Are you interested in saving time and effort, and develop a system for creating well-researched and easy-to read articles for your own brand, or a client? Are you ready to up-level your blogging skills?
If you have been ‘winging it' until now, you've come to the right place. I've been a blogger for over ten years, producing up to 25 article each month for clients. I am ready to share my not-so-secret formula for blogging with you!
In this article you find the exact 7 steps I take each time I write a blog article. This is the opening paragraph of the article: every blog article should have an opening paragraph.
Step 1: Topic and Keyword Research
Before writing a single word of your article, research will tell you what you should be writing about. Write answers to Google queries, write how-to articles, write about topics your audience aka your ideal customers is interested in.
Here are the tools I use for researching topics, trends and keywords.
- Google Analytics
- Google Trends
Here is what the research looks like, using the topic of “write a blog” as the example in Google Trends:
The more search terms you enter, the more comparisons you end up with! Tools like SEMrush and Google Analytics will further help you identify what topics and keywords are currently trending on your blog, so that you can lean into those trends and create more content that performs well.
Step 2: Write the Perfect Headline
Once you know what you want to write about, take time to create the perfect headline. My favorite tool for years and years has been Headline Studio and I continue to use this tool for all my blog headlines, presentations and keynotes.
Using the word banks provided by the tool, you ‘massage' the headline into a masterpiece. In the screenshot below, on the bottom left you can see what the original headline was: “How to Write a blog to Attract Readers”. The winning headline for this article with a score of 86 is “5 Quick and Easy Steps to Writing a Fantastic Blog Article”
You might notice that this article's headline uses the number 7 instead of 5. That was an easy edit once I created an article outline. (see Step 3)
Step 3: Create an Article Outline (H2)
Before writing the opening paragraph, I write out the outline of the article. This process is quick, simple and follows a few rules:
- Write your article in Google docs NOT in WordPress
- Use your chosen keywords in at least a few of the H2 (and H3) headers
- Write 3-5 paragraph headers, including an opening & closing paragraph
- Use bullets & numbers
There are several reasons to write your article in Google Doc vs WordPress, the most important one is the ability to save-as-you-write! I've lost hours of work writing in WordPress. I learned that lesson early on and will never, ever do that again.
Add keywords to (some of) the H2 headers for extra SEO juice.
With a mandatory opening and closing paragraph, it behooves you to plan on writing at least 5 paragraphs total to drive your point home.
Last but not least, know your audience! Readers will often scan an article: using bullets or numbers will allow your reader to do a quick scan of the most important points you are driving home! Use bullets and numbers wisely and often!
Step 4: Write the Blog Article
Can you believe it! Step 4 is here and you get to … write!
Use everything you've got: your research, brain power, love for words, and imagination to write a compelling story and drive a point home – because yes, you have to have a point!
This middle paragraph is usually where the crescendo of the article takes place! Where you drive that most important point home, this is where you make the case!
Step 5: Choose your Media: Images and Video
The next paragraph supports your thesis, your ‘discovery if you will. In this case, you choose the images and video to go along with your article. Screenshots, stock photos, graphics, videos – all are game as long as they add value to your article!
Once this is done, add the written copy and media to your hosting platform aka blog, and save as a draft. Now step away! Yes. Step away until later.
Step 6: Final (Blog) Edits
I told you to step away after writing the copy and gathering media. I do this to give myself and my brain a break. You should do the same. Content overload is real and by stepping away, you come back to the draft with renewed energy, a new outlook and most importantly, fresh eyes!
Here are all the tricks that help me read through the blog for final edits. I think they are self explanatory!
- Read slow
- Read backwards
- Read outloud
- Use Grammarly Tool
- Utilize a second set of eyes (jr editor)
- Check the readability score
If you take the time for all of these, you will find 99.99% of all grammar issues! I promise.
NOTE: Your readers will find the remaining 0.01% of errors and gleefully inform you when they do! 😂
7 SEO Optimization and Internal Linking
The last step before hitting ‘publish' on an article involves some SEO best-practices and internal linking. Your outbound links should already have been added as you quoted research within the copy of your article.
Now is the time to link to your own older, but relevant, blog content. There are tools and plugins that can help you find the best articles to link to internally, but if you are the main writer, you will know exactly where and how to link!
NOTE: Always use the ‘open link in new tab' option when linking internally.
BONUS: Hit Publish
This is the closing paragraph.
You make a nice bow with your words, spin a great ending to your tail, wrap the gift of knowledge and this is where you end the article!
Add a call to action for good measure. Let us know if you'll be applying all these tips next time you write an article for your blog by leaving a comment below. Feel free to share this article with your fellow blogger friends and don't forget to join our online community of social media managers who are eagerly awaiting your presence on Facebook!
You. Can. Do. This!
PS – SECOND Bonus!
Here is a video of this WHOLE blog writing process! ⬇️
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You'll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.