The difference between a blog becoming a success or a failure is 100% the content that you write.
The site design, images, and layout are not going to be what drives traffic to your site.
Providing your readers with informative content, that helps them to solve a problem that they were searching for, is ultimately the way you will succeed at blogging.
Now that there are millions of blogs out there and probably thousands already in your niche, you need to do the best you can to stand out and keep up with the competition.
99% of blogs fail and it’s typically because they’re not following some simple blogging rules for writing.
However, don’t let that intimidate you because this really is the fun part!
Writing posts is hopefully why you started a blog in the first place. Now you can let your creative juices flow and start sharing your stories and advice with the world!
If you want to know how to write high-quality, engaging content so that you can turn your blog into a money-making machine, read on for my biggest tips that got my blog to over 100K page views in less than 7 months.
A Blog is Not Your Online Journal
There are plenty of people who think that blogging is just merely writing down your thoughts and feelings and hoping that someone else in the world wants to read it.
However, there is an actual science to crafting a quality blog post that will bring your site to the top of search rankings and get your audience sharing and coming back.
I think the biggest misconception of a blog is that it’s just a writing outlet for people who want to talk about their own experiences, feelings, transitions, and goals to share them with the world.
Although blogging used to be thought of to be more like online journaling, it’s changed a lot over the years.
Sure, these types of blogs still exist, but they don’t make any money. You would not get the amount of traffic that you need to generate a good, consistent income with this type of blog.
If you think of your blog in this way, it will not be very profitable. However, I will give you some great tips on how to write in order to first, get traffic to your blog and second, make money.
So How Do I Know What to Write About?
Organizing your thoughts and ideas to develop well-performing blog posts is the first step to getting started.
As you get familiar with blogging, you’ll come up with your own techniques for choosing post topics.
Choose the Right Topic
The first step in writing a blog post is obviously deciding what the post will be about. There are a few ways to pinpoint your topic to get it in front of the right audience.
1. Narrow Your Focus
Hopefully, you already put a lot of thought into your blog niche and pinpointed an area in which you have a lot of experience and interest.
Each blog post needs a lot of the same thoughtful consideration, as well. You want to narrow down your topic to convey a certain message to the audience that will be reading it.
For example, if you want to write a blog post about Sleep Tips for Babies, think about breaking that topic up into several different posts. This would include: when to wake a newborn during the night, sleep regression tips, sleep schedules, how to get baby sleeping through the night, sleep training, no-cry sleeping strategies, etc.
Of course, sometimes a long blog post, essentially an Ultimate Guide covering all these topics does well but try to think of what your audience would rather read.
2. Identify Your Audience
You really need to know who you are speaking to as you write. In order to create helpful, compelling content, you have to be aware of who will actually be reading it.
If you don’t have a very narrow niche, this may change with each blog post. So be sure to reanalyze who you are writing to every time you sit down to start a new post.
3. Pick a Topic that People are Searching For
When it comes to writing blog posts that generate a lot of traffic, they must be popular among your audience.
It’s not enough to just think of whatever comes to mind but to make sure that the topic will be commonly searched for.
Just because there’s a topic that you’re interested in, doesn’t mean that your audience will be. You really need to do your homework to find those popular topics.
A great way to find commonly searched for topics is by searching Pinterest and Google. These search engines often finish the search bar for you as you’re typing with commonly used keywords.
4. Help Solve a Problem
The ultimate goal of a blog post is to help your reader solve a problem. They’ve come to you for an answer and hope that you can deliver.
The sooner that you start thinking about your blog as a resource for tips, advice, and education, the more success you will have.
I’ll state it again, but your blog is not just an online journal. If you are trying to create a money-making business with your blog, you cannot just talk about yourself.
You need to generate helpful content for your reader.
You may think that offering your experience and story is helpful (and in some ways it is), however, always make sure the post is about how your audience can learn and develop from your post.
The reader’s mind is always thinking, what’s in it for me? And that is exactly what you need to help them clearly figure out from the first paragraph.
5. Keep your audience engaged
You want your readers to not only make it through reading your whole blog post but to continue looking around through your site for more information.
It’s important to keep them interested, not only by what is written but by the style of your writing.
I’ll explain below how to structure your blog posts in order to do just that.
