A 6-step process to pen the perfect blog post

If you want to know how to write a blog post; congratulations! You’re in the right place.

Writing an awesome blog isn’t just about opening up a new Word doc, thinking of a title, and typing 1000 words.

There’s so much more to it than that, and this blog post is going to take you through the 6 steps of how to write a blog post that is going to be of value to your audience, drive traffic to your website, and convert to more sales and revenue for you!

So…if you were looking for an easy-to-follow guide on just how to write a blog post for your equine business, then read on, take notes, and create that perfect post today!

And if you’re not sure if you need to write a blog post, then check out my article on why you really should be creating regular blog posts for your business.

Step #1 of how to write a blog post – Be super clear on your goal

Being super clear on who you’re writing for and what they’re asking is THE foundation of all great marketing.

I don’t advocate giving your ICA (ideal client avatar) a name, age, shoe size, or hair colour. That’s fun to do if you have the time or inclination; go for it. But for the purposes of creating compelling content, it’s not necessary.

However, I DO stress you need to delve deep into your ideal customer’s inner mind workings and thoughts and HOW you can solve their problem.

  • Know your customer’s likes, dislikes, fears, and desires. Their deepest, darkest ones, the ones they might not utter to anyone else. Not even themselves. Know what they need before they know it.

  • Know exactly how and why you’re the best person to help them. For example: You sell saddles? No – you DON’T sell saddles – but you DO provide a solution to a horse stopping at jumps, or bucking, or their saddle slipping back.

Remember, Google is pretty clever at understanding a user’s intent from what they type into the search engine. So remember, you need to make it clear to both Google and your customer just what value you’re giving here.

And once you know what problems you solve for your audience, you’ll be ready for Step #2!

Step #2 of how to write a blog post – Choose your keywords carefully

Once you know your customer’s main problem that you’re solving, you need to do at least some basic keyword research to find an ideal phrase you can go for to get traffic to your blog post.

TIP: Answer The Public is a fun place to start your keyword research. You can give it a subject/topic, and it will give you back heaps of ideas of possible queries you could centre your keyword around

But, a super easy way of starting keyword research is to use Google itself!

Google the MAIN problem you solve for your customers, so going back to the saddle seller example; you could Google ‘Why is my horse stopping at [big] jumps’ or ‘How do I stop my saddle slipping back’?

Any search will throw up 1000s and 1000s of search results, but as we know – we’re only concerned with the top 10 or so.

And, once you get these results, you can do four things:

1. Check out the top entries on the page, which are likely to be other blog posts (see the value in writing blog posts for ranking yet??) Get a feel for how they structure/answer the reader’s query – do they answer the question succinctly? Do they provide value?

Then your goal is to write a better blog post!

2. Scroll down the page to the ‘People Also Asked’ section and take note of the other questions Google is throwing up, as these will be popular queries with high search volumes. Choose some relevant questions that you could create your blog post around, so you can answer the question in-depth.

These will be your possible ‘main keyword phrase’.

3. Run some possible main keyword phrases through a free keyword research tool and check out the volume of traffic to that keyword (should be high) and the keyword difficulty (should be low).

There are many tools to choose from and most offer a free trial/limited search features for free, so feel free to test some. Recommendations would be Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, Ubersuggest, Ahrefs free keyword generator…there are many! (Some may need you to sign up/create a free account.)

You want to find a main keyword phrase that has a higher volume of traffic/monthly searches to it, and has a low competitive difficulty rating. (Don’t get too hung up on this – it’s easier said than done to find a perfect-scoring keyword.)

(Don’t get too hung up on this – it’s easier said than done to find a perfect-scoring keyword.)

TIP: This is where longer-tail, more specific keyword phrases will help you – they have less traffic but also lower competition! If someone is specifically searching for a ‘pink and purple pony size saddle pad with glitter unicorns’, and you happen to have that as your main keyword phrase, you’re definitely going to get the click and the sale! You’ve just given them exactly what they’re asking for, 100%.

