You are ready to launch your blog. You even have fast hosting for it, but no content yet. Let this post equip you with tips for creating content that strikes a chord with both readers and complex search engines like Google.
How to come up with great blog post ideas
It can be hard to push ideas and have people really enjoy them. You have to get these ideas somewhere. Publishers may struggle to fish for blog post ideas, but they do come out given that inspiration and some effort is applied.
Be ready for new ideas to come
Always be on your toes. You may be watching a movie, reading a book, or simply walking in a mall when suddenly an idea may strike you. Everything you see can give you hints and clues. You just have to be prepared and note everything down.
Keep monitoring other articles
You can’t be on your own in this blogging business. You need to ‘find a mentor’. You should subscribe to blogs you admire and read their posts regularly. Find magazines in your niche and read articles published there too. You can get inspired and follow in their footsteps. You can’t copy word for word what other publishers write, but you may interpret a subject from your perspective and under your expertise.
Address pain points
People are complex creatures and there are some things that bring them in awe or disturb them. You should try finding out what your community, staff, or clients are going through to be able to publish content people can actually relate to. By looking into the lives and needs of others, you can generate the proper ideas for a blog post.
Showcase your experience
Never discard your own experience and make a list of the things you’ve learned, done, or gone through. That is your own expertise which can be useful for your audience. By showcasing your experience you can create guides, case studies, reviews and more. Your posts can have a personal touch to them and gain more credibility with the readership.
Use a blog ideas generator
If you get stuck with building a proper blog content strategy, use generators. Such generators can suggest blog content ideas in just a few seconds. All you need to do is provide a couple of keywords. Give the HubSpot or WebFX blog post idea generator a shot by typing your target keywords. Either generator can suggest blogging topics for beginners and more in-depth article ideas.
How to write a blog post effectively
When you have a list of topics set and ready, you can start writing a blog post. It is actually up to you how to write a blog post. Yet we want to give a little guidance here before we discuss how to write a blog post for SEO.
Prepare your workstation
First, you need to go over the list and choose the topic that speaks to you and you are passionate about. Then you should use a draft where you are going to write your post in. You can open a Word document, online Google Docs, or any other tool you are comfortable with. Finally, get a comfy chair, desk, and a large computer screen in a quiet place. Put ‘all modern cuffs’ away such as your mobile phone, smartwatch, and social media ‘distractions’. Don’t let notifications bother you.
Immerse in the world of information
To be able to create a worthy piece of content, you need to immerse yourself in the process. Research whether there are similar publications on the web. Read them and see what you can do differently. Create a list of reports and studies done previously to support your ideas. Research in your field will boost authority and show the reader that the topic is of concern to others.
Create an outline
To keep your thoughts together, there should be some kind of a plan to stick to. Create an outline to know what you’re going to write about. Start your post outline with an introduction or an attention-getter. Then create the main body of your piece. The points in the main body should look like thesis statements and be clear. You may accompany each point with an explanatory statement as to what you want to convey to the reader. Wrap up your writing with a conclusion or a relevant call to action. An outline is another way of setting goals for your writing. Without an article outline, you’ll find yourself wandering away and writing about too many things at once.
Top 10 blog writing tips
Great masterpieces take tons of time to be created. However, with practical advice, you can make your writing better and faster than you expect. Follow these easy tips to help you write a clear and insightful piece.
Write, write and… write
Commit to writing at least 500 words. Doing this will allow you to set attainable goals for your writing. Find the time of day when you feel most productive and… write the number of words you aim for. Keep writing and keep filling your sheet with content. Some of your creative endeavors may be good, some of them may be bad. You’ll proofread and improve your copy down the road.
Choose the narrative
Keep the integrity of your writing and stick to one perspective. If you want to be more objective, write in the third person avoiding the ‘you’ pronoun. If you want to add a friendly tone and make your piece personal use the ‘you’ pronoun. Avoid mixing ‘you’, ‘we’, ‘one’, or “I” in one piece of writing. Choose the narrative and stick to it so as to make it cohesive.
Keep things concise and dynamic
When you build your sentences, try making them short. Long sentences are hard to follow. To make a sentence short, stick to one idea in it. You should create a sentence that doesn’t exceed more than two lines per se. Avoid passive voice if possible and add more active voice. For example, write “The company produces high quality products” rather than “High quality products are produced by the company”. The subject of your sentence should be followed by the verb to make your sentence dynamic and create the so-called ‘moving forward’ effect.