6. Imitate what works
Most bloggers will tell you that you need to be original in order to stand out and make money blogging. But this is not entirely true.’
The best way to gain the most traffic is to find posts from other bloggers that do well and do them better.
Once you find the post topics that are gaining a ton of traction in your niche, write about the same thing! These will be the topics that your core audience is looking for.
The goal is to understand what your audience wants to read and write it for them.
This is NOT saying you should copy another blogger’s work.
This is simply getting a topic idea and creating your own unique thoughts and ideas about it. You’ll be putting your own spin on it and giving your message to those who are looking for an answer.
Your target audience is always going to be looking for the same things out there and it’s best to have more than one resource for their answer.
That’s why it’s perfectly fine to write posts on the same topics that you’ve seen over and over again.
For example, let’s pretend your audience is pregnant women. You figure out that most pregnant women are searching for what to eat/not eat during pregnancy, whether their symptoms are normal, and tips and advice for childbirth.
Of course, these topics have been written about to exhaustion, however, each post has its own unique spin on it.
Your experience of childbirth may have been so much different than mine, so we can both write a high-quality blog post on the topic with completely different information.
Therefore, your How to Manage the Pain During Labor post compared to mine could help different people in different ways.
Write down topics that are relevant to your niche. You can think of these topics in the following ways:
- topics you once searched the internet for
- something you recently learned
- something you learned ‘the hard way’
- topics that others have asked you for advice
- popular topics you have seen on other blogs
- find questions people are asking on Facebook groups and the newsfeed
- Use search engines like Pinterest, Google, and sites like Quora
- Ask friends or family what they would like to know about your topic or niche
- Read magazines, forums, talk shows, and other social media to see what people are writing about
For example, with my mom blog, I read Parents magazine, kept my eyes open in Facebook groups and newsfeeds, and remembered topics I wondered about when I was pregnant.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone ask in local moms groups and on my Facebook news feed, what is the best stroller to get for your first baby?
I have yet to write this post, but it’s on my to-do list because if that many people are asking Facebook for advice, you know they’re also going to Google, Pinterest, and mom blogs for the answer too!
Top Tips for Writing AWESOME Content
As I stated above, there is a science to writing a blog post that gets your readers interested, understanding your message, and taking away something they didn’t already know.
Here are the most important ways to write engaging content and get your audience to become a fan!
1. Create attention-grabbing titles
The first thing that your audience will see is the title of your post. This is the sole reason your reader will click on it.
Ensure that your headline directly conveys the message in your post (and not just an enticing title that you know will get clicked). Your title is a promise that should deliver what the reader is looking for by clicking on it.
Here are some ways to write compelling titles:
- Start with a number (9, 21, 47, or 101) to capture a reader’s attention. Research shows that headlines with odd numbers can get 20% more clicks.
- Make the reader feel like it’s something they absolutely can’t miss out on.
- Include keywords from your post
- Use a combination of emotional and powerful words to make the headline flow nicely
- Use questions
- Leave some mystery to tempt people to click.
If you are not sure about how to write a powerful headline, look at other bloggers in your niche.
Check out big publications like BuzzFeed. They generate millions of clicks with their catchy blog titles like:
This Free headline analyzer tool from CoSchedule. Once you think you have a great title, just paste it in.
It gives you a score on a scale of 0 to 100 (with 100 being a perfect headline), based on their analysis of millions of headlines.
2. A captivating introduction
You have one or two sentences to convince readers that this post is worth their time. You need ot sell them on it within the first few sentences or they’re going to click right out.
Give your audience something to look forward to and also the confirmation that this post will have what they came for.
3. An easy-to-read layout
In this day and age, most of your traffic is going to come in from people on their mobile phones, probably standing in line at the grocery check out.
They’re not nestled up on the couch reading your blog post like it’s a good novel. They’re skimming through as fast as they can to find the information that they want.
Readers get bored quickly. Looking at a giant wall of text is intimidating and can make people leave just as quickly as they came.
That’s why it’s very important to:
- Have your main points and information stand out with bold, italics, underlines, and headings.
- Use short paragraphs (1-2 sentences)
- Use short sentences (no run-ons) Break up sentences as much as you can with commas or periods.
- Add sub-headings as much as you can to make it easy to follow.
- Use bullet points with short phrases instead of whole sentences
4. Beautiful images
We live in a visual world. Pictures help to break up text and help to connect with your readers more.
