How to Write a Blog Post in 2018: 10 Super Easy Steps to Succeed
Learning how to write a blog post seems pretty easy, right? In fact, you might already blog on a regular basis.
However, blogging has changed over the last few years. Reader expectations have heightened, and the same old content just won’t cut it anymore.
Blogging has become an integral part of most businesses’ marketing strategies. You don’t want to get left behind.
Without a proper structure under your belt, your blog post can’t succeed. You need the appropriate building blocks — words and SEO rather than brick and mortar — to bring your idea to fruition.
However, you also need compelling prose. Without the accouterments, a framed-out house isn’t livable or attractive. It needs paint and a roof and other details.
That’s what we’re going to cover today. We’ll help you become the architect of your own blog so every post you write attracts your audience, engages your readers, and converts your prospects.
At the end of this post, we'll also share with you a FREE PDF download on 100 Blog Post ideas you can use to jump-start your next blog!
Types of Blog Posts to Captivate Your Audience
As a blogger, you want to stand out. Otherwise, you’re just another voice in a chorus — not an individual who draws attention.
You’re using your blog to promote your Knowledge Commerce products, right? If nobody reads your blog posts, you’re just wasting your time.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should give up on blogging. You just need a sound strategy to go with the solid architecture we’re going to build throughout the rest of this article.
First, though, let’s cover the myriad types of blog posts you might write. Some of the most common examples include the following:
- How-Tos: Teach your audience how to reach a goal, solve a problem, or improve their skills.
- Listicles: Create a list of tips or steps for your audience so they can follow along.
- Round-ups: Post links to content you like around the web or collect quotes from industry experts who have interesting things to say about your niche.
- Q&As: Whether it’s a single question or a list of questions, give your readers thorough, in-depth answers so they don’t have to look anywhere else.
- Opinion: State your opinion on a topic and back it up. Bonus points if your opinion differs from the accepted beliefs on the topic.
Each of these types of blog posts can give your blog more depth and keep you from getting burned out or bored.
Now that we’ve covered types of blog posts, let’s dive into the building blocks that make up a single article.
1. Get to Know Your Target Audience
When an architect works with a customer, he or she first learns as much about the buyers as possible. What features do they want in the property? How large is the family? What will make them happy?
That’s your job as a blogger, too. If you don’t know what your audience wants to learn, how can you attract them to your blog?
The personas should include as much information as possible, from basic demographics to wants and needs. Pretend that you’re writing a biography of a fictional person, but base that biography on information you’ve collected about your target audience.
After you’ve chosen a buyer persona for your next blog post, figure out what search intent he or she might have. People search Google for specific reasons.
Some people might want to buy an online course right now. Others might be conducting basic research into your niche.
The same article probably won’t appease both, so pick one.
Think of search intent related to the target audience’s position in the sales funnel. At the top of the funnel, they’re just collecting data and learning about the topic. Toward the bottom, they’re getting ready to buy.
If you write your blog post with search intent in mind, you’ll catch readers at the perfect time.
2. Outline Your Blog Post’s Structure
Before you write a single word of your blog post, you need to have some idea of where you’re going. Just as a contractor lays a home’s foundation before building up, you must know what your post will cover and what you want to communicate to your audience.
This foundation includes a little bit of prerequisite work. Even if you’re an expert in your niche, you still need to do research, verify facts, and figure out what you want to teach your readers.
It’s fine to start out with a general idea of where you want to go. During this first stage, refine the idea.
Do More Research Than You Think You’ll Need
Research matters more than anything else at this stage. You need to know what other people have said about the topic so you don’t simply regurgitate readily available information.
Plus, you’ll want to be able to point to other resources, especially if you plan to use lots of data points. You might not use all the research you collect. That’s okay — you might need it for a future blog post.
Double-Check All Facts and Stats
You don’t want to misstate a fact or misquote a statistic. If possible, find two or more sources for every fact you state.
