If you’re not yet up-to-date on the latest marketing blogs, there’s been a lot of talk about the power of well-authored, authoritative, and entertaining content. However, the proliferation of video has added some complexity to the conversation. Now more than ever, enterprises, small businesses, and startups are using video to drive more traffic and qualified leads. Is blogging as powerful as it once was?
Yes — content marketing isn’t dead! In fact, companies that publish more than 16 blog posts per month generate 3.5 times more traffic than those without a content development plan. If you haven’t added blogging to your inbound marketing strategy by now, you could be missing out on a valuable growth opportunity!
How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step Guide
We know that blogging is important. However, if you’re just starting out, it’s difficult to know where to begin. Fortunately, we’ve built a step-by-step guide to achieving blogging greatness. From ideation to publishing, follow these simple steps to craft a more engaging and value-driven blog post:
#1: Brainstorm Ideas
Brainstorming is the first and most important step in the blogging process. Without a carefully curated list of blog post ideas, you’ll have some difficulty creating content that truly resonates with your target audience.
Start by collecting and prioritizing customers’ frequently asked questions. What are your customers interested in learning more about? This is an exercise that your entire team should be involved with, including sales and customer service associates.
“Host a 30-minute brainstorming session in which every team member can offer up questions they get asked by customers. At this stage, don’t worry about good or bad questions, just take down as many as absolutely possible,” recommends Ryan Scott, Inbound Marketing Director at Lean Labs.
“Without a carefully curated list of blog post ideas, you’ll have some difficulty creating content that truly resonates with your target audience” (Click to Tweet)
#2: Conduct Keyword Research
Once you’ve built a master list of blog post ideas, do some keyword research around those topic areas. SEMRush is our go-to keyword research tool to create SEO friendly content. Find the strongest keywords with plenty of monthly search volume. Sprinkle in some good long-tail keywords with tools like Ubersuggest.
#3: Create a Publishing Calendar
The publishing calendar is your roadmap to content marketing success. Catalog the exact dates and times that you’d like to publish. Try to post at least one time per week. As you start to ramp up, consider increasing your publishing velocity to two or three times per week. There are plenty of tools to help you create a publishing calendar. Our favorite is Google Sheets. This document can be easily shared between content stakeholders including writers, editors, and project managers.
“The publishing calendar is your roadmap towards content marketing success” (Click to Tweet)
#4: Outline the Articles
Next, start working on your article outlines. What do you need to accomplish in the article and how will you get there? Be sure to include some good context around each of the article’s subsections. What is the argument that you’re trying to make in each of these subsections? Additionally, consider bringing a subject matter expert in during the outlining process.
For example, if you’re writing about the latest plumbing techniques, it might be in your best interest to partner with a reputable contractor. She/he will be able to provide you with some valuable insights. This can be a real differentiator between run-of-the-mill versus high-value content.
#5: Start Writing
This is the most important step — start writing! There are plenty of best practices when it comes to building engaging and value-driven content.
“Think about it this way,” recommends Julie Petersen, guest contributor at ProBlogger, “if you read informative articles of great value, you’re most likely to bookmark those sites for future use. That’s the effect you want to achieve with your own posts."
Be sure to craft a compelling headline.
The headline is reader’s first interaction with your blog content. Also, think about incorporating a bit of urgency into your headline. Why must visitors read your article right now and what is at stake if they don’t?
Always aim to create unique content. Fresh content goes a long way towards building your blog authority. Additionally, readers will feel more engaged and interested in what you have to say.
“Always aim to create unique content. Fresh content goes a long way towards building your blog authority” (Click to Tweet)
After you’ve finished writing, check for grammatical and spelling mistakes. Considering bringing in a colleague for a second set of eyes. Grammarly is our go-to content editing tool. In seconds, Grammarly will automatically comb your content and highlight offending words, sentences, and paragraphs. It will even give you a few recommendations on how to fix the spelling or grammatical mistake!
#7: Upload to CMS
Next, upload your content to your CMS of choice. Lean Labs is a huge proponent of HubSpot! Don’t forget to include an optimized title, URL, meta-description, and tag.
#8: Add Contextual Links, Imagery, and Videos
Incorporate some great contextual links, imagery, and videos into your blog post. This is a great way to drive additional value to your content. Additionally, adding contextual inbound and outbound links is a great way to maximize your search engine optimization.
When do you want your blog post to go live? As a best practice, consider scheduling your blog post for the middle of the week. This will increase the likelihood of your blog post being seen by a larger audience.
Finally, commit to a content promotion plan! Allocate some advertising funds and promote your blog post on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. A well-rounded content promotion plan will give your blog post the extra legs it needs to reach a wider audience!
Kickstart Your Blog Writing Adventure
Are you ready to kickstart your blog writing adventure? Follow these simple steps to craft a more compelling, informative, and engaging blog post — from start to finish! With some practice, you’ll soon master content development, maximize your inbound marketing potential, and become an industry authority.
For an extra boost, consider downloading The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Organic Website Traffic. Learn how to perform on-site optimizations, content optimizations, content promotion, and more. This guide offers a special behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to become a blog writing champion! Are you ready to begin?
Don’t miss our FREE Guide: The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Organic Website Traffic.