4. And don’t forget your own data. Check out Google Search Console and see if it gives you any keyword phrase examples that your customers are already using to find your business. You can even ask your existing audience what they would/did type into Google to find your site.

Assign the keyword phrase to a blog post and…SEO success!

TIP: Where does ChatGPT fit into this? I strongly suggest NOT using ChatGPT or any other AI model to write your article. However, you can use AI as a strategy/brainstorming type of tool. It can give some ideas you may not have thought of, or it can generate a sequence of possible blog post topics that are all related to your cornerstone topic. All helpful stuff, but please – it’s too generic and lacking in emotion/empathy to actually create your content!

You’ve found the perfect keyword for your post – what next?

Once you’ve got your main keyword phrase, there are certain ways to ‘use’ it. It’s not as simple as stuffing it in wherever you can (throwback to the early 2000s, and even then, it was a dubious method.)

  • Use your main keyword phrase as the blog post heading and be sure to format as H1 in the back of your website. (If you use WordPress, the title of a blog post is automatically formatted as H1 for you.) You should have one H1, but you can have multiple H2, H3, etc (ranked for importance).

  • Mention the phrase throughout your introduction (approx. 150-200 words) and answer it as succinctly as possible in one neat paragraph to have a shot at getting a featured snippet on a Google search (a valuable spot appearing at the top of page 1 – every blog’s goal!)

  • Include variations (synonyms) of your main keyword phrases throughout your article, always remembering to write for your reader before Google (don’t write stuff that doesn’t make sense just so you can fit another related keyword in!)

If you follow this *simple* method for researching and using keywords you won’t go wrong.

Ok, phew, that’s the biggie covered! It’s all free-wheelin’ from here.

Step #3 of how to write a blog post – Write your blog post

Now it’s time to kick back, relax, and let your fingers on the keyboard do the talking.

But even then, it’s not as easy as just type, type, typing…

There are still a few unofficial blogging dos and don’ts to be aware of.

1. First, high school English is out here – old-fashioned writing rules don’t apply when creating copy that attracts, interests, and converts. We write at a lower level of language for blog posts – they are not designed to be academic high-level pieces of prose – think young teenager-level.

You CAN start sentences with ‘and’ and ‘but’!

TIP: The Hemingway app is a great tool to copy and paste your completed text into and see how it scores. You’re looking for a reader level of about 6 or 7, no higher. This means your copy is clear, simple to understand, and easy to read. Great for conversion! And don’t forget to check for overuse of passive voice, unnecessary ‘filler’ adjectives, and too-long sentences. Be prepared to do some editing if these are flagged.

2. Online readers scroll and let their eyes jump down the page rather than reading each word or line, so make your text grab their (limited) attention, stand out, and easily draw their eyes down the page.

Some ways to do this:

  • Have a clear introduction section and a final summary at the end

  • Keep sentences short and paragraphs shorter

  • Don’t use three words when one will do

  • Break up the bank of text on the page with subheadings and bullet points

  • Use bold and italics where necessary (but sparingly) so important words/phrases stand out

  • Use plenty of white space and space those sections out

  • Use images or graphics to break up a wordy article

  • Apply alliteration to attract additional attention (see!)

  • Write like you speak and read your copy out loud – does it sound like you and your tone of voice?

If you’re not sure that you can write well enough (a common misconception among all of us equine entrepreneurs) then have a quick read of my blog posts on ways to improve your copy for your equine business and also my 16 ways to create compelling content. They’re packed full of useful goodness to help you become the writer I know you can be!

3. Make sure your blog post has a decent word count, but is not full of fluff or filler words. Every word has to count and provide value, so if you can’t write an article of over 800-words, at least, then maybe your chosen subject isn’t the correct choice.

4. And most importantly, add a call to action (CTA), or multiple, at the end of your blog. For example, ask them to sign up to your mailing list, check out your website pages, or read more blog posts you’ve written.

