When it comes to getting found, telling your story, and all-around adding to the bottom line, you need to write consistently for your audience. It would be best if you answer the question and not just write to write. Write multiple articles for your website with new ones posted consistently. You write dozens, even hundreds of blog articles to get your information out there.
Most blog articles that I read do not answer the question I am trying to find an answer to, so we've done some research to determine what makes a great blog post and what is needed for it to rank well on the search engines. Let's look into what an excellent article is and how you can write a blog article that ranks well and answer the intended question.
Create a Topic List
Every month you should sit down and create a list of article topics you feel your audience needs answered. The list should also be a "living" list, which means you are keeping it updated. Moving your topics around, adding, and removing articles that are no longer relevant is vital.
As you write your new articles, remove that topic from your list. As you are writing, if you think of new ideas, add them to your topic list.
Each of the topics you write in this list should have three to seven titles for the article. You will use one of these titles for the current problem you are answering, and the rest for future articles.
If there are notes for a topic that you want to talk about adding them under the talking topic to help streamline and speed the creation of the article you are doing.
By having your topic, your titles, and any notes related to the topic written down, you will reduce the time it takes to get into a writing mode.
Research Your Topic
The first item, once you sit down to start writing, is research your topic. You may already know parts of what you will be writing about, but maybe not everything. Take the time to get the necessary information so that you provide value to your reader.
Unless you are the expert on a specific topic, do not come across as the expert. It is best to present yourself as a person that has done all of this considerable research that you were looking to solve this question for yourself and have chosen to provide this valuable knowledge for everyone else that has the same problem.
By showing you are just like them, you are more likely to appeal to them. You are also writing in a more conversational tone, which will help you rank better with the search engine.
By not being the expert rather than writing one article you can write an entire series of articles that builds off of the other. An expert article, or pillar type post, is more encompassing.
Types of blog post formats
Before you begin writing you need to define the type of post you will be writing. Longer posts will perform better than shorter ones. As you write your articles for your website you should have them split evenly in the following three formats.
- Response Post - These are the posts that most of your articles should be. They are around 1,000-2,000 words long. They answer specific questions that you feel your customers want to know. This article you are reading is a response post article. If we had to write any type this would be the main type we would write. We prefer to split them evenly though. The reason we love response posts is they answer a specific, not multiple, question. Response posts help us win answer snippets within Google.
- Staple Post or How-to Article - These are your shorter 900-1,250-word articles. These are fun, sweet, and to the point. These are often the one's that people will share the most of all your posts. Staple posts will be short
- Pillar Post or Definition Article - These are your foundational posts that you intend to help set your website as a knowledgeable source on a topic for that last the test of time. A pillar post is over 3,000 words long. Pillar posts have a lot of details, research, references, videos, and as much detail as you can find. Pillar posts can take days to write compared to a staple or response post.
Structure of your blog
Knowing the above information will allow you to write the proper type of post. The structure of your post should be in the following format to achieve the best results for your readers.
- First Sentence - The first sentence should explain what your article is about, utilize the core keyword that you want to target, and try and build a connection with your audience. Your first paragraph is often the description for your Google search result and should be short, concise, and to the point.
- Answer Paragraph - Your answer paragraph will be three to four sentences long, often bolded, and is the answer to what the person is looking for at a 30,000-foot level that makes your reader want to read the rest of your article.
- Create your sub-headings - Once you have your first sentence and answer paragraph written you will create three to five sub-headings that will help you further complete the rest of your article.
- Main Post Image - It's time for that one image that defines your post. If someone sees the title of your post and the image it should make the person want to go further. If it doesn't you are missing the mark on bringing the person into your journey.
- Supporting Images - These images are optional and only included if they add value. If you can get your message across without them do not include them.
As you write in the above article structure, you will start to notice that you start winning snippets. It is this consistency and style that will get your brand seen for the keywords you want.
Tips and Tricks
- Answer Paragraph - When writing your answer paragraph, it is a great idea to state some of the following so that you don't come across as the definitive expert but a person at their level.
- I researched this...
- I've wondered this...
- Article Length - As you write you will find that the longer your article is the more likely it will rank better.
- Going back rather than creating new - Often we find it better to go back to a ranking article and update the information than writing a new article that has never ranked. The url you will not change. You will update it with the most relevant information. Do not want to include items like month or year in the url of your article.
- Re-read what you've written - At the end of your writing take a step back from publishing and read your article. Not in your head either! You want to read your article you've written out loud. Find a quiet corner if you have to. When you read in your head it may sound perfectly but when you read out loud areas that don't sound as well as they should will show themselves.
- Link to Internal Pages - If your post ties into other topics you've written you want to link to those articles.
- Keywords - You should write your article to only one keyword. If you want to tackle multiple keywords you should write multiple articles.
- Google My Business – Upload a snippet of your article to your Google My Business page with a direct link to your blog article. This will not only get Google to index your page faster but also Google will see it as more credible.