You've probably heard how paramount blogging is to the success of your marketing. Without it, your SEO will tank, you'll have nothing to promote in social media, you'll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you'll have fewer pages to put those valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads. Need I say more?
Well my friend, the time for excuses is over. After you read this post, there will be absolutely no reason you can't blog every single day -- and do it quickly.
Step 1: Understand your audience.
Before you start to write, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do they want to know about? What will resonate with them? 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 their own business, you probably don't need to provide them with information about getting started in social media -- most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach.
Step 2: Start with a topic and working title.
Before you even write anything, you need to pick a topic for your blog post. The topic can be pretty general to start with. For example, if you're a plumber, you might start out thinking you want to write about leaky taps.
Then you might come up with a few different working titles -- in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching that topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you might decide to narrow your topic to "Tools for Fixing Leaky Taps" or "Common Causes of Leaky Taps." A working title is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.
Step 3: Write a captivating intro.
If you lose the reader in the first few paragraphs -- or even sentences -- of the introduction, they will 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 the post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to keep reading and give them a connection to how it will help them improve their work/lives. Here's an example of a post that we think does a good job of attracting a reader's attention right away:
Step 4: Organize your content.
Sometimes, blog posts can have an overwhelming amount of information -- for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the info so readers are not intimidated by the length or amount of content. The organization can take multiple forms -- sections, lists, tips, whatever's most appropriate. But it must be organized!
Let's take a look at the post, "19 Top Marketing Growth Hacks". There is a lot of content in this post, so we broke it into 19 different sections. These sections are then separated into paragraphs that break up the content and make it easier to read.
Step 5: Write!
The next step -- but not the last -- is actually writing the content. We couldn't forget about that, of course. Now that you have your outline/template, you're ready to fill in the blanks.
Now that you have your outline/template, you're ready to fill in the blanks. Use your outline as a guide and be sure to expand on all of your points as needed. Write about what you already know, and if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to back up your points, providing proper attribution when incorporating external sources.
Step 6: Edit/proofread 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 copy, edit, and proofread your post.
Make sure you choose a visually appealing and relevant image for your post. As social networks treat content with images more prominently, visuals are now more responsible than ever for the success of your blog content in social media.
Step 7: Insert a call-to-action (CTA) at the end.
At the end of every blog post, you should have 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.
Typically, you think about the CTA being beneficial for the marketer. 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.
Step 8: Optimize for on-page SEO.
After you finish writing, go back and optimize your post for search. Don't obsess over how many keywords to include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords you're targeting, and it won't impact reader experience, do it.
If you can make your URL shorter and more keyword-friendly, go for it. But don't cram keywords or shoot for some arbitrary keyword density -- Google's smarter than that!
Step 9: Pick a catchy title.
Last but not least, it's time to spruce up that working title of yours. Here's what to consider:
If you've mastered the steps above, learn about some way to take your old blog posts to the next level with the free guide below. What other steps do you take to refine your blog posts?