Monday February 18, 2019
How clueless are you when it comes to writing a successful blog post? (No judgment here, we all started from somewhere!)
Have you ever asked or wondered these questions:
"How long should a blog post be?"
"How do I write a successful blog post?"
"Where do I find photos for my blog post?"
Every time I lead a workshop, I get asked these questions and more. Because I get asked this so much, I wanted to answer these questions and more with you here on my blog! And then offer you a tool that you can use over and over again that will continue to help you become a better writer and communicator (which equals influencer in your field).
Know your blog post topic.
The first thing you need to know is what you're going to talk about inside of your blog post. This is a given, but sometimes this one step, which is your first step, can be daunting.
If you're a business coach, then think about the frequently asked questions you receive and answer one of them in depth in a blog post. If you really want to write content that sizzles with your ideal audience, then know your audience and their burning desire to craft content that generates views and traffic.
Have a Catchy Headline
You have seconds to capture the attention of your ideal audience. If your headline is not catchy, then no one will read or click on your blog post. I love using CoSchedule Headline Analyzer Tool which gives me a score on my headline based on four different elements to craft better headlines. The headline that it gave me for this post was 71.
Here are some tactics you can use to create a catchy headline:
Curiosity killed the cat and human beings are not much different (it's true!). Create a sense of curiosity in your headline that leaves your audience in suspense or waiting for more so they have to click to read your post in order to know what the secret is.
Use hot topics
Hot topics can be anything from politics to an app everyone loves but you hate. If you use a hot topic and decide to go against the grain, you may want to be prepared for feedback, especially if you're in the space of politics or known heated discussions.
If people are asking you questions about a given subject, make that into a headline!
How-tos are very popular online because just about everyone wants to know how to do something. I love writing how-to articles and lists!
Lists are another popular headline tactic that you can use because it tells the readers they are going to get X amount of information in a given blog post. I love using lists because it gives me so much to write about and my readers know that they are going to learn about something within 12 steps or 5 lessons.
Here are other cool tools for you to craft catchy headlines with!
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which essentially means that there are keywords people are searching for are being found in your content. You can go to Google Keyword Planner (you’ll need a Google Adword account. It's free) and type in words that your audience might type in for your particular blog topic.
Google Trends will let you know if the keyword you have chosen is trending or not, which will allow you to adjust the word(s) you have chosen.
Hubspot says using a few keywords that are related to your content throughout your blog content as well as in your blog’s headers, URL, meta description, and so forth.
Please remember that although I want you to get used to this idea of adding SEO into your blog posts, the main idea is to get your blog out into the world, whether or not you use keywords.
Outline Your Blog
This is totally up to you if you want to outline your blog first or not. I do not outline my blogs unless it's a longer blog post (like an epic blog post). But if you feel an outline will help you keep focus and on track, then do so.
When you begin to outline, consider asking what is the end goal of your blog post and what do you want your audience to walk away with. For this blog post, I want you to walk away with a clear idea on how to write and publish your blog post successfully so you don't feel clueless.
The Anatomy of a Blog Post
Here is where we're going to go deeper on how to craft a blog post so you can become confident on how to craft your first or tenth blog post.
Find an Attractive Images
A picture is worth a thousand words and that is definitely true for your blog! You need to have a beautiful image to go with your blog post and I would even suggest adding up to 2-3 pictures throughout the post to break up the text and add more white space.
You can edit images using my favorite editing and graphic tool, Canva!
Find royalty free images now for your blog.
Create an Opening.
Your opening needs to catch your audience; it's almost as important as your headline! You need to capture your reader's interest right away or they will scan through your post and not really take anything in.
You can craft an opening in several different ways:
Is there a story that is relatable to your topic? It could be a story about yourself or from someone else. It could even be a story you read in a book! Stories capture attention fast and quick, so explore telling a story for your audience.
Ask your readers if they have ever thought something, asked a question, or if they felt a certain way. Begin your blog with being related to your reader by asking a question and tell them that you have felt this way before, then go into your blog points.
