The idea of writing your first blog post can be quite exciting. Once you begin working on a post, though, you realize it is just as daunting too.
That is because there are quite a few things that you need to do to write a killer post that your target audience and the search engines will fall in love with. And, that is the kind of blog post I will show you how to write in this piece, with an example from when I was a novice blogger myself.
The Day I Sat Down to Write About What Makes a Great Blog Title
Starting out as a blogger, I already had the ambition to grow into a master blogger who would know everything about blogging and teach people how to do it right.
Out of the list of titles that I had created for the things I wanted to write about, I thought it was high time I wrote about what makes a great blog post title.
It was - and is still - a rich topic with a lot of substance that could be very useful to a lot of people. Obviously, anybody writing a blog wants their title to be appealing and eye-catching. The more your title appeals to readers, the more likely they are to click on your post and start reading it.
So, I was sure it would make a great blog post. Of course, I followed my mantra of the-six-principles-of-epic-blog-writing, like I always do, and got to work. Let me show you what my process is all about.
Step #1: The Only Good Research Is Finding Great Content on Your Topic
You may clap your hand on your open mouth, whispering the word “cheating” after reading that header, but that is basically what anybody does when they want to write something good.
I always begin with getting a good grasp on what is already out there. That is what good research is all about.
Besides, David Leonhardt, founder of The Happy Guy Marketing, says: Your best bet is to pick a proven topic, one you know your audience loves. And how do you know what your audience loves? By checking Google’s top results on the subject. Only popular content makes the top of that list.
So, I went on a hunt for articles and blog posts that talked about how good blog titles were made. Of course, I found endless results on Google that were mostly filled with sub-par content and looked a lot like spun versions of the good ones out of Google’s suggestions.
Pro tip: The smart way to avoiding bad content is looking at the design of the page. Spun content, which is mostly published to support poor quality SEO strategies, is often published on basic HTML layouts without any finesse. You will get that vibe from them.
Anyway, I found a few articles on the first page that had great substance and had been published on respected websites.
I sat down to read each one of them thoroughly.
Step #2: Find Faults in the Great Content You Discover and Aim to Make It Better
And this is the second reason why we went for that literature in the first place. We want to find fault in what has already been done, so we can fill that gap with our improved version of the same content (without the mistakes those writers made *evil laughter*).
This is something marketing experts do with a lot of pleasure, but it also involves a lot of work.
When you look at a few pieces of good content on a similar topic, sometimes it can be really tough to find their mistakes and, even when you do find them, filling that gap can demand some real work.
Coming back to the what I said about this being the method of smart content experts, when Brian Dean (founder of Backlinko) was working on his great post about ranking factors that affect Google suggestions, he looked for the most thorough piece available on search engines and started looking for weaknesses. He found the piece had a plain design, quite a few outdated ranking factors, and few references.
Brian then worked for 20 hours straight and made the post that increased his website traffic by 110% within two weeks.
In my case, I found a number of tips about titles that fit the bill, but what I didn’t find, in most cases, were proper examples to go with each tip. So, I made a note of that.
Step #3: Only Include Practical Ideas and Tips in Your Posts
This is another crucially important idea. If you want your reader to feel they learned a lot from your post and that they would want to come back to your blog for the value they have experienced, you need to include insanely practical, actionable tips. If you fail to provide that kind of value, the reader will soon move on to other sources of content.
In the words of Brian D. Evans, serial entrepreneur and founder of Influencive.com: "If you want to leave a lasting impact on someone, you have to find ways to help them, teach them, but also inspire them. You have to get them excited about what you’re saying and want to learn more!"
And this excitement is only born in your readers out of the value your content offers. So, make sure everything you say, every tip you offer, is worth their attention and a practical solution.
This is why I broke down that literature I found to discover the lack of examples. That was the value I could add to my post.
Step #4: Quote Industry Influencers
Again, this adds immense value to your content. Unless you are a big name in your industry, your reader probably won’t recognize you. You can show them your worth by sharing valuable ideas and backing them up with direct quotes from influencers.
Now you know why I went to find the quotes I have used in this article from my long list of powerful lines from my favorite online marketing gurus. *wink wink*
Step #5: Make Sure Your Blog Post Has Real-World Examples
If I just told you my process in these five steps and wrote lines over lines about how these are great ideas, they wouldn’t catch your eye as much as they do now without quotes regarding similar methods used by big industry names.
This is another kind of value. It shows you know what you are talking about. When you quote real-world examples that can be verified by the reader, they feel comfortable trusting your word.
Once that happens, you have started the trust process and on your way of adding a loyal follower. Despite this loyalty, with blog posts, you can expect relatively high bounce rates regardless of the quality of content.
Edward Leake the Managing Director of Midas Media explains the reason for this problem: "...reducing bounce rates can be tricky for blogs as people will often land with the intent of digesting the article and then leaving."
While there are other factors that can stop readers from bouncing off, it is not our subject for today.
Step #6: Make Your Published Page Look Pretty
Website design is very important for attracting an audience and pushing them towards your content. I always take great care in designing my post pages and a lot of my readers have complimented my blog for it.
I don’t do it because I “have a great taste,” as one of said in a comment, though. My purpose is to make sure my design catches the eye of my reader and helps me make them stay a little while longer.
This is one of the things Brain Dean did with his famous post I mentioned earlier in this piece.
So, there you have it. Follow this process on how to write a blog post and your content will come out better than most things getting published on the Internet every day.
Bonus Tip for Publishing Professional Pieces
If you have just written a blog post that discusses a more professional subject than a personal or social topic, one great way to promoting it on social media is publishing it on LinkedIn.
With the now public forum of Pulse, LinkedIn gives you a unique opportunity to reach great professional audiences who will be able to read your content.
There are a lot of LI Pulse Channels, though. So, you have to make sure your content is in line with the expectations of a channel’s audience before you publish it there.