So you started your blog, and now you need to write (create) some content for it! Depending on your existing experiences as a writer, this will be easy or hard for you. If you’re like me, I had to practice and learn how to become a better writer with lots of patience and time.
I emphasize patience and time too!
In this guide, I’m going to offer you some very practical advice and share everything I’ve learned thus far in regards to writing blog posts (or anything for that matter.) These tips will help you discover and develop a tone, voice, and writing style that is sure to become perfected over time.
So get your mind in writing mode and let’s begin!
The Hardest Lesson I Learned About Writing
After I wrote and published my first 10,000 words of content (roommate articles), I realized something very important after requesting some feedback from my friends on Facebook. My writing sucked.
One of my best friends actually said to me “Dude, have you tried reading your words out loud? The words don’t read right, plus they sound incomplete and flat.”
Hearing that my writing sounded boring and flat was some of the hardest (but the best) personal criticism I received when sharing my writing with friends and family.
While still being in complete denial of what I just heard, I took a recently written article and read it out loud to myself. My friend was right! I was appalled at how it sounded, it was flat and had no flow of words.
It was littered with incomplete words too. Uggggh!
As a new writer, I realized my first critical error. I thought I could do all the editing and proofreading myself by reviewing back the words in my mind. And never taking notice of how it would sound when read out loud.
Without reading your article out loud, it’s very easy to be blinded to how it will actually sound to another reader.
I really struggled with the idea of reading my words out loud to myself. It just seemed so unnatural. To help, I just pretend that I’m reading the article out loud with an audience in the room. Problem solved and with time you get better and can actually just whisper the words back to yourself.
Google is all about content quality and doing this definitely improved the quality of my ranking in the search results too!
I even used editor tools like the Hemingway App to test the quality of my writing. I learned very quickly that software could not replace a human mind. You still have to edit your articles a lot. If you can afford it, hire an editor to help you.
If your writing style is conversational, reading it out loud is especially important! So this way you can hear how your active vs. passive voice sounds as well.
Writing vs. Editing and Your Brain
There’s one thing you need to know about how the brain works when your writing and creating content.
When your writing, you’re using the creative part of your brain. When you edit, you’re using a completely different part, the logical part. It’s that whole left side vs. right side part of your brain argument. I discovered on my own that my editing was much better after I stopped writing and took a break. As it turns out, most people cannot write and edit their own work at the same time.
Check out: Writing vs. Editing Requires Switching Hats – This is a fantastic article to read and perfectly explains why writing and editing a quality piece is so challenging and takes time, especially for longer content.
The rule is simple: Most writers cannot rush into edit mode for their own content, you need a break and allow time for your brain to reset. So either hire an editor to help you out or wait an hour, a day or even two days for the editing process to begin.
Now, I’m not sure every writer has this problem, but I sure do.
My Step By Step Blog Post Creation Process
Creating blog posts is a creative process that each person will approach differently. Over time, you’ll discover and invent your own method. You’ll become a wordsmith that creates the most epic posts that your readers will thirst for over and over again.
After two years of creating long and short form blog posts regularly, here’s the process I use.
1) The creation and research process
Think of a title, various headings, and dump all of your thoughts and ideas for this new post down in a text file (or as an unpublished blog post.) Not by a computer? A pen and paper will work well too. Don’t care about the formatting, just type or write it out. Start researching user intent and search engine keywords from Google. You can utilize search tools like SemRush, Ahrefs, and the Google Keyword Planner. Start analyzing other blog articles you find that are ranking on the first page of Google. You want to write 100% original content and include all of your thoughts, knowledge, and opinions. Remember! Don’t care much about grammar etc. This is a fast process, and sometimes I’ll get 1,000 or even up to 3,000 words typed out depending on how complex the topic is. Take as much time as you need.
Then, take a break. Your break might be one hour or two days. Just take a break.
2) More creation, start formatting, edit and organize the content
Organize headings, paragraphs, and write more content to get a completed piece. You should be using a word processor like MS Office or Google Docs or the WordPress editor at this stage. It should start to become organized and looking like a blog post you’d want to actually read and publish.
Take a break
3) Do the final touches
Do the basic grammar checks with a spell check. At this point, all of your ideas, formatting, headings, and the length of your post should be figured out. The overall subject matter for your blog article or guide should be at least 90% thought out at this point.
Take another break if you need one!
4) Images, Photos, Infographics, and Videos
Images, photos, infographics, and videos can provide a nice visual for your reader. It will also enhance their engagement level while reading your blog post. At a minimum, a blog post should have at least one image to express its subject matter. Plus, search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo will give more credit to a blog post containing pictures or other visual media.
Canva can also help create a cover for your eBook if you ever decide to publish one.
Infographics are important if you’re producing lots of how-to content or want to promote your blog on Pinterest.
YouTube is the leading platform used for hosting videos for free. Vimeo is a private hosting provider that you pay a monthly fee for. Either site will let you put up a video then embed it into your blog post.
For editing and creating my videos, I use ScreenFlow by Telestream. Creating a video is not for everyone, but if you feel like it will enhance your content delivery and connection with your readers, by all means, do it!
I recently launched my YouTube channel, check it out here: Scotty’s Kick-Ass Guide YouTube Channel
5) Full Editing Mode (Remeber To Read It Outloud)
Be objective and read your blog post out loud. Remove stuff that people would not care about. Check the sentence flow and structure. Does it sound natural and is it easy to read to someone?
If the flow is not right, try looking and adding filler words like “and, if, of, an” etc.
Having an excellent sentence structure is important for SEO and Voice Search in my opinion. People are speaking to their devices more and more now. All of these natural words, phrases, and complete sentences matter more than ever!
6) Final check
Double check your grammar with a spell checker like Grammarly. Also verify hyperlinks and formatting.
Then, publish it!
Hire an editor to do the final touches if you want. I highly recommend it if you can afford it.
Quick Tip: What’s the difference between a WordPress Post vs. Page? Generally, your guides and blog posts will be published as a post which will be date stamped and placed in chronological order. Your contact info, or about website information is usually published as a page where the information is timeless, etc.
So there you have it! I’ve just provided you with everything I’ve learned about creating and writing blog posts. I’ve been writing blog posts on my various blogs for over three years now. It’s incredible how fast the time as gone.
I always wonder about how many words I’ve published so far; I estimate probably around 200k words at the time of this writing. It’s pretty amazing to think about.
Also, remember, there’s no such thing as perfect grammar or editing. So don’t drive yourself too crazy with perfection. You can always go back in the future and fix errors that were overlooked.