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How To Write A Blog Post: A Tried and Tested Technique

how to write a blog postA guest post by my colleague, Ivan Bayross

On multiple occasions at the WordPress meetups I attend, or in other informal blogging groups, I get questioned about how I write my blog posts.

The how to write blog posts query comes to me in different ways, such as:

  • How do you write your blog posts?
  • What’s the best way to write posts that get attention?
  • Can you recommend a good way to write blog posts?
  • Where do you get your inspiration for such great post content?

Apparently these how to write blog posts queries are coming from enthusiastic, but new bloggers, who can create amazing content on their pet topic(s) but are not very computer proficient.

The truth to be told I’m sometimes surprised at the number of times I've been asked to share:

  • If I had a specific structure of a good blog post
  • Tips on writing great posts

And so on…

So I thought I’d create my own blog post on this subject, so that everyone who reads this post could benefit a wee bit. (Yes, I know I’m crafty).

I Use a Desktop Editorhow-to-start-a-blog

While there are a ton of excellent free editors available which can be used within a blog site's Admin panel, I've experienced a bit of frustration when I've created my masterpiece of a blog post only to lose it all because my Internet service provider decided that it would be a good thing for my soul to crash my work.

Didn't happen to you? Awesome. BTW, there is something called the law of averages, but I digress.

I use a desktop editor, there are several of these available today, MS Word, Open Office Writer, Abiword, Jarte and more. If you are keen, do a search in Google for the phrase: Free MS Word Alternatives and you will be pleasantly surprised at what shows up. Just take your pick if you really do not like Word or do not want to buy it.

Me, Oh I use MS Word happily when I’m in the mood to type out my blog post. That said, I use Dragon Naturally Speaking when I’m in the mood to dictate my blog post and Word does the heavy lifting for me, which is most of the time really. I've been using DNS for a heck of a long time now and DNS has learned to understand my Indian English accent, hooray! Yep, DNS interfaces with Word pretty well.

I create my blog post content offline, and only when I’m happy with the result do I get into "the lets upload this post to my blog site" mode.

What I Use As a Blog Post Workflow

To create a great blog post I have defined a workflow for myself as follows:

  • I decide a blog post topic to write on. (Largely based on my passion at the moment)
  • I spend about an hour or two doing some research on Google identifying the kind of keywords people use on the Internet when they are searching for the kind of content I've decided to write about.
  • Hallelujah for the historic data available via the Google Keyword research tool. I gather my bunch of keywords in a nice Excel spread sheet.
  • Then I sit down to write the post content.

First off, I choose a nice selection of keywords (one to three tops) to include in my blog post title. Having sensible keywords in a post title is something important that my guru taught me a long time ago and, it works.

Then I zero in on another group of keywords (three to five tops) that will be used within my content in the most natural way possible.

Next I decide under which Category (or categories) I’m going to release my post under. I generally post under at least two or three categories. BTW, I've hosted my own blog site using WordPress.

I select a nice bunch of keywords to use as Tags for my post.

Then I write a great description on the value my post will bring to its readers in 155-160 characters. Yes, I do perform miracles on occasion.

All of this is driven by my deep-seated fear of my blog posts being ignored by Google due to no description or a lousy description, forcing Google to choose its own description from within my blog post content.

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Then I decide on where to acquire a few great images to spruce up my post. I try my very best to use images that are copyright free to use. Or else I buy them from a very modestly priced website where I have a yearly subscription. As far as possible, I give credit to whoever created the images.

Finally I sit down to craft the actual content itself.

Ensure You've Hosted Your Own Blog Site

Please buy a domain name for your site. Then host your own blog using WordPress. There are really a ton of very modestly priced hosting companies which hire out terrific assets for a monthly fee that ranges from $5 to $10.

I have more than one site. They are all individually hosted and have their own site names. If you want to be taken seriously as a blogger, then avoid putting up your blog posts on free blogging platforms such as Blogger, WordPress.com or others.

I constantly keep hearing horror stories about how bloggers lost their entire body of work overnight because they broke some obscure hosting rule and the blog site just deleted their blog completely. Don’t let that happen to you. It’s always sad when you lose a body of work irrespective of how valid (or invalid) the reason(s) are.

