How to write Blog Posts that drive Traffic | PLAYBOOK
So you want to write a successful blog? 😁
There are five overarching steps necessary to creating not just any blog, but one that’s successful:
Now, these five steps are very broad in scope and require a lot of sub-steps to attain your goal.
So let’s define the full process that goes into creating and distributing your content 🙌:
The order of the steps of this particular function is fluid, however, they’re all mandatory.
If you don’t align your “ideas” with the steps here, you’ll miss a critical portion of your blog, and the quality will be subpar.
This is our “recommended” order:
1. 🕵️ Define your target audience/ideal customer profile (ICP)
Who do you want to read this?
You can use this template to create your ideal customer profile.
2. 🎓 Define your high-level topic
Here are some of the questions that you should try to answer
What are the questions you aim to answer with this post?
What is your ICP searching for on the web?
Do you want to write about your work/projects/releases/products? If it’s product-oriented, why is this valuable to your ICP?
Do you want to provide additional insights into a recent industry-related trend?
3. 🧙🏼♂️ Do some research
Has your topic been written about before? Make a note of those that do - you can use these as additional sources, background information, and backlinks in your write-up
What are the top keywords that match your topic? If you’re a marketer, you can use services such as Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, Moz, SEMrush, or simply Google Analytics to help find them. Here is an example from Ubersuggest:
What are the best SEO keywords for your topic? (Search Volume, Keyword Difficulty) Search Pro-tip: Minimum keyword search volume should not be below 50/month SEO Difficulty Pro-tip: That is the estimated competition for a key word. The higher, the more competitive it is to rank high for this keyword. Ideal Difficulty is below 20 unless you have high Domain Authority (DA)
Are your competitors writing about this topic? If yes, then you’re probably focusing on the right topic, just be sure that your idea differs from theirs - especially if you have similar (or lower) DA
Are your customers writing about this topic?
4. 👨👨👧👧 (Optional - but recommended) Discuss the topic with your peers
Ask a few colleagues (1-3) for their input, they can help you refine your idea or provide additional focus and/or angles
FYI: Colleagues don’t have to be at work - are you part of a community or social group?
These are excellent folks to bounce ideas off. Post it in and ask them for feedback 😁
5. 📣 (Optional) Run a social media poll
This can help you further refine your topic. The comments can be a gold mine for new information or focus
Now that you have a rock-solid idea that’s been defined to fit a specific target audience, is backed by thoughtful research, and has the future organic support of SEO-based keywords....
... It’s time to get writing! 🤟
Now, there are many ways that different people like to write, but since we’re writing a blog post and not poetry or a stream of consciousness -
... the best practice one can follow here is structure. 🤓
Our favorite approach is known as the “sandwich” method (see image below)
Commonly applied to writing academic essays, this method is perfect for a blog post as it has all of the elements you need to succinctly capture a reader’s attention.
But a full blog can be daunting to think about RIGHT? 🤔
... especially since in today’s content-oriented web, the ideal length is 1000-1500 words.
So let’s build your blog sandwich just like you might a real sandwich - one ingredient (step) at a time
1.😎 Prepare an outline
Free-flowing writing is sporadic and can lose your readers’ attention as you go off on tangents.
An outline provides three benefits:
Structure - With your structure in place, you won’t stray far with tangents, and will help you stay focused on the specific sub-topic in your post
Headers - This is key for SEO, each section needs a heading. If each of your sub-topics includes a predefined heading from your outline, your already saving some time on consistency and keyword stuffing
2.⚡️Start with your introduction
this may seem silly, but the step here is to provide focus;
the rest of your blog can be filled with bullet points that you extrapolate on as you work.
Write up your intro completely and include the following points:
Context - Why are you writing about this topic? This is your opportunity to introduce your line of thinking and some backlinks
What are the main points that you plan to address in your blog post Pro-tip: These points can/should be your sub-topics (if it’s more than three, simply define the themes that your sub-topics will address)
Make your assertion - “This is why X is important”
Add a transitional sentence to begin your assertions
3.☀️ Fill in your outline
There are a few ways to address this step AND this is where you have the most flexibility based on your writing style:
Use bullet points with high-level ideas to fill in each section -OR-
Write out each section individually to completion
As you write, you should always link out to the source of your information.
this is good for both SEO, and your credibility as a writer… no one likes plagiarism
5.🎬 Add Media
Not every consumer is driven by text,
be sure to include images and/or video when possible. This makes your post more engaging (and also better for search engines)
6.🎯Add a conclusion
Now that all is said and done, tie up all of your thoughts in a neat conclusion.
This should be the exact inverse of your introduction:
What was your assertion?
What were the points that defended your assertion (and how)?
How does your post fit into the greater context?
Add a call-to-action (CTA)
“Find out how we do with this a trial”
“See our process in action in our demand demo”
“Have some questions? Contact us!”
7.🚦Proofread & Review
What’s done is never done.
Make sure to read your post OUT LOUD, your brain will catch mistakes and you’ll have a better understanding of your written tone.
If you simply re-read to yourself, your brain will take a shortcut, and miss your typos
Pass this back to your peers/editor, content marketer for a review ahead of publishing
Sweet moves! 🤟
You’ve finished the write-up, now comes some of the less “fun stuff”,
the part where the blog becomes public information outside of you and your peers.
Let’s break down what it takes to publish a post:
1. SEO Review
Now that the write-up is complete, your SEO specialist should take some time to read through the post and make adjustments:
Keyword “stuffing” 🧙🏼♂️
Adding header tags
Writing up your metas
Alt tags on your images
Creating a unique URL that tags back to your primary selected keyword
2. Migrate your Content
This step is where you move your content from your text-writer (GDocs, Word, Evernote, etc) to your CMS/publishing software (ex: WordPress, Hubspot, etc)
In the scenario that the content is ready ahead of it’s publishing date, you may also schedule, nothing wrong with building out a backlog
We even recommend to build a backlog of content 🤓
Distribution is perhaps the most robust step in the blogging process because as Content Marketer, Ross Simmonds likes to say “Publish once, distribute forever”. There are countless channels that you should leverage to properly distribute a piece of content, but it ties back directly to your ideation phase:
1. Finding your ICP
Critical to a successful blog post is reaching the audience you’ve created this piece of content for.
Depending on who your ICP is, is how you reach them, but there is one factor that is certain across the board.
Social media is your best friend ❤️🧙🏼♂️
2. Channel selection
Most common (with the furthest reach) distribution channels are:👇
Digital Media outlets (ex: Streaming Media)
Facebook (less popular today)
3. Publish and re-publish
Your first post shou