The fact is:
When someone lands on your blog post, you’re asking them not to do a million other things, things that are A LOT of the time really fun and interesting.
For example, you’re asking them NOT to:
- chat with their friends on Facebook.
- watch cute puppy videos on YouTube.
- check out what’s happening on Twitter.
The point is:
It’s tough to keep people on your blog post.
If your post is dry, they’re gone forever.
Today I’m going to show you how to write a blog post: Even if you are lazy.
Let’s dive in.
- Find A Topic
- Outline Your Post
- Create An Amazing Headline
- Intro That Doesn’t Bore
- Write SUPER Engaging Content
- Conclude With A Strong CTA
- Right Your Wrongs
[Full Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, that means at no extra cost to you, I receive compensation if you purchase through these links, and in some cases you’ll receive exclusive discounts. 🙂]
How To Write A Blog Post: Find A Topic
Before you can start writing your blog post, you need to know what to write.
But how do you find proven topics?
Use these 4 free step-by-step strategies.
Skillshare is a GOLDMINE, where you can find not only the content that people are interested in but the content that people are paying to access.
You can browse courses by category…
…or by keyword.
For example, let’s say you have a photography blog.
Go to the photography category in Skillshare…
…and scroll down to their trending or popular classes:
And within 10 seconds you have a list of photography content ideas:
- Fundamentals of DSLR
- Instagram-Worthy Shots
- Portrait Photography
- Street Photography
- Product Photography
- Take Pro Photos On Your iPhone.
If Skillshare isn’t enough for you, you can use Udemy as well.
Browse their most popular and trending courses.
Most people use YouTube to watch cute cat videos. Some use it to share their videos and make some money. Not bad.
And you can use it to find your next content idea.
Search for your keyword on YouTube…
…and BOOM! You have some great topics to cover:
- Photography Ideas at Home
- Street Photography
- Simple Photography Tips
Which leads us to…
First, search for a keyword in Amazon and choose Books from the dropdown.
Then, click on a book with lots of positive ratings, to make sure that people read and liked the book.
Finally, ‘Look Inside’ for the table of contents.
And with that, you get a massive list of topics presented to you in seconds:
Answer The Public
Answer The Public combines the suggested searches from Google and Bing and shows you the result in a search cloud.
You can use it to find topics that people are searching for.
Head over to AnswerThePublic and search for a keyword.
You will get the results back in different search clouds:
But it’s a paint to look at.
You can make it a lot cleaner by switching to ‘Data’…
…and there’s your inspiration for topics.
How To Write A Blog Post: Outline Your Post
Now that you’ve selected a topic, it’s time to put down your ideas and give your post some structure.
Why is this important?
If you don’t have an outline for your post, you’ll get confused.
And then, GIVE UP.
Outlining before you start writing will help you break down the post into smaller sections.
This way, you’ll know which sections you want to cover and the best order to do so.
Then, instead of being overwhelmed by the entirety of your post. You can tackle those sections one at a time.
Here’s the deal:
Most beginners try to write the whole post without having any order in mind.
But they never finish it.
If you outline your post the right way, half your battle is won.
You can use Dynalist to structure your posts.
Head over there, create a free account, and read their tutorial to get used to it.
Next, create a new document.
You can choose a simple working title, for now, instead of spending hours for a headline upfront.
Later, you’ll learn to create amazing headlines that work.
For instance, let’s say you’re writing a Street Photography Guide for Beginners.
Then, you can simply name your document “Street Photography”.
(I’m using Street Photography as an example. You should follow along with your topic.)
To build an excellent structure for your post, Google the topic that you’re covering.
Visit all the websites in the first two pages at least, and copy the links of the sites with quality content in your dynalist, until you have 6-10 competitors websites.
What’s quality content?
Look for the type of content that is similar to what you want to post.
If you haven’t decided on the length of your post yet, visit the websites from your dynalist one-by-one. And copy-paste the posts on WordCounter, and take their average to get an idea.
Now, you need to copy all the headings and subheadings from your competitors’ posts…
…and paste them under their link on your dynalist, press tab to nest them.
While doing this, it’s essential that you read the content, especially if you’re unfamiliar with a topic.
Remember: All you’re doing is gathering information about what’s out there.
You don’t have to start planning out what your article is going to look like yet.
You’ll come across headings that might not make sense to you, in that case, rewrite the heading by reading the content.
If your competitors’ posts have subheadings, then nest them under headings by pressing tab again, just like you did above.
After you have a full structure of each article, your dynalist will look something like this:
Visit Youtube and follow the process again.
Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world, so you can easily find videos for any keyword.
Watch some of the top videos on Youtube, and if you find any useful tips, write them down in your dynalist.
And do likewise with Quora.
Quora is a high-quality Q&A site, where you get real answers from experts, most of the time.
Search for your keyword on Quora and read some of the answers.
If you find any helpful tips, add them too.
Now, you’ll use your research to create your article structure.
Add “- Research” after your current dynalist name.