You want your audience to trust you — to feel safe in your capable hands. Fact-checking your post before you start writing will help you build authority.
Choose a Target Word Count
It’s always a good idea to begin with a target word count. You might write more or fewer words, but you should have an end goal in mind.
That way, you’ll know whether or not your topic is large or small enough to fit the intended word count. You don’t want to add fluff and filler just for the sake of creating more words.
Brainstorm Topics You Want to Explore
The details from this brainstorming session might change as your blog post takes shape, but you might draw inspiration from these ideas as you write your article. It’s a great weapon against writer’s blog.
3. Lead With a Topic And Working Title
Your title might change during and after you write your blog post, but give it a working title at the beginning. It will help keep you focused and make sure every section of the blog post is responsive to the title.
You can also take this time to brainstorm multiple titles. Keep them as a list at the top of your document so you can refer to them often. After you’ve finished the article, revisit the titles so you can choose the best one.
4. Write the Introduction — And Revise It ‘Til It Shines
The introduction will dictate whether readers stick around or wander away. If you’re boring or repetitive, expect readers to click on something else.
Introductions can be short and snappy or longer and more involved. It often depends on the topic.
However, make sure it’s directly related to the topic or working title. It should also ask a specific question or leave your reader wanting to know more about the subject.
Keep in mind that many readers abandon articles during the introduction. It doesn’t capture their interest enough to keep them on the page.
For this reason, spend more time revising and polishing your introduction than any other single part of your blog post. It needs to keep the reader wanting more.
5. Organize Your Thoughts
Just as your blog post needs a foundation, it also needs bones. Contractors use an architect’s drawings to create a home’s basic frame before filling in the finer details.
Some people write blog posts from the top down. They don’t think about where they’re going before they begin.
While you can certainly write that way, we don’t recommend it. For one thing, your article will lack focus; for another, you might lose sight of your original goal.
Create an outline that lists, at a minimum, each subheading in your blog post. Those subheadings will guide you from the introduction to the conclusion.
You can use the traditional outline form to structure your article. Start with a title, then fill in subheadings as the main points you want to hit. Don’t forget to include a conclusion and a section for the CTA (which we’ll cover later on).
6. Get the Writing Out of the Way
A house doesn’t become a house until it receives the finishing touches: window trim, exterior paint, appliances, plumbing fixtures, and so on.
Now, it’s time for the actual writing — you’re finishing off the house. Don’t feel intimidated, though, because you already have the foundation and frame in place.
You just have to fill in the details.
Give Each Heading and Subheading Equal Attention
You don’t want the sections in your blog post to have massively different sizes. In other words, you wouldn’t want to write a blog post in which the first two subheadings have 2,000 words and the last five subheadings have 300 words.
It will seem lopsided.
You don’t need equal words, sentences, or paragraphs for each section, but try to keep them balanced. It also helps if you make the subheadings themselves parallel. If one subheading is in the form of a question, for example, then each one should be a question.
Incorporate a Recurring Theme
You might notice that we’ve alluded to a recurring theme throughout this article by comparing writing a blog post to architecture. It’s a great way to keep readers interested and to provide a frame of reference.
The theme can be anything. You might use an analogy like we’ve done here, or you could use a recurring word or phrase. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s relevant to the topic and doesn’t serve to confuse the reader.
Add Humor and Personality
A dry, boring article will only send your readers to the “X” button at the top of the browser. Feel free to tell a joke or two or to add your own personality into the mix.
Just make sure your personality is consistent. You don’t want to blog as one personality and teach your online courses as another. That would frustrate and confuse your readers.
Similarly, you’ll want to maintain a consistent voice and tone. If you’re usually irreverent and silly, don’t write a somber blog post. The same goes for other qualities that might inform your personality, tone, and voice.
Insert Your Own Opinions
Similarly, you need to come down on one side of an argument or the other. Readers should walk away from your blog post without any question marks hanging over their heads.
