Content Marketing

10 Steps for Writing an Effective Blog Post

This may seem like an elementary post… but you’d be surprised at how many folks ask me for advice on how to write an effective blog post. I’d also add that sometimes I’m very confused when I read some posts on what the goal was, the relevance was, and if the blogger even thought about the reader as he/she wrote the post.

  1. What is the central idea of the post? Is there an answer you’re trying to provide to a specific question? Don’t confuse folks by mixing disparate ideas in a single blog post. Is the topic remarkable? Remarkable content gets distributed in social media and can draw more readers. Decide what type of post you’re going to write.
  2. What keywords could you target with your blog post? Truth be told, I don’t always look for keywords to promote when I’m blogging, but it is a great way to acquire new readers. Don’t stuff a ton of keywords into a single blog post… it’s okay to concentrate on a few related words.
  3. Utilize keywords in your post title, the first words of your post, and the first words of your meta description. Bolding keywords or using them in subheadings, and sprinkling them in your post can make quite a difference on how your post is indexed with the search engines.
  4. Are there other blog posts you can refer to when writing your current post? Linking internally to other posts can help a reader dive deeper and revive some old content that you’ve written. Linking externally can promote other industry folks and provide some additional fodder to support your post.
  5. Is there a representative image that you can utilize that leaves an impression with the reader? Our brains don’t often remember words… but we do process and record images much better. Getting a great image to represent your content will leave more of an impression with your readers. Adding alternative text to the image can help with SEO. (And if a picture is worth a thousand words… an infographic is worth 100,000 and a video is worth a million!)
  6. Can you write the content utilizing bullet points? People don’t read blog posts as much as they scan them. Utilizing bulleted points, short paragraphs, subheadings, and bolded keywords can help people scan the post and easily decide whether or not they wish to dig in deeper.
  7. What do you want people to do after they read the post? If you have a corporate blog, perhaps it’s to invite them for a demonstration or to give you a call. If it’s a publication like this, perhaps it’s to read additional posts on the topic or promote it to their networks. (Feel free to hit the Retweet and Like buttons above!)
  8. How long should your blog post be? As long as it takes to get your point across – never longer. I often review my posts and find that I’ve bloviated a bit on a topic – so I’ll clean it up and cut all the extraneous stuff out of it. A more popular post I wrote was 200 Blog Post Ideas… it was long, but it worked! If I’m writing paragraphs, I tend to keep it to a handful of short paragraphs – one or two sentences tops. Again, making the content easily digestible is key.
  9. Tag and categorize your post with keywords you’d want the audience to find the content under. Tagging and categorization can help you and your readers find content easier when they’re scouring your site about a specific topic. It can also help to organize additional content like related posts.
  10. Show some personality and provide your viewpoint. Readers aren’t always looking to find just answers in a post, they’re also looking to find out people’s opinions of the answer. Controversy can drive a lot of a lot of readership… but be fair and be respectful. I love debating folks on my blog… but I always try to keep it to the topic at hand, without name-calling or looking like an ass.

8 Comments

  1. 1

    Wonderful article discussing the technical side of writing and posting a blog. Great information to review BEFORE posting your next blog.

  2. 2

    If we rank a post by what we take away from the post this post ranks high. The post itself is an example of the post. For example, # 4 other blog posts – what are there 10 in the post? Thanks.

  3. 3
  4. 4

    Thanks Doug.  It’s never a bad idea to go back to the basics on how to write a good post.  Luckily the platform I use (Compendium) helps guide and support me on many of these steps, yet your first step is so true and my biggest personal challenge when trying to write a good post.  So funny that you linked your 200 content ideas post as an example of a long post.  It is long, but very easily digested and will help people be execute on some of the other steps you list here. Hope your readers check that link out! 

  5. 6

    Thanks Doug for all the tips. I am new to the blog world and have found it hard to clearly and effectively get my point across. I will definitely be using these tips in my coming blogs.   

  6. 8

    I’ve never read or posted on a blog, so this was the perfect article! Thanks for explaining the basics in a very understandable way.  

    Next, I need to learn “Do I sign this thing, and what happens when I click “Post as…” ?

    I guess I’m about to find out! 

    BTW, I’m known as CharacterMaker.

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