encourage readers to do something specific with the information you just gave them, like signing up for your newsletter to get more tips.
Step 7. Edit the Post
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After completing your post, it’s editing time. Professional bloggers often work with an editor to polish their posts. But if you’re just getting started, it’s entirely acceptable to self-edit.
Start by reading through your blog post. You might find sentences you can restructure or simplify to make them clearer. If you use WordPress, consider adding Yoast, a plugin that offers readability tips to improve your reader’s experience.
Read through your blog post again after your first round of edits. Use this editing time to clean up the post, shorten paragraphs, and get closer to your finished blog post. Also, check that you’ve included the keywords you want to use in your post.
If possible, do a third round of editing where someone else reads your post. A new set of eyes on your work can usually catch a few things that you’ve missed.
Step 8. Add Images, Links, and Formatting
Tie up the loose ends of your blog post. First, skim through the post — preferably, in ‘Preview’ mode in your content manager — to see if there are any formatting issues. Make sure that your paragraphs aren’t too long, sections are broken up into subheadings, and there aren’t too many bold or italicized sentences or phrases. Or, consider adding some bold and italics to a few important words or ideas if you haven’t yet.
Next, add images. Images can increase the shareability of your blog post, make your content more memorable, and visually enhance your post. They can also help break up long blocks of text to make your blog post more scannable. Find free images on Pexels, Unsplash, and Creative Commons.
Finally, add a couple of internal links — links that point to another page on your site — from within your post. Internal links help search engines understand what your site is about and can give you some extra ranking power. As you add more blog content, this will become easier. For now, link to one or two relevant pages on your site, like a contact page or product page.
Step 9. Promote Your Blog Post
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Once you write a blog post, your work isn’t over. You also need to promote blog content to give it a nudge once it’s on the web. There are virtually endless ways to promote a blog post, but here are several tried and true methods:
- Pin your post on Pinterest
- Share on Facebook or Twitter
- Tell your followers on Instagram
- Link to it in an Instagram Story
- Send out an email blast
- Share it on LinkedIn
- Create a Facebook Ad
- Make an infographic for other sites to link to
- Syndicate your post on Medium or another platform
You can also enlist the help of others to share your blog content for you. Simply download and install share buttons to make it easy for blog readers to share your posts to their favorite social platforms, like Facebook or Reddit.
The Ultimate Guide on How to Write a Blog Post
Your website is one of the best marketing tools you have to promote your products or services and position yourself as a trustworthy authority in your industry. Your blog posts can tell stories, drive brand awareness, and give readers the information they’re looking for. And when you install social media share buttons on your blog, your readers can do some of the heavy lifting for you by sharing your carefully crafted posts with their networks with a single click.