If you’ve been blogging for a long time, you know the struggle can be so real when it comes to sharing this longer-form content. Whether it’s having difficulty coming up with topics, formatting the posts in a simple and streamlined way, or defining your own unique “tone,” there are some hurdles that come with regular blog writing that I’m here to help you combat.
Today I’m sharing the 10 simple steps my team and I take to crank out valuable, well-organized blog posts 4 to 5 days a week. It doesn’t matter if you’re a full-time blogger, solopreneur, or business owner with a large team of helping hands — these tips will help you hit publish on knockout blog posts (and boost your SEO in the process) every single time, without that sinking, overwhelming feeling.
Determine the goal of the post right away.
I always want every single blog post of mine to have a very clear and measurable goal. That way, we can point to each post and say we want people to get some kind of specific tool or tangible takeaway out of it.
For example, this post’s goal in the intro up above was: “these tips will help you hit publish on knockout blog posts every single time.” Notice how the goal is right at the top of the post in the introduction, and it doesn’t over-promise or muddy the message. It’s a clear, defined goal that the post then delves into to deliver the result to readers.
Whether you’re sharing your favorite swimsuits under $30 or giving your 5 favorite iPhone photography tips, let your readers know right away what they’ll get out of reading your post. This also helps to create more clickable posts on social media because there’s a concise, understandable promise that delivers once people land on the page.
Come up with a feeling you want every post to emit.
To discover your writing “tone” or “voice,” consider what kind of feeling you want people to have after reading your stuff. Do you want them to be motivated or inspired? Do you want them to feel like they just had coffee with a friend? Do you want them to feel like someone just lit a fire under them to get the heck going with their goals?
I strive for my posts to make readers feel like they’re hanging out with a smart friend who’s also relatable and proficient at explaining new concepts. It’s less girl talk, and more like enjoying a Forbes article… after 2 glasses of wine. I always want to keep the tone approachable, conversational, relatable, and informative, but not fluffy or stuffy.
Who is your audience? Write to them, and them only.
You’re not going to be for everyone, and that’s okay. Who is your ideal customer or audience? Think of one person who defines that broader customer base. Mine’s a woman in her 30s with big ambition who is looking for ways to up-level herself strategically and take her career into her own hands.
Now, as you write your blog posts, do it in a way that speaks only to that ONE person. Avoid using terms that refer to the masses, like “you guys” or even “everyone.” Speak in the second person to your ideal customer so clearly that they can’t ignore it. This directness translates to a really powerful connection and calls to action.
Optimize the headline to engage readers.
The title of a blog post is one of the main things that grabs attention and determines whether readers will click through. Is the title something that will make people interested enough to click? Does it share the promise of the post and tell people what to expect if they open it? Does it help people know if that post will serve them or not?
My team keeps a running list of headlines and topics we want to share with our audience. Pay attention to what’s really worked well in the past, and even spin and repurpose some similar topics to really get the most out of the content and deliver helpful blog posts to readers.
Make sure your introduction piques interest.
You don’t want to give away all your secrets and tips in the intro. It’s kind of like the first date of the blog post — lead with mystery, and encourage people to keep reading to find out the rest. It should inspire them to want to finish the entire post, and those first few sentences can make or break this opportunity. I revert back to my college days and try and remember how we were taught to summarize and let the reader know what’s next without spoiling it all or making it overly confusing.
Like I mentioned earlier, share the goal of the post in the introduction, and then share a personal anecdote or relatable snippet to let readers know you empathize with them. Empathy, compassion, and great storytelling are the quickest ways for people to connect with you (and be interested in more of what you have to say).
Triple-check your formatting, spelling, and punctuation.
I say this as I am, in fact, triple-checking this post for formatting, spelling, and punctuation. Do I always get it right? Nah, but at least I look things over a few times to ensure it’s ready to get eyeballs on it. This might sound silly, but small mistakes make people distrust your abilities and knowledge. If you have a little spelling or grammar mistake, it’s not the end of the world – done is still better than perfect and I have typos, too. But if they add up over time, it becomes clear that you might be rushing or don’t care about the content you’re creating and sharing.
Be strategic with your headings.
Breaking up text can be really helpful for a reader to find exactly what they need quickly. It also makes it easier to read and enjoy your content. The headings throughout your post help to break up the text and act as a roadmap for the reader. Make sure you use the same formatting for headings in each post to keep uniformity.
Also, try to keep the word length of headings about the same so it lays out on the page well. You want them to stay on one line and contain the same punctuation for easy readability. As small of a detail as this is, it’s important for the user experience of reading your blog posts.
Break up paragraphs, and keep sentences short.
Have you ever gotten an email or read a Facebook post where it seemed like every sentence was a new line? That’s the direction we’re going. We’re in a time when people’s attention span is extremely sensitive and ever-fleeting. To make consuming blog posts more palatable for readers, write in short sentences and only put 2 to 3 sentences in a paragraph.
This makes it easier for people to skim as quickly as they’d like to and not get lost on the page. Our eyes don’t take in huge blocks of text very well, especially when we’re reading it on electronic devices like our phones and computes. Simplify it by keeping everything nice and short!
Create as much evergreen content as possible.
It’s great to share holiday gift guides and summer bucket lists, but as fun as that content can be, it’s only helpful for a short period of time. That content “expires”. I avoid referring to anything time-sensitive. In fact, I want to imagine that anyone landing on the post has NEVER had any experience with my brand.
We want to avoid referencing anything like, “Las week, we covered [blank],” or “Because fall is around the corner…” These hurt the evergreen aspect of blog posts when the goal should be to make each post a standalone piece of content that delivers on the promise, whether someone reads it the day it’s published or in 5 years.
Devise a strong call to action to wrap up the post.
When someone finishes reading your post, what do you want them to do? What action do you want them to take? Repeat after me: no dead ends, only invitations. The call to action is the cherry on top of a great and informational blog post. Whether you want readers to consider buying something, signing up for something, listening to something, or any other “actionable” request, be super clear about it at the end of the post.
This is your chance to fully deliver on that promise you gave them way up at the top. We do it by adding a footer to each blog post — a small, often one-sentence call to action that gives readers another resource that goes hand-in-hand with the content of the post. It might be one of our freebies, podcast episodes, courses, or an ask to sign up for our email list or follow along on Instagram. It’s that invitation to continue on the journey together. Fun, right?
Blogging is anything but dead! However, gone are the days when readers would read numerous blogs every single day. People are getting better at cherry-picking the content that will serve them, provide solutions, or simply spark joy — make that content YOURS. There are so many ways to engage readers through your exquisitely planned blog posts, from title and intro to the conclusion and grammar. With a few small, but intentional, shifts, you’ll create content that your perfect audience will adore reading, and it’ll show in your numbers and conversions behind your blog.