(STEP-BY-STEP) How To Write Blog Posts Effectively

How To Write Blog Posts Effectively
Reading Time: 9 minutes

Writing content, as any writer will tell you, is an art form.

Fortunately, it’s an art form that can be systematized to an extent – at least until you’re confident enough to get more creative.

In this article, I explain our exact 9-step process for consistently writing high-quality blog posts.

Don’t have the time to write your own content, get in touch today because we’d love to help.

Let’s get into it.

9 Steps For Effectively Writing Great Content

We’ve written hundreds of articles for our customers, and during this time we’ve developed a writing system that takes the guesswork out of content creation.

Use these 9 steps to write better content for your blog:

  1. Research content topics
  2. Identify content structure
  3. Establish your headings
  4. Create a bulleted list
  5. Fill out your content
  6. Add outbound links
  7. Include relevant media
  8. Finalize your editing
  9. Optimize your slug and post

If you’re unsure about any of these points, don’t worry because I’m going to be covering them in more detail below.

The idea of this system is to have a step-by-step method with templates for creating content that reduces the time spent researching, structuring, writing, editing, and linking your content.

Each of these steps is important, so you use this list to keep track of the process for each article you create.

Now let’s take a closer look.

Step 1: Research Content Topic

Before you start writing, make sure you have all the information you need about the topic.

Having a broad understanding of the topic makes writing much smoother, and you’ll know which facts and statistics you can draw from as you need them.

More importantly, make sure the topic you’re writing about is something people are looking for answers on.

This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – writing content that Google can use as a resource for people searching for answers to their problems.

When your website comes up and you provide readers with a solution, they’re more likely to trust you and take you up on your paid offer.

Another word for SEO content is revenue-generating content.

This is because instead of writing content and it sitting dormant on your website, this content actively works to funnel inbound leads to your business.

So how exactly do you find these search terms? Easy!

There are many ways to find these keywords, but my 2 favorites and most reliable are:

Use Frequently Asked Questions

Write down every question your customers or potential customers ask you.

They won’t be the only people with those questions, and answering their questions with a clear and concise blog post allows you to answer the same question for people asking them on Google.

Use Google Search

Believe it or not, Google actually tells you what people are searching for in their “People also ask” section.

Simply search your main topic on Google and scroll to the POA section, and there you’ll go down a rabbit hole of great content ideas.

If you’re interested in 3 more ways you can find thousands of content topics for your blog, get our 7-Figure Blogging Kit here.

Now that you’ve found a topic to write about, it’s time to figure out what structure your content should take.

Step 2: Identify Content Structure

The best content in the world has 1 thing in common, a logical layout that makes sense to the reader and takes them down a structured reader journey.

If your articles are too erratic and readers struggle to make sense of the information, they’ll leave and your content will perform badly.

Your articles need to be logical, and entertaining should be packed with information and should get to the point as quickly, and with as little fluff as possible.

Fortunately, we’ve identified 3 main content structures that work for 80%+ of your blog posts:

List Article

List articles typically target a single topic, like “best laptops for gaming”.

They have a simple structure where each heading is an item in a list.

These work great for pretty much any content that can be separated into a list.

Guide Article

Guide articles (like this one) are similar in structure to list articles.

However, instead of each heading being an item in a list, they represent steps in a process for achieving a certain goal or solving a certain problem.

Guide articles also target a single topic, like for example, “how to reset my Dell laptop”.

Semantic Soup Article

Semantic Soup articles are different because they’re not targeting single topics, but rather multiple smaller keywords under the main topic.

For example, if the main topic (article title) is “How to create a website”, then your subheadings might be:

  1. “How to sign up for website hosting”
  2. “How to install WordPress”

And any other subheadings that would fall under the main umbrella topic – that don’t justify having their own blog post.

The benefit of Semantic Soup articles is that they’ll rank for multiple keywords.

These 3 content structures are all you need to get started today, and then you can start getting more creative as you develop your writing skill.

If you’d like detailed instructions with templates, they’re available in our blogging kit.

