Writing a good post is quite some work. A lot goes into the process.
But armed with the right skills you can excel at it. In this post you will learn the exact skills on how to write a good post.
You will also learn the stages that are involved in writing a post.
What To Do Before Writing
What most people don’t know is that post writing is preceded by research. They simply assume that you just up and write.
But that kind of writing is usually catastrophic. It’s either you will have thin content, or you will take too long not knowing what to write.
It’s therefore important to know beforehand what a good post will need.
Here are a few guidelines for preparing for your next post.
Determine the need for your post
Unless it serves a highly specific purpose, a post written for the sake of writing is purely a waste of time.
It’s like a shot in the dark. You write and hope that non-existent searchers will find it.
For this reason, almost all posts are inspired by an identified and significant need for them.
However, to fill up the parts of your website that you fill are lacking to make your blog a complete piece, you may feel it a necessity to write a few blog posts on the crucial aspects of your niche even if there is yet no significant search for them online.
So determine if there is a need before writing your post.
You can determine this need by doing keyword research, or by checking out forums and other communities where your audience hangs.
Target search topics with ranking potential
You need to determine what phrase is mostly used by searchers for the topic you are targeting.
This is because you need a good amount of traffic and want to ultimately monetizing your website.
The process of determining targeted search phrases is called keyword research
Keyword research is all about targeted search and volume.
You want as many visitors as possible who have been actively searching for what you are writing on.
The only way to get those visitors over is to know beforehand what search phrases they use, then you can write posts that target those phrases.
You don’t want to write a post that’s gonna show up on the last page of the search engines. Or worse, a topic that nobody is searching for. That will be the equivalent of having written no post at all.
For some topics, you stand no chance of ranking on the first page of Google at all. That applies especially to short tailed keywords.
Examples are “SEO”, “Traffic”, “Make Money” etc. Those keywords or topics are “”owned” by established sites, and it will be near impossible to outdo them.
You want to go for less competitive, long tailed type of keywords. Those include phrases like “How to do keyword research”, “how to make money on Clickbank” and so on.
The graph below shows how long tail keywords perform relative to short tail keywords as far as traffic is concerned
The graph demonstrates that long tail keywords make up the bulk of the search traffic when combined.
And because they are very specific in nature, it means the traffic from them is also targeted.
So basing your posts on long tail keywords will give you more chance of ranking high and getting more traffic.
The other benefit of keyword research is to identify and address the search intent.
Some searchers have an underlying intent for information only, some for informed decision making, and some for actual items to buy.
So, depending on your purpose and your site, you may have priority of what type of search phrases to target.
If you own a review site, then most probably you will want to focus on comparison and purchase intent articles. With these you will target searchers who are near or have reached the stage to buy.
On the other hand, you may want to attract information seekers for the purpose of nurturing and ultimately monetizing your funnel.
You will do this through informational blog posts and email marketing. For this reason you will target search phrases that denote a search for information only.
This is because using this process, you can bring the visitor from a point of solely seeking information, to being interested in your products, to buying, and ultimately to being a loyal, lifetime customer.
Your site may target all those types of search intent depending on the purpose of your post at any time you write.
If you want long tailed keywords with ranking potential, a good tool to use is the KWFinder.
However, if you want to spy on your competitors and outdo them, you can check out SEMRush.
It’s important to note that keyword research must be done as part of your content strategy.
This means you must plan well in advance (weeks or months) the topics you want to write on, and the key phrases they are going to target.
In other words, you are not gonna do keyword research the same day as you write your post.
This ensures that you give your writing maximum focus.
Research your topic
The purpose of research is to gather information that has a bearing on your chosen topic. After that you will be equipped to write a well-rounded piece.
Follow the steps below in doing your research.
Gather factual information
The best place to start is your competition. Google your topic and visit the top 10 results that come up.
What have others written on the subject?
What you want to write on is like making a part of the wheel that someone has long invented back.
You just want to give the subject a unique perspective and depth that is lacking.
Because of this you will want to see what others have written on the subject, identify the crucial elements that you can incorporate into your own post, determine the gaps they have left, and see how you can fill them.
For example, if my competitors are discussing keyword research, but have left out the element of keyword research tools, that’s a gap I can capitalize on and include in my own post. You can be sure I will have more substance than them.
Brian Dean is well known for coming up with the method known as the skyscraper technique. The technique involves finding a proven topic, improving it, and promoting it.
So make sure to note the important points and elements of each post as you research. Make note of the gaps too.
You will later on fill the gaps and expand your points.
Gather relevant statistics and case studies on the topic
A post that has statistical facts always far outweighs one without. Why? Because numbers don’t lie. Due to this fact, people are inclined to trust and therefore give more esteem to posts with statistics than those without.
