So you've started a blog...
...And now you want to write content that keeps readers attention and grows your audience.
This guide will cover the essential tips and secrets from turning your average posts into KILLER blog posts.
Let's get started!
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Most bloggers create content they guess will work.
That's like throwing non-stick spaghetti at a slippery wall. No beuno!
Create content that people want!
This content is what people WANT to consume — which as a by-product grows your brand and audience.
The first step to writing killer blog posts is through solving your audiences problems.
If you're not sure who your targeting, read my how to start a blog guide.
The easiest way to find these blog post ideas (or problems to solve) is through researching what content people have already made.
Don't be afraid or discouraged if people have already written a blog post that you wanted to write yourself.
Competition is good. It means people want to read about that topic.
Your goal is to make a blog post better than you competition.
Or in this case: a KILLER blog post ;)
So how do you find what content your audience wants to read?
Here's exactly how to do it:
BuzzSumo is a great tool to analyze what content is already getting lot's of social media shares.
Which indicates that people LIKE this type of content.
Here's how you can use BuzzSumo.
First, head on over to BuzzSumo.com and enter a topic keyword that you would like to blog about.
This keyword SHOULD be something related to your blog...duh.
Pro Tip: BuzzSumo's free plan only let's you search up to 3 times per day. So use them effectively if you don't want to buy their pro plan.
For example, let's say you run a Beauty Blog and want to write about "Organic Skin Care":
BuzzSumo will show you results of websites that have published content on this topic, along with how many social shares it has got.
Here's what you want to take note of:
For our results we can see that the main common keyword here is "Seed Oil":
From here, you could write a blog post about Seed Oils related to Organic Skin Care, such as "How To Repair Dry Hair with Organic Seed Oils".
Let's dig deeper:
Take a look at the social share results for each website.
We can see that the #1 result "Organic Hemp Seed Oil | Hemp Seed Oil Skin Care" has lot's of social media shares at around 4,200 Facebook engagements.
Therefore, you can make a decision that if you wanted to write a blog post that people are interested in...
...you would write about Organic Skin Care Using Hemp Seed Oil.
If your results are not showing lot's of social shares:
Pro tip: Repeat this process with new keywords you find. In this example we could search for "Hemp Seed Oil Skin Care" or "Natural Makeup" to get other blog post ideas.
Google is my favorite tool for generating blog post ideas.
It let's you know what people are actively searching for.
So naturally you can write a blog post that:
Here's how you can do it:
1. Head on over to Google.com.
2. Type in a keyword or rough idea of a blog post you want to talk about.
For example, if we type in "blog post ideas" we will see other common search terms:
You can take it a step further and look at the Searches Related to your keyword.
You'll find this at the bottom of the search results page:
Pro Tip: In the Google search results, look for websites that have created a blog post and make note of them.
*It's fine if other people have already wrote about the subject...your goal is to create content that is better than there's.
This will give you ideas on what you could write about, what they're already doing well and what you can do better in your blog post.
Also look at any comments or questions left by readers. This is information you can provide in your blog post as people want answers to that information.
...you can combine this with the Google Keyword Planner.
This will help you find a focus keyword which is the foundation of your SEO (search engine optimization) strategy.
We will talk about the keyword planner now, and dive into SEO strategies later on.
It's important to use ONE focus keyword when writing a killer blog post.
Keywords are what people are ACTIVELY searching for on Google.
For example this guide you're reading right now uses "how to write killer blog posts" as the focus keyword. As you can see Google auto-fills this in because its a common keyword people search for:
Searching for and using a focus keywords will help you rank your blog post in Googles search results.
Which will help drive traffic to your website.
This is the foundation of your blog posts SEO (search engine optimization).
To get started:
Head on over to Google Keyword Planner.
Note: You will need to create a Google account and possibly set up your first advert to access the Keyword Planner Tool. Just pause the advert straight away so you don't have to spend any money.
Click on "Find new keywords".
Then type in a topic you would like to write a blog post about.
For example, let's search for "create online courses".
You'll see results for that original keyword at the top (or the closest relevant keyword):
...and other alternatives you could use as a blog post idea below:
Here's how you can get a good keyword:
Look for long tail keywords.
These are keywords with 3+ words in them:
Long Tail Keywords such as "best online course platforms" are typically easier to rank for in Googles search results as they're less competitive than short keywords such as "online courses".
They're also more specific:
Making it easier for you to write content that correctly delivers information for the person searching.
Once you find a long tail keyword, use it as your topic to write a blog post on.
...Enter it into the Google's search to see other recommended keyword suggestions.
These are all killer blog post ideas:
This method is dead obvious once we cover it:
Firstly Quora is a website that allows people to ask questions and receive answers to said questions.
