How To Write The Perfect Blog Post

Michael Brenner on Dec 9, 2015 in Content Marketing

Do you often look at other people’s blogs and go, “Wow! I wish I could write a blog like that”? Now you don’t have to wonder anymore. I’ve researched and pulled together a blog post template that will not only help you write faster and more effectively, but will help you rank higher in search results and get more views.

Here’s the ultimate step-by-step guide to writing a perfect post, so you can get the most out of every blog you create:

Step 1: Picking Your Idea

Before you can even start writing your blog, you need to figure out the topic or idea you want to cover. There are many ways to do this. You can start by using free keyword search tools like KeywordTool.io, to find keywords relevant for the topic of your choice.

Use these keywords to help you narrow your research. Read high ranking articles and start noting down opportunities where you can potentially add fresh perspectives to fill in the gaps.

While great blogs have original ideas, it doesn’t mean you can’t blog about a topic or idea that has already been covered. Take that post that has inspired you and make it into your own by improving upon the author’s idea or by adding new and fresh insights.

Step 2: Creating An Attention-Grabbing Headline

The headline is the first thing readers will see, and is what they’ll use to decide whether they will read your post or not. Your title needs to grab people’s attention immediately and make them feel compelled to continue reading. Get to the problem or question that your blog will answer or solve for your readers, so they know exactly what they can expect when they click through.

“How,” “Why” and “List” titles are popular title formats to get a reader’s attention. Here are some helpful tips to create an effective headline. You may also want to check out this blog from On Blast Blog, which goes through different headline formats in detail.

Step 3: Writing The Body Copy

Once you’ve created a compelling title, it’s time to start writing the meat of your blog. Here are some key pointers to keep in mind as you write:

  1. Goal

Before you start writing, you should ask yourself how the post is supposed to benefit your readers. Have a clear goal in mind, and state the value your blog will bring to your readers early on in your post, to provide them with a roadmap for the rest of the post.

  1. Length

How long should your blog be? If you need an exact number, aim for at least 1-2,000 words. The length of your blog matters for many reasons, including search engine optimization and content quality. The average content length that ranks in the top ten search results on Google has more than 2,000 words, so length is important.

This may seem like a lot at first, but you’d be surprised how easy it is once you’ve done your research and start writing.

With that said, the most important thing is that your blog needs to be meaty and informative. Thousands of words won’t mean anything if it is just complete fluff and has no substance.

  1. Accessibility

As you are writing, think about how you can make your blog more scannable for your readers. People on average only read approximately 28% of the words in a post during an average page visit, so your readers should be able to skim and find a key point in six seconds or less.

Keep your paragraphs short and use subheadings, bullets, number lists, and bold text to break up your copy. If your blog is just one big block of text, your readers may give up and stop reading.

  1. Credibility

Regardless of the topic you write about, always back up your blog with real data and sources. Link to articles where you’ve developed an idea or thought in more detail. Sharing your research will help build trust and credibility.

  1. Conversation

When you finish writing what you want to say, don’t forget to encourage comments and opinions from your readers at the end. Interaction is key to blogging success, so you want to leave it open for discussions.

  1. Call-to-Action

You’re writing your blog for a reason. What do you want your readers to do for you after reading your blog? Provide a clear, easy call-to-action at the end of your post, whether that’s downloading a free e-book, subscribe to your newsletter, etc.

Step 4: Adding Visual Elements

Now that you’ve finished writing, it’s time to work on the visual elements to spice up your blog. There are a couple of things you can do:

  1. Images

Pictures are a great way to add visual interest and SEO quality to your blog. Choose photos that are relevant and of good quality. Use editing programs to resize images so they load faster on a page. Don’t forget to add image sources, as well as titles and alt-text so Google knows they are images – this helps with SEO.

  1. Font & Color

Choose a theme or layout that is simple and isn’t too distracting. The same goes for colors and fonts. They can be used when you want to attract the reader’s eye and to emphasize something, but don’t overdo it.

  1. Custom Images & Infographics

If you want something unique, there are lots of tools out there like Canva and Visme that you can use to make your own images and infographics for free or for very little cost.

Step 5: Promoting Your Blog

You’ve just published your blog, so you’re all done now, right? Not quite! Promotion is just as important as writing a great post. It won’t matter how awesome your blog is if no one reads or knows about it. Here are some ways to get your blog out:

  1. Email

Reach out to people who you referenced in your blog, as well as other authors who write about similar topics, and let them know that you’ve published a post. Email your subscribers as well and notify them of your new post.