For example, if i were to write a post or paragraph on the effect of number of monthly blog posts on traffic, I could use an image like the one below to illustrate statistical facts.
Statistics also give authority to you as the post author. The use of statistics shows that you have done your research. That way your writing is credible.
Where statistics tell facts, case studies tell a living story.
A living story means it was done and anyone can do it too. And there is nothing to inspire action in the direction of anything than giving a true testimony of one who has done it.
Decide what type the post should be
The type of post could well be the deciding factor for the amount of traffic you get.
Studies show that list posts, infographics, and why posts are the favorite content of readers. It is not hard to see why.
List posts present information in a readily scannable, predictable, and user-friendly way.
And people just have it in their DNA to be inclined to posts with numbers. They give promise of more ways of doing something, than a single, compact post.
And infographics are also liked because they tell many facts in one picture. You cant ask for more.
The crucial factor in deciding the type of post is what type is likely to deliver more value and be more digestible to the reader. This will depend on your topic to a large extent.
For example, the topic “how to promote your blog posts” is better presented in a list format. This is because you will be outlining different ways of making money online.
In contrast, the topic “SEO” will be a what type, long-form post.
This is because there are several aspects of the subject that you need to thrash out in detail.
Whatever post type you choose, write in depth.
In depth posts are detailed and cover all areas of the subject matter.
You want your readers going away with a sense of satisfaction after reading your post.
How to Actually Write The Post
Now that we have covered the preliminaries, it is hoped that on the day you actually sit down to write a post, you will not be doing keyword and factual info research. You would have long done those.
You need to be super-focused when you write. This keeps you from distractions and saves a lot of time.
Let’s get into the actual process of writing your post
First draw an outline
Before you write, you need to have a visionary view of how your post will look like once complete.
For this reason you should determine the headings and subheadings of your post beforehand. So when you eventually come to write, the paragraphs will just be an expansion of these headings.
Drawing an outline also plays a few psychological tricks.
An outline guides you without you even realizing it. That means there is gonna be a smoother flow and transition into other sections of your post. And that is gonna in turn improve the speed with which you write the post.
In addition, an outline subconsciously tells you that you already have the end in view, you just need to flesh in the details.
An example of a post outline template is this:
The daring part. No doubt. Here is where you make your case.
Here are a few tips for writing effectively:
1. Write like you speak
This means that you should be free and conversational.
While obviously taking into account sensitive subjects and steering clear of them, you should otherwise not act all formal like you are at a meeting with the president.
This practice relieves you of the subconscious burden of formality. Meaning that you wont have to act like the writer you are not.
And casual tones, as in real life, have a way of freeing up those you associate with, in this case your readers.
A casual tone is also expected to increase the dwell time as visitors would find your writing interesting and fun.
2. Include stats and case studies
You would have already gotten ideas of these in the research stage above.
Include these in your content to beef it up.
Besides, content with statistics and case studies rocks up your authority.
It has been shown that case studies are some of the effective content types in marketing
In addition, as you write, new ideas may pop up for statistics you need to include in your post.
You can quickly look these up on your browser and get back to your post.
3. Write now and edit later
Editing takes time and therefore slows down progress.
In contrast, writing without editing simultaneously means you are subconsciously free of the worry of making mistakes.
Any mistakes will be identified and corrected later.
4. Write in depth posts
Studies show that long posts receive more traffic than short ones.
This flows from the simple fact that long posts are usually how-to guides, showing the practical and step-by-step way of doing something.
Long posts for that reason are in-depth and therefore actionable.
Besides depth, long posts also increase the dwell time. This is the time taken by a visitor on your page or site.
Dwell time is one factor that highly affects your SEO, and consequently your rankings.
In-depth posts make you the go-to on the topic. You did the digging and the research. Your reader can find every single thing they need to know from your post and don’t have go elsewhere to supplement the info.
Another important advantage of long form content is that you end up also ranking for many other keywords other than those you targeted.
In depth posts also have the power of being evergreen. They tend to have significance and relevance for many years.
As a result you can keep reaping more and more traffic from your single, initial effort.
Also, because of their evergreen nature, long posts can be repurposed into many formats.
You can make ebooks out of them and use these as your lead magnets.
You also make videos, slides, and podcasts out of these posts.
Ultimately, repurposing means reaching more diverse people, and spells more traffic for your site.
Optimize for SEO
You want your post to have a high chance of ranking on page 1 of Google.
For this you will need to optimize your post so it’s seen as important and relevant by both readers and search engines alike.
Here are a few things you can implement to optimize its ranking potential.
1. Check your heading tags
Heading tags are the weights given to any text on your post.
Proper use of heading tags also imparts a readable architecture to your content.
