How to Write a Good Blog to Grow Your Traffic

 

DISCLAIMER: Ryan Toth is no longer a StoryBrand Certified Guide. After over 6 years, he decided it was time to part ways. We’re still big fans, though!

 

Most people these days know that if you want to have traffic on your website, you’ve got to have your own blog. In this video, I’m going to tell you how to write a blog post that actually gets read, which means more people engage with you, and you’re going to rank higher on Google.

In this article, I’m going to reveal the exact methods that we use at ClearBrand to write blog posts that have made us rank on the first page in Google for a number of keywords. Let’s jump in.

When you’re writing a blog post, there are multiple hurdles you’ve got to overcome to have a post that gets read because if your article is not getting read, it doesn’t matter that it exists. The point is not to have a well-read blog. The point is to have a thriving business, and a well-read blog might be part of that, but it’s not the end goal. It’s more likely that that well-read blog is what’s going to help you get there.

The reason you’re writing blog posts is to help you show up on Google. It’s going to help you get more leads, and it’s going to help you get more sales. But in order to do all of those things, it’s got to be read and enjoyed. So how do you do that?

Click here to download the FREE Blog Template!

Pick Evergreen Blog Post Ideas

If this is your first blog post, the first thing is you’ve got to pick topics, topics that work.

Topics that are “evergreen” are a big part of how to write a good blog post. Those are going to be the best use of your time. If your blog post is only relevant for a week or two, and people only share it for a week or two, you’re missing out on tons of potential engagement.

We want to write a blog post that will be linked to and shared over and over for months, not just days, maybe even years.

How do we do that? A couple of things.

See What People Are Googling

First, you want to see what people are Googling for in your industry while planning your on-page SEO. You can do that using tools like Google Keywordor Ubersuggest And then you want to see what’s ranking pretty highly.

If you’re in a new industry, which is more common these days because people are inventing companies and they’re inventing these ideas and things, that’s fine.

Do Market Research

How will you know how to write a good blog post without market research? Have you talked to some friends?

If that’s all that you can do right now, find out what they would type into Google if they were going to look for something like yours, but not just Google, like the name of your product, right?

If you sell running shoes that make somebody go faster, they might be Googling for something like, “how do I run faster?” That would be a great blog post. Not only will that get you readers, but that will get you readers who are also potential customers. And that’s part of the goal here.

Select Topics Relevant To Your Own Blog And Business To Rank

Now there are two primary types of blog posts that tend to rank well and be fairly evergreen.

One is a list.

Make a list of things like “Top 21 ways to lose weight”. And if you put the year in there, you’re going to increase the conversions. So maybe we would say “Top 21 ways to lose weight in 2021”.

The second is a “How-to” list.

A “How-To” list is going to be something like “How to find the right keyword for your business”. And you want to have steps that go through that.

Wiki-How is a website that basically only exists with “how-to” articles. If you don’t have a lot of ideas for what you can write about, stick to one of those, a list or a “how-to” list.

You can write articles that address what, where, why, and similar questions. All sorts of stuff can turn out to be a really good blog post, but an excellent place to start is with a list or a how-to article.

Write The Blog Post

Once you have your topic, how do you write your blog post?

Use Templates

Research shows that story-based marketing stories, in general, are the best way to communicate facts and figures, right? PowerPoint presentations, these kinds of things only activate two parts of the brain, but stories activate seven.

So we’re going to frame your blog post in the format of a story with a template, which we’ll talk through now.

Create an Outline

Start off by putting yourself in the character’s shoes (in other words, your customer’s shoes) and you’re going to ask this question.

What does the reader want?

You will then write the answer to that question.

For example, if I’m selling running shoes, maybe the reader wants to run faster.

Identify The reader’s problem

Next, ask yourself what is stopping them from getting what they want. This is the problem that they’re experiencing.

If they’re a runner, the problem could be that they plateaued, and now they’re not improving. They know they’re not reaching their potential.

We want to connect with the problems that people are experiencing.

There could be more than one. With runners who want to run faster, these might be things like calories – maybe they’re not getting enough. Maybe they’re getting too much.

It might also be related to something like using the wrong training regimen. But they’re not going to know those things.

If they’re training for a marathon and want to run faster, they’re already in a training regimen. From their perspective, that’s not the perceived problem.

The Perceived Problem

The perceived problems for a runner would be things like “I’m not making improvements anymore. I have plateaued. I haven’t hit a new PR in years.”

Even though the blog post is going to focus on a training regimen, we first need to connect with the problems that our customers know they are experiencing.

After we’ve connected with those, then we can tell them that the real problem is actually their training regimen. Or maybe it’s diet. Now let’s move on to the next section.

