When I started blogging, I have no idea how to write blog posts. It took me years to realize that certainly writing a blog post is the toughest job every blogger has. Not including the thinking and planning involved to stand out from hundreds of thousands of blog posts published every second in a day. It’s ironic. I know.
In 2012, I started blogging thinking it’s an easy path to earn money. I admit I spent a lot of time and wasted hundreds of dollars buying domains without clear plans with my blogs at all. I began on Blogspot and WordPress.Com, both are free blogging platforms.
It’s always been a cycle to me when I buy cheap domain offers only to find myself caught in writer’s block and not regularly updating them. The main reason? I know, impatience.11 mistakes I did when I started blogging. Learn how to write blog posts that matter to your readers. Click To Tweet
What are the 11 surefire ways to write blog posts your readers want?
The 11 tips I’m going to share with you today are the compilation of the mistakes I did over and over again for 4 years since I bought my first domain.
I hope you will take these tips seriously as I don’t want you to end up like me. A blogger with a massive failure in my shoulders.
1. Study your niche (like crazy).
Before you start your blog, think about what you’re going to do exactly with it. You know you’ll spend some money to buy the domain and the WordPress themes.
It’s unwise to do it without clear plans or at least, a general idea of what you want to do online. Remember you’re writing for millions of internet users lurking around the web, not for yourself alone.
For sure, you want to share your daily life. That’s why you’re blogging it. But think about it, what is that something you’re so passionate about that you can’t stop thinking? Then, place yourself in a third-person perspective and ask, “Would this matter?”
If it’s planting, you can start writing about gardening. Be general. You don’t have to be so specific about it. Keep studying the niche, especially how your competitors implement their strategies. You have to know everything about your niche.
2. Be tenacious & endure the tough beginnings.
My mistake was I started my first blog when I was a graduating college student sharing just anything. I thought blogging is limited to that.
So, when I got my first paid online job, I bought my first domain after seeing my colleague doing it in 2015. I don’t have initial plans and recklessly spent some bucks just because.
I wrote my first blog post and set up my first website with lots of adrenaline rushing in my veins. However, when the “honeymoon phase” starts to reach a plateau, my interest in writing my blog posts plummeted. That’s because I got discouraged when everything I planned didn’t work out.
As I looked back, it wasn’t because of my failed plans but my tenacity isn’t enough to endure the tough beginnings. My blog was relatively new and I was impatient to see immediate results.
3. Craft a killer blog title.
Your blog headline acts like a book cover. Your reader won’t care what you write as long as the cover catches their eyes. If your cover succeeds in its role, you won’t have to worry with how the book sells.
Blogging has the same scenario. You have to craft a killer blog title to entice your readers to click your post. Keep in mind there are millions of posts on Google.Your blog post title acts like book cover. Make it attractive to your readers to click & read. Click To Tweet
If your post manages on the first page on Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page), you have to compete with 9 other posts. That is to make sure yours got the top spot.
Blogging has the same scenario. You have to craft a killer blog title to entice your readers to click your post. Keep in mind there are millions of posts on Google. If your post manages on the first page on Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page), you have to compete with 9 other posts. That is to make sure yours got the top spot.
Given, you have to design your blog title to make sure your target readers will see your post and click without compromising the SEO involved. I will talk more about it later.
So, how can you do that?
Jon Morrow designed different ways to get traction by simply tweaking your blog titles a bit to attract readers to read your work. You can use them depending on how they apply to your subject.
Don’t force a format just because. Your readers can sense it. Make sure it follows a smooth flow. Here are some of the blog title formats you can make use in your own blog posts and see which of these apply. If you want a complete list, you can go to his blog and download in PDF.
This format is intended when you promise your readers to follow a simpler life.
- The Zen of [Blank]
- For example, “The Zen of Rush-Hour Traffic”
- Can’t Keep Up? 11 Ways To Simplify Your [Blank]
- For example, “Can’t Keep Up? 11 Ways To Simplify Your Blogging Life”
- How To Take Charge Of Your [Unruly Problem]
- For example, “How To Take Charge Of Your Social Media Addiction”
- The Minimalist Guide To [Aggravating Problem]
- For example, “The Minimalist Guide To Recovering OCD”
- 11 Shortcuts For [Completing Tedious Process] In Record Time
- For example, “11 Shortcuts For Optimizing Site Traffic To 500% In Record Time”
In using this format, you’re actually utilizing the traffic from the famous brand in comparison to your subject.