This doesn’t mean you have to be controversial. If you don’t want to write about politics or religion, don’t — especially if they have nothing to do with your industry.
You just don’t want to give your readers the impression that you’re hedging your bets. Language such as “in my opinion” and “if you ask me” can leave readers wondering if you have a stance on anything.
If you believe something, say it. Don’t leave any room for ambivalence.
7. Edit, Proofread, Fact-Check, and Format Your Blog Post
A contractor doesn’t leave a construction zone after nailing down the last piece of siding. He or she inspects the property, touches up paint, repairs loose shingles, and otherwise perfects the work.
That’s your job, too. After you’ve written your blog post, read it thoroughly to check for grammatical, factual, or spelling errors.
You can use tools like Grammarly to help catch minor errors and typos. If you’re not a polished writer, consider hiring a freelance editor to do a quick pass on each article.
Ask a friend or colleague to read the post, too, and provide any feedback that might help improve it. A third party’s opinion can make a huge difference because they might catch issues you can’t see in your own work.
Choose a Featured Image
Select an image — stock or otherwise — for the top of your article. A featured image helps engage the reader and encourage clicks from outside sources, such as social media.
You can also add other images throughout the blog post. They help break up the text, add color to the page, and keep readers on the page.
Keep your images consistent, especially within the same blog post. They don’t have to look like identical twins, but they should communicate similar ideas.
Improve the Post’s Visual Appearance
Make sure you’ve added proper headings and subheadings, then formatted them to your liking. Add any other graphics or images you think might help make the article more visually appealing.
Look for other visual issues, such as large blocks of text. Break them up with line breaks, bullet points, and numbered lists.
Keep Sentences Short and Paragraphs Shorter
You might notice that we write very short paragraphs here on the Kajabi blog. We’re not afraid of short sentences, either.
Short paragraphs are less intimidating to the reader. They’re also conducive to scanning.
Varied sentence lengths also matter. If you have a long sentence with a list, for instance, follow it up with a punchy sentence of just four or five words. It keeps the text interesting.
Tags typically relate to the primary and semantic keywords you’ve used throughout the text. You can also tag your blog post with words related to the general topic or title.
People can use tags to find your blog post and to better understand what your article is about. They also help you organize the content on your Kajabi blog.
8. Insert a Call to Action (CTA) at the End
The call to action, or CTA, is like the for-sale sign in front of a newly built house. It’s an invitation for people to buy what you’re selling.
You’ll notice that real estate signs aren’t very dramatic. They’re just easily recognizable.
That’s what your CTA should look like. Make an offer, issue an incentive, and tell the reader what to do next.
9. Optimize the Post for Search Engines
A contractor or architect can’t sell a house unless buyers can find it. They post details, maps, and other information on websites to attract potential homeowners.
Similarly, bloggers need search engine optimization, or SEO, to help buyers find their content. SEO increases the chances that someone will find your blog post via a search.
Old-school SEO doesn’t work anymore. You can’t just stuff your blog post full of keywords and expect Google to shoot you to the top of the rankings.
In fact, that’s a good way to make sure your content never gets found.
Instead, you have to follow modern SEO trends so your blog post has the best chance possible of being found.
Use a focus or primary keyword at least three or four times in your blog post. Sprinkle in a few semantic (or related) keywords throughout to give the blog post context for the search engines.
Keywords help Google understand what you’re writing about.
For instance, let’s say you’re writing a blog post on baby showers. You wouldn’t want Google to confuse your article with one about bathroom showers.
To give Google context, you might use the following keywords in your post:
- Baby shower(s)
- Baby shower decorations
- Baby shower gifts
- Baby shower invitations
- Boy/girl baby shower
You see the idea. You want Google to know exactly what you’re communicating to your readers so it can rank the article properly.
The meta description doesn’t directly help your SEO, but it can incentivize people to click on your article in the search engine results pages, or SERPs. The meta description appears beneath your article’s title in the SERPs.