Now that you’ve decided on the best structure for your topic, it’s time to establish your headings.

Step 3: Establish Your Headings

The easiest way to start writing any blog post is to first establish your headings.

By understanding what information goes where, you can speed up your writing and make sure all the information you want to discuss is included.

Very often people start writing without establishing their headings and end up with confusing pieces of content with no real structure, and missing important key details.

So it’s worth confirming your headings before you start writing the body of your content.

There are 3 types of headings you should establish before you start writing:

Optimize Your Main Heading (H1)

Your main heading (article title) should include the main keyword or topic for which you’re trying to rank.

This tells Google and your readers what your article is about, so make sure it’s clear and intriguing enough to encourage click-throughs from the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Optimize Your Secondary Headings (H2)

Your secondary header (H2) will be the main points you’re trying to discuss, whether they be list items or steps in a guide.

Making them H2 tells Google they’re supporting the main H1 topic and tells readers how to relate these points to your main topic.

Optimize Your Tertiary Headings (H3)

You’ll probably use H3s less than the others, but they’re also important if your list items or guide steps include information that also needs to be separated out using headings.

This again creates a hierarchy for both Google and your reader, showing them how the whole piece of content fits together.

Once you’ve got your headings laid out correctly, creating content becomes much simpler.

Rather than attempting to write an entire body of content from start to finish, you can jump from heading to heading and fit the pieces of content together like a puzzle with each section being independent of the others.

This also makes it easier if you need to shuffle content around, which happens often during the editing process.

Step 4: Create A Bulleted List

Now that you’ve established which headings you’ll be using to build out your blog post, it’s time to summarize it.

Why? I’ll tell you why.

You’ll get two types of readers for your article:

  1. People who want ALL the information
  2. People who want the SUMMARY

It’s important to cater to both types of readers or you’ll end up losing out.

Your first H2 should always contain your main keyword and be a summarized list of the rest of your article (Psst. take a look at the bulleted list at the start of this blog post to see what I mean).

This gives impatient people the information they need right at the top of the post, and detail-oriented people get more information as they read further down.

Pro Tip: A summarized list is often what Google uses as a featured snippet. So creating a list like this can actually improve your chances of attracting visitors.

Step 5: Fill Out your Content

So now it’s time to start writing the body of your blog post.

You’ll find that by structuring your article using headings first (Step 3), writing a long piece becomes less daunting.

Because you don’t have to write an entire 1,500-word article from start to finish in one go.

Instead, you can address each section as its own small piece of content consisting of 150 – 300 words, depending on how many headings you have.

It also helps to keep your content structured and on topic.

There are essentially 3 types of content you should include:

Write Your Intro

Your intro is the first bit of content between your main heading (H1) and your first subheading (H2).

Since it’s the first thing people read after your H1, it should be short, enticing, and tell your reader exactly what they’ll learn in your article.

The longer people remain uncertain, the more likely they are to bounce away from your website.

Look at the start of this article if you want to see what I mean.

One more thing to remember: Always include your call-to-action (CTA) in your intro.

Write Content For Each Heading

This is the meat of your article.

The content that provides the most value and actually teaches your reader something.

Something many writers struggle with is keeping their content on topic, so use your headings as signposts to help you stay on point.

Keep your content easy to read and engaging by:

  1. Keeping sentences short
  2. Make paragraphs a maximum of 2 sentences
  3. Remove any fluff that might cause boredom
  4. Keep your sentences packed with useful information
  5. Don’t use technical terms or industry jargon without defining them

The general rule of thumb is to write your articles so the average 16-year-old would understand them.

Most people don’t want to read a technical write-up of information like a textbook.

Rather, they want to be guided along with accessible language that doesn’t confuse them.

So keep your writing simple and avoid over-complicated language.

Write Your Outro

Your outro is a brief summary of your article’s conclusion.

Like your intro, it should be short and informative – but more importantly, it should have a purpose.

