A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide to creating a content strategy that’s Worth Bookmarking.
There’s no magic formula for writing amazing blog posts every time. But if you’re looking for a strategy that’s guaranteed to work, I’ve got just the thing. Steal my exact approach, and you’ll be churning out blog gold in no time. Ready to get started? Awesome! Let’s go.
I’ve been blogging since 1992 since AOL said “You’ve got mail”. And although blogging has evolved, one thing remains the same: great blog posts are all about creating value for the reader, and optimizing for the search engines.
Whether you’re writing a how-to post, sharing industry news, or offering your unique perspective on a current event, your goal should always be to give the reader something they can use.
Deciding on an article type
When you sit down to write, it can be helpful to have a specific goal or purpose in mind. Otherwise, you may find yourself meandering off on tangents or writing about topics that aren’t really relevant to your main point.
One way to stay focused and ensure that your writing is on target is to decide on the type of article you’re going to write before you start.
For instance, are you writing a how-to guide, a listicle, or a product review? Each type of article has a different structure and purpose, so knowing which one you’re aiming for can help you stay on track.
Of course, this isn’t always possible, and you may find that your initial idea morphs into something else as you write.
But if you can at least narrow down the type of article you want to write before you start, it will be easier to stay focused and produce a well-crafted piece of writing.Earn an Extra $1000 Per Month by Selling Prewritten Content.Step-by-step Guide to Writing for Constant Contentmedium.com
I like to write what’s called evergreen content.
Evergreen content is always relevant and never goes out of date. It’s the kind of stuff you can read 6 months from now and still find value in. And it’s the best type of content to write if you want your blog posts to be found by search engines.
There are top writers on Medium like Isaiah McCall that focus more on current events and newsworthy topics.
Evergreen content performs well when I’m selling articles as a freelance writer.
When I sit down to write a how-to post, I typically start by outlining the steps I need to take the reader through.
I like to keep my how-to posts around 1,500 words, and I always include images to break up the text (people love visuals!).
I also make sure to include plenty of links to other resources that will help the reader complete the task at hand.
Finally, I always try to end my how-to posts with a call-to-action, whether that’s inviting the reader to download a free guide or sign up for my email list.
I’m sometimes asked to review products on my blog. When I do, I make sure to give an honest assessment of the pros and cons.
I also like to include images, screenshots, and even videos in my product reviews to help the reader make a decision.
And if I’m reviewing a product that’s available for purchase, I always include a link to where the reader can buy it. If I have an affiliate link, I can earn commissions on the referral.
I’m a 6-figure affiliate marketer, and some of those earnings come from product reviews. I made a list of the best product review blogs for 2022 in case you would like to see what they look like.
It’s also a great example of a list post.
While some consider them cringey, I think income reports can be extremely helpful for readers.
Income reports show what’s possible with blogging, and they help people understand how writers and content creators make money. They also give insight into the strategies and tactics we use to grow our businesses.
Whenever I am building a new business, or a niche in my business, or writing on a new platform, I study income reports.
It’s one of the best ways to understand how people are making money in your industry, and what strategies you can use to grow your own business.
A case study is a story that illustrates how you or your business solved a problem for a customer.
They typically include details about the challenge the subject was facing, the steps you took to solve it, and the results they achieved.
Case studies are great blog post ideas because they show off your expertise and highlight the results you achieve for your clients.
Case studies that perform well on blogs, social media, and Youtube have titles like:
- “I deleted my Facebook account, and this is what happened”
- “I tried Keto for 30 days and the results were outstanding”
- “I published an article for 30-days straight, and this is what happened”
Barbara King does a good job with this in her check-in update on how her writing on Substack is going.
People love lists! And for good reason. They’re easy to read and offer a ton of value in a small amount of space.
When I sit down to write a list post, I make sure to include as many items as possible (people love big numbers!) or be very thorough with a shorter list.
Odd numbers outperform even except when they are milestone numbers like 50 or 100.
