Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been blogging for years, learning how to write a blog post is something everyone needs to master. Unfortunately, so many people out there are writing blog posts that are thin, not formatted properly and will never be shared by humans or loved by Google bots.
There’s a simple and easy-to-follow formula that you can use to make sure that you’re creating the best content possible, both for your readers and for search engines. If you know how to write a blog post properly, then you can grow your audience, keep readers on your pages and help more people with your blog.
This blog that you’re reading has over 1,500 blog posts on it and we’ve been mastering how to write a blog post for nearly a decade.
In this post I’m going to show you the secret to how we’ve written so many blog posts that have helped us grow this blog to over 375,000 readers per month and how you can write articles that people will share on their social platforms, helping you to grow your traffic quickly.
Table of Contents
- How To Write a Blog Post (Blog Writing Basics)
- Choosing a Topic To Write About
- Pick a Catchy Title
- The Best Blog Writing Format
- Blog Post Design
- Blog Writing Tools
- How To Write a Blog Post More Efficiently
- How To Write a Blog Post For SEO
- What is The Perfect Length For a Blog Post?
- Your Goal Is To Grab & Keep Your Readers’ Attention
- Like This Article? Pin it!
How To Write a Blog Post (Blog Writing Basics)
Don’t worry, if you’ve been blogging for a long time and looking for some advanced strategies, we’ll get there later on in this post. But first, we have to cover some of the basics of how to write a blog post. Surprisingly, even some pro-bloggers fail to follow the basic rules of blog writing.
1. Write an Intro
Every good blog post is like an essay. It needs to have a well-defined beginning, middle, and end. The intro to your blog post should be no more than 3-4 paragraphs and in the first paragraph, you should clearly outline what your post will be.
Ideally, you should also mention why you’re an authority on the topic.
In the case of a travel blog, this might mean making it clear that you have spent more than a few hours at the destination you’re writing about (Did you live there? Spend a week there?). For a tech review, it should be clear that you know what you’re talking about and have personally used the product you’re reviewing for a considerable amount of time.
You should also give the reader a hook.
This is a little something to entice them to continue reading. Sometimes this will come in the form of a short sentence that says something like “read on to find out which places to visit and why I wouldn’t go to some of them again”. This kind of writing can hook people into reading more of your content and helps to keep them engaged.
2. Write “The Middle”
The middle of your content is the meat of the post. Make sure you break up this content well and make it as easy to read as possible (more about blog post formatting later in this article). You should have as much information as you can about the topic you’re writing on.
Make the post as in-depth and useful for the reader as possible.
If you’re writing a diary style blog post about your personal life or your travels, then you should still include some information that will be useful for your readers as well.
Where did you stay? How much did it cost? Where can you order the item from? How many hours does it take to get there? Where is the best place to find it?
Answering these types of questions can help the reader find value in your content, even when the post is a personal story.
3. Write an Outro
The biggest mistake that bloggers make when writing an outro is that they simply repeat the intro. This is a big no-no. The outro is one of the most important parts of a blog post because if people made it that far, they obviously like what you wrote. This is your chance to get them to remember you.
Leave them with something to think about. Give them a question to engage with. Offer them something extra like a short ebook on the topic. Get their email if you can. Encourage them to comment. Lead them to more posts on your blog that are about a similar topic.
It’s important to note here that you should never open a new line of thought in your outro. It can be very jarring to a reader – who has managed to complete reading a long post – to reach the end and find that there’s much more that wasn’t discussed in the article.
Don’t open up a whole new can of worms in the outro. Keep it simple, conclude your thoughts and attempt to invoke some emotion in the reader.
Choosing a Topic To Write About
Before you open up WordPress and click that “New Post” button in your dashboard, you should have already figured out what you want to write about. This isn’t easy for some bloggers out there and it’s true that even if you know how to write a blog post, you might hit writer’s block and not know what to write about. It happens to the best of us! Here are a few handy blog writing tips to counteract that.
Read Other Blogs In Your Niche
A great way to figure out what you should write about next is to draw inspiration from your peers. I’m not saying go onto someone’s blog, find a title and write the exact same post on your own site. Instead, read a few of your favourite bloggers’ most recent posts and see if you can drum up some inspiration.
