How To Write A Blog Post In 11 Steps (The Beginners Tutorial)
(Welcome to the eighth article of the series which aims to teach how to start a blog. This article will teach you the 11 step checklist to write a blog post. If you’re wondering how to write a blog post of high quality, this is for you.)
Content remains the most important and integral part of a successful blog.
What is content? Content is what you post on your blog; the blog posts. Writing blog posts is a process that you must understand and excel at. Writing good blog posts is synonymous to writing great content.
Something interesting happened today. I was talking to Umar Farooq, who’s doing an excellent job at spreading YouTube awareness in Pakistan with his Urdu Tube channel.
We talked at length about our online projects and creating content. We both shared our experience of writing and creating content for the people and not for the search engines.
He came up with a decent quote which I decided to include in this post because it perfectly fits here.
Just for the understanding purpose, crawlers are the search engine softwares which visit (crawl) every web page they find and then submit a report about it; good report for satisfactory pages and a sorry story for the bad ones.
Combining my knowledge, analysis, and experience, I’m going to explain to you the process of creating high-quality content.
Talking about my knowledge and expertise, here’s a certificate from the University of Pennsylvania that I acquired through Coursera. This course certificate clearly indicates that I know a thing or two about creating viral content.
Until now in this series, we’ve covered the things you should do before making a blog like knowing blogging terms, understanding essential points before starting a blog and choosing a blog topic.
I’ve also covered how to start a free blog using WordPress in just 30 minutes and 7 steps checklist to start a blog for beginners (with a custom domain name and paid hosting package).
If you’re a total beginner, I recommend going through these first. Continue reading further if you have the concept already.
Assuming that you’ve selected either of the options (free or paid) already, you must be interested in knowing how to write a blog post. Well, it’s easy if you follow this 11 step checklist to write your first as well as every upcoming blog post.
Let’s begin with the process and learn how to write a blog post, but before moving to the checklist let’s have a feel of the editor that comes with WordPress!
Understanding The WordPress Editor
The latest version of WordPress 4.7 comes with a new editor with slight changes from the previous versions. If you’re familiar with MS Word or any other word editor, WordPress editor is nothing new for you.
But since we’re addressing problems of absolute beginners, here’s a detailed introduction to the editor options and how to use them while creating or editing blog posts.
Look at the picture below. I’ve indicated the functionality of icons present in the editor.
Basic Structure of a Blog Post
Detailed step by step procedure of how to write a blog post is given in detail later in the article, but I’m going to layout the basic structure of a blog post for the purpose of fundamental understanding.
Look at the following infographic to understand it.
Step By Step Guide To Writing High-Quality Blog Post
Go for high quality. Don’t compromise on the quality of your blog posts if you want to succeed as a blogger.
No matter how much time and effort it takes; do it! Do not use shortcuts. Shortcuts like plagiarism never bring long-term success.
Without reinventing the wheel, here’s an image from Neil Patel’s blog which describes the anatomy of a blog post. Ignore the duplication error in number 8. Masters can get it wrong too.
Number eight means that you should enable related posts below your blog post, enable comments and have social media sharing buttons there. I do all that in each of my posts.
Bookmark this page for future use or write a checklist to use when you write blog posts. After writing your first few articles, you will become accustomed to the whole procedure automatically.
Let’s the step by step guide for you to know exactly how to write a blog post.
Step 1: Write An Attractive Headline
80 percent of the visitors read just the headline, and only 20 percent read rest of the article. Do you see the connection between headlines and visitors?
What makes a visitor read your blog post or leave the page without reading it?
It’s the headline. If your visitors are converting to readers, you’ve most probably done an excellent job in making your headline. If social media is sending great numbers to your blog, your headline has a part in it.
However, if the things are not as bright, your headline is the first culprit. You must understand that a decent headline followed by an excellent introduction and high-quality content inside your blog post will never disappoint your visitors.
They’ll not only read that particular post but also check your related posts, check other pages, and probably subscribe as well. Here’s where you create the headline (or the title as commonly known) for your blog post.
Neil Patel’s Headline Examples
Neil Patel has some advice on how to write a blog post that ranks in Google’s top 10. This super long article is an awesome resource for advanced learning on writing amazing blog posts.
I read that long ago and combined with my other knowledge, and it always helps me in writing blog posts the right way.
Here’s what he has to say on writing headlines in an article about increasing search engine traffic without building links (too complicated to read if you are a beginner).
And here are some tips from the master marketer about creating benefit-driven headlines.
Visit blogs of your interest and see how they create a headline and where they place their keywords. The analysis will help you understand what works and what doesn’t.
Google is a good place to search keywords and analyze results. Type in your keyword to get ideas from top results. Do not copy paste but mix things up and come up with a killer headline.
