Ian Campbell
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I.C. Enterprises

Business Strategies For A Digital Age

Writing Great Blog Posts – A Step By Step Guide

Content Creation Will Help Your BusinessBlogging and content creation is the new way to create success for your marketing.

No doubt you have heard that if you are not creating content, your site won’t rank in search engines, your customers and leads will lose interest and trust in you, you will miss out on valuable extra website pages to have calls to action on and you will not have anything to share on social media to promote your business.

So, how come so many website owners shy away from writing blogs on their websites?

Some of the most popular excuses I have heard over time are about the actual process of creating blog posts on a consistent basis. These include ideas like “I don’t like writing”, “I can’t put together the words easily” and the old favourite “I don’t have time to do it”. It is a given that not many people actually like writing business blog posts, but the benefits for your business are far greater than the small amount of pain in creating them.

No More Excuses

It’s time to put away those excuses and start spending a little time doing this as it is definitely worthwhile for your business. It really is not as hard as what you may think, and with a little time and practice you can be churning out great blog posts easily and often. You only need to know about the subject you will be writing about, and since you are an expert in that field you already have the knowledge to do it.

It’s as simple as…

Many people over think things when it comes to creating a good post that is relevant and on topic, but really there are only a few steps to take to get you creating readable content that appeals to your site visitors.

Appealing To Your AudienceAppealing to your audience.

Understanding who your target audience is helps you to write articles that are not only relevant to them, but will help build your trust and authority in their eyes. This is where creating an ideal audience profile will help you to learn what they want to know about and what will resonate with them. You can then consider what you know about them when coming up with ideas for your blog content and write accordingly.

For instance, if you are a plumber and your target audience is home owners, you could write some basic “how to” articles on how to change tap washers or how to replace a shower head. These will not only provide your reader with some commonplace help, but also keep you in their mind when they need more complex projects done.

You can read more about this at our post Finding Your Ideal Audience.

Finding your post topic

You need to come up with a topic for your post. This should be something that you already know will help and interest your ideal audience in some way. Spend some time looking at what questions are being asked by your potential readers and you will be able to craft a topic around their needs.

Start by asking yourself these questions based on what you know about your audience:

  • What are they looking for information on?
  • What problems do they ask about elsewhere?
  • What do they interact with most on social media and in forums?
  • Do they need instructions, information or ideas?

These are all starting points in working out what topic you can cover in your blog post that is actually something your audience wants to read. There is really no point spending your time and effort writing posts on topics that are not applicable to your target market so use whatever resources you can to find out what they like and need.

Work out your post type

In this part, you need to think about the type of post you want to create. This has two areas you need to think about, one is the post style and the other is the post format.

By the post style, we mean in which way will the information be written. Will it be a step-by-step tutorial like How To Write Content For Your Website, a numbered list post such as 7 Surefire Ways To Increase Your Traffic or a “traditional” informational post as in What Is A Call To Action. Each of these post styles have their own merit but you need to choose which style will suit your topic and audience best.

The post format is about how you will present the information you are giving. Will you use plain text, a video, an info-graphic, a podcast or a combination of a couple of different styles. Different people respond and learn with different mediums so sometimes it is worthwhile mixing up the format of the posts you are writing to see what resonates more with your followers. For instance, in a tutorial style post you could create a video showing the steps along with text style step-by-step instructions on the same post.

Writing (or recording) your post.

Time to get onto the actual content part of your post. This is comprised of a number of steps which will help the creation process and speed up production of your post. The same steps can be used to create a script for recording an audio or video based post or an outline for an info-graphic or slideshow.

Bullet List Your Sub Headings: An effective post is made readable by having sub headings at relevant points throughout the content. This helps readers find things that are relevant to their own needs and breaks up long areas of text into more manageable ones. The easiest way to create your sub headings is to have a series of bullet points on the key points of your post. As an example, for this post I came up with the following points:

  • Post introduction
  • Appealing to your audience
  • Finding your post topic
  • Working out your post type
  • Writing (or recording) your post
    • Bullet listing sub headings
    • Creating section summaries
    • Fleshing out the post sections
    • Editing the full sections
  • Putting it all together
  • Summary and final words

As you can see when you read this post, all these points have been used as subheadings throughout the content which gives it structure. Doing this can also help you to avoid missing important information that ties in with what your post is about as it gives you a checklist to work off.

Creating Section Summaries: Now that you have your sub headings, it is time to add a short summary to each with the key area of information that it relates to. This doesn’t need to be in-depth as you will be expanding on it in the next step, but it needs to have enough information in it so you know when you get to fleshing it out what is needed.