Publishing Your Blog Postshow-to-start-a-blog

Since the blog post content is ready by now (hopefully), it’s time to publish the post on the site.

Log in to your WordPress Admin panel. Click the link to create a new post. The WordPress editor should be displayed in your browser. 

What I normally do is copy and paste the title of the blog post from my desktop editor into the title area of WordPress. Then immediately Save the post as a draft. This helps make sure that when WordPress creates the URL for the blog post, it will use the blog post title.

NOTE: WordPress allows you to edit all blog post URLs freely. Having this facility is great to make sure that your blog post URL has the right keywords within it."

Next, I copy the body text of my post into the blog content area. Then I do whatever formatting is required for the textual content of my blog post.  i.e. Bold face, italicize, underline important stuff, change font-size and/or color, add sub-heads and so on. I also keep saving my work regularly.

When my blog post content is set up as I want it, I upload my images to the WordPress Media Manager area. From the WordPress Media Manager, I insert these images into my content exactly where I want them. I always caption my images.

When done, I proof read my post content at least twice.  You may be amazed at how many howlers I've fixed at the last minute. Ah well, never said I was perfect.

Then I:

  • Set the categories that the blog post will be bound to
  • Add the tags chosen earlier
  • Copy and paste the description I had so thoughtfully created earlier in the work flow
  • Click "Publish"

OR

  • Schedule the post for publishing at a later time

And I’m done. 

What’s comes next is that I simply follow the very same work flow for my next blog post. (I really need to get a life).  Hang on a sec, this is the life I chose and truth be told, right now I’m enjoying this.

In Conclusion

If you liked this blog post, I’d love to read your comments. If you know or use any other techniques to write a blog post, then please mention in the comment section below. 

Ivan Bayross is a techno geek author who has published more than 63 books. He advises business organizations on how to use the Internet and Digital Marketing to increase their profits. You can reach him at OpenSourceVarsity which offers a ton of free tutorials.

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31 comments on “How To Write A Blog Post: A Tried and Tested Technique”

  1. I love your strategy, and it makes so much more sense than just writing about whatever tickles our fancy at that very moment and publishing without giving due regard to the back-end work which will make the post fly. Great tips, thank you.

  2. Hi Ivan! Hi Sue!

    The most brilliant tip here is composing offline. If I had a penny for each time my browser did the good-for-soul-crashing routine, I'd have a "mountain of money piled up to my chin" (Eurhythmics). So rather than mess with the ISP's whims, I learned long ago to compose offline. OneNote is great (Microsoft) as it keeps autosaving and doesn't hold me hostage like MS Word can sometimes do!

    I really must check out DNS - it fascinates me - I know I cannot type as fast as I can think.

    And self-hosting is the only way to go. In my 11+ years of blogging, I actually moved to self-hosting only 3-4 years back because the thought of losing 3 blogs was enough to give me apoplexy.

    😀 Loved the post, as you can tell!

    I just took a quick look at your website and realized I must spend a few hours there. Off to explore!

    Thank you, Sue! ?

    1. Hi, Vidya,

      I just bought Dragon Naturally Speaking and love it. It's great on days you are tired of typing.

      Thanks for coming by, reading & commenting!
      Sue

      1. Do let me know how you fared with DNS Sue.

        My experience has been that I had to plod with DNS for a little bit (about 3 months) at the start.

        I used to read to DNS everyday until DNS began to understand me correctly.

        I also use a Plantronics (Voyager Pro) BT headset with DNS so that I'm not tied to my laptop via cables.

        I love to walk about when I write (dictate to DNS).

  3. Hi Johanna,

    I'm glad you liked the my work flow for crafting a great Blog post.

    Oh! I completely agree with you when you say:

    Quote:

    it makes so much more sense than just writing about whatever tickles our fancy at that very moment and publishing

    UnQuote

    Here is a tip. I spend sometime in a day on Buzzsumo.com. This website delivers a deep in-sight into what kind of content, based on a specific topic, is trending in the Blogosphere today.

