Are you trying to find out how to write a great blog post? Great, then grab a cuppa and let’s get started.
Short on time? You can listen to a podcast version right here
First of all a blog post is just an article which appears on a blog. Like this one that you’re reading right now.
It is designed to inform, inspire, educate or entertain it’s readers, or to promote a product or service that you may have or want to recommend.
This particular post is going to be educating you. It is going to be teaching you exactly how to write a great blog post from scratch. You will learn something from it and so I consider it to be educational. I hope it is a little inspirational too though.
The read time of this post is around 10 mins. Short on time? Listen to the podcast instead.
Okay so the first thing you need is a title. The title needs to be something that is going to encourage someone to click on it.
What makes a great title?
The title should include the keyword(s) that you want to be ranked for. For example this post is being ranked for “How to write a great blog post”. Yes, I know that’s a phrase not a word, this is called a long-tail keyword and they are much easier to get ranked for.
If I tried to get ranked for the single word Blog or even the 2 words Blog Post, I would be up against an enormous amount of competition. Making a long-tail version on my keyword is much less likely to be so competitive.
How I came up with my title was….
I keyed into the Google search bar – how to write blog posts. Then I scrolled to the bottom of page one where Google shows me exactly what people are keying in to the search bar that are similar to my original search.
I decided to go with “How to write a great blog post“. And here we are….
The title really needs to be either answering a question, like “how to write a great blog post” or is offering a way to reduce a pain point like “3 simple ways to get more readers to your blog”
You can actually check to see how good your title is by using this free headline analyzing tool
You can see the result of my analysis here. Have a read of the information that it gives about what is considered a good headline.
As you can see, the result is not that great is it? If I play around with the wording a little I can get a higher result – like this
Or if I really start getting creative I can begin to achieve expert status like this…
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a bit cheesy, and I don’t really like cheesy. It’s also not something that anyone is likely to put into a search bar either is it?
So I’m going to stick with my original plan. I think that “How to write a great blog post” will do just fine. It answers the question that someone might ask and I know it is something that is being searched for because Google told me so – bless ’em.
Where do I put the keywords once I know what they are?
Now that you know what keywords you want to be ranked for, it’s time to start putting them into your blog post.
The first time to use them is in the very first sentence. If you go back to the beginning of this post you will see that I have done just that.
You then need to place them throughout your text. DON’T do what some people do and “keyword stuff” your post. It looks horrible and your content ends up not making sense.
You need your post to be educating, inspiring, informing or entertaining your reader. You need to keep that in mind as your main aim.
Write your blog for your reader, not for Google. Make sure you are educating your reader (or whatever your intention is) and that what you write is making sense.
Include your keywords wherever you feel they would occur naturally, pretty much like what I have done in this post. You need to include them about 4 times in your text if you can. Once in the first sentence, twice in the body of the text and once more in the last sentence.
Some blogging experts will suggest you put them in bold, in italics, underline them and italicise them. You can if you want to but it’s not necessary and only do it if it looks and feels right within your post.
You can also include the keywords in the title and alt text of your images. We’ll get on to images next.
How do images help me to promote my blog post?
Images are great in blog posts because they break up the text. Most people these days are not avid readers. They don’t want a whole page of writing to get through.
Images also help you to explain or clarify things within your post. They make it easier for someone to understand what you are talking about, a bit like my images of the headline analyzer that I used.
When you upload an image you should first of all make sure it is legal for you to use it and that there is no copyright or license for use attached to it. The easiest way to ensure you can use the image is to use a site that has only license free images such as Unsplash.com
Okay, so now you have thousands of free images to choose from – cool right? Once you decide to upload one to your blog post you need to make sure that you do 2 things:
- Give your image a proper title – usually the same title as your blog post as it contains the keywords you want to be ranked for.
- You complete the alt-tag with the keywords you want to be ranked for. For example I have put this in my alt-tags for all the images on this post “Click here to find out how to write a great blog post”.