You can use these questions people are asking as a killer blog blog post idea.
Head on over to Quora.com (create an account if you don't have one).
1. Type in your a keyword or topic to the search bar
2. And click on Questions
You'll see questions people are asking. I've highlighted possible blog posts you could create.
Now it's time to simple pick a question, reverse engineer it and answer the question.
You see the question "What are some YouTube growth strategies in 2019?".
You would switch this to be a blog post such as:
"13 Must Do YouTube Growth Strategies For 2019".
This method is pretty obvious.
But we can often turn a blind eye to the questions we get from our audience.
So make sure to:
Look at the questions your audience are already asking you.
And answer them as a blog post (and let you audience know you've published it through social media and your email list!)...more on that later ;)
For example, my audience wanted to know about automating their Instagram account and the settings they should use.
So I wrote a blog post on it:
And emailed them letting them know they can read it:
We briefly touched on the Google Keyword Planner in Chapter 1.
Let's dive in deeper to find a focus keyword for your killer blog post.
This will be the foundation to your blog posts SEO.
SEO = Search Engine Optimization. In simple terms, these are strategies to help rank your web pages in Google's search results to drive traffic to your website.
Firstly, a focus keyword is simply what people are typing into the Google search bar:
Using a focus keyword help's Googles Algorithm (called Rank Brain) determine what your blog post is about, so it can display your webpage in the results for people searching that term.
Head on over to Google's Keyword Planner tool.
A quick note: You will need a Google Adwords account to access the keyword planner tool. This may require you create a Google Ad. Do this and then stop it once you're done.
Google's keyword planner is a great tool to discover focus keywords to use as your blog post.
This is the starting point of SEO-proofing your blog post too.
Use Google Keyword Planner
In the navigation bar, click on Tools > Planning > Keyword Planner.
Select the first option: Find new keywords
Type in a Keyword idea and click Get Started.
For example let's do a search for "Web Design Tips":
At the top you will be able to change your locations results.
I am in Canada so it ONLY shows Canadian results.
But I also target other English speaking countries so let's add them in.
Click on the locations to open up the box and type in anywhere you want to target, for me it's the USA and UK.
Now we can see the results of our original keyword and other alternative options.
You are looking now for a focus keyword to use as the foundation idea of your blog post.
When picking your keyword you want two things:
Pro Tip: Don't worry about the keywords competition, this is only relevant if you want to do paid advertising.
Essentially you just want to pick a a keyword and write a blog post centered around it.
But first let's look at what we have...
For our result we there are multiple keywords:
Choose a keyword from your results...
...And search it on Google:
Look at the results, take notes of blog posts and content already published.
Ask yourself "what can I do better to have the best piece of content for this focus keyword?".
Because that's the key to writing a killer blog post AND ranking your content high in Google's search results.
The best way to write killer blog posts is to have in-depth and long-form content while using a focus keyword (so Google knows to show it when people search that term).
Google's Rank Brian analyzes your web page (the blog post) and will see that if you include everything on that topic (the focus keyword).
If you do this, you'll soar in the search results and people will love you content.
It's a win-win.
Later in this guide I'll show you where to use this focus keyword.
When you start writing your blog post...
...you want to keep these essential copywriting hacks in mind.
As they will keep your readers:
And also help your Googles page dwell time rank improve.
Google Dwell Time: This is how long people spend on your page after clicking your result
Split your content up into different sections by using headings.
You can use this guide for what heading to use:
For example it would look like this:
This makes your complete-content less overwhelming to read.
And it also breaks things down for your readers so it's easier for them to consume everything and quickly navigate to sections that interest them.
For example your post should not look like this:
Instead, break it up into sections and include media so it looks like this:
What's a lead on?
It's a short line:
That keeps someone reading through your content.
And it get's better:
Because I have a BIG list of them that you can see below...
Lead-on's are a great hack to include in your writing style.
This is because:
It helps guide readers down your page.
And also no one enjoys reading a huge block of text, we have very short attention spans these days.
Some even say:
It's lower than a gold-fishes.
P.S. Notice how I used a lot of lead-ons in this hack? They work pretty well right ;)
Forget (almost) everything school taught you about writing.
People online want quick-to-the-point information.
This is both in content and how it's displayed.
Don't write big blocks of texts like this:
Instead write short paragraphs.
It's much easier for people to read and digest.
Especially when people want to skim read your content.
User experience is a HUGE factor...
...that effects if people want to read your blog posts.
In 2018 over 58% of searches were on mobile devices — and this number only continues to climb in 2019.
You need to make it easy for both your desktop, table and mobile audience to read your content.
This can be done through various layout practices:
Can't control your website design? It could be time for you to upgrade to a fully controlable website builder. I created this guide and website using Webflow.
Small text is hard to read.