    If you search for topic(s) in which you are skilled, there is a ton of really useful info available for free.

    I try really hard to craft my Blog posts based in such input.

    Then I'm pretty sure that I'm delivering material that a ton of people in my niche are interested in reading rather than just what tickling my fancy right now.

    I've had some pretty interesting response to my Blog posts using this technique.

    Give it a whirl, you maybe pleasantly surprised with the results.

    Ivan Bayross

  4. Hi Ivan,

    Just a very quick but very grateful thank you from me - a real newbie.

    Most appreciative of your clear, concise guidance. I will keep and study. Thank you.

    Please accept my warm regards.

    1. HI Zarayna,

      I'm glad you found this Blog post useful. Thank you for your kind words. Enjoy the day its going to be great one.

      Ivan Bayross

  5. Hey Ivan Bayross and Sue Anne,

    Its great to revisit your highly clean and beautiful blog.

    Many thanks for giving Ivan the opportunity to write this post about how to write a blog post.

    I think everyone is usually found in this problem when it comes to blogging. Its not perculiar to only the newbies alone.

    I do use all the tips you shared on this article. Its only "Dragon" application that you mentioned that i have not tried out my hands since i started blogging.

    Just to add more value to the article, anytime am writing my blog post, i have a notebook for structuring the content of my article.

    Once i have decided on the title i'm to use for my article, i have to outline what is to be written in the main content. Once i finish the introduction, i would insert the outlines and end it with a conclusion.

    As for the images i use on my blog, i use Canva. Which website do you use for buying images for your blog?

    Thanks for writing this and have a nice day ahead.

    -Oloyede Jamiu

  6. Sue, you are doing great job here. The site is great and their is no distraction of pop-ups adverts which can easily chase readers out of your blog.

    Second i will like to say kudos to your for allowing Ivan Bayross, to guest post on your blog.

    You nailed it down with awesome strategy on how to write awesome post with tested techniques.

    1. Thanks, Olayinka,

      I'm happy that my Guest Blog post was useful to you.

      I'm also grateful to Sue for taking a risk on me and publishing my Guest Blog post. Thanks for your kindness Sue.

      Ivan Bayoss

  7. great post-- seems like I have been writing my posts backwards! ( starting with copy ending with description!) I like your workflow. Your blog is quickly becoming part of my must read list. particularly liked the pod cast last week. I love actionable steps.

  8. Hey Ivan and Sue,

    Starting with you Ivan, you have done a wonderful work writing this article. This is a one in town article as it usually hard seeing it everywhere!

    When it comes to writing a blog post so much work need to be done. I usually don't rush this because once I hit the publish button I have sent out a message to the world about who I am or what I do. I like all the strategies you discussed here and most importantly is writing the post offline. As I was reading through I saw what you preach at work, I mean reading this post shows you are actually practicing what you preach!

    One thing I don't joke with is post titles. In fact I can take hours to think of a post title especially when it comes to writing a post I want people's attention, I take my time brainstorming on what title that will be catchy enough to make people click on seeing it. Adding keyword(s) to post titles is also another big strategy and I like that you have this as a strategy too.

    Ivan, I have really grabbed new and awesome blog post writing strategies from you and I have Sue to thank for giving the opportunity to share with us. Thank you.

    To Sue, it's my first visit to your blog and I have Enstine Muki to thank for that! I read his article which introduced you to his blog community. Here I am today reading and learning from another awesome blogger!

    I must confess you have a very wonderful blog Sue, the design is simple and clean and I can go on checking every part of your blog 🙂 I feel so happy connecting with you and I am looking forward to more of these awesome moments with you!

    You have a wonderful day and keep rocking the blogosphere my friend!

    -Jackson

    1. Thank you for your praise Jackson.

      Made my day.

      If ever you are in my neck of the woods (Mumbai the commerce capital of India) the cold ones are on me.

      Ivan Bayross

  9. Hi Ivan and Sue,

    Thank you for reminding us that there are other options than composing blog posts directly into blog admin interface. Up to now, I have composed my posts there and then cut and paste all the text into somewhere else that is capable of doing a complete grammar check to make sure what I have written is OK before I hit publish.

