Adding blogging to your content strategy is a great way to further your connection with your audience. It provides a platform where you can talk directly to them, no word limits, no competition from other voices. However, it can seem overwhelming when you start so following a process can really help to craft/create your strategy. You will have to find what process works best for you, but below are six key steps to include when you are crafting a blog post. You may find starting with the headline works best, or maybe you craft an outline of the content, or maybe you build from your offer up, it doesn’t matter what step you start from, just make sure you have them all!
Pick blog topics that fit into your blogging categories. These are the topic areas your blog is about. What topics is your ideal client in need of answers to, that fits your knowledge + your offering?
Some questions to get you brainstorming topics:
- What are common questions your customers/clients ask?
- Is there a particular area of your process that you find that clients ask about a lot?
- What do you think if you were in the client’s shoes you would like to know about an aspect of your business?
- What knowledge do you typically share with clients one-on-one that you could share in a blog post?
- What questions do you see people ask in Facebook Groups related to the industry you serve?
- What knowledge do you wish your client/customer had when approaching you?
Here are some other articles to help you out when you are stuck for a topic:
Write out at least 10 headlines, some experts recommend even more. This may seem like extra work, but it serves it purpose:
- More choices=better headline, use the CoSchedule Headliner Analyzer to get some feedback on those headlines.
- You can use some of your draft headlines for social media sharing, so instead of just using the title, work your alternative titles into a post.
- It can help to define the perimeters of your blog post (if you come up with a title first).
- It can provide ideas for further posts on the topic
Want to write better headlines? Here are a few kickass resources on that topic:
What word (s) would your ideal client (audience) use to search out what your blog post is about? Literally think about it in terms of what would that person type into the Google search bar and your blog post would be an answer to. Of course, SEO optimization goes much deeper, but you have to start somewhere. Here is a great article from Get Found With Fuse, 8 Ways To Find New Keywords For Your Site to get you started finding keywords for your posts.
Keep your keyword in mind too for sharing on Pinterest, you can utilize more keywords in your pin description so more is better, even though you are focusing on one set or one keyword within your blog post for SEO.
Want to dive deeper into SEO?
This is the “meat” of your blog post. You know, where all the knowledge goes. One of the best copywriting tips I’ve found is pretend you are explaining the topic to an actual person, it makes it easier for me to get the words out. Also, I think this helps you connect better with that ideal client, because you have him/her in your mind as you write. Here are some other good tips:
- Make sure it is scannable
- Include headers
- Outbound and Inbound links (to your past posts and outside links)
- Consider having a summary if it is a long post
Here are a few cool tools that can make writing easier:
- Google Drive Talk to Text for when it is hard to get the words on the page.
- Grammarly *(because where do commas go?)
The internet is a visual platform while your words certainly carry weight the picture is what is going to bring the reader in. You can have the best knowledge on the page, but what gets people to click through and read that knowledge is usually the picture (and title).
Header Picture: This is at least one picture you use as part of your blog theme to represent that post. You want this picture to be saved to the size of your blog body width not uploaded bigger than needed (having larger image sizes slows down your load time)
Any additional images that support your post/brand. This might be the finished product or an infographic or a regular graph, anything that visually helps you make your point. This is optional but another way in which to communicate your knowledge is never bad.
All your posts should have:
- Images named in a descriptive manager, so not may31kzidno.jpg but howtostructureyourblogpost.jpg
- A filled in alt. title that uses your post keyword
- Social Media Sized Images
- Pinterest Sized Images**
**Often times I find people skip this one if their blog template does not accommodate a vertical image, and it makes me so sad because I know when I share it, it’s less likely to get pinned without that vertical image. Did you know you can hide an image in your blog post? This means that you can store a nice vertical image that will pop-up as an option if someone uses the pin extension, but it is not visible on the page. Pretty cool, huh! Learn how HERE w/ video, HERE w/ video, or HERE For Squarespace.
#6 Call To Action
This is the part in the blog post that you prompt your reader to further engage. Guess what, you can have more than one! I do think it always good to have one at the end, but you can have a call to action that relates to a point within the post too. Below are a few examples of what you could ask your reader to do (call to action):
- Sign-up to get an opt-in
- Sign up for your newsletter
- Leave a comment
- Connect with you on social media
- Share your post
- Read another post
Other Steps To Take To Up Your Blog Game:
Use a plugin to automatically share blog posts that are related to the one the reader is currently engaged with. This is an easy way to get readers to not only stay on your site longer but to show off your vast knowledge 🙂
WordPress: There are of course a number of plugins to install this feature. One easy way to do this is through the JetPack plugin, which you most likely already have installed, so no need for a separate plugin.
Squarespace: Adding Related Articles
Click To Tweet:
WordPress has several plugins to all this option if you want to go that route (here is one from CoSchedule). Here are few tutorials as well:
CODING DIY: ADDING TWEET THIS LINKS TO YOUR BLOG
How to Generate Click-to-Tweet Links for Your Content [Quick Tip]
HOW TO CREATE CLICK TO TWEET GRAPHICS FOR YOUR BLOG
How to create a ‘Tweet This’ code in your blog post in Squarespace
Start developing a process. Set aside time to read the resources and then ask yourself how you will use those tips to better your writing. Make them part of your process. For example: I do write out 10 blog post titles, I have the analyzer already attached to my Trello template blog post card and I run my titles through there. I don’t always go with their top pick, but it’s good to get feedback (even if only from a computer). You can read a million articles about how to write better but you have to take those tips and make them part of your process, that is the hard part. I’m guilty too, often times we search and search for knowledge but we don’t use it. So decided what your process will be to develop blog posts and write it down, get in the habit of using a process and set steps when you sit down to write. You can start small and figure out how to perfect your headlines first, then maybe dive deeper into keywords, then start learning more about refining your voice. Having a process is going to help you keep on track when it comes to your blog.
Want another tool to keep you on track with your blog? Grab the Trello Editorial Calendar.
*the Grammarly link is a referral link, if used it earns me a week free of their premium service