A good idea is to make your blog posts font size 18px so that it is easy to read.
In addition, you will want to set your line height of your text to 28px so that there is nice spacing between each line.
The general rule of web design is to make your content accessible.
So always be asking yourself this:
"How can I make my content easy for my website visitors to consume?".
Add media to your blog posts.
You can include different media formats, such as:
This will increase the value of your blog post and make it extra-killer.
People love to see examples and visual explanations.
Blog posts with downloadable goodies are SUPER-KILLER!
This is also known as Content Upgrading in the blogging world.
Here's the plan:
You want to give people the option to access a freebie at the very start and very end of your blog post.
This freebie should be related to your blog post.
This is how you can start growing your email list very easily.
Email List Growth: This is a very important thing to do if you want to monetize your blog. It let's you stay up-to-date with your audience as you can email people your product or service offers and any new content you release.
The best way to do offer a freebie is by:
Here's how you can do it:
I recommend you use ConvertKit.
This is an email marketing tool that is designed for bloggers.
It will let you collect emails and automatically send them out to anyone who subscribes to your list.
ConvertKit is an all-in-one email marketing tool to help you grow your blogs email list.
You can collect emails, send broadcasts and add people into an automated email sequence.
Create a ConvertKit account
You will then need to create a digital freebie related to your blog post.
This could be anything such as:
Create a Form and Sequence in ConvertKit so that if someone signs up they're automatically emailed the freebie.
Your sequence will be the part that sends the email.
Your form will be the part where you collect visitors emails by embedding it on your website.
You can use ConvertKit's tutorials to learn how to do this.
Pro Tip: Make sure to change your sequences send time to immediately by changing the send time to 0 hours.
Then on your blog post let people know they can download your freebie.
You can use the ConvertKit forms to collect your visitors information. They will provide you with code to paste into your blog post to display the form.
You can create a custom button, use Optin Monster and connect that to your convertKit account (that's what I do).
For example here's a Optin Monster form I use on blog posts:
Let's make sure your blog post is SEO-proofed.
These simple steps will help you:
Appear higher in Google's search results for the focus keyword you picked in Chapter 2.
Let's dive in:
You want to include your focus keyword in specific spots for Google's algorithm to understand what your blog post is about.
Here's where to put it:
Your blog posts title should include your focus keyword.
For example let's say your focus keyword is "write killer blog posts".
It sounds awkward alone.
So what you can do is add words before and after the focus keyword.
For example we could have blog post titles such as:
Pro Tip: Look at what other websites are using as their titles. What words are they using, are their any common ones such as Ultimate, Best, Top and so on? Use them in your title as people are attracted to these words.
The only important thing is that the focus keyword is still present in the blog post title.
Extra tips to make your title stand out is to use punctuation.
using (brackets) like [these] will make your title stand out more.
Only add them to other words and not your focus keyword.
For example a good title would be:
Your SEO title is your pages title tag.
It appears in the Google search results like so:
If you are using WordPress, download the Yoast SEO plugin.
If you are using Webflow (like me)...
...you have the Page SEO settings built directly in to the app. #AnotherReasonToWebflow.
Important: Your Page Title Tag should be the exact same as your Blog Post Title.
If someone clicks your result in Google and they load a page where your blog post title is different...
...they will probably leave your page as the result wasn't what they expected.
And this is bad as it tells Google that people don't like your result — making your Google search result rank move down.
Pro Tip: Aim for 55 Characters for the best display results in the Google search results. This displays titles best on all devices.
You can scroll to the bottom of your WordPress post to find the Yoast SEO box.
Enter your focus keyword into the focus keyword box:
Then write in your SEO Title:
Remember: Your SEO Title should be the same as your blog post title discussed earlier.
For blog posts (collection items) I suggest adding two Plain Text fields called:
You can then link these in your CMS Collections Blog Template Page...
To do this click on your Blog Template page settings.
Look for the SEO settings section.
In here you will be able to link your page:
For other pages such as your about page, contact page and so on...
...you can just edit it inside this area.
Next up is your URL slug.
This is the part that comes after your primary domain.
For example it would be aaronward.com/url-slug-here
This URL slug should be the focus keyword you are using.
It's this part of your URL:
Firstly change your blog posts URL slug structure in your WordPress > Settings > Permalinks:
The default month and name is TERRIBLE for SEO as it has no keywords in your title.
Alternatively: You can use the Custom Structure and use /blog/ which would cause your blog posts to be www.yourdomain.com/blog/post-title.
Then you can change your blog posts URL slug in the post settings:
You can also do this in the Yoast SEO plugin:
Warning: If you already have blog posts published, changing your blog post structure will cause errors. You will need to look at creating 301 redirect URL's to point old blog post URL's to the new ones.
