You write a blog post, hit the publish button, and then no one reads it. The problem isn’t necessarily your writing. It doesn’t mean that people don’t like you. It just means that your content likely isn’t optimized to be found.
So in this article, I’m going to show you how to write a blog post that drives consistent readers to your blog that you probably should be getting.
Today, I want to help you clear the confusion and turn that blank screen into an absolutely epic blog post that:
- People want to read
- Attracts the target audience you want
Now, rather than focusing on subjective techniques like writing style, I’m going to show you how to build a consistent stream of readers with strategic topic selection and workflows.
Let’s get to it!
First, I want to give you an idea of what consistent readership looks like and what it definitely does not look like.
In order to get readers, you need to get traffic. They are essentially the same thing.
But the way you get traffic to your website will vary. For example, I’m sure you have seen multiple traffic source channels in your analytics platform like organic search, social, direct, and referral traffic.
All of these people fall into different buckets in terms of how they discover and consume content on your website. You might also be using paid ads or email marketing to send readers to your posts.
These are all good but paid traffic is only good for as long as you’re willing to pay.
The same goes for your email list. You blast out an email, then the traffic fades into nothing after a while.
Now, what about social? Same thing! You might get some nice spikes in traffic, but that will likely drop back to normalcy.
Organic traffic on the other hand can produce the opposite effect. Free, passive, and hopefully growing traffic that doesn’t fade over time.
Now, I am not telling you to stop sending emails to your list or reduce your PPC ad spend. What I want you to take away from these examples is that billions of people are searching for informational content.
And if you have a blog, you should make its purpose to satisfy the needs of searchers and in return, get the traffic you deserve.
With that said, let’s jump into the steps required to write a blog post that actually gets traffic.
Step #1 Find topics that actually generate search traffic
The most common problem I see with new bloggers is that they write self-centered posts.
There’s nothing wrong with creating content about what you ate for breakfast. But it’s all about how you frame it.
For example, if I had a recipe blog, how many people do you think would search for, “what did Ali eat for breakfast today?” No one!
People go to Google for solutions to their problems. So as you generate topics to write about, you should focus on the reader, rather than yourself.
Here’s an example: Rather than creating a post called “My kids love these homemade chocolates”, go with a more helpful approach like “How to make homemade chocolates that your kids will love”.
This is just an educated guess based on what I think people would be searching for.
But you can actually find how many people are searching for any keyword. Here comes the role of keyword research tools. They will be your best friends as a blogger.
Recommended: The 6 Best Keyword Research Tools: Free and Paid
Let us use SEMrush for finding the search volume of a keyword.
Just go to the SEMrush Keyword Magic tool and type in your keyword. Suppose I search for “make homemade chocolates”, you can see below all the results I got along with important metrics like Search volume, Keyword difficulty, and Keyword intent (next topic).
This way you can actually find what people are actually searching for and what is trending.
You can also filter keywords if you want to find, let’s say, keywords that are easy to rank for.
- Just set the keyword difficulty as Easy. Look what I found.
A lot of keywords that match your topic and have a keyword difficulty of as low as 22 which is very easy. It would be smart to target such keywords.
This is just one keyword. You can also find hundreds of other keywords for your niche. Just enter a more generic keyword related to your niche such as “chocolates“. Let’s see what we get!
We got a lot of interesting topics like “chocolate chip cookie recipe”, “chocolate cake recipe”, “hot chocolate”, etc. Keyword research tools make it a lot easier to find topics that people are searching for.
Another helpful technique is to find what your competitors are ranking for and then try to create content around these topics too.
- Just enter your competitor’s domain in the Domain Overview tool of SEMrush (shown below).
NOTE: Your competitors are the top sites that appear in search results upon searching for a keyword of your niche.
- Scroll down a little and access the Top Organic Keywords report.
This will show all the keywords that your competitor is ranking for along with ranking positions, traffic, search volume, etc. If you are in the cakes niche, then “what is icing sugar” can be a suitable keyword you can target.
Step #2 Assess search intent
Search intent represents the reason behind a searcher’s query and assessing the search intent is a crucial step when you want to write a blog post.
For example: If someone searches for “how to make chocolates“, what do you think they want to see? Probably recipes right?
But what if someone searches for the query, “microwave oven“? What are they looking for? Do they want to buy one? Read reviews? Or something entirely different?
The good news is that search intent is really easy to identify. All you have to do is search for the keyword you want to rank for in Google and the search results will reveal the searcher’s intent.
Just look at the top-ranking sites. If the top-ranking sites are “how-to guides“, then the searcher’s intent is to seek some information; if the top-ranking sites are E-commerce product pages, then the search intent is to buy something; and if they are product reviews, then the search intent is to make an informed decision before buying anything.
SEMrush can also show you the searcher’s intent behind any keyword.
Let us again search for “chocolates“. You will see a column where you will find the intent of the keyword.