To keep your writing in a positive mode, avoid using ‘not’ or contractions of it unless it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, you will create an impression of a highly negative individual behind the post. Your content with lots of negations can repel readers to carry on with it.
Make content visually appealing
Break your piece down into sections that have subheadings. Use listicles and bullet points, highlight important pieces of information and provide charts or tables if needed. Some people are meticulous readers. Others will just skim the content and read what they need to. Therefore, a well-structured text can assist readers and make your content pleasing to the eye.
Images can also serve as a visual aid for the reader. Include pictures to make your post stand out. However, add pictures with a goal in mind. They should add value to your post and complement the section of the post you’re accompanying with the image.
Move on if you get stuck
You have an article outline to stick to. And there’s nothing wrong with it. However, you may find yourself stuck with some sections you need to uncover. If you do, move to the next one. Write about a different point in your outline and come back to the one you had trouble writing about later. The main idea here is to use your time efficiently. Some points in your outline may require your thoughts to settle in before you actually produce content. Or you may need more research.
Proofread your content
Get in the habit of proofreading your piece of writing. After you’ve written a piece and you think it’s complete, proofread it sometime later. Proofread line by line, section by section. Make sure the text flows naturally. Change places of some paragraphs if needed to make the piece logical. Delete or change words that need to be changed and check if the punctuation is in place. Avoid repetitions and use synonyms. If you feel like you need help, hire a proofreader with a degree in your target language. They can do all the finishing touches and ‘brush up’ your writing to help it sound native.
Use online text testing tools
Utilize writing tools to see how your content performs. Leverage a free readability testing tool offered by WebFX before publishing your piece. See how your article title can appear in Google by running it through the free headline analyzer provided by isitwp. This headline analyzer also shows you the score and emotional value of an article headline. To check how unique your content is, run it through a plagiarism tool. There are dozens of them on the web, paid or free. If you are using a free version, it is likely to limit the length of the article you check.
How often should I post on my blog?
There are at least two reasons why publishing frequency is important in blogging. You either want to build organic traffic and increase the clickthrough rate or ensure brand awareness and instill thought leadership. Either way, you should post regularly and always put quality first.
What post frequency is accepted by Google?
Blog posts are still a valuable content format for marketers according to a SEMrush survey where eight out of ten respondents use text in their marketing strategy. Search engines, Google in particular, like unique and fresh content. However, there’s much more to it. Your search engine visibility is something you need to work towards. You also have to know how to optimize a blog post for SEO (more on that later).
Google has revealed some components that are important to rank higher in search results. The search engine pays attention to:
- The page intent (the message of your post)
- The length and quality of content
- Website reputation (how many resources link back to your site)
- Page interaction metrics such as time on a page, bounce rate, etc.
- Content creator’s reputation and information
- The E-A-T principle, which stands for expertise, authority and trustworthiness
- … and more
You may be misguided by thinking that you need to post daily. You can, but only in the case when your blog focuses on the latest news, current updates, and in-trend topics. In other words, if the industry you write for is fast-paced, Google needs to deliver fresh up-to-date content. Thus, it makes sense to post daily.
According to Orbit Media Studios, you can analyze the publishing frequency of bloggers over the past years and see the difference year after year.
Based on the research, we can say that 22% of bloggers would rather post weekly or several times a month. Such blog post frequency allows you to prepare content without being in a rush.
On the other hand, Google’s algorithms are designed to crawl content published on the web and get it indexed. The indexing method helps internet users find relevant results to their search queries. Therefore, if you keep posting as much as you can, Google will get your copy indexed more often. However, you have to provide content that answers the search intent.
Google will consider you an authoritative source if you have a number of posts related to one topic. More than that, the giant search engine will index your content anew every time you update it and change the publishing date. The updates may include adding new sections in your copy, writing an executive summary, or adding relevant multimedia content.
If you really want to understand which blog post frequency works best in your case, do your own testing. Analyze when you get most visitors and how they engage with your content. This analysis should help you come up with the publishing schedule. Leverage Google Analytics to find out anything from time on a page to the bounce rate to clicks and interactions.
