I used to quickly write blog posts and get them up as fast as I could. I thought quantity was better than quality, but over the years, I’ve found the opposite to be true. When I take the time to write a well-thought out post and do my research to make it great, it has a much longer lifespan and brings me more income in the long-run.
Do these posts take longer to write and prep? Absolutely.
But, here’s the crazy thing—I’ve been posting less and less frequently and my traffic is actually going up.
This is HUGE. I used to slave over my computer to knock out 5-6 posts per week simply to maintain the same amount of traffic and it was brutal.
Now, I post 2-3 times a week, and will eventually move down to twice a week for my maternity leave.
So, how is it that my traffic is actually going up?
I’m pretty much totally focused on writing content that people are searching for. And, I’m optimizing it for SEO—both on Google search and Pinterest. Don’t forget, Pinterest is a search engine, not a social media platform!
It takes a little bit more thought and research, but from my experiment these past two months, it’s been 100% worth it.
So, what goes into writing a great blog post that drives traffic weeks, even months and years after it initially goes live? Let’s break it down!
How to Write a Perfect Blog Post from Start to Finish
Write Content People Are Looking For
This seems like an obvious point to make, but I used to miss this all the time. Instead, I’d write about something that I was interested in without considering if other people were looking for or searching for that type of content.
If no one is searching for it, don’t waste your time! Of course, there’s always exceptions to this and don’t feel like you can’t ever share a personal post or something that’s on your heart, but a good rule of thumb is to stick to content that people want.
SEO Keyword Research
Which leads me to my next point! Before I write a post, I hop over to SEM Rush (Uber Suggest is another great, and free tool) to do some quick keyword research.
You can type in a keyword phrase and it’ll let you know how many monthly searches it’s getting, the competition around the keyword and suggests other similar keywords to also use. You might find that the original keyword phrase you searched, let’s say it was “home organization” gets 8.1K searches in the U.S. each month—GREAT, right?! Unless you’re a huge site, chances are if you use this keyword as your focus keyword, it’ll just get lost in the mix because there’s so much competition around this one.
But, in my search, I noticed that “house organization” had 1.9K views, which means a lot less competition and much higher chance that my content will get ranked by Google. So, that’s the one I’ll focus on.
You can and should use more keywords in your post, but finding that main focus keyword phrase is what you’ll use to boost your SEO.
Use Header Tags
This was something I didn’t really think about until I started working with the Influencer SEO team. You’ll notice that almost all of my posts are structured with headers throughout now, and that’s for 2 reasons. One, it actually makes your content a lot easier to read and follow, especially long form content. And two, it’s great for SEO because search engines look at these tags, especially your H1 & H2 tags.
If you use WordPress, your post title is almost always your H1 tag! That’s why the next step is so important. You’ll want to use your keyword phrase in here and your H2!
Write a Great Headline
I used to write these weird, “creative” headlines that meant nothing and told the reader nothing about the content. Then I started realizing that the sites that I looked at and read a lot had post titles that grabbed my attention and also told me what the post was about. Things like:
- “How to ………” (How to Post)
- “6 Ways to ……” (Listicles)
- “10 Things You Didn’t Know….” (another example)
- “My Honest Review of …..” (reviews & testimonials)
- “What Type of ….. Are You?” (questions)
The reader instantly knows what they’ll be getting (so you better deliver!) and it’s great for SEO!
Add Images and Alt Text
Images give life to a post and can really elevate it if you use high quality images and graphics. Make sure to add Alt Text to your images as well. Not sure what that is? Read this post that breaks it down—another sneaky SEO trick!
I admit that Pinterest graphics can be a little tedious to make, but they outperform the simple images I share every single time. Pinterest is a search engine, so make your graphics easy to read and eye-catching so people want to click on them to learn more! I use Adobe Illustrator to make mine, but you can use Photoshop or templates on Canva too.
Your permalink is the URL of your blog post and you can customize this. I always suggest using that same keyword phrase that you’ve used in your H1 for this. For example, I’d make my URL for the house organization post: thefoxandshe.com/house-inspiration, even if the post title is “The Best Products for House Organization”.
Up your Word Count
You don’t have to go nuts, but long form content is really great for SEO. I’d say that most of my posts these days are at least 1000-1200 words long. At the very least, I aim for 500. But, don’t just write to get to that length. It actually all needs to be helpful content!
There you have it! My best tips for writing a perfect blog post, every single time! The cool thing about this is when you start doing this religiously, over time you’ll start noticing older posts gaining traction and getting lots of repeat traffic.
If you ever read my income reports, you maybe noticed that my top posts are all from many months ago and still get me the most traffic and also bring me additional ad revenue and affiliate revenue every single month.
Do I Do this for Every Post?
Yes and no. There’s one caveat! There always is, isn’t there? The only instance where I really don’t worry as much about these rules is for time-sensitive things like sales that will be over in a matter of days.
If you do want to optimize content for sales (ie, if you’re a style blogger or someone who writes about a lot of reoccurring sales), write a post that uses keywords around that sale and instead of putting a year in your permalink, just use that keyword phrase without the year attached.
Each year when that sales comes around, you can go back and update this post which will give it more SEO juice than simply writing a new one!
I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions, leave them below!