Do make sure that your headline holistically represents what your blog post contains.
If your headline indicates that the article is about A but the article, in reality, is about B, then you’re not only going to lose visitors but also receive a penalty from Google which will affect search engine ranking (a concept covered in SEO, later).
Headlines should also contain your keyword. See what keyword is by going here. Research your keyword well before creating headlines.
Subscribe to get How To Write Magnetic Headlines complete guide.
Step 2: Edit The Slug
This one is simple. Primarily, it should contain your keyword and be similar to the headline. First three to five words in the slug are most important, so insert your keyword and main words earlier in the slug.
When you write your headline/title, the WordPress editor automatically generates a slug for you. Do have a look at it and edit if required. Slug creation method is mentioned in an earlier image above.
Step 3: Write An Engaging Introduction
Suppose you’ve written a great headline that makes the visitor read more. But what happens is that your first lines suck? The visitor loses all his interest and leaves your blog. What a shame!
Writing engaging and attention-grabbing introductory paragraphs is absolutely critical in keeping the reader on your blog. You can use following techniques advised by Neil Patel to write an engaging opening paragraph.
Here’s what you can try:-
- Include a question. It ignites the thought process and increases engagement.
- Show stats. When talking about headlines, I wrote the 80-20 stat. Did it make a buzz? Showing exact stats, with or without source, attracts attention.
- Compare two or more things. For example, WordPress.com vs. Blogger is a popular comparison.
- Mention a debatable point. We all know what debate can do for engagement.
- Explain a situation. Using the problem mentioned in the headline, tell what the problem is and why you’re writing about it.
- Talk the current problem. For example, if choosing a smartphone is the problem, describe why it ‘s hard to choose a smartphone and what the factors are.
- Quote an expert or authority. It can be a quote. It can be a line from his or her speech. Quoting experts builds interest.
- Describe a typical example. It can be something related to your topic that people are most commonly familiar with.
Again, looking at blog posts written by experts on any subject (they appear in top 10 of Google searches) will help you gather enough ideas.
Step 4: Write Main Content
If you have done everything right to grab the attention of your reader, it is critical that the user becomes satisfied with the heart of your content.
After all, your content is what he’s come to your blog for.
Keep the context of your headline in mind while writing the main part of your blog post. Your goal is to deliver the value which the reader expects from you after reading catchy headline and introduction. Solve his problem!
The main content should contain the following elements.
Headings play a superb role in organizing content beautifully. Use of appropriate headings can generate keen interest which will result in reader staying for more duration on your blog.
He may become a subscriber or a returning user (that should be your aim). Write relevant headings which clearly indicate the content covered under them.
When main headings include a vast subject which requires further explanation, subheadings can be used. In this case, treat headings as headlines and subheadings as its main headings. It’s like a mini blog post within a blog post.
Use editor to change headings and subheadings. I use Heading 2 for main headings, Heading 3 for subheadings and Heading 4 for sub-subheadings. Don’t use Heading 1; it’s for the headline.
See the image below.
If you have some points that need to be highlighted prominently, making bulleted or number lists is a smart thing to do.
- Lists work because they are noticeable.
- Summing up points in bulleted or numbered form is incredibly easy.
- They are easy to read and enhance user experience.
I made this bulleted list ⇑ as an example.
It includes images, videos, audios, or anything audio-visual that appears in your blog posts. Media rich posts are more engaging and deliver more value.
Warning: – Do not violate copyright while uploading media to your blog. Copyright violation is unauthorized use of someone else’s property. Use royalty free images from Pixabay.com and other similar free sites or just go to Canva.com and create your beautiful pictures. I use Canva.
Follow the points below to use media appropriately in your posts.
- Add images that are user-friendly and increase their interest.
- Optimize image for size. Small size images load faster.
- If your hosting is slow, do not upload videos. Bigger files slow your site down.
- Embed videos from YouTube, Daily Motion, Vimeo, and Facebook, etc. if you need to.
- If you want to add your own videos (which is a good idea if you can), upload them to your YouTube channel or any other video platform. Then embed them in your posts.
- If you run a podcast relevant to your niche, you can (and should) include that too in the posts.
Embedding video is a simple process but let’s look at how it is done. Watch the video below. (I embedded it)
Listed last but not the least important, links add value to your blog post. Linking to authority blogs in your niche increases your impression as being knowledgeable in what you do (outlinking). I do that all the time.
Linking to high-value content out of your blog is a good practice. Accept that there is better content out there and link to it. You’re not losing traffic or credibility; you’re gaining trust and providing value.
Link to related pages on your pages is also necessary. This series of articles in highly interlinkable (naturally), so I do not waste an opportunity to link to my content as well (interlinking).
