starting a blog

You’ve decided on a platform, selected a hosting service, and picked a theme for your blog. You’re about to break out into a happy dance. But then realize that there are a few more things to do when starting a blog: you need to actually prepare the content you’re going to publish on your blog and get people to see it. How do you write high-quality posts that will resonate with the people you’re trying to attract? When it comes to creating content, here are 5 things to do when starting a blog:

 

Want a blog that gives you traffic, email subscribers, clients, or customers? Learn how to craft blog posts that convert.
Download my free blog post template + example.

1. Do keyword research

When many people sit down to write their first post, they choose a topic that seems interesting to them. There’s nothing wrong with writing about topics you’re passionate about. But the topics that are most interesting to you may not be what you’re audience is most interested in. That’s why it’s helpful to base your post topics on keyword research.

What exactly is keyword research? And why is it one of the things to do when starting a blog? Keywords are the words you expect your target audience to use when searching online. If you can get a high ranking in Google search engine results for the keywords that your target audience searches for, they’ll be more likely to find you.

So how exactly do you do keyword research?

One of the first things to do when starting a blog is to make a list of categories related to your product, service, or blog niche. For example, because we provide copywriting and editing services, we might include items like this on our list:

  • Blog posts
  • Website copy
  • One-pagers
  • Brochures

Next, for each topic, brainstorm a list of related keywords people might search for. Here are some keywords we might come up with for the “blog post” category:

  • High-quality posts
  • how to write a how-to blog post
  • how long should a blog post be
  • Toronto blog writer

Then, search for related keywords that you may not have thought of. An easy way to do this is to search each keyword on your list in Google and check out the related search terms at the bottom of the page:

 

 

search-results

 

Finally, use keyword research tools (like Google Adwords Keyword Planner) to identify long-tail keywords for each of your categories. Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific terms (e.g., “Toronto blog writer”). You can compare these to head terms, which are short, generic terms (e.g., “blog posts). When you target long-tail keywords, you can attract people who are already very interested in a specific topic (e.g., finding a blog writer in a specific city). This makes it easier to convert them.

Keyword research is one of the most important things to do when starting a blog. So take your time and do it correctly. Check out guides from HubSpot and Kissmetrics for more detailed info on how to generate keywords.

Related: The Ultimate Guide: SEO Basics for Blog Posts

2. Build posts around keywords

Now that you’ve done some keyword research, it’s time to put it to use. How? By creating a piece of content around each of your final keyword terms. By using a researched keyword as the basis for each post, you make it easier for people to find your content when they search for things online. And you want to maximize your traffic, right?

Building posts around keywords also helps you make sure that you’re creating content on topics that your audience actually cares about. You may have a great idea for a topic, but if it’s not something your audience is interested in, they won’t bother to read it. So unless you’re blogging purely for personal pleasure, be systematic by crafting posts around keywords. It’s one of the most important things to do when starting a blog.

If you’ve done extensive keyword research, you might have a long list of long-tail keywords to use. How do you choose which ones to tackle first? We’ve got one name: BuzzSumo.

BuzzSumo is a tool that allows you to find the most shared content for a particular topic or keyword. For example, if we search for “how long should a blog post be,” we can see the most popular articles on this topic and the number of times they’ve been shared. You can use BuzzSumo to figure out which of your keyword topics are most popular right now. That’s why leveraging BuzzSumo is one of the key things to do when starting a blog.

Related: How to write an epic blog post introduction + 72 free blog post title templates

Here’s what a search in BuzzSumo looks like:

 

buzzsumo

3. Experiment with longer posts

One of the most important things to do when starting a blog is to experiment with longer posts. A lot of new bloggers make the mistake of assuming that short posts always outperform longer ones. You probably hear a lot of information these days about how people have short attention spans and won’t watch or read anything that takes more than a few minutes to consume. Based on this, you might think that short posts are the way to go. But this isn’t what the data tell us. (Are you surprised?).

