Creating Engaging Blog Posts – Proven Blog Post Anatomy (ch. 3)

How to Create Engaging Blog Posts – Proven Blog Post Anatomy (ch. 3)

by David Gaudreault, Serial Entrepreneur, Online Marketer, and Personal Branding Passionate

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I earn a small commission if you click and make a purchase. Please note that to ensure my impartiality, I first make my recommendations and then, I check the possibility of an affiliation. I do it with the sole purpose of financing the costs associated with the creation of more valuable content for this blog. Thanks for your support and understanding.

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In this article, I’m teaching you three essential tips for creating high traffic engaging blog posts:

  1. How to choose high search volume topics,
  2. How to write an engaging post following a proven blog post anatomy
  3. How to optimize your post for SEO.

Among all the noise that exists about SEO and organic traffic generation, this article covers THE essential pillars that truly impact your blog traffic.

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18. Creating Engaging Blog Posts

Selecting High Search Volume Topics

Looking for blog post ideas? Learn how to choose high search volume topics (long-tail keywords) to boost your traffic with traffic-generator content! #keyworkdSEO #blogSEOtips #keywordsSEOwebsite #keywordsSEOblog #keywordsSEOtips #howtousekeywords #howtousekeywordsSEO #KeywordsSEOsocialmedia #seocontentmarketing #blogcontentmarketing

Your blog is your main communication platform, your channel to provide your target audience with valuable content. Your blog is the perfect tool to showcase your skills, your expertise, your experience, and to establish your credibility.

When you start, one challenge is to express your personality in your writing, find your style and identity, and find the right angle you feel comfortable with to communicate your content.

This usually emerges naturally with time and experience.

A bigger challenge is to write content that will generate traffic!

If you want to generate traffic, you need to write searchable content, content that a large volume of people searches for.

For example, addressing questions and solving problems is a good way to start.

Your target audience searches the web with questions and problems, and your blog is waiting with answers.

However, addressing what you “think” are people’s problems and questions is not enough, you need to address the right problems & questions, write effective and searchable posts and do it consistently.

There are various ways to identify topics that generate a high volume of searches:

  • Find questions from your target audience on Quora. Quora is a Q&A website from which you can truly discover what your audience is asking for in your niche.
  • Use Google Trend to see what queries are the most popular for a specific topic.
  • Use Google Ads Keyword Planning Tool to find topics that will generate a high volume of monthly searches.
  • Search industry-leading websites in your niche and look for ideas from their most popular posts section.

For example, in Jon Morrow’s blog, SmartBlogger, you can find the most popular posts in the sidebar as shown below:

Content Marketing Strategy - Smartblogger Popular Posts

Example of using Google Ads Keyword Planner to choose a topic in the mom-related niche (or to be more inclusive: parent-related niche)

In this niche, the variation in search volume can be huge from one topic to another.

According to the Google Ads Keyword Planning Tool, the keyword “Mom’s journey” generates monthly search volumes between 10 – 100.

This means that if you write a blog post about your mom’s journey and optimize it for the keyword “mom’s journey”, it will be a sword stroke in the water, a total waste of time because even if you rank high for this keyword in Google, you will only earn a maximum of 10 to 100 visitors per month.

However, if you write about “how to treat colic”, you will benefit from 100X more monthly search volume (1k – 10K), and if you write about “nursery rhymes songs”, you will benefit from 1000x more monthly search volumes (10k – 100k).

Do you see the difference?

I would rather invest my time, money and energy writing a post for a potential volume of 10k to 100k visitors a month than spending my time writing for a potential audience of 10 to 100 visitors a month.

It means, just by selecting your topics wisely, you can potentially reach a lot more people and generate a lot more traffic.

As a side note, the last two keywords are long-tail keywords, which means the keyword contains 3 words or more.

It is important to select long-tail keywords because most of the time you will never be able to rank in search engines for a generic keyword.

For example, people search for the generic keyword “love” between 100K – 1M times a month, but you will never be able to rank for this keyword because the competition is too high.

