Last night I was working late waiting for a meeting with a client halfway around the world and I really wanted to pass the time quickly so I could get the meeting over and get some sleep. Rather than sitting there and staring at the computer screen watching time crawl by, I decided to write a blog post on how to write a blog post (sounds funny, doesn’t it?). In less than 2 hours, I had a fantastic blog post put together from start to finish.
As we’ve been talking about for some time now, blogging is not longer just about actually writing a post. Google is becoming saturated with millions of blogs, the vast majority of which are putting out mediocre content. To rank in Google, drive traffic to your site, and make money through blogging, you have to write fantastic blog posts. But in working with dozens of clients, there’s two reasons why they don’t write fantastic blog posts: 1) they claim they don’t have time and 2) they claim they aren’t good writers.
In this blog post, we’re going to explain how anyone can write fantastic blog posts in 100 minutes or less and drive traffic to their website through long tail keywords.
1) Formulate A List Of Topics (Prerequisite)
This is actually the hardest part, but you should work with your SEO company to formulate a list of topics targeted at certain long tail keywords and search phrases that you want to write about. For example, if you want to write about why your law firm is the best DUI firm in Dallas, your content might want to be centered around a long tail phrase like “10 Reasons Why ABC Law Is The Best DUI Firm In Dallas”.
An SEO company can help research thousands of title variations and content directions to help you write a post that will target good search phrases and keep you on track with your content writing. We strongly recommend formulating a list of several dozen different topics so when it comes time to write your blog posts, you already have a good title in place. We also wrote a post a few months back about ways to brainstorm blog topics, it’s definitely a post worth reading.
2) Organize The Structure Of The Post (5 minutes)
The next step is to take your title and then organize the structure of your blog post. The way I like to do this is by organizing the blog post into different sections and writing a title or note for each of those sections so when it comes time to write the actual blog post, I make sure I’m staying on track and not wandering off on some tangent.
In general you’ll want to organize your blog post to include an introduction, 3-5 subheadings of actual content, and a conclusion. Depending on the length of your post, you may need more or less organization or subheadings in the post.
After you have your outline in place, read through it and make sure everything relates to the main topic and is organized in the way you want. Also make sure there isn’t anything else you want to mention or are leaving out.
3) Write The Introduction (5-10 minutes)
The introduction is extremely important and should be catchy. Lets face it, if people read the introduction and aren’t interest in your article, they’re going to bounce or leave the website. Try and grab the readers attention by using one of the following tactics on your intro:
- Tell A Story: Tell an interesting story or experience that will catch the reader and leave them wanting to continue reading to learn more.
- Establish Credibility: Explain something that makes you an indisputable authority on the topic the blog post is about; this will leave readers wanting to listen to you and continue reading because of your experience.
- Make It Funny: Humor is always a great way to attract readers in certain industries, so if you can think of a funny way to introduce the article it can leave people intrigued to read more.
- Promise Something: Promise that by the end of the article, the reader will gain something. Whether they will gain knowledge they can’t get elsewhere or they will learn one of your secrets to success, make sure you offer something to them for reading the article.
These are the four techniques I often utilize when writing blog posts, and I’ve found they all do a great job in hooking readers and keeping them on the page longer. Don’t be afraid to spend 5-10 minutes writing a 100 word introduction as it will likely determine the overall success of your article.
4) The Content (50-70 minutes)
This is where we are going to spend the bulk of our time on the blog post, writing the actual content. A good blog post should be at least 750 words, and ideally should be 1,500 words or more. Depending on how fast you type and formulate your thoughts, this may take some people longer than others. I can write a good 1,500 word post in about 30 minutes, while I know others who take an hour and a half to write that. It really goes back to having a good outline in place to help you stay focused and on subject, and it also requires a high level of focus and dedication to the blog post.
If you sit there thinking about how much you don’t want to be blogging, it’s going to take you a lot longer to write than if you sit there focusing on how writing quality blog content will help grow your business.
I generally break down the actual content writing portion of the blog post into three sub parts: thinking, writing, proofing.
Thinking: Thinking is critical to writing a quality post. As the authority in your business, it’s important for you to think about your experiences and incorporate them into your writing to establish yourself as an authority. This can mean talking about experiences you’ve had, mentioning case studies, or writing about your opinion on a subject matter. I generally find I spend about 25% of my content writing time just thinking about ways I can make my content more interesting, richer, or more engaging for my readers.
Writing: Writing is obviously critical to having a blog post. The writing aspect comes easy to me, and as you blog more and more it will come easy to you as well. The writing part consists of following your outline and taking your thoughts and putting them into words. This part takes about 70% of the content writing time and obviously consists of writing out the blog post and thinking of the best words to use to convey the message I’m trying to write about.
Proofing: Proofing is the last step in the content portion of the post, and consists obviously of proof reading the blog post to make sure there aren’t any errors in the content. This is a critical step as search engines don’t like sloppy content nor do your readers. Take that last 5% of your content writing time to proof read your article (I’m guilty of doing a lazy job at this step sometimes, so I apologize to my readers).
Now that you have some fantastic content in place, we still have about 15 minutes left to get to our 100 minute blog post.
5) The Closing (5-7 minutes)
The closing is almost as important as the introduction and should contain some sort of call to action. Some people will want to encourage the readers to post their thoughts/opinion/additions in the comment section. Others will want to encourage the reader to sign up for a free offer by providing their email.
What you generally don’t want to do in the closing though is say “Call me…sign up for my service/product…” as you don’t want to lose the trust of the reader by seeming like a salesperson. Yes, we’re all guilty of doing this from time to time, but I’ve found in my experiences that a more gentle sales approach works best, however this can vary depending on the industry.
6) Enhancements (5-7 minutes)
The last step now that the article is written is to check and see if there are any ways you can enhance the article. This can be by adding a featured image, adding graphics, organizing the post better by using different headings, or any other visual enhancement you can offer to the article. You may also want to look and see if there’s a trusted authority you could link to, quote, or mention or any other way you can think of to enhance the article.
And there you have it! In under 2 hours you just wrote a fantastic blog post that will help drive traffic to your website and improve your business. As time goes on and you write more and more posts, you’ll become an expert at blogging in your industry and will be cranking out blog post in no time at all. If you catch yourself at the right time of day, blogging can be easy, natural, and encouraging. So what are you waiting for, get out there and start blogging!