Five simple steps. That’s all it takes to write an effective blog post from start to finish. In this article, we’re going to break down specifically what those five steps are in order to create content that resonates with your audience and fulfills readers’ intent. By following these steps, you’ll make sure that you’re creating content that is truly evergreen and stands out from your competition.
Step 1: Get a pulse on things or do your own research
The first thing we want to do is get a pulse on things or do your own research. Here it’s all about figuring out what’s already been written about the topic that we are potentially interested in writing about. We want to figure out what’s been written and where are the opportunities in terms of filling some content gaps.
For example, in a recent video, we talked about how we might be a course creator that is selling their course to coffee shop owners and baristas that want to improve their sales and overall copy businesses.
From this example, one of the ideas that came up with the idea of teaching food pairings to baristas. That way you could potentially upsell more people in the coffee shop. So the very first thing we do if we were thinking about writing a blog post on this is going on to Google and searching for something along the lines of, how to learn food pairings with coffee fast. From here, we would open up three or four of the top ranking pages for this long tail keyword.
As I worked through looking at these top three or four ranking posts, I noticed that listicles do really well for this longtail keyword. I also noticed that categorical articles are doing well. In other words, the ones that have different headings for the different types of categories of the food pairings.
This would signal to me that I should probably stick to one of these two content formats if I were to write a post on this topic as well. And another thing that would be helpful is figuring out how many words are in each of these articles. In other words, what’s the ideal content length that Google looks for when it comes to this topic.
Here, you’re going to want to look at not only the overall article, but also how many words are in each of the respective sub-headers. To do this. I recommend using free tools like wordcounter.net, to get a sense of how long of a piece you have to create in order to create a comparable, if not better piece than what already exists.
Step 2: Brainstorm what else there is to cover
Step two is to brainstorm what other things there are to cover. Now that we have a better understanding of what’s already been written on this topic, we can think about potential gaps in the existing content. For example, looking through these top posts, I noticed that nobody really digs into food pairings for advanced or intermediate baristas. Everybody’s focused on the core basics for beginners. So that would be a potential header that I could incorporate into my own content piece.
I also noticed that all of these top posts talk about the good pairings, but they don’t even talk about things like the pairings to avoid. And that would be a potentially really interesting piece that would offer a fresh perspective when it comes to a search around food pairings with coffee.
Whatever the long tail keyword you’re looking for is, there are always opportunities for you to fill in content gaps. It doesn’t matter what niche there is. There’s always a unique perspective and there’s always some sort of additional value that you can be adding to content if you are going to be creating something new. What’s really important though, is that you actually add that incremental value and that you’re not just respinning content that’s already been created by others, just because that doesn’t actually move anything forward and it doesn’t help your contents stand out from your competition.
And at the end of the day, that’s what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to stand out from your competition. That way you move up in those search rankings and you build that organic traffic. In the case where you’re struggling to figure out what the potential content gaps are, a great way to learn more about your audience is to simply talk to them, ask them questions about what they potentially would love to learn more about, or just other things that they generally search for and they might be able to give you some insights that you could then incorporate into subheadings in a variety of different long form posts that you would create.
Step 3: Outline your post
The third step we’re going to take is we want to outline our posts. This is where we want to start putting together our awesome sandwich. And when you think about what makes an epic sandwich, it’s everything that’s in the middle as well as the bread.
So as you work your way through this, this is where you’re going to draw in all of those brainstorming ideas that you worked out in step number two. As you outline your different headers, ask yourself, is this header something that would make me want to read through what’s in the section? Or would I want to either skip this header or even worse stop reading this article?
If you find yourself with an uninteresting header, try to rework it from some other angle. So that the reader is more likely to continue reading. So in our example of looking at those top posts for food pairings with coffee, we probably don’t want to just have another listicle post or some other categorical breakdown of the different types of food that can be paired with coffee.
Three factors to always consider when pairing food with coffee, seven food pairings with breakfast or morning coffee to have the perfect morning, five lesser known food pairings to try with coffee, three food pairings to always avoid with coffee, the ultimate food and coffee pairing principle. For that less header, it would probably be a free downloadable that we would then use as a lead capture magnet for this article to convert them into some sort of warm lead for our course that we would be selling.
But something I want you to notice as I outline those example headers is that each one of those is a lot more compelling than the ones that we’ve already seen in those top ranking articles. For that last one, it would likely be a lead capture magnet that would allow us to engage more with the reader later on assuming that they are interested in this sort of content we’re creating.
