That’s why you’re here isn’t it?
As a blogger, I understand the urge to share your thoughts and words with the world.
That’s what I love about blogging. It’s a great platform to share your passion and grow a brand.
Here’s what you need to know. Writing a blog post is not that hard, but getting people to read and share it is a different story.
The good news is you can follow the step-by-step guide that I’ve created myself based on years of experiments. Use these tricks to learn how you can write blog posts that are read and shared.
I’ve used this process to create two successful blogs on my own and have applied the same methods on blogs that have gotten millions in monthly traffic and thousands of shares per blog post.
1. Be specific with your niche
The biggest mistake you can make when blogging is to be as general as possible.
A few months ago, a friend of mine started a tech blog. When I asked him what he wanted to cover, he said everything tech related.
That’s too large! Moreover, he had to compete with bigger and more established blogs that cover everything tech related like Cnet, Mashable, etc.
I advised him to focus on something smaller, for example iPhone, Apple Watch, etc. The smaller he goes, the better he will do. The broader and more general the niche is, the harder it’ll be to gain an audience.
He ignored my advice and focused on writing every single thing that was tech related. He shut down the blog after four months.
In a vast world of millions of blogs, you need to focus your blog around a unique angle to stand out. Otherwise, you’ll be covering too many things and won’t be able to build loyal readers that will keep coming back.
If you aren’t sure what you should be writing, then focus on
- What you love to do
- Topics you like to talk about
- Subjects you love reading
- Topics you can’t stop watching on Youtube
Once you’ve done that, come up with at least 30 articles ideas that you can write. I’ll explain why later.
When I started my blog, which focuses on fashion for short men, I came up with over 50 pieces that I wanted to cover on the blog. So far, I’ve covered nearly 40 of those.
2. Research, research, research
You’ve got a niche! Well done!
Did you write a list of at least 30 articles you can cover? Good!
The reason why we did that is because we want to start with topics that interest you.
When you’re so passionate about a subject, you will write with a flare that is contagious when others read it. That’s how you write blog posts that get read.
For example, while I can write competently about anything that is marketing related, writing a review for a tech product is something I am terrible at. People will know I am someone who’s not passionate about tech products. It will be clear in my writing. I don’t know the tech jargon and my post will not be on par with the best. Hence, ZERO shares.
The 30 blog ideas that you came up with earlier will help with this. Now it’s time to validate those favorite topics. Here’s how you can do that.
As covered in my blog post 6 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Strategy is Totally Failing [and how to fix that], I recommended Buzzsumo. It’s THE Best way to validate whether a topic is popular and will gain traction or not. Use your blog topics or keywords to search.
This is also the exact method I use to research for guest posts that I’m planning to write for other blogs. I’ll research, see what is popular and gets shared on the web, and then propose those topics. THEY WORK.
Here’s an example, I found a topic on Buzzsumo about Twitter marketing with zero budget that had over 1,000 shares. I knew it was a topic people wanted to read, I put my spin on the article and used a similar headline guess what? That article blew up! It had over 1000+ shares on Social Quant.
Subreddits are also a great place to research for topics. Find the most common questions that people have about your niche. Reading through the top comments will also help you to write the blog post since you can get an idea of what people want to read and share. On Reddit people can upvote an answer, so the most popular rise to the top.
Quora is another place to research for popular topics. It was the platform I went to when I needed a topic for Short of Height. I searched the most popular question people were asking about short men and I saw repetitive questions from people wanting to know about ‘style for short men.’
I covered it on my blog, and I’m getting tons of traffic from it.
3. Know the popular types of post that get shares
There are several types of blog posts that you can write. You could write about
- What post
- Why Post
One thing we need to know is not every blog post is the same. Certain blog posts will do better than others. According to Buzzsumo. The most popular type of blog posts that gets shared are list blog posts and infographics.
Try to implement them into your blog and see if they work for you. Tweak and find the right idea that works for your blog.
I found that how-tos and listicles work really well for both my blogs. These are also my favorite blog posts to write. This is a how-to blog post. Coincidence? Not!
4. Write a great intro.
A great blog post introduction must have a hook. And that hook must be your intro.
This is what makes it irresistible.
There are many ways to start a blog post. For me, I keep mine simple and only follow three methods.
Ask a question
Did you know questions are a crucial component in thinking and learning?
See what I just did there?
Researchers have discovered that questions activate the neocortex which is responsible for sensory perception, generation of motor commands, as well as conscious thoughts.
Asking questions are my favorite method of hooking users. The key is to ask a question which they can’t answer without reading the rest of your content.
Try to avoid questions that can easily be answered with a single “yes” or “no.”
Think questions like:
Can you build a successful blog by writing once a week?
Want to build a successful blog?
Did you know there are over 500 million tweets sent on a single day? That’s an actual introduction questions I once used for a post on this blog. It’s a one-sentence fact that attracts attention. It’s short and powerful.
There are more ways to start an intro.