I find the best way I write is to complete the post in sections rather than as a whole, so you need to address all of the points you want to make within the section in a way that jogs your memory when you come back to it. If you do not create a summary that covers this then you could possibly go off track in the section.

I also use this step to decide if I am going to use any images or bullet lists in the particular section so I know what I need to create.

For instance for this section of this post, I created the following summary: Explain how to create a section summary that has enough info to work on later. No bullets or images needed.

Fleshing Out The Post Sections: Now we need to expand upon the summaries we created for each of our sub headings. This is where we start to elaborate on the specific topic we are covering in the section and add value and our voice to it.

Start by addressing the key section points from your summary and go more in-depth with them, give examples if possible and write in your own voice. Cover the points thoroughly without worrying about how long it ends up being as you will edit it later. Be creative in the way you add your voice to this and write the information in a way your audience will follow clearly.

As you flesh out these sections, be mindful of the overall objective of the post and stay consistent to the topics at hand. You can add your bullet points and images at this stage to make sure it looks OK and is readable and harmonic.

Take the time it needsEditing The Full Sections: You may think this is a little strange, but the best thing you can do now is to save your post as a draft and walk away for a while. This can be for a couple of hours, overnight or even a day or two. This will allow time for your brain to relax and think about what you have written before you begin the editing process.

Once you come back to your post, read it through in it’s entirety. This will give you an idea on how well all your different sections flow and hopefully you will see any glaring problems. Take notes on what needs fixing and what works well and then get down to the editing part.

If you have seen any really obvious issues with the post, then this is the time to fix them. Work on making sure everything flows together in an informative way and rewrite any parts that do not. If possible, print your post out and proof read it the old fashioned way, with a red pen. Whilst you want to make sure you use your own voice, make sure you have not used terms that your audience will not understand and simplify as much as possible without losing the context.

Go through each section and check for spelling mistakes, both using a spell checker and by reading it yourself. If you can, get someone else to proof read it too and ask them to critique it. This is a great way to find areas that may have sounded alright to you, but may confuse your reader.

Putting it all together

Once the post content has been checked and edited, the final step is to come up with the post title. Though some writers do this at the outset, I find it is better to create the title after your post has been finished so you can write it in a clear, interest driven, enticing way. Work out what the overall benefit of your post is to the viewer and form your title around that.

This post had a variety of different options for the title, such as “Writing Successful Blog Posts” and How To Create Exceptional Content For Your Blog”, however after much thought I decided that “Writing Great Blog Posts – A Step By Step Guide” was the best option.

To finalise the post, add and align all the images you want on it, add any internal hyperlinks and create a really good introduction and final word.

After following these steps you should have an informative, well written and relevant post that will appeal to your audience. It is now time to publish your post and share it with the world.

Publish To The WorldA Quick Summary and some Final Words

Congratulations, if you got this far you have found out my way of creating blog posts. You now have a step by step method to start writing content on your website that helps and engages your viewers and also brings authority and trust into your business.

Here is a quick recap:

  • Understand what your audience wants to read
  • Work out a topic that they want help with
  • Decide on the best style and format to deliver the information to them
  • Write your post using 4 steps
    • Create sub heading bullet point
    • Come up with summaries for each sub section
    • Flesh out the sections with more information
    • Edit the full sections
  • Put it all together, create a title, add any media and then publish your post.

The whole process may seem to be quite time consuming and long at first look, but when you break it down into the core components it gives you a logical and easy way to consistently create great content.

This system can be used to create regular and consistent blog posts as often as you need to. If you wanted to create a post every day, you would start by doing the first 3 steps to writing your actual post on the first day, the second day you would create a new post with the first 3 steps, then edit and finalise the one from the previous day. As you get more practised in doing this, you will find it will become faster to produce your posts so you can build up a stockpile to work with.

I hope you found this to be informative and helpful. I would love to hear your thoughts and tips on your own process of writing your blog content in the comments below. If you would like help with getting your business to be more effective online, please see our Business Consultation Package for more details.

22 Responses to Writing Great Blog Posts – A Step By Step Guide

  • This is a great how-to post for businesses who have been putting off writing content rich blogs for their sites. There are people who aren’t necessarily great at putting words together in a way that is interesting to the reader, however, that’s one of the beauties of having “writers”, (someone like me), who can listen to the business owner, hear their needs and then write content for them. It is interesting how many people don’t believe they can write, and in fact they haven’t actually sat down and tried! This is sure to be a very helpful post for those who like a structured easy-to-follow process, Ian!

