The content you create is what will drive traffic to the blog. Although WordPress makes it incredibly easy for anyone to create a post, there are a few things you need to know if you want to have a popular site.
Don’t expect every post you create to be a hit with your readers. You will have some that perform very well in search engines while others are less visited. This can be discouraging for some, but you shouldn’t let it get you down. After all, your next post may be the key to your success.
Below are eight parts to writing an amazing blog post. By the time you’re done with this step, you’ll be blogging like a pro.
1. Know Your Target Audience
One of the most important things to remember is to know your audience. Who is it you’re trying to reach? The more focused your attention, the more engaged those people become.
For example, you wouldn’t necessarily try to target people living in Florida if you’re blogging about a business in California. The same can be said about topics and niches as well. If you’re blogging about gardening, then you’d want to target those who are interested in nature and possibly yard landscaping.
The language and readability of your posts may also be affected by your target audience. For instance, you wouldn’t use exceptionally large words and technical jargon if your target audience is 12-years old and younger. You can see a very different style of writing when comparing sites like Discovery Kids to other websites.
Knowing your audience will also contribute to where you market the blog later on. This is a very important thing to consider if you want to put in the effort to attract a larger group of readers.
I’ll cover more on how to promote your blog in the next chapter.
2. Create a Powerful Headline
Your headline is the first thing people are going to see on your blog post. This is the title of your content, and you want it to be something that attracts the reader to continue. It needs to have some kind of focus and be directly related to the content.
For instance, let’s say you are running a blog about health foods. Which of these two titles would you choose to read:
“Fruit is Good for You.”
“8 Fruits that Improve Brain Function.”
Do you see the difference in these two titles? One is more of a generalized thought while the other is more focused. It’s the focus pieces that are going to be the more attractive to readers.
Essentially, people get on the Internet to access information. They want to learn something new, which is why they conduct searches on sites like Google. Focusing your attention on a specific topic helps specific people find those answers.
The headline of your blog article is going to be the text in bold in search engines. It will also be the first thing listed in social media, RSS feeds and even emails that are shared among your fans. The title is why people are going to click on the link to visit your site.
Parts that Make a Good Headline
What makes a good headline? In reality, it’s any title that can engage an audience. You don’t want it too short, but those that are too long are not ideal, either. You need to find that “Goldilocks Zone” of good headline development.
Here are a couple of things you should keep in mind.
Answer the Question
Headlines should be able to begin answering a question someone might have. This doesn’t mean you should title all blog posts as an answer though. In the example above, I demonstrated what a title might look if someone was looking for an answer regarding what fruit would help brain power.
Trying to figure out what your audience is asking is perhaps the hardest part about creating a headline. It’s also vastly important if you want to build a following of people for the blog.
One great way to get an idea about what your audience is looking for is by using tools like Google Trends. This web-based app lets you break down what people are searching according to the topic. If you want to see what people are searching for according to “fitness,” you simply enter the word and you’ll get a report over the current searches in Google.
Use Power Words
It’s not enough to simply create a title, though. The words you use in the headline’s structure will also be important. For example, using power and emotional words are found to be more engaging that common ones.
These power words are parts that resonate within a reader to spark some kind of emotion. For instance, emotional words like “amazing” and “daring” are often part of uplifting content, which performs well.
Where Can You Get Headline Ideas?
You don’t need to be an expert title designer to create something that attracts readers. In fact, there are several tools on the Internet that work very well at helping bloggers such as yourself come up with good headlines.
Here are just some of the ones I use on a semi-regular basis:
CoSchedule is perhaps one of my favorite tools. It will rank your headline according to current statistics and grade it. This tool shows you the title’s structure and its potential for being successful.
- Tweak Your Biz
Tweak Your Biz is a good tool if you’re finding it difficult to come up with blogging ideas. You have the option to put in a noun or a verb and the system will give you suggestions about what to write.
- Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a tool created to help people discover topics to write about. It can also be beneficial to help structure headlines. You just add your keyword or topic and Answer the Public will show current results of what people are looking for.
One method that I use often is taking a post I wrote in the past and expanding on it. Let’s take the title, “8 Fruits that Improve Brain Function,” for example. From that article, you can write about each individual fruit and its benefits. In essence, that one article just inspired eight new blog posts.
3. Creating a Good Intro
A good introduction to an article is just as important as the headline itself. This is the part of the post that will convince people to continue reading or to leave the website. You need to get the person’s attention within the first couple of sentence.
