Blog-writing tips and free template
How long should a blogpost be?
Blogging. It’s a great way to share your voice and your expertise. It’s a great way to become known for what you do and show up on search engines.
But even when you have a tonne of ideas for posts, producing and publishing consistently can be a challenge. In this article, I’m sharing a process that I use to create useful blogposts in a short space of time.
Grab a pen and paper and work along with this post.
Decide on the idea
First thing to do – write down the idea that’s on your mind that you’d like to publish in the coming days.
Then write down the one ‘key takeaway’ you’d like the reader to get from reading this post. What idea or concept do you want them to think about or understand?
We’re not getting into details yet. Just jot down some notes.
Remember who it’s for
I like to create blog posts that are specifically targeted to my ideal client and I aim to have a useful point for her. I also like it to sound natural and not too technical (even though I’m mostly talking about websites and online strategy).
My process goes a little like this:
- I do a really quick first draft
- Refine it
- Write a title
- Publish it!
But how long does a blog post need to be?
There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there about word count. Some say, write a long post because the search engines pick it up more easily. This is true. But the point of writing a good post is to get your ideal client to read it. So don’t write a long post just for the sake of writing a long post.
Some say, write a short post that is quick for the busy reader to get through. Again, this is not untrue. People browsing on phones can be easily distracted.
Basically, a post should be as long or short as it needs to be to get your point across and provide value to the reader. That can be anywhere between 500 to 3,000 words.
Write a really quick first draft (10 minutes)
Paragraph 1 (draft)
- What problem is this post solving?
- How does that problem often show up? What can you say here that will make your ideal client relate? The aim of this paragraph is to get readers to think: “This is for me.”
The core of the post (write quick notes)
- 3 key points that discuss the problem or steps towards a solution.
- Try to stick to 3 points if you can. If you can’t get it all covered in 3 points, consider if your topic is too broad. Or, think about breaking the post up into multiple posts.
Conclusion and call to action, where appropriate
What can you say to summarise? What action can you ask your reader to take?
And that’s your first draft. Really try to keep it to around 10 minutes to draft. We’re brainstorming here, details come in the rewrite.
Refine your notes
Now that you have your key points jotted down, go through it to make sure it all fits together properly and makes sense.
Try to avoid technical terms or concepts that your ideal client won’t understand. If you need to use technical terms and concepts, but sure to link out to explanations – on your site or on external sites.
Add the text to your notes
This is where the actual writing starts. Use your notes as the structure of your post and add text that make up your paragraphs. This is where your tone comes in. Be sure to remember who you’re writing for. Keep your ideal client front of mind. Write for them in the tone of voice you would naturally use if speaking with them.
Create a title
Now and only now, you can create a title. I leave it ’til last to decide on a title. Sometimes writing the post up properly will reveal some key aspect to the piece. Writing a title is important because it can make the difference between someone clicking in to read your post or not.
Think about posts that you see on your social feeds and on Google search. A good title creates a bit of curiosity that makes you want to click through and read it.
If your main visibility strategy is SEO, your title will need to include your keywords and phrases.
Prepare to publish
Lastly, you need to do a spell and grammar check, choose an image that represents your post and that will be used for social shares. It’s good to have a consistent style for your posts ‘featured’ images. That way people start to recognise your posts when they show up on social.
Then PUBLISH! And don’t forget to share on your key social platforms to get the traffic to the post moving.
I always have a running list of posts and videos that I want to make for my blog. I get a lot of inspiration from the questions that my clients ask. Idea generation is not a problem usually, it’s time! When I write, I need a block of uninterrupted time so that I can focus. With a busy work schedule (plus family life) uninterrupted time is a rare luxury. I developed this process so that I can create useful content for my readers, faster.
I hope it helps you to publish that idea this week.
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