You’ve probably heard how blogs are paramount to the success of your marketing. But it is important that you learn how to start a blog and write posts so that each article supports your business.
Without a blog, your SEO can get a tank, you will have nothing to promote on social networks, you will not have influence with your potential clients and clients, and fewer pages to put those calls into action.
So why, why almost all the marketing specialists I speak with have a complete list of excuses for which they cannot constantly blog?
Perhaps because, unless you are one of the few people who really like to write, business blogs smell bad. You have to find words, put them together in sentences … ugh, where do you start?
What is a blog?
A blog is literally an abbreviation for “weblog.” Blogs began in the early 1990s as an online magazine for people to post thoughts and stories on their own websites. Bloggers share their posts with other Internet users. Blog posts used to be much more personal for the writer or group of writers than they are today.
Today, people and organizations from all walks of life administer blogs to share analysis, instructions, criticisms and other ideas of an industry in which they are specialists in the promotion.
After reading this post, there will be absolutely no reason why you can’t blog every day and do it quickly. Not only do I provide a simple blog post formula, but I will also provide free templates to create five different types of blog posts:
- The How-To Post
- The List-Based Post
- The Curated Collection Post
- The SlideShare Presentation Post
- The Newsjacking Post
With all this type of blogging, literally anyone can blog as long as they really know the topic they are writing about. And as you are an expert in your industry, there is no reason not to sit every day and create an excellent blog post.
12 Step: How to write a blog post
#1 Understand your audience.
Before you start writing your first blog post, have a clear understanding of your target audience. What do you want to know? What will resonate with them? This is where it is useful to create your buyer persona. Consider what you know about the people of your buyers and their interests as you create a theme for your blog post.
For example, if your readers are millennials who want to start their own business, they probably don’t need to provide information on how to start on social media; Most of them already have this problem.
However, it can provide you with information on how to adjust your approach to social networks, in a more informal and personal way to a business and network-centric one. This type of adjustment is what separates you from blogs about generic things and what your audience really wants (and needs) to hear.
You don’t have people buying for your business? Here are some resources to help you get started:
- Create Buyer Personas for Your Business [Free Template]
- Blog Post: How to Create Detailed Buyer Personas for Your Business
- MakeMyPersona.com [Free Tool]
#2 Create the domain of your blog.
Next, you will need a place to host this and all other posts you write. This requires choosing a content management system (CMS) and a website domain hosting service.
Sign up with a content management system:
A CMS helps you create a website domain where you actually publish your blog. The CMS platforms available for you to subscribe can manage domains where you create your own site; and subdomains, where you create a web page that connects to an existing site.
This is true for all bloggers who want to start their own blog on their own site.
Register a domain or subdomain with a site host
The domain of your blog will look like this: www.yourblog.com. The name between the two periods is up to you, as long as this domain name does not yet exist on the Internet.
Do you want to create a subdomain for your blog? If you already have a cooking business at www.yourcompany.com, you can create a blog like this: blog.yourcompany.com. In other words, the subdomain of your blog will be in its own section of yourcompany.com.
Some CMS offer subdomains as a free service where your blog resides in CMS, not on your company’s website. For example, it might look like “seublog.contentmanagementsystem.com”. However, to create a subdomain that belongs to a company’s website, you must register this subdomain with a website host.
Most website hosting services charge very little to host an original domain; In fact, website costs can be as cheap as $ 3 per month. Here are five popular web hosting services to choose from:
#3 Customize the theme of your blog.
Once you have set up the blog domain, customize the look of the blog to reflect the theme of the content you plan to create.
Are you writing about sustainability and the environment? Green can be a color to consider when designing the look of your blog since green is often associated with sustainability.
If you already manage a site and are writing your first Post for that site, it is important that your blog is consistent with that existing site, both in appearance and in theme. Two things to include immediately are:
- Logo. It can be your name or your company logo, which helps remind readers who or what publishes that content. The intensity with which you want to bookmark this blog, in relation to your main brand, is up to you.
- About page. you may already have an “About” summary that describes you or your business. The “About” section of your blog is an extension of this top-level statement. Think of it as the mission statement of your blog, which serves to support your business objectives.
#4 Identify the topic of your first blog post.
Before writing something, you should choose a topic for your blog post. The topic can be quite general, to begin with. For example, if you are a plumber, you can start by thinking that you want to write about leaking faucets.
