How to write the perfect blog post. This is a question we frequently see when dealing with people in SEO groups and social media channels. This post aims to give you some professional tips and steps to follow, helping to make you a better Blog Writer in 2017.
All website owners recognise that fresh content is important. Most strive to get something written for their websites on a regular basis. Understanding how to write a great post will serve you well, whether you do it yourself, or pay someone else to do it for you.
Understanding the basic rules will help you get the most relevant content onto your website.
When it comes to the size of a post, everyone will tell you it needs to be long, several thousand words + if possible. Yes, a long post that is interesting, informative, educational, factual and most importantly, well written and engaging, will do well but stretching a 500-word post for the sake of it, to become 1000 words or more, just to meet a ‘minimum word count’, is not the answer. Extending sentences and adding drivel isn’t going to help.
Extending sentences and adding drivel isn’t going to help!
The time/money you put in ultimately dictates the quality of your post
You may choose to pay someone to write for you, or you may invest the time to do it yourself. Whichever you choose, read through this post to gain a better understanding of what makes a perfect blog post.
Remember, finding a writer at the cheapest rate isn’t a good idea.
Pay peanuts, get monkeys!
One of the worst blog posts I have ever read was written for a client who had paid a ‘Blog Writer’ on Fiver. He paid £5 for the article to be written. It took 10 days to arrive (but I guarantee it didn’t take that long to write) and it was utter rubbish, but seriously, what do you expect for a fiver??
The post was grammatically incorrect, punctuated poorly and inconsistent in the way it delivered its message to the reader. It was beyond a proof read and edit and needed a total re-write. It wasn’t worth it and was subsequently filed in the recycle bin. Lesson learnt!
So what makes a perfect blog post?
Before I answer that, let us consider why you need the post and what it’s objective will be.
Before you start writing, identify the purpose for your post.
What do you aim to achieve from your blog post?
- Educate your customers
- Demonstrate a new product
- Offer a new service
- Advertise an Event
The reason for writing the article you are reading now is because many of my customers ask me for advice on how to set about writing content for their blogs.
On this basis, my ‘purpose‘ is to help educate you, the reader, by answering the question you have searched for.
Identify what your customers want to know
Once you have decided on the topic and before you commence writing, it is advisable to perform a search to see if anyone else has written something similar.
- search and find articles based on your ‘question or search criteria’
- read articles posted by other site owners
- consider how they have constructed their post and how effective it is
- can you expand on their article or improve it in your own words
- are you able to deliver a better post for the benefit of your own customers
DO NOT STEAL THE TEXT FROM OTHER WEBSITES
This is a complete NO NO and we need to get that correct from the start. Don’t do it.
Read it, by all means, but don’t copy and paste it, change a few words and expect to get away with it. Take ideas from others but rewrite it yourself and in your own words.
Copying text from others (aka plagiarism) will damage them and you. It’s not worth doing.
Suffered from plagiarism yourself? Take a look at DMCA for protecting your content.
Do your Research
Read articles posted on other websites, who rank for the topic you plan to write about.
Consider what they have written. What facts have they used, what links are used and which websites do they send their users to? Is it useful?
Put yourself in the shoes of the person searching for an answer. Did their post satisfy your curiosity and answer your question?
At this stage, ask yourself this.
Can you write an article better than the ones you have read?
If not, have a little think about whether it’s worth it.
Maybe you could write something slightly different and link to the post you found earlier.
If you can improve on the posts you have read, great, let’s move on.
Identify & Implement SEO Factors
If you perform your own SEO, hopefully, you have ‘Keyword Strategy’ in place. If not, liaise with your SEO company who can provide you with one.
The objective is to understand what Google (and other Search Engines) will expect to see on a page that ranks for your target keywords/key phrase.
Let’s face it, this is what you are writing a blog post for, so this stage is important:
- List of keywords and phrases to use in your blog
- Choose supporting / relevant words relating to your topic to include within the post
- Create a Title which matches the content correctly and includes your keyword/key phrase
- Create relevant sub titles, using <H1> <h2> and other headings tags as needed
- Highlight certain texts, make it bold, italic or underline your text as required
- Include images with alt text and captions where relevant
Write the Article
At this stage, you have:
- Carried out your own research on the subject you plan to write about
- Decided on a Title for the article
- Prepared a series of phrases and keywords to try and work into your article (properly and without stuffing them in for the sake of it)
- Poured yourself a cup of tea, found your comfy chair and began writing … (damn, I forgot my cuppa this morning)
OK, let me tell you now. Do not expect to get it right forst time as thingz can do wong …. Oops, did I make a mistake just there!!!
Proof Read the Article
Sometimes, when I am writing, I get into a flow and as I can type very quickly, I find myself making mistakes. You will too.
It can be tricky, but it’s absolutely vital to proof read your articles. Not just once, but multiple times.
This is my working process
- Write Article
- Read Article
- Edit Article
- Read Article & Edit Final Run
- Complete & Post Article
In my case, I have another writer who works in the office. We pass work between us, for the other person to read with a fresh pair of eyes. This is great, as it allows much more efficient collaboration when writing an article for your website. If you can pass it to a colleague, friend or family member who can read it for you and give feedback.
Copy Edit the Article
This comes within my few bullet pointed stages above, but I elaborate here for you.
I need to re-read what I have written. I need to look for mistakes, add or edit text to improve the flow of reading and fix grammatical errors.
You must avoid at all costs:
- Spelling Mistakes (run it through a spell check and double check it before posting.)
- Poor Punctuation (poorly formatted texts look unprofessional. Get it sorted.) Try Grammarly if you need help
- Stolen Content (don’t borrow, steal or re-write other peoples words)
- Incorrect Information (do your research, get it right)
Publish the Article
Ok, we got there. At this stage, you know what’s needed and you have reached the end.
You now have a well written, proofread and copy edited article which is ready to be published.
Remember, although Search Engines will naturally find your article once it’s made public on your website BUT you should take a few extra steps to help this along.
- Publish on your website (make sure your Title and Meta Description are all sorted)
- Publish to Social Media Channels (post it to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Let people know)
- Notify your customers (prospect and current clients via print or email newsletter)
- Submit your article to any relevant groups who feel it will help their own customers
Something to add? Post your non-spammy comment below …