    Maybe now, I should just cut out a step and just compose them elsewhere first and then uploaded to the blog when I know they is OK. A time saver I am sure.

  10. I would like to add 2 points in your Blog posts.

    1) Always proofread your Blogpost in the end.

    2) Whenever you are proofreading, keep scissors and glues with yourself. Because you will have to do a lot of cutting and joining the ends. Make sure that the flow of your sentences is not broken.

    Thanks for sharing this post 🙂

    1. Proof reading. Oh Yes, vital that.

      I never hit Publish in the WordPress editor until I've read the - Preview - page at least a couple of times.

      Ivan Bayross

  11. Some useful points, Ivan and Sue. What struck me most was the importance of keyword research, I have a habit of tweaking keywords as I go along.

    I agree about not composing within the WordPress editor, it really slows things down. I always write within Evernote and like many commenters here I cut and paste to move things around. It happens to be the desktop version that I use but I haven't had a problem with crashing, though I can see how that would be really irritating…

    Sue, glad to see you're using Dragon Naturally Speaking – I wish my accent allowed me to do so too!

    1. Thanks, Donald, for stopping by to read and comment.

      I like Evernote but usually cut and paste from Word. Haven't had any big problems but cutting and pasting can get old on my longer posts.

      Have a great weekend!
      Sue

    2. Hi Donald,

      I'd give DNS a whirl. I think they offer a 30 day free trial version.

      I really do not have a great English speaking accent myself. My mother tongue is not English. I studied English in school and college from a text book.

      That said, I used to read to DNS about 1 hour every day. I used the newspapers, magazines, technical journals my wife's cook book (honest I did) , for about 3 months. I did this faithfully, 6 days a week.

      I also used the built-in correction system to get DNS to understand some of the technical words I use when I write. (Perhaps I even mispronounce them a little) Today DNS gives me 100% accuracy.

      I'm sure within a month of training DNS will work for you to.

      Ivan Bayross

  12. Hi Sue.

    Awesome guest post!

    And thank you for sharing your process Ivan.

    Through previous keyword research, I know that 'how to write a blog post' is a popular search term, so you obviously do practice what you preach. 🙂

    Admittedly, I'm not as prepared as yourself!

    I draft all my posts in the WP editor, and I save future blog post ideas as drafts too.

    With the auto save feature that's built into WordPress, I don't recall many occasions where I've lost my work due to a computer or server crash...

    But it has happened to me in the past, so you're process is the sensible way to write a draft blog post.

    I was surprised to learn that you use up to three keywords in your title, and then sometimes, an additional three keywords (up to) in the body of your post.

    I was always taught to use the same keywords in the post title and the body. How does that work for you?

    And finally, I totally agree with you, blogging ROCKS.

    Have an awesome day.

    Thanks.

    Kerry

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kerry!

      I do the same as you in the title - one keyword phrase. But then I use several related keywords in the body of the post. Let's see what Ivan says.
      Sue

    2. Hi Kerry,

      I've learned, that if your Keywords are blended into your Blog content, naturally, Google will not kick up a fuss.

      The key being - blended Naturally. This sometimes takes a bit of time as I revise the headlines I've written a couple of times, if I'm unhappy.

      I also ensure that the occurrence of my Keywords / Key phrases is less than 2% of the total number of words in my Blog post. There are times when I've either deleted some of the keywords I've used, or increased the content so as not to violate my 2% limit.

      I use M.S. Word, word count. If you are using Word then this appears at the bottom, left hand side of the editing window. I then faithfully calculate the 2% ratio, usually with the calculator on my mobile phone :-).

      I've been Blogging for a while, and found this works for me.

  13. Hi Sui !
    The post is of great help for new bloggers.

    Content writing can be interesting and fun if it is adopted as a hobby and when the content is created with such passion then it will definitely
    succeeded to attract the specific visitors.

  14. Once again you are up with some useful help for all bloggers and I appreciate your efforts. Thanks a lot for this awesome post.

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