How to Write a Blog Post That Attracts New Readers: A Step-by-Step Guide 

 March 3, 2023

By  Julian

Writing blog posts that generate traffic is one of the most important skills when it comes to blogging.

If you publish a blog post that doesn't tick enough boxes, seeing your article on Google's top results will be virtually impossible.

In this guide, we'll show you how to write a blog post that your readers will find useful.

Whether you're writing your first blog post or 100th, this guide will improve your content writing skills.

Time to get started.

How to Write a Blog Post in 7 Major Steps

Most guides on how to write a blog post are simple and straightforward. They typically go like this: pick a topic, create an outline, write a rough draft, proofread and edit, and publish.

That’s the simplified process. But if you want your blog posts to actually generate traffic, you’ll have to go deeper than that.

According to the latest blogging statistics, there are around 7 million blog posts publish on a daily basis. That's a lot of competition no matter what niche you're in.

The blog post writing process you’ll learn here is much more in depth. We’ve broken it down into 7 large steps.

Here’s how to write a blog post that will drive traffic:

Open up your notes app (or pen and paper) because we’re about to go in depth.

Step 1. Topical Research

The first step is all about finding a blog post topic that will generate traffic. Without this, it won’t matter how great your writing is. There would be no point if no one were to read it.

This part is broken up into 3 subsections.

1. Find a Blog Post Topic People Search For

Writing a blog article about some random topic is a large waste of time. Especially if you don’t have a pre-existing audience on social media or a mailing list.

If the topic you write about isn’t actively being searched for, no one will find it organically.

The whole point to writing blog posts should be to grow your audience and make money

For us bloggers and content creators, this is especially true. Content is our money maker.

So, how do you find blog content topics that will attract new readers?

a) Google Search

Google’s search engine will tell you a lot about what its users type into its search bar.

You can find loads of keywords and topics using Google’s autocomplete feature. Some people refer to it as the alphabet soup technique.

This is where you type a keyword into Google and study the suggestions it provides.

Google autocomplete example 1

You can start by typing a keyword. This could be anything related to your niche.

For example, if your blog is about weight loss, you can try something like:

  • Weight loss
  • Lose weight
  • Diet

From there, you can add a letter to your search (without pressing enter).

You can take it a step further by using multiple words and letters.

Using “weight loss” as an example, you can try this:

  • weight loss fo
  • weight loss for men
Google autocomplete example 2

Another helpful way is to use the * character. You can add it before, after, or in between your keywords. Google will provide even more autocomplete queries.

Here are a few ideas on how to do that:

  • * weight loss
  • weight loss a *
  • how * weight loss
  • what * weight loss
  • is * weight loss
Google autocomplete example 3

You can do this with any keyword or phrases. Google autocomplete is a powerful tool for finding topics with potential.

Another way to use Google is to look through the People Also Ask section.

When you enter a search query into Google you’ll find a section under the first couple results that show questions Google users have entered into the search engine.

Google People Also Ask 1

These People Also Ask questions are valuable as you can write blog posts on these topics.
You shouldn’t create a blog post for each one, however. If you browse the PAA section you’ll notice that some of the questions overlap. Some are just variations of the same question.

When that’s the case, you can target these questions in the same article. That way, you can rank for both terms.

b) Quora

Quora is the largest online community where people go to ask and answer questions of any kind.

The topics are endless. You can find questions about pet ownership, parenting, home DIY, digital marketing, stock markets, video games, and so much more.

To start finding blog post topics in your niche, go to Google and use this search query:
site:quora.com + your keyword

Here’s an example using “pet care” as our base keyword:

Google Quora search 1

Google says there are about 56,100,000 results related to pet care on Quora.com. If you browse through the results you'll surely find something to write about.

c) AnswerThePublic

AnswerThePublic is a tool that pulls up questions that have been asked around a particular topic or keyword—much like Quora.

The tool will break down questions in categories—who, what, where, can, are, will, etc.

AnswerThePublic example 1

It will also provide you with search volume.