If I’m focused on ranking on Google, I’ll perform a google search using the target keyword for the list post.
The search engine results page (SERP) will show me the top-ranking pages for that keyword phrase. Then, I can add more items to my list, potentially earning the top spot.
Here’s a recent list post I published on Medium, for example.These are the Top 7 topics that Pay You as a WriterAt least on this one platform, that is.loriballen.medium.com
Informational posts are similar to how-to posts, but they don’t necessarily include a call-to-action or steps to complete a task.
Instead, informational posts are all about providing value and educating the reader on a particular topic. Also referred to as answer posts, or response posts, they often answer a specific question or aim to solve a specific problem.
They can be as short as 500 words or as long as 5,000+, but they typically fall somewhere in the middle.
These types of posts don’t generally perform as well on Medium but can be big money makers for niche website builders that monetize their website with display ads.
I get ideas for information posts by typing a general topic into Google and using the people also ask box.
For example, when I type the word writer followed by a question mark on Google, here are some of the questions that appear in the PPA.
Pillar posts are in-depth, comprehensive guides (like this one) that cover everything there is to know about a particular topic.
They are the “go-to” resource for people looking for information on that topic.
Pillar posts can be anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 words, and they often include images, infographics, and even videos.
If you’re going to write a pillar post, make sure you’re an expert on the topic. These posts take a lot of time and effort to write, and you want to make sure you’re delivering quality information.I Finally Got 2000 Views. Here’s How Much Medium Paid Me.I was surprised, to tell the truth.loriballen.medium.com
When I wake up in the morning, brew my coffee, and sit down to write my first blog, I rarely know what I’m going to create until I begin my topic research. I like to follow breadcrumbs and become inspired by what’s already working.
Sometimes, I’m inspired by a social media post. Other times, I glean ideas from other blogs I’ve been reading. I may be working on a topic cluster and following the analytics. Oftentimes, great blog ideas come from building topics or sub-topics around what’s already working.
And most often, I’m performing keyword research to find hidden gems or expand my library of potential topics. When writing on Medium, I focus more on my audience than on Google.
With the changes in Medium’s algorithm, and how the Medium Partner Program, I have found ranking on Google to be less effective, than focusing on my current reader base.
That’s why I have my own blog outside of Medium where I focus on search engine traffic.
Competitive Analysis Keyword Research
When you’re thinking about blog post ideas, it’s important to consider what your competition is blogging about. After all, if they’re ranking ahead of you, they’re doing something right.
Competitive research helps you find gaps where you aren’t ranking, but your competitor is. Using a keyword research tool like SEMrush, I enter a competitor into the search bar.
I’m careful to choose most similar competitors in age, domain authority, topic authority, and backlink profiles.
SEMrush provides me with a list of the competitor’s most popular pages and the estimated traffic and number of backlinks each page has. I use this information to understand what topics are working well for them and where I may be able to provide more value on my blog.
You can take a free trial of SEMrush using my affiliate link. As an affiliate partner, I benefit if you subscribe after your trial.
Low Competition Keywords
In addition to researching your competitors, it’s important to find low-competition keywords that you can rank for easily.
I enter my seed keyword into the search bar and SEMrush provides me with a list of related keywords, as well as the estimated traffic and difficulty for each.
I look for keywords with low difficulty that I can rank for quickly. These are typically long-tail keywords, which are great for getting started with SEO.
The Keyword Difficulty score is based on a number of factors, including the age of the domain, the number of backlinks, and the number of social shares.
I also look at the SERP features for each keyword to get an idea of what I’m up against. If there are a lot of rich results (featured snippets, image carousels, etc.), I know it will be more difficult to rank.
I also take a look at the organic results to see if there are any obvious patterns, like all of the results are from high-authority websites. If that’s the case, I know it will be more difficult to rank.
Once I’ve found a few low-competition keywords, I create a list of blog post ideas. I try to come up with at least 10 ideas, but sometimes I have more.
