Creating a high-quality engaging killer blog article week-after-week is hard work. It takes time, expertise and a flair for writing exciting copy.
Luckily, we’ve got a list of 50 top tips to help you create a killer blog article every time.
We’ll guide you from having the first idea, through the writing process, to publication and promotion.
Take a look:
1. Stick to your content strategy
Your content strategy should outline the purpose of your content, the key themes and messages and SEO practices. This will give you usable ideas for your killer blog article.
2. Know your audience
You are writing for your audience, so it makes sense that you need to know who you’re targeting. For each piece, establish where your target audience falls in the sales funnel and their demographics. Then relate your article back to their needs, questions and desires.
3. Listen to your audience
Now you know who they are, why not talk to your audience directly? Ask them what content they want to know about your product, service or the industry as a whole. See what they’re saying on forums, social media and review sites like Yell.com, then write a blog piece that solves their problem.
4. Don’t be afraid
Some topics are meatier than others, so lots of copywriters choose to write about them. This doesn’t mean you can’t too. However, don’t just paraphrase what everyone else has said – find an interesting and innovative angle so your blog article will stand out from the crowd.
5. Inspire action
A killer blog article should inspire readers to take action. When choosing your topic, you must consider which action you want your readers to take. Do you want them to sign up for a newsletter? Follow you on social media? Recommend your article to their network? You need to a) write a piece good enough to inspire this action, and b) make it easy for them to do it.
6. Choose a topic that interests you
If it’s no fun for the writer, it’s not going to be fun for the reader. Find a topic you can really get your teeth into. Something you can happily spend hours researching and writing. If you can convey your passion through your writing, you can inspire your audience.
7. Remember it’s solution-based
The best articles are based on solutions. This should be in your mind throughout your planning process. The focus of your piece should be resolving the problem the reader is facing. This should determine the direction of your piece.
8. Create a plan
This seems obvious for the ‘planning’ stage of content creation, but many copywriters don’t actually do it. We suggest physically writing a plan outlining the introduction, separate sections, and Call to Action (CTA) to make sure the blog flows well, and your writing stays focused.
9. Research, research and more research
You may think you know a subject, but you still have to research it. Don’t just rely on Wikipedia either – find statistics and sources for your ideas, to give them substance. Let your plan drive your research. Don’t be afraid to take your time on this stage. The bods at Buffer say 40 minutes per blog post is normal for a 500-word piece – we agree!
10. Conduct keyword research
Another aspect of planning that’s often forgotten. Before writing a piece, you should explore the keywords around that topic. Which are the most popular? Which convert more? If you can establish which keywords perform best, you can sprinkle them throughout your content later on.
11. Make a stance
Once you’ve completed your research, you can make a decision on the position you will take on a subject. There should be no mumbling or maybes at this stage. You should be clear, direct and offer a definitive statement on the unique angle you have chosen.
12. Summarise your premise
Create a one-sentence summary of the idea behind your piece. Does your plan reflect this? If not, go back and adjust it until it does.
13. Consider how long your piece will be
According to Medium, your reader should take seven minutes to read your blog. That’s 1,600 words! Honestly, that’s more words than you’ll probably need for most topics – you’ll just end up stuffing your blog with unnecessary phrases. Longer content is great, but only if your topic justifies the final word count.
After all that (vital) preamble, you can now sit down to write your killer blog article. With your plan by your side, and these key tips, you’re bound to create your best blog yet.
- The shorter, the better
- Offer a benefit
- Use your keyword
- Find the best words
One trick is to leave the headline until last. You want to create intrigue without giving too much away.
15. Hook the audience in with the first sentence
If you thought grabbing your reader’s attention with a title was the end of it, you were wrong. The first line of a blog should be considered the most important. If your reader doesn’t like it, they’ll move on. However, there are many ways to make your first sentence effective. Ask a thought provoking question, cite a quote or statistic or tell a story.
16. Use every word to progress your argument
Each word should count when it comes to writing a killer blog article. Every phrase should add something or strengthen your position. If it doesn’t, it shouldn’t be there.
17. Employ simple, yet precise, words and phrases
Even though you’re usually writing for adults, a twelve-year-old should understand your vocabulary. Avoid jargon, long and complex phrasing and superfluous words to make your point quickly and concisely.