But from these example headers, the main thing I want you to understand is how I’ve positioned these headers in a way that are more oriented around the benefits the reader to keep reading. And also they’re just much more interesting than the existing content that is out there when it comes to this topic of food pairings with coffee.
As we outline these posts as well, another thing we want to keep in mind is the structure of our URL. Try to keep your URLs as short as possible while still preserving the core keywords that you are aiming to target. So in this example, we might use something like, ultimate coffee food pairing guide. That makes it super clear to Google what this page is about while also making it a link that isn’t way too long so that if somebody shares it, they don’t get turned off just because of how long the link is.
Step 4: Write your post
Our fourth step is all about the execution and that is writing our posts. As you start writing, I recommend that you use an online editor like a Grammarly or Hemingway app. These two are great programs that will just give you a better understanding of how readable your content is. The biggest thing to keep in mind as you create web content is you want to make sure that it’s super readable.
In other words, readable not only on a desktop, but also on a mobile device. That means really short paragraphs and a lot of line breaks just to make it really easy to follow along with everything that you’re outlining in your article.
Scalability is super important because it keeps people on your page even longer, which is a positive signal to Google that this page has quality content.
In general, when it comes to readability, aim to write at a fifth grade reading level, this way it is accessible for as wide of an audience as possible. Once you finish your rough draft of your post, make sure you take some time away from your computer before revisiting it. That way you just have a little bit of a break and then that’ll give you a fresher start when it comes to checking for any mistakes and things like that in the case where you don’t yet have an editor.
If you really hate writing and you end up finding a team to write this content for you, what’s really important for you to do in this stage is to make sure that you have really clear onboarding instructions for your writers, as well as a breakdown of an article brief with the headers that you want from your keyword research. That way your writers have some general guidance as to how they should be writing.
Once you get to the stage where you are naming your article, I recommend that you come up with five to 10 different headlines and then run it through a Headline Analyzer. From my content marketing tools video, you know, that I really liked the one by Advanced Marketing Institute because it doesn’t require you to do a login before using it.
So by running your headlines through these analyzers, you’ll get a better sense of how good your headline is when it comes to evoking different emotions and responses from readers. Once you have your core content, as well as the title of your article, you want to think about different ways to make it more engaging.
One way to do this might be to check out websites like Unsplash or Pexels for royalty free images that you can use and embed into your article.
Step 5: Share your post with the world
The fifth step is to go ahead and share your post with the world. At this point, if your site is SEO optimized, the Google crawler will find it within a day or so. Sometimes it might take a little bit longer, but for the most part, if you’re releasing regular content, it’ll be quick to get indexed by Google.
What this means though, is that it might take some time for you to show up for organic ranking pages. And so in the meantime, you need to find ways to get eyeballs on the content you just created. To do this, you might want to use things like your existing customer email list or your newsletter list, just to blast this message out to some people and get some initial feedback. Or you might also find it helpful to check out some sub communities like Reddit or Facebook groups in which you can find people that are in the target audience that you wrote the piece for.
The key thing here is to really think about all the different people that might benefit from reading this post and share it with other people in their network that would also benefit from it. If you decide to share your posts on communities like Reddit, be sure to be mindful of community guidelines. In most situations, it’s much more likely to be well-received if you were to just go ahead and paste the entirety of your content into a post and then have a link back to your site, as opposed to directly linking to your site when you share your posts.
Aside from just sharing it to your immediate lists as well as some sub-communities, you might also find it helpful to check out what other websites or people have previously linked to the existing content that you referenced in step number one. If you can identify the different sites that already shared this content in the past, then it’s more than likely that their audiences would also benefit from this updated posts that is much more in depth.
And this will give you an opportunity to potentially reach out for some partnerships or collaborations with different creators in your space that might benefit from your piece. However you end up sharing things, it’s really important that you actually try this step. People often forget to promote their post after they publish it and then they get discouraged because they don’t get that feedback loop of somebody telling them that the content that they wrote was really helpful to them.
There are two things I want you to remember from this article:
- The first one is that content gaps exist everywhere. It doesn’t matter what topic you’re writing about. There is always an opportunity for you to add new value than what already exists. So try to think about the unique perspectives or experiences that you can potentially share on a topic that you’re writing about.
- The second big takeaway is that research and planning makes up the bulk of the blog writing process. It’s only through great preparation that you get exceptional results in this sort of content you’re creating. So it’s really important that you do this, whether you are writing the content pieces yourself or you’re staffing a team of writers to help you write content.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you know that might benefit from learning how to write a blog post for beginners.