AnswerThePublic is a powerful tool for finding content ideas. It provides a few free searches per day. But after that you'll need to sign up for an account. The lowest price point is $9 per month.

d) SEO Tools

There are many good SEO tools out there for finding topics:

These tools have keyword research features that provide keyword ideas with search volume and SEO difficulty.

I'll use Ubersuggest for example.

When you enter "weight loss" into the Keyword Ideas feature, you'll get a list of keywords related to your search.

Ubersuggest 1

Ubersuggest does a great job at providing relevant keywords. It usually comes up with hundreds.

In our "weight loss" example, the tool found 5 pages worth of ideas! That's about 4-500.

Ubersuggest 2

But it takes it even further...

Ubersuggest provides RELATED keywords, QUESTIONS keywords, and more. So you'll get even more blog post ideas.

Ubersuggest 3

If you're blog doesn't have a ton of SEO authority, I'd recommend you find a keyword that has lower search volume and a low SEO difficulty score.

In our "weight loss" example I found this keyword after sorting the list by lowest SEO difficulty:

Ubersuggest 4

"How weight loss changes your face" has 90 search volume according to Ubersuggest and an SEO difficulty of 5.

Please note that these keyword research tools are not 100% accurate all the time.

But this is the keyword idea we will use moving forward.

2. Look at What Ranks in Google for the Topic

After you find and choose a topic to write a blog post about, it's time to see what ranks atop the Google SERPs. This is a crucial step for ranking your content.

Start by opening up your Google Doc or Word.

Now, enter the keyword you found into Google.

Study the top 3-5 results and make notes of all their subheadings. You’re going to need these in Step 2.

Most articles these days tend to have a table of contents section after the introduction paragraphs. This is good for you as it'll save you time by having all their headings ready for you in a box.

The top ranking page for our search term, however, does not have a table of contents. When this is the case, you would simply go through the article manually.

Sometimes, however, there will be articles that will be tough to compete against. This is the case with our keyword "how weight loss changes your face" as the top ranking page is a roundup post of before and after pictures of people that have lost a significant amount of weight.

Topic research 2

If you find yourself in a similar position, make note of it in your blog post research document.

Here's how that may look:

Topic research 3

Quick Tip: Competing with the top ranked article in our example will be tough. You would likely need your own real-life examples of before-and-after pictures from people that have lost weight.

When an article does have a table of contents, it'll look something like this:

Topic research 1

Make sure to record it all in your word doc.

Topic research 4

Continue doing this for the next couple search results. You can even go through all the top 10 ranked pages if you want.

3. Study the Content Type, Format, and Angle

Studying the top search results and looking at what’s ranking will tell you what Google is looking for.

If you can determine what type of content, what format, and what angle is working in the SERPS for your topic, you’ll stand a much better chance at ranking high.

What does this all mean, you ask?

  • Content type - this is usually blog post/articles, but sometimes you'll find video, product pages, and landing pages.
  • Content format - this could be a list post, how-to guide, question-based, review, news, or even an opinion piece.
  • Content angle - this could be aiming your post at a particular audience, or coming at it from a data standpoint, or providing real-life examples and case studies.

Finding these 3 components is rather simple: study the articles of the top ranked pages.

i. Content Type

Finding the type of content is straightforward. Sometimes you don't even need to visit the article. You can tell from the title/headline that results #1-10 are blog posts/articles.

But it's best to ensure that you know the exact type of content that Google likes for your particular keyword/topic.

So go through the pages on the top SERP to validate your target content type.

ii. Content Format

Finding the content format that does well in the SERPs is also rather easy. You can find this by studying the headlines of the top ranked pages.

Topic research 5
Topic research 6
Topic research 7

After looking through the top pages for our target keyword, I'd say that the content format is a question-based informational article.

iii. Content Angle

A content angle can be a number of things:

  • Case study
  • Beginner-focused
  • Real-life examples
  • Fun and entertaining

Basically, anything that focuses on your unique perspective and ideas.