Be The Guide

The guide section is all about trust. Why should the reader trust you to help them solve their problem? This is the question we want to address in a way that creates trust.

For example, if you are talking about how to run faster, you better be a fast runner yourself.

If you’re having trouble relating to your clients with direct experience, another option is to build trust with data. If you have a measurable way to demonstrate the results you’ve brought your clients, you can build better trust with new customers.

Even if your solution is data-driven, having personal experience is helpful too. If you’re a runner who is helping people learn to run faster, you might say something like, “I had plateaued for years, then overcame it and reached Olympic level speeds.”

If you tell me that you reached Olympic level speeds, you did what I’m trying to do. I can trust you.

Provide A Solution/Plan

Now that you’ve connected with the problem and built trust, you need to provide a step-by-step solution they can follow to solve their problem.

If you’re a fan of the StoryBrand framework you probably have a three-step plan on your Homepage and your services page. We’re going for something similar.

You want a clear outline containing a few simple steps your customer can follow to solve their own problem using your product or service.

That is not a limitation in a blog article. Your goal is to blow the reader away with your solution. Listing a few simple steps is a great way to show your customers how to achieve the results they’re after.

List Your Simple Steps And Then Some

If you need more steps to deliver incredible results for somebody, then write more steps.

This is all about the results. People will trust you more if they can get the results they are after just reading your blog article.

Now, let’s return to the running example to see how this works. Maybe there are four parts to a winning marathon training regimen.

One is sleep. Two is diet. Three is the training itself. Four is rest. You might outline all four areas and write a step for each one, and then maybe provide a sample calendar visitors can use to see improvement themselves.

Again, we’re going after the results here. It’s not just about having a quick and tidy plan in your article. We want to make sure that we can deliver the results.

That said, it’s not wise to write 21 steps if you’re creating a how-to article. That’s too many steps to follow, and people will find it hard to follow through on all 21 steps.

When creating a how-to article, this is why you want to consider the probability of follow-through.

Make sure your plan is something that’s actually doable.

Having a limited number of steps will help. Again, we want to write something that is actually going to produce results for the readers.

List Articles

When creating a list article, the possibilities are endless.

You could go big, like “101 Ways to Improve Your Blog.” That’s perfectly fine.

You might have about 20 categories, each with around 10 valuable tips. It might seem like a lot, but this approach can establish you as the authority in your niche.

For instance, consider our blog post on blogging tips. We’ve compiled over a hundred valuable blogging tips, and we keep adding more. Having such a comprehensive list has solidified our position as a go-to source for blogging advice when people are trying to learn about or achieve search engine optimization.

If you search for “Blogging Tips,” chances are you’ll find us on the first page. Even if someone else creates a better article, we maintain our ranking because Google recognizes our domain authority.

Getting Domain Authority

Google trusts us because visitors spend a lot of time on our site, exploring the wealth of information in our blog posts. Google rewards this trust by sending more people our way. The same principle applies to you. If your article is about running faster and you opt for “101 Ways to Run Faster,” it’s crucial to make the content easy to digest.

When you’re not limited to a certain number of steps, you want these to be very simple and very bite-sized. This way a person is more likely to bookmark this page and come back to it in the future. If I’m a runner, I want to make sure that I’m working my way through the whole list to see that I am doing everything on this list to run faster.

For an even better title try: “101 ways to run faster in 2021”.

Putting the year into your title actually increases conversions, but you’ve got to go through and update your posts on a yearly basis.

As another example, if you were teaching somebody how to use social media, the rules change frequently. That means you can continue to update the blog article over time and continue to build your authority.

Make sure that you don’t just leave the post untouched, especially if you put a year into the title.

Addressing Failure And Success

Let’s delve into addressing failure and success. Think about the negative results your readers are currently experiencing due to inaction. These are their pain points:

  • Not achieving personal records.
  • Failing to run faster.
  • Concerns about aging affecting their performance.

When they take action, what positive outcomes will they enjoy?

  • Running faster than ever before.
  • Achieving their desired results.
  • Setting new personal records.
  • Earning admiration from friends and family.

And so on.

Call To Action

Every great blog post needs a call to actoin. If you’re getting traffic but not directing your visitors towards a specific action, then your blog isn’t doing much for your business at all.

The call to action might be baked into the plan. For example, if you’re writing about 101 ways to run faster, technically each of those is a call to action.

For example, if you say “Get 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night when you run more than 10 miles,” You’re directing someone to take a specific action that drives them closer to an outcome they’re looking for.

That is both a solution item and a call to action.