When authors and novelists have writer’s block, they often pick up a book. For bloggers, a great way to find a new topic to write about is to browse the web for a while.
Find Out What’s Trending On Your Blog
An easy way to write posts that your readers will love is to simply double down on what has already worked for your blog in the past. Do you have a post that already went viral or one that did better than all of the rest?
If you’re not sure what has done well on your site in the past, you can head into Google Analytics and on the left side, you can click Behaviour → Site Content → All Pages. This will show a list of all of your pages organized by the most page views to the least. Look at the top 5 – 6 and see if you can write another blog post about a similar topic and see if it does well again.
Note: Never write the same article twice. Even if you reword everything, it’s best not to have 2 similar posts on your site. Always write 100% original content to ensure you aren’t penalized by Google.
Find Out What’s Trending Worldwide
Sometimes you just need a little inspiration and a good place to find inspiration is through tools like BuzzSumo and Google Trends. These websites allow you to search for a topic and see what not only what is being written on the subject, but what is being shared the most and talked about the most online. Basically, what’s going viral currently.
As you scroll through the results in these tools, you’ll likely find many topics you can write about. But as always when blog writing, the goal isn’t just to write a great blog post, the goal is to write a better blog post than anything else published online before.
That’s why it’s important to click on at least 4-5 of the results and scan them, make notes, and try to think of ways you can make your article better.
Can you incorporate the best aspects of the 4-5 articles you read? Can you add even better topics that those bloggers didn’t think about? Knowing how to write a blog post is half the battle, but by using this data you can figure out how to write the best post that’s ever been written on the topic.
Break Down What You’ve Already Written
If you knew how to write a blog post before you read this article, you’ll likely have dozens, if not hundreds of them already published on your blog. Go into each of those blog posts and see if you can create a second, supporting article to supplement the information.
A good way to do this is to look at your subheadings (more about subheadings and formatting blog posts later in this post). Are there any subheadings that you could elaborate on and create a separate post for?
For example, let’s say you wrote a post on your blog called “The 10 Best Compasses For Travel” and in that post, you listed 10 of the coolest compasses on the market. In this case, it would be quite easy to create a separate post for each of these compasses. The post could be more in-depth on that particular compass and you could link the individual compass article back to the main compass list post.
Doing this is great for user experience and even better for Google. This is called a pillar web and it’s one way to ensure that your blog gets seen in search results.
Break Down What Someone Else Has Already Written
Maybe you’re brand new to blogging and not only do you not know how to write a blog post, but you’ve actually never written one. If that’s the case, you can start by writing your first blog post and breaking it down in the way I outlined above. After that, you could also search BuzzSumo for other topics to write about.
Perhaps you aren’t inclined to write a better article than the massive guide you found going viral in BuzzSumo. But could you write a post on one of the subheadings and go into more depth than that writer did? This can be a great way to write shorter posts that are more likely to go viral.
If you’re already taking your blog seriously, then you probably spend the $10 / month on KeySearch. This tool helps bloggers figure out what keywords and key phrases are being searched in Google. It shows how many people search the phrase each month and gives you an idea of how difficult it would be to rank for that term.
But KeySearch is also a great tool for simply finding a new topic to write about. When you type a keyword or key phrase into KeySearch, it populates a column on the right side of the screen with a bunch of “relevant keywords”. These are often worthy of completely new posts. I can’t count the number of times I’ve found a great new topic to write about from this section of KeySearch.
What makes it even more useful is that oftentimes you find topics in this section that are searched in Google tens of thousands of times per month, meaning that by writing the post, you’ll give yourself a good chance of landing massive traffic.
Learn How To Write a Blog Post In Different Ways
There are a few frequently used blog post types that can help your blog writing immensely. Once you have a topic idea, you can look over this list of blog post types to find out what you might want to write about. Try to stagger these so that your blog has a wide variety of post types.
Everyone loves a list. There’s a reason why magazines always have titles like “7 Effortless Techniques To Lose 20lbs in 20 weeks”. It’s catchy, it grabs people’s attention and it’s engaging. Everyone loves a list.
How-To’s & Tutorials
Google is all about answering questions and some of the most asked questions in search engines start with the words “how to”. Posts like “how to pack for travel” or “how to fix a kitchen sink” are bound to have high search volume and thus will drive you a lot of traffic, but they’re also super useful for your readers.
