How to Write a Successful Blog Post

You probably already know how paramount blogging is to your overall marketing strategy. It is an essential part of a business that, if well-optimized, can help place you on the map for potential customers. Along with increasing SEO rankings on search engines, blogging can also build your company’s online presence, branding, and reputation—this allows you […]

You probably already know how paramount blogging is to your overall marketing strategy. It is an essential part of a business that, if well-optimized, can help place you on the map for potential customers.

Along with increasing SEO rankings on search engines, blogging can also build your company’s online presence, branding, and reputation—this allows you to leverage content on social media and other platforms towards an audience. It can also help your business gain potential leads. Hubspot reports that companies that produce blog posts have an average of 67% more leads monthly than companies that don’t blog. 

Creating blog posts is exactly a walk in the park. It requires lots of time, effort, and research on your part to obtain accurate information that will be a part of your blog post. It isn’t enough to type up 300 words about a random topic and hit “post.” Instead, a successful blog post is created with a specific strategy in mind including target audience and the best SEO practices.

If you’re just starting out in the blogging sphere, don’t worry! Blogging is a lot like learning to drive a car for the first time. It gets easier with practice; you just need to get started. Here are 9 tips to help you write successful blog posts that convert.

1. Know your audience.

Before you start choosing a topic and writing your post, think about who you’re writing this blog for. What is their age range? What topics will resonate with them? What are they curious about?

It can be tricky to narrow down an exact image of your overall audience and their needs. And it’s impossible to ask every single person in your target audience about what content they would like to see from your blog. Fortunately, there are various ways you can learn more about your readers such as:

  • Industry research: Data-driven resources exist that can allow you to make informed decisions about what your audience is looking for. Some helpful tools you can use include KeywordTool.io, AnswerThePublic, and SEMRush—all of which give you insight on popular keywords and what your competitors are up to.
  • Buyer personas: A buyer persona represents your ideal customer based on research and data from real-life customers. Hubspot recommends creating buyer personas as it can help you determine where to allocate your time and align your company with your target audience.

2. Create an engaging headline.

A blog post should always have a headline that catches a reader’s attention. Without it, there’s a chance your blog post will fizzle out against blog posts with compelling titles. We recommend starting off with a working title that closely encompasses your topic and lets you focus on your writing.

As you write your blog, your working headline may evolve to better tie up what your blog is about. For example, you can create a working title like “The Process of Choosing A Headline for Your Blog” and change it to “How to Choose A Headline for Your Blog” by the time the blog is completed. Blog headlines should always be specific to the topic.

Another tip we highly recommend is using words like “top”, “best”, “how” or adding the current year to your blog’s headline. This is essential for how-to and list-based posts. Also, take advantage of emotional appeal if you can. Emotional headlines can pull in readers, just make sure it’s subtle and pertains to your company.

3. Organize content with an outline.

Most blog posts require a considerable amount of research to illustrate a topic. As such, your blog may end up having tons of useful but overwhelming amounts of information. This can make it difficult to write your blog post in a way that’s easy for your audience to consume. And your readers may not be excited to read a blog that’s lengthy or filled with pointless details.

This is where outlines come in handy. A good outline allows you to organize your ideas and divide your article into specific sections. You can also check what information sticks and in what order you’d like to discuss your topic. Your outline doesn’t need to be detailed or long—it just needs to provide you with a blueprint of what your blog should look like.

4. Add subheadings to divide sections.

Formatting and visual appearance is crucial in blogging. There’s nothing more ugly on the Internet than seeing a blog post that’s just a block of endless text. No one is likely to ever read or share it on any platform.

Apart from using images, you can improve your blog’s visual appearance with subheadings. These bolded sentences break up your article into organized sections, allowing your readers to skim through your content to gather the information they need.

As an added bonus, subheadings also improve SEO since it’s readable text that makes it easier for Google and users to know what your blog is about. Google may also use your blog as a rich snippet in search results if you include subheadings.

5. Use bullet points when necessary.

Bullet lists are another great way to organize a blog post. Since you already know that most readers skim through blogs, bullet lists allows you to highlight the most important information that they may need.

It also helps each paragraph in your blog post breathe a little. Having paragraphs and paragraphs of content can be frustrating to read through, and cause your audience to click away. Bullet lists provide a space for your writing to be as direct and concise as possible.