Jasper AI is a great tool for discovering topics.
Here’s an example of using Jasper to discover blog topic ideas about training a puppy.
Here is the command I gave Jasper: write 10 blog ideas about training a puppy
– How to housebreak your puppy
– The best way to train your puppy to sit
– How to train your puppy not to chew on things
– Puppy training tips for beginners
– How to stop your puppy from barking incessantly
– What foods are best for training a puppy?
– Should I use treats when training my pup?
– What are some common puppy training mistakes?
– How often should I train my puppy?
– What is the best way to crate train a puppy?
– Is it okay to let my puppy sleep in my bed?
Here’s another example
I gave Jasper the following command:
write 10 blog ideas related to content marketing
– 10 types of content that will help you close more deals
– The 5 most effective ways to repurpose your content
– How to create evergreen content that will keep your readers coming back for more
– Why video marketing is the next big thing in content marketing
– How to use data and analytics to improve your content marketing strategy
– How to create content that resonates with your target audience
– The best ways to promote your content for maximum reach and engagement
– How to measure the success of your content marketing campaigns
– 10 common content marketing mistakes and how to avoid them
– The future of content marketing: where we see the industry headed in the next 5 years
With Jasper, you’ll never have writer’s block again. Once Jasper provides the blog post ideas, if I’m focused on ranking on Google, I run the target keyword through SEMrush and Google to determine if it’s an appropriate topic for my website’s topic and authority.
Once I have the type of content, and the topic, I move on to the blog title.
Jasper AI Blog Writer, The Incredible #1 AI Blog Writing Software ” Lori BallenHave you ever wished you had a personal assistant to help write your blog posts for you? Well, now there’s an AI bot…loriballen.com
How to Craft the Perfect Blog Title
Your blog title is important for two reasons:
1. It needs to be eye-catching so that people will actually click on it
2. It needs to include your target keyword so that Google knows what your post is about (if you are writing to rank).
Your title should also be reflective of the content inside. If you clickbait someone with a sensationalized title and they realize that the content doesn’t match, you’ll lose them forever.
Once again, this is where Jasper AI is a huge help. Being an SEO first type of writer, I tend to create very “matter of fact” titles.
Jasper helps me to spice up my titles and make them more clickable.
Using the Perfect Headline template in Jasper, here’s an example. Your blog post is about the best way to boil eggs.
Feed Jasper a bit of info in the product description. Sometimes, I’ll use my intro paragraph in the product description box to re-write my title after writing my blog post.
You can even give Jasper a company or product name, the customer avatar, and a tone of voice.
I gave Jasper the following parameters:
- the best way to boil eggs (description)
- customer avatar: cooks
- the tone of voice: Martha Stewart.
Here are a few of the outputs Jasper gave me.
- An Easy Guide on How to Boil an Egg Perfectly
- Boil the Perfect Egg Every Time
- Quickest, Easiest, and Most Reliable Way to Boil an Egg
- Discover the 5 Ways to Boiling Perfect Eggs
- Learn From The Experts on How To Make Perfect Eggs Every Time
How the best bloggers format their posts
The formatting of your blog post is important for two reasons. First, it makes the article easy to read and digest. Second, it helps Google understand the structure of your article and what the main points are.
If the blog post is properly formatted, Google is more likely to rank it higher in the search results.
There are a few things you can do to format your blog post for easy readability and SEO.
Writing a kickass intro paragraph
Your intro paragraph should be short, sweet, and to the point. It should introduce the reader to the topic of the blog post and give them a taste of what’s to come.
The intro paragraph is important for SEO because it’s one of the first places you can include your target keyword. Use the keyword naturally, and don’t stuff it in there just for the sake of it.
Jasper AI is a huge help when it comes to writing intro paragraphs. All you have to do is give Jasper a topic, and it will spit out a bunch of different options for you to choose from.
