Want to write a compelling blog post for your company website? To feature in a relevant industry news publication? Or to distribute through your paid and organic social channels? In this helpful article, we become your personal guru in all things blog writing and break the process down into 3 simple steps. By taking these gems under your belt, you’ll be on par with any professional copywriter at a blog writing service.
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So, first of all – before you dare put pen to paper – you need to get your research hat on. And we mean your serious research hat. Why? It’s important that the blog you end up writing aligns with search intent and what’s gaining traction on social. Particularly if you’re using your blog to amplify on a platform like LinkedIn Campaign Manager. Without this first step, your blog is unlikely to make an impact (on organic rankings or otherwise).
So with that out of the way, get out of your digital copywriter’s toolbox. For our writers, this includes firing up online tools like Keyword Planner, SurferSEO, BuzzSumo, and AnswerthePublic. Once you’ve got all these tabs lined up on your browser, you’re ready to get stuck in.
Start with keywords. When you plug in relevant topics and phrases to your product/service – what top-of-funnel, content-lead terms come up? Do any stand out to you as particularly relevant and worth exploring? Create a list of these terms, order by search volume, and highlight any with high search vol and medium-low competition. Then, choose your focus topic for this blog.
Next, plug the same terms into BuzzSumo and see what kind of content is already out there and performing well from a social sharing perspective. Also, look to see what competitors have produced for the same terms (if they have). Collect some creativity-sparking ideas and inspiration. Next, use SurferSEO and AnswerthePublic to see what kind of questions/subtopics within your topic of choice you should seek to address in order to satisfy your audience. Plus, suss out the ideal length for your piece of content from a rankings perspective. This will be super helpful to give you a container for your thoughts when writing.
Once you’ve got all this research under your belt, it’s time to plan. But what does planning a blog post actually involve? You need to put some time into organizing your thoughts and deciding what will go into your piece. This means fleshing out both the overall direction and angle of it and the general shape, in terms of core elements.
While there is definitely room to tweak and adapt your blog during the writing process, it is important that you have some direction before you start writing. This will keep you on track and stop you from straying into unnecessary, off-topic tangents. Ideally, this plan will be documented in a formal way and you will constantly refer back to it when fleshing out your piece.
So, what should this planning document look like? We’d typically recommend filling out an in-depth brief with everything from the focus keyword/s to the H1/H2/H3 tags (subtitles) to the persona research, to the structure of the piece, and more. This means all your information is in one place. We also recommend that there is a section in there with the main title, and subtitles within that – a skeleton of your piece. And having a rough word count for you to stick to and the desired CTA to end the piece.
While it may seem like a lot of work to build out this document initially, it will save you time in the long run and ensure you have the best shot of getting the results you desire.
Now research and planning are ticked off and boxed away – it’s writing time! And you can finally unleash your creative spirit. Before you launch into a writing spree, make sure you have your brief sitting next to your laptop or on the wall above you to keep you on track. And then just get started. If you feel yourself hitting a creative block, take a break, go for a walk and start again. The important thing is to take the pressure off yourself – you won’t get it perfect the first time, you just want to pull together a rough draft.
Once you’ve pushed through and have a first draft – congratulations! The hardest part is over. With the bones to work with, it’s much easier to work on your blog. But don’t forget to review, re-review and edit – taking into account the plan you had.
There you have it, folks! The 3 steps to blog writing success. You’re well on your way to becoming a seasoned blog writer with no pen to paper, finger to typewriter fears. Go forth and thrive!