Writing a blog post doesn’t have to be a chore. Your approach to writing and constructing copy is easy to simplify.
Straining over each word. Wrenching sentences out of your brain like torture. That’ NOT how good writers operate.
And it is certainly not down to any natural gift or talent.
Let me tell you, I wallowed in the bottom of English classes at school.
But then it turned out that writing isn’t all about creativity and being struck with inspiration.
With a simple formula, it’s actually super easy to create valuable content really quickly.
It’s time to go back to basics with content creation efforts, social videos, creative Instagram posts, well-researched hashtags forget them for today.
The first step to writing a blog post
Imagine having an endless list of topics to pick from when sitting down to write your latest blog post. It would be even better if someone just handed you a bucket of ideas.
No more barren brainstorm sessions or chucking content at the wall until it sticks. Finding a selection of prevalidated blog topics is simple, you just have to know where to look.
For most businesses, this could mean looking right inside your email inbox, your own website or niche forum. Check your emails for regular questions you receive, do you spend time writing out the same reply day after day?
Maybe you have even set up a canned response reply.
Well, this is a great place to start finding blog topics. We already know that people are looking for these answers. You’ll be able to offer an in-depth answer to push people towards. Plus if it could even drive decent web traffic if its an answer people search for on Google.
If you have an FAQ page on your website then you already have a blog list ready to knock out. You obviously thought these questions needed answering so now it’s time to give your audience some added long-form content on these issues.
What if you’re not in a position to receive customer questions? Well, go digging into the particular niche you are looking to engage with. Forums are the IDEAL place to find blog topic ideas. Try Quora as a base, its the Q&A hub of the internet for anything you can think of. Think you are too niche? You’re WRONG.
I’ve used Quora on and off. Mainly, being helpful and answering questions for people. My most read reply was to the question ‘Where can I sell pictures of my feet online?’
Yeh I know, it was a slow day of work for me!
By now you should be seeing a pattern for finding blog ideas. Answer real questions, the easiest way to attract readers is to offer really useful advice. Whatever your hustle, you probably know more about it than the average oddball. So get out there and show your audience the expertise you possess.
Plan your work
What’s the first thing you do when writing a blog post? You probably do something wise like open up a word document. A nice blank page to impart your wisdom upon.
All that knowledge but you suffer from ‘writer’s block’. How and where to start?
Let me tell you a little secret – there is no lightning rod of inspiration. No sudden opening of the drawbridge.
If you don’t know what to write its because you haven’t made a plan.
Planning your piece is the single most important step to writing a kickass blog post. It provides clarity on what content to include, its a place to hold the research you need to sound authoritative.
Even if you don’t need to research a topic you should still be using a plan to order your thoughts into a cohesive order.
So this is what you’re going to do. Close your laptop, get rid of the computer.
Next, pick up a pen and paper. This will ensure you are not distracted or tempted to start writing.
Break the page into sections. Think about the length of the article. Not sure? Start with around 700 words. Not a daunting length but enough to ensure plenty of detail.
Now break your word count up into smaller bite-sized pieces. 100 words for the intro and conclusion with two 250 word points.
Write 3 thoughts to include in your intro. Now when you open up your word document you already know your kickoff points.
You’re two meaty sections should include plenty of detail. Try and answer some easy questions – What, Why and How?
What is it?
Why do I need it?
How do I get/do it? (This can include a call to action if you’re looking to sell)
Answer these questions with short answers and research what you need immediately. Get your facts and stats ready to go. Here’s an example of my quick plan for this blog post. It didn’t take long but produced incredible clarity to the direction of the piece.
Now start writing
With even a scrappy plan to hand, writing a blog post becomes 10x easier. And 10x quicker! You’re expertise lie thought out and listed in front of you backed up by facts and figures.
Each word or sentence is no longer being pulled from your brain strand by strand leaving you bereft of creativity.
You have a prevalidated topic with chronological points to make. The mind is free to be relaxed and creative. Natural tone and character will ooze from your work.
I am always surprised at how quickly a piece comes together at this point. The task is always daunting if I sit down to write with no preparation. It’s still pretty cumbersome before I hit the first sentence even after extensive planning.
But once the flow takes over and all I need to do is look to the next part of my planning the word count disappears at lightning speed. What appeared to be hours of work drops into my lap in 30 minutes.
Perhaps but it’s a hell of a lot more enjoyable when you know what to write!
Just remember to make your blog post easy to read. Long paragraphs with no breaks or images are just not appealing. They’re hard work. Check out your favourite news outlet, I guarantee their articles are formatted to 1 sentence paragraphs.
Write in your natural manner with short easy to understand chunks. That means no thesaurus to make yourself sound intelligent. If you don’t understand a word or use it naturally neither will your reader.
Whip up some graphics
Images make a blog post pop.
“Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the amount of shares of articles with fewer images” – Buzzsumo
As we discussed earlier, big blocks of text are incredibly uninviting. The easiest way to break up the piece whilst capturing attention is using imagery. We’re all about creating quality content at speed here, so I’m not suggesting heading out for a photo shoot.
There are awesome FREE tools at your disposal. The best of the bunch when looking find and create graphics quickly is Pablo by Buffer.
This resource contains thousands of free to use images. It is also a lighting speed way to add text and logos when creating a blog header. Even format your design in a click to optimise for various social media. I can’t tell you how much time and money this will save you.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
By now you’ll have a pretty good looking blog post. In-depth information about a topic that needs answering. Simple clean graphics and imagery to entice the reader. Don’t forget to proofread and spell check. If you struggle with this then I highly recommend the Grammarly app to flag any embarrassing errors.
The only thing your missing now is a killer title and readers. Half the work is creating the content and the other half is promoting your work.
It is certainly becoming increasingly challenging to get your content noticed online. There are various reasons for this, the dramatic increase in output from all angles especially marketers has forced significant changes in digital publishing and the way users are consuming their daily content.
Adaptations to social media have bred increasingly complex algorithms to help the user experience, reduce spam and in some cases make it a pay to play area. As usual, marketers are to blame for forcing these changes.
You may have spent years building up a Facebook following or a Twitter army only now to be finding that you can reach your fans.
Even if you are just starting out there are still simple ways to boost your clicks even for your very first blog post. It is not enough to just create a great piece of content, you need to tell people that it exists. Many of the best bloggers and content marketers spend plenty more time promotion than actually creating.
The following part of this article gives you a few of my favourite methods to give your content an extra boost for minimal effort and NO money.
I like to start by building a scoreboard with a total the represents how hard I want to promote my content. For example, I generally aim for ’20 points’. You should tally ‘1 point’ for every place you link to the content including on social, email signature, forums and so on. 20 points = 20 touch points for your blog, it’s going to produce extensive reach and potentially thousands of readers.
Whatever business you are in it is important to find customer pain points. Finding the problems that your customers are facing is not only a guaranteed way to get valued readers it also hands you a never-ending list of topics and titles. So where do we find these problems? Just listen and ask. Ask potential customers about their pain point or what they find difficult. For a travel business, find out what customers don’t like about booking holidays and write a blog to help them. Or make a new product…
For myself, as a copywriter, I know that clients want to get more views on their blog, so here I am letting you know how.
Spend time on the title
The title is crucial, sell me the content in one line. Why do I absolutely have to read this?
Sculpting a perfect title takes a little time. People love easy solutions or step by step articles that are easy to digest. Think about including a number to give readers a sign that it is a list article. Take the time to sit and brainstorm a title, write 20 headlines. Some of them might be terrible but you’re sure to come out with a winner if you have 20 to pick from.
Here’s what I came up with a recent article:
How to promote a blog post with no following
6 easy ways to get clicks
How to get more clicks in a post click bait era
Guaranteed tactics for blog views
How to get more blog views for free
5 ways I got 2000 views on my first ever blog post
This is how to get people to read your blog
This is not click bait
Quick ways to get clicks
Reading this will make your content better
Tactics to increase blog views
Easy ways to get more blog readers
How to promote a blog post
Interact with relevant Facebook groups
Facebook groups are the easiest way to put your content in front of interested parties. Many groups are thriving with thousands of members interacting and problem-solving. I find these a very quick gauge of whether my latest blog post is helpful. Use the Facebook search bar to find RELEVANT groups with a large number.
Some have tens of thousands. Yay.
Check this screenshot out, I simply dropped the link into this group with a nice caption. It led to thousands of views for about 10 seconds work.
Hey, did I mention you can read that article HERE.
Link to other people
Chances are you work with other businesses or you are a part of a community. Start including these organisations in your blog posts. A bit of collaboration goes a long way. Remember to backlink to their websites to make them really happy and tag them in social posts to encourage sharing. Even go the extra step and drop them an email with the link asking to share it around.
‘Hey Yummy Food,
We’ve written a roundup of our favourite restaurants in the area. I just wanted to let you know about the blog as we have linked to your website. Feel free to share around, let everyone know we think you’re awesome.
Just tell people
Tell people about your blog anywhere you can. Obviously, share to all social media. But have you thought about:
- Leaving the link in your email signature
- Sending out emails to interested parties
- Find forums like Quora to answer questions with the blog post.
- Start a Reddit thread
- Include graphics that will thrive on Pinterest
There are plenty of ways to get your blog seen, I could probably go a write a blog post on each of the sections above. That’s few ideas to keep you going. I’m not going to spend time explaining the ins and outs of SEO. Whilst that is important the key takeaway is to remember you are writing for humans to read not computers. If you are providing valuable information and tell people it exists you will get some good traction.
If you enjoyed this piece don’t be scared to share it around to people who might find it interesting.
If you want some advice on blogging, content marketing, social media or copy writing drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org