Blogging is so much fun (for me at least.) I love to write and I always have, so blogging just makes sense. Now unfortunately just because I blog doesn’t mean anyone else reads it… for real, not that many people read my blog currently, but shout out to my fam, you guys do, so thanks for that! Anyways, the key to a successful blog is to not only write quality content, but format it as well. It’s a package kind of deal.
I have an extensive background in both writing and SEO, which is a big reason why I finally started my own blog (because I can!) Having worked in various environments where all of the blogging and SEO work has fallen on me, I have picked up quite a few tricks to optimize my work and website. I couldn’t be more thankful for that!
1. Decide on a topic
Honestly, this is sometimes a lot easier said than done. I get writer’s block more often than not and sometimes there just isn’t anything you can do about that. Like, I am literally blogging about blogging right now… BUT planning your content can help alleviate the stress of coming up with topics… which brings me to step number two.
2. Create a content calendar
Create a content calendar. Create a content calendar. Seriously, create a content calendar! This will help keep you organized as well as accountable. Create a schedule (keep it simple and easily attainable at first) and stick to it! You will be so proud of yourself if week by week you find yourself consistently blogging and sticking to your schedule. This will also help with blog traffic. Once you build up a following, they will notice if you have a routine regarding when you publish. Find one that works for you and stick to it! Before you know it, you will have built up a nice archive.
3. KEYword research is key… hehe
So you’ve got a topic picked out? Great! Now it’s time to put in a little research for a keyword (and related keywords) to sprinkle throughout the post. The key with keywords, haha there I go again, is to find ones that work organically within your content. Don’t just stuff it in there to stuff it in there, not only does it just sound weird, it can also get you penalized by Google if they believe you are keyword stuffing. That is an SEO no no.
* A keyword can also be a phrase.
4. Come up with a catchy title
I sometimes, or often times, struggle with this step. Depending on the topic it can either be very easy or very difficult to come up with a catchy title. You want to name your article something that will make people want to read it, but you don’t want to be spammy. The key here is to incorporate your keyword in the title!
5. Write optimized meta titles and descriptions
The meta title is how the name of that specific page is displayed in your browser. The meta description is a short snippet, up to 155 characters, of HTML tag that summarizes the content of the page. Search engines will show the meta description in results when the searched-for phrase is within the description. Make sure to include your keyword or phrase here! I use the All In One SEO WordPress plugin for this, but Yoast SEO is another great option as well. After you write your blog post, there are sections dedicated to the meta title and description for you to fill out.
6. Utilize heading tags
The most important thing to remember with H tags is that you only have one H1 per page, and that should be the title.
The following H tags should be considered a hierarchy, each main section can be broken down with an H2 tag (try to include a keyword in these!), and so on.
7. Add images (with alt text!)
Images add a lot to a post. People love visuals. Especially if you have a lot of words. Try to break things up with images, or GIFs, as long as they make sense. Don’t just stick one in to stick one in. And don’t forget the Alt text! Alt text enables a text reader to understand the context of an image and can read it out loud to someone that may be visually impaired. Make sure to accurately describe the image for this purpose!
8. Edit, edit, edit!
I personally have my mom read all of my posts before I publish them (thanks mom!) to have a second set of eyes on them. I find that when I stare at the same article for so long I miss crucial edits. Whatever your editing style, do not skip this step! You want to build trust with your audience, and an article full of typos won’t help with that.
Hopefully these steps help you create some great blog posts in the future! I plan to post a few more articles about SEO and blogging best practices, so stay tuned for those! Including key word research tips, a guide to SEO topic brainstorming tips and more.