Tip: – Linking makes Google happy. If someone from an authority blog or domain links to your content, Google will seriously consider you for ranking in searches. When linking, use the keyword as anchor text or even better, use post title (of the post you want to link to) as anchor text.
Step 5: Write A Conclusion
Your main content is decent. It’s time to wrap things up nicely in a well-written conclusion. Give it a heading named conclusion or anything you consider good.
Remember, these are the final few seconds of your reader on your post. He’s already preparing to leave your page or blog once he’s done reading. Holding onto his attention is the best thing you can do at that moment.
Write a fitting conclusion which sums things up in an excellent manner. Some people scroll down, see the headings and directly go to concluding part. Write it so well that these people go back to the top and start reading your blog post.
Step 6: Call To Action
Call to Action (CTA) is something you want your reader to do. Now that your reader has completed reading something that solved the problem he was facing, you’re in a great position to ask him for something that would want him to do. Below are some of the most commonly used CTAs.
- Asking reader to give feedback. Invite him to leave comments. (My favorite because it builds a community and relationship)
- Asking for joining as a subscriber. The reader joins a mailing list.
- Requesting to join your newsletter. (Another community and relation building tool).
- Buying something.
- Liking/following social media page.
- Subscribing to YouTube channel.
There must be a call to action, and it should be convincing. Unleash your inner communication expert to make things happen the way you want them to.
Step 7: Select A Category and Add Tags
This is important for your blog. Categorizing your content into categories helps you in organizing it, users in finding it and Google in recognizing it. It overall improves user experience and SEO of your blog posts.
Create new category if your new blog post does not fall under existing ones. Create tags including your keyword and its related keywords. Here’s how to do it.
Step 8: Add A Featured Image
After creating your blog post, add a featured image that attracts the attention of your visitors. It must be related to your content and must not violate copyright laws. Create beautiful blog title images on Canva.com for free.
Featured images appear at the top of the post. You can add them from the right side option saying ‘Add Featured Image.’
Here’s what a featured image looks like in a published blog post.
Step 9: Do SEO
Your blog post is complete, but SEO is an important thing that you need to do before publishing it. For SEO, use the free Yoast SEO plugin. You can add any free plugin from WordPress directory, but Yoast is by far the best available plugin for SEO.
We’re talking about on-page SEO only. Off-page SEO is another important thing but in the beginning, doing on-page right should be the focus. On-page SEO means placing your keyword at the right locations in the article for search engines to find and then suggest your post to searchers.
Yoast SEO gives you live feedback and recommendations that you should follow to score well in SEO. Readability and Keyword are two fields it provides feedback about. Let me share the live feedback it is giving.
At the time of creating the image below, I’ve not completed writing the ‘how to write a blog post‘ guide and have not done proper SEO yet. See how it looks. Closely look at all the images to learn the basics of on-page SEO.
Step 10: Recheck & Preview The Blog Post
Once done writing your blog post and doing its SEO, recheck for small grammatical errors, typos, and improvements. Once done, hit the preview button (top right in the image above).
This will open a preview of your blog post. See if everything looks fine. Do not hurry or you’ll lose all your hard work. When everything is ok…
Step 11: Publish The Blog Post
Hit the publish button (the blue button on the right bottom. You’re done!
What To Do After Publishing Your Post?
Syed Balkhi has an answer for your question. His blogs (including WPBeginner) are read by more 400 million people, so we better trust what he says.
Thankfully, he’s written an article on his personal blog about what to do after publishing a blog post. Check it out and do try to follow those steps to ensure your hard work receives maximum traction.
Recap: How To Write A Blog Post
That’s it for another long article; this time on how to write a blog post. Knowing how to write a blog post is synonymous to knowing about creating quality content. Let’s summarize the whole process in bullets. To write a great blog post, you should: –
- Create an attractive headline containing your keyword
- Write or edit your slug, containing the keyword in first 3-5 words.
- Write an attention-grabbing introduction
- Create engaging content which is well organized and media rich.
- Write a conclusion which roughly sums up the post.
- Call your readers to some action of your preference.
- Select a category and add tags
- Set a good looking but relevant featured image.
- Do the on-page SEO
- Recheck, preview for any mistakes or improvements.
- Publish the blog post.
Do Leave Your Feedback In Comments
It took me a week to create this blog post, but I hope I’ve made writing blog posts easy for you and you understand how to write a blog post which is full of quality.
If you follow these guidelines on how to write a blog post, people will love your posts. If people love your posts, Google will love them too and rank them higher in the search results.
Do leave your comments below using your email or Facebook. I’m putting in a lot of effort to make this series of articles (blog posts) the best resource available online for the beginners who do not know how to start a blog. Please support it by sharing this post.
See you with the next article soon.