Great post images are also necessary for social media traffic.
So whether you’re using your own photos or stock images, make sure the images are well lit, bright, colorful perhaps, and high quality.
Also, spend time making eye-catching Pinterest-sized images for each post. These images will include a photo with a text overlay and headline.
5. Solve your readers’ problems
Every blog post should be helpful in some way, whether it’s solving a problem, learning a lesson, or understanding a concept.
They most likely stumbled on your blog while searching for a problem they needed solved or a question they needed answered. It’s your job to be the best resource for fulfilling their needs.
Pay attention to what your audience struggles with and address those concerns. If you are also in the same audience pool, think of areas that you needed guidance or advice before.
Use social media as your biggest asset. Look for these clues in the comments or posts that they leave on their personal or other’s pages.
6. Tell stories
Although most tips that you will read on crafting great blog posts is to solve someone else’s problem, that does not mean you should leave out your own subjective opinions and stories.
If it relates to the message you are trying to convey, definitely share a personal story. It can help you to get your point across by giving examples and experiences.
This will let your readers get to know you on a more personal level over time and help you gain a loyal following.
7. More is better
The saying less is more doesn’t really fit in the blogging world. You want your blog posts to have as much information as you can provide to your reader.
Therefore, long posts are great for giving many different points and advice and be sure that you’re targeting the whole audience and not just a small group.
A post of at least 1000 words or more should sufficiently convey your message.
8. Proper grammar
One of my biggest pet peeves, when I read a blog post, is when it isn’t written well. You should ALWAYS edit, revise, and re-read your posts for grammatical and spelling errors before it is published.
I’ve clicked out of blog posts before because the writing didn’t make sense.
So, if you’re not great with grammar and writing, have someone else read it over for you, or use the program Grammarly.
Grammarly is a free program that checks for and corrects grammatical errors so that’s one thing you shouldn’t have to worry about.
There is still very much room for originality in blogging.
Although some of the most popular blog topics have been written time and time over again, the way you write it can and should be entirely unique.
Add your own spin and voice to your writing and your readers will remember you and want to come back.
10. Create a helpful resource
Not only do printable resources get your email list growing, but they provide your reader with an additional resource of help.
When you can, add in a printable whether it’s a checklist, short guide, schedule, template, or any other kind of resource that goes along with the blog post.
This way, your reader can have a reminder about the information they learned in your post and hopefully, it will remind them to come back to your site again.
11. Create a good wrap-up ending
It’s important to end your post with a brief wrap up of the information they learned.
You can place a short bullet point list of the topics that were covered or the advice that was given or simply stating again what they should have gotten out of the post.
Use this time to also create a connection with your reader. You can tell them that you’d love to hear from them, write a comment, or leave your signature.
If you can turn a random reader, who came onto your site from a Google search, into a loyal follower, that will help you build your brand.
A few extra tips for writing blog posts
The optimal length
There isn’t a right or wrong length for a blog post. People aren’t typically reading for entertainment, but to find a solution to their problem or learn something new.
In our busy lives, most people are reading posts on their mobile phones while stopped at a red light or in line at the grocery store. Therefore, they don’t have time to read a 7,000 word blog post.
If your post is that long, you still want to break it up into concise, easy-to-skim sections.
Therefore, they’d like a blog post to be concise and straight to the point.
Long posts can be great as long as all of your writing is helping them.
As long as you’re avoiding fluff and not rambling, a long post is great. However, if you’re able to offer all the information in a short post, that is fine too.
It’s quality over quantity.
Your posts should always have a minimum of 1,000 words because you’re probably not giving a good presentation of your topic with anything less than that.
How many posts for your launch
There is no set number of posts to have when you first publish and launch your website. However, you want to have enough so that your site looks trustworthy.
Also, readers will typically come to your site through one blog post. You ideally want them to start clicking around and visit other pages, as well.
However, don’t wait too long to get your hard work out into the world. The sooner you start promoting your blog, the sooner it can start gaining traffic and generating income!
So make sure that you have at least 3 or 4 posts before getting it out to the public. Remember, strive for progression, not perfection!
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If you follow these guidelines, you will surely have blog posts that generate tons of traffic and make your readers come back for more.
Remember, content is the single most important aspect of your blog, so make it memorable!