10 No Brainer Steps to Writing Blog Posts
[Blog Writing Guide for New Writers]
Blog writing made simple in 10 easy-to-follow steps. With a little guidance, anyone can create a great blog post. Set it up for success from the start.
10 No Brainer Steps to Writing Blog Posts
[Blog Writing Guide for New Writers]
Are you new to blog writing or want to upgrade your freelance skillset? Interested in beginning a new freelance writing career or starting a personal blog?
Blog writing can be a challenge, especially if it feels like you don’t have the proper skills or guidance to meet your goals. But don’t let that scare you away!
With a little guidance, anyone can write a great blog post.
Follow these 10 easy blog writing steps to set yourself up for success from the start.
OVERVIEW OF CONTENT
- Choose a blog topic
- Determine your blog post type
- Research topics thoroughly
- Be consistent with a writing style
- Organize your topics
- Get everything out of your head
- Craft your first draft
- Proofread and edit, edit, edit
- Prepare your content for publishing
- Publish and promote
1. Choose Your Blog Topic
Your blog entries should be about topics you are passionate about and have some experience with. There are many topics to choose from, but whatever you choose to write about, be consistent and stick to it.
The topics you choose and the value you provide within a piece of writing will be the reason people return to your blog for entertainment, insights, and advice.
A big factor to consider when choosing your topic is your target audience. The audience is who the blog is for. They are the group of people your content is meant to entice. Identify your target audience, address topics they are interested in, and write in an appealing way that speaks directly to them. You want them to continue coming back for more!
2. Determine Your Blog Post Type
Ok, you’ve landed on your topic and the people you want to read about your topic.
Now it’s time to pick the type of blog post you want to write.
Do you want to teach your audience something? Do you want to share an experience? Provoke thoughts about a trending topic? Or simply want to compile a list of your favorite sandal styles for summer?
Most blog posts fall into one of the following categories:
- Informative or Educational: Teach your audience something, or share information with them about something specific. Sub-categories might include: news stories, how-tos, product advice, etc.
- Entertaining or Inspiring: The main goal is to be fun, light, and sometimes controversial. Sub-categories might include: niche hobbies, humorous stories, personal lifestyle choices, DIY, travel, fashion, etc.
Have fun with it! Mix up different types to keep your audience on their toes, wanting more.
Don’t bore your audience with the same type of posts over and over and over.
3. Research! Research! Research!
Next, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to researching.
Google is a writer's best friend. Don’t skimp on this step. A well-researched topic is gold. Fluff is a big no-go in 99.999999999999% of blog writing.
Providing knowledge is key. Research your topics thoroughly. Find information that will be helpful to your audience. Make use of online research techniques, such as keyword search strategies.
Give the reader viable information that will empower them. Offer value-packed knowledgeable information and turn readers into repeat visitors.
4. Writing Style
What’s the purpose of your blog piece? Keep your writing goal at the forefront to avoid straying off-topic or off-brand.
Keep those blinders on! Whether you are writing for your own personal blog, ghostwriting for someone else's blog, or guest-blogging-- each requires different writing styles to keep in mind.
Personal blogs. The internet is littered with personal blogs. Personal blogs focus on an individual’s wisdom, background, and personal interactions with a selected topic. Invite your readers into your life. The more personal you get, the more your audience will feel connected with you. Building relationships establishes trust.
Guest blogging. Present your experience and knowledge to a fellow blogger’s audience. Guest blogging will help you reach new readers while still writing as yourself. When guest blogging, be sure to include valuable information and links to your platforms so the audience knows where to go online to learn more about you.
Ghostwriting. Seasoned writers may be interested in ghostwriting for someone else’s blog. In this case, the writer releases authorship rights in exchange for something. Ghost writing requires clear guidelines and should be provided to you by the client. The article must fit their brand personality and specific writing style. It’s all about the brand and their goals. The specific details about a brand’s personality and writing style is often referred to as a client brief. Ghostwriting usually requires some advanced experience to master writing in someone else’s voice, tone, and style.
As you prepare to write, ensure you consider the type of writing you want to achieve. What is the required voice, tone, writing style?