Resource Posts & Link Lists
This is very similar to a listicle, but a link list actually lists other people’s content or services. Posts like “10 Productivity Apps To Save Time & Be More Efficient” are very catchy, super useful and often are highly engaging.
Cheat Sheets, To-Do’s & Check-Lists
People love to get stuff done. That’s why these types of posts are often wildly successful. “10 Things To Do Before You Hit The Road” and “A Backpacker’s Packing Check List” are great examples of this type of post for the travel niche, but these posts can be written on any topic.
Customers typically like to learn about products and services before they spend money on them. Review posts can be very popular and in fact, there are entire blogs and YouTube channels dedicated to reviews.
If you know someone who’s an expert on a topic, why not interview them on your blog? You can put the questions as headings to break up the post and the answers can be very useful for your readers.
What the kids call “collabs”, these posts are not only super useful because you can have multiple experts contribute to them, but they’re also good for SEO. You can host a collab post on your site, but also join collabs on other sites, link back to your blog and boost your DA.
Pick a Catchy Title
Studies have shown that when your blog post shows up in search results or in text links on the web, only one in 5 readers will click that link. The catchier your blog title is, the more you can boost these numbers. Here are a few ways that can help you choose a catchy blog post title.
Use Adjectives To Evoke Emotion
This is a classic marketing tactic that works very well. Instead of simply creating a post called “how to build a brand” you can write something like “How To Effortlessly Build a Brand In 5 Actionable Steps”. By adding the adjectives of “effortless” and “actionable”, you’re more likely to evoke emotion in the reader and thus, you’ll better your chances of them scrolling past the blog post title and actually reading your article.
Blog Writing Adjective Examples:
What is The Perfect Blog Post Title Length?
Actually, there is no perfect length for a blog post title, but Google will truncate your title if it’s longer than 65 characters, so you should never go beyond this length. Some studies have shown that headlines between 8 and 12 words are shared most often on Twitter, while headlines between 12 and 14 words are liked most often on Facebook, but this is in no way a science.
Use Numbers in Your Blog Post Title
This is a great way to grab people’s attention. We all love a number. It helps us to estimate how much time we’ll spend reading the post and it tells our brain that what we’re about to read is going to be broken up and easy to digest. Not all numbers are created equal! Odd numbers and double matching digits (like 22 and 33) tend to be clicked more often.
If you’re writing on a topic where each list item inherently needs a lot of description (Like “Places To Visit in France“), then keep your list a bit lower. The post I’ve linked to here is actually 31 places in France, but I plan to shorten that to 10 because I believe people are overwhelmed when they see the title and aren’t clicking it enough. Use your best judgment when adding numbers to your title and writing blog post lists.
Never Deceive, Always Deliver
The worst thing you can do is have a click-bait title that doesn’t deliver on any of its promises. If you’re telling people that you have “7 effortless ways to grow your Instagram”, then you better actually list 7 ways and they should be effortless (or with very little effort). Never deceive your readers because while you might get initial clicks, you’ll never build a brand this way.
The Best Blog Writing Format
The blog writing format is very different from a magazine, a novel or any other typical form of print media. If you were to write a blog post in the same way you’d write a book, you’ll very quickly find that nobody stays on your pages. There are a few key formatting rules that you need to stick with in order to write better blog posts.
People who read online simply don’t have the same attention span that they have when reading a book in print. When they read a book, they’ve gone to the store (or on Amazon), picked it out and plan to read it word for word. This simply isn’t how people read online.
People are in a hurry when they’re browsing the web. They type a question into Google and they want a quick answer. Even the most engaging blogs only keep people on a single page for around 2 minutes on average. This means that you have to learn how to write a blog post that people can scan through quickly.
One of the best ways to do this is by shortening your sentences. Using free WordPress plugins like Yoast, you will even see recommendations about your writing and one of these that frequently pops up is run-on sentences. Sentences in novels can go on for 100 words or more, on a blog, they should never be longer than about 40 words.
People scan content so quickly online that they often don’t comprehend what they’re reading. A study by the American Press Institute has shown that the average reader comprehends 100% of what they read as long as the sentences are 8 words maximum. The longer the sentences, the more their comprehension depreciates. Overall, people only comprehend 10% of what they’re reading if sentences are longer than 40 words!
