Blogging is one of those deceptively difficult tasks. When you see the finished product, it looks like something anyone can do. Then you give it a try and realize that writing attention-grabbing content isn't so easy after all.
Maybe you've just started blogging, and you're struggling to come up with compelling posts. Or perhaps you've been blogging for months or even years and haven't been able to build a reader base.
By the end of this guide, you'll be ready to write content that people actually want to read. Here's a beginner's guide to writing a blog post.
Brainstorm Blog Post Ideas
If you haven't figured out a niche for your blog yet, you'll need to do that first. Without a defined niche, it will be difficult to build any momentum, because you're essentially writing about topics at random.
Once you have your niche, one great way to come up with post ideas is to use what I call the journey method. You can learn more about the journey method in my post, The First Blog Posts You Should Write as a New Blogger. Here's an excerpt from the post that explains the journey method:
"Parenting has a crazy amount of topics so it can be pretty hard to decide what you should write about first. If you take the journey approach, the first step in the parenting journey is usually pregnancy. For that reason, you would start writing posts about pregnancy (if that’s something you wish to cover). By starting with pregnancy that allows you to tackle all of the problems that pregnant women face."
Now on to the topic of brainstorming.
Your ideas don't have to be fully formed yet. Write whatever comes to mind, even if it's just a fragment of a possible topic. The point here is just to get the ideas down.
Determine Your Topic and Post Title
From the list of ideas that you brainstormed, choose the topic you want to write the most. If one of your ideas is relevant or trending right now, I would go with that one.
Next, create a quick blurb on what you're going to write about. This can be a few sentences or a paragraph describing what the content will be about.
With any topic, you should try to find a unique or creative angle that allows you to approach it differently. During this time, I also recommend determining your keywords. I've written a beginner's guide on How to SEO Your Blog Posts that will help you with this.
With your topic ready, it's now time to determine what your title will be. Aim for something that will grab a reader's attention and get them interested in what you have to say. While doing this, you also want to make sure that your title is search engine friendly. Again, my SEO for Beginners article will help you with this.
Furthermore, Quick Sprout has an awesome article that discusses how to write attention-grabbing headlines. You can also use a free tool like the Sharethrough to score your headline and provide suggestions for making it better.
3. Write an Enticing Introduction
If you can get someone to read your introduction, then you've increased the chances of them reading your entire article.
Avoid the all-too-common mistake of simply using the intro to outline what will be in the post. Your goal here is to get people excited about reading the rest of your content. Here are two ways to do that:
- Paint a vivid image of what they can accomplish after reading your post.
- Talk about some of the pain points they might be dealing with and how they can be solved by the end of the post.
Recommend Article: Everything You Need to Know About Writing a Viral Blog Post
Use Heading Tags
Using headings in your posts are a great way to break up your content, bring focus to major points, and tell search engines what your content is about.
In WordPress, you have six headings. They range from H1 to H6. When writing your posts, you should be using H2 or H3 tags for your headings. Never use H1 tags, as those are reserved for your post titles. I mainly use H2 tags within my blog posts.
Use a Conversational Tone
When writing, write as if you were talking to another person. One way to check see if you're writing in a conversational tone is to read your post aloud. Also, don't be afraid to show the reader your personality through your posts. Your unique voice will make your blog more enjoyable to read.
Don't Forget Your Call to Action
Make sure you end each post with a call to action. The call to action is where you ask the reader to do something. Think about why you wrote the post in the first place and what your goals are for your blog.
Are you trying to build a reader base? Write a call to action where you ask readers to subscribe to your mailing list. Do you have a service you want people to purchase? Include a link to your site's services page or a contact form where the reader can get in touch with you.
Add Links and Images
After all that, you should have a good, readable blog post, but that doesn't mean it's finished.
Now that you've got all the written content, it's time to add links to your content. When it comes to linking, you should have both external and internal links. This will help your SEO. Additionally, internal links encourage readers to check out more content on your site.
Furthermore, whenever you create a blog post, you should always include images. I add images to my posts for two reasons:
- We are a visual society and people like to see images.
- Since Pinterest is my highest traffic source, I want to make sure I always include a pinnable image.
Here are some examples of pinnable images:
In addition to those two things, if you’re writing a "how to" post for example, images can help make your post easier to follow.
Images also help to make your post easier to read by breaking up your content.
A lot of people assume that the images they find online are okay to use as long as long as they give credit to the source. I know I used to think this when I began blogging. Always keep in mind that images are copyrighted, and unless you have permission to use the photo, it should not be used on your blog.
Take a look at my article Where to Find Free Images For Your Blog if you're in need of free images you can use on your blog.
Edit and Publish Your Post
After completing your article, I recommend using Grammarly to check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Once you're happy with the post, it's time to hit publish and share it with the world.
When you follow the steps in this article, you'll notice an immediate improvement in the quality of your blog posts. Like anything, the key is to practice. The more you blog, the better your content will get.