Unpopular opinion that also happens to be a fact:
Most bloggers will never make money from their blogs.
How’s that for an in-your-face, harsh-but-true reality?
And you want to know the real reason why this is?
They aren’t going about blogging the right way.
The money-making way.
Look, Lauren and I did it too. We were blogging haphazardly with no clear mission other than dollar signs in the beginning.
It’s a major reason why our first blog failed so miserably.
If you want your blog to be successful, you’ve got to learn how to write a blog post readers will love, and then repeat that recipe over and over and over and over and (you get the idea) again.
Think about the last time you went to the movies to see something you had been dying to watch.
What drew you in to watch that flick?
It was the PROMOTION.
So you went to the theater.
You stood in line with excitement, got your ticket, grabbed your popcorn and other snacks, and settled into your seat with other moviegoers amped up for roughly two hours of entertainment.
Moments later, the opening scene started.
Some kind of action pulled you in causing the rest of the world to fall away.
You were hooked. If it was a good movie, you stayed hooked until the last scene played out.
You probably know the exact type of movie I’m talking about too.
It’s the one you have to keep watching until the end to figure out if the boy gets the girl, if the bank robber gets away with it, or if they catch the killer.
You just can’t look away until you get to the conclusion of the story.
And, oh my goodness, that cliffhanger at the end.
It made you screech with anticipation for the sequel.
That my friends is the secret sauce of writing a killer movie script. It’s the same for blogging, honestly.
The trick to writing a blog post that readers will love is to have a compelling hook, a great story, and a conclusion that leaves them wanting more.
Here are the 7 steps to writing a great blog post:
- Figure out who your ideal audience is
- Learn where they are hanging out
- Create compelling headlines and use relevant keywords
- Hook them with a spellbinding intro
- Give them a reason to stick around
- Solve their problem
- Keep them coming back
Now that I’ve laid out the steps to writing a blog post readers will love, let’s break them down so you can create drool-worthy content your audience will eat up!
Step 1: Figure Out Who Your Ideal Audience Is
If blogging is about writing quality content, profitable blogging is about so much more.
Some bloggers just write any old thing on their blogs. They write based on what they feel at the moment, or whatever tickles their fancy that day or month.
Or they write that THEY think their audience wants to hear.
And, most of it is crap content. Oops – did I say that out loud?
Look, you could write posts this way if you wanted to. But you’re probably not going to make as much money if you do.
You want to run a business, don’t you?
I think Kim Kardashian is one of the few exceptions. She could probably write about choosing shoelaces and get a million page views and hundreds of thousands in affiliate income.
But for the rest of us, who aren’t celebrities, we need to figure out the audience we want to serve.
And yes, money-making blogging is about serving people.
How do you determine your perfect audience though?
Well, you need to consider things like:
- The age of your ideal reader
- Their socioeconomic status
- Where they live
- Their reading/intelligence level
- And their hobbies
You also want to think about their pain points and the problems they need to be solved.
Take all this information, and create what is known in the online business world as an ideal customer avatar (ICA).
Having an ICA makes writing your blog posts so much easier because you can craft your posts perfectly for this one fictional persona.
For example, an ICA might look like this:
Suzie is a 45-year-old, middle-class, stay at home mom of two, that doesn’t have enough time to work out.
She wants a workout regimen that can keep her fit during her busy life on the go, and that won’t require much time or equipment.
Suzie loves to cook and do DIY projects that she finds on Pinterest.
Because she is limited on time, she needs information quickly and prefers short amounts of text and lots of images that explain how to do the workout routines that will give her the most bang for her buck.
Do you see how creating an ICA makes the job of writing blog posts for Suzie so much simpler?
Rather than writing for any person of any gender and any level of income at any age anywhere in the world?
How can I create my ICA?
Our favorite ways to learn more about our audience are:
- Technical: Google Analytics
You can get info on country, time accessed, gender, and more.
But the BETTER way to get this information:
- Emotional: Ask questions in your emails. You’ll get more personal responses.
Now let’s move on to step 2 to find our Suzies of the world.
Step 2: Learn where your ideal audience is hanging out
Just as important as it is to get to know your audience, learning where they hang out is of equal significance.
Where is your audience seeking answers to their problems?
- Facebook Groups?
Once you learn where they are hanging out, you can get a better feel for what they want and need to know.
Let’s say your blogging niche is DIY craft projects for children.
As you start looking at the various platforms for these projects you’ll:
- Find inspiration
- Learn what’s trending
- Find what’s missing so you can create it
Regardless of your blog niche, you can use blogs and websites that are already out there to help you create content your readers need.
You can also get some of this information on Google Analytics, but keep in mind that it will show you where your traffic is coming from.
This isn’t the same as where your people are hanging out. It just shows where the results of your current traffic efforts lie.
Step 3: Create compelling headlines and use relevant keywords
Your ideal readers are looking for very specific things.
Your headlines and keywords should tell your audience that your content is the answer to their prayers, er I mean searches…
The point is you need amazing headlines that all but force the reader to click through to your post.
In the above example, our headline for our health and wellness website goes a step further than the other two headlines because it adds a descriptive element: “Simple and Effective.”
