Today I’m going to help you understand how to write a blog post that will rank high on Google, drive you qualified traffic, be shared more and receive lots of comments – basically the one that go popular.
How to write audience and SEO optimized blog post ( 8 steps)
1. Pick a blog post topic
Lets say your niche is ‘Dog training and care’.
How do you find killer topic?
You can turn Udemy to a profitable keyword tool. Here’s how:
Udemy has list of categories with popular courses as you can see below
You can search if your niche is not listed there.
By this way, you will find courses (keywords) that are in-demand and people are paying to access.
Now I head over to the Dog training in Lifestyle category to learn their top courses:
And I found total of 120+ courses with their description, price, ratings and review.
There you go – A bunch of popular keywords people go searching on Udemy to pay and access.
Most bloggers either overlook SEMrush or don’t know how to find profitable keywords with it.
Let me tell you, SEMrush has been my favorite go-to SEO tool.
Here’s how it works:
First, type your main keyword in search tool.
Now, SEMrush shows you keyword variations, Questions people are asking on Google, related keywords and important, it gives you an idea about the competition of the keyword you have entered.
Remember, the more the keyword volume and difficulty, the better results you can drive.
Answerthepublic is another underrated and intelligent SEO tool that combines the search and suggested searches from popular search engines and puts you before in categories. The best thing about this tool is that you can find long-tail queries that are organized in the form of questions, prepositions, comparisons and alphabetical order.
You don’t even have to signup for it, just visit their website, input your keyword and get tons of best results.
Input your main keyword using the search bar of the Quora after you login.
You will find list of questions, answers, profiles, and topics related to the keyword.
Now further you can start listing the questions which are with more answers, followers, and engagement. Those questions are the burning ones from real people on real platform.
2. Outlining the blog post
Now that we have the topic, it is time to form an outline.
Most of us suffer writer block at this stage by staring at the blank WordPress screen. So comes outline into the picture. It’s a great way to trick your mind to start writing.
You don’t have to finish the post at one sitting. Instead you can break down the article publishing process into a smaller parts.
Here’s a sample outline most bloggers follow:
- Title of the blog
- Captivating intro
- Benefit-rich headings and sub-headings
- Bullet points
- Actionable Call-To-Actions’
Part of outline is to know what exactly to write.
There are two cases:
- You will be overloaded if you pick a vast topic like Dog training and try to cover content all about it in a single post, especially if you’re an entry level blogger. Instead, you can go with “10 training tips to train your new dog.” SO breakdown the main topic to sub parts and cover.
- If you’re mid-level or growing blogger, you can try to cover the main topic in a single post by giving as much as value you can. For example, “Dog training” post can be covered by talking about ‘Why it is important, about training pads, collars, treats, best training centers, dog training apps,” etc. This way, you will give detailed meaty content to your readers and they will not leave your site unanswered.
The ball is in your court, and you alone do know what is the best approach for your audience.
3. Create a punching title
According to BuzzSumo report, following are the top three-word phrases that start titles and the phrases that end titles.
Not just that, according to Hubspot report,
- 33% increase in average post views when used brackets in the title.
- Titles with 80-100 characters generated the highest level of engagement.
In an era dominated by clickbait titles, it is important you write compelling titles by including numbers and power words that attract readers without tricking.
Title is the first impression readers can have it and it will decide whether or not they keep on opening the post, SO take time forming it.
Most of the times, I follow the explanation + benefit process while creating the title for my blogs. For example, How to build high D.A backlinks (explanation) + to rank high on Google (benefit).
You can also use headline generator to create stunning title when you are finding difficulty finding the right words. Here are some popular title generator tools you can try out:
Best practices while forming blog post title
- ‘How-to, Step-by-step, top, best, top, reviewed’ terms-focused titles have been popular. So try to form such.
- Title starts with a number helps it stand out. Example: 10 good reasons to start blogging.
- Including a sense of urgency is not bad. Example: 12 Hosting deals you can’t afford to miss (Limited time offer)
- Addressing readers in 2nd person. Example: How do you know you’re on right blogging path – 5 ways to analyze.
- Ask a question. Example – Why you don’t earn money from your blog (10 possible reasons)
- Keep title limited to 70 characters. You don’t want to confuse audience about what is chopped when it appears on Google.
- Add your main keyword but don’t go greedy stuffing.
- Make a promise and deliver it, don’t trick.
4. Catch reader attention with a great intro
If you can get the attention of your reader with your intro, consider the reader is likely to stick with you to the end of the post. Because if it’s general or boring, reader wouldn’t mind leaving.
Even though readers enter your blog looking for a solution to their problem, if the intro is lengthy and disinterested, they wouldn’t like it.
In my opinion, you should consider forming an intro with max 4 to 5 lines. If it is coming more than that, break down into short paragraphs.
