How to write a blog post that ranks?

The content of the article

If you’re not 100% sure how to write a blog post that clicks with readers, don’t sweat it. The reality? Blogging is a major struggle for most businesses out there.

And hey, we totally understand why.

From coming up with ideas to actually putting pen to paper digitally, a worthwhile blog post requires some serious effort.

That said, the benefits of blogging are worth racking your brain for. The traffic a blog post brings and the conversions you can get, all organic, can do wonders for your business.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide breaking down the anatomy of a good blog post and how to write one yourself.

Table of Content

What is a good blog post anyway?

A good blog post is one that appeals to the reader on an emotional level.

Think about it: why do we read blogs in the first place?

We read them because we want to gather information in an interactive way. We’re looking for a connection. And that’s why the best blog posts are those that make us feel something. They might make us laugh, cry, or even think about things in a new way.

But whatever they do, they manage to connect with us on a deeper level. Of course, not every blog post needs to be an Oscar-worthy tearjerker. But if you can tap into emotions like happiness, sadness, anger, or fear, you’re well on your way to writing a great blog post.

Apart from this, you also need to make it SEO-friendly for search engines so you can rank on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

Here’s an example of a blog post ranking for a search term.

how to write a blog that ranks
Blog post that ranks on SERPs

How to write a blog post that ranks

Writing a blog post that ranks is no easy feat. You could invest hours upon hours into creating the perfect piece of content, but if it doesn’t hit the mark in terms of SEO, you might as well have not written it at all.

But it isn’t impossible!

Here’s a step-by-step process blog writing process to create a blog post that not only ranks well in search engines but also resonates with your audience.

Step 1 - Pin down your target audience.

It’s no secret that one of the pillars of a successful blog is great content.

But what’s often neglected is the fact that great content starts with understanding your audience.

  • Who are you writing for?
  • Are you trying to reach stay-at-home moms?
  • Millennials or gen z’s in the 20-somethings?
  • Business professionals?

Your content will vary greatly depending on who you’re trying to talk to.

For example, a blog about budgeting for stay-at-home moms is going to look and sound a lot different than a blog about budgeting for business professionals.

The former might offer advice on how to save money on groceries and household items.

How to write a good blog post
Budgeting blog post for stay-at-home moms

While the latter might focus on how to save money on business expenses.

How to write a good blog post
Budgeting blog post for businesses

The point is, if you want to write great content, you need to first identify your target audience first. Once you know who you’re writing for, the rest will fall into place.

Step 2 - Choose a topic

The internet is always abuzz with the latest trends. And as a savvy blogger, you know that writing about what’s trending is a great way to get more eyes on your content. But with so many topics to choose from, how do you know which one is right for your blog post?

One way could be using tools like Google trends. Another tool you can use to find unlimited blog post ideas is AI article ideas generator. This AI writing feature helps you generate unlimited ideas for your blogs and articles in seconds. All you need to do is, fill in your topic as input and hit "Generate.”

How to write a blog post
AI Article Ideas Generator

Step 3 - Keyword research and planning.

No matter what industry you’re in, chances are, many other writers are writing about the same topics that you are. That’s why you must have a strong keyword strategy in place.

By understanding what keywords people are searching for, you can ensure that your content is visible to them. Not only that, but you can also use keywords to target specific audiences.

For example, if you’re a B2B company, you might want to use keywords that target decision-makers. On the other hand, if you’re a B2C company, you might want to use keywords that target people who are ready to buy.

Use tools like Semrush and Google Keyword planner to do Keyword research and planning.

Wondering what a good SEO strategy can do for your blog? How about we give you a real-life example? Here’s a blog post on How Calm Business Is Using Content & SEO To Win In B2B by Ross Simonds.

Step 4 - Select a blog type.

Do you want to write long-form articles? Or share quick tips and tricks? How about a brief interview?

While selecting your blog writing format, you need to keep your goal in mind and how you want to deliver that information.

Here are a few of the most popular blog formats to help you get started:

1. Standard blog post: A standard blog post is a traditional article format, typically anywhere from 400-800 words.

2. Listicle: A listicle is a list-based article, usually with a catchy headline like “5 Ways to…” or “10 Tips for…”.

3. How-to: A how-to article is exactly what it sounds like – a step-by-step guide on how to do something.

4. Interview: An interview format is a great way to add variety to your blog and give your readers some insight into other people’s thoughts and experiences.

5. Case study: A case study is a detailed look at a specific project or campaign. This format is usually used to share lessons learned or best practices.

6. Review: A review is a helpful evaluation of a product, service, or experience.

7. Op-ed: An op-ed is an opinion-based article that offers a unique perspective on a current issue or topic.

8. Video: A video blog post is a great way to add some visual interest to your blog. You can create your own videos or embed them from YouTube or Vimeo.

9. Podcast: A podcast is an audio blog post, usually in the form of an interview or discussion.

10. Infographic: An infographic is a visual way to represent data or information. This format is excellent for complex topics or data sets.

Choose the one that best fulfils your purpose, and you’re ready for the groundwork.

Step 5 -  Time for research

Any good writer will tell you that research is a critical component of writing a great blog post.

After all, you can’t just sit down and start writing without any direction. Not only does this make for a disorganized and all-over-the-place post, but you also run the risk of writing something that’s not even remotely accurate. No bueno!

The first step in writing a research-based blog post is to, well, research. This might include reading articles, watching videos, or even interviewing experts in your field.

Once you’ve gathered enough information, it’s time to start organizing your thoughts. This is where an outline comes in handy, helping you to structure your post in a way that’s easy to follow.

From there, it’s all about fleshing out your ideas and turning them into a cohesive and readable final draft.

Step 6 - Construct the outline

The best blog posts have a few things in common: they’re interesting, they’re easy to read, and they’re well-structured.

The latter is where many writers trip up.

After all, it can be tough to know where to start — or what to include in — a blog post.

First things first: what’s the goal of your blog post?

Are you trying to educate your readers? Drive traffic to your website? Sell a product?

Your answer will dictate the structure of your outline.

For example, if you’re trying to sell a product, your blog post might have a more traditional structure with a beginning, middle, and end.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to drive traffic to your website, you might want to consider a more evergreen format.

Once you know the goal of your blog post, it’s time to start filling in the pieces. Here’s an essential structure for a standard blog post:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

Of course, you can (and should!) tailor this structure to fit your specific needs.

Let’s say you’re writing a how-to post, then you might want to include a step-by-