How to Write a Blog Post: A Step-by-Step Guide

On the left, a typewriter, pencil, cup of coffee, and three scrunched-up sheets of paper. On the right, text says: How to write a killer blog post.

Writing blog posts is a stellar way to grow your web presence, drive traffic to your site, and convert visitors into customers.

But it ain't easy. Not unless you know what you're doing.

Fortunately, we have you covered. Here is our fail-safe, step-by-step guide to writing a blog post.

This is what we use to grow our blog traffic and reach new customers. Read on to learn how you can create business-boosting blog posts yourself!

Part 1: Keyword Research

Don’t let the term keyword (KW) research get the best of you. Even if research hasn’t really been your thing in the past, we promise following these steps will make it quick, easy, and much more profitable in the long run.

Step 1: Research Your Target Audience

Who is your target audience?

What questions are they asking?

What information do they need to perform a transaction?

These are just a few questions you should ask yourself about the audience you want to target. By taking the time to understand them and their needs, you'll be able to craft content that resonates and builds trust with them.

Step 2: Find Keywords

Use a free keyword research tool to find keywords relevant to your business.

Your keyword tool will show you which terms users are searching, including their total volume and frequency.

If you’re just starting out, choose mid-ranking keywords that are precise and specific. These ones tend to be less competitive—that is, they tend to be easier to rank for since fewer web pages are trying to rank for them. By using those mid-range keywords, you'll have a better chance of ranking well on Google and other search engines.

Step 3: Find Topics and Keywords Based on Your Audience's Needs

Understanding user’s search intent is the key to writing a successful blog post. The best way to do this is to pop your keywords into a Google search bar one at a time. Next, you’ll want to take a look at what pops up on the first page of the search results.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

If you see a lot of product listings, you’ll know that when users query this particular term, they are looking to purchase a product or component and are less likely to spend any time reading your blog post.

If you see a lot of informative blogs and company pages, you’re right on the money. When users query this keyword, they’re looking for more information, and this is where you can really shine with a well-written blog.

A word to the wise: If well-established brands have already covered this topic extensively, look for any information that’s missing. If you can’t contribute something new or fill searchers in on a missing answer to a burning question, it’s time to try targeting another keyword.

Do this for all the keywords you found to get a good sense of precisely what searchers are expecting.

Step 4: Find Out What Your Competitors Are Doing Right

Don’t be afraid to take a deep dive into what successful competitors are doing right.

This is a good indicator of what your target markets have come to expect from industry leaders.

Some things to consider include:

  1. How the page is presented, what the visuals and format are like, and the colors and palate that brand has chosen to represent themselves as they have built their online credibility into what it is today.
  1. The copy's voice, tone, and style will tell you a lot about how your target market likes to be addressed. It always pays to take note of this.
  1. The topics your competitors are covering will give you a good understanding of what kind of information your audience is after at each stage of their purchasing journey.

Part 2: Developing Your Blog Post Topic

We’ll just start this section by giving you a pro tip right out of the gate.

If you’re just new to blogging in your industry, avoid writing how-to posts until you’ve gained enough traction to be viewed as a knowledge leader.

Instead, focus on what types of fundamental problems you can solve and how you can do this better than the rest.

Some examples of different types of beginner level blog posts include:

  • Lists: 10 benefits of using long-tail keywords
  • Photo slides: 4 types of images for better blog presentation
  • News articles with verified facts: Studies show X amount of people prefer blog posts over 500 words
  • Collection: 10 of the best blogs on the internet

Step 1: Focus on Lower-Ranking Keywords to Start

While your goal will be to eventually compete for some of the higher-ranking keywords, it's a mistake to fly too close to the sun when you're just starting out.

We can't stress this enough.

Focusing on lower-ranking keywords, in the beginning, will build your brand's authority until you've built enough trust within your readership to be considered a knowledge leader.

That's the moment when you'll want to branch out to cover higher-ranking keywords.

 Step 2: An Outline will Help You Stay on Track

Develop a working outline during your research.

Not only will this help keep you on topic, but it will give your post structure and room for you to flesh it out with more substance.

Did we use an outline to create this post?

You bet we did!

Part 3: Begin Writing an Informed Blog Post

Now that you’re more familiar with the meat and potatoes of writing a well-informed blog post, you’ve done your research, and you’ve got a rough outline, you’re ready to start writing.

Let’s talk about the importance of writing an intro that hooks your audience into investing their time and energy into reading your post.

Step 1: Your Intro Should Captivate Your Audience

You’re going to want an intro that is captivating enough to hold your reader’s attention throughout the entire introduction.

If you don’t have this, you’ll lose them somewhere in the first few sentences, even if there is critical or really useful information written in your article below.

There are several proven recipes to writing a mind-grabbing intro.

Some of the most popular ways to connect with your audience during your intro are:

  • Start with a joke or a relatable story that makes them wonder what happens next
  • Pique your reader’s interest with a new fact or fresh statistics
  • Be empathetic to the reader to establish a connection that makes them feel like they can relate to you and the information you’re about to share

Step 2: Work and Re-Work Your Title as Your Article Takes Shape

If the name doesn’t fit by the time you’re finished, you can take another look at the message you’re conveying and then change the title to suit your purpose.

Just be sure your relevant keywords don’t get cut from the roster.

Following the steps outlined above will help ensure you’re putting your best foot forward as you make your blog part of your online marketing strategy and work to establish your brand’s presence and authority.

Did these tips give you the confidence you need to write an outstanding article? Tell us about your experience by dropping a few lines in the comments section below.

LinkNow: Your Source for Killer Content Marketing

Need help making your content stick? LinkNow is here to help. As North America's leading cost-effective digital marketing company, we develop conversion-driven content marketing campaigns that grow your web presence, create customer engagement, and transform your site into a lead-generating machine. With over 10,000 active clients, we are your source for quality leads and killer content.

To book a free consultation, call 888.667.7186, email, or leave a comment below.

John Wickham

Author: John Wickham

About John Wickham

John Wickham is Senior Content Writer and Strategist at LinkNow Media. An SEO expert, he writes to empower small-business owners by giving them the information they need to market themselves. His love of the written word is matched only by his love of ancient history, as well as the semi-colon.