How to write a blog that drives traffic and conversions in 2021

We’ve all been there. After spending hours planning, researching, writing and promoting a blog, you wait for the conversions to roll in and they… just don’t. Before you give up entirely, were here to tell you there’s a way to escape the madness.

Follow the steps below to produce efficient and effective blogs. Once you’ve nailed this formula, youll be unstoppable.

 

1. Assess the content landscape 

This is a crucial step to any good blog post. Make sure to get this done before you even begin to write.

The landscape of content writing has completely changed in the last five years. Publishing multiple blogs a week was once the goal, but since Googles Hummingbird Algorithm update, that has all changed. Now Google is looking for in-depth, high-quality blogs. These blogs should target a group of related phrases and long-tail keywords — dont try to squeeze keywords into a pre-existing blog idea without researching the keyword’s monthly traffic.

 

Try something like this:

  • Find a somewhat broad keyword with high monthly traffic by using a tool like KWFinder.
  • Find all related keywords.
  • Write a juicy blog on the main keywords while using the long-tail and related keywords as subheadings throughout your post.

 

2. Research what’s out there and what would work for you 

To know what you are up against when it comes to your Google rankings, search for your topic and have a squizz at what’s already in the top 10 ranking positions. Keep an eye out for patterns between different blogs – this could be anything: formatting, word count, writing style or keywords. Make note of anything you think could be improved on when you write your own blog.

Next, finalise your blogs format. This could be any of the following:

  • In-depth guide – 1,000-6,000 words of knowledge and tips.
  • Case study – experiment or interview that gathers data to share and can also show off a product or service.
  • List-post – a very popular style, ideal for 10 or more tips or ideas.
  • Roundup – industry experts weigh-in on topics you may be unable to provide expertise for, or their opinions add value to your blog.

All of these have their pros and cons – just figure out the aim of your blog and the right formatting should follow easily. Finally, add a content outline to your format. 

 

3. Putting pen to paper (or finger to keys)

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. If you’re not thinking about your reader when you write your blog, like what will be interesting and relevant to them, chances are they arent going to read it for long. By following a few key copywriting principles, youll have your audience hooked.

  • Channel your audience’s self-interest – your audience is there to get value from your blog, not to be your friend. Put yourself in their shoes and create valuable content that would make you sign up to mailing lists or keep reading other blogs.
  • Create suspense – make your audience want to keep reading. A suspenseful sentence at the end of a paragraph makes them want to instantly jump to the next one.
  • Write for eight-year-olds – one of the oldest but best tricks in the book. Focus on simple words that are easy to understand.
  • Write as you would talk – pour your personality into your writing, you need to stand out somehow! Make jokes, be edgy or even inject your opinion.

4.  A strong format and offering good value are key

To get good results out of your blog, stick to a good writing formula like this:

  • Nail your intro – by presenting the problem your audience is facing. Agitate them by showing the implications, then calm them down with a realistic solution. Another great formula is APP (agree, promise, preview). This works well if your audience needs more empathy or relatability. First agree with your audience, promise youve been through the same thing and then preview the solution.
  • Bring the spice – to the blog posts body. Make it scannable so readers can take what they need. Think about text spacing, sub-headings, and adding lists. Bring in some unique content that doesn’t sound like the last three blogs theyve read! Including an action is an essential step that will set your blog apart. Tell your readers how to achieve the solution and how to apply what theyve just learnt.
  • Write a great conclusion – these can often become messy. Stick to a summary of the blog and a call to action – that could be calling for comments, offering a free download or showing urgency for purchasing a product.

 

5. How to edit your blog post 

Editing is hard. You need to step back and take a break from the blog – at least an hour. When you get back, your mind will be clear and ready to edit. Here are easy steps to editing:

  • First, read through – you are coming back with a fresh eye, so read it from top to bottom.
  • Check for clarity – aim to write for an eleven-year-old or younger. Check that all your writing is clear and straight-forward, using common language.
  • Gauge the flow – does it read well? Or do you need to re-shuffle things or add in some transition paragraphs?
  • Clean it up – is it fun to read and easy to follow? You may need to shorten some sentences and inject more emotion.
  • Check the value – make sure your writing will leave your readers amazed. If youve missed out anything valuable, add it in! 
  • Make the finishing touch – this is where you bring your technical skills in. Check your spelling, grammar and sentence flow. Grammarly is a reliable, free, online spelling and grammar checker.

 

6. Optimise your blog to get the most out of your time

Remember those keywords we talked about back at the beginning? Nows the time to make sure they’re included in your writing. Add them to the:

  • title
  • alt tags
  • meta title and description

To take it a step further and boost your SEO optimisation, here are a few extra things to help you achieve conversions:

  • Edit your permalink/URL – make it short, concise and good-looking. For example, instead of using How to walk your dogs no matter their size or breed’ change it to How to walk your dog.
  • Add your main keyword to your title – but keep it punchy and attention-grabbing.
  • Add the main keyword to the SEO meta title and meta description – this again will give you a better SEO click-through rate. The Yoast plugin is a great tool for this.
  • Optimise your headings – add the long-tail keywords to your content and headings. Add broad keywords to your H2 headings and long-tail keywords to H3-H5 headings. A broad keyword is two or three words long and is less specific, e.g. coffee beans. A long-tail keyword is four or more words and is very specific, e.g. coffee beans fresh roasted Auckland. 
  • The main keyword is in the intro and conclusion – ensuring your main keyword is in both these spots is important – aim for two or three times total.
  • Add keywords to your image alt tags – this allows you to place relevant keywords into the alt image description, so you rank in Google Images. Make it seem natural by placing the keyword into a quick summary or phrase.
  • Link to some of your other blog posts – this allows you to boost the ranking of those other blogs, while also adding value to your piece.
  • Link to external resources – that could help your readers and youll be building trust with them.

 

7. Promote your blog post 

Well done! Its all published and live on the site, but it doesnt stop there. You need to promote it to get the most bang for your buck. Start with easier things like sharing on social media and sending promo emails to your mailing list.

Next, think about using influencer marketing and link building — you never know unless you ask.

  • Find and join conversations on social media or in forums – try providing value to this community by offering your blog post as a solution to a problem someone may be facing. Don’t over-promote, though. 
  • Influencer outreach – ask influencers in your niche to share your blog with their audiences. Make sure you can offer them value (or have already) before asking this.
  • Link-building outreach – think about related businesses you could do a link exchange with. When other sites link to you it can help tremendously with your Google ranking.

 

Anyone can write a killer blog

You dont need formal training to write blogs that get fantastic conversions – you just need a good formula.

And if you want extra help to make your blog posts shine, have a read of our other posts: Using power words to convert with your copy or look into one of our Copywriting courses: build your brand and credibility.  Or better yet, save your time and get a copywriting agency to take care of your blogs for you, we’d be more than happy to help.

 

 

Helen Steemson

The lead copy writer and creative director at Words for Breakfast. She spends much of her time working with the copy writing team across a variety of projects.