- Voice: What type of personality shines through the words?
- Tone: What does the writing convey? What emotions does the writing invoke?
- Style: How the content is styled and delivered.
Consistency is key when addressing voice, tone, and style in your writing. Always strive for writing that is clear and concise.
5. Structure: Outline Your Blog Sub-Topics
Many new writers skip the outline step and jump right into writing the first draft. Do NOT skip the outline phase.
Have you ever seen a house built without first constructing the base frame? Of course not! It would be a hot mess of materials thrown together to resemble a house. Do NOT do that with your blog post.
An outline helps organize your content. Gather all your research and organize it by sub-topics. When ghostwriting or guest-blogging, an outline is usually provided for you in the assignment brief from the client.
Outlines should contain a proposed headline, an introduction , the sub-points of your main topic, and a conclusion/summary of the content, followed by a final CTA (call to action) for the reader.
Keep your outline simple. Don’t write your first draft in the outline! A few sentences will suffice. Reference it often to stay on track.
After you have your outline of sub-topics in place, next-- take time to sit down and write.
Write without editing. Write freely about everything you researched for each sub-topic. No editing AT ALL in this step, as hard as it may be. The editing step comes later.
Just write, let all the information that has been stored in your brain out into your writing. Let the creative juices flow.
Freewriting has many benefits, including: increased creativity, self-confidence, and trust in your writing.
7. The First Draft
In the first draft, all the previous steps come together. Write out the information you’ve gathered in an appealing way for your audience. Do this according to the outline you wrote and incorporate the best work of your freewriting sessions. Take the time to craft a piece of writing dedicated to offering expertise and value to the reader.
Once you’ve completed the first draft step, take a break. Writing is fun, but it requires great effort from the mind and body. Breaks let your brain cool down and avoid burn out.
Let your writing marinate for at least 24 hours before you return to it. Stew always tastes better the second day after the ingredients and seasonings have had time to mingle.
Return the next day, refreshed and clear-headed, ready to make your first round of edits.
8. Proofread & Edit
The editing process of writing is where the magic happens.
All the hard work you’ve done culminates at this stage.
Your blog must be easy to read, maintain a consistent flow of ideas, and intrigue the reader to continue to the end.
- The first step in the editing phase is to read your blog aloud to yourself. Reading out loud helps catch many errors. If you notice any sections feel out of place or disorganized, make changes.
- Your next step is to correct any glaring punctuation and grammatical errors. Check for misspellings, comma usage, any repetitive words or phrases, and sentence length.
- Finally, get a second pair of eyes to review your writing. A friend or family member might offer some valuable insight, or better yet-- hire a professional to polish and perfect the piece for you.
9. Prepare to Publish
Blogging is not only about the writing quality of a post.
You must make the post visually appealing to keep readers attention. Walls and walls of text will send your readers away from your blog faster than a swipe left on Tinder!
Here are a few key factors to consider in preparing your post to be visually appealing for publishing:
- Correct formatting, in accordance to the client’s style guide
- Followed all the brand guidelines
- Confirmed writing style guide for article brief
So, the blog is looking great and you are ready to hit publish. But wait! How do you get readers to visit your blog and read your post though?
To reach a larger audience, you must also optimize your blog post for search engines.
Using search engines is a strategy to get the right people to search for your blog topic and find your blog. The tactic is known as SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
SEO is the strategy for how search engines (such as Google or Bing) rank websites when someone inputs a query. It is one of the key factors to gain traffic and visibility of your blog post so your target audience has an optimized way of discovering you and finding the answers they seek. There are many free tools for utilizing SEO strategies such as Moz, or Answer The Public.
10. Publish & Promote!
Finally, it’s time to publish your blog post.
All the hard work you’ve put in is ready to be seen by the world. So exciting!
Get the word out and promote your post across your social channels! Share with all your Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn friends-- And don’t forget to add a Pinterest pin!
Writing is a skill that takes time, patience, and practice. The more you do it, the better you get. So take your time and be patient with yourself. You can do it! With these 10 easy-to-follow blog writing steps and a little practice, you will be a master blog writer in no time!
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