How to Optimise Your Blog Posts So You Can Go Viral
The key to building a business that (actually) works is creating incredible content.
Show up in an ‘oh no it’s 5pm I best just churn out any old rubbish to keep to my content plan’ kinda way and you’ll soon find your audience deserts you.
But if you consistently (the most unsexy but crucial word if you want results) show up and give massive value to your audience through your blog posts then you are onto a winner.
Writing an incredible blog post can unlock traffic, leads, an audience who love you and tell everyone and their mum about you and ultimately sales.
Read on to learn my 7 steps to writing the ultimate blog post, from coming up with ideas, to doing the keyword research and even how to structure your post.
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Step 1 in How to Write a Good Blog Post: Come up with the idea
Nothing gets my creativity flowing more than a large sheet of paper and big pens (anyone with me?).
You already have loads of ideas from scanning the web, reading and absorbing others content.
To get them out of your head and onto paper, you can use follow these steps:
Break your business into different categories, for example my categories are inspiration, branding, goals & planning, content, Pinterest and many others. Come up with as many as you can, but at least 10.
Write down 3 different content topics for each category e.g. for content I could talk about identifying your natural voice, market research, writing headlines.
For inspiration for your content topics you can:
Research what your competitors are writing about and what content is popular on their websites
Look at websites you and your audience love and check out what content they’ve been creating
Look at what is trending in your niche. Google Trends is a brilliant tool to use
Use your experience. Think about the questions you always get asked, what help do your clients need?
Ask your audience. You are creating content for them, so what do they want to know about?
You can also use online tools such as SEM Rush, Answer the Public and Google Search Suggestions.
SEM Rush is a great tool to maximise the SEO potential of your content (and who doesn’t want that?).
You put in a topic, press the magic button and it gives you a top 10 list of headlines based on backlinks. You can click through to the articles to see what your niche are writing about and also quote them in your own content. It also lists 10 questions, top sub topics and related searches for your search term. Brilliant.
Answer the Public is a great free long-tail keyword research tool. You type in your topic and it generates a list of questions the public is actually asking about that niche. This helps to ensure your content is relevant and valuable.
If you have an idea for a general topic, pop it in the fountain of all knowledge, Google, and look at the suggested topics it comes up with. Each could be a piece of content.
Also check out the related searches at the bottom of the page.
Step 2 in How to Write a Good Blog Post: Research the keywords
Writing amazing content that will really help your audience is your number one focus.
But you also need to get that content in front of your audience, this is where Keywords come in.
Don’t panic, they are so much easier to use than people make out.
If you choose the right keywords and use them in the right way then you increase your chances of getting ranked in Google so when someone searches for your topic you appear in the first page of the search results. Basically it’s free traffic.
We’re going to look for long tail keywords. These are basically 3+ words which are specific to the topic e.g. rather than using the keyword ‘blog’, I would use the long tail keyword of ‘how to write blogs’.
Doing your Keyword Research:
Take the content idea you came up with in step 1 and come up with some possible keywords. Think about what you would type into Google if you were trying to find info on that topic e.g. If I had decided in Step 1 to write about creating content, then I might type into Google how to create content or content creation.
Jump over to Google Keyword Planner which is a brilliant free tool. Type your keyword ideas from the step A into the search bar and see what suggestions Google comes up with. You usually want to find keywords that have 1K+ searches and low competition (so you have a better chance of ranking in organic search results).
I also use Neil Patel’s SEO Keyword Tool. I’m looking for a search volume over 1,000 and an easy SEO difficulty rating.
Once I’ve done my research I create a list of my main keywords for the blog and then i’m ready to include them in my content so it becomes SEO rich.
Long gone are the days of keyword stuffing, so make sure you use them naturally. I aim to use them 4-5 times if I’m creating content which is 500-700 words and 7-8 times if my content is over 1000 words as keyword density is an important search engine optimisation factor.
Step 3 in How to Write a Good Blog Post: Decide on your goal
If you are writing aimlessly then you are just creating noise with no real purpose. You should set the goal for your blog post at the very start. Do you want it to inspire? Educate? Create connection?
When you set your goal, think about:
Who are you writing this for? Who is your target audience?
How do they like to consume their content? Short and sweet, longer more in depth?