- [An Action] Lile [Famous Person]: 21 Ways To [Blank]
- For example, “Produce Music Like BTS: 21 Ways To Make Music That Matters”
- [Famous Person] Top 11 Tips For [Blank]
- For example, “Ernest Hemingway’s Top 11 Tips For Writing Fiction”
- The [World Class Example] Guide To [Blank]
- For example, “The Picasso Guide To Painting”
- Secrets Of [Famous Group]
- For example, “Secrets Of BTS: How To Dominate The World Through Music”
- What [World Class Example] Can Teach Us About [Blank]
- What Kim Jong-Un Can Teach Us About Life
4. Understand your readers.
As a writer, you have to put yourself in their shoes to determine whether they like to read whatever you’re writing or not. When you set your perspective that way, it’s be easier for you to distinguish your topic if it correlates with their interest and to design your blog post apt to them.
You aren’t writing for yourself but for them. This principle is my inevitable mistake every time I blog. I keep on putting my interests first before theirs, which is actually wrong. You can’t write everything about you. Remember that.
The reason why they choose to click your post is not because they want to know about you initially. But they want someone, who could understand what they’re going through or what they want to know. Not yours.
5. Don’t write crap.
Most of the time, my blog posts range from at least 1,000 words and up. Typically, I write comprehensive posts that reach more or less 4,000 words. That’s a lot, right?
My reason? I don’t want to write crap. This post, for example, has more or less 3,000 words, in total.
I spend days writing one blog post, excluding the time of thinking and planning. I always have in mind if my readers want to read this topic or not. It’s always like that.
Brian Dean of Backlinko wrote that up to this date, he has only 40 published blog posts in his blog even if he started his website ages ago.
He mentioned that the quantity doesn’t matter in site traffic but the quality of each post. It has to be comprehensive and readable both on desktop and on mobile use, making sure each time he writes posts that matter to his audience.
The same thing goes with my blogging system.
I don’t write most of the time here as I don’t want to publish crappy blog posts. The shortest posts I did were reviews of a Korean drama or a book. They didn’t have to be really long as long as the content is there. As for writing, it must be lengthy because I have to teach everything I know. No shortcuts.
6. Include personal experience.
Entrepreneur wrote that effective marketing involves emotions than reason. This is because people tend to buy an offer if it builds a sense of personal connection and value to alleviating pain. Whatever it is you’re offering to them. This makes sense. Apple does the same strategy when they market their new releases.
Your readers want to know about you. They like to know your take on every issue or problem. If you share your mistakes and your awful past in writing, it doesn’t degrade you nor belittling you. What you’re doing is connecting with them personally. They want that from you.
Once they click on your post from Google, they didn’t know what to expect from you. Actually, they know what topic they want to search but not the content itself. But to someone, who shares a personal experience, attracts returning users than not.
My awful mistake when I started blogging is being afraid of exposing my failures to others. My pride and ego prevent me from doing those thinking I would lose my readers if I do.
Yet, when I published one post here and shared on Pinterest, something struck me. It gained the most number of impressions within a short span of time like 17,000+ impressions within a week or so.
“Ah, people like to hear more about me and my story,” I thought.
Of course, sharing what you know is great, but nothing goes beyond personal touch. Being transparent to your readers gains more traction than a piece of mere knowledge.
7. Develop storytelling in blogging.
As a fiction writer, this is a piece of cake. Writing stories is my thing, which sets apart from my blogging as well. I tend to use methods commonly used in storytelling rather than crafting blog posts most bloggers use.
For whatever reason, I’m thankful enough that I have the skill to touch my readers’ hearts by means of telling my personal story and others in a way that is mimicking the way I wrote my chapters. You know, lots of dialogues, using layman’s term most of the time rather than the technical terms, and among others.
If you are a fan of reading fiction, you will notice how the novelist writes the first line. The first hook. It touches you or gives you an impression of what the story is about. The author doesn’t simply narrate the blurb in a different way but narrates the character’s perspective.
The thing is, you need to tick your reader’s emotions to effectively use that technique. For example, if you’re blogging about makeup, instead of telling what makeup is, tell an embarrassing story when you’re so desperate to know about makeup and master it.