18. Keep focused
As writers, it’s tempting to spin off on a tangent and write about interesting facts we’ve found. However, most of the time they’re irrelevant. Focus your argument on the solution you’re providing, not random statistics you’ve found.
19. Make it believable
For content marketing to really work, you have to become a trustworthy and reliable source. If you’re spouting hyperbolic phrases and making outlandish claims that can’t be backed up, that’s never going to happen. Add supporting statistics and quotes from other sources to back up any claims you make, and always support your claims with evidence.
20. Stop selling
The aim of blogging is to inform, not to sell. Your readers long for educational written content, so why not give it to them? Nobody wants to read an advert disguised as a blog article.
21. Dedicate a chunk of your day to blogging
Everyone has their own way of writing, but we suggest sitting down and writing a full first draft in one go. This way you’re immersed in the topic and not distracted by other events. Next, leave it for a while and come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. You’ll instantly spot ways to improve your piece.
SEO & Readability
Keeping Google happy is incredibly important. Click-through rate has a .67 correlation with ranking – meaning that the higher you rank, the more likely you are to gain traffic from search engines. It serves in your favour to get your piece onto the front page of Google. Here’s how:
Adding the right keyword will help your “findability“. The focus keyword is the keyword you want your page to rank for. Aim for a long tail keyword (multiple words – but no stop words) and is relevant to your reader’s needs.
23. Write a snappy meta title
Meta titles must catch the eye, deliver the benefit and encourage the reader to visit a site in under 60 characters. This is not an easy task, so we’ve come up with a simple format to help you improve your meta titles:
*Primary Keyword* |*Secondary Keyword* |*Location* |*Brand*
So say you were making a meta title for a London based printing business called Printt, it would look something like this:
High quality printing | 24hr prints |London |Printt
24. Add a punchy meta description
Meta descriptions come straight after the meta title, and often make the difference between a reader ignoring you and clicking-through.
These should be action orientated, so start with a verb. They act as a mini CTA to bring the visitor through to your site.
25. Use subheadings
Great for SEO and readability, subheadings break up the text and make reading the blog much easier. Subheadings provide structure for the writer, and helps Google grasp the main elements of a long post.
26. Speak in the active voice
Content written in the active voice is much clearer, shorter and easier to read than passages in the passive.
Instead of saying ‘the 100m sprint was run by Usain Bolt in record time’, you would say ‘Usain Bolt ran the 100m sprint in record time.’
It may not seem like a big difference, but the active voice gives much more momentum to the narrative and helps your audience engage with the piece.
27. Aim for sentences under 20 words long
Short snappy sentences are much better than long-winded phrases and analogies. Sentences over 20 words are also likely to have grammatical mistakes and be confusing. They will often include multiple clauses and require much more concentration from the reader.
28. Cheat – use tools!
There are plenty of tools out there that can help you with your SEO and readability. WordPress plugin Yoast is one of our favourites.
Even the best copywriter should never publish a first draft. By appointing another person as editor, you can ensure that your piece is the best it can possibly be.
Spelling mistakes and grammar faux-pas disrupt the reader’s flow and damage your brand’s reputation. There are many words and phrases that slip through the cracks – especially Americanisms – so while using a spellchecker is a good start, make sure you also …
30. Read the piece aloud
You may sound like a moron and annoy the office, but the best way to check for mistakes is to read the piece aloud. This will highlight any problems with flow, sense or meaning, which you can then rectify before submitting.
Any claim that you or your sources make should be checked for legitimacy. An inaccurate or misleading statement will severely damage your credibility and your relationship with your readers. While in other parts of the process, writers will make sure that a fact/stat is used correctly, editors must check that the fact comes from a reliable source, is still in date and supports the argument.
32. Cut the fluff
As we said way back in tip 16, you need to make it short and snappy. The editing stage is a great point to be ruthless and cut out any words or phrases that don’t need to be there.
33. Reduce repetition
Some points bear repeating – but not many. Writers without a clear plan in place often find themselves talking around a subject, rather than tackling it head-on, and repetitive phrasing is often the end result. A good copy editor should ruthlessly eliminate repetition, and ensure each point is made once, and made well.
