I have been writing blog articles for 4 years now. And in the last year, my articles got over 3.94 million views. Yes, millions. I was also a guest writer featured in the top 100 Social Media blogs, including Neal Schaffer, Jeff Bullas and Social Media Today. Naturally, it wasn’t easy to get here. But as the perfectionist that I am, I don’t shy away from putting in a lot of effort into refining my writing process.
Today, I want to share it all with you hoping it will help you improve your writing too.
How to Write for a Blog?
Let’s talk about what the purpose of writing a blog article is.
If you already know, you can skip this part. But you may find it useful to revisit the purpose of writing a blog. There are many different types of blog posts: checklists, articles, case studies, step-by-step guides, product reviews, and so on.
But my favourite way to classify blogs is based on the user intent.
- Informational – The user is searching to learn a new skill, solve a problem or find out more information about a product.
- Navigational – The user searches for specific brands and websites.
- Transactional – The user is prepared to buy a product and is looking for the check-out page
Here are my 6 steps for writing articles together with the tools that help me in each step along the way.
Step 1: Research & Keyword Ideas.
I always start my writing process by searching for keyword ideas.
This may come in as a surprise for some of you – Spoiler – I don’t just happen to have divine inspiration. My articles are super well researched and intentional. Otherwise, I would be writing about stuff that is meaningful to me but not to anyone else. Let’s save those thoughts for my personal journal instead.
Luckily, there are several really good keyword research tools to help me come up with ideas. I use a combination of Ubersuggest, Google trends and SEMrush to find low competition keywords for whichever niche I am writing for. Honestly, I would not be able to write articles without these tools.
So, let’s say I want to write an article on “coffee”, the first thing I’ll do is use Ubersugges to find out keyword ideas. I usually filter these ideas by difficulty (low: 0-30) and I will look at the common questions people ask.
Parameters I look at before choosing a keyword:
- Keyword difficulty: 0-30 lower is easier to rank
- Search volume: 1,000-10,000 lower is easier to rank
- Cost per Click: higher is better (more advertising value)
- Keyword intent: informational, transactional, navigational (match user’s intent with your article)
Step 2: The Outline.
The outline is a point form structure of the article I am planning to write. It always includes the following:
- Working title (Don’t worry about this one now, we’ll refine it once the content is done)
- Introduction (This is your hook. Very important. What is the reader going to get by finishing your article.)
- Main points (For a 500-word article, I would include 3 points or steps. For 1000-word articles 5-6 main points)
- Conclusion (Don’t forget to wrap up your articles with a call-to-action)
- Links (Have an idea of what external & internal links will be added to your article)
The tools that help me outline my articles are the Notes app which I use both on my iPhone and MacBook. But a good old paper-based notebook never failed me either. I prefer to scribble my ideas and random thoughts in a notebook and then transfer it digitally.
Step 3: Draft.
The draft is an expansion of the outline. This is where I start adding words and making the points into sentences. I usually treat this writing stage as the part where I’m telling a story to a friend, using language that is simple, straight to the point and gives “value” to the reader.
Bonus tip: Don’t forget who you’re writing your articles for. It’s easy to start rambling about yourself and lose people’s interest. That’s why in the following stage I make sure to cut the fluff out.
The tool I use for this stage is Google Docs. Free, easy to use and simple to integrate with Grammarly.
Step 4: Edit.
As I already hinted above, after I write the draft, I will use tools to edit, proofread and improve my text. I love using Grammarly to correct misspellings and the Hemingway app to make sentences shorter and easy to read. This not only improves readability but also plays a role in SEO.
Some tips I follow for editing:
- Remove fluff words (actually, really, eventually, as such, etc.)
- Keep sentences and paragraphs short. No longer than 3-5 sentences in a blob of text.
- Use words like “you, me, we” to create a personal connection with the reader
- Add bullet points, images, and emojis to make the text easier to skim
- Split the text into different tiers using H2, H3 .. H5 headlines
- If the text is too long, add a table of content at the top of the article
Step 5: SEO Optimisation.
An SEO tool is crucial for anyone writing blog articles. The two tools I use and highly recommend are AIO SEO and YOAST plug-ins for WordPress.
These tools can help guide you step-by-step to optimize your articles for search engines and improve them from title to images and links.
Would highly recommend the free versions.
Step 6: Publish.
The final step is to publish the article. I use WordPress as my blogging software and after checking my SEO score one final time, I will schedule the blog post. You can also post manually, but I like to have things organized in advance. That’s mainly because I use email marketing and social media posts to drive more attention and readers to my blog, so I prefer to have these tools in sync.
Conclusion. My 6-step Writing Process.
That being said, I feel like I’m still just starting my writing journey. I often have days when I feel uninspired or can’t find the motivation to write something. Anything at all. And that’s okay. Sometimes we need a break.
But I am constantly reading and finding ways to improve my writing process. If you know of any tools or tips, let me know in the comments.
If you want to get in touch with me for writing some blog articles for your business, you can check out my services page.