You should be preparing your reader to do one of 4 things:

  1. Click to read another article
  2. Click on a link to your offer or an affiliate product
  3. Fill in a contact form
  4. Engage with a lead magnet (a free downloadable resource in exchange for their contact details)

You do this by linking what they’ve just learned in your article to whatever the action is you’re asking them to take.

This optimizes your CTA and increases conversions.

Step 6: Add Outbound Links

You’ve probably heard about backlinking, where other websites link to yours which increases your authority.

But one of the most overlooked and misunderstood areas of blogging is outbound linking.

You should be careful linking out of your article, or you’ll unnecessarily leak traffic away from your website.

But there are 3 reasons you might want to link out of your article:

Internally Link To Relevant Articles

Internal linking is not only important for providing your readers with additional resources on your website, but it’s important for your SEO too.

Google wants to see that your website is a complete resource for its readers.

So if you can link to other articles on your own website addressing relevant topics connected to the current one, then you should consider doing so.

Think of your articles as nodes on a web of content, connected by internal links.

Linking to other articles strengthens the node (but don’t overdo it).

Link To External Resources

Not only does Google want to see you linking to your own content, but they also want to see you linking to citations.

Like citations in a university paper, they’re there to prove that what you’re saying is true.

Great options for external resources are research papers or articles written by other websites with high authority.

For example, if I was writing an article about “how to create a website” and I had a section mentioning CSS code, I might give an explanation of the basic process and then link out to an article with more CSS resources (ideally with a higher domain authority than mine).

This way, Google knows what you’re saying is true and backed by already reputable sources, and you’re also giving your reader more value.

Yes, this does mean that you’ll lose some visitors, but it’s worth it for the authority those citations produce and simply to be the best resource for people.

Include Call-To-Action (CTA) Links

The last and most important outbound link is your call-to-actions or CTAs.

These are the links that send people from your articles to your offer, whether that be free or paid.

Make your CTA stand out with bolded text, underlining it, making it an actual button, and even using pop-ups works great.

Unlike the other two outbound links, your CTA should be your most prominent link on the page.

It should be the most obvious next step for your reader to take.

One of the metrics you can optimize for with your CTA is your click-through rate (CTR) – the ratio of people who read your article compared to those who click on your link.

The more people you can get to click on your link, the more leads you can generate.

Step 7: Include Relevant Media

It’s important to keep your content informative, but it’s just as important to keep it engaging so people read and scroll for longer.

If people stop reading and bounce away from your article, Google will see this as a poor user experience – penalizing your blog post.

So be sure to include:

  1. Different media (images, video, gifs)
  2. Tables
  3. Charts
  4. Bolded text
  5. Bulleted lists

And generally, anything that changes the pattern of your page regularly, or your reader will get bored.

Step 8: Finalize Your Editing

Before you publish, always do one final editing sweep through your post.

Here are 6 things to look out for:

  1. Look for spelling and punctuation errors
  2. Improve sentences and fix grammatical issues
  3. Double-check your links
  4. Make sure your images have alt text
  5. Check for stylistic issues (layout, color, bolded text, etc)
  6. Check your headings are correct (style and order)

You don’t want to write a great article only to have an embarrassing spelling mistake undermine your message.

Step 9: Optimize Slug and Publish

Before you publish your article, it’s important to ensure your slug is correct.

The slug is the section in your URL after your domain name for that specific blog post.

For example, this blog post’s slug is: /how-to-write-blog-posts-effectively

So the entire URL is: writer.expert/how-to-write-blog-posts-effectively

The closer to your target keyword you can make your slug, the better Google will understand the topic you’re trying to rank for.

And a good rule of thumb is to keep your URLs as short as possible, so take out any redundant words like “step-by-step”, “guide”, or “explained”.

Conclusion

Writing blog posts effectively comes down to a balance of systems and creativity.

If you use a system or framework for your content, it allows you to focus on being as creative as possible without having to think of fonts, structures, formatting, research, etc.

Writing great content takes time, but it’s important because it’s the first interaction many of your leads have with your business.

Don’t have time to create great content that’ll convert readers like clockwork?

Get in touch today and let’s get your content strategy going as soon as possible.

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