How to Write a Good Blog
Most people these days know that if you want to have traffic on your website, you’ve got to have a blog. In this video, I’m going to tell you how to write a blog that actually gets read, which means more people engage with you and you’re going to rank higher on Google.
My name is Ryan Toth. I’m the CEO of ClearBrand. I’m a StoryBrand certified guide. And in this video, I’m going to reveal the exact methods that we use at ClearBrand to write blog articles 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, there are multiple hurdles that you’ve got to get over in order to have a blog 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.
That blog article is going to help you show up on Google. It’s going to help you get more leads and it’s gonna 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?
Pick evergreen blog topics
Well, the first thing is you’ve got to pick topics, topics that work, topics that are evergreen, thats a big part of how to write a good blog. Those are going to be the best use of your time. If your blog article is only relevant for a week or two, and people are only sharing it for a week or two, you’re missing out on so much potential engagement.
What we want to write is a blog article that is going to be linked to and shared over and over for months, not just days, maybe even years.
How do we do that? A couple things.
See what people are Googling
If you’re in a new industry, which is more of a common thing these days, because people are inventing companies and they’re inventing these ideas and things, that’s fine.
Do market research
Just do some market research.
How will you know how to write a good blog without market research? Have you talked to some friends? If that’s all that you can do right now and find out what would they 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 article. 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 types of blog articles that rank well
Now there’s two primary types of blog articles 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.
A Wiki-How is a website that basically only exists with “how-to” articles. So 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.
Now you can also do like what, where, why, kinds of things, all sorts of stuff that can turn out to be how to write a blog article that’s really good, but a good place to start is with a list or a how-to.
Write the blog
Once you have your topic, how do you write your blog? I’m going to show you, in fact, we have a template that we use at ClearBrand that I’m going to show you in this video.
Below the video, there’ll be a link where you can download this exact template to use in your business. All right?
So when you download the blog template, this is what you’re going to see. We have a ClearBrand blog template. Obviously. Now the first thing up here is actually the StoryBrand framework. This is going to be your outline for your blog.
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 in the format of a story. And this is how we’re going to do that.
Create an Outline
We’re going to follow this as our outline. So basically we’re going to start off in the character and you’re going to ask this question.
What does the reader want?
Okay, you will then write the answer to that question.
So if I’m selling running shoes, maybe the reader wants to run faster, easy. Okay.
Identify the reader’s problem
Now what problem is getting in their way? The problem that they’re experiencing, if they’re a runner, is they plateaued, they’re not improving, which is kind of the same thing. They know they’re not reaching their potential. So a note on the problem here, what we want to really do is connect with the problem that people are experiencing.
That’s why, you know what problem is getting in their way. Well, if they want to run faster, it might be things like calories. It might be things like their training regimen is wrong. But they’re not going to know those things.
If they’re training for a marathon and they want to run faster, they’re already in a training regimen, that’s not the perceived problem.
The perceived problem
The perceived problem is I’m not making improvements anymore. I have plateaued. I haven’t hit a new PR in years. Those are the perceived problems. So even though, you know, the blog article is going to focus on a training regimen, we first need to connect with the problems that they are experiencing. Those perceived problems. After we’ve connected with those, then we can say, well, the real problem is actually your training regimen. Or maybe it’s your diet. Now let’s move on to the guide section.
Be the Guide
So this is all about trust. The guide section is all about trust. Why can the reader trust you to solve, to help them solve their problem? So we want to talk about whatever demonstrates trust.
So if you are talking about running faster, you better have run faster yourself. Or the other option is to have the data. Having the data or the personal experience, or having worked with clients, or helped other people do this. That’s really beneficial to, to build trust.
So even if your solution is data-driven, it’s still helpful to have done it yourself. Why can the reader trust you to help them solve their problem? Well, in this case, we might say something like, “I had plateaued for years, then overcame it and reached Olympic level speeds”.
If you reached Olympic level speeds, you did what I’m trying to do. I can trust you.
Provide a Solution/Plan
Now what is a step-by-step solution they can follow to solve their problem. Now, if you’re familiar with the StoryBrand framework, you know that normally we want to have a three step plan on your Homepage, on your services page. That is what we really want, three steps.
That is not a limitation here in a blog article. What we want to do is blow the reader away with our solution. So three steps, if they’re good, if they’re going to get the results that the person’s after.
If you need more steps in order to deliver incredible results for somebody, do more steps. This is all about the results. People will trust you more if you, if they can get the results they are after, just from reading your blog article.
So if this was an article about losing 10 pounds in two weeks, they better lose 10 pounds in two weeks or more.
Give 3 steps to getting results and then some
If you can’t tell them how to do it in three steps, then add some steps.
Now, here, what we might want to outline is, I’m making all this up, but, maybe there’s, there’s five parts to a winning marathon training regimen. One is sleep, two is diet, three is the training itself, four is rest. What you do is you’d go through all of this, and then maybe provide a sample calendar.