Then, as you investigate, you can broaden the topic to discuss how to repair a leaking tap based on the various causes of a leaking tap.
You may not want to jump directly to a “how-to” article for your first blog post, and that’s fine. You may want to write about modern types of tap settings or tell a particular success story that you rescued before flooding someone’s house.
If a plumber’s first practical article is about repairing a leaking faucet, for example, here are four other example blog post ideas that a plumber can start with, based on the five free blog templates we offer you :
- List-based Post: 5 ways to fix a leaking tap
- Curated Collection Post: 10 brands of faucets and toilets to look for today
- SlideShare Presentation: 5 types of keys that should replace the previous one (with photos)
- News post: New study shows that X% of people do not replace Tap In Time
Find more examples of blog posts at the end of this step-by-step guide.
If you have trouble finding topic ideas, check out this blog post by my colleague Ginny Soskey. In this post, Soskey goes through a useful process of turning one idea into many. As in the previous “leaky faucet” examples, it suggests that “repeat old themes to create new, unique and compelling themes.” This can be done by:
- Change the scope of the topic
- Time Period Adjustment
- Choose a new audience
- Taking a positive/negative approach
- Introducing a new format
#5. Come up with a working title.
Then you can create some different working titles, in other words, iterations or different ways of approaching this topic to help you focus your writing. For example, you can choose to restrict the topic to “Tools for repairing leaking faucets” or “Common causes of leaking faucets.” The title of a paper is specific and will guide your post so you can start writing.
Let’s use a real post as an example: “How to choose a solid theme for your next blog post”. Appropriate, right? The subject, in this case, was probably simply “blog.” So the job title could have been something like “The process to select a blog post topic”. And the final title turned out to be “How to choose a solid theme for your next blog post.”
Do you see this evolution from the theme to the title of the work and the final title? While the headline of the article may not end up being the final headline (more about it at the same time), it still provides enough information so that you can focus your Post on something more specific than a generic and overwhelming topic.
#6. Write an introduction (and make it catchy).
We write more specifically about how to write catchy introductions in the “How to write an introduction” post, but let’s review, yes?
First, get the reader’s attention. If you lose the reader in the first paragraphs, or even in the sentences, of the introduction, they will stop reading even before your Post changes. You can do it in many ways: tell a story or a joke, empathize or catch the reader with an interesting fact or statistic.
Then describe the purpose of the Post and explain how it will address a problem the reader may be having. This will give the reader a reason to continue reading and a connection with the way they will help you improve your work/life. Here is an example of a Post that we believe catches the attention of a reader immediately:
#7. Organize your content in an outline.
Sometimes, blog posts can have an impressive amount of information, both for the reader and the writer. The trick is to organize the information so that readers do not feel intimidated by the size or quantity of the content. The organization can take various forms: sections, lists, tips, whatever is most appropriate. But it must be organized!
Let’s take a look at the post “How to use Snapchat: a detailed view of the HubSpot Snapchat strategy”. There is a lot of content in this post, so we divide it into several different sections using the following headings: Setting up your Snapchat account, Snaps Vs. Stories: what’s the difference? E How to use Snapchat for business. These sections are separated into subsections to go into more detail and also to make the content easier to read.
To complete this step, all you need to do is describe your post. That way, before you start writing, you’ll know what points you want to address and the best order to do it. To make things even easier, you can also download and use our free blog post templates, previously organized for five of the most common types of blog posts. Just fill in the blanks!
#8. Write your blog post!
The next step, but not the last one, is to write the content. We can’t forget that, of course.
Now that you have your outline/template, you are ready to fill in the blanks. Use your sketch as a guide and be sure to expand all your points as necessary. Write about what you already know and, if necessary, do additional research to gather more information, examples, and data to support your points, providing proper attribution by incorporating external sources. Need help finding accurate and compelling data to use in your post? See this summary of sources, from Pew Research to Google Trends.
If you have trouble organizing sentences, you are not alone. Finding your “flow” can really be a challenge for many people. Fortunately, there are several tools you can rely on to help improve your writing. Here are some to start:
- Power Thesaurus: Stuck in a word? Power Thesaurus is a crowdsourcing tool that gives users several alternative word choices from a community of writers.
- ZenPen: If you have trouble staying focused, check out this writing tool that distracts you. ZenPen creates a minimalist “writing zone” designed to help you write words without having to worry about formatting immediately.