If you add an enticing meta description to your article, people will want to click and find out what more you have to say on the subject. You have 300 characters for your meta description, so make them count.
Page Title and Headers
When you format your blog post, you’ll use headings (H tags) to create different sections. Google “reads” H tags based on their descending numbers on the page.
Primary subheadings, for instance, should be put in H2 tags. If you have a section underneath one H2 subheading, you would label that subheading as H3, and so on. You can go all the way to H6, but most bloggers don’t need more than three nested subheadings.
Try to use the primary keyword in at least one subheading with an H2 tag. Additionally, add the keyword to your page title and make sure it’s attractive to both search engines and readers.
Another part of SEO deals with links. Ideally, you’ll want to attract backlinks from other websites. Those sites pass their SEO juice to your site.
However, you can also help your blog post rank by including internal links. You might link to other blog posts or to static pages on your site.
These links help the different pages on your site “talk” to each other. They show how they’re connected, and Google can recognize those connections.
Don’t link with meaningless words and phrases, though. Your anchor text, or the text that contains a link, should relate to both the blog post and to the page you’re linking to.
For instance, we’ll go back to the baby shower example. Maybe you’ve written another blog post about baby products for first-time parents. You could link to that article with the anchor text “baby products” or “baby necessities.”
You can see a good example of anchor text from one of our own blog posts:
10. Give the Piece a Punchy Title
Some of the most well-known houses and buildings throughout the world have their own names. Why? Because names mean something.
When you give something a name, you give it gravitas and importance. The title of your blog post tells readers what they need to know about its contents.
The best titles incorporate both SEO and clickbait. They encourage people to click by enticing curiosity, but they also lend themselves to better rankings on Google.
As we mentioned above, always include the primary keyword in your title. Your title should be no more than 60 characters, but try to use as many of the 60 as possible.
Often, adding numbers to a title encourages clicks. People like lists because they enforce order and refine expectations.
You can also use the title to ask a question or to allude to a secret.
Use Kajabi To Turn Your Knowledge And Content Into Products You Can Sell
There are lots of ways to become an entrepreneur. In our opinion, Knowledge Commerce offers the most enticing route to business ownership.
There’s no inventory to store, no patents to secure, and no competition over shelf space. Best of all, you’re selling something you already have — the knowledge in your head.
To help you succeed in Knowledge Commerce, we’ve built the ultimate digital learning platform. Entrepreneurs can set up their business in mere minutes and start creating digital products to sell.
We also offer a 14-day free trial so you can try out our extensive features and determine whether Kajabi is for you. Kick the tires, if you will, before you commit.
We’d love to welcome you to the Kajabi family — and to help you become one of our revered #KajabiHeroes.
Learning how to write a blog post can make you a better business owner. Why? Because you’ll learn how to reach your audience.
We blog regularly here at Kajabi. In fact, it’s one of our favorite ways to connect with our community and to reach potential Knowledge Commerce entrepreneurs.
Whether you’ve been blogging for years or you haven’t started a blog yet, you can learn from this list of 10 tips to create a successful blog post.
Start by getting to know your target audience. Figure out what they want to learn.
Next, get your blog post’s structure organized. Decide on a topic and create one or more working titles. Then, spend some time crafting the introduction.
Organize your thoughts so you know exactly what your article will include. With that out of the way, you can write the blog post, edit and fact-check it, create a CTA, and optimize it for search. Once you’ve settled on a final title, it’s ready for its public debut.
Writing a blog post is a lot like building a house — just with less sweat equity in the bargain. If you start with a foundation and build up from there, you can’t lose.
100 Blog Post Ideas for Your Online Business
Now that you know the 10 steps to creating the perfect blog post, download our FREE PDF on 100 Blog Post Ideas. This PDF will help you jump-start your next post and create content your readers will love… without ever having to worry about what your next post should be again!
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