The keyword chocolate has the intent as C which stands for Commercial. That means the searcher wants to buy chocolate. The intent behind “chocolate chip cookies” is “I” which stands for informational, which means the searcher wants to gain some information on chocolate chip cookies such as recipes, nutritional facts, etc.
One important thing that falls under search intent is “Content Angle”. A content angle is often depicted in the titles of blog posts as the benefit of why someone should click and read the article.
For example, let’s search for “how to make pancakes?”. The results are shown below.
You can see in the image above that there are different angles in different posts such as Fluffy pancakes, Easy pancakes, and Basic pancakes.
Generally speaking, you don’t want to stray too far from the angle that the top 10 results are taking, but note that angles will vary from topic to topic.
Just to show you how important this step is, let’s type “Mobile friendly test” into Google.
Immediately you’ll see that the search results are dominated by online tools to check the mobile-friendliness of a website.
If you don’t have a similar page on your website, you probably shouldn’t target the keyword because your chances of ranking will be slim to none.
Step #3 Write a data-driven outline
If you are looking for an answer to the question “how to write a blog post”, then a data-driven outline is a must. A data-driven outline of your entire post might sound strange, but hear me out. A page doesn’t rank for just one keyword.
In fact, studies show that on average, the #1 ranking page also ranks for nearly a thousand other keywords.
So when you are creating your outline, it will pay to know which other keywords you can include in your posts. Creating an outline makes sure that you are covering the important topics and also helps you to write your post fast and efficiently.
Just search for your keyword in SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool and look for different topics about your niche. Let’s take the example of “how to make pancakes” again.
When I searched for it, I got a lot of interesting topics like “how to make pancakes mix”, “how to make pancake batter”, “how to make pancakes without baking powder”, and “how to make pancakes fluffy”.
Now you don’t want to stuff these keywords in your posts without making sense. Rather think of these keywords as subtopics.
You can also use them to solidify the angle you want to choose for your post. So your outline can look like this (below)
See how I have included the important keywords in subtopics. Also, make sure to add bullet points below each subtopic so that you stay on track while you actually write the post.
Step #4 Write your first draft
Now, the purpose of this step isn’t to write a perfect blog post that everyone’s going to love. It’s to get your thoughts on screen and into full sentences.
To write a blog post isn’t something you can finish off in one go. You need to make a draft first.
If you have created a detailed outline, it’s just a matter of looking at your bullet points and making them flow together.
This is the trick I use that works particularly well for me.
You set a 25-minute timer and a goal you want to achieve in that time.
For example, my average typing speed is around 110 words per minute. But since blogging requires more critical thinking than just typing, I’ll set my goal to 20% efficiency. So this translated into around 550 words every 25 minutes.
The key to success using this technique while writing blog posts is to not hit back the backspace button because of spelling mistakes or to rewrite your sentence 15 times before you find the perfect phrasing.
After your first 25 minutes are up, take a 3-5 minute break and rinse and repeat until complete.
This step is all about efficiency and you don’t want to do anything that would stop you from reaching your goal.
Step #5 Edit your draft
From my experience, it’s best to take time away from your piece before editing it.
There are usually two parts to this.
The first is to fix spelling and grammatical issues. This is pretty straightforward and tools like Grammarly can help ease the process.
The second part is to make sure that your blog post flows and provides value to readers.
Common blogging advice is to “write as you speak”, so reading your post out loud as you edit can definitely give some perspective.
If you find that it sounds unnatural, robotic, or whatever, then make edits where needed. Remove anything that’s fluffy, or add bits and pieces to provide additional clarity or evidence.
One tool I recommend is Hemingway Editor. Just paste your post in there and it’ll give you a readability grade. A general rule of thumb is to aim for 6-grade level readability. This will ensure that your blog posts are easy to read and understand.
Step #6 Get honest feedback
This is one of the most critical steps to write a blog post. If you have a team of yours, then this task becomes very easy and effective. For each blog post you write, ask your team members to provide feedback, question any claims, and offer suggestions where relevant.
If you don’t have a team, ask your colleagues, friends, or whoever to review your content, so you can consistently produce your best stuff.
Step #7 Create your final draft
By this time, all feedback should have been given. It’s now your job to take that feedback and make decisions on what goes in the final version and what’s not.
Go through each touch point, and once all points have been resolved, you just need to do one final read-through.
Then, upload, publish, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
How To Write A Blog Post That Actually Gets Traffic: Final Thoughts
Blogging can help you build brand awareness, become a thought leader and expert in your industry, attract qualified leads, and boost conversions.
To write a blog post is no rocket science. But it sure requires some detailed research and analysis before you start to write anything.
Finding the right keywords is the key. Also, properly assess the search intent behind keywords before selecting any.
If you follow the steps I discussed above, then you are ready to publish wonderful posts and enhance your blog today.
If you found the article helpful, consider sharing it with your friends and the people you think might benefit from it.
Wish you all the best!
Ali is a passionate and experienced blogger with a mission to teach others how to start their own blog, monetize it, and become successful in the process. He shares the lessons he’s learned on his own journey through personal anecdotes and factual examples.