Creating your first great blog post can be a daunting task. So I’m going to break down how to write one based on my experience in this ultimate beginners’ guide. This will include how to generate blog ideas, how to create a content plan, how to create your opening snippet, how to write a good blog post, and how to add images.
But wait, why do you need to write blog posts? They are a superb way to share your knowledge and expertise with your target audience. And if you are lucky, you’ll generate some traffic in search engines to your site which is great for SEO.
1 – Decide on your blog post topic and writing structure
First, create a list of 10 key questions your target audience will ask about your field of expertise. Be helpful and insightful.
This is generally a good content strategy, so spend a few minutes thinking about this.
Just write about what you know from your perspective and use your voice. Be authentic to yourself and your brand.
But how many words is a good blog post meant to be?
The aim is to write a post on each that is at least 500 words but preferably 1000-1500 words in length.
Later on, in your blogging journey, you should aim to add more related in-depth posts of 3000-3500 in length that dive deep into your chosen subject.
In each case have some idea of what keyword(s) you want to include as these need to be added to your article.
Such as the best blogging platforms; money blog; blogging mistakes etc
A good blog writing tip is to use the Google search engine to get some ideas on what people might be searching for.
In this way, you get examples of blog articles that other businesses have created.
If you are really stuck you can also visit Answer the Public, where once you have entered a seed keyword, the site lists hundreds of common queries that people search for on the internet.
As far as writing the content, you can write straight into WordPress. However, if you forget to save it then it will be lost, so maybe don’t do that.
I’d suggest creating the content in something like Microsoft Word or Google Docs, then you know you have a master copy.
2 – Some ideas for blog post titles
Having a great blog title will catch people’s attention.
Who would want to read “Top cheese facts”? I’d be more interested in “10 kinds of cheese that will blow your head off”.
See where I’m coming from?
If it’s too short it won’t contain enough keywords. If it’s too long it may get cut off when Google lists it in search engine results. So I’d advise keeping it around 6-10 words.
Below are some ideas to get you thinking:
- XX Worst Mistakes To Avoid When [Keyword][Keyword]
- The Best Way To [Keyword][Keyword]
- XX Different Ways You Can [Keyword][Keyword]
- XX Great Ways To [Keyword] Without [Something Bad]
- The XX Immediate Benefits Of [Keyword][Keyword]
- XX Surefire Warning Signs That [Keyword][Keyword]
- XX Little Know Factors That Will Effect Your [Keyword]
- The XX Essential Elements Of Effective [Keyword]
- How To Immediately Become A More Productive (And Better) [Keyword]
- The Right Way To Think About [Keyword]
3 – Create a blog post outline
Before you get stuck into creating the blog content, it’s best to plan out the structure.
First, create the main heading which can be a statement or a question. See above for ideas.
Don’t worry you can come back and tweak this later if needs be.
Then create subheadings for each section to help plan the blog post and break up the content.
This gives you an overview of what you want to include before you actually commit to content.
Lastly, add a few bullet points under each subheading describing what each section is about.
Now you have a rough plan you can start your blog content.
4 – Constructing the opening snippet
An opening snippet is what Google uses to help rank your post, so you should include a quick summary of what you are going to talk about. It goes at the start of your blog post and is good for on-page SEO.
Briefly answer the query of the article in a few paragraphs and make it bold. Re-mention the opening title too.
So this is an example title: What Dirt Bike Should I Buy?
This is a snippet example: I am often asked “which dirt bike should I buy/?” Usually, that’s followed by very little information about what style of riding you want to be doing, your experience level, size etc. So with your questions in mind, and in an attempt to deflect a number of emails I receive regarding this topic, I have put together this page.
5 – Blog post writing structure
Now that you have your opening snippet in place, you can get on with writing your article content.
Under each subheading, add text, keeping sentences short. Additionally, break up the paragraphs into single sections so it’s easier to scan and read.
But beware, a big block of text is off-putting and will turn potential readers away.
Next, add those keyword(s) you collected earlier to the subheadings and the body copy.
But don’t keyword stuff and write the copy for humans not search engine bots.
If you can, add one or two external links to external ranked sites. This is good for SEO.
Also, highlight certain phrases within your content that can be linked to other pages on your site eg. website builders near me that link to my web service page.
IMPORTANT – when you transfer your copy to WordPress DO NOT COPY IT STRAIGHT IN. If you do this it adds additional styling code that messes up how your article is styled.
Firstly In the toolbar at the top of the page click the black suitcase icon with a T inside. This is the ‘paste as text’ feature which strips away any styling and just adds your content as plain text.
BLOGGING TIP– Now that your text is in click the ‘save draft’ button in the right-hand sidebar at the top.
6 – Adding and sizing blog post images
IMPORTANT – Don’t upload any images that you may own or have downloaded from a website straight into WordPress. The file size may be big and it will impact your site optimisation. So they need to be resized before you get to this stage.
There are many royalty-free stock photo websites you can use. My favourites are Pexels, Unsplash and Pixabay.
Find a suitable feature image for your article that will stand out. If your article is 1000 words I’d suggest adding another 2-3 images to break up the word count.
BLOGGING TIP – As a rule, choose landscape images rather than portrait images. They look better for a start and don’t leave a big gap around the text.
Unless you own a copy of Photoshop or some other photo editing software, then it’s going to be difficult for you to size your images correctly.
I found the easiest method is to use Canva. It’s free and they have loads of other options that you can use for marketing your business.
Once you’ve created an account, create a new design (big button top right) using the dimensions 700 pixels by 400 pixels. This can be used for all future blog post images once it’s done.
Now you’ll see a blank canvas. Take one of your images and drag it into the left sidebar where it will begin to upload.
Once done, drag it onto your canvas and position it. Do this for any other images you need so they are all on the same page.
Now click ‘share’ top right and within the popup, panel click ‘download’. You can now download all the images or by clicking the dropdown panel, select which one you want.
The first job is to add the main image for the article which will be your featured image. You add this via the right-hand side panel within WordPress by clicking the set feature image link.
For any other images, just place your text cursor within the content between paragraphs. Go to the top toolbar section and click ‘add media’.
Here you can drag an image into the add media section and then click it to add it to your blog posts.
Adjust the alignment and text spacing if needed by clicking on the image. A small popup will appear allowing you to select how the text runs around the image.
That’s it, so well done.
Now hit publish and your article will go live.
7 – Extra stuff
Most blog posts contain categories. This helps your readers focus on the stuff they want to read.
It also helps Google to group your content together in searches, so it’s worth doing.
Within WordPress look at the right-hand panel.
You’ll see a categories panel. Click the ‘+ Add new category’ to add one.
Choose single or double-word titles such as ‘marketing’ or ‘technology’. Whatever makes sense to your visitors and the article you’ve just written.
Click the check box next to it. Congratulations it now has its own category.
Now look in the left-hand sidebar near the top. Under Posts, you’ll see categories.
Once inside you’ll see the category that you just created. But it’s empty!
Click over it and click the edit link.
In order for Google to index this information, you’ll need to add some descriptive text that explains what the category is about. This is good SEO practice so I urge you to do it.
Click save and you’re done.
I hope you found this blog post writing guide useful. Now share your article with the world.