34. Axe the adverbs (and some other phrases)
Adverbs (i.e. words that end in -ly and modify the meaning of a verb, adjective or other adverb) should almost always be cut to streamline your writing. Here are a few more:
- Articles (‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘an’)
- Adjectives (words to describe nouns)
- Prepositions (words that link nouns or pronouns to another type of word
- Pronouns (words that stand in for nouns)
- Descriptors (expressions that describe or identify something)
By getting rid of all of this guff, you’ll soon have a smooth and streamlined killer blog article.
35. Think visually
No one likes looking at a large block of text. It’s just boring. A writer should provide a visually stimulating piece – including images, graphs, charts, block quotes, sub-heads and more – to engage the reader.
36. Personalise where possible
New technology has made it possible to personalise your blog. Send it out by email, include the customer’s first name. If they’re re-visiting the website, show them the products and pages they looked at last time. By using this type of targeted distribution you can build a close relationship with your visitors.
37. Reach out to influencers
You might be content with your blog just sitting on your site, but if you really want to build traffic you have to put it to work. Identify the key players in your industry and make sure they see your content. If they like it, they may share it – making your content visible to their many followers.
38. Post regularly
If you post at the same time each week, loyal visitors will know when to return to the site for fresh information. We suggest aiming to publish at least once a week as it encourages Google to revisit and index all your new content.
39. Publish on your site first
Your content belongs on your site. You should post it there first and promote it across your social media channels. Only then should you start posting it on sharing sites like Medium and LinkedIn Pulse.
40. Update your content
The aim is to create evergreen content every time you post a blog. However, things change over time, so even your reliable content might need a spruce up. Update stats, add new sections as technologies improve and include industry comments where possible. Don’t leave your content on the shelf to get covered in dust and be forgotten – updating a post is much faster than writing a new one!
Content promotion can be a tough nut to crack, but do it right and your content will be very effective.
Build relationships with real people and form a loyal audience. By presenting a truthful, authentic persona when promoting your content, you will encourage more people to read it.
42. Use images to attract traffic
43. Share other people’s content
Don’t just promote your own content, give other people’s a boost too. Most industries are built around the relationship economy – if you scratch their back, they’ll scratch yours.
44. Network and engage. (Don’t spam)
When promoting on social media, it can seem really easy to fire out posts throughout the day, but you must consider whether the information you’re spouting is useful for your followers. If it’s not, they’ll get annoyed and unfollow you. Use your blogs to engage them in conversation and answer their needs. Do not ram it down their throats.
45. Take a note of timings
When are your audience active online? During their commute? That first hour at work before they’ve had a cup of tea? Lunchtime? Or some other time? Figure out when your audience are most responsive, and schedule your posts accordingly. Don’t post at silly times like 2am when everyone’s in bed and will miss your killer blog article.
46. Recycle your content
Repurposing older content can give it a fresh lease of life, and a reason for you to promote it again. It doesn’t have to sit dormant on your website, just jazz up the format, maybe turn it into an infographic or video, and give it another social media boost.
Measure your success
All of these tips are very well and good, but how do you know if you’ve really got a killer blog article? Measuring your success of course! This can inform your content strategy in weeks to come, and help improve existing articles too.
One of the aims of your piece is to rank highly on search engines so that your prospective customers can find you. So first thing to do when trying to work out how successful your blog was, is to search your focus keyword into Google. If you spot your article on the first page, you’ve done your job well.
48. Check your key KPIs
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) accurately describe the visitor journey. Here are some to look out for:
- Time on page
- Pages per session
- Session timings
Just log into your content analytics program – Google Analytics is one of our favourites – and see all of your visitor activity. This will help you see how successful your blog actually was, and how visitors interacted with it.
49. Take a look at the content drill down
Some analytics platforms give you a complete overview of your content’s performance. Some even rank your content from best to worst performing, according to your choice of metrics (see previous tip!). See if your new content is truly a killer blog article, and use this information to inspire future pieces.
50. Wait, and do it again
Content marketing is a long game. Most businesses don’t see results for six months, so patience is key. Review your content at regular intervals to see the true measure of its success.
So there you have it: 50 sure-fire tips to help you write your killer blog article.
Follow these, and you’ll be well on your way to content success. Good luck!