Start your opening with a BOLD statement! Make a statement conversational! This grabs instant attention! Especially if it's bound to ruffle some feathers.
Showing statistics is another way to open your blog because it gives the readers context on how you're going to explain or go into deeper detail about the statistic and how they can avoid or learn from it.
Depending on which type of blog you are writing, it will dictate how many points you will have. If I am writing a general blog post, I want to cover between 2-4 points. If I am writing a list blog, then I need to cover how many numbers I said I was going to cover.
Most of my blogs cover between 3-5 points and I think that's a good amount to make a point and move on to the next point. Points can be steps, lessons, how-tos, dos, don'ts, and anything else you want.
While you're writing your blog post, you want to remember to keep your paragraphs short, no more than 3-4 sentences each. I would even go as far as saying you need to keep your paragraphs between 2-3 sentences because seeing a whole lot of text on a page can be overwhelming to your readers.
You want to end your blog with a conclusion, which essentially is a wrap up of what you just said. I conclude mine with a call to action.
A Call to Action
A call to action means just that: you're calling your audience to some type of action and this could be a question ("What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!"), ask to download a free upgrade ("Download the free checklist..."), or request ("Share this post on your social media if you enjoyed reading it" or "Join my free Facebook Group!").
Learn what kinds of call to actions you can have for your blog to begin building your email list now.
You need to edit your post probably more than once. Sometimes you just don't catch your mistakes the first edit, so make it a habit to edit more than once.
After you have written your beautiful blog post and have images for it as well as edited it more than once, it's time to publish your blog post!
But now you need to have a way to bring people onto your blog post!
Read how I have created more traffic to myblog with these eight ways.
Post on Social Media
Let your social media fans know you have published a new blog post! You can use Canva to create social media images for each platform you're on. Never forget Pinterest if your target is females than as women, we love Pinterest (and Pinterest gets you traffic!).
Schedule Your Content
One way to save you time and energy is by scheduling your social media content (like your blog post) with social media scheduling tools. The two I use are Hootsuite and Recurpost. These help me schedule my social media content so my feed has ongoing content without me having to be physically present all the time.
Create Inspiring and Creative social media posts that will bring more eyes onto your content!
Other Frequently Asked Questions
How long should my blog posts be?
There's no one answer to this question (I feel), as I am under the belief that you write until you have said everything you wanted to say, whether that's 550 words or 2,000 words. But here are some popular lengths that people use to write their blogs:
Short: 300-500 words
Medium: 600-800 words
Long: 800-1500 words
Epic: 2,000-5,000 words
Now there are studies showing that the longer the blog post, the more your content will be seen and generate traffic. But again, I am of the belief that you'll finish up when you're done writing what you have to say.
How often should I blog?
There's no easy answer to this either because some people, like Neil Patal, writes once a month. However, he writes epic content all the time (over 2,000+ words) that generates a lot of traffic (plus he has a lot of followers), but Amy Porterfield writes a blog piece once a week.
I tell my clients that they ought to be writing once a week. It creates trust and readership quickly when people see you are blogging weekly.
Here's the key to blogging: Consistency! Being consistent and telling the world that you're going to show up on a consistent basis is going to speak louder than if you blog four times a month, but it's on different days at different times.
Pick a day and time that you'll release your blog out every week. For me, it's Monday mornings.
Need a Template? I got one for you!
You know exactly how to write a blog post, from start to finish. But perhaps you want something to guide you, let's say an easy template that walks you through each and every step?
Perhaps this template could even give you a checklist so that you can easily check every single stage of your blog writing off to create ease and flow?
I got you covered! Download your free "Write a How-To Blog Post Template" right now! Inside of the template, you're going to have a step-by-step template on how to write your how-to post, from start to finish. There's even a blog checklist at the end to help you check everything off!
Blogging doesn't have to be hard or daunting; why not make it easy by downloading the free blogging template and write your first how-to post successfully?