Create a new dynalist for structure.
Put them side by side.
Now, after researching the topic, you probably have some idea of the important things you want to cover in your article.
If you don’t, then read all the articles from your research dynalist and watch the videos as well.
First, start writing the high-level topics in your structure dynalist, and later you’ll deal with the subtopics.
If there’s any sequential or chronological order to your topic, then you can follow that.
Don’t worry if you feel it’s not in the right order, because you can easily reorder it.
If you ever get stuck, the most important thing that you can do is: go with the flow.
Start writing anything about the topic that comes to your mind, even if it doesn’t make sense, and order it later.
While creating the structure of your article, if you feel you need to do more research, then do so.
You should cover the topic in enough detail so that you don’t miss any key points.
After writing the high-level topics, write down, and order the subtopics.
It’ll look something like this:
I’ve created the above structure as an example, you should go in more detail if you can.
Now, copy-paste the structure to the editor of your choice.
If you don’t have any, then you can try Google Docs, it’s what I use.
Remove the bullet points, and make all your headings H2 and your subheadings H3, if you have sub-sub-headings, then use H4 for that and so-on.
And your outline will look much better.
Now, you can tackle your post easily, one section at a time.
But before that…
How To Write A Blog Post: Create An Amazing Headline
Headlines mean life and death for your posts, sales, and blogging career.
The headline is how your visitor decides whether your post is worth their time or not, and aside from an image, it’s the ONLY way to get them to click.
The job of your headline is to:
- Stop your audience in their tracks.
- Lure them in and make them want to read more.
If you ignore creating it the right way, you might as well stop blogging.
And in this section, I am going to give you 3 tips to write AMAZING headlines that beg to be clicked on.
Conductor’s research found that you can easily improve your CTR (Click Through Rate) by adding a number in your headline.
This is because the number gives the reader a little preview about what’s to come, so they’re more likely to click.
And you can use numbers even when you’re not writing a list post.
Add a Bracket (Or Parenthesis)
This is the easiest hack you can use to get more traffic to everything you publish.
Because it works.
A study by HubSpot found that you can increase your CTR by up to 38% by adding brackets to your headline.
Make It Emotional
CoSchedule analyzed 1 million blog headlines for “Emotional Marketing Value” (EMV).
So, what did they find?
Emotional headlines get LOTS of clicks and shares.
And you can easily measure your EMV score by using the Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer by Advanced Marketing Institute.
Just enter your headline into the tool…
…and you’ll get your EMV score back.
Try to get your EMV score to at least 27%.
You can also use CoSchedule’s free headline analyzer.
I try to get my score above 65.
How To Write A Blog Post: Intro That Doesn’t Bore
You’ve got your audience’s attention with your headline. Now you’ve got to keep it.
If you don’t, they’ll stop reading the post, and if they don’t read it, then what’s the point of writing?
With your blog post intro.
Very Short Sentences
The longer your sentences, the harder your reader’s brain has to work, because of cognitive load. Not good.
Especially when a new visitor lands on your site, they don’t know you. They don’t care about your website. So they’re not going to overwhelm their brain just to read your stuff.
Is it easy to read this:
8 Lines… MAX
Your intro is only meant to hook your readers from the start, so they read the rest of your post. That’s it.
Your intro isn’t supposed to cover the entire history of your topic.
You’ll lose a lot of readers if you don’t jump to the meaty info quickly.
Just tell them why the topic is important and what you’re going to cover.
For example, my intro for the “Start a Blog” is only 7 lines:
You can use a transition sentence at the end of your intros to push people to read the next section.
Here’s an example:
How To Write A Blog Post: Write SUPER Engaging Content
Amazing headline? Check.
Engaging intro? Check.
Remember how you outlined your post to break it down into smaller sections?
It’s time for you to write them one by one.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to do it in order.
If you feel stuck in any section, you can either research more on it or jump around sections and write those first.
Use these 7 strategies to write SUPER ENGAGING posts and make it 20x better.
The Killer Three Letter Word
It may or may not surprise you: people LOVE reading about themselves, even if they don’t like to admit it.
Now, it isn’t possible to write a personal article for every person that comes to your site.
But you can make it feel that way.
Use the three-letter word that jolts the reader into paying attention.
You might think that it’s a small thing, but it makes a HUGE difference.
For example, which sentence sounds more compelling to you?
You can use “you” as many times as possible because it’s almost impossible to overuse it.
For example, in this post, I use the word “you” more than 140 times.
Avoid GIANT Walls Of Text
Want people to read? Don’t write like this:
Instead, write paragraphs that are 1-3 sentences long:
Short paragraphs reduce your reader’s cognitive load and are easier to read (especially on smartphones).
Sprinkle Some Bucket Brigades
I LOVE bucket brigades. It’s my favorite hack.
That’s because bucket brigades are phrases that keep your readers glued to the page.
How? (This is a bucket brigade.)
Just as your favorite TV show makes you curious about the next episode by using cliffhangers, so you can’t stop binging.
