Writing the perfect blog post to attract traffic to your website and build engagement doesn’t happen by chance. Before you write an article, it’s vital to think about how it will fit into the bigger picture.
Several years ago, I created the infographic below to show how the perfect blog post is planned long before your fingers hit the keyboard.
Today, I want to expand on the infographic with more hints and tips for you to consider.
The perfect blog post for your audience
Like beauty, perfection is in the eye of the beholder. This means that what makes a perfect blog post will depend on the audience and their needs.
This is why your first step – before you start blogging – is to have a clear idea of who your ideal client is. Think about the job they do, the challenges they have at work and how you can help them, the things that matter to them, their age, their career path, their interests, values and anything else that helps to give you a clear sense of their identity.
It’s much easier to write a blog article when you know who’s going to read it. Pinpoint the solutions you offer through your training and then try to identify who needs those solutions.
Armed with this knowledge, you can then ask yourself, “What would this person want to know?” and “What knowledge could I share with them that they would find interesting, helpful or valuable?”
These answers can help you to define your core blog topics. People will only spend time reading content if they stand to gain something from doing so, be it a small titbit of knowledge, a boost of confidence, industry insights or something else relevant to their needs.
Think about search intentions
Once you have some broad blog topics in mind, you’ll need to do a bit of research to confirm that there’s definitely an audience for what you plan to share. There are several ways to do this:
- If you already have a website or blog and use Google Analytics to track your data, then have a look in Google Analytics and Google Search Console to see what sort of search terms people are using to find your website.
- Go to the Google Keyword Planner Tool and search for keyword ideas based on a topic or check the search volumes for whatever it is you want to write your next blog article about
- Another trick is to go to Google and type a key phrase into the search bar – Google will provide you with a list of autofill suggestions based on common searches. Does anything come up that you could blog about?
- Check out Answer the Public to see what questions people are asking on Google that are relevant to your business (you can currently see the data for two search terms a day under the free plan)
Try to think about people’s search intentions. Why would your ideal client open up Google, make a search and click through to your website? What are they hoping to get out of their visit? What does a blog article need to share with them?
Google’s algorithms try to understand the need behind every search in order to return the most relevant results.
The perfect blog post is one that best matches a searcher’s needs.
Finetune your headline
Now you have a clear idea in your mind about the topic you plan to write your next blog post about, think about what your headline might be. From an SEO perspective, it’s a good idea to include the main focus keyword or key phrase in your main title. Try to make your main heading clear, compelling and concise.
Let readers know exactly what the article is about and what they will get out of reading it.
You might even want to write the article first and then go back to finesse the headline. This is crucial because the headline is what will draw people in and get them to read the first paragraph of the article.
Does your headline speak to your audience? Are the benefits of reading clear?
Use images that resonate with your audience
Adding images to a blog article can help to make the content easier to scan and understand at a glance. The right pictures can help to pick out key points from an article or add context for the audience. If you tend to work with clients who work in a corporate setting, then use images that reflect this. If your clients spend a lot of time outdoors, show this in the images you choose instead.
There are some fantastic stock photo sites where you can find and use images free of charge under a Creative Commons licence.
What do you want people to do after reading a post
Another aspect of creating the perfect blog post is understanding how you want people to feel by the end of the post and what you want them to do next.
You’ve worked hard to bring your ideal clients to your blog, so the last thing you want to let them do is to bounce away from your website without connecting with your business in some way.
You might want to think about the following:
- Do you offer a service, course, workshop, etc. on the same topic your latest blog article was about?
- Do you want people to sign up to your mailing list before they leave? If so, what incentive can you offer to get them to do this?
- What is the next step in your sales pipeline? How can you encourage someone to go from reading a blog post to the next step?
The perfect blog post is written with a purpose
Ultimately, blogging is most successful when it’s powered by purpose. We need to constantly be asking what our clients need, why (the emotions/challenges/drive behind the search) and how we can meet those needs.
Not only will your audience feel like you’re speaking exclusively to them but it will also make it easier for them to tell their networks about your content because they have a clear understanding of what you offer and who you serve.
The more you blog, the more you can tap into data on your website, social media and through enquiries to understand what resonates most with your ideal clients. You can then tailor your blog content even further to reflect and respond to the needs of your audience.
How strategic are you about blogging?
Hopefully, updating this post has helped to give more context to the strategic stuff that underpins a perfect blog post. How strategic are you about blogging? When was the last time you defined your audience or wrote a blog article based on your wider goals for your business?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Note: This blog was first published in March 2018 and updated in June 2021.