Keep your sentences short when writing blog posts. It will help your readers to understand what you’re writing and it will keep them on your page longer.
By the way, I’m aware of the irony that some of the sentences in this post are longer than my suggested length. While I could painstakingly edit this post to shorten all of my sentences, sometimes it’s also good to have a natural flow in an article.
Similar to sentences, long paragraphs can spell disaster for your “average time on page”. When a reader scrolls through a blog post and sees a massive wall of text not broken up by any images or styling, they will often click away.
View your site on both a mobile device and on a desktop. None of your paragraphs should span more than 5 lines when viewing on a desktop device (laptop or computer).
Mobile devices are a little different because the viewing area is so narrow. In the case of most smartphones and tablets, you can get away with a paragraph covering 10 – 12 lines on the screen.
Still, you should try to keep paragraphs short, 2 – 3 lines on a desktop screen and 5 – 7 lines on mobile on average.
No Flowery Language
People who read content online typically want to get their answers as quickly as possible. This means that any extra words are simply “fat” that get in the way of the point the blogger is trying to make.
In a novel you might read: “the golden autumn leaves danced in the sun while a babbling brook gently caressed the rocks, washing them clean as it trickled down the damp, mossy forest floor beneath my feet”.
If you wrote this on a blog, you would lose readers. Guaranteed. Maybe not when you first start out and only your (patient and loving) friends and family are reading, but as you start getting complete strangers reading your content, they will click away if you use this type of language. Trim the fat!
On a blog, that same sentence should be: “The autumn-coloured leaves danced in the sun as I stood next to the small creek”.
Break Up Content With Headings & Sub-Headings
Another way to help readers to easily scan your posts and find what they’re looking for is to break up main points with headings and subheadings (also known as header tags). On a blog, you can choose to write in regular paragraph text as you’re reading now, or larger text as you see in this post.
The larger text is known as headings and subheadings and in WordPress, you can easily choose these by selecting H1, H2, H3 or H4 when writing a post.
So far this post has three different font sizes. H1 is in the title of the blog post (H1 should only be used for the blog post title). Next, you see H2, those are the larger words that are in the blue colour. Lastly, I’ve used H3 for the smaller subheading text.
This helps to break down the post into easier to read, bite-sized pieces, but even more importantly, it’s good for SEO. Google loves it when you make your posts easier to read, so they will reward you for breaking up your content with these H1, H2, H3 and H4 tags.
There are a few simple rules to follow when organizing a post with headers:
- Make Subheadings Catchy Like Titles: Subheadings not only break up your post, but they should also keep the reader interested and curious about what’s to come. Treat every subheading like a mini blog post title that will keep your readers engaged and invoke their curiosity.
- Use Plain English: This may sound like it’s going against my previous rule, but you can still have a catchy subheading that’s written in plain English. Don’t try to be too clever with your subheadings, it will only serve to confuse your readers and it can ruin the point of formatting a post this way.
- Nobody Likes a Spoiler: Don’t let your subheaders give away too much of what is to come. While subheadings help readers to scan the content, your ultimate goal is to actually get them to read it, while still quickly getting the answers they need. If you answer everything in the subheadings, the reader will simply click away faster.
There are also H5, H6 etc, but these don’t ever need to be used. Typically you can easily categorize content by only using H1-4.
Break Up Text With Photos
Another excellent way to break up large parts of text in a blog post is by adding photos. Photos are slow to load, so you don’t want to have too many in a single blog post.
Images help to illustrate your point and make your content more visual which also helps to keep your readers engaged and on your page. Whenever adding photos with WordPress, be sure to resize and compress them before uploading them into your library. Also be sure to add an Alt Text, and Title of the image.
Use Special Formatting
When you’re first learning how to write a blog post, you probably don’t know what the kitchen sink is. It’s a funny term, but it’s what you call all of those blog post format icons in the edit post screen of WordPress:
You should use the special formatting at least 2 – 3 times throughout your posts. Some examples of special formatting include:
- A bulleted list
- A numbered list
Some kind of quotation like this.
Not only does this type of styling help the reader to better absorb and understand your content, but many tests have shown that Google gives points for this as well. Use text styling a few times throughout your blog post, but don’t overdo it. By having too much different styling you can actually confuse your readers.
