Blog posts allow you and your business to publish insights, thoughts, and stories on your website about any topic. They can help you boost traffic, brand awareness, credibility, conversions, and revenue.
Today, people and organizations of all walks of life manage blogs to share analyses, instruction, criticisms, product information, industry findings, and more.
There are many popular blog formats but, here are six of the most common:
The "How-To" Post
The List-Based Post
The "What Is" Post
The Pillar Page Post
The Newsjacking Post
The Infographic Post
What makes a good blog post?
Before you write a blog, make sure you know the answers to questions like, "Why would someone keep reading this entire blog post?" and "What makes our audience come back for more?"
To start, a good blog post is interesting and educational. Blogs should answer questions and help readers resolve a challenge they're experiencing — and you have to do so in an interesting way. It's not enough just to answer someone's questions — you also have to provide actionable steps while being engaging. For instance, your introduction should hook the reader and make them want to continue reading your post. Then, use examples to keep your readers interested in what you have to say.
Remember, a good blog post is interesting to read and provides educational content to audience members.
How to Write a Blog Post
Here are the steps you'll want to follow while writing a blog post.
1. Understand your audience.
Before you start writing your blog post, make sure you have a clear understanding of your target audience. Ask questions like: What do they want to know about? And, what will resonate with them?
This is where creating your buyer personas comes in handy. Consider what you know about your buyer personas and their interests while you're coming up with a topic for your blog post. For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start a business, you probably don't need to provide them with information about getting started in social media — most of them already have that down.
2. Create your blog domain.
Next, you'll need a place to host this and every other blog post you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service. Choose a CMS.
A CMS helps you create a website domain where you'll actually publish your blog. CMS platforms can manage domains (where you create your website) and subdomains (where you create a webpage that connects to an existing website).
3. Customize your blog's theme.
Once you have your domain name set up, customize the appearance of your blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan on creating and your brand. For example, if you're writing about sustainability and the environment, green might be a color to keep in mind while designing. If you already manage a website and are writing the first post for that existing website, ensure the article is consistent with the website in appearance and subject matter.
Two ways to do this are including:
Logo: This can be your business's name and/ or logo — it will remind blog readers of who's publishing the content. (How heavily you want to brand your blog, however, is up to you.)
"About" Page: You might already have an "About" blurb describing yourself or your business. Your blog's "About" section is an extension of this higher-level statement. Think of it as your blog's mission statement, which serves to support your company's goals.
4. Identify your first blog post's topic.
Before you write anything, pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start. For example, if you're a company that sells a CRM for small-to-enterprise businesses, your post might be about the importance of using a single software to keep Marketing, Sales, and Service aligned.
If you're having trouble coming up with topic ideas, you have to "iterate off old topics to come up with unique and compelling new topics."
This can be done by:
Changing the topic scope
Adjusting your time frame
Choosing a new audience
Taking a positive/negative approach
Introducing a new format
5. Come up with a working title.
You might come up with a few different working titles — in other words, iterations of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing.
For example, you may decide to narrow your topic to "Tools for Fixing Leaky Faucets" or "Common Causes of Leaky Faucets." A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.
6. Write an intro (and make it captivating).
We've written more specifically about writing captivating introductions in the post, "How to Write an Introduction,". First, grab the reader's attention. If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs — or even sentences — of the introduction, they'll stop reading (even before they've given your post a fair shake). You can do this in a number of ways: tell a story or a joke, be empathetic, or grip the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.
Then, describe the purpose of your post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be experiencing. This will give the reader a reason to continue reading and offer a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives.
Here's an example of a post we think does a good job of attracting a reader's attention right away:
7. Organize your content in an outline.
Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information — for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info in a way so readers aren't intimidated by length or amount of content. This organization can take multiple forms — sections, lists, tips — whatever's most appropriate. But it must be organized!
8. Write your blog post!
The next step — but not the last — is actually writing the content. We can't forget about that, of course.
Now that you have your outline/template, you're ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and expand on all points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, conduct additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, while providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources.
there are a ton of tools you can lean on to help you improve your writing. Here are a few to get you started:
Power Thesaurus: Stuck on a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourced tool that provides users with a number of alternative word choices from a community of writers.
ZenPen: If you're having trouble staying focused, check out this distraction-free writing tool. ZenPen creates a minimalist "writing zone" designed to help you get words down without having to fuss with formatting right away.
Cliché Finder: Feeling like your writing might be coming off a little cheesy? Identify instances where you can be more specific using this handy cliché tool.
9. Proofread and edit your post.
You're not quite done yet, but you're close! The editing process is an important part of blogging — don't overlook it.
Ask a grammar-conscious co-worker to copyedit and proofread your post. You may also consider enlisting the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist or using a free grammar checker like Grammarly.
Choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content.
No one likes an unattractive blog post. And it's not just pictures that make a post visually appealing — it's the formatting and organization of the post, too. In a well-formatted and visually-appealing blog post, you'll notice that header and sub-headers are used to break up large blocks of text — and those headers are styled consistently.
Maintaining this consistency makes your content look more professional and easier on the eyes.
10. Insert a CTA.
At the end of every blog post, insert a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next — subscribe to your blog, download an ebook, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. Your visitors read your blog post, they click on the CTA, and eventually, you generate a lead. But the CTA is also a valuable resource for the person reading your content — use your CTAs to offer more content similar to the subject of the post they just finished reading.
Anchor text is the word or words that link to another page — either on your website or on another website. Carefully select which keywords you want to link to other pages on your site because search engines take that into consideration when ranking your page for certain keywords. It's also important to consider which pages you link to. Consider linking pages that you want to rank for a specific keyword.
Pick a catchy title.
Last but not least, it's time to spruce up that working title. Here's what to consider:
Start with your working title.
As you start to edit your title, keep in mind that it's important to keep the title accurate and clear.
Then, work on making your title impressive — whether it's through strong language, alliteration, or another literary tactic.
If you can, optimize for SEO by sneaking some keywords in there (only if it's natural, though!).
Finally, see if you can shorten it at all. No one likes a long, overwhelming title — remember, Google prefers 65 characters or fewer before it truncates it on its search engine results pages.