You’ve finally bought your very own CMS website and it runs on WordPress, people keep telling you about content marketing and how blogging is a great way to enhance your organic search and build a fan base. This is very true and thus why I am going to be creating several blog posts and vlogs (on The Change Creative YouTube Channel ) about how to use WordPress and what you should be considering every step of the way so you never get lost. In this post I will discuss how to create a successful blog post that will get attention.
Step 1: The key-word for content marketing is solving your customer’s problems or wowing them with your knowledge, product or service
First things first, you should never just write a blog post for the simple sake of having new content and hoping that Google will index it and open your search flood gates, that is a very bad idea. You should always try to provide useful or interesting content otherwise the content you are creating will be deemed spam by the Google powers that be and could even affect your website negatively.
So considering that, take just 10 minutes of your time, grab a pen and paper and write 20 things you are commonly asked by a potential customer or if you are a new business 20 things you have considered yourself as a problem or something you have pondered on. Try and put yourself in the customer’s shoes so you can try and entice people to continue reading your content.
(example list for a florist)
Step 2: Getting found is the key…word!!!
Once you have the key questions and built a list of things you think people may be interested in now is the time to think like a searcher, what would you try typing in to find the answer to your problem? What would unlock the door? A keyword.
Keywords are not always just words, they can be phrases, these tend to be known as long-tail keywords which although don’t get googled as much as something like ‘Facebook’ are still tremendously powerful in getting higher rankings in search engines. Key phrases for Florry the florist maybe “marriage bouquets that are different” or “Halloween themed flowers” and again “the meaning of flowers in a bouquet” are some of the many phrases that may be attractive to the potential consumer.
Keep in mind what an actual florist may find interesting and a consumer may be different so keywords may need to be different.
Step 3: Plug it in – SEO by Yoast
A plugin that many many WordPress blogs and websites alike use is SEO by Yoast which will help you build a successful blog post that is the envy of content creators everywhere! In this step, I will take you through each stage in the process of using this plugin.
This plugin, once installed, will sit at the bottom of where you enter your text. If it isn’t there go to your plugins page and make sure it is active.
Step a ) Enter your chosen keyword or k key-phrase in the first box just below the Snippet (see image above. ).
Step b ) Leave SEO Title empty unless you feel that you need to change it. The title is whatever your blog post title is, usually I leave this alone unless my keyword is missing.
Step c ) leave the Meta Description for now and start creating your content…
You will notice below the keyword/key-phrase you chose it will tell you if the keyword appears in the content. This is so so important! It really needs to appear at the very least in the title, the content, URL, meta-description and article heading. But this won’t guarantee you a high position in search engines, this is only the start, but for now, pause this tutorial and continue your blog post writing for now trying to include your keyword in your content and save it as a draft once you are done, this means it won’t go live to the world just yet!
Step d ) Welcome back my avid reader! Well done on creating some content to post to the world that’s a great start! Next, scroll back down to WordPress SEO by Yoast and click ‘Page Analysis’ ( see below.) This gives you an in-depth look at how to improve your blog post and make it not just good but AWESOME!
You can see below how detailed the instructions are on how to improve your blog post in terms of organic search, it makes it very easy to make a post that will help you generate traffic from organic search as much as physically possible and why this plugin is a no brainer for bloggers.
Step 4: Heading structure is important when you want to create a successful blog post
Headings in a blog post have to follow some rules, similar to that of any newspaper and for that reason, I am going to use that analogy to explain headings. Headings 1 are the headlines of a newspaper, the largest bit of text to grab the attention of the viewer.
Usually, in most WordPress Themes, the heading 1 or H1 is given to the title of the blog and so you never really use them within your blog, instead, use heading 2 to define each new section of your blog, breaking the content up and making it easier to read and help readers find content that matters to them.
Then below the descriptions of heading 2, you may need a subtitle for that section so I recommend for this using heading 3 and although there are other heading numbers I don’t recommend using any more heading tags as this will dilute the blog content further.
So my three-step guide to headings are: –
- Avoid using heading 1 tag as the title of the blog is usually given heading 1 prominence.
- To break up content give each new topic a heading 2 and try to include your keyword/phrase in each heading tag or where possible without it looking unnatural.
- If you need to break content up further then use heading 3.
- Just like the numbers suggest there is a hierarchical system with headings so heading 1 is at the top, heading 2 below and heading 3 and so on. Try not to mix heading numbers in between each other (e.g an h1 then an h3 then an h2 ) as this can be bad for organic search.
