Blogging is an important strategy for generating traffic and leads to your website. Maybe you haven’t seen great results from your blog in the past, or you want to make your strategy stronger, and you’re wondering how to write a great blog post in 2021. Recent changes to Google’s search algorithm and readers’ expectations have changed the blogging landscape in recent years. We’ll take you through the process of how to write a great blog post in 2021, step by step.
How to Write a Great Blog Post in 2021: Step by Step
2021: What’s Changed?
An important part of writing a great blog post is making sure that readers—and search engines—can find it. Unfortunately, even the best blog post won’t get much traffic if search engine crawlers can’t index it and sort it alongside users’ queries. This means that staying up-to-date on search engine optimization (SEO) best practices is an important part of writing a great blog post in 2021.
Technology moves faster than ever and SEO best practices can change quickly. Here are a few important things to keep in mind to work to optimize your blog posts:
- Google tends to give better search engine results page (SERP) positions to thorough, well-informed content.
- Multimedia posts tend to get higher ranks, more clicks, and more shares. Adding videos, infographics, pictures and other types of media can help improve your blog posts.
- Including short lists, definitions or explanations can increase your chances of getting a Featured Snippet, a sought-after SERP spot.
- More searches are made on mobile devices today than laptops. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Step 1: Choose the Right Topic
How to write a great blog post in 2021 stars by picking a great topic. Your topic should give your website visitors value, usually by answering a question or providing a solution.The topic should be broad enough where you can elaborate on it at length, but it should be specific enough that you can cover it completely. For example, a landscaping blog post simply titled “lawn care” is too broad. Instead, a post might cover “lawn care tips for shady areas.”
You also want your topic to fit into your overall marketing strategy and the goal for your blog post. You want to generate organic (unpaid) traffic to your blog, but you also want to gather leads. Use a topic that makes sense with a landing page you’ve recently constructed and an offer you provide. For example, the previously mentioned landscaping blog post would work well with a downloadable guide like, “The DIY Guide to a Healthy Lawn in Michigan.”
If you’re not sure what topic to work with, here are a few tools and sources that can help you brainstorm:
- Quora: this Q&A forum is filled with questions that need answering.
- Answer the Public: answerthepublic.com gives you a list of questions about any topic you enter.
- Google autocomplete: start typing your topic and see what Google suggests.
- Competitors’ sites: what have your competitors written about? While you don’t want to plagiarize, this can be a good place to find inspiration.
- Groups: Start or join a group on Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit and other social networking sites and see what questions the group has.
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Step 2: Use the Right Keywords
Search engines are now too smart for SEO tropes like keyword stuffing, but this doesn’t mean SEO blogging best practices aren’t important. Keywords aren’t intended to “trick” search engines or users, but rather point them in the right direction. If you’re using keywords in your content that potential customers are also using and Google recognizes this, it will make your blog post easier to find.
Finding the right keywords and using them appropriately is still an important part of how to write a great blog post in 2021. Don’t guess on what keywords you should use. A variety of free and inexpensive tools can give you data. Try these:
- Google Keyword Planner Unless you buy Google ads, this tool will give you rough estimates, but it’s a good place to start.
- SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool: You’ll need an SEMrush subscription for this, but you’ll get in-depth keyword data.
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer: similar to SEMrush’s tools, Ahrefs gives you detailed search volume and historic data about a wide range of keywords, for a price.
- Soovle: Soovle uses data from a number of different sites to find what users are searching for.
- Jaaxy: Jaaxy gives you unique keywords and other helpful data for choosing the right one.
It’s important to understand that changes to Google’s algorithm have also changed the best way to use keywords. While the use of keywords can help to make it clear what your content is about, you’ll also want to use synonyms and related topics, sometimes called Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. This is a key part of how Google sorts through and understands language.
Step 3: Write Your Post
Now that you have a solid topic and keywords, you’re ready to write your post. You might find it helpful to make an outline beforehand, so your post follows logically. You also want to be sure you cover the topic completely. At one time, a blog post around 700 words was enough to please Google’s algorithm and still keep your readers’ interest. To know how to write a blog post in 2021, you’ll have to cover the topic in more depth. SEO research shows that top-ranking posts are between 1,000 and 2,000 words. However, don’t add text just to increase the length; use your post to cover the topic in a meaningful way.
Here are some hints to write a great blog post that readers and Google will recognize:
- Study competing posts: See what the top-ranking post has already covered. Be sure to cover all these points and others, ideally with better information or more specificity.
- Use sources: Throughout your post, link to reliable information to establish credibility.
- Organize headings: Use your H1, H2, H3 and H4 headings appropriately to organize your content.
- Be specific: Provide specific instructions or details to show your readers how to do something or better explain the topic. Avoid generalizations.
- Add images: Break up your text with a few high-quality images or infographics. Make sure you have permission to use these.
Step 5: Add a Call to Action
Once you’ve written and perfected your post, you want to make sure it is an effective part of your marketing strategy. In the sidebar, in the middle of the text, or at the end of the post, include a relevant call to action (CTA).
Your CTA is the bridge between your blog and your business goals. The CTA might be a content download, a link to a contact or quote page, or a coupon. Whatever CTA you choose, it should be clear, obvious, and relate to the content in the blog post.
Step 6: Show it Off
Knowing how to write a great blog post doesn’t quite end there. If you want your audience to find your blog post, it is important to show off your post as soon as it goes live. As your post earns more visits, reads, clicks and shares, Google will recognize that it contains helpful, quality content, and it will move up in the search results.
Here are a few ways that you can give your blog post a great start
- Include it in your newsletter
- Share with your friends or colleagues
- Share on social media
- Contact other bloggers who link to competing blogs, let them know about your post and why it could be helpful to them.
- Respond to relevant questions on Quora or similar sites
Blog posts don’t reach the top of a results page on accident. They are well-planned and provide helpful, high-quality content. Now that you know how to write a great blog post in 2021, choose a topic and try this strategy yourself.