Again, we’re going after the results here. It’s not just having a tidy three step plan in your article. No. We want to make sure that we can deliver the results.
Now I would not go 21 steps if you’re doing a, how-to, because that’s hard people, aren’t going to get the results because that’s just too much. They’re not going to actually follow through.
So when you’re doing a, how-to, you do want to consider the follow through to make sure that it’s actually doable. And so having a limited number of steps will help. Not for the sake of clarity here, but for the sake of follow-through. And again, we want to do whatever’s going to get the results for the readers.
Now, if you’re doing a list article, you can do as many as you want, you could do “201 ways to run faster.”
That’s totally fine. And a list article, you can categorize them. You’d want to make it easy to digest. So maybe you’ve got about 20 categories and about 10 things that somebody can do in each category. I mean, that’s a lot, but that might make you the authority on this subject. That’s what the list article has the potential to do.
We have a list article for StoryBrand website examples, we’ve got over two hundred StoryBrand website examples, and we continue to add more. This list article has made us the authority on Google when it comes to StoryBrand websites.
If you go type in StoryBrand website examples, we are on that first page last we checked and we continue to move up because nobody else has over a hundred story website examples. And even if somebody decided to add one, it’d be too late. We’re already the ones who are ranking, even if their article was better than ours, chances are because we were the first Google has given us that domain authority.
Getting Domain Authority
Google now trusts us because people spend a lot of time on our site going through the two hundred plus StoryBrand website examples when Google trusts us and they will continue to send us people, same thing with you. If this is an article about running faster and you wanted to do 101 ways to run faster. When you’re not limited to a certain number of steps here instead, what you would want these to be is very simple and very bite sized so that, a person is going to bookmark this page and come back to it over and over and over. If I’m a runner, I want to make sure that I’m working my way through that list to see that I am doing everything on this list to run faster.
Even better title “101 ways to run faster in 2021”.
Putting the year on there actually increases conversions, but you’ve got to go through and update them on a yearly basis.
If you do something else, like if you were teaching somebody how to use social media, for example, well, the rules for that change pretty frequently. You can continue to update the blog article over time and continue to build on the authority that that article is getting.
You’re going to want to make sure that you don’t just leave it there, especially if you put it a year in here like this in 2022 running faster in 2021 is no longer going to be helpful. So we’re going to go in and we would update that article, then be 2022.
Failure and Success
Let’s look at failure and success. If they don’t take action, what negative results will they experience? I like to think of this as the before, because people are already experiencing the negative results. So what are they currently experiencing?
- Not hitting personal records
- Not running faster,
- Worried I’m getting old.
Those are some of the negative results that they are currently experiencing. If they do take action, what positive results will they experience?
- Well, they’re going to run faster.
- They’re going to get what they want
- They’ll set new PRS
- They will impress their friends and family
And so on.
Call to Action
Now sometimes there’s a call to action. A lot of times in a blog article, it’s to do what we ask. The call to action might be baked into the plan.
For example, if you’re doing 101 ways to run faster, technically each of those is kind of a call to action, right? So one of them might be to
Get eight to 10 hours of sleep every night that you run more than 10 miles.
That is both a solution item and a call to action. I’m telling you to get eight to 10 hours of sleep when you run more than 10 miles, so sometimes your call to action is baked in.
Occasionally it makes sense to have a call to action at the end. For example, on this particular video and blog article that you are currently watching the call to action is going to be download this free blog template. So I’m going to warn you. I’m going to say that here at the end, “download the free blog template”.
Now all of the things in here are things that you can do, but this is a way to simplify the whole process and to make this easier, you’re going to get to download this template.
Determine Your Keyword
After you do this before or after you want to have a keyword because the whole purpose of your blog is to increase your traffic to have a thriving business. You also want to provide value to your customer.
So your outline is how you provide value to your readers, but you do need to decide on the keyword. What are you going to write about?
At the beginning of the steps, I mentioned, figuring out a topic, you’re actually going to put that in this keyword section. So in this case, we’re talking about,” how to run faster” as the keyword.
Now if you already outlined this, because you had this really good idea that you wanted to write about, go do your keyword research. Put your keyword here and then adjust your idea so that it actually matches the blog topic.
Often there’s alignment between the keyword and what the character wants, because they’re Googling it. If they’re searching for it, it is obviously what they want. Your keyword and your character want, will likely be the same.
Now let’s get down into the guts of this. This is where you’re actually going to write your article. And if you notice I’ve got a heading one here, heading two, heading three and normal texts.
How to Write a Good Blog – Title and Headings
The great thing about this is you’re going to follow that same format on your blog article. So your title is going to be a heading one. That’s going to help you rank higher. Then you’re going to have just like an outline, this kind of cascading flow of the text. We want to keep the hierarchy, even if we get rid of the bullet points. Let’s walk through how to do that.