How do you want your target audience to feel as a result of your content? Inspired? Compelled to take action? Fired up? Moved? Knowledgeable? Wanting more?
What do you want them to do as a result of your content? Share? Comment? Email you? Book in an appointment? What is the call to action going to be?
Everything leads on from this and you can intentionally steer your reader to the end goal.
Step 4 in How to Write a Good Blog Post: Write your captivating heading
We all have limited time and short attention spans so a bad headline can kill your blog.
A great headline will make your blog shareable, clickable and help you boost engagement.
Ultimately, you’re trying to persuade your audience to part with the most valuable thing they have, time.
In fact CopyBlogger says that “On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. This is the secret to the power of your title, and why it so highly determines the effectiveness of the entire piece”
If you want to become a master at writing headlines for your content then jump over here where I go through easy blog title generator ideas below to ensure your headlines are captivating.
The keys are:
Use powerful & emotive language – Using powerful emotional words such as never, worst, effortless, crucial, fun works and will stop your copy from being bland and flat
Use numbers – Numbers are used time and time again in headlines and for good reason. As humans we are biologically programmed to love certainty over uncertainty, and numbers help us to know exactly what we’re getting into.
Keep it simple & short – Google will only display the first 70 characters in the search results, Twitter has a 140 character limit and long email subjects won’t be shown fully. It is all about keeping it short, simple and to the point.
Give people a reason to click – Use words that’ll trigger the audience to click through by giving them a reason as to why they should. Trigger words include: what, why, how, when, tricks, ideas, secrets, strategies, a beginners guide to, introduction to.
Activate the curiosity gap – Ask a question as they play to our human instinct for completion. We always want an A to a Q as we’re not good with ambiguity, so we’ll click through to the content to find the answer. You can also activate the curiosity gap by making your headline deliberately intriguing (but never misleading, we’re not ok with clickbait here!)
Step 5 in How to Write a Good Blog Post: Create your incredible content
Wow we are already at step 5 and we’re only just starting to write the content. But I promise you all the research and planning you’ve done will set your blog posts apart from all the other bloggers out there.
So now it’s time to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboards. You want your blogs to:
Truly solve the problem your audience has, or really inspire them or whatever your goal is. Don’t hold back and worry about giving too much away. Leave them wondering if this is what your free content is like, imagine what their paid content is like. Aim for over 1000 words
Naturally lead them to the call to action you decided on during the goal phase
Feel like you’re talking directly to the reader and you really understand who they are, what they need and how they feel
Be in your natural voice. If you’re authentic then that’ll build a relationship with your readers quickly
Offer them an opportunity to join your email list at least twice during the post. It is great to do this by offering them a freebie or opt in related to the blog post so they can carry on learning from you
Have clear actionable points so they not only learn from you but actually see the results in their own lives or businesses
Be well structured so that you naturally lead the readers through the blog. You can check out my ultimate guide to writing content your audience will love, share and act on here
Step 6 in How to Write a Good Blog Post: Create your images
Images will bring your content alive. They’re essential for sharing your content on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram or anywhere really.
I use Canva and like to create 5-10 pins per blog posts and a selection of other social media graphics.
My top tips for creating incredible images are:
Find good stock photos which are aligned with your brand. I like unsplash.com
Use your brand fonts and colours so all your images are on point
Develop your own templates so there is consistency across images for different blog posts
Make sure you include your web address on the image so people can find you and they can’t be used by someone else
Learn more about optimising your images for the Pinterest smartfeed here
Step 7 in How to Write a Good Blog Post: Check the post before you hit publish
I run through the following steps to make sure my blogs are optimised before I hit publish. You can get the full checklist here:
Have you fulfilled your goal?
Are you speaking to a specific person?
Can you hear your voice?
Is there a clear and compelling call to action?
Is it well structured?
Have you included your keywords correctly?
Is your headline captivating and clickable?
Have you proofread it?
Do your links work?
And that’s it, simples!! Blogging done right is an incredible way to build connection with your audience and increase your traffic. Take your time and work your way through all the steps.
Finally make sure you blog consistently, that’s the key to really building a business that (actually) works.
Bonus: Want to create powerful content that your audience loves, shares and buys from?
Then grab your free and highly detailed cheat sheet and start creating consistent leads and sales from your content.