Finding a specific angle from the blog posts on the top search results was quite difficult for this keyword. Most of the articles are question-response-based—they respond to the question (i.e, how does weight loss change your face).

There was one, however, that provided real-life examples of faces from people that have lost weight. We mentioned it above—it ranks in the top 3 results.

Our angle for this blog post will aim for both.

Step 2. Blog Post Structure

Having a good structure for your article makes for a great blog post. It'll improve the readability but also make it easier for the Googlebots to crawl and understand your page.

Working on your content's structure will also help with writing blog posts. When you create a blog post outline, the writing process will be easier than it would be writing on a blank page.

Structuring your blog post is broken down into 3 steps:

1. Gather the Subheadings From Your Competitors

If you followed Step 1, most of the work has already been done.

Open up a new word doc.

Now take a look at all the headings from your topic research document. Particularly, the H2 headings.

Try to figure out which h2 headings to use in your blog post. Make sure to structure them in a way that makes sense.

To make this process easier on you, you can start with your H2 headings. Your H3 and other headings can wait.

When you're done you might have something that looks like this:

Blog post structure 1

When you're done structuring your H2 headings, you can start to fill them in with H3 headings.

Here's what I did with our facial weight loss example:

Blog post structure 2

2. Finish Your Blog Post Outline

After completing your blog post structure above, go through it a couple of times to see if there's anything missing.

Use the knowledge you already have.

You can also go back to Google and take a peak at more blog posts that rank for your topic.

Another way to find more subtopics for your headings is to browse the People Also Ask section.

Google People Also Ask questions 1

Adding People Also Ask questions to your blog post will give it more opportunities to come up in more search engine results pages. And that means more traffic from search engines.

Also, don't be afraid to add H4 headings under the H3 sections. Sometimes you'll need to include subtopics to your subtopics.

Step 3. Writing Your First Draft

Now that you've created an outline it'll be much easier to write a good blog post. No matter your writing skills.

Let's begin writing your first draft.

1. Your Intro and Outro Can Wait

The introduction section of a blog post is very important. It's how you hook readers into reading your content.

One of the best ways to write a good blog post intro is the PAS method—Problem, Agitate, Solution. This is where you introduce the problem the reader is having, make that problem seem scarier or very tough to solve, and then assure the reader that you'll give them the solution. Copywriters use this method all the time.

Your blog post outro or conclusion is also important. It's the best way to summarize what the article talks about. But also, the outro is a great opportunity to lead your readers to another article, a sales page, or an email optin form.

With that said, I'd recommend that you wait until after you've written the beef of the article before putting efforts into the intro and outro.

These two sections are extremely important, so it's best to spend quality time writing the best versions.

2. Start Writing and Fill in Your Subheadings

This is where the fun begins. It's time to pump out the meat of your article.

The best thing to do is to just dive into it and write whatever comes to mind.

Remember, this is your first draft. You'll have so much time to come back and make your writing better.

The important thing here is to get your thoughts onto paper.

Sometimes, however, you'll run into a brick wall where you don't know what to write.

When that's the case, go back to your competitors' articles for inspiration. Just remember, plagiarism is bad. Especially for search engine optimization. Google frowns upon articles that were stolen from other blog posts.

Always use your own words and give credit where credit is due.

3. Use Proven Tactics to Get Pen to Paper

If you're having trouble coming up with what to write, one of the best ways to get the creative juices flowing is to use an AI like ChatGPT.

Here's how that works:

Start by letting the AI know what you need help with. Let it know that you're writing a blog post and that you need help with it.

You'll also need to tell the AI what you're writing about. But don't stop there. Otherwise, the AI will start writing about your blog post topic. That's not what you want.

Instead, start with a subtopic. Perhaps, one of your H2 headings.

ChatGPT example 1

When you hit enter, ChatGPT will give you about 300 words worth of information.

ChatGPT example 2

Using the AI's output word for word on your blog post is totally up to you.

Personally, I would take the information, absorb it, and write about it using my own words.

4. Write Like You Talk

Writing for the internet is much different than writing for your professor or 10th grade paper. People just absorb content differently online.