8. Learn the basics of SEO.
This isn’t merely for increasing traffic but to hit the exact words or topics your readers want to read online. Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as well all know, is the most basic thing every online writer must keep in mind. You have to learn the keywords to use and use them in the content, title tags, etc.
Yet, to me, it doesn’t have to be a fundamental tool for the sake of increasing traffic but to know my readers more. When I learn their questions and what bothers them, it drives me to share my knowledge with them. At least, I can be of help to them in a small but meaningful way.
How to do it?
First, you have various strategies to determine the exact keywords your readers want. You can make use of Buzzsumo, Google Trends, SEMRush, and even forums like Quora and Reddit can be good sources.
9. Include today’s issues.
It can be a bit controversial if you think about it. It could be a bit uncomfortable to mix real social issues in your blog posts. But if you want to take your blog to the next level and serve its purpose as a voice to what’s going on, you can do it. That is if you muster your courage and write.
Jeff Bullas stated it can be your case study, an effective way to showcase problems and solutions at the same time, including the process. It can even give you an authoritative reputation if you do.
If you notice my sample blog titles, they could possibly include controversial figures and create a hype online. Once you succeed in this method, you could gain both negative and positive traction. If so, be prepared.
One blogger tried the same technique and posted her post on Reddit. She increased her blog traffic, however, she attracted both trolls and non-trolls, who later became her loyal fans.
10. Be consistent.
I know this is re-iterating the previous points but I want to make an emphasis on consistency here. I honestly have problems with it that until now I’m still working on writing with tenacity nonstop.
My problem usually is I keep my schedule at the earlier stages of setting my blog. Like after I finish all the blog starters – about page, contact page, etc. – I couldn’t wait to write my first blog post until the tenth post.
However, with the succeeding posts, my attention starts to waver. I start to procrastinate and focus my attention on something else, leaving this blog to its current state. That gets worse if whatever I do here doesn’t give me immediate results. Again, my first point, tenacity.
One of the influencers I followed, James Clear, mentioned it’s about developing your willpower, the muscle you need to train every single day. If there’s a day you don’t want to write, keep the discipline instead of avoiding it because of setbacks.
If you intend to write about lifestyle, you have to keep it that way. That’s the reason why your readers signed up to your list and followed you all along. Because you begin there. They want you to keep going and not looking for another niche thinking it’s easier.
11. Answer their questions.
For sure you want to share your life and your knowledge to them whatever it is you want to tell. But blogging doesn’t work that way all the time. You have to answer their questions, resolving everything that bothers them. Be it self-confidence or writing their first book.
As a blogger, you aren’t just a writer. But an influencer. You create this space for your readers to approach you because they want answers from you. So, give it to them.
Create blog posts that contain relevant information regardless of the subject. I’m a novelist. I’m writing stories and I enjoy it.
This is why I built this site for those who want to learn how to begin writing their crazy and amazing stories in mind. For me, it’s my responsibility to provide them these things.
And so do you.
If you write about food, make sure your posts matter to your target audience. Write everything that’s relevant to them by planning your blog posts carefully, ensuring the quality rather than the quantity for the sake of regular update.
These 11 surefire ways to write blog posts your readers actually want to read are just among the thousand ways you can think of. There’s a lot of mystery revolved around writing. And blogging doesn’t exclude itself from that fact.
Every blogger is a writer. I may belong to the world of fiction because I write stories. Given that I have the responsibility to take my words seriously, there’s no difference between writing a blog and writing a story. Both of them touch hearts. That is if you know how and if you’re sincere to do it for your readers.
Blogging is about sincerity and so does fiction. They’re all involved in writing. We touch people’s hearts by means of jotting down the words for others to read and learn. We can be part of their lifestyle if we take these duties as seriously as possible, making sure we don’t produce crap in our work.
In general, as a blogger, including myself, it’s our responsibility to put ourselves in their shoes all the time and help them. We write. Not because of our selfish intentions of fame and influence, but to make a positive social impact amid the negativity that surrounds all the time.
For me, sharing my personal experiences is part of my duty to connect with my readers. I want to be of help in that sense rather than keeping those negative and embarrassing moments of my life as part of my emotional baggage, putting myself down.
Get traction! Follow my piece of advice. Avoid my mistakes. You’ll be on the right path, my writing buddy.