There are many ways to make money online, but earning an income from blogging is unique because it doesn’t require you to start your own business or sell physical products—all you need is a laptop and an internet connection! With so many bloggers out there, however, competition can be fierce, so it’s important to make your posts as good as possible if you want to stand out in the crowd. In order to do that, there are eight steps you should take before writing your next killer blog post.
1) Do your research.
Before you sit down to write, take an hour or two and do your research. Look at other articles on your topic and see what they’re doing right—and where they could be doing better. Take notes so you have all of your ideas lined up before you start writing. The more research you can do ahead of time, the better off you’ll be when it comes time to finally hammer out that first draft.
Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to start working on that first draft. There are several approaches you can take here, and there isn’t really one right way—each writer is different. Just keep these things in mind: First, don’t try to edit as you go along; focus on getting your thoughts down so you can make sure they make sense and aren’t rambling or jumping around all over.
Second, don’t fall prey to writer’s block. If you find yourself stuck on one part of your post for too long, write about something else instead; then come back and revisit it later. The important thing is that you make progress on your first draft every day. Do that, and you’ll have an awesome piece written in no time!
Once you’ve finished your first draft, it’s time to edit and revise. We recommend starting by reading through everything twice—once for content, and once for spelling/grammar. Once you’re done with that, make any necessary changes. The best way to do that is by editing as you go along. Read every sentence out loud; if it sounds wrong, then fix it!
2) Grab their attention
In today’s fast-paced world, you only have about two minutes to get your readers’ attention before they move on. That’s why it is so important that you grab their attention from the start! Create an attractive image that grabs their attention, and make sure your title uses clickbait (words or phrases that draw readers in) like how to, top 10, and numbers.
Once you’ve captured their attention, hold on tight and don’t let go! Keeping your readers engaged will ensure that they stay with you until you finish your post.
Make sure you don’t bore them with long and drawn-out stories. A good rule of thumb is that if your story has a beginning, middle, and end—too much information! If you think it might be boring to read, then guess what? It will be even more boring for them! So keep it brief and on point, just like good writing.
3) Keep it short and simple
If you want to create an engaging and viral piece of content, your best bet is to keep it short and simple. You can’t expect your readers (or Google) to hang around for long. In fact, you should aim for no more than 2,000 words per post. Even then, try cutting it down further so that all of your points are concise and digestible.
Moreover, it’s unlikely that you’ll engage readers if your content is unorganized or lacks focus. Readers want to know what they’re going to get out of your post as soon as they start reading it—so be sure to communicate your point(s) right off the bat.
There’s no need to wax poetic when writing a killer post. Instead, get straight to your point without droning on or over-complicating things.
4) Provide solutions.
The best way to engage with readers is by providing solutions. Think about it, you can’t just tell people what you know, you have to show them how it will help them as well. Here are some ideas on how to provide solutions.
First, understand what your audience is struggling with. Second, provide step-by-step solutions for those issues. Don’t talk about how you do things, show them!
When you solve people’s problems and make it easy for them, they’ll recognize that and return for more. The best way to do that is by helping them solve their problems. It doesn’t matter if you talk about yourself or not, so long as you provide solutions.
5) Use pictures and videos.
Using pictures and videos make your content more engaging. The research is clear—people respond more positively to visual content on blogs, emails, and social media. Research from BuzzSumo found that posts with images get shared 1,200% more than those without photos. And HubSpot’s own research shows that image-based posts lead to 80% more page views, upvotes, and shares compared with text-only posts.
With so much data available on what kinds of images get shared and how you can use them, there’s really no excuse for using stock photos. (And believe me, it doesn’t matter if you can’t find one that looks exactly like what you need—you can always hire a designer on sites like Upwork or Fiverr.) This is an investment that will pay off. Here are some examples: Asana, GrooveHQ, Freshbooks, Intercom…etc.
6) Promote your content like crazy!
Once you’ve created a killer piece of content, it’s time to promote it. It goes without saying that people aren’t going to stumble upon your post—you have to do all of the work and make your work as discoverable as possible. We have an entire guide on how to write great headlines and capture traffic from Google searches, so I suggest checking that out if you need help getting started with promoting your content.
Focus on getting your content out there on as many channels as possible, while also promoting it using old-fashioned methods like telling people about it in person or via social media. It’s important to get your work exposed to as many people as possible because each new reader will help grow your platform and audience.