A successful way to write a intro is to state the problem that reader came looking for and suggest what you’re going to deliver in the following post so they will be excited and feel they’re at the right place to read on.
- Again, don’t put your audience to sleep by stating the same which you have done already in the title.
- Be experimental to add humor, take a stand or crack a joke to trigger their attention. Sometimes giving your readers an overview about your personality tricks.
- Avoid jargon and show-off by stuffing fancy words that are in no relation to your content. Use simple English.
- You can end your intro with transition sentences like “let’s jump in”, “let’s get right into the main topic”, etc to push readers to the next section.
5. Writing main content (body)
Following are some strategies you can refer to while writing body content for your article:
Write shorter paragraphs
People definitely don’t like to read content that is of longer paragraphs.
So keep them short; down to three or five sentences to keep your readers interested and be clarified.
In fact, in a report on how people read web pages, more than 79% of users scan the content and only 16% read word to word. So it is important that you present scannable content by using:
- Headings and sub-headings (clever ones)
- Bold keywords
- Quotation marks
- Bullet points or list
Here’s an example:
Which one do you prefer reading? Mine is 2nd choice!
Write like you talk
How many times do you open a random marketing email because of the subject and press delete the next moment?
No surprise, we do it because most marketers lack personality while drafting their email, they don’t focus on connecting with readers except for selling.
When you’re a blogger, you’re also a writer.
As a writer, it is important that you create conversational content for your readers. Here are some tips:
- It is nearly impossible to create content for everyone; so know your potential audience and write for them.
- Creating impression is fine but don’t go jargon.
- Bring up your personality into the content that you create; share your mistakes, learning experiences, what you’re upto, how ‘something’ is helping you, etc.
That’s how you make your content strategy magic.
For instance, my friend Nikola Roza using the pronouns “I” and “you” repeatedly in his post of free web hosting trial (no credit card required). Means, he is presenting the information to his audience in a more conversational and engaging way.
Audience tend to develop trust when the writer writes in an active voice by addressing readers.
If you’re hiding your identity and blogging as “editor” or “teamXYZ” and not putting yourself in your content, you’re missing a LOT!
Don’t be afraid to show up and adding personality to your blog.
Getting hold of your readers for a while is definitely a difficult task. So it is important you present the content with a lot of visuals (images, graphs and charts, infographics, videos, emojis, gifs, etc).
Mdga Advertising says, the power of images lies in the fundamentals of human nature, we’re wired to notice, learn from, remember and respond emotionally to images. Following is an infographic that tells the importance of adding visuals to your content:
6. Use FAQ section
Most bloggers including me uses FAQ section before concluding the post that include a series of burning questions that are usually asked by the readers.
Depending on what is your blog post topic about, your FAQ section might structured with a list of questions and answers.
Here are some benefits of adding FAQs to your content:
- Make you look like an expert
- Chance for better visibility on Google in terms of ‘featured snippets’ and ‘People also ask’
- You can optimize content for long tail keywords
- Best way to be credible by helping readers
You maybe wondering what questions to add in FAQ’s, right? Here are two ways you can collect relevant questions and organize answers for them:
- Use “People also ask” section from Google
- Search the main topic on Quora
7. Wrap up with a conclusion
Better conclusions can collect you hundreds of comments, encourage social shares, push readers to other relevant content from your blog; basically, create a great engagement.
At the basic level, your conclusion should do the following:
- Bring clarity to the reader about the topic they’ve come looking for.
- Summarize what you’ve talked, in short.
- Suggest action that your reader could take.
- Promote your product or important page.
- Ask reader: “Did you enjoy reading this?” or “Let me know your thoughts”.
8. Do the SEO
After putting the BIG effort of drafting a SUPER blog post, you don’t want to miss the extra SWEET traffic by simply optimizing the content for SEO.
Here’s how you do it:
- First off, use SEO plugin ‘Yoast’ to optimize your blog post title, URL, and meta description.
- Use your main keyword in SEO title and don’t exceed your title more than 70 characters so that it won’t get truncated.
- Be descriptive and overlook the main keyword in your meta description. OR you can just simply leave it blank if you don’t feel like writing one and let search engines fetch related description from your body content.
- Use short and descriptive URL.
- Where appropriate, link to your other content (Interlinking).
- Add main keyword and related keywords in your intro, in headings, in FAQs naturally.
This is the process I use to write and publish blog posts for this blog and generate loads of engagement.
No matter what I suggest or some other expert. At the end of the day, it is your blog and you alone better know what content should you produce to entertain your audience.
But yeah, you can use this method as a reference until you come up with your own style. With these strategies, you can publish content that help your readers and also rank better on Google to drive you potential traffic to monetize.
Besides, having a clear content strategy plan will help you achieve blogging success sooner or later.
I want to hear from you. Do you have anything to add? Please share in the comments!