Perfect Blog Post Anatomy

Three essential tips to write engaging blog posts that generates traffic: (1) how to choose high search volume topics, (2) how to write an engaging post following a proven blog post anatomy and (3) how to optimize your SEO. These are three essentials will boost your traffic to your blog in no time. #provenblogpostanatomy #blogposttraffic #blogposttips #blogposttopics #howtowriteablogpost #blogpostlayout #blogpostdesign #blogpostseo #blogpostanatomy

Finding a good topic with a lot of monthly searches is one thing, but once readers are on your blog, you want to keep their attention as long as possible.

Effective blog posts share a common anatomy that you should follow in all your posts.

Headline Your readers base their reading decision primarily on the headline. So, it must be very effective.

Use powerful keywords and give just enough information to raise curiosity.

Test many headlines and keep the one that generates the most clicks.

Part of Upworthy.com’s editorial process is to systematically test 25 headlines for all shared articles. This process is a big part of their success.

General Guidelines:

1.    Numbers increase CTR

2.    Keep under 65 characters

3.    Match to content

4.    Odd numbers perform better than even

5.    Aim for 6 words headlines

6.    Avoid words with multiple meanings

7.    Include power words

8.    Include your long tail keyword

Catchy Picture Images break down your text and make it easier to read.

Be careful not to violate copyrights!

To be safe, use royalty-free images from websites such as Pexels.com and Unsplash.com.

Introduction While the headline draws your readers’ attention, the introduction states why your readers should spend time reading your post.

Inform them about the benefits they will get, what the post is all about and restate the problem/solution.

You can use statistics, data, expert or authority quotes to quickly establish your credibility.

Lead In List the main topics covered, so the readers get an idea of what they will get from your post.

The main points are…

Your Content Good posts are long (around 3,000 words) and offer practical value, which means your readers can put your tips into practice as soon as they finish reading.

Great articles also cover a topic entirely.

What does that mean?

You need to choose your main subject/keyword (H1 tag) and identify all subtopics/keywords that cover all the possible intents behind the query.

All the intents that your readers may have when searching for this keyword.

Then, use those subtopics as sections of your posts (H2 and H3 tags) – see SEO tips below for more details.

Once you have all your sections, fill them in with highly valuable and actionable content.

Do not leave any “open gap” in terms of coverage. You want everyone looking for your topic to find an answer to their questions.

Avoid generic blog posts. Deliver bomb value content well-structured with headlines, facts, statistics, and practical tips.

Use a big and easy to read font and split your text into small paragraphs (2-3 lines).

It’s good to use bullet points (3-7 max).

Enrich your text with graphics and use long-tail keywords in your text, headlines, and image alt tags.

Conclusion Add a closing paragraph to wrap up your post and thank your readers.

Let them know that you value their loyalty and invite them to provide feedback.

Videos Videos are great because (1) they generate engagements (clicks) – which improves your bounce rate and (2) they keep your readers longer on your website.

These three metrics (engagement, bounce rate, and retention) are crucial elements to improve your ranking in search engines.

Videos should not repeat your written content, they should complement your content.

You can create your own videos or use great videos from other people and incorporate them into your posts.

Content Upgrade Somewhere in your post, use an opt-in form to offer a content upgrade.

The content upgrade method is one of the most efficient ways to collect emails.

It consists of offering an upgrade directly related to your content.

For example, if you write about how to build a business plan, you may offer a free PowerPoint template that your reader can download (upon subscribing to your list) to build their business plan.

It is an “upgrade” to your original content.

Incorporate shareable images Create three different pins that people can share on Pinterest, and then embed a featured horizontal image for other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.

All those images must be seamlessly integrated into your content.

Call-to-actions Ask your readers a question at the end of your post to start a discussion in the comment area.

Invite them to share your content.

Meta Tags Add a catchy meta title and a good meta description that will raise curiosity, but don’t give it all away.

Also, make sure that all your Facebook og tags are properly filled.

As a bonus tip, I recommend adding a short bio on the side bar with a photo. Readers like to see the authors’ credentials before reading a post.