No one wants to read large paragraphs. No one wants to check the dictionary because you're using jargon and big words you learned in college.

The best way to write for the web is to write like you're talking to a friend.

This is especially helpful to you because you don't need to be a native English speaker to write quality blog posts.

When you write like you talk, you'll still get your ideas out to the reader. In fact, writing like you're conversing will even make your content easier to read and understand.

5. Don't Mind Your Mistakes, Grammar, etc.

Fixing every spelling and grammar mistake as you go is the best way to disrupt your writing flow. You don't want that to happen. That's why there's an entire step dedicated to proofreading and polishing your blog post.

I used to do this all the time.

There was this one instance where I was writing a small section on an article. I kept hitting the backspace key due to my spelling errors. Doing this disrupted my thought process and I ended up losing what I wanted to write about.

If you block everything out and just write, you'll finish your first draft in no time.

Step 4. Proofread and Polish Your Post

You've found a topic, did your keyword research, studied your competitors, structured your blog post, and written a rough draft.

Now it's time to get your blog post ready to be published.

1. Read Your Draft and Fix Any Spelling and Grammar Errors

The first thing to fix is your spelling and grammar.

These types of errors in your writing will disrupt the reading flow. So it's best to set some time aside to proofread your content and make sure there aren't any silly mistakes.

The easiest and most efficient way to check your grammar is to use Grammarly. It's a free tool and browser extension that goes through your content and shows you your mistakes. It also provides suggestions that improve readability.

Another tool you can use is the Hemingway Editor.

Hemingway Editor 1

This tool will scan your content and highlight the sentences that are hard to read or very hard to read.

It will also provide a grade for your writing. If you keep it around grade 3-5 that would be good as that would improve your blog post's overall readability.

2. Read Through Your Draft Multiple Times

Reading your blog post once before you hit publish is better than skipping it altogether.

However, reading it multiple times will ensure your article is a great blog post.

Every time you proofread your content, you'll think of new ideas to improve upon a paragraph or find something that's missing.

What I like to do with my content is to come back to it after a good night's rest. There's nothing better than having a fresh mind when editing your own blog post.

3. Add Images to Your Blog Post

Adding images to your blog article is essential for creating a good blog post.

Images are eye-catching. They can keep your readers interested to stay on a page longer.
Blog post images are the next best thing to actual video. They provide a ton of value.

When you're writing a how to post, for instance, screenshots are key for providing great information.

There are many tools out there that let you download images and create custom graphics. Our favourites are:

  • Canva - create a custom featured image, infographics, charts, graphs, eBooks, social media posts, and more.
  • Unsplash and Pixabay - download stock photos for free.
  • ShareX - great screenshot tool for Windows.
  • Skitch - another screenshot tool that's great for Mac users.

4. Add Internal and External Links

Internal links are links that point to your own blog posts and pages. They help give your website structure. Visitors use them to navigate your website.

Interlinks are also a key part of search engine optimization. They help Google find your most important pages. They also spread "link juice" to other blog posts.

Interlinking is tied to building topical authority. Linking together pages that are a part of a cluster is best practice among the SEO community.

Internal Link Structure 1

Image Source: SEObility

External links, on the other hand, are links pointing to different websites.

Linking to sources and other people's resources will add some credibility to your content.

Editor's Note: Linking out to other bloggers and letting them know is a good tactic for getting social media shares and traffic.

Step 5. Create Your Blog Post Title

Spending time creating a great headline is an important step a lot of bloggers overlook.

Your blog article title is crucial for multiple reasons:

First off, SEO. Google puts a ton of weight on your headline. Meaning, whatever keywords and phrases that are in your title will likely be what you rank for the most.

The other reason is click through rate. Your headline is what people see first—whether in the SERPs or on social media. If your blog title doesn't draw readers, it'll be tough to get traffic—regardless of how high your rankings are.

