Regular blogging is important for many reasons such as: it gives your company a voice, tells your brand story, brings in new customers, and helps you in search.

Here is a list from Alexa on 36 things to help guide your blog writing:

  1. Know who you are writing for

    This is probably the most important point in this whole list.

    These help you identify exactly who you’re writing for so you can address their needs, interests and wants. It will also give you an idea of the knowledge level of your audience, so you can write a post that’s not “dumbed down” or overly complicated.

    Simply sketch out the following key pieces of info for your intended audience:

    • What’s the #1 problem they’re facing that you want to address?
    • How much do they already know about the topic?
    • What’s the goal of your post? To educate, inspire, motivate…or maybe to simply remind them of some basics they already know?

    With these three pieces of info in hand, you’ll be ready to start researching your topic.

  2. Do some basic keyword research

    Contrary to what you’ve probably always thought, keyword research isn’t just about finding high volume keywords.

    I like to think of it as a tool for getting inside the minds of your prospective customers. What are they thinking about? What are they searching for online? What words do they use to describe what they’re looking for?

    Do some basic keyword research before you even start writing. In fact, do it before you’ve even finalized your topic.

    Plug in some possible topics, and see which words and phrases jump out at you. Compile a list of 5-7 of these phrases and use those to start creating an outline for your post.

  3. Create a basic outline for your post

    Using the phrases you’ve compiled above, choose a theme for your post, and draft a basic outline: one main topic and some subtopics that will really help your audience understand your main topic.

    For instance, here’s a basic outline I might create under the broad theme, “renovations”:

    • Theme: Renovations
    • Main topic: Cheap kitchen renovation ideas
    • Subtopics: DIY backsplash ideas; how to paint kitchen counters; replacing cupboard door knobs; where to find cheap appliances.

    Once you’ve put together your outline, you’re ready to jump into writing your title and post.

  4. Come up with a working title

    Everyone has a different strategy for coming up with a title. Some bloggers like to finalize their title before they even start writing, while others like to identify a main theme at the outset, but only write the title once they’re done.

    I like to come up with a basic working title before I start writing, just so I have a bit of direction as I write.

    I usually try to make sure my main theme keyword(s) are in the title – not necessarily just for SEO purposes, but so it’s really clear to my audience what my post is about.

  5. Hook your reader in the first two lines

    Your first one to two lines should jump out at your readers, making them think, “Yes! That’s me!”, or “I totally agree!”. Basically, it’s your “hook” that will draw them in and get them to keep reading.

    Your first line is even more important if you haven’t customized the meta description for your post. In that case, your first line will automatically become your post’s description in the search engine results, and will also be the description people see when the post is shared on social media.

    Some ideas for starting your blog post: A personal story; something controversial or surprising; an interesting statistic or fact; a thought-provoking question, etc.

  6. Write the post

    Some bloggers start and end with this one. However, as you can see, there’s a lot more you can do to really amp up your post.

    You’ve already identified who you’re writing for…now keep them at the forefront of your mind as you write. Too often, we use personas to choose a topic, but then forget about them as we actually write the post.

    Throughout the process ask yourself:

    • What questions or objections might my ideal reader have at this point?
    • What other info might they be looking for?
    • Is my tone appropriate for the audience I’m writing for?

    If you write with these questions in mind, your post is far more likely to hit its mark – and you’ll probably find the writing process goes much more smoothly, too.

  7. Add images using the right ratio

    Having a header image is great, but in many cases you’ll need more visual content than that.

    Some research suggests that having one image per every 75-100 words is optimal, at least for getting social media shares.

  8. Optimize for Search

    Your goal here is to make sure the people who are looking for info on your topic find your post. Easier said than done, right?

    Using your keywords is still important, particularly in your title tag (and as close to the beginning as possible). Of course, use them throughout your content as well, where relevant. This includes your header tags (H2, H3, etc.), your URL, your alt image tag, etc.

    SEO is more than just keywords, though. Longer posts (around 1,900 words) tend to rank highest, as do posts that comprehensively cover the main topic (if you’ve used my strategy of using subtopics above, you should be good).

    Links are also super important – maybe more important than anything else. Link internally to other posts on your site, and make sure you link back to your new post on several older, high authority posts.

  9. Add a compelling call to action

    Finally, the body of your post is done.

    If you’ve followed the nine steps above, I can pretty much guarantee your audience is going to love it. This means more likes, shares and links. But could it mean even more?

    What do you want to accomplish through your post? Are you just looking for pageviews? Or do you want readers to sign up for your list? Visit a product page or landing page? Buy a product?

    Decide exactly which action (just one) you want your readers to take, and then make it really clear within your post.

    Some tips for your CTA: Clearly articulate any benefit the reader will receive; Let the reader know what will happen if they click on the link; Keep your CTA short and to the point; Create a sense of urgency (e.g., “Just two days left to register for our free webinar”).

  10. Revisit your headline

    Once your post is done, you’ll likely find you need to change up your headline.

    One of my favorite strategies for choosing a headline is to spin a title from a popular blog post in another industry. Here’s how it works.

    Visit big-name sites, and look for their “popular posts” section. You can also use a tool like Buzzsumo to find out which posts have performed best by keyword or URL.

    What do you want to accomplish through your post? Are you just looking for pageviews? Or do you want readers to sign up for your list? Visit a product page or landing page? Buy a product?

    Decide exactly which action (just one) you want your readers to take, and then make it really clear within your post.

Some tips for your CTA: Clearly articulate any benefit the reader will receive; Let the reader know what will happen if they click on the link; Keep your CTA short and to the point; Create a sense of urgency (e.g., “Just two days left to register for our free webinar”).

Are people going to like and share it? Will it get links? Will it get found in the search engines? If not, you’re probably better off spending your time doing something else.

Need some help blogging? Zephyr’s team of experienced Account Managers and Copywriters know how to write content that will help your site search and bring in new clients.

Learn more about what Zephyr can do to help grow your company. Call Karrea at 816-876-5346 for more information.