Firstly for your blog's url structure you need to change your Collection URL.
For example, I made mine "blog" as you can see here:
This is a good slug as it tells Google that this part of your website is a blog.
Google is smart and will like this structuring :)
Then you will be able to change your URL slug in your blog post editor:
I'm a fan of entering the Editor interface.
Click the top right button in your Designer interface and select Editor:
Go into the blog posts and change settings here (it's more visually appealing):
Choose a post and get editing:
Next up is your meta description.
This is the text that appears in the Google search results that gives people an idea of what your blog post is about:
Once again, you will want to include your focus keyword in this description.
It tell's Google that your content is about this topic and also people will see it highlighted in bold which will help you stand out visually if they search for that focus keyword.
Pro Tip: Aim for 155 Characters max for best display results in the Google search results. It usually cuts off anything more with three periods like so...
In the Yoast SEO box, simply change your meta description.
Make sure to include your focus keyword and stay under 150 characters (as Google doesn't show anything after that).
Just like before, we can link the Meta Description plain text field you created earlier:
In your blog template SEO settings:
Then in your blog posts collection, for a blog post you can write in your meta description while including your focus keyword.
Here's an example of everything together:
If you're not sure what to write here, look at what other websites are saying for inspiration.
And let people know EXACTLY what they can expect if they click your result.
Your aim here with both your title and meta description is to get clicks and lots of them.
If you're using a blog post cover image:
You want to include your focus keyword in the alt tag.
You can usually find the alt tag setting inside the images settings of your website builder.
For other images:
You will want to include alt tags of what your images are specifically about.
This helps Google:
I used a picture of registering a domain name in my Start a Blog Guide.
For the alt tag I added: Use Namecheap to purchase your blogs domain name:
Keep in mind:
If your image is not loaded for some reason, people will see this alt tag instead as a backup.
So don't write anything weird...
You want to add your focus keyword into your blog post.
Starting with your introduction:
This let's Google and readers know that your blog post is on topic and covers the information they're seeking.
In the introduction for my blog post on Instagram Bio Optimization, I include this keyword in the VERY FIRST paragraph.
And when it works...
...You want to include your keyword in your blog posts body text.
Pro Tip: Do not try to force your keyword into your blogs body copy. This can actually be negatively impacting on your Google ranking as it's "keyword-stuffing".
LSI Keywords (latent semantic indexing) — In simple terms this is a way of saying "other keywords related to your blog posts topic".
A great way to find these keywords is to use Google Autofill:
The bold words are LSI keywords you can include in your blog posts body text.
Another great way to find them is to head into the image results for your keyword.
And looking at the suggested topics:
Finally, sprinkle these 'keywords' into your content.
Doing this will tell Google you have comprehensive content that covers all the topics for the subject you're writing about.
Which will help you rank higher in the search results!
At the end of the day:
People want a good experience on your website.
Google also wants it's users clicking search results to have a good experience when they land on a website.
That's how it ranks websites: by prioritizing the best ones at the top.
Good experience comes in two forms:
Here's how you do this:
We mentioned it earlier:
Mobile searches are higher then desktop searches now.
You can also check what devices your website visitors are using in your Google Analytics account.
To do this:
Go to your Google Analytics account > Audience > Mobile > Overview:
You can see for my website in the last 30 days that Desktop visitors are my most common at 65%, followed by mobile at 33%, and then tablet at 1%.
Even though mobile is 2nd, I still had 3000+ visitors to my site using a mobile device in those 30 days. Make that a year? That's over 35,000+ mobile visitors.
So make sure your website is designed to look good on a mobile, tablet and desktop.
For example, Backlinko illustrated it perfectly:
Essentially your website should adapt for different screen sizes.
Webflow makes this very easy with their option to switch between different device displays.
If you follow everything in this guide.
Creating quality content won't be a problem.
Because you're going to be creating killer blog posts.
It's much better to have 20 blog posts that have high-quality comprehensive information and examples...
...over 100 blog posts that share five quick tips everyone else is doing.
People simply like in-depth guides that share actionable advise.
So create content that does just that.
Pro Tip: Aim to write over 2,000+ words minimum. Most guides and blog posts on this website are 4,000+ words.
Video consumption is on the rise.
People love to watch video content, so don't be scared to jump onto YouTube and embed that video in to your blog post.
This is going to:
Here's an example of a video I embedded into a blog post — in fact I made this video after my blog post to accompany it and expand my reach outside of just using my blog + SEO.
So go ahead and make some videos...
...it will make blog posts EXTRA-KILLER!
I hope you found these tips on how to write killer blog posts helpful.
Join in below...
and leave a comment!
Let me know what strategy you're going to use first.
Will it be SEO proofing your blog posts or maybe using lead-ons?