I write blog posts 2-3 times per week for work, and I’ve learned a lot of great blog writing tips in the process. Knowing how to write blog articles in a way that drives traffic requires an understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tactics as well as knowing what it takes to create quality content. These blog writing tips will help you be better at both.
Since we started accepting guest blog posts at work, I’ve come to realize that there are good blog writers that understand content marketing, and there are blog writers that can write a decent article, but finding one that can do both isn’t as common. A decent article isn’t always all it takes for a search engine to consider it “quality content.”
Who Will Benefit from these Blog Writing Tips?
Guest bloggers, full-time bloggers and blog owners alike can benefit from my blog writing tips. Whether you’re a seasoned blog writer or just getting started, these tips will help you improve your articles, increase the amount of traffic they receive and keep blog owners and readers coming back for more. The best part is that once you get used to doing them, they’ll become second nature to your writing, saving you valuable time.
As a Guest Blogger, Why Should I Care About Writing for Better SEO?
Guest bloggers should care about good SEO just as much as blog owners do. After all, it’s the content that drives the traffic.
Properly structured, quality content attracts more traffic and in turn provides more opportunities to gain followers and more chances for engagement and sharing. And that’s a good thing! My blog writing tips are easy to follow, and I guarantee that the time spent doing them is well worth it.
Now, on to the Blog Writing Tips
1. Choose a focus term or phrase
Pick one key phrase/term/word as the focus of the article. Ideally, the term or phrase you choose should be something that users might search on to find your article. The more times the term or phrase is used in a search, the more chances you have of driving some traffic. Don’t make the term too broad, however. You want to attract targeted traffic, and your blog topic needs to be relevant to those that may find it in a search result, or the search engines will penalize you. If your blog post is a longer one, you may need to select more than one focus term or phrase. I aim for one primary phrase per 500-600 words. So if your blog post is 700-and-some-odd-words long, you may want to use two focus terms or phrases throughout the article.
2. Use your focus word or phrase in your title
Use your selected phrase/word near the beginning of the blog post title. The earlier it appears in the title, the better. Also, keep your titles to 10-75 characters at a max. I have noticed even better results when I keep my titles to a max of roughly 55 characters. Be precise and to the point.
3. Use your focus term or phrase in your opening paragraph
Placement of your focus term is critical. Google is essentially a robot. It scans content and tries to grasp the focus or the point of the content using its sophisticated algorithms, looking for patterns and repeated thoughts. We can help search engines by providing queues within our content. Always use your focus term within the first sentence of your opening paragraph. If you have more than one focus term or phrase, try to use one or all of them as early in the paragraph as possible. But make sure it is readable and sounds legitimate. Never sacrifice quality for SEO spamming.
4. Break up your content with lists or short paragraphs
Forget what you learned in high school. Blog posts should be written in a way that they can easily be digested. Use shorter paragraphs. One to two sentences is sometimes enough. Break up thoughts into bulleted lists. Number sections or ideas to provide high points at a glance and to help keep readers interested.
5. Scatter your focus term or phrase throughout your article
For a focus term to be seen as a “focus” by Google, it needs to appear throughout your article 5 or more times. Don’t go overboard and plaster it everywhere. The article shouldn’t sound like spam or look like it was written strictly for SEO. Your readers are still the number one audience. Always write for readers first, then tweak your content for search engines.
6. Use your focus term or phrase in a sub-header
Use your focus term or phrase in an H2 – H6 tag somewhere in your article. I prefer to stick with H2 and H3 tags and rarely use anything beyond that. This tip relates to providing the queues that search engines look for when determining the focus and quality of your content.
7. Bold your focus term or phrase
I tend to bold the first sentence of my opening paragraph because it most often contains my focus term or phrase. Doing so emphasizes my point and stresses my focus. Bold your focus term or phrase for emphasis throughout your blog article. Just don’t bold every instance of the term. Again, we want to avoid looking like SEO spam. Google won’t appreciate the spam approach and neither will your readers.
I also tend to bold related or similar terms or phrases throughout my article if it seems relevant.
8. Write your opening paragraph as a summary
Clearly state the topic you will be covering as well as points for why people might be interested to read the entire article. If you think about it, most RSS readers or blogs show the title and the first 150-200 words of the article before providing a link to the full post. I view my opening paragraph like a 60-second elevator pitch scaled down to about 2-3 seconds of skimming. Make your intentions and the benefits to your reader clear. Skip the babbling.
9. Include a value proposition in your headline
Whenever possible, tell the reader how your post will help them. Entice them to read it by telling them what they’ll gain from it – Will they save money? Will they do something faster or better? Will they improve something? Numbers in headlines are also great attention grabbers – top 5 reasons, 3 things to avoid, save 10 minutes, 10 essential products, etc.
10. Incorporate 1-3 relevant images
Each blog post should contain 1-3 related pictures or a video. Always create alt tags or captions that include your focus term/phrase. Keep in mind that image captions are read more often than body content, so use them wisely to emphasize key points. Be sure to reference the image source if it’s not yours too. Never claim someone else’s work or images as your own.
That’s it! If you follow the above blog writing tips, you will see increased traffic and be writing better quality content. Once you get the hang of these ten tips, you’ll be doing them without even thinking about it which will improve your consistency and formatting structure as well. You’ve got nothing to lose by following these tips. Give it a try!
Do you have other blog writing tips? Use the comment section below to share. I’d love to hear about them!