Use Page Jumps
This is another way to format your posts that also helps in Google. If you’ve noticed, many blogs now have special links at the top of the screen where a reader can quickly click a bit of text and jump down the page to find the answer they’re looking for.
These are known as page jumps and every blog post on your site that’s over 1,000 words should have these. Click here to read about how to easily create page jumps using HTML in WordPress.
Blog Post Design
When we first started blogging, there was no such thing as a WordPress Page Builder and if there was, they were all so rudimentary that it wasn’t really worth purchasing them. These days, you can create unbelievably professional blog posts and pages using drag-and-drop page builders like Thrive Architect.
We use this for some of the fancier looking pages on this website and we love it. We love it so much in fact that we even wrote a blog post about why Thrive is such a game changer for bloggers and web design. Thrive makes it easy to create beautiful looking pages in minutes. Check out our post about it in the link above, or Click Here to download it for a one-time payment of $67.
Yes, the above link is an affiliate link, which means if you purchase through it we get a kick-back (thank you for your support!), but that’s not why I recommend this product. If you want to create professional looking blog posts and pages and have way more flexibility than the standard WordPress post editor, then I recommend checking them out.
Blog Writing Tools
There are a lot of tools you can use to ensure you’re writing the best blog posts you possibly can be on your site. Things like bad spelling and grammar, or using a lot of cliches can really affect the overall reader experience. Here are a few tools you can use to make sure your writing is crisp, clear and professional.
This is a free browser extension that can work wonders for bloggers. While you’re writing a blog post, Grammarly will underline spelling errors, grammatical errors, redundancies, and improperly placed punctuations. It’s incredibly smart and easy to use.
Before you hit that publish button and release your content to the world, make sure Grammarly has looked it over for you and you don’t have any underlined words or phrases.
Can’t think of a word? Don’t worry, Thesaurus.com can help you think of synonyms, antonyms and pretty much any word that you’re brain’s synapses have misplaced somewhere. Whenever I’m writing a blog post, I’ll have Thesaurus.com open in another tab. Whenever I get stuck on a word, I’ll simply type an underline to go back to like this: _____.
After I’m done writing my post, I’ll open the Thesaurus tab and type in a word similar to what I’m looking for and nine times out of ten it’ll help me fill in the blank.
Sometimes it’s easy to get distracted with so many other things showing up on your screen. In WordPress, you can enable “Distraction Free Writing” in the screen options tab at the top of the edit post screen. This will minimize all of the other on-screen distractions that you might see.
Nobody likes to read a blog post that feels too generic. Cliches are an easy way to quickly lose your readers’ attention. Use tools like Cliché Finder to find and eliminate any instances of cliches and overused phrases in your blog posts.
Yoast is an excellent free SEO plugin for WordPress that can help you ensure that you maximize your SEO. This plugin will scan your article as you write it and will help give you an idea of how optimized your post is for search engines. It’s by no means the only tool you need and it only gives vague answers, but coupling this with the SEO formula can help grow your traffic quickly.
How To Write a Blog Post More Efficiently
Trying to write two 3,000+ word blog posts every week is a daunting task, particularly when you don’t know how to write a blog post efficiently. There are a few blog writing tips that you can utilize while you’re writing your posts to ensure that you’re writing as efficiently as possible. Keep in mind that you should never rush your writing. But by utilizing these tips you can write better content faster.
Start With An Outline
Before I start writing a blog post, I always type my headings and subheadings into the editor first. This helps me to ensure that the structure of my blog post is solid before I start writing. I recommend always starting a blog post with a basic outline. You can add to it, rearrange it and change it later, but as a basic rule, you should have an outline of your post before you begin writing.
As a bonus writing tip, also type out a few keywords and key phrases that you want the post to rank for at the bottom of the page. That way you can constantly be reminded of some of the keywords you want in the post while you’re writing it.
Keep Going No Matter What
If you’re writing and you get stuck on something, keep going. Don’t let anything break up your flow. Resist the urge to Google answers while you’re writing or to stop to think of a word. If you can’t think of it now, type an underline like this ____. Then when you’re done writing the entire article, simply search the page (ctrl+F on PC, cmd+F on Mac) and find all of your underlines so you can fill them in.
