It’s 2021 and the blogging space is harder than ever to get into. Gone are the 1990’s when having a blog made you so cool and innovative.
Today, everyone and their mother have a blog. In fact, 70 million blog posts are published each month. Yes, you heard right. Each month!
Does that make it difficult to break into? Yes. Is it impossible? Absolutely not.
The good news is that even though there are thousands of blogs to compete with, no one else has your unique mind and voice.
There are many facets to writing good content, but the following tips make a fantastic checklist to get you started.
This list rounds up a set of proven tips and techniques to improve the quality of your blog posts. I’ve tried and tested all of them.
Slowly incorporate these things into your work and soon you’ll know how to write a blog post that rivals even the most seasoned bloggers.
The tips and techniques are listed in no specific order.
- Use scannable formatting to improve readability
- Write catchy headlines to improve your CTR
- Utilize the power of the number 10
- Design your own images and screw the stock photos
- End your blog posts with a question to encourage comments
- Build backlinks to your blog posts
- Embed videos in your blog posts to keep your readers interested
- Create a buyer persona and tailor your content
- Use internal and external links
- Match the user’s damn search intent
- Experiment with different kinds of infographics in your blog posts
- Write about something you love
- Spend the majority of your time on researching
Let’s jump straight in.
1. Use scannable formatting to improve readability
No one likes big, ugly blocks of text and that’s just a fact – even though the blocks of text are well-written and informative.
Short paragraphs and smart formatting are crucial. Take a look at how much easier it is to read shorter and more concise paragraphs.
As a general rule of thumb, paragraphs shouldn’t exceed 2-3 lines for optimal readability – though there’s a little wiggle room.
If you’re in doubt then take a look at Backlinko’s style of writing. Aim for that.
You should also break your work down into subheadings with several bulleted/numbered lists where appropriate.
This makes your blog post scannable and easy to judge whether or not the information it provides is useful and worth a read.
2. Write catchy headlines to improve your CTR
What if I told you that 57% of all your readers read nothing but your headlines? Would it surprise you?
In a research conducted by Optinmonster, they found that only 43% of all people skim the headlines in a blog posts rather than reading the entire post.
People want to know whether or not your blog post contains the information they’re looking for before spending time reading through the post.
That’s why your subheadings need to be catchy, informative, and clearly outline the benefits and solutions your blog post provides the reader.
But they also can’t be too long. It’s a tricky balance.
HubSpot recently conducted a research where they found that headlines with 14 words are shared most often on Twitter.
In most cases, relevant and useful subheadings are what urge people to hit your blog post and give it a read.
And there’s really no way you can pack in such relevance and information in a headline consisting of less than seven words.
3. Utilize the power of the number 10
BuzzSumo analyzed over 100 million articles and found that headlines that include the number 10 gets the most shares.
In fact, it gets four times as many shares on average than the second most popular list number which is 23.
You should definitely consider using the number 10 in your list posts next time you’re writing a blog post.
Oh, and BuzzSumo also found that list posts are some of the most shared types of blog posts. Might want to write more of those. FYI.
Checking the quality of your headline
Writing a killer headline for your blog post is challenging which is why I’m usually using a tool called Sharethrough.
It’ll serve you with a headline quality score as seen below.
When throwing your headline into the analyzer it’ll give you a headline quality score and give you a number of suggestions you can consider.
Don’t fully rely on the tool alone. There’s a reason I call it a tool.
Other tools you can use to analyze your headlines consists of:
However, I found Sharethrough to be the best.
4. Design your own images and screw the stock photos
Humans are naturally visual creatures and a pretty image garners more initial attention than a wall of text. I think you know what I’m talking about.
It goes without saying that it’s a lot easier and more entertaining to read a blog post with images than without.
And you could even go as far as designing your own images using Figma which I’ve been doing with a few of my blog posts.
I’m spending anywhere between 3 and 4 hours designing images for my blog posts. And I think it’s absolutely worth every hour.
I’ve tried a few editors and I’m sticking to Figma because it’s free, works on both Mac and Windows, and comes with a bunch of features.
If you’ve never used Figma before, take a look at Charli’s video below.
She’ll teach you the 101 of Figma and get you going in no time.
5. End your blog posts with a question to encourage comments
One blog post has 6 comments. The other post has 163 comments. Which one would you take a look at to know more about a specific topic?
Probably the 163-comment blog post, right?
What if I told you that 16% of all Neil Patel’s search traffic came from the comments on his 560 blog posts?
The reason being is that his blog posts are indexed based on the keywords that his readers are writing in their comments.
By asking a question at the end of your post you’ll encourage readers to leave a comment which will help your blog post rank on more keywords.
It doesn’t have to be a super technical question. A simple question such as “So, which hosting provider did you go with?” will suffice.
6. Build backlinks to your blog posts
Now, this isn’t exactly a tip to improve the actual content of your blog posts but rather an essential piece in the whole get traffic puzzle.
Joanne over at userP found that the first result on Google has an average of 3.8x more backlinks than the rest of the results on page 1.
That’s why it’s important to build backlinks through various link building techniques to drive traffic to your new blog posts.
Some of the most popular link building techniques include:
- Creating skyscraper content
- Guest blogging
- Broken link building
- Unlinked mentions
- Link reclamation
There are hundreds of ways to acquire backlinks but these are the ones I use on a regular basis and have found the most success with.
It’s tedious but building backlinks pays off.
