Most businesses struggle with writing blog posts consistently. Even though blogging is proven to bring more visibility and traffic to business websites, it’s probably not something you have been doing every week (or even every month). If you find yourself struggling with any of the following aspects of writing a blog post, you are in the right place!
- Blogging takes too much time (upwards of 2-5 hours per post).
- You aren’t sure whether your post is any good by the end.
- You don’t know how effective you have been in using keywords.
- You don’t understand the technical SEO aspects of blogging (such as meta descriptions, keyword research, or link building).
How to Write an SEO Blog Post in Four Steps
Writing a blog post isn’t (and shouldn’t be) the main focus of your busy weekly schedule. However, with practice and a solid template to work from, you can write a compelling post within one hour and be free to move on to your other important activities. Best of all, you won’t question yourself when you hit that “publish” button on your website’s blog page!
Let’s look at the four steps you can follow to write your next SEO blog post in one hour or less.
Step One – Planning
The secret to writing a blog post in just one hour is frontloading your planning. By taking 1-2 hours before you ever sit down to write a post, you can ensure that once you get in your chair for the one hour you have to write, you’ll be ready to see it through all the way. There are two ways you can set yourself up for success in business blogging: Content calendars and SEO research.
A content calendar is a guide to the content you will publish. We recommend setting up a content calendar for one year ahead. Depending on how often you would like to post (monthly, weekly, twice weekly, daily), your content calendar might end up being lengthier. There are a few key elements to include in your calendar entries, such as a topic, title, keywords, main points, related articles and links, and a call to action (CTA). You can also think about seasonal interests. For example, if you offer landscaping services, you may write posts related to gardening in the summer and switch to snow removal tips in the winter.
Blog posts contribute to what is called “on-page SEO.” Your on-page SEO is the written content on your website that is “read” by search engines such as Google. Once the search engine has read it (and looked at many other factors, such as how long people tend to stay on your website), your content is ranked as part of the search engine’s algorithm. If your content is ranked well, your blog post or website page will show up higher in the search results when someone types a certain keyword into a search engine.
If one of your content marketing goals is to improve your SEO, you can begin by pinpointing some of the keywords that will help people find your website. There are many ways to achieve this, but the easiest way is to type a general keyword into a search engine and scroll to the bottom of results, where “related” keywords will be listed. These will tell you what types of keywords people are searching for in your industry.
Step Two – Optimizing for Search Engines
Setting Up a SEMrush Content Template
Creating a search engine optimized post can be achieved in many ways. Our favourite tool, and one we use for all of our regular blogging clients, is called SEMrush. The SEMrush content template tool does all the hard work of SEO by comparing top-ranking websites and pages/posts for a keyword. Then, it puts all that information into a neat sidebar that acts as a content creation guide. It even monitors how we’re doing as we type and provides us with an SEO score so we can evaluate our progress. Overall, it functions a bit like a “measuring stick” so we know whether our post is set up to compete with other similar pages and posts.
Step Three – Writing
If you have taken the time to set up your posts in advance, by the time you sit down to write, there won’t be nearly as much to do or think about. Instead, you can simply sit down and let the writing flow! Let’s look at the best order of writing to follow, which begins with titles and headers.
Titles can be tricky because they act as the “hook” that makes people click on the link. Titles need to balance many elements. They need to be clear, short, straight to the point, relevant, relatable, and they need to include at least one of your main focus keywords. Yes, that’s a lot… we know! We have an amazing and easy-to-use formula that we share in our workshop, The One-Hour SEO Blog Post Workshop.
Before you start writing the body of your text, outline your headings! Why? There are two reasons. First, it makes writing so much easier. By creating the structure of your post first, all you have to do after that is “fill in the blanks” with more detailed information. Second, it makes your post easy for readers to scan and digest. An intimidating wall of text can make people want to click right back to that search engine results page. In a post with headings, they’ll see neatly organized writing that helps them organize their thoughts and key takeaways.
Our best tip for beginners is to write a “list post,” also known in the writing world as a “listicle.” A list post typically outlines several strategies or tips that can be used to achieve a goal. For example, this blog post is a list post that features a four step process. In a list post, each section has a number associated with it.
Writing the body of the post should be fairly straightforward after all of the other steps we have outlined are already completed. Writing body text might be the longest step out of all of them, but once you have the thread of an idea pulled out, it’s easy to keep the words coming.
Our best advice is to let the writing flow naturally the first time through without questioning it or stopping to edit or revise. Revisions are best made when you already have a full post to look through.
Once you have a full draft of your post, it’s time to look it over. We recommend running through the whole post twice. The first time, you’ll be looking for any issues in the content itself. Did you miss something? Are all of your concepts clear and well explained? Will moving something within the structure help it make more sense to a reader? Do you have long sentences or paragraphs that should be broken down?
After you’ve run through from a content perspective, a second run-through should look for technical issues, such as spelling and grammar errors. We recommend using a grammar checking program such as Grammarly to catch the small errors that are difficult to spot in your own writing.
Add in Your External and Internal Links
As a final step for an optimized post, you’ll want to make sure that your post leads somewhere else within your website. Internal links help guide people to other information, products, or services you can offer. They also keep a viewer on your website longer, which leads to better SEO scores. In our workshop, we go over the more technical aspects of links, such as how to choose the right anchor text for your links and how to create seamless hyperlinks.
You can also link out to external sources (such as other websites) to improve your SEO. One factor to keep in mind when linking to other websites is that you are essentially “leaning” on their SEO score. The more authoritative they are (the more search engines like and trust them), the more positive the impact on your own SEO.
Step Four – Posting
Back-End SEO Optimization
Last, but not least, your blog post is ready to go out into the world. By now, you should be very confident hitting that “publish” button. But before you do, there are a few items to check off. First, you’ll want to ensure that you include a keyword-focused meta description to go along with your post. This is the short blurb that will be shown on a search results page (such as on the Google search page).
Pushing Your Blog Post Further on the World Wide Web
Now that your post is out there, it’s not just up to search engines to get people reading it… You should be spreading it far and wide, too. Remember that the more traffic a post gets, the better the long-term SEO results will be. So, share, share, share! Share your blog post link on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also post your blog post on LinkedIn as an article so people can read it directly on that platform (if you do that, we have a strategic tip to help you continue to build SEO, which we share in the workshop).
Sign Up for Our One-Hour SEO Blog Post Workshop
If business blogging has your mind boggled, know you are not alone. Understanding the best blog structure for SEO is complex. It took us years to come up with our formula for the perfect SEO blog writing template.
If you want to try our blog post formula, there are a few ways you can do that. Download our free blog post template for a DIY guide, or sign up for our 2.5-hour workshop on how to write an SEO blog post in one hour. We’ll break down our step-by-step guide so that you can easily replicate the process and spend less time, energy, and thought on your blog posts, all while getting better SEO results.