Welcome To The Third Episode of The Blogging Development Series!
In this episode, I want to talk about how to write ‘Killer’ content for your blog. You want your readers to arrive at your blog in the first place, but you also want them to return for some more juicy content, right?
- The Important Pages You Must Have On Your Blog
- The Different Types Of Content & Content Delivery
- The Importance Of A Compelling Headline & How To Write One
- Things To Consider When Writing The Body Of Your Post
- How To Apply Basic SEO To Your Blog Posts
- How To Write Killer Content
The Important Pages You Must Have On Your Blog
I talked about this a little bit in the last episode, but just to reiterate, below are the important pages that I recommend you have on your blog. These pages will make your blog appear friendly, professional, and also trustworthy. Another benefit is that they make your blog search engine friendly as well.
That’s because search engines like Google, are looking for ‘real’ websites that aren’t spammy and deliver good content and value to the user.
About me Page
This is page tells the visitor what sort of person you are, your inspirations, your values, and so on. Even if you decide to use a pen name, on this page you can tell the visitor about the persona that’s behind all the great content on your blog.
Contact Us Page
Remember we created a Contact page in the last episode using Contact Form 7. This is an important page to have for your readers to contact you without having to leave a public comment on your blog in case they have questions.
The Different Types Of Content & Content Delivery
Now when it comes to deciding what type of content to write, you have to take your niche, your target audience, and your writing style into consideration. To get you to start thinking about the kind of content you want to publish on your blog, the following list of content types are very broad and can virtually be adapted to any niche.
Once you’ve decided what kind of content you want to write, the next thing you have to think about is how you are going to deliver the content.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to stick to one form of content throughout your blog. It’s best if you can diversify the media and have a combination, such as articles and videos, on your blog.
The Importance Of A Compelling Headline & How To Write One
The headline of your posts is the first thing that the visitor sees when they land on your blog. In that sense, the headline is a way for you to grab your visitor’s attention and convert them into a reader by getting them to click on your post.
This is the same for newspaper headlines. Their sole purpose is to capture attention and compel people to read the article further.
When you write your headline, try to come up with a few variations and then sit back and analyze them. If you were to see the headline on a blog, would you be interested in reading further? If yes, well done! If not, why?
At the end of the day, this skill will boil down to practice. I also suggest you have a look at newspapers, magazines, and other people’s blogs (preferably in the same niche as your own) and study how effective their headlines are so that you can model them.
Here are a few tips you can implement to write a catchy headline:
- Use numbers and statistics
- Play on their emotions by using emotive words and adjectives
- Ask rhetorical questions
Things To Consider When Writing Your Post
Before you start writing or creating the content, think about the purpose you want to achieve. Is it purely to inform the reader about a specific topic? Do you want the reader to subscribe after reading your post? Do you want the reader to click an affiliate link?
First and foremost, your blog posts need to deliver value for your reader. They need to be able to benefit from reading your posts and if you can achieve this, it will be a piece of cake to build a long-standing relationship with your fans.
For your blog post to be engaging, it needs to be easy to read. So avoid fancy and flamboyant language that your reader may not understand and use sub-headings to break up your post to make information easier to digest.
This will also make it easier for your readers to skim through the content.
Similar to what we said about a compelling headline, your sub-headings need to be intriguing to get them to read your paragraphs. I also like using bullet points to summarize the important things I want to get across.
Lastly, use images (e.g. photos, pictures, diagrams, flowcharts, screenshots, etc.) throughout your blog post to break up the post a little and make a large amount of text look less daunting. However, like with all good things, don’t go overboard with images, or else your page will take longer to load.
Also, remember that the images you include in your posts need to relate to the topic you are writing about. There is absolutely no point in including random images, just for the sake of it!
How To Apply Basic SEO To Your Blog Posts
The reason why you want to optimize your content for search engines is to gain exposure to your blog by ranking your blog posts.
For example, if you were able to rank for a specific long-tail keyword on page 1 of Google, then you’d be getting lots of free search engine traffic to your blog. However, the biggest mistake most marketers make is that they over-optimize and spam keywords all over the place.
If you over-optimize, you risk being punished by Google, which sees your blog post as keyword spam and hence not ranking at all.
On site, SEO is all about enhancing the user experience. In a nutshell, search engines can tell if a user lands on your website and then closes it the very next second. That’s why everything we have talked about so far ties together and they all play a role in enhancing user experience.
First, your website needs to load fast and efficiently. For a user to visit your blog in the first place, you need to provide great value through your content and this needs to be categorized for easy navigation.
You can categorize your blog posts through the left navigation bar inside WordPress.
Consider search terms that a user may type into Google to find information. The keyword needs to appear in the title of your post, so that the user knows what it is about and whether your post is relevant to them.
The content of your post will also need to have a decent amount of keywords sprinkled throughout, but as I said, don’t deliberately pack the entire post with keywords in every single sentence.
A way to counter over-optimization is to use synonyms or related/similar words.
Another on-site SEO strategy is interlinking to other relevant posts on your blog (this will help with page views and further exposure of your blog) or linking out to other external relevant sites.
A site that does this well for example is Wikipedia, which has relevant interlinks and external links in every post to direct the reader to other relevant articles that may be of interest to them.
You have probably realized by now that the main aim of all this is to keep things relevant. Remember that at the end of the day you are writing for a person, not a search engine.
How To Write Great Content
The quality of your content is dependent on how much you know about the given topic. Unless you’re a complete expert in your niche, I would recommend you do some research before buckling down and writing the content.
To be honest, even If I knew a lot about a certain topic, I would still do some basic research to make sure what I know is up to date.
To do this, just do a simple Google search with the keyword phrase that a user might enter to find your post. Generally, these will be long-tail keywords, i.e. they consist of more than one word.
So for example, a long tail keyword in the dog-training niche would be ‘how to potty train your dog’. As you read through different articles as part of your research, think about whether the articles are engaging and note how the information is structured.
With so much information available on the internet, you could write about any topic you want, even if you don’t have a clue about it initially.
Another good tip is to check out the comments below the articles. This gives you an indication of reader engagement and also may help you identify other specific areas of interest that readers want to know more about.
Also, check out Google’s related searches at the bottom of the results page to see what other related keywords you can target or search for.
So simply choose a few articles to read, write down some notes, and then you can get started writing your content. With practice, you’ll become more efficient at this.
I suggest you try your best to write the article in one sitting and save it as a draft. Then come back to it a little later and proofread the article to make sure you correct all grammar or spelling mistakes.
Add images or imbed videos into your article and when you’re happy with the layout, make it go live! Keep in mind that you can still make changes and edit your post once it’s live.
And that’s it for the 4th episode of our Blogging Series! In the next episode, we’ll be looking at how to monetize your blog.
So whenever you’re ready, let’s get started!