You will notice I have used the term click here, that’s because if someone finds my post on Pinterest, Pinterest will read the alt-tag and display that with my image which means I have a “call to action” on my image too (something that encourages someone to do something – such as click here).
Where else can I use my Keywords on my post to promote my blog?
If you look to the right of your screen as you are typing your post you will see a side panel that has things like “save draft”, “publish” and “format” on it. Scroll down until you see a section called tags. It looks like this…
Enter all the appropriate keywords that you want this blog post to be ranked for.
Once you have entered them once it keeps a record of them so the next post you write you could choose from the most used tags which saves you having to keep typing them over and over.
For example I use these as some of my tags:
blogging, help to blog, blogging support, how to write a great blog post, working online, work from home
What you use will be entirely up to you and what you want Google to get to know your blog for. It might be that you want to be found in a certain location so you would include that location as a keyword in your tags (and in your posts if you can). You can see an example of how I’ve used this in my business blog to promote my business within the local area.
How do I know whether my post is optimized for search engines?
With most new WordPress themes Yoast comes as standard. This is a tool that helps you with your SEO (search engine optimisation). It tells you whether your post is long enough, whether it contains the right amount of keywords, whether the images mention the keywords in titles and tags.
It will also check your readability. You need to make sure that you are aiming your post at your potential readers and customers so make sure that you are using words that they would understand. If you are not sure, Google recommends that you aim it at a 12 year old reader.
Yoast works as a simple traffic light system that tells you whether things are red and need looking at, or green and good to go.
You can find your Yoast at the end of your post. Keep scrolling down until you see it. If it’s definitely not there, you can add it as a plugin. Watch this short video to see how to add a plugin
Update: I have now created a little video to show you how to use the Yoast tool. You can view it here
So there you have it. Hopefully I have educated you in to how to write a great blog post.
Just a quick summary then to make sure you got it all:
- Choose some good keywords – Use Google to help you
- Use a long-tail version of the keywords to reduce competition
- Put the keywords into the title of your blog post
- Use the keywords in the first and last sentence and twice in the body of the post
- Include your keywords in the title of the images that you upload
- Include your keywords in the alt-tags of your images
and as a bonus for reading to the end I’m going to share one more important tip with you…
If you cheated and skimmed down to this bit, you need to go back and read the rest or this wont help you much
Okay, my final tip
Change your meta-description. This is the sentence or two that shows on Google results. It’s just underneath the title and the website in the search result…
This is how your blog will be presented to the searcher. You want to make sure that those 2 sentences are enough to get them to click on your content rather than the one above or below.
You can do this in one of two ways.
Way 1. You can make use of the Yoast tool. You are able to change what your meta description says within the Yoast tool without changing what you have said in your post.
Way 2. You can put what you want your meta description to say in the first two sentences of your blog post. If no meta-description has been defined, Google will usually take the first couple of lines of text from your blog post so make sure these contain your keywords.
Okay, you’ve got this now. You can do it. You can go on and start creating some great blog posts. Come back if you get stuck, or if you need help with anything else blog related, there are some really helpful posts on here covering all sorts of things from how to create content that gets clicked and viewed to how to make money from your blog even while you sleep.
If you haven’t started your blog yet and need some help to get going why not download my Ultimate Starter Kit for Bloggers. It will talk you through everything you need to do to get started in an hour long video tutorial – or take my free 7 day email course that will talk you through the whole process of blogging, all you need to know, all in one place. You can sign up for it here.
Update: Since writing this post I have been asked if I could elaborate on certain things so I created a little e-book that builds on what is included here, but also includes video tutorials on how to use a free graphic design tool to create amazing and unique images for your blog that will get clicked and shared. You can get your copy here for just £7.99
I hope you have enjoyed my explanation of how to write a great blog post. If so, I would love it if you could share it with others. I have included some popular share icons so please just click away.
P.S I’ll be back in a few days with some other tid-bit of useful information (when I find it) so why not subscribe to my blog and I’ll notify you when I’ve found something to share with you.