If you’re interested in how to make money blogging, you’ll be posting copy to gain either leads or sales. Consistency can ensure proper engagement and indexing by search engines. According to recent research by HubSpot, companies that generate and publish 16 posts or more per month get 3.5 times more traffic than others who publish less than four posts. Nonetheless, never put quantity above quality since everything depends on your goals, means, and industry.
Writing, even so, consistent writing can put you in a spot. If that happens, think of some outlets. One of them is to get an extra pair of hands.
When should you hire copywriters?
If you’re a do-it-yourself person, blog on your own. But if you notice that you need help, it’s high time you considered working with copywriters.
Should you be the one who writes a compelling copy or should you delegate this task to someone else? That’s the question you need to answer.
Writing takes up lots of your time
Frankly speaking, writing comes with effort and time. If you need time to accomplish other tasks, you should find a person who can create an online blogging footprint for you.
Your skillset is lagging
Your writing attempts may yield unimpressive results simply because you have no proper training. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, though. There’re tons of professional writers out there.
If you’re a beginner trying to appeal to an audience with your writing, you may find it complicated as well. The sooner you realize you need help, the sooner you’ll get on track with blogging by asking someone else to do it for you.
You dislike the art of word altogether
If you lack passion and enthusiasm, then you must definitely find a freelancer to write copy for you.
How much does it cost to hire a copywriter?
The rates copywriters have vary. Blog copywriter fees will depend on the model preferred by the creative you turn to. There are three major models: paying by the word, paying hourly/daily, or paying a flat rate by a project. The price will also depend on the copywriter’s location and experience. To bring some figures to the table, you can pay between $5 and up to $400 per post.
You can find freelance writers by looking their profiles up on websites such as Upwork, Guru.com, PeoplePerHour, Freelancer and more.
If you need a creative to work for you full-time, calculate the budget you’re ready to spend on a long-term basis and start looking for the right person.
How to work with copywriters
The power of copy can reflect your blogging footprint. The power of this copy also depends on how well you can collaborate with your copywriter. Here are a few tips for making this cooperation a prolific one.
Say what makes you unique
You must have ‘your thunder’, something that you would like to showcase to help a writer produce an enticing, persuasive copy. Writers are all about creative whims and inspiration. You can ‘light a fire under them’ by getting into more detail about the global mission of your blog.
Provide details to each task
If only copywriters could read your mind! It would be great. But you have to be thorough as far as giving blog post ideas to your writer. It should be almost like a headline which the copywriter will later adapt to be gripping.
Give your copywriter a clear picture of who your readership is. This information can be necessary for the writer to create a proper brand voice.
What’s more, provide the objectives for the post. You sure have something specific in mind. That is the key message you want to be delivered. You need to pass it to the writer. It would be great if you could provide an outline or the main points that need to be covered in a post.
Revise and give feedback
The first draft the writer hands in may need to be revised and edited. If you’re the one to have a final say, give constructive criticism instead of simply saying that the copy is garbage. Great copy does mean a lot of hard work. It may even require a whole team of editors and a proofreader to produce a masterpiece.
Connect the writer with the expert in the field
Your writer can be a master of words, but they may lack the information you or your staff know. Let’s say you want a blog post to be written in the form of a technical case study. The writer hardly knows what to write about unless you provide them with the information or the expert in the field. Therefore, you need to set up a call or give critical data for that case study. Otherwise, there’ll be a lot of misunderstanding.
A strong piece is your advantage. More so, your knowledge on how to SEO a blog. Unless you know how to make your posts searchable, you can find it hard to excel online.
What is SEO blogging?
SEO means search engine optimization practice which helps a web page increase its visibility according to specific queries. Such search engines as Google or Bing utilize bots that crawl across the web collecting information. When collected, this information is put in an index which is analyzed by the algorithms. These algorithms take into account multiple ranking factors and signals to order pages in search engine results pages (SERP).
On-page SEO allows you to optimize a web page so that it ranks higher in search engines. Usually, on-page SEO involves visible content optimizations and HTML source code improvements (that is how the page appears to the user).
For the on-page SEO to work, you need to include relevant keywords in your copy. Besides the keywords which are matched to the search query, your content must be relevant, revealing other logical aspects. If you are writing about the role of flowers in a woman’s life per se, you should include the kinds of flowers there are and what each flower means. The more you elaborate on the topic as far as relevance goes, the better chances you have to rank higher.