Step #4 of how to write a blog post – Optimise for SEO

Before you publish, there’s still some tweaking and optimising to do to get the most value out of your lovingly created blog post.

1. Write a descriptive title tag that includes your main keyword phrase.

2. Create a compelling meta description that’s going to get people clicking through to your blog. A meta doesn’t need to contain your keyword – it’s more of a two-line sales pitch, so make it a goody!

3. Optimise the URL. A URL or Permalink should be descriptive and contain your keyword phrase, but you can take out ‘stop’ words, such as ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘to’ etc. Make sure to use hyphens instead of underscores, Google doesn’t recognise the latter.

4. Check that you’re using your main keyword phrase in the important places:

  • Blog post title

  • Heading (H1 tag)

  • URL or permalink

  • Main image file name

  • Main image alt tag

  • In your intro paragraph (first approx. 150 words)

4. Include some links within your blog. You should create inbound links to other blog articles you may have written, or link to your product pages, to encourage your reader to stay on your site consuming your content.

If relevant, you can include outgoing links to other online articles that may benefit/back up your words, but not too many. Remember, this is your blog post for your customer.

5. Check the technical performance of your site. Most people skip over this important SEO factor, but the speed at which your site loads is a major part of Google’s algorithms and can affect your SEO score quite considerably, so always make sure your website is performing well.

You can use a tool such as GTmetrix to do this.

6. And make sure your site is optimised properly for mobile viewing. According to a report from Hitwise, nearly 60% of all online searches are now carried out on a mobile device, with some sectors reaching 70%. That’s a lot of your audience looking at your website on a mobile screen!

7. Use relevant images/videos but don’t forget to optimise them. Breaking up the text with images or having infographics on your blog post can be really useful, but remember to optimise them for SEO purposes. Use a useful tool such as TingPNG to squish files as much as possible.

8. Don’t forget to edit each image’s title tag and alt tag. Include your keyword phrase in the title tag of your main image. Google can’t ‘see’ images so it’ll read your keyword instead. A huge SEO opportunity most miss…

Step #5 of how to write a blog post – Publish and repeat consistently

Too many blog posts sit in the Drafts folder and never get published. Don’t overthink this – once you’ve researched, written, tweaked, and optimised an article, get it out there to start attracting interest.

And don’t do it in isolation either. Have a plan to publish a blog every fortnight, month, or whatever suits you, and hold yourself to that plan.

You’ll start to see a reward for your efforts pay off if you’re consistent.

Step #6 of how to write a blog post – Remember the necessary checks

Once your blog is published, it’s not an excuse to slam the laptop lid shut, shout “Finally!” and rush outside to see your horse (as I will be doing in approximately 15 minutes!)

Rather, reload your website and check it all looks good and loads properly.

And do these final checks:

  • Are you using your main keyword phrase in the necessary spots?

  • Have you mentioned your main keyword phrase in your introduction paragraph plus a few times throughout your whole blog post?

  • Do you have synonyms of your main keyword phrase used in your article body?

  • Is your blog post easy to skim-read, and includes subheadings, plenty of white space, and images/infographics if relevant?

  • Do you have one H1, and multiple H2 and H3 headings, that contain your keyword phrase?

  • Have you linked to other pages on your website, or useful outside content?

  • Have you optimised the URL, title tag, and meta description?

  • Are the titles and alt tags of any images optimised?

  • Does your site load quickly and look good on mobile (very important)?

  • Is your blog a good length without being waffly or fluffy?

  • Do you have a call to action at the end of your blog?

  • And the one thing everyone forgets about – is ‘Allow Comments’ turned on? This is important as you want interaction and engagement on your website, and a blog post is the perfect conversation-starter!

There you have it.

A well-written, optimised, valuable blog post live and ready to drive much-needed traffic to your website!

Doesn’t that feel good??

Don’t forget to drop the link to your new blog post in the comments – I’d love to see them all.

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