A common method among many bloggers is to address a question related to the headline or topic of the post. For example, “8 Fruits that Improve Brain Function” may have an opening such as: “Do you want to make more money and improve your health starting today?” The rest of the post would then center around how fruits may directly affect career and personal life because of how a healthy brain processes information better.
You want to be able to snag the reader and pique his or her interest within the first couple of sentences. This often takes a bit of practice, but it’s a good skill to have if you plan on building a popular website.
4. Develop the Body of Work
The body of your post is where you lay down the facts and information people are going to want. However, it takes more than just slapping some words together to make the content readable and comprehensive.
This is one of the reasons why I suggested you install Yoast SEO in the previous step. Yoast will show you how the content appears according to the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Assessment. This is a gauge on how easy it is to read your blog.
Keeping your content under a 9th-grade reading level is perhaps the best way to engage the audience. This means the post isn’t too difficult for an audience to read. If Yoast detects the language is too advanced, it will give you a warning while you’re typing.
Another thing to keep in mind is the use of facts and statistics. If you can cite valid and credible sources when creating a blog post, your reputation improves. This works for both the reader as well as search engines. It’s all about keeping the content relevant and factual.
And last, but definitely not least, is keeping your paragraphs a bit short. You don’t want to create what’s called a “wall of text.” This is when a paragraph is so long that it looks like a never-ending stream of letters. Keep your paragraphs under 100 words for easy reading.
Sometimes even a single sentence is enough to get a point across in a paragraph.
5. Recap in the Closing
The closing paragraph of your blog post should emphasize the points of the article in just a few sentences. It’s a brief recap of the information available in the body. While you can still add a small bit of new information to the closing, you want it to center more about why the post itself is important.
The point is that you don’t want to end the blog post abruptly. It’s like watching a movie only for the last 10 minutes to be deleted. Readers need closure regarding the topic. Unless your aim is to create a cliffhanger, you want to give people that sense of being complete with the thought of the blog post.
Don’t forget to include a call to action. If this is a business, the CTA may be something like, “Click here to buy yours today.” But if this is for a personal blog, asking someone to comment or follow the blog helps by engaging the reader. After all, you want the person to come back and read more at a later date.
One method a lot of bloggers use as a form of CTA is by asking a question to the audience regarding the topic with a suggestion to leave the answer in the comment section. This way, you don’t seem pushy and it still inspires many people to take action.
6. Publish the Post
Once you’re ready, it’s time to publish your article. In WordPress, this means it becomes live for all to read. This also means that what you put on the Internet often stays on the Internet.
In other words, make sure you’re posting content you are absolutely sure you want everyone to read.
Blogging can be a lot of fun, especially when you start growing an audience. Many are driven by the idea of helping others while some are keen on making a bit of money. Either way, publishing your own article has potential to be quite exhilarating.
7. Ways to Get More Readers
Now that you’re publishing your own content, you may want to look into ways to attract more readers. I’ll go deeper into that in the next chapter. But for now, here are a few suggestions that can help you start.
Email and Newsletter Subscribers
Once the link to your blog post is live, might as well share it with others through email. You can install plugins that will help you develop email and newsletter lists for the website. In fact, some of them are capable of being automated. This means they will send newsletters out regularly based on the content you create.
You want to be careful with email, though. Being spammy is a good way to get your blog banned by filters such as Spamhaus, a major organization that will prevent any email from reaching its destination.
Respond to Comments
When someone comments on a blog post, respond. Being interactive with your readers builds trust and makes a connection with the audience. As a result, he or she may continue to visit the site on a regular basis.
This trust is important if you want the audience to share your blog with their friends and family.
Use Social Media
Social media is a great way to attract readers. Sharing your posts on sites like Facebook and Twitter has potential to put the article in front of people almost instantly. Because social sites play such an important role in society today, this is a fast and free method to gain attention.
Using social outlets is also an important part of creating something that goes viral. This means the blog post is so engaging that thousands of people share it in a relatively short amount of time. I can’t guarantee that you’ll achieve this, but the potential is there.
8. Keep the Blog Rollin’
There is a saying on the Internet: “Content is King.” That’s because it’s content that drives people to any website. The more you have, the more likely you’ll create a following. Just make sure that you’re giving quality content. With millions of sites on the Internet, you want to stand out as much as possible.
In the next step, I’ll go over some of the most effective ways to promote your blog. You may even find some of them to be a bit fun.