In the same way, each bucket brigade makes your reader curious about the next line, so they can’t stop reading.
If you use a bucket brigade like “Why is this important?” It makes the reader want to know why this is important.
Or if you use a bucket brigade like “Why?” It makes the reader want to know why.
Here are a few bucket brigades you can use:
Now that you know about them, you’ll start noticing them in every post that keeps you glued. Use those as inspiration to create your own.
Only use bucket brigades where they make sense.
There’s the active voice and the passive voice.
The active voice is:
Even though the passive voice is not incorrect, it’s weaker and less direct.
If you want to sound more clear, direct, and confident, you need to use the active voice, but there are some exceptions.
If the passive voice sounds more clear, then go for it, just don’t overuse them.
Subheaders allow you to break your content into bite-sized little chunks.
For example, my post “How To Start A Website” has A LOT of content.
So I used subheaders to break the post into smaller sections. And added a Table of Contents that take you to each section.
The fact is: People don’t read content online. They skim.
If a subheader doesn’t hook them, they’ll quickly skim your entire post and close your website.
That’s why I recommend including a compelling subheader for every 200 words of content, instead of just labeling them.
If your font size is anything less than 15px, then you’re losing a lot of readers.
Because small texts are hard to read.
If you want your readers to read your content, then make it easy for them.
And larger fonts can also increase reading comprehension and speed.
Medium.com uses a font size of 21px to give it’s readers a smooth experience.
And I use a 20px font because I don’t want you to strain your eyes.
Lots of Images
Images make the content more appealing.
It’s one thing to say: “I lost 50 pounds.”
And it’s another thing to show your “before and after transformation” pictures.
Also, a Claremont University study found that images can increase content credibility by 75%.
Where to get the images?
The easiest way is to use screenshots.
For graphics, you can either hire a freelancer, which is expensive…
…or, like myself, use Canva to easily design your graphics with the help of A LOT of templates.
And you can’t go wrong with Unsplash if you’re looking for beautiful stock photos that are free to use.
How To Write A Blog Post: Conclude With A Strong CTA
Your conclusion is VERY important.
You’ll waste a GREAT opportunity if you don’t know how to write AWESOME conclusions.
Think about it.
After your reader reads your post, they’re thinking: “Alright, now what?”.
Now, most bloggers write a conclusion like:
“So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed the post. See you later. Goodbye.”
And the reader goodbye’s in return by closing their site.
All you need to do is tell them what’s next.
Here’s an example:
To break it down:
- Transition your readers from your post to the conclusion.
- Ask them a VERY specific question related to your post, that’s easy to answer. Don’t ask your readers a broad question like: “Let me know what you think about the post.” I find it helpful to give my readers two easy questions to choose from.
- Finally, insert a CTA (call to action) at the end, that tells your reader what to do next – comment on your post, subscribe to your blog, share your post, read a related article, etc.
How To Write A Blog Post: Right Your Wrongs
You’re going to make mistakes in your first draft, even professional writers do.
Don’t feel bad about it.
Instead, proofread it, to correct them.
Now, there are two things you can do to get 80% of the result, with 20% of your effort.
Read Out Loud
First, read your post aloud.
If a sentence sounds weird to you, then that’s how it will sound in your reader’s mind.
Ditch that sentence.
Then explain the same thing out loud, as if you’re trying to explain it to a friend.
You’ll find that it sounds a lot better. Add that sentence to your post.
Proofread With Artificial Intelligence
Second, use Grammarly, an AI-powered writing assistant, to improve your writing.
Create a new document on Grammarly.
Paste your article in the editor on the left.
It will show you a pop-up where you can set goals for your document.
What does Grammarly do?
Grammarly analyzes your document and shows you the fixes and suggestions that you can use to make your article better.
Not only that.
It also explains the reason why it suggested the fix, so you can learn from your mistakes and avoid them in the future.
If you accept the suggestion, it’ll replace the text on your document.
If you don’t want to, click on the trash icon in the bottom-right of the suggestion to dismiss it.
You can see your current score in the right sidebar. Your goal is to increase it.
Grammarly makes your article more:
…and your delivery, just right.
They’ll also notify you if you use passive voice, among many other things.
I use and recommend getting the premium version because the free version only checks for correctness.
Finally, after you apply their suggestions, your overall score will improve…
…and nothing can stop you now! Not bad.
Grammarly also has addons for Microsoft Office, Windows 10, and Chrome.
But their support for Google Docs is in beta, so it only checks for correctness, even if you’re premium. And it’s still buggy.
That’s why I paste my document on their site to use it fully, instead of using it directly on docs.
Now It’s Your Turn
I hope this guide helped you write a blog post.
Now I’d like to hear from you:
What’s the #1 tip you want to try first?
Are you going to start using bucket brigades? Or maybe you’re going to start outlining your posts?
Or maybe you have a question.
Either way, leave a comment below to let me know right now.
Also Read: 101 Best Tools For Bloggers [2020 Update]