Here are a few examples of intro paragraphs that Jasper generated for the topic of “the best way to boil eggs.”
Are you looking for the best way to boil eggs? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll show you the quickest, easiest, and most reliable way to boil an egg.
Are you tired of your eggs coming out overcooked or undercooked? If so, you’re not alone. Many people struggle to get the perfect boiled egg. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll show you the best way to boil eggs so that they come out perfectly every time.
Looking for a foolproof method for boiling eggs? Look no further! In this article, we’ll show you the quickest and easiest way to boil an egg. Whether you like your eggs soft, medium, or hard-boiled, this method will work like a charm.
Write headlines that make your readers pay attention
There is no one formula for writing the perfect paragraph heading. However, there are a few guidelines that can help you to create headings that are clear, concise, and easy to read.
First, make sure that your heading accurately reflects the contents of the paragraph. A heading should be a brief summary of the main point or points that you will be discussing in the paragraph. Second, keep your heading short and to the point.
Avoid lengthy phrases or complex sentence structures. Third, make use of active voice whenever possible. Active voice makes headings more readable and easier to understand.
Finally, remember that a good heading can be a great way to grab your reader’s attention. If your heading is interesting and informative, it will encourage your reader to stick with you as you explore the topic in more depth.
How to Write the Best Paragraphs That Are Part of the Body of Content You Are Writing Your Blog Post About
The Body: The Best Way to Approach Writing Paragraphs
The best way to approach writing paragraphs for the body of your blog post is to break them down into smaller, more manageable chunks. By doing this, you can ensure that each paragraph flows smoothly and effectively communicates your ideas.
Additionally, it is important to keep in mind the overall structure of your blog post when crafting your paragraphs. Each paragraph should build off of the one before it, culminating in a strong conclusion that leaves your readers with a clear understanding of your main points.
Jasper AI can be used to assist in writing paragraphs. In my opinion, the paragraph generator template gets the best results. You can input the topic you want to write about, and Jasper will provide several different options for you to choose from.
Here are a few examples of paragraphs that Jasper generated for the topic of “the best way to approach writing a blog post.”
When it comes to writing a blog post, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, there are a few general tips that can help you to create a successful blog post.
First, it is important to choose a topic that you are passionate about. This will make the writing process more enjoyable and ensure that your readers can feel your excitement and enthusiasm for the subject matter.
Second, be sure to do your research. This will help you to create a well-rounded and informative blog post.
Third, don’t be afraid to experiment with different formats and styles. A successful blog post doesn’t have to be stiff or formal. In fact, injecting some personality into your writing can make it more relatable and engaging for your readers.
Finally, don’t forget to proofread and edit your work before you hit publish. A few simple mistakes can make your blog post look unprofessional and detract from your message.
The Conclusion: The best way to end your blog post
When it comes to writing the conclusion of your blog post, there are a few different approaches that you can take.
First, you could simply summarize the main points that you discussed in the body of your post. This is a great option if you want to leave your readers with a clear understanding of your argument.
Second, you could pose a question to your readers. This can encourage them to think critically about the topic and explore it further on their own.
Third, you could challenge your readers to take action. If you have inspired them with your words, this is a great way to encourage them to make positive changes in their own lives.
Finally, you could simply say goodbye and thank your readers for taking the time to read your blog post.
No matter which approach you choose, be sure to end your blog post on a strong note that will leave a lasting impression on your readers.
If you have Jasper AI, try the blog post conclusion paragraph template.
Write with confidence by spelling checking before publishing
Spell-check software isn’t perfect. It can miss words that are spelled correctly but used in the wrong context. That being said, it’s still a valuable tool that can help you to avoid embarrassing mistakes in your blog post.
Before you publish your blog post, be sure to run a spell check and fix any errors that you see. If you’re not confident in your grammar skills, you could also consider running your blog post through a grammar checker like Grammarly.