- Cliché Finder: Does it seem that your writing may seem a little tacky? Identify instances where you can be more specific with this handy cliché tool.
#9. Edit /proofread your Post and correct its format.
You’re not done yet, but it’s close! The editing process is an important part of blogs, don’t forget it. Ask a grammatically aware colleague to copy, edit and correct your Post and consider the help of The Ultimate Editing Checklist (or try using a free grammar checker, such as the one developed by Grammarly). And if you want to hone your own desktop publishing skills, check out these helpful posts for tips and tricks to get started:
When you’re ready to check your formatting, keep the following advice in mind …
Choose a visually attractive and relevant image for Post. As social networks treat content with more prominent images, images are now more responsible than ever for the success of their blog content on social networks. In fact, it has been shown that content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.
For help selecting an image for Post, read “Select the perfect image for your next blog post” and pay special attention to the copyright section.
No one likes an ugly blog post. And it is not only the images that make a Post visually appealing but also the format and organization of the Post.
In a blog post with the correct and visually appealing format, you’ll notice that headers and subtitles are used to divide large blocks of text, and these headers have a consistent style. Here is an example of how this looks:
Also, screenshots should always have a similar and defined border (see screenshot above, for example) so that they do not appear floating in space. And this style must be consistent from one Post to another.
Maintaining this consistency makes your content (and your brand) look more professional and relieves your eyes.
Topic / Tags
Tags are public-specific keywords that describe a post. They also allow readers to search for more content in the same category on their blog. Avoid adding a long list of tags to each post. Instead, think of a labeling strategy. Think of tags as “topics” or “categories” and choose 10-20 tags that represent all the main topics you want to cover in your blog. So stay with them.
#10. Insert a call to action (CTA) at the end.
At the end of each blog post, you must have a CTA that indicates what you want the reader to do next: subscribe to your blog, download an e-book, register for a webinar or event, read a related article, etc. In general, he believes that the CTA is beneficial to the seller.
Your visitors read your blog post, click on the CTA and eventually generate an advantage. But CTA is also a valuable resource for the person who reads your content: use your CTAs to deliver more content similar to the topic of the post you just read.
In the blog post “What to post on Instagram: 18 photo and video ideas to inspire”, for example, readers get actionable ideas to create valuable Instagram content. At the end of the post, there is a CTA that tells readers to download a complete guide on the use of Instagram for business:
Do you see how beneficial it is for everyone? Readers who want to learn more have the opportunity to do so, and companies gain an advantage that they can cultivate … even become customers!
#11. Optimize for on-page SEO.
When you have finished writing, go back and optimize your post for the search.
Don’t get obsessed with how many keywords you include. If there are opportunities to incorporate keywords that are addressed that will not affect the reader’s experience, do so. If you can make your URL shorter and friendlier to keywords, do so. But don’t insert keywords or press arbitrary keyword density: Google is smarter than that!
Here is a small reminder of what you can and should look for:
Meta descriptions are descriptions below the title of the Post page on Google search results pages. They provide researchers with a brief summary of the Post before clicking on it. Ideally, they are 150-160 characters long and begin with a verb like “Learn”, “Read” or “Discover”.
While meta descriptions are no longer a factor in Google’s keyword ranking algorithm, they provide search engines with a snapshot of what they will get when they read the post and can help improve their search click rate.
Page title and headings
Most blogging Software uses the title of the Post as the title of the page, which is the most important SEO element at your disposal. But if you have followed our formula so far, you should already have a functional title that naturally includes keywords/phrases that interest your audience.
Don’t complicate the title too much trying to adjust the keywords where they don’t belong naturally. That said if there are clear opportunities to add keywords that are pointing to your title and Post headings, feel free to use them. Also, try to keep headlines short, ideally less than 65 characters, so that they are not truncated in search engine results.
Anchor text is the word or words that point to another page, on your site or on another site. Carefully select the keywords you want to link to other pages on your site because search engines take it into account when ranking your page for certain keywords.
It is also important to consider which pages it links to. Consider linking the pages you want to rank well for this keyword. You can end up ranking it on the first page of Google results instead of the second, and this is not a small potato.
Now, with mobile devices that account for almost 2 out of every 3 minutes, they spend online, having a responsive or designed website for mobile devices has become increasingly critical. In addition to ensuring that your site visitors (including your blog visitors) have the best possible experience, mobile optimization will mark your site with some SEO points.