Content Marketing Strategy - David's Way Bio

SEO Tips : How to Find your Way Up In Search Engines

SEO secrets: Drive insane organic traffic to your blog using these proven SEO techniques. #keyworkdSEO #blogSEOtips #SEOwebsite #SEOblog #SEOblogTips #keywordsSEOtips #howtouseSEO #SEOsocialmedia #seocontentmarketing #blogcontentSEO

How can you optimize your content to rank in Google?

Keywords:  You should intentionally choose a high monthly volume keyword up front. A topic that will solve a common problem or answer a popular question and that many people search for.

Please refer to the first section of this article to learn more about how to choose the right keyword (or topic).

Once you have the right keyword, build the structure of your article around this keyword using subtopics inherent to this main keyword.

Your objective is to identify the intent behind the query. In other words, you want to understand what people are looking for using this keyword in their search.

For example, if you write an article about Montreal Tourism. You need to understand that various intents can be hidden behind this query.

People searching for Montreal Tourism might be looking for:

  • Montreal History or Museums
  • Montreal Popular Night Life
  • Montreal Festivals
  • What to do in Montreal
  • Montreal Points of Interest
  • Montreal Hotels or Where to Stay in Montreal
  • Montreal Upcoming Events
  • Montreal Tourism Guide
  • Montreal Tourism Office
  • Best Shopping in Montreal
  • Montreal Main Attractions
  • Montreal Tourism Official Site
  • Montreal Calendar of Events
  • etc.

Those are all possible intents and once you understand all the possible intents, you can write an article that will cover them all, that will close all the gaps and will answer all possible questions or intents.

That is to say that all those sub-topics should be covered in your article in such a way that, no matter the intents, your article will be providing an answer to all of them.

To find sub-keyword ideas, you can use tools like Ubersuggest or LSIGraph.

This tool provides a list of sub-keywords related to your main keyword and then, for each sub-keywords, you have the option to search further deep to find additional keywords related to each of your sub-keywords.

Using this tool, you can easily build a long list of sub-topics and use them to build the template of your article. Once you have your template, you fill all those sections with actionable content.

For optimal SEO, your section should be no longer than 300 words and should be seperated by sub-headers (H2, H3, H4)

This method is definitely the most efficient one in terms of SEO as you build your article based on solid SEO foundations.

However, this method does not please all bloggers!

Many bloggers just want to write for the fun of it and don’t want these technical restrictions. They want to write freely without the SEO constraints.

If you prefer to do that, upon finishing your post, you should still identify the best keyword for your post.

This basically means to identify the highest search volume keyword that describes your content.

Important Rule: Prioritize the long-tail keywords and then, choose the long-tail keyword that generates the highest search volume.

Example:

For this guide, I used the Google Ads Keyword Planner to choose my main keyword. Originally I was tempted to use How to Build a Personal Brand which has a monthly search volume of 100 – 1k.

However, when I looked for ideas in Google Keyword Planner, I got the following results:

Adword Keywords Planner Tool

In this list, I favored how to brand yourself, over brand yourself and personal branding because it is a long-tail keyword (3+ words), and I also preferred it over building a personal brand and how to build a personal brand, because it shows higher monthly volumes.

In this case, all competition is low, but you should choose low competition over medium or high.

As you can see, using How to Brand Yourself over How to Build a Personal Brand is a wise choice because it will potentially generate 10x more traffic.

Once you have found your keyword, add it to your URL (yourdomain.com/yourkeyword), title, meta title & description, Facebook og tags, in your content and in your image alt tag. Be very careful to integrate your keyword into your content in a very natural way.

Avoid keyword stuffing as your post could be penalized by search engines.

Internal Linking: Google measures your bouncing rate as well as the number of pages your visitors visits on your site.

The longer you retain your visitors on your site the better you will rank in Google.

I already said earlier in the blog anatomy section that videos are awesome to keep your readers longer on your site.

Another way is to add links within your content pointing to other complimentary blog posts on your website.

If, for example, you mention a subject in your post and cover that topic in another post, link to it. So the reader may also read that second post. You can also build part of your publishing strategy around your most popular posts making sure to cover all related topics.

