how to write a blog post

You may think writing a blog is as easy as putting some words on virtual paper and then hitting publish. And you’d be right. But writing a good blog post is much harder than that. You can put in hours of effort perfectly choosing and crafting your words into the most eloquent of phrases, but that means squat if no one will see it. That’s where a little planning, a good deal of research, and a whole lot of praise to the SEO gods come in. This is how you write a blog post that’s actually good. 

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It may seem obvious, but narrow down your demographic and match your tone, topic, and style to appeal to who will be reading your blog post. After all, you don’t want to be targeting seniors who are interested in learning more about reading glasses if your product or service primarily interests young adults looking to buy a home. 

Every metric matters: from age to income, everything will affect how you write your piece. For instance, wealthier demographics are more likely older and will prefer a more professional tone with eloquent language to signify the author is well-read and intelligent, while a younger audience with less income will more than likely resonate with a softer, more conversational tone. 

It all depends on what you’re trying to sell as well. Blog posts on dog sweaters should be written extremely differently than blogs written about luxury real estate. 

That’s where knowing what your audience wants/is searching for comes in. You can use tools such as Google Analytics to look into what demographics are searching for your product. With that knowledge, you can appeal to the right people with the right content. 

Know Your Keywords

Another big part about writing a good blog post is appeasing the SEO gods. This is done through keywords and meta data. We have a blog that goes in-depth into keyword research, so check that out if you want all the details. 

Essentially, keywords and meta data are how Google knows what to do with your blog. Without it, the algorithm will scan your content and guess where it should appear. In other words, your blog post about dog sweaters could appear if someone searches for toddler sweaters (if it appears at all!). The keywords and meta data (which are things like your meta description, slug, and alternative text for photos), are essential for your blog to appear in the right search query. 

Once you know your audience and have done your keyword research, you’re going to have to marry the two to find the perfect blog topic. This is the fun part where you can really flex your creative brain. You’re going to want to pick something intriguing enough that it will get hits, and something that will help boost your site’s SEO. 

Picking a topic can be as easy as browsing your keyword list and picking one out (bonus points if it’s a good long-tail keyword). For example, let’s say your keyword is “dog sweaters.” You can choose to write a blog on any of the following:

  • Do Dog Sweaters Help Keep Your Dog Warm?
  • Top 10 Cutest Dog Sweaters for Winter
  • Dog Sweater Materials to Avoid

And those are barely scraping the surface when it comes to topic possibilities. Have fun, write to your audience, and match it up with a keyword and you’ll be golden. 

Hook Readers Quickly and Reel Them In 

All of that will mean next to nothing if you don’t have an enticing headline and a strong first paragraph. It only takes a reader 8 seconds to decide if they’ll continue reading or move on. A bad hook means your bounce rate will be through the roof! A good hook can reduce that strain, thus increase your website’s performance, and increase the chance of turning a “maybe I’ll buy this” into a “pulling out my credit card now.” 

How do you do that? A teasing headline that doesn’t give away your secrets (but no clickbait!) and a first paragraph that your readers can relate to. 

Look at these examples: 

Bad Headlines:

  • Dog Sweaters Are Cute
  • My Dog is Cold in the Winter
  • My Dog Hates its Dog Sweater

Good Headlines: 

  • Top 10 Best Dog Sweaters For Function and Fashion
  • Is Your Dog Shivering? Sweater up!
  • How To Train Your Pup to Wear a Dog Sweater

See the difference? The bad headlines are all about you while the good ones are about your readers and problems they are facing. The same logic should be applied for the first sentence. 

Bad Introductory Sentences: 

  • This dog sweater is the cutest thing ever!
  • My dog gets so cold in the winter and I didn’t know what to do about it until I bought this sweater. 
  • My dog just HATES wearing clothes.

Good Introductory Sentences: 

  • Fuzzy? Warm? And Cute? Oh my! These dog sweaters from popular retail brands are bound to get your dog’s tail wagging for the best (and cutest) selfie!
  • You open your door and a cold blast of air nearly knocks you off your feet. Your dog cautiously sniffs the crisp air and looks back at you, as if saying “I’m not going out there.” If this sounds familiar, your dog may benefit from a sweater. 
  • Does your dog tear off anything you put on it or turn into a furry statue in their Halloween costume? 

As you’ll notice, the bad sentences are still all about the writer, while the good focus on the reader and are more relatable. While these may not appeal to you directly, these good sentences definitely have a place in the doggy sweater realm. 

The Intro is Done, What About the Rest?

From there, it’s all about doing your research, matching your tone throughout the blog, and formatting it in a way that’s easy to read. Ditch the wall of text and opt for headings to break up large points, bulleted lists, graphics, and more. 

There is no one “most important” part of a blog. The inverted pyramid doesn’t necessarily apply here — the beginning is just as important as the middle and end. Your goal should be to hook the reader and provide useful information all the way through your blog. So provide examples, links to studies or other helpful resources, and keep moving them through your blog naturally and effortlessly. 

When you get to the end, don’t skimp on the meat! You want your reader’s last bite of the blog sandwich to be just as good as the first. In general, don’t just cut off the content; end it in a way that feels natural and satisfying. And if you’re really good, leave them wanting more on a different topic. 

For instance, if your blog is about the Top 10 Dog Sweaters, tease them toward another blog you did or are planning about the Top 10 Dog Sweaters to Avoid. 

Via Giphy

Bonus tip: Working on a longer or cornerstone blog? Outline it before you write it! Break it into manageable and organized chunks that will naturally flow together so you don’t have to worry about sorting through your sea or words and research when the time comes to polish it up. 

If all of that seems too difficult or time consuming to do on your own, don’t worry. You can trust the experts at Helix House to get you set up with good blog posts that appease the SEO gods and attract readers. Give us a call to see how good blog posts will grow your business. 

Casey Watts
Casey Watts
Casey Watts is a writer at Helix House. She has a B.A. in Journalism from Western Michigan University and transitioned out of journalism and into marketing in October 2019. In her free time, she plays too many videogames with her friends, or she cuddles with her cat, Olive.