When you have a website, you want it to be found in Google. Ranking in Google is a great way to drive traffic to your website. If you have high-ranking blog posts, they can passively bring you traffic for years without investing much. This contrasts with social media, where you have to be continuously active to keep your audience engaged.
So when people tell you that blogging is dead, they are wrong. It is true that blogging has changed, and being successful at it is not as easy as it used to be. But when done correctly, it is a very valuable tool.
You learn here how to write a successful blog post that drives traffic to your blog and increases your business.
Finding the right topic to write about can be a bit challenging. You might be full of ideas that you want to share with your audience, but are all of them suitable for a successful blog post?
That’s a valid question, and most likely, not all of them are. Since writing a blog post takes a lot of time and effort, you should know before writing which topics have good chances to succeed.
Keyword search tools help you to do this exactly. You need to pick a focus keyword, which reflects the topic of your blog post. These search tools help you find keywords that allow you to rank in Google. There are many keyword search tools out there. We at Writing Studio use Ahrefs. If you’re serious about optimizing your blog posts for SEO to achieve valuable traffic, this is a great tool.
A good keyword has a high search volume and a low keyword difficulty (KD).
Let’s assume you have a blog that addresses dog owners and you would like to write about dog food. While this might be of interest to your audience, it is very hard to rank for it. It has a huge search volume of 76,000 but a keyword difficulty of 66 out of 100.
Luckily, Ahrefs helps you find related keywords in that case. Under “having the same terms,” you can see high fiber dog food, which has a low KD of 5 and still quite a significant search volume of 4,000.
For more information about how to find blog topics, check out this article.
Once you found a good focus keyword, you should have a closer look at the competition for this keyword. This is useful for several reasons:
First of all, it helps you to understand the search intent behind the keyword. One of the worst things that can happen is that you write an off-topic post. That means that people who are typing these keywords into Google are looking for something different.
High fiber dog food is a good example. People might want to buy high fiber dog food, or they may look for information around the topic. Is high fiber dog food good for my dog? What quality criteria should I look for?
Looking at the search results, you can see that different kind of websites rank for this keyword. Most are informational pieces of content, but Amazon also ranks for it.
So, in this case, a blog listing the best high fiber dog foods or an informational article about this kind of food could be successful.
Be careful with keywords that have multiple meanings, such as band. Band can refer to a group of people playing music or to something that holds your hair together.
Just type your focus keyword into Google and take a look at the top search results. If they match the topic you intend to write about, you are fine.
Reading some competitive blog posts also gives you inspiration for your own piece of content. This is not about stealing ideas; it’s more about finding out how you can do better than your competition.
Also, check the lengths of the competing posts. Longer is not always better, but if the highest-ranking posts are a few thousand words long, you should write something comparable in length.
This advice applies to any writing. The most successful texts focus on one single aspect and cover it in detail. This advice is not easy to follow for most writers. Most people want to demonstrate their knowledge by mentioning everything related to the topic.
They don’t realize that their readers might not be interested in this and that it makes the reading cumbersome and tiring. If you feel that it’s an important aspect to cover, write a separate blog post about it and link to it.
Before you start writing, you should come up with a rough outline. This helps you to structure the blog post and to stay organized.
Each blog post should have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Take some notes for the introduction, what major points you want to cover in the body and what would be a good conclusion. A conclusion usually summarizes the main points of the post. It’s also good to include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end. You have to remember that your blog post serves a purpose and wants the reader to do something after reading it. For instance, you may refer to your products, to other articles related to the topic, or ask to share the post on social media.
When you are unsure about how to structure your article, you can use the following questions as a template for your blog post:
Taking high fiber dog food as an example, you could briefly explain what high fiber dog food is, then explain why it is good for your dog, and then tell your reader how to find it.
After doing your research and having your outline, you can write your first draft. How “perfect” your first draft is, depends on your preferences. Some writers prefer to write a dirty first draft as quickly as possible and then spend more time editing. Others carefully choose the words and then spend less time editing.
Once you have written your draft, it’s time for SEO optimization.
The following steps are essential to any post:
Including your focus keyword should be straightforward when it matches the topic of the post. It will be hard to write about high fiber dog food without mentioning this keyword.
But also try to include some related keywords as secondary keywords, such as high fiber canned dog food or high fiber dog foods for small breeds. Keyword search tools help you find related keywords, giving you ideas about what information to include in the post.
But only include them if they are relevant to your blog post. If it’s a good keyword but a bit off-topic, it would be better to use it as a focus keyword for a separate post.
Meta title and meta description appear in the Google search results. The meta title can be different from the blog post’s title and should include your brand name. The meta description should give a clue what the post is about and entice your target reader to click on it. Both should contain the focus keyword.
The meta title can be up to 60 characters, the description between 120 and 160 characters. If they are too long, Google cuts them off, as in this example:
For more information about how to optimize your post for SEO, check out our SEO checklist.
You probably know this from yourself. When you’re searching for information online, you want to find what you’re looking for quickly. Reading a blog post is very different from reading a book.
When you decide to read a book, you set aside a decent amount of time and carefully read every sentence.
When you find a blog post that might be of interest, you first skim through it to see if it provides the information you are looking for. Subheadings and bolding of important keywords help you do this. Infographics might also catch your attention. And you probably also don’t have the patience to read a long paragraph that is not broken up into smaller sections.
For these reasons, the format of a blog post is very different from a book. In a book, it is not a problem to have long paragraphs without any subheadings. In a blog post, it’s a no-go.
Take this blog post as an example:
The last step is to edit your post. You should take the editing seriously as it impacts the quality of your post. Editing can take as much time as the writing itself or even longer.
Your post should go through several rounds of editing. The first rounds you can do yourself. Read it several times to find typos and grammar mistakes. Check if it’s well-structured and coherent.
You should also ask someone to edit your post. An editor can spot logical inconsistencies and tell you if everything is understandable. Also, ask someone with a good grasp of grammar to proofread your post.
If you write one single article about a particular topic, it’s hard to rank for it. No matter how long and well-researched it is, Google will not recognize you as an expert in the field with one piece of content.
To improve the ranking of your articles, you should create content hubs. Ideally, you should have one overview page (also known as pillar page) briefly covering all important points on the topic. You can then write individual posts for each point and connect them with internal links to the main article.
This also helps to keep your posts clear and focused on one topic. Whenever you notice that you are diverting from the post’s main idea, you can briefly mention it and refer to another post.
Blogging can be a fun experience, but it’s also hard work. If you want your blog posts to be successful, you have to pay attention to many things.
We can promise you that it gets easier with time and experience. Most people can learn how to write good blog posts. But if you think that blog writing is not your strength and your time is better invested in other parts of your business, feel free to check out our blog writing services.