For a better read on how you can write fantastic introductions for your blog, I recommend reading this blog post.
5. Make the blog easy to read
Unstructured posts are one of my pet peeves when reading a blog post. These are most common in long blog posts that have no pictures, bullet points, and white space in between.
When I stumble upon these type of blog posts, I’ll either close it immediately, or skim quickly and close it. I just have no patience or desire to read them. Sound familiar?
I recommend you use the Hemingway app. This free app will rate the readability of your blog posts and will advise you on how to improve it.
On the Hemingway app, the lower the grade, the better it is. I recommend a score of 3-5. For this particular blog post, I got a 3. Which is right where I aim for readability.
6. Write catchy, head-turning headlines
As a blogger and content marketer, I’m sure you understand the importance of writing a catchy, head-turning headline.
A catchy headline can make or break your blog.
I have a formula that works for me. Here are some headline templates that I’ve collected over the years that I’ve kept secret with me.
- The secret to getting ______
- Proven: The most effective way to get ______
- Discover the ______ you get with ______
- The right way to solve ______
- How I got ______ by making this unusual mistake.
- How I Made ______ in ______
- Advanced Guide: ______
- Everything You Need to Know About Getting _____
- How to Plan the Ultimate _____
- Here is a Method That is Helping _____ to _____
- Surprising Things You Can _____
- Get Rid of [problem] Once and For All
- Build a _____ You Can Be Proud Of
- What Everybody Ought to Know About ______
If you can’t get good headlines, then cheat.
Yes, you heard it right. Another method is to cheat!
Don’t be afraid to look for inspiration wherever you can.
I love visiting Buzzfeed and Viralnova to get inspired. They have the best ideas when it comes to writing successful, head-turning, viral headlines that get a gazillion shares.
7. Use tools to help promote
I’m sure by now you know the 80/20 rule. Many marketers swear by this rule – focus 80 percent of your time on promoting your content and 20 percent of the time writing content.
Here’s what I’ve learned: The percentages are not entirely right, and the trick is to use the right tools to promote. I put 60 percent of my time writing content and another 40 percent promoting them. To make my writing task faster, I use Grammarly. Grammarly is useful when you want to find typos, grammar errors, and improve the overall English of your blog. Remember, it comes back to readability—good grammar and error free posts—or people won’t share it.
Grammarly is a tool I recommend for all bloggers, especially if you don’t have a proofreader. You can read my Grammarly review for a full explanation of the tool. Even professional bloggers like Kristi Hines use it.
What about the remaining 40 percent? When I do promote, I make sure I use these three things:
- Triberr is a platform where bloggers come together in groups, aka tribes, and share each other’s blog posts on social media (usually Twitter).
- On Quuu, you can pay to get your content promoted on other people’s Twitter accounts where it will be buffered into their buffer account.
- Trade retweets. Another trick is to trade retweets with other people in your industry. This method has proven to work and there are many successful bloggers still doing this today. It’s similar to Triberr but is but the results are sometimes faster.
- I’ll buffer my posts to make sure they are spread out. I’ll test different variations of tweets. Sometimes I’ll include visuals and sometimes I won’t to make sure my tweets look different.
- Retweet others retweeting me. Another trick is to retweet others that have retweeted me. This will push those tweets to my Twitter stream again giving exposure to my tweets. It’s a good way to provide variety, but share the same content again.
Here’s an example:
8. Measure, measure, measure
At the end of the day, it’s also important that you are measuring your performance. Look at your Google Analytics, shares count, leads, subscribers, inbound links, etc.
I have a spreadsheet of my blog posts and the share numbers for each. It’s important to have a goal, and begin measuring to make sure what you’re writing meets your goals.
9. Write long form content
What is long form content? Different blogs have their own definition of what long form content is.
Some bloggers consider articles longer than 1,000 words to be long-form, whereas other bloggers think that articles have to be in excess of 2,000 words to be considered long-form. 2,000 words is the standard I use for long form content. SerpIQ did a study of the average length of the content in the top 10 results of search queries. The company found that the top-rated posts usually were over 2,000 words.
There are many benefits to long form content. It can:
- Position you as an authority
- Make people spend more time on your website
- Increase shares
- Improve SEO!
Long-form content isn’t just rewarded by the search engines – it also resonates with readers according to Medium.
It’s also proven to get more shares. Here’s the graph
If you haven’t guessed by now, I’ve followed every single method that I just shared with you and applied it into this blog post.
- This blog post has more than 2,000 words
- This is a list blog post (one of the most shared type)
- Its intro starts with a question that hooks the reader
- I’ve included a catchy headline
- I used Hemingway to make this post easy to read
- Research has been done to find the popularity of this topic
Coincidence? It’s not.
I’m glad you’ve made it to the end. How do you feel?
If you’re new to blogging, it can be overwhelming. There is so much information for you to take in.
I recommend bookmarking this page and using it as a checklist. Come back to it as you prepare your next blog piece.