Here's how to write a headline that'll grab your reader's attention:

1. Start with the Format You Found in Step 1.3

In Step 1.3, you learned about content types, formats, and angles. This will help you get started on a click-worthy headline.

Quick refresher: a content format can be a list based post, a how to guide or tutorial, a product review or comparison, a roundup, or a question-response post. There are many formats of content.

Going back to our blog post example—"how weight loss changes your face"—we went with a question-response format.

So, we start there.

Luckily for me, our topic is considered a long-tail query, meaning it has more than 3 words.

This will make writing our heading easier as it's recommended that you keep between 60-100 characters.

Right off the bat, we can start with something like this:

  • How Weight Loss Changes Your Face
  • How Does Weight Loss Change Your Face?
  • The Effects of Weight Loss on Your Face

Remember that this is a starting point. You will add to this and make some adjustments as you go.

What happens if my topic doesn't consist of that many words, you ask?

If that's the case, you would simply go back to your content format.

For example, if you're writing a list post about puppy potty training, you might go with one of these:

  • 11 Tips for Potty Training a Puppy
  • 5 Puppy Potty Training Classes on the Web
  • 9 Puppy Potty Training Supplies

Whereas, if you're writing a how to guide, you might try something like this:

  • How to Potty Train a Puppy
  • How to Speed Up Puppy Potty Training
  • How to Use Puppy Potty Training Pads

2. Look for the Right Angle

If you followed Step 1.3, you've likely found an angle or perspective you could tie into your article—particularly your headline.

Going back to our example about weight loss effects on the face, we found that the top ranked pages were mostly question-response articles.

We didn't really find any unique angles. The only article that provided unique content was the one that showed before and after photos of faces of people that lost a significant amount of weight.

When we take that angle to our example blog post, we would have something like this:

  • How Weight Loss Changes Your Face [Before and After Photos Included]
  • 20 Before and After Photos That Show How Weight Loss Changes Your Face

3. Make it Resonate with Your Target Audience

Writing headlines that compel people to click is essential to driving traffic and increasing clicks.

One way to do this is by using power words. These are words that trigger a psychological or emotional response. These words can be related to greed, laziness, curiosity, trust, vanity, and more.

Here's an example:

  • How Weight Loss Drastically Changes Your Face [Before and After Photos Included]
  • 20 Astonishing Before and After Photos That Show How Weight Loss Changes Your Face

4. Try Some Headline Formulas for Inspiration

If you're having trouble coming up with ideas for your blog post title, look at some headline formulas to get your creativeness flowing.

Some of the most common formulas are for listicles, how to guides, questions, and comparisons:

  • How to [topic]
  • Ultimate guide to [topic]
  • [number] ways to [topic]
  • [number] best [topic]
  • What is [topic]
  • How does [topic]
  • [product] vs [product]

There are many other title formulas. If you Google "headline formulas" you'll find articles such as Copyblogger's 22 best headline formulas.

Step 6. Optimize for SEO

Optimizing your blog post for SEO is a major step in driving organic traffic from Google and other search engines.

It sounds complicated, but it doesn't have to be.

Here's how:

1. Match the Topic Search Intent

Search intent is a term that's used to describe the purpose behind a person's search. Why did this person enter this search query into Google?

Matching that intent is key to ranking for your target keywords.

There are 4 main types of search intent:

  • Informational - the user is seeking information.
  • Commercial - the user is looking for the best products.
  • Transactional - the user knows what they're buying and they're looking for the product's sales page.
  • Navigational - the user knows the exact page on a website they want to go.

Navigational and transactional intent keywords are best to stay away from.

Navigational keywords, for example, are ones that look like "facebook login" or "amazon iphone 14 case clear".

If you search for "facebook login" you won't see any other website on the SERPs but Facebook. So there's no point in targeting these terms.

Transactional keywords are very similar. An example would be "walmart xbox wireless controller". The difference is these types of keywords are focused on specific products.

Commercial keywords are similar to transactional. The key difference is the user isn't sure what product they're buying yet. So that gives you the opportunity step in and provide recommendations. This could be done by writing blog posts such as "best puppy chow" or "best SEO tools".