While no spell checker or grammar checker is perfect, they can still be helpful in catching mistakes that you might otherwise miss.
I installed the Grammarly Chrome extension on my computer, and it works with most editors, social media platforms, and email tools.
Get more engagement with images, videos, and other media
It is widely accepted that blog posts with images get more engagement than those without. Most AI SEO tools like Surfer SEO take images and videos into account when determining an SEO score.
They take the top ranking blog pages on Google and create a score based on the correlation of certain features like the presence of media.
To get a higher SEO score for your blog post, add images! You can also add videos, infographics, and other forms of media to make your post more engaging.
Not only will this help your blog post potentially rank higher in search engines, but it will also make it more likely that people will actually read and engage with your content.
If you’re not sure where to find images for your blog post, try using a free stock photo site Canva. While I most often use screenshots when demonstrating a process like adding blog comments, sometimes it’s helpful to use a more general image.
I often include videos in my blog posts through the shared link or code from a Youtube video.
On Medium, you can use the magnifying glass icon to browse the free image library using a keyword search.
Canva is also great for creating infographics, pie charts, Pinterest-sized images, and other visuals to break up your blog post and add some extra interest.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can even create a custom image or graphic for your blog post. This is a great way to really make your content stand out.I Wasn’t Motivated to Write This Morning.I Tried This, and it Worked.medium.com
The benefits of linking to articles, others, and your own.
Linking to other articles, websites, or even your own blog posts is a great way to add value to your blog post.
Not only does it provide your readers with additional resources that they can use to further explore the topic, but it also helps to build relationships with other bloggers and website owners.
If you link to someone’s article, they are likely to return the favor by linking to one of your articles in the future. This can help to increase the reach and visibility of your blog.
When linking to other articles, be sure to choose ones that are relevant to your topic and add value to your argument.
Don’t link for the sake of linking — only add links that will enhance the reader’s experience.
To create a link to another page on your blog (WordPress for example), simply highlight the text that you want to link and click the “link” icon.
Enter the URL of the page that you want to link to and hit “enter.”
If you are writing on Medium, it’s a good idea to tag the author of the article that you’re linking to. This will notify them that you’ve mentioned them in your post and may encourage them to share your article with their followers.
You can also link to your own blog posts or articles if you think that they would be relevant to the reader.
This is a great way to increase traffic to your website or blog and to get your readers engaged with your content.
Just be sure not to go overboard with the self-promotion — only add links to your own articles if they truly add value to the reader.
To link to another article on Medium, copy the story link from the browser bar, paste it into your medium story, and tap enter. The article preview with the image should appear.
Google values internal linking (linking to your own articles), and helps the search engines determine relationships between pages.Earn an Extra $1000 Per Month by Selling Prewritten Content.Step-by-step Guide to Writing for Constant Contentmedium.com
Bonus: Make Skimming Easier with a Table of Contents
I don’t use this strategy on my Medium stories, but I think it’s a great addition when I’m blogging on WordPress.
If you have a long blog post, it can be helpful to include a table of contents at the beginning. This will allow readers to quickly scan the article and jump to the section that they’re most interested in.
You can reduce bounce rates, and improve the user experience.
To create a table of contents in WordPress, simply install and activate the Table of Contents Plus plugin.
Once the plugin is activated, you’ll see a new “TOC” button in your WordPress editor. Easy table of contents is another Plugin that works similarly.
You can set the plugin to create a list of all of the headlines in your article by choosing the appropriate headings to be included in the TOC. I use H2 headings only.
On a blog that is monetized with display ads, I close the table of contents by default but add the title and an expander so they can view it.
Writing blog posts can seem like a daunting task, but if you break it down into manageable steps, it becomes much easier.
By following the tips in this post, you can create high-quality, engaging, and SEO-friendly blog posts that will help to grow your following and attract new readers.
You can use the formula to attract readers on Medium, visitors from search engines clicks from social media, and to sell your content as a freelance writer.