The time has come. You decided your blog needs something new and you’ve finally found the time to sit down, concentrate, and write. But there’s one problem: you don’t know where to start. Fear not, savvy industry leaders! I’ve put together a few quick time-saving hacks to help you write that perfect blog post. You know, the kind that gets a thousand shares and people write blog posts about your blog post.
Research is Key
This may sound counterintuitive, but stick with me. The number one problem most blog posts face is that they are incorrect, misleading and not properly thought out. Since I know you want to write a compelling article and avoid any unwanted attention, there are a few different ways you can go about researching a topic. Just remember to start broad and narrow down your topics as you go.
- AnswerThePublic.com is a pretty cool keyword insight tool that will show you what people are searching for on the internet. All you do is type in the topic you want to cover and boom, the world’s top internet search queries are at your fingertips in an easy-to-digest visual. Plus, how fun/creepy is their home screen?
- Google it. Seriously! This is where you can see what others are writing about your topic already. You just might find some burning questions that you know the answer to.
- Listen to your customers. Do you have an FAQ page? Why not expand on one of those questions? If you don’t have one, turn to your coworkers for ideas. Ask them what questions they get asked often by clients. A quick blog post on these questions may end up saving you time in the long run.
- Google Analytics is your best friend! If you have a search tool on your site, you can take a look in Google Analytics to see what people are looking for. You can find these results in Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms.
Nail the Headline
So, you’ve figured out what you want to write about, now you need to write your headline. Easier said than done, right? The headline is the first thing to grab a reader’s attention, so it really needs to make an impact. There are actually quite a few tools online to get your headline exactly where it needs to be:
- HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator – Type in a couple keywords to describe your topic and let HubSpot do the work for you.
- Headline Analyzer by CoSchedule – After you think you’ve got a good headline, pop it into the Headline Analyzer to see just how much punch it packs.
- Bonus tool: Hemingwayapp.com – Not really for writing a killer headline, but great for analyzing your copy. After you copy and paste your completed blog post into this app, it will give you a readability score with some suggestions to help you out.
Aside from the headline, a great image will draw readers in – and what’s the point of writing a blog post without having anyone read it? Be sure to find a site with royalty-free stock images. We love these:
- Pixabay – One of the biggest free stock photography sites that allows you to search their library to find exactly what you need.
- Unsplash – My personal favorite. I could scan through these images for hours.
- Makerbook – For a complete list of free stock photography sites.
- Canva – Can’t find what you’re looking for? Why not make it yourself? Canva is a powerful graphic design tool that’s free to use.
- Magic Mockups – We use this one quite a bit to showcase our website projects. It’s an easy way to display a screenshot in a realistic environment. There’s multiple options for desktops, laptops, tablets and phones.
I’m going to keep this simple: always include a call-to-action. It’s what lets your readers know exactly what you want them to do next. No matter what the call-to-action is – a link to sign up for a free quote, a content offer download, or a follow on social media – you need to have one if you want to increase conversion rates on your site. And conversions = new leads = office pizza party! Wait, that’s not how it works?
And by that, I mean keep a content calendar. It’s a great way to stay organized and to make sure you’re posting relevant content on a regular basis. Need a template to help get you started? You can download our Ultimate 12 Month Content Calendar template right now for free!