It often makes sense to have a call to action at the end of your blog too. For example, in this article the call to action is going to be “download this free blog template,” as you’ll see soon.

Selecting The Right Keyword

Before or after outlining your content, you must choose the right keyword. The purpose of a successful blog is to increase traffic and provide value to your audience. The outline guides how you deliver value, but the keyword is equally important.

As mentioned earlier, your keyword could be aligned with what your readers want because they’re actively searching for it. In our case, we’re discussing “How to Start a Blog” as our keyword.

How To Write A Good Blog Post Title And Headings

Now, let’s dive into the core of your blog post. Your outline should be structured with headings for clarity: Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, and normal text. This helps to organize your content effectively.

The beauty of this approach is that you can follow the same format for your actual blog post.

Your title should be a Heading 1 to improve your search engine ranking. Then, your blog content should flow through H2 and H3 headings like a well-structured outline to keep a clear hierarchy. Let’s walk through the process step by step.

Creating The Outline

Consider the title: “101 Blog Post Ideas To Help Your Marketing Business Succeed.”

Here, we’ve cleverly included the keyword “blog post ideas.”

Writing organically and adding structure later is a good option if you’re unsure of how to begin. At ClearBrand, we normally begin our posts by addressing the problem, then agitating it.

Exploring The Problem

When discussing the problem, be specific. Let’s take our running example:

Problem: Are you stuck in a running rut, unable to break your personal records for months on end?

To further agitate this issue, you could share a personal story:

Agitated Problem: “I’ve been there. Picture this: mid-marathon, I’d watch others breeze past me, leaving me in their dust. I hated it.”

Telling a relatable story adds a personal touch that connects with readers on a deeper level.

Become The Guide

Before unveiling the solution, we need to build trust by building up the problem:

“After years of trying and nearly giving up, I finally discovered the solution, and I’m about to share it with you. In this article, you’ll find 101 proven methods to boost your running performance in 2023. The reason I was stuck running slowly was that I was only implementing 17 of these strategies.”

Building authority and trust is often as simple as saying, “I’ve been there too.”

This doesn’t need to be lengthy; staying brief can be powerful. A succinct, “I did what I’m about to show you” can work wonders.

Unveiling The Plan And Solution

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how you’ll provide a solution to your reader.

In your blog, you don’t need to present a million bullet points; those are only there for clarification.

In your post, you’ll break down each step, how-to item, or list item individually. The level of detail depends on the type of list you’re creating.

After outlining the problem for a specific section, shift to the solution.

Let’s say the issue at hand is physical fatigue or the need for more rest. The solution might involve increasing the number of rest days between workouts and ensuring you get a solid 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night.

Conclude each section by highlighting the success achieved when going about the solution correctly. For example, with enough rest, you’ll witness performance gains as your body has the time it needs to recover and build muscle. This leads to achieving new personal records.

Success

We’re getting into the reader’s success in step two. It could be something like adjusting your exercise schedule based on your age problem.

People in their fifties will train the same way they did in their twenties. but their bodies are totally different. They cannot do the same things that they were doing in their twenties.

This is a myth, by the way.

(And it’s false. There’s a book out there called Body by Scienceif you’re curious about workouts that work for everyone at any age. But this is an example I’m making up just to use here.)

Now we’re getting to the conclusion. You may have a lot of steps, but do not do a recap. The person can scroll back up and re-read if they need to.

Recap

If you’ve got a small number of steps, you are welcome to recap. This is one of those things that a lot of folks learned in high school English. And it’s not a bad idea, but it’s also not necessary.

You don’t actually need to summarize your post unless you think it’s going to be helpful. Especially if it’s long.

Now… let’s do a quick recap. The first thing that you’re going to do when you are writing your blog is find your keyword. You’re going to figure out what people are searching for and what kinds of articles are out there. And you’re going to do that article better.

Next, you’re going to use your keywords to brainstorm ideas and outline your post. How do you do that? By following this article and answering each question.

Your Call To Action: Start A Blog!

To make your blogging journey easier, download this comprehensive blog template You can use it no matter which blogging platform you’re on.

We’ll send it directly to your email so you can get your blog online quickly. As you write, you can reference this template to make sure you’re on the right track.

By following these steps, you’ll see increased engagement on your blog. Especially if you conduct thorough keyword research and choose topics that genuinely interest your audience.

With diligence and the right approach, you’ll watch your website traffic soar as your blogs get more clicks on search engines – you may even be able to start making money blogging. We’ve witnessed individuals achieve remarkable results using these techniques, some even experiencing a 15x increase in website traffic.

Click the link to download the blog template, apply what you’ve learned, and watch your business grow.

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