So the title is going to be, 101 ways to run faster in 2021.
Great! There’s your title and we got the keyword in there. Run faster.
Now the problem, notice the instructions here. You typically want to start with the problem. What the character wants is built into the title. If you start with the problem, you’re going to hook people better. So I’m going to start writing it as an article, and I’m going to leave this here as my guide.
Personally, I don’t like to write with the structure I like to write and then add the structure later. Notice I start with the problem, then we want to agitate the problem.
What does that mean?
The Problem Section
We want to get really specific with this. So if your problem tends to be kind of a, theorial kind of up in the clouds, you want to make sure that we bring it down to earth. We connect that problem with their survival.
Problem: Have you plateaued? Haven’t seen a new PR in months.
That’s a pretty simple problem. We could agitate it by saying things like, telling my story.
Problem Agitated: “I saw the same thing and I hated it. I’d be in the middle of a marathon. And I would see people running past me when, before I had been running past people.”
So you want to get really specific and personal. Stories are often a great way to do that. And you can just dig into your experience and use that to agitate the problem.
The Guide Section
Now, before we get to the solution, we’ll talk about the guide section. So how are we going to do that? We’re going to agitate the problem.
“After years of trying and almost giving up, because I was so tired of trying things that didn’t work. I finally found the solution and I’m going to show it to you in this article. There are 101 ways that you can run faster in 2021. And I will reveal those. The reason why I had been running slowly was because I was only doing 17 of these things.”
If you want to build the authority, build the trust. Typically that is, “I did this.” That’s the easiest way to build that trust. This doesn’t need to be long. This can be short if you need more great, but it’s often, “Hey, I did what I’m about to show you.”
The Plan/Solution Section
Now we get into the plan and solution. And again, you’re not going to write this with all of these bullet points in here, but I have the bullet points here so that you can see the hierarchy of things. In the blog you’re going to break down each of your steps, how to, or you tried them in your list one by one.
If it’s a, how to, if you’re going to have text below that list. You don’t really need it, depending on what kind of a list you’re doing.
What I’m doing there is telling them what the problem is. Then after I’ve outlined the problem of this specific section, I’m gonna move to the solution.
So, because the problem in this specific section is your body. You can’t keep up or you need more rest. What do you do when you stop seeing gains? You start adding one or two extra days of rest between your workouts. That’s the solution for this section. So you’re going to rest. You’re going to get that sleep, make sure that you’re sleeping eight to 10 hours a night. And again, I’m making all of this up.
We’re going to finish this section with the success achieved when you do this, and when you do it correctly, you will start to see gains again because your body has time to recover and to build the muscle, rather than just try to keep up. That’s when you’re going to see your new PRS, right?
So now we’re getting into that success and we do that with step two. Maybe step two is adjust your exercise schedule based on your age problem. People in their fifties will train the same way they did in their twenties. Their body is totally different. It cannot do the same things that they were doing in their twenties.
This, by the way, I know that this is a myth. This is false. There’s a book out there called Body by Science. If you’re curious about workouts, that work for everyone at any age. But this is an example I’m making up for here.
So then we’ve cycled through the solution and then through to success. And then again, we’re going to cycle through problem solution success in each section. Now we’re getting to the conclusion. Now you’ve got a lot of steps, do not do a recap. The person can scroll back up. It is that easy.
If you’ve got a small number of steps, you are welcome to recap, but it’s not necessary. That’s 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 recap this unless you think it’s going to be helpful. Especially if it’s long, you don’t want to have a recap section that’s like 101 ways and then you recap all of those. That’d be ridiculous.
So you can go ahead and throw that in and then finish with a call to action if you’re going to have it.
So let’s do a quick recap. The first thing that you’re going to do when you are writing your blog is you’re going to 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.
If somebody has a list of 27 ways to run faster in 2021, you’re going to make a list of 157 ways to run faster in 2021, right? If somebody has a list of how to lose 10 pounds in two weeks, you’re going to do a better version of that. This is called the skyscraper technique. Brian Dean talks about this.
You want to get better now after you’ve got your keyword and you’ve got your plan for how to do it better, we’re going to outline it. How do you do that? By following this, you’re going to go through the StoryBrand framework and then you’re going to answer each of these questions. That is going to answer each of these questions and that is your outline.
Calling you to action!
Now, the easiest way to do this is to simply download this blog template. We will send this blog template to your email, and then rewatch this video while you’re writing it so that you can make sure you’ve got it right. And that’s it.
When you follow these steps, you will stop seeing crickets on your blog. Especially if you do use your keyword research and you find topics that people actually want to read. You are going to see the results. You’re going to see your traffic increase. We have seen people 15 X, their traffic from doing techniques like this on their website. And that’s what I want for you to click the link below the video, download the blog template, apply what you learned and grow your business.