It still ranks below two articles that have worse headlines because they have a much higher domain authority than we do, but having the better headlines is what gets you clicks despite people ranking above you!
It can greatly help you move up in the ranks!
And, to show up in search, the keywords in your post have to tell the Google gods that the content is filled with the juicy goodness people are looking for.
Remember, your audience wants to know you can solve their problems or they’ll bounce.
The headlines you use should be both unique and useful and give the reader a sense of urgency.
Take a page from the pros on this.
Consider the glossy magazines you see on the newsstands and the headlines they splash on the covers convincing the reader to pick it up and buy the magazine.
>You’ll see headlines like:
- 5 Things You NEED for the Perfect Vacation
The reader worries they forgot something for their vacation, so they have to open the magazine to learn more
- 7 Ways to Make Him Want you NOW
The word “now” creates a serious sense of urgency, giving women FOMO if they don’t flip through to that article
- 10 Drool-Worthy Thanksgiving Recipes
If I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I want my guests drooling
- What You’re Doing Wrong in the Gym
The fitness buffs will be dying to know if they are making mistakes while working out
Now, some of the magazines also have awful, truth-stretching clickbait headlines. Or images that don’t accurately represent the content behind it.
DO NOT do this. You will only damage the relationship with your reader and they’ll likely not bother with the rest of your content.
Hopefully, these ideas are inspiring you to come up with more compelling headlines of your own, and to use the right keywords to get in front of your ideal audience.
With practice, you’ll eventually be able to come up with buzzworthy headlines on the fly. I swear, Alex can do it in his sleep!
Step 4: Hook them with a spellbinding intro
Remember that opening scene in the movie that glued you to your seat? Create that!
The headline and keywords got your reader’s attention, now you need to use your own super glue so they will stay for more.
Our best recommendation is to start your post with a unique story that will endear readers to you.
This also sets your content above the rest because no one can duplicate your story.
It’s how your readers feel connected to you and you should incorporate it into everything that you do.
For example, if you’re a beauty blogger and your topic is about cystic acne, your post might start with a story about when you were in high school, and plagued by the large bumps on your own face.
Walk the reader through the shame you felt as your bumps worsened before they got better, and the steps you took to heal your skin.
Your readers should feel your pain as your own and anxiously await your resolution.
If your goal in writing this article is to promote a specific product, weave it in by explaining how that product helped you get rid of your own cystic acne problem.
Make it clear the post they are reading will solve their problem too.
In other words, don’t bait and switch them! That’s the fastest way to lose a reader forever.
You have likely encountered a bait and switch post at some point.
Its headline makes a big promise, and then the post doesn’t make good on it. It feels sleazy and slimey, and you mentally blacklist that site without even realizing it.
Don’t be that blog!
Step 5: Give them a reason to stick around after the intro
You’re doing great. You have done a lot of heavy lifting to get the reader to this point, so let’s keep going.
You’ve pulled the reader in. They’re in your front door ready to eat up all you have to offer.
Serve them already!
When you are writing the main portion of your article, make sure to give them the “what” to do but now “how” to do it.
You want to give them some details on the “how,” but remember that you should save most of the goodies for your paid content (products).
Make sure to also include:
- Nice, relevant pictures that add to the story
- Subheadings, bullet points and short paragraphs for easy reading
- Case studies and relevant information to set you up as an expert on the topic
You can also read these blog writing tips to spruce up the body of your content a bit!
Step 6: Solve their problem
We’re on the homestretch, guys!
We’re so close to the end of your perfect post.
You’re making the reader happy, and solving a problem they desperately have been searching for a solution to.
All you need now is to close out with a big finish that will leave them wanting more.
However, there is a delicate balance with this step.
Because the point of the post isn’t to solve ALL of their problems.
You need to provide enough information to deliver on what your headline promises, but you need to finish on a point that lets them know that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Which brings us to step 7…
Step 7: Keep them coming back
This is the cliffhanger of the movie that makes you want to see the sequel.
It’s where you finish the post with a call to action that does one of five things:
- Direct the reader to another post to read more of the goodness you’ve written
- Offer them a link to buy a product which can solve even more of their problems, or better solve the one they are currently reading about
- Convince them to sign up for your email list
- Inspire them to share this post with their friends on social media or via email
- Persuade them to drop a comment about the post they have just read
- Or maybe join your free community group
A call-to-action is simply the action that you want the reader to take after reading your post.
Here is an example of one of ours from our post on hot yoga:
You should have one, clear call-to-action. Creating multiple will confuse your reader and potentially lead them to not taking any action.
Every blog post should have at least one call-to-action.
Rinse and repeat
Well, there you have it. I’ve given you the 7 steps to write a blog post readers will love.
Of course, after it’s written there are a few additional steps you should take including editing and re-writing prior to publication, and updating the post after it is published.
As time goes on, you’ll learn what resonates most with your readers.
This is more trial and error than guaranteed science.
Beyond these steps, simply keep engaging with your readers, and continue producing content they ask for.
With some patience, hard work, refining your writing, and a little luck, your readers will be hooked on your blog and you will all live happily ever after.
Now, I want to hear from you.
What did you think of this post?
Were there more steps that should have been added to the list?
Leave us comment below, and tell us about it!
(There’s our call-to-action 😉 )