When creating bullet lists, remember to keep the following in mind:

  • Each bullet point should express a clear benefit or message. Think of them as mini-headlines.
  • Don’t overuse bullet lists. Not all your paragraphs should not contain bullet points.
  • Bullet lists should be symmetrical; no more than 1-2 lines each.

6. Insert a clear call-to-action (CTA).

Every blog post should end with a call-to-action (CTA). Many writers will ask their readers to leave a comment, share your post, purchase a product, or check out another page (or blog post!) on your website. You can even ask your audience to sign up to your company’s exclusive newsletter to receive great offers and content.

All of these are great options for a CTA, as long as the action you want your readers to take is clear. A clear CTA can inspire readers to navigate more of your website which increases the likelihood of acquiring new customers.

7. Proofread and edit your post

Editing a blog post is hard (sometimes, even harder than writing it!). But if you want to avoid useless jargon, repetitive phrases or words, and the like, it must be done. Now, editing and revising your post isn’t just deleting awkward sentences or correcting grammarthat’s just the tip of the surface. 

Editing involves taking your piece of content as a whole. You will need to evaluate paragraphs that took hours to write and decide whether they improve your post’s cohesiveness. This process can be very challenging, but we have a few useful tips to counter it like:

  • Read your post aloud. Many writers are advised to read their work aloud. The same advice extends to blogging. When you hear your words read aloud, it’ll be easier to detect what phrases sound awkward or replace one word with a better one. If it doesn’t flow off your tongue, then it won’t for your reader either.
  • Ask a colleague to read your blog. Have your grammar-obsessed colleague read, proofread, and edit your work. Let them know what exactly you want them to watch out for (grammar, spelling, repetitive phrases, etc.). You should also ask them if your blog’s topic and ideas flow well and engage them.
  • Don’t be afraid to make cuts. Is there a paragraph that’s too long or just rambles? Rework it. Are there sentences that are too complicated to get through? The delete button is there for a reason. Your outline is not set in stone so don’t hesitate to make drastic changes to sections.
  • Keep it short and simple. Shorter paragraphs are more likely to encourage your readers to stick around. Sentences should also be short and direct. Why? It’s easier for readers to digest, and you aren’t boring them with pointless tangents.

8. Choose visually appealing photos

The human brain processes visual content faster than written text. That’s why choosing a visually appealing image that’s relevant to your post is crucial to its success. Most search engines treat content with images more favorably than those without it, especially if you include images within the text. 

You also have more SEO opportunities when you include an image in your blog content—just place the keyword or keyword phrases you want to rank for in a brief image description before you post your blog and there you go!

If your company is also active on social media (which you should be!), engaging images can make or break your overall blog and its readership. A study reported on Hubspot shows that content with relevant images receive 94% more views than content without it.

Just be sure to pay attention to the copyright laws before using a photo on a blog post. For great royalty-free photos, you can check out a number of great image sharing websites online. We also recommend using premium photo stock websites like Shutterstock.

9. Optimize blog post for SEO

When you’ve finished writing, always go back and optimize your blog post for search engines. It may seem like tedious work, but it’ll help boost up your blog’s rankings. 

Don’t worry too much about implementing keywords into your post’s text. Too many keywords (also called “keyword stuffing”) can impact the reader experience and thus, lead to a lower ranking on Google. Of course, if you spot an opportunity to implement a keyword you’re targeting, go for it.

You should also take advantage of linking another page from within your website to your blog. Whether it’s another blog post or an informative page, this method can act as advertising for your company’s website, giving your reader’s the curiosity to explore your site’s content. It also increases your SEO since more readers are visiting other pages on your website.

Other ways to optimize your blog include adding a meta description. This little preview is exhibited on Google during search results, and can contain target keywords. If you use WordPress, you can download a popular plugin Yoast, which helps bloggers compose meta descriptions, SEO-friendly titles, and meet other criteria.

Remember that there are many purposes to blogging. The most vital for businesses, however, involves building trust with potential clients and cementing your brand as an leading expert in your industry. Caroline Forsey, a writer and content marketer at Hubspot, emphasizes this important feature: “At its most basic, blogs can help you develop an online presence, prove yourself an expert in an industry, and attract more quality leads to all pages of your site.”

With enough determination, anyone with a functioning computer can create a blog. It can take hours of effort, however, to effectively maintain it. Fortunately, the process does get easier with practice, and if you’re an expert in your industry, there’s no reason why you can’t keep an engaging blog that brings in the traffic and leads you want.