Speaking of HTML source code, think HTML tags, meta titles and meta descriptions, headings and subheadings, alt text, and mobile friendliness. These elements all belong to the HTML part of your blog and you must also take care of them.
Link building helps you acquire links from external sites that lead to your own website. Crawlers of a search engine investigate a particular site and the entire web to see whether there are other hyperlinks to that very site.
That said, search engines look at both the content and quantity of external links leading to that particular page. In other words, the more high-quality external links you have, the more chances you get to rank higher.
Guest posting and outreach
Guest posting lets you build partnerships with existing blogs and publish your articles on their platform. You have to choose online platforms that somehow relate to your niche and create valuable content. No advertisements though. You are creating a copy to establish authority and brand awareness. Therefore, you should focus on educating readers rather than selling something to them. Good content will naturally provoke readers to see who stands behind it.
You can apply the crosslinking tactic to improve website navigation, define website hierarchy and distribute page authority along with ranking power. Crosslinking implies that you can use already existing pages on your site to create hyperlinks to them in your own page content or someone else’s. The key requirement is that crosslinking reflect one and the same or related content.
The ultimate goal for your content is to get found. You have to know how to write SEO friendly blog posts and that means paying careful attention to keywords in your copy. Keywords are the words and phrases people use to search for things in their browser. Obviously, it can be rather complex to come up with a bunch of phrases people google with unless you’re really skillful at this. If you’re stuck, make ample use of keyword research tools.
You can use free keyword tools or leverage paid resources. Everything depends on your budget and how much you’re willing to invest. Here are some free tools to get started with:
- Google Trends helps you see whether the keyword you’re aiming for is popular.
- Keyword Generator generates a list of keywords.
- Keyword Sheeter generates keyword ideas.
- Answer the Public shows you different variations of how people can possibly search.
- Questiondb shows you 50 keyword results for free.
If you’d like to make more in-depth keyword research, you can opt for paid tools. The best tools include but aren’t limited to SEMrush, KWFinder, and Moz Keyword Explorer.
To cut a long story short, you get to develop an SEO strategy and have an equal opportunity to receive a decent ranking in order to increase your click-through rate (CTR).
How to optimize a blog post for SEO: Top 7 tips
Having discussed what SEO blogging is, let’s make the most out of your article with these SEO tips and tricks.
Use your main keyword at the beginning
To let a search engine like Google know what your content is about, use your main keyword in the introductory paragraph within the first 100-300 words. The sooner you let a search engine understand what your piece is about the better.
Optimize your headings
In their tries to figure out what the page is about, search engines crawl headings on a given page. Optimize your headings by including relevant keywords in headings such as H1, H2, or H3. The closer you place the keyword to the beginning of your heading the better. However, don’t sacrifice the natural flow of your heading which should be clear and relevant.
Utilize recurrent keywords
SEO experts still recommend using multiple target keywords across the body of your article. Don’t stop at one word at the beginning, but rather make sure your target keyword variations appear across the body of your article. This simple tactic gives a search engine more confidence as to whether your page is really about the topic discussed in the very first part.
Use SEO-friendly URLs
URLs can make all the difference if they include human readable text. URLs are the web addresses of your posts. Create a URL that has a keyword. Remember to keep your URL short (2 to 5 words). Crafting SEO-friendly URLs is an integral part of on-page SEO after all.
Use internal links
Search engine algorithms pay attention to whether or not your pages include internal links. When you acquire a decent number of posts, there will surely be a number of your own articles that you can link to. While trying to get others to link to you is a challenge, you can do internal linking. Use the existing posts and add them as hyperlinks by means of the anchor text that includes relevant keywords.
Create a meta description
Meta descriptions are signals to the reader rather than a search engine. People do pay attention to meta descriptions when they read an article title. Google, for instance, highlights the words a reader has typed in bold. Take advantage of a good human-written description with keywords to entice readers to click your content.
Optimize your images for SEO
Posts can really be set apart by means of images. More than that, images can become a way to let search engines know what your post is about. When the opportunity presents itself, add an image and use the alt text, the image file name, and the caption (naturally and with relevant keywords, of course) to complement your post.
Summing it up
All your efforts to create valuable copy and optimize it for SEO can go down the pan if your blog is slow. Fast hosting can complement any content strategy letting your blog pages load instantaneously. If you need a web host with an acute focus on performance, contact us. We’d be delighted to help you choose the best hosting environment for your blog.