In 2015, Google changed its algorithm that now penalizes optimized non-mobile sites. This month (May 2016), Google launched its second version of the algorithm update optimized for mobile devices, creating a sense of urgency for people who still need to update their sites.
#12. Choose a catchy title.
Last but not least, it’s time to fix your job title. Fortunately, we have a simple formula for writing attractive headlines that attract your reader’s attention. This is what you should consider:
- Start with the title of your work.
- When you start editing your title, keep in mind that it is important to keep the title accurate and clear.
- Then work to make your title sexy, whether through strong language, alliteration or other literary tactics.
- If you can, optimize SEO by hiding some keywords (only if it’s natural!).
- Finally, see if you can reduce it. Nobody likes a long and overwhelming title, and remember, Google prefers 65 characters or less before truncating it in the search engine results pages.
If you’ve already mastered the previous steps, learn how to take your blog posts to the next level in this post. Do you want some real examples of blog posts? Below is how your first blog post will look, depending on the topic and audience chosen.
Blog Post Examples
- List-Based Post
- Thought Leadership Post
- Curated Collection Post
- Slideshare Presentation
- Newsjacking Post
- Infographic Post
- How-to Post
1. List-based Post
Sometimes, list-based posts are called ” listicles,” a mixture of the words “list” and “article.” These are articles that provide information in the form of a list. A list uses subtitles to divide the blog post into individual parts, which helps readers to more easily scan and digest its content. According to ClearVoice, lists are among the most shared types of social media content in 14 industries.
As you can see in the example of our previous blog, the lists can offer a series of tips and methods to solve a problem.
2. Thought leadership post
Example: what I wanted to know before writing my first book
Thought leadership blog posts allow you to specialize in a particular topic and share first-hand knowledge with your readers. These pieces, which can be written in the first person, such as the Joanna Penn post shown above, help build trust with your audience so that people take your blog seriously as they continue writing.
3. Curated Collection Post
Example: 8 Examples of Evolution in Action
Selected collections are a special type of list blog post (the first example of a blog post described above). But instead of sharing tips or methods to do something, this type of blog post shares a list of real examples that have something in common to demonstrate a more important point. In the previous example post, Listverse shares eight real examples of evolution in action among eight different animals, starting with the spicy moth.
4. Slideshare Presentation
Example: The HubSpot Culture Code
Slideshare is a social media presentation tool, LinkedIn, which helps publishers pack a lot of information into slides that can be easily shared. Think of it as a PowerPoint, but for the web. With that in mind, Slideshare blog posts help promote Slideshare so you can generate a steady stream of visitors.
Unlike blogs, Slideshare decks are generally not well ranked in search engines, so they need a platform to convey their message to people who are looking for it. By inserting and summarizing your Slideshare in a blog post, you can share a lot of information and have the opportunity to rank on Google at the same time.
Need some Slideshare ideas? In the previous example, we converted the company’s “Culture Code” into a Slideshare presentation from which anyone can examine and learn, and promote it through a blog post.
5. Newsjacking Post
“Newsjacking” is a nickname for “hijacking” your blog to spread important news related to your industry. Therefore, the Post of newsjack is a type of article whose sole purpose is to attract the attention of consumers and, by offering timeless professional advice, also demonstrates that your blog is a reliable resource to learn about the great things that happen in your industry.
The example of the previous newsjack was published by Houzz, a seller of interior design and decoration, about a new mobile application launched only for interior designers. Houzz did not launch the application, but the news of its launch is no less important to Houzz’s audience.
6. Infographic Post
The Post of infographics has a purpose similar to the Post of Slideshare, the fourth example explained above, in which it transmits information for which a simple copy of the blog may not be the best format. For example, when you want to share a lot of statistical information (without boring or confusing your readers), compiling that data into a well-designed and entertaining infographic can help keep readers interested in your content. It also helps readers remember information long after they leave the site.
7. How to Post
Example: How to write a blog post: a step-by-step guide
For our last example, you don’t need to search beyond the blog post you’re reading now! Practical guides like this help solve a problem for your readers. They are like a cookbook for your industry, guiding your audience through a step-by-step project to improve literacy on the subject. The more posts you create, the more equipped your readers will be to work with you and invest in the services you offer.
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