How to Write a Blog Post in Five Easy Steps [Summary]:
- Step 1: Plan your blog post by choosing a topic, creating an outline, conducting research, and checking facts.
- Step 2: Craft a headline that is both informative and will capture readers’ attentions.
- Step 3: Write your post, either writing a draft in a single session or gradually word on parts of it.
- Step 4: Use images to enhance your post, improve its flow, add humor, and explain complex topics.
- Step 5: Edit your blog post. Make sure to avoid repetition, read your post aloud to check its flow, have someone else read it and provide feedback, keep sentences and paragraphs short, don’t be a perfectionist, don’t be afraid to cut out text or adapt your writing last minute.
There are two main approaches you can take to writing blog post headlines. You can either decide on your final headline before you write the rest of your post (and use your headline to structure your outline), or you can write your blog post with a working title and see what fits when you’re done.
Using Images Effectively
Writing for the web is an entirely different animal than writing for print. Oftentimes, people simply don’t have the time, will, or ability to focus on lengthy blog posts without some visual stimulation. Even a well-formatted blog post consisting solely of text is likely to send your reader screaming back to Reddit or Twitter within minutes, which is why it’s so important to include images in your posts.
Images Help Your Blog Post Flow More Effectively
One of the most important reasons to include images in your blog posts is to break up the text. Many people scan blog posts rather than pore over every word, and interspersing images throughout the copy will make your post seem less intimidating and more visually appealing.
Images Make Great Visual Punchlines
Everyone likes a good laugh, and a well-chosen image can help lighten the tone of your posts and inject some much-needed humor into a piece. This can be particularly effective if you’re writing about a dry (or flat-out boring) topic.
Content planning and writing
You’ve got to find out which method works best for you, but here are the items we believe every content plan should contain:
- Delivery date/time: Remember, timing is important for content marketing, and this will help make sure you’re writing to deadline.
- Title: You can’t start writing without a title, even if it’s just a working one. This should outline the main premise of the piece.
- Wordcount: This will determine how much depth and detail the piece will go into.
- Quick summary: Just two or three sentences – outlining key points and your conclusion. You can always add an ‘additional ideas’ section if you want some extra room for your ideas.
- Sources: Find sources you can use for research and as inspiration for your piece. This will save you time later and might spark some ideas. Just make sure they’re credible!
6 Tips for Top-Notch Content Planning:
So, you know what your content plan should include, but you could probably do with a few additional pointers to get you going. We’re happy to oblige – take a look!
1. Consider your brand’s stance
Everything you say should fit with your brand’s guidelines, ethos and values. So, forget what you know about the subject personally – what does your brand think?
Your content plan should be written from your brand’s perspective and subtly align your offering as the solution. Remember that word though – ‘subtle’ – as your content should always be more educational than promotional.
2. Know your audience
Who is your piece meant to be targeting? Which segment of your audience should it speak to?
You need to think long and hard about this, as it will define the direction of your piece. Think about the needs of the individual and where he or she might be in your sales funnel by using audience personas based on existing customers.
Think about how you can structure your content specifically for your users, and give them everything they want to know about the subject. Then you can think about getting started on writing your content.
3. Brainstorm lots of ideas
With those two key things in your mind, start brainstorming ideas – we find mind-maps work well!
Generate as many ideas as possible, just go crazy. Yes, some may not be as good as others, and some may not even be realistic, but you can hone these down to create highly-targeted, engaging content.
4. Decide which angle you’ll take
This is key to good content planning – an angle that will grab attention and help you stand out from the crowd.
Visit competitor sites to see what they’re doing and see if you can switch it on its head. If you’re stuck, use the four-pillar approach like this:
- What is happening to Uber in London?
- Where can I still get an Uber?
- Why is TFL and Sadiq Kahn banning Uber in London?
- How can I stop Uber leaving London?
There you go, four different approaches to the same topic. Take your pick!
5. Set a goal for each piece of content
Each piece of content should have a goal. It can either be something explicit (e.g. increasing newsletter sign-ups, or downloading guides), or something more implicit (like educating, informing or explaining a process). The latter is more suited to content marketing.
6. Choose a strong focus keyword
Pick a keyword now, so you can consider it throughout the content planning process. It will help you stay on track and prepare your piece for SEO.
These content planning tips will help you create an effective plan that will act as a great foundation for your content. Try our ideas out next time content planning rolls around, and see how your content quality improves!