Step 5: Build a blog post that has links to relevant content.
When you write content you may find yourself sourcing information from different locations on the internet to either backup your idea or oppose it. Linking other web pages from different websites to your blog post increases the authority of your blog and shows that you are trying to help the user find relevant content which is what search engines want all content on the web to do.
When I add a link I always make sure it opens a new window so that the user knows they have left my website and are entering a new one. To do this simply click the link icon (which looks like a paperclip), enter your URL, add a title and then tick the ‘Open link in a new window/tab.
Step 6: Images and alt tags to create a successful blog post
You may not realize this but how many times have you gone to Google Images on the hunt for some inspiration ( not to steal images of course! ), the reason you can find these images is due to the alt tags that the designer has included.
An Alt tag was first created for the purpose of accessibility and the blind that use screen readers. When the user hovers over the image it speaks out loud the alt tag.
Good designers want ALL users to have the best enjoyable experience and use the alt tag correctly, others sometimes try to stuff it with keywords or make it irrelevant just to try and gain a little more SEO juice which is just plain wrong but it did happen!
Here is my very quick and basic guide to adding alt tags in WordPress blog posts: –
- When you upload a new image you should get a dialogue box open alongside it. Ignore the title and caption options and add your alt tag to the required location.
- DO include the keyword in the alt tag but make sure you have the user in mind so when someone hovers on the picture it makes sense and not ‘101 ways to get flatter abs’, make it relevant and make it descriptive of the image.
Step 6: Use Featured Images To Help Create A Successful Blog Post
Ever taken the time to notice on Facebook that most links to articles have images to entice you? When you build a blog post you should consider the featured image as your shop window ( along with the title ). The title and image you choose should work in harmony to entice the viewer to click through and read the content you have to offer.
If you are writing about a florist you don’t include a picture of a Ferrari as your featured image, unless of course it is covered in flowers, maybe? Be clever with your choice of featured image it can be the reason why your blog post might go viral.
Note, for Twitter you have to set up what is known as ‘Twitter Cards‘ so an image appears when someone shares your link. I will do another blog post in the near future regarding this.
Step 7: Add your tags
Tags are similar to keywords. Back in the ole days (the 1990s ), website users used to chuck websites full of keywords rather than just the one keyword or phrase but Google got wise to this and stopped this ‘tricking of the system’ in the head.
Blog post tags, according to some research, can help in boosting your organic search and also help users find relevant content. You may have noticed a theme developing and that is there is a greater focus on the user which is why we should be building blog posts in the first place…isn’t it?!
Step 8: To Create a Successful Blog Post use Categories
The Categories section of a WordPress blog post helps in several ways.
WordPress themselves say “Categories provide a helpful way to group related posts together and to quickly tell readers what a post is about. Categories also make it easier for people to find your content. Categories are similar to but broader than, tags” (WordPress explains categories).
You will find that most content you write will fit into wide-ranging categories so a painting, a sculpture, a concept, a graphic design piece and even architecture could fit into a category of ‘art’. For information about how to add categories please follow the link provided above.
Step 9: Spread your blog post using the power of social
Lastly is the power of sharing to create a successful blog post. The web is connecting more and more of the world and as it does so more and more people are using social media as a way of staying in touch with what is hip and happening and also giving themselves a voice to be heard.
It is possible to automate blog posts to all your social media channels but I don’t recommend it. It is better if you take some time and share the blog post yourself so you can add a description that works best for each social media platform.
For instance, the inclusion of hashtags in Twitter is more important than it is on the likes of Facebook as people do search for hashtags on Twitter but not on Facebook. But there is also something else that is important when sharing on social media and that is…
…having people to share your content to.
If you are relatively new to social media your following is going to be small as you try to find a foot in the world and become recognised in your industry. This is a whole new topic that for now, I won’t discuss but to start you off try justunfollow.com, it helps you follow and unfollow people that are interested in the same things you are ( blog post to follow shortly. ).
So now you have the tools to create a successful blog post
This is an overview of how to create a successful blog post, the best way for you to get used to creating great blogs is simply to get down to it. In the next few weeks, I hope to be creating several small videos that talk about each one of these steps individually to help make more sense of the blogging environment. Hope you find this useful and if you have any tips at all, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below. Muchas Gracias Amigos! 🙂
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