How to write a great blog post and more importantly, how does it get seen?
As a true internet marketing pragmatist I want to share with you some actionable advice that could instantly change the way you approach how to write a great blog post.
First of all, let’s look at some interesting stats:
- Every minute there are 4 million searches on Google
- There are around 20 million live websites using WordPress [and that’s only 30% of site traffic]
- The amount of data on the internet is set to double every 2 years for the next decade
Yeah, that’s a LOT of digital noise to cut through and might get you thinking, how can my blog content possibly compete?
n.b. For the purposes of this post I am going to talk about keyword based content strategy. There are other areas of content promotion to generate traffic which is best placed in the social & PPC categories of this site.
How to write a great blog post using a keyword based content strategy
If you’ve been writing loads of site content for a while and no-one is reading or finding it [social amplification excluded], it is likely that the way you are approaching writing your content needs to change.
If you’ve not started creating content yet and you’re about to, congratulations you got in early and you’re about to make your life a lot easier.
If I could some up the way that I have learned to approach creating new website content it’s this:
Write content that people are actually searching for and stop creating content for contents sake – The Rich Snippet
There are three huge benefits to this:
- You’re writing content that is hugely relevant to your market and audience
- Your content is more likely to be found on search engines as it is seen as contextually relevant [organic traffic]
- You have a clear content creation process and strategy that you will execute every time you start typing
As a side note, if you’ve heard of advances in search algorithms such as Google’s RankBrain then you’re likely aware that in theory, you could create content that adds value and Google will figure out where and how it is contextually relevant to appear in search engine results.
However, call me a sceptic but I think although it’s great stuff, it has a way to go yet before becoming completely fool proof and accurate.
Based on experience there is a balance to creating a natural ‘free-writing’ flow to your content and writing in a way that keeps search engines happy.
On that point, definitely do not use dated techniques such a keyword stuffing, which is when you unnaturally place keywords on your posts in a vain attempt for search engines to pick them up. This is counter-productive and will harm your website SEO.
Applying keyword research to write a great blog post
So let’s look at an example of how to approach this, in fact I’ll use this post as an example.
Firstly, what’ the goal of your content?
My goal with the content in this post is to share value and knowledge around how to create a great blog post, using a keyword based content strategy. Also for the reader to see that the content on this site is hugely relevant to them, and so sign up to my newsletter at the bottom of this page to receive more value into their inbox.
For this I used Ahrefs which is a great SEO tool, however you can use other tools like KW Finder or SEMrush. You’ll get some free credits to use with these services but they are limited, I’d recommend becoming a subscriber to any one of these services.
If you’re on a strict budget, then you can use Google’s Keyword Planner, however the only drawback with Keyword Planner is that it doesn’t show you organic keyword competitiveness.
So back to Ahrefs, after some research I decided on this keyword – How To Write A Great Blog Post
Here’s a screenshot showing monthly search volume and how competitive the keyword is:
220 searches per month might get you thinking that’s pretty low, and you’re right. However, recall the balance of writing ‘freely’ and also wrapping content around what people are searching for. Also it has a competitiveness score of zero.
Once this blog post gets indexed by Google I know that it is in good health, because it is contextually relevant to my market, it adds value to my audience and it is founded on keyword[s] data.
Notice the plural – keyword[s]
One post can rank for potentially hundreds of keyword variables, not just ‘how to write a great blog post’ but search terms such as ‘write a great blog post’, what makes a great blog post’ or ‘how to use keywords in a blog post’ etc.
So that 220 searches per month could be expanded ten fold by for example Google’s algorithm deciding on where and when it is contextually relevant to show this post on search results.
In any case, I bring us back to my main theme here which is to create content that people are searching for, don’t create content for contents sake because it will likely suffer from poor search visibility and may hold little relevance to your audience and/or market.
For example, if I were to share this post on any blogging forum or group, the title ‘how to wrote a great blog post’ will rouse interest in get clicks.
The title being a keyword drafted from keyword research.