  1. Social Media

Promote your new blog via all your social channels, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and anywhere else you’re on.

  1. Influencer Outreach

Share your blog with influencers who you’ve established a relationship with to help amplify your content. Here are some ways to get start with engaging influencers.

  1. Experiment

Test with your blog titles, length and publishing time, and see what’s working and isn’t. Testing regularly will give you insights into what you’re doing right and what can be improved to make your future blogs more successful.

  1. Ads

You can also increase your reach with paid social. Here are some simple yet effective promotion tips for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram.

Step 6: Optimizing For SEO

For those who are not familiar with SEO, here are six simple tips to help you optimize your blogs. For those who are interested in learning more, here are six advanced techniques to take your SEO optimization to the next level:

  1. Keyword Phrases

Keywords are the building blocks for SEO-friendly content. When you use keywords strategically within your blog, title, headers, images, URL, etc., you are making your blogs more visible and relevant to search engines, which ultimately helps your posts rank higher in search results.

Don’t go overboard with your keyword though, this becomes “keyword stuffing” and Google will treat it as spam.

  1. Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF)

TF-IDF is how Google indexes all web pages. It measures the importance of a certain keyword phrase by comparing it to the frequency of the term in a larger set of documents. The best terms to use throughout your blog are going to be related to your keyword phrase.

For example, say your keyword phrase is “baking cookbook recipes.” Generic words like “the,” “in,” and “that” will have a very low TF-IDF. On the other hand, words like “mixing” or “flour” are used less frequently, so when you use them they generate a higher TF-IDF.

TF-IDF by itself isn’t enough to give you a big SEO boost, but when combined with other techniques mentioned here TF-IDF will become extremely helpful.

  1. Semantic Distance and Term Associations

Semantic distance refers to the relationships between certain words and phrases within your blog. It takes into account how certain terms connect within sentences and paragraphs by measuring the distance between those terms.

This is how search engines determine whether two things are connected or not – the closer the terms are semantically, the closer the terms may be related. Phrases located in the same block of text have a closer relationship than terms that are separated by paragraphs.

  1. Co-Occurrence and Phrase Based Indexing

Phase-based indexing refers to the way search engines index and rank pages based on complete phrases and the relevance of those phrases. Search engines use the concept of co-occurrence to predict related terms.

For example, if your topic search is “US President,” this phrase likely co-occurs with other phrases like “White House” and “Barack Obama.”

The key here is to stay on the topic and continue to use keyword phrases that are closely related to your original key phrase. Don’t branch out so far that the topic is something completely different, as this will lower the relevance of your page.

  1. Synonyms and Close Variants

With billions of searches conducted every day, search engines have an expansive bank of information to determine what you actually mean when you type your queries into the search box. Search engines have countless synonyms, close variants and related topics for billions of phrases, which allows them to match content related to your search, even when different words are used.

For example, if you search cat pics, this can also mean:

  • Pictures of cats
  • Cat photos
  • Cat pictures
  • Cat photographs

The important takeway here is that, when writing your blog, you should avoid using the same keywords over and over again and use natural language and variations instead. This enriches your content, and more importantly improves your chances of being indexed and ranked higher for a specific keyword search.

  1. Entity Salience

Entity salience is an approach to keyword techniques that goes beyond traditional tactics, such as TF-IDF, to find relevant, related terms on a page by using known relationships between entities.

An entity refers to anything within the page that is well-defined and distinct. The stronger an entity is to other entities closely related to it, the more significant it becomes in that page.

Moz has a great example to explain entity salience. In a post that talks about Iron Man, Tony Stark and Science Fiction, the phrase “Marvel Comics” has a strong entity relationship to all of these topics. Even if Marvel Comics is only mentioned once, it’s likely significant in the post.

“Cinerama,” on the other hand, appeared several times throughout the article since the movie Iron Man was shown there. Even though the term appeared multiple times, it has weaker entity relationships to the other terms, so it likely isn’t as significant as the phrase “Marvel Comics” is.

And there you have it! Now that you’ve learned the essential elements of a perfect blog post, you’re ready to start creating some amazing content!

Do you have any other blogging or SEO tips? Please share them below!

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Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner
Michael Brenner is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, author of The Content Formula and the CEO of Marketing Insider Group. He has worked in leadership positions in sales and marketing for global brands like SAP and Nielsen, as well as for thriving startups. Today, Michael shares his passion on leadership and marketing strategies that deliver customer value and business impact. He is recognized by the Huffington Post as a Top Business Keynote Speaker and a top CMO influencer by Forbes. Please follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and Subscribe here for regular updates.