Heading tags are predominantly used to distinguish the post title and paragraph headings from the rest of the content.
Heading tags descend by order of weight and importance from H1 to H6.
Therefore you must give your post title the H1 tag, your main paragraph headings the H2 tag, the subtopics falling under the main paragraph headings, the H3 tag, and so on.
To impart a tag to a heading, hover your mouse over the relevant heading, and go to “Paragraph” in your Editor. When you click it, you will be presented with a list of tags (H1 to H6) from which you will select the relevant tag.
Here is an example of the use of a heading tag
2. Check your spacing and font
Long, unbroken paragraphs will simply not do it. They will repulse your readers and increase your bounce rate.
So break up your paragraphs into 2 or 3 sentences at a time. This will enhance a faster flow and reading.
In the same breath, use a font type and size that readers will enjoy. Avoid small fonts as the readers have to actually try to read your post.
3. Check your keywords
Keywords are what indicates the focus of your content to the search engines.
Therefore your target phrase should appear throughout the content. However do make sure that the target keyword appears in context to the content. Also avoid littering your keyword everywhere as overuse may be interpreted as spam by the search engines
Plugins like the free SEO Yoast will help a lot in apportioning the right density of keywords to your articles.
Here is an example of real-time feedback from Yoast SEO on an article I was writing.
To avoid spam signals, you can also use related keywords in the place of your main keyword.
Use a tool like the LSI graph to help with synonyms and related keywords throughout your content.
4. Add multimedia to your content
Content with images, videos, infographics, and other media is simply engaging.
It also means more views, as seen in the image below.
Besides enhancing the readability and flow of your post, images increase the dwell time on your page. As you may know, dwell time is one important factor that Google takes into account when ranking your content.
Multimedia also cater to the diversity of your readers.
So take the time to add relevant multimedia to your post
5. Optimize images
Search engines cannot read images. Rather they read the text associated with those images.
So your images must communicate the content on them.
In addition images must have the correct dimensions that fit your page. This will ensure they maintain the correct visual quality.
Here a few things you can do to optimize your images:
Insert text on the image alt attributes
Alt attributes are what communicate what the image is all about. Use target keywords on your alt attribute so your image can be found by searchers online.
The image alt text is what will appear if for some reason the image cannot appear when the page loads. Therefore the alt attribute will guide the reader as to what the image was about.
Change the file name
The filename is what usually appears as numerals on a captured image. For example, your image file may have the name 0123.jpg. Change this name so that your image is identified by what is on it rather than by a random number.
Use the right dimensions
Use a free plugin like Smush to determine and implement the right image dimensions for your blog. This will ensure that the right pixel quality is maintained for your images.
You can optimize an image directly on the editor, or, as in the above example, in the media library.
6. Link to relevant resources both internally and externally
Linking serves as a reference to authoritative sources or as a contextual reference to other pages on your site. It is one of the most important factors to boost your SEO.
So link to other pages on your site that are relevant to the topic at hand. Also link to other authors’ works. This may come in the form of links to blog posts, statistics, case studies, or infographics.
After writing your post and optimizing it, you can then proceed to the next stage.
Edit Your Post
Go over your post and see whether everything is alright.
The important things to check out are: The flow of your post, spelling and grammar, post structure, and any need for more media.
First read your post slowly and see whether it makes perfect sense. See what bridging words are lacking, and improve the coherence of your content. For this, include transitional words that will link your paragraphs.
You may need to rearrange paragraphs to achieve a natural flow to your post.
In addition, check whether the right tags have been assigned to your headings and subheadings.
This is because improper use of tags may send wrong structural information to the search engines and potentially affect your rankings.
Go on also to check the spelling and grammar. You dont want to find yourself having used words that may send the wrong meaning to readers.
You also dont want to send the implication that you were in a rush and failed to pay full attention to your work.
You may also find out that you need to add more images to certain parts of your content. This may happen in cases where long uninterrupted paragraphs occur, or where an image may need to be replaced by a more relevant one.
Go ahead and make the changes.
Your editing may need to involve another person. This serves to reduce errors that you may have overlooked. So if need be, do check out a member of your team or a friend for this task.
Your post can now go live. You have satisfied yourself that you have done the best on the subject. Let your readers enjoy your hard work.
In wrapping up
Writing a good post involves doing some preliminary work before the actual write up. The preliminary work involves keyword and factual information research.
Both these researches must be done well before a post is written. This will reduce distractions and optimize your writing speed.
Your posts must be optimized for the search engines and people alike. Achieve this by using proper heading tags, and adding optimized images and multimedia.
You are not ready for publishing until you have edited your post. Check for flow, coherence, and any gaps.
With this approach, you can write posts that are not only good to read, but will also have a good chance of ranking high.
Let’s talk below