How to Write an Effective Blog Post in 5 Easy Steps
So you’ve heard that content is king and you should be blogging? You’ve got an idea of what you should blog about, but you’re not quite sure how to go about it. When content is being created, you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of it, just like anything you invest your time and money in. Below are 5 easy steps to follow when creating content for your blog.
Step 1: Cut a Hole in the Box.
Just kidding! First things first, write your post with a keyword (1-2) in mind. The primary keyword is what you are optimizing your content for and the secondary keyword is important, but note that it is not generating as much traffic as the primary one.
Your keyword also doesn’t necessarily need to be confined to a one-word keyword. You can use long-tailed keywords that typically come in question form. Users search for not just one or two keywords, but will often type in whole questions.
Once you’ve found what keywords you want to work with, do a little research with Google AdWords, Google Webmaster Tools, or even Raven Tools to see if the keywords you have in mind are being searched for and to see what kind of traffic they are generating. The more traffic, the better!
Lastly, include your keyword in everything from your title, to the body content, the URL and the meta description. Just. Don’t. Keyword. Stuff. You want your keyword presence to be at least 1.5% and no more than 3%. See the optimization formula below for help.
Step 2: Write!
Okay, you’ve got your keywords. Now you’re ready to let the writing juices flow into the content river of fun. Just make sure that the total word count is at least 500. If the word count is a little less, that’s fine, but generally you don’t want the content to be less than that.
For extra SEO fun, you can also add in anchor text (a word or phrase that a hyperlink is applied to) to your content. Google considers anchor text to carry more weight to it then just plain text. Be mindful of where you’re linking to though, and how often you’re directing the audience away from your website/blog post. You want a solid mix of inter-linking and linking out. For example, not all links should be directing users away from your website/blog. A good rule of thumb is 4 links for 500 words, with two of those links inter-linking within your site.
Also, make sure to include alt text and an original meta description. Alt text is the word you can apply to a hyperlinked keyword. As for the meta description, don’t leave it blank and definitely don’t copy and paste content from your post. The meta description is prime retail spot and you can use that area to answer long-tailed keywords/questions, as well as give a teaser on what the post is about.
Step 3: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will only hurt you if there are no images.
What do you find more appealing? An image of a gooey chocolate cake or me just writing about a gooey chocolate cake? Ding! Ding! Ding! The image of the chocolate cake will surely wet your whistle more so than me telling you about it. Be sure to include images in your post to appeal to the masses.
You also want to make sure that the image(s) you select are under creative commons or purchased via a stock photography site. You’ll also want to name the images before you upload them to your post and give those images alt text as doing so counts towards your SEO!
Step 4: Tag! You’re It!
After you’ve created your content with your nifty keywords and your awesome images, make sure to associate your post with categories and tags accordingly. No more than three categories should be applied to each post.
Categories are more general to the subject material so general topics can be applied. Tags are more specific, and you can add a variety of tags about some of the more specific subject matter.
Step 5: Cross the Finish Line!
Just do one final review with the handy checklist below and you’re good to publish that post to the masses!