Inbound Linking: One element that is of significant importance to rank high in Google is the number of links pointing to your post from other websites or ideally, from leading websites.

As you can imagine, getting links from high traffic sites is a real challenge, but here is a technique that is very efficient. It is called Skyscraper.

  • Find link-worthy content (content with thousands of links pointing to it)
    • To identify the links and the source websites, put the URL of the link-worthy content in ahrefs site explorer and export all of the links pointing to the link-worthy content
  • Write a post much better, with more practical and actionable content, more appealing, up-to-date, with better graphics, more statistics, more data, etc.
  • Reach out to the owners of the site
    • From ahrefs select the high potential leads
    • Use Findthatlead to get site owners contact information and try to ask them to link to your much better content!

Content Marketing Strategy - Findthatlead search

Understand the Intent!

As mentioned above, SEO has evolved throughout the years and now that search engines are smarter than ever, it is not enough to just identify a keyword, you need to understand the intent behind the search query.

Here’s a great video from Moz giving powerful tips on how to “Write for SEO” in 2018?

Conclusion

As a wrap-up, we have seen three essentials to write high-traffic engaging blog posts.

  1. You must select a topic/keyword that generates a high volume of searches.
  2. You need to write an engaging post following a proven structure that will keep your readers captive on your website.
  3. You need to optimize your blog post to rank in search engines, more specifically, you need to write for SEO!

If you follow these steps on each of your posts, your blog will start growing and you will see a major difference in your traffic.

Please let me know what you think? Do you feel those tips will help you boost your blog traffic? Let me know in the comments :)

CHAPTER 1: CREATING YOUR BRAND IDENTITY!

1. Draft the Guidelines of Your Brand
2. Choose the Name of Your Brand
3. Write Down a Short Description of Your Mission and Supportive Tag Lines
4. Write Down Your Stories
5. Learn the Basics of Graphic Design and Video Editing
6. Get a Good Camera and Studio Equipment
7. Take an Awesome Picture of Yourself
8. Choose your Brand Colors
9. Design your Logo
10. Secure a Domain
11. Secure Your Social Profiles

CHAPTER 2: BUILDING YOUR BRAND ASSETS!

12. Build a Website & a Blog
13. Setup Google Analytics
14. Setup Facebook Pixel
15. Setup Your Professional Email Address
16. Design Your Social Media Pages
17. Get Your Professional Business Cards

CHAPTER 3: CREATING ENGAGING CONTENT – BLOG POSTS!

18. Creating Engaging Content – Blog Writing

CHAPTER 4: CREATING ENGAGING CONTENT – PHOTOS & VIDEOS!

19. Creating Engaging Content – Videos
20. Creating Engaging Content – Going Live
21. Creating Engaging Content – Photos & Images

CHAPTER 5: DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGIES!

22. Cross-Platform Content Integration
23. Engage with Your Visitors Using a Chat Plugin
24. Connect and Collaborate with Influencers
25. Build your Email List with Lead Magnets
26. Subscribe to a Marketing Automation Platform
27. Start Sending Automated Emails
28. Start Sending Web Push Notifications
29. Get Exposure by Guest Blogging
30. Get Exposure with LinkedIn
31. Get your Own Brands of Merchandise
32. Increase Your Visibility with Online Advertising
33. Interact in Groups and Forums

CHAPTER 6: CREATING THE PERFECT WEBINARS AND SEMINARS!

34. Get Exposure with Webinars
35. Get Exposure with Seminars

CHAPTER 7: 3 BONUS TIPS!

BONUS #1: Crawl the Web to Monitor Your Brand
BONUS #2: General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Compliance
BONUS #3: How to Setup Rich Pinterest Pins

Who is David Gaudreault?

David Gaudreault Bio - David's Way

I'm an entrepreneur, a maker, an online marketer...and Personal branding passionate.

I help entrepreneurs develop two essentials for building a successful startup: (1) building a strong personal brand and (2) building solid foundations of passive incomes to gain professional freedom.

I also help entrepreneurs find their big ideas, execute them right, impact millions with their businesses, and change the world.

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