    • Thanks Beverley, I believe that many people who “think” they can’t write get overwhelmed with the how rather than just doing it. I am hoping that this structured approach will encourage them to just try and see what comes from it. Thanks for your comment. Cheers, Ian

  • Great outline of how to write a blog post. I’d add mix it up. Change the length of your post. Add video or audio. Mix up the topics, provide example or inspirations.

    • Thanks Heather. I will be writing more about the things you mentioned in future posts, this was just on the basics to help people get started. Thanks for commenting. Cheers, Ian

  • Boom! Okay, it looks simple enough when you outline it like this!! For me, sometimes the biggest challenge is putting my butt in the chair and telling myself it’s blog time. I’ve also learned to keep a notebook with me so that when I get an idea I can put a few notes together; letting the idea gel a bit also helps me out.Great post, Ian, as always!

    • Hey Deb, the notebook is a great idea and you can also use it to get the first couple of post writing steps down. Then, when motivated enough to get your butt in the chair you will have a really easy plan on what you are going to write. Thanks for your comment. Cheers, Ian

  • It would be a rare business owner who would not feel motivated to write a blog post after reading the detailed helpful steps, Ian. My own process includes jotting down by hand the key points I want to cover and then just start writing, like a brain dump. Then I return to the draft and start making it comprehensible and refine my perspective on the subject. Sometimes, if I am lucky I have enough content for more than 1 post or even an idea for a new ebook.

    Somehow, once I start writing, everything falls into place.

    • Vatsala, the key is to use whatever process works for you. The way you are doing it gives you the basis for great articles, and as you say, even books. If what you do works, then keep going with it. For others, I hope this gives them an idea of how to get started and keep going. Thanks for your comment and for your way of doing things, much appreciated. Cheers, Ian

  • How timely. I currently have random thoughts that I want to include in my next blog and other than jotting them down, was really feeling stuck. I’m not a great systems person, but I plan to try your excellent 4 step process. I don’t usually have a problem selecting a topic as I often work from a calendar, looking at holidays & events that relate to our products. If I break each month down into a weekly formula, it’s much easier. I’m pinning this to my blog tips board so I have reference to it.

    • Hi Roslyn, so glad this has helped you in some way. The 4 step process is great for structuring your ideas into content that is relevant and targeted towards your market. Thanks for commenting and I hope it continues to help into the future. Cheers, Ian

  • Hi Ian,

    This is an excellent step by step guide of how to write a blog post. I have met people who don’t know where to start and become frustrated before they even begin. Having a guide like this will definitely help. One thing that I suggest to new bloggers is to find the pain points of their audience and go about solving the problem. This seems to help when trying to come up with a topic.

    Again, great post, my friend!

    • Hi Robin,
      Thanks for the feedback. I agree that finding the pain point of your buyers is fundamental in content (and product) creation. I will be creating more posts regarding this in the future and welcome any other suggestions you may have on this process.
      Cheers, Ian

  • Ian … this is an awesome post and your bullet points helped me with my blog post this week – you are an amazing friend! I love your content and I look forward to having you featured on my blog and sharing more great content between us. Keep up the amazing work.

    • Hi Tamara, I am actually working on some ideas presently and am also looking forward to being able to contribute to your blogs success. I am so glad that I have been able to help you in some small way with your writing and am privileged to call you my friend. You have some amazing skills in your area of expertise and I love that we can work together to help others achieve success. Thanks for your comment. Cheers, Ian

  • Great blog post Ian! I found it’s very important to “Understand what your audience wants to read”. That’s the definitely first step, and I’m working on. At the end, you want to write a blog that your audience can get value out of it. Thank you for your valued information!

    • Hey Kaz, thanks for the praise. You are dead right that you need to write a blog that your audience can get value from. If you don’t do that, then I don’t see the point of writing it at all. Cheers, Ian

  • Hi Ian,

    Wow, what a fantastic step by step guide to writing great blog posts!! Our audiences are why we write our blogs and it is so important to make sure that our blog posts offer tons of value so they keep coming back again and again!

    So detailed and so easy to follow 🙂 Awesome post!!

    • Hi Joan,

      Thank you for the great feedback. I am so glad that this is easy to follow. I tried to make it as detailed as possible without being difficult to read. Cheers, Ian

  • Hi, Ian! Great post: no excuses after reading your step-by-step guide. Darn, I’m really good with excuses, too. Thanks for all the ideas!

  • Hi Ian, this is great. Business posts are a unique beast, and this will help me get my head around them and keep them interesting to the parties reading them.

    • Hi Lori Ann, indeed writing business posts is quite different to writing for a personal blog, but I do not think it is any harder. Glad this will help you with your posts. Cheers, Ian

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