7. Embed videos in your blog posts to keep your readers interested
Did you know that around 63% of 18 to 25 year olds want to see more video content in the future? That’s right. More video!
Even though creating your own videos would be ideal, you really don’t have to. Embedding a video from someone within your niche will suffice.
You could also go as far as promoting your blog posts with videos. In fact, 42% of high-earning bloggers use video to promote their blog posts.
Only 10% of low-earning bloggers do that. See the correlation?
High-earners are making more than $50.000/year and low-earners are making less than that.
If you want to make serious money from blogging, you might want to consider implementing video in your content marketing strategy.
8. Create a buyer persona and tailor your content
What if I told you that there’s a direct correlation between how wide your target audience is and how much money your blog makes?
You’d probably laugh at me, right? Well, think twice.
GrowthBadger conducted a survey where they found that blogs making more than $50.000/year were more likely to tailor their blog posts towards a narrower audience than blogs earning less than $50.000/year.
Lower-income bloggers are NINE times as likely to NOT know whether their content is tailored towards a narrow or wide audience.
In other words, if you don’t know who you’re writing for, you’re just flailing and your words won’t resonate with anyone.
The first step towards tailoring your content towards your ideal reader is to choose a narrow but profitable niche and stick to it.
Then create a persona using my buyer persona template. It’ll help you find out who your ideal reader is and let you tailor your content towards them.
9. Use internal and external links
If you don’t know what internal links and external links are, it’s time you figure out what the terms mean. It’s absolutely essential to nail.
An internal link is a link you place within your blog posts that links to one of your other blog posts (as I did with my buyer persona above).
And, as the name implies, external links are when you link to a website that isn’t your own within your blog posts.
Did you know that you’ll be able to increase the number of keywords your blog posts are indexed for just by mastering internal linking?
In fact, you’ll be able to increase your total keyword rankings by a whopping 129% just through internal link optimization.
If that didn’t blow your mind here’s another fun fact; almost 94% of all blog posts contains NO external links.
You might want to take a different approach considering the benefits of including lots of external links in your blog posts.
Including external links in your blog posts:
- Shows relevance
- Enhances your credibility
- Generates backlinks
- Boosts value for readers
Check out Shane’s blog post if you want to know more about the benefits of spraying in a few external links in your next blog post.
10. Match the user’s damn search intent
I see this lots of times. People write great blog posts but forget to account for the users search intent – and their content won’t rank well.
It’s pretty simple. Google has one goal; to serve the user with the most relevant content that matches their search query.
And they do that by looking at the intention behind your search – whether it’s transactional, informational, or navigational.
Before deciding on a focus keyword for your next blog post, run it through a Google search and see what type of content ranks the highest.
You want to match that – “but make it different” as Nathan would say.
If you want to rank for the keyword coffee mug and you’re writing a blog post about the 5 best coffee mugs in 2021, you won’t rank #1.
Not because your blog post isn’t great – I’m sure it is. But because when people usually search for coffee mugs it’s a transactional search intent and all they want is to buy a damn coffee mug.
When writing a blog post, ALWAYS keep the user’s search intent in mind!
11. Experiment with different kinds of infographics in your blog posts
Blog posts that include images (such as infographics) gets 650% more engagement than those without.
Like subheadings, infographics are a quick and easy way to get your desired information across. Designed well, an infographic can be extremely pleasing to look at too, and can even represent the style of your brand.
- Spooky infographics for a horror blog
- Cutesy infographics for a pet blog
- Academic infographics for an educational blog
It’s a fun and creative way to continue branding yourself, and they’re highly sharable as seen above. But that’s not all.
By simply including an infographic in your blog posts, you’ll be able to receive up to 12% more traffic. For every single blog post.
If that’s not enough reason to start implementing some infographics, I don’t know what is! But how the heck do you design an infographic?
Take a look at Orana’s blog post on how to design infographics. It’s great.
12. Write about something you love
You’ve probably already chosen your blogging niche. If you haven’t, then take a look at The 7 Best & Most Profitable Blogging Niches.
Chances are you’ve chosen a niche you love to write about. Great! If you don’t love your niche you’ll have a hard time writing lots of blog posts.
And your words will likely lack passion which will hurt your traffic.
Eventually, you’ll hate your job and isn’t that why you started your blog in the first place? So you don’t have to spend your precious time doing something you dislike?
13. Spend the majority of your time on researching
I’m going to make a statement.
The quality of your blog posts comes down to how much time you allocate to researching your given topic.
According to an Orbit survey, 33% of bloggers that spend more than 6 hours on a blog posts see strong results compared to only 25% of bloggers that spend less than 6 hours.
It’s NOT because they’re only writing 40 words/minute but because they’re spending the majority of their time on research when writing a blog post.
If I were to give you one tip on how to write a blog post that drives more traffic I’d suggest spending more time on research.
You should have a fairly good idea of how to write a blog post that actually turns heads by now. It’s time to go implement the tips.
The competition is indeed stiff, but it’s also true that there’s always room for another voice. With a solid SEO strategy and great content, you’ll succeed!
Blogs that stand out from the crowd have a few basic things in common:
- They are well-written
- They are aesthetically pleasing
- They are passionate and confidant in their niche
- They carefully and constantly study their target audience
- They offer valuable information
You get the idea.
There are thousands of blogs in existence, but not every single one is good. These tips are your stepping stones to creating an exceptional blog that stands out and offers the world something new.
So, it’s time to get blogging. Which tip are you implementing first?