Don’t stop to fix spelling errors or grammar, you can do that after you’re done writing. Simply sit down and let your brain vomit words all over your blog. You can always go back and fix it up when you’ve finished the first draft of the article.
You might think that multi-tasking can help you be more efficient, but in truth, multi-taskers see a 40% decrease in productivity, take 50% longer to accomplish tasks, and make 50% more mistakes. Simply put, don’t multi-task. If you’re writing an article, don’t also try to design your blog or answer phone calls. Stop trying to do so many things at once.
Turn Off All Distractions
This goes hand-in-hand with not multi-talking. Having distractions while writing is one of the major productivity killers for blog writers. When you sit down to write a blog post, you should close every other tab in your web browser. Put your phone on airplane mode, turn off your email alerts, turn off Facebook, Instagram and your television and just focus on writing. This can boost your productivity many times over.
Write in Timed Intervals
This is the 5-25 rule and it’s something straight out of the 4-hour work week, but it works well with writing too. Instead of sitting down for 4 hours and burning out your brain by writing 4,000 words all at once, try setting a timer to remind yourself to take a 5-minute break every 25 minutes. The act of taking breaks has been proven to boost creativity and productivity.
For more about how to be a productive blog writer, check out Neil Patel’s awesome blog post: How to Become a Better, Faster, and More Efficient Writer in 7 Steps.
How To Write a Blog Post For SEO
We have an article all about how you can quickly explode your blog traffic using simple and effective SEO and we also have a free 1-hour SEO training video that you can sign up for by clicking here, so I won’t get into SEO too much in this post, but there are some basics you need to know.
Keywords & Key Phrases
When you’re writing a blog post for SEO, you should always be writing it with a key phrase (aka keyword) in mind. The key phrase is what people will be typing into Google to find your post, so you’ll want to use tools like KeySearch to make sure that the word you’re trying to rank for has a sufficient amount of searches per month (1,000+) and isn’t too difficult to rank for.
You’ll then want to add that key phrase naturally into the article. Key places to include your keyword are in the title, the URL, the first sentence of the blog post, the second paragraph of the post, at least once every 5 – 6 paragraphs thereafter and also in the alt tag of your images and in your header tags.
By structuring your post using keywords in the right position, Google will better understand what your post is about and will send you traffic.
There is a formula to writing good blog posts and where you place your keywords, so if you’re interested in writing SEO, definitely click the link above and sign up for our SEO Training Video.
Anchor text is the actual text that’s used to link. In this example How To Start a Travel Blog, the text “How To Start a Travel Blog” is the anchor text and it links to our blog post “How To Start a Travel Blog” which is a key term we’re trying to rank for.
When you’re linking to a new SEO post that you wrote, whether it’s from your own blog or from a guest post on another blog, try to use SEO keywords in the anchor text.
Note: Google doesn’t like overoptimized anchor usage, so be careful to always vary your anchor texts both on internal links and in backlinks built from other blogs. Only 1-3% of anchors should be exact-match.
One of the most important aspects of SEO and also user experience is to interlink your posts. While you’re writing a blog post, be sure to link to other relevant posts that you’ve already written on your blog. This will help create a web of content on your site, which helps Google bots to crawl it more efficiently. There’s a reason they call it the web!
While internal linking refers to linking to other posts on your own blog, external linking or outbound links are the links that go out to other relevant blog posts and websites. This is also good for the user experience. Try to link out to authoritative sites (like Wikipedia, news sites & top blogs in your niche) at least 3 – 4 times in every post.
Note: never link out to competing articles. If your article is trying to rank for How To Start a Travel Blog, don’t link to another blogger’s post about the same topic.
A meta description is the text that appears below the blog post title in search engine results. This text is not directly related to Google’s algorithms, but having a catchy meta description is like having a catchy title, it will encourage people to click and read your post. The meta description should include your focus keyword, should explain the article and should be under 160 characters long.
What is The Perfect Length For a Blog Post?
With all of this talk about how short your readers’ attention spans are online, you’re probably thinking that the perfect blog post is short, but that is not the case. The longer the blog post, the better, particularly when you’re writing for SEO.
Long blog posts generally show up more in search results. Google wants every question to be answered, so the more exhaustive your content is, the more likely you are to show up in search results.
No blog post on your site should be under 1,000 words.
When you’re writing for SEO your blog pos