Informational keywords are your bread and butter. 70 to 80% of your content will likely be comprised of informational content. Sometimes more.

These types of keywords are for any topic where the user is looking for information or solutions. For example: "how to train my puppy", "what is shawarma", or "sports betting tips".

2. Optimize Your Blog Post for On-Page Factors

There are many on-page optimization factors that help with SEO.

Keywords are among the most important. And not just your target keyword.

If you add variations of your keyword/topic into your article, you'll have a greater chance at ranking for multiple queries. It's also a great way to help Google understand what your blog post is about.

I'd recommend SurferSEO to help you optimize your articles. It has a content editor feature where it gives your article a score based on your competition on Google. Obviously, the higher the score the better shot you'll have at ranking for your target search queries.

Their score is based on content structure (word count, headings, paragraphs, images) and related terms within your article.

Here's an example from this blog post:

SurferSEO Example 1

Another important on page optimization technique is to use internal links.

We touched on this earlier in Step 4.4. If you haven't added any internal links to your content, this is your chance to do that now.

Interlinking is essential for SEO as it helps Google see what your most important pages are, but also helps the bot understand what your content is.

It'll also help you spread the link juice to your whole site.

Not only that, interlinking also helps give your site authority. When you publish topic clusters and link them all together, Google will start to see you as an authority on that topic—which will help improve rankings for all those interlinked pages.

Other significant on page factors are:

  • Site Speed
  • Mobile Responsiveness

Site Speed is a large topic. So it's best to cover it in its own guide.

A good place to start improving your website speed is by testing it in a tool like PageSpeed Insights. This will show you if your site passes Google's Core Web Vitals test. Core Web Vitals is also important for SEO.

Other best practices for improving site speed include:

  • Cache - WordPress has several great cache plugins
  • Images - plugins like ShortPixel, EWWW Image Optimizer, Smush, and Optimole will help you compress and lazy load your images. I'd also recommend Converter for Media which converts PNG, JPG, etc to WebP and AVIF which significantly shrinks image files.
  • CDN - a content delivery network like Cloudflare, KeyCDN, and Bunny.net will help you improve your site speed.
  • Reliable web hosting - always choose a good web hosting provider! We use WPX.net. BlueHost is a good option for beginners.

Mobile Responsiveness is rather simple. If you use WordPress, which I'm sure you do, all you'll need is a modern theme. Every theme developer these days create WordPress themes that respond to any screen size.

But if your site isn't mobile-friendly, for whatever reason, then this is the time to change. We use Thrive Theme Builder, Elementor, Kadence, Astra, and GeneratePress on our sites. We recommend them all.

3. Add People Also Ask Questions and FAQs

The People Also Ask section is a great source of traffic, but also topics to write about.

One of the best ways to utilize these questions is to put them into a section at the bottom of your blog post where you compile frequently asked questions on the topic you're writing about.

Going back to our weight loss example, we could use some of these in our FAQ section:

Google PAA questions

Step 7. Hit the Publish Button

You've written the perfect blog post, added relevant images, proofread it a few times, optimized it for SEO, and came up with a good blog headline.

There's only one thing left to do!

WordPress Publish Button

To ensure you publish a good blog post, I'd recommend you go through it one last time.

Pro Tip: If you're using Google Docs to write your draft, I'd recommend using Wordable to transfer it to your WordPress blog. This tool makes it super easy and you won't have to spend time re-formatting it!

Final Thoughts

Writing a good blog post that attracts your target audience is one of the toughest things to do for new bloggers and seasoned pros alike.

The best thing to do is to keep honing your writing skills and find your own writing style. The more you publish, the more loyal readers you'll have.

What's next?

Follow what you learned here today. Now go write your next blog post!

About Julian

Julian started his first blog way back in the summer of 2014. He is very passionate about building websites and watching them grow. He has made many mistakes over the years and is now dedicated to sharing his knowledge on Blogging Aid so he can help beginner and intermediate bloggers become successful bloggers.

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