Both Buffer and HubSpot show that the optimal length of a blog post is 1600 words, at least when you’re trying to rank in Google. Yes, you read that correctly. That’s why experimenting with longer posts is one of the key things to do when starting a blog.

Longer posts do well because they give Google more opportunities to discover the target keyword in a post. But that’s not all. They can also do a better job of giving people the info they want. If you needed to know how to set up a self-hosted WordPress site, what would be more useful to you: a 500-word post that doesn’t give you any info you didn’t already know or a 2500-word post that walks you through all of the major steps?

Remember, you don’t want to write long posts for the sake of it. Write as much as you need to provide valuable info on a topic, but don’t ramble just to meet a specific word count. (Because who wants to read a post that’s stuffed with fluff?) For some topics, short posts may make the most sense, and that’s okay. But it’s worthwhile to try out some longer posts to see what they can do for you.

Related: How to write scannable blog posts people actually read + free checklist

 

Want a blog that gives you traffic, email subscribers, clients, or customers? Learn how to craft blog posts that convert.
Download my free blog post template + example.

4. Expand the reach of your posts

Now that you’ve written some posts, it’s time to get some eyeballs on them. Structuring your posts around keywords will help them eventually rank in Google. But your blog will need some time to build its SEO juice. That’s why you need a more immediate strategy for driving traffic to your blog. This is where social media comes in.

One of the best things to do when starting a blog is to share each of your posts on social media. Are you already on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest? Great! Every time you publish a new piece of content on your blog, promote it by sharing it on social media. Here’s an example from our Instagram account:

 

16-tips

 

Although search engines are one of the key sources of traffic for the Inpression Editing blog, we also get lots of visitors from our Instagram and Facebook posts.  In fact, our recent post “7 words that make you sound less confident in emails” created a huge spike in traffic on our blog because it got lots of shares and engagement on Facebook. It’s a great example of why you want to keep other platforms in mind when thinking of the things to do when starting a blog.

Related:

5. Track your traffic

You’ve written a stellar post based on a long-tail keyword and shared it on every social media platform you have an account. That means you’ve done all of things to do when starting a blog, right? Almost, but not quite. If you’ve taken the time to write a post and promote it, don’t you want to be able to know how it did? Of course you do!

One of the most useful things to do when starting a blog is to make sure you have a way of tracking the traffic you get on your posts. The most popular way to do this is by hooking your blog up to Google Analytics. If you’ve got a self-hosted WordPress site, you can add the Google Analytics plugin to stay on top of your traffic.

Google Analytics and other analytics tools can give you lots of info about the traffic you’re getting. You can find out how many times each post was viewed, how many unique people viewed it, and how they got to your site.

Analytics data can help you plan future posts by giving you insight into the types of posts that perform the best. It can also help you figure out which platforms are the best for promoting your posts. So setting up analytics isn’t just one of the things to do when starting a blog. It also helps you grow your blog over time.

There are lots of important things to do when starting a blog

Even once your site is set up, starting a blog can seem daunting. After all, there are so many things to do when starting a blog. It’s true that hosting a successful blog is no Sunday stroll. But if you take a systematic approach to building your posts, promoting them, and evaluating them, you’ll be better off than most people in the blogosphere.

 

Want a blog that gives you traffic, email subscribers, clients, or customers? Learn how to craft blog posts that convert.
Download my free blog post template + example.

Send me the template




 

 

starting a blog

5 tips for writing killer posts when starting a blog + free blog post template & example
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2 thoughts on “5 tips for writing killer posts when starting a blog + free blog post template & example

  • February 24, 2017 at 11:39 pm
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    Great ,you are doing the yeomen service to language ,and its compositions ,keep it up ,the culture and society depends upon good commnications

    Reply
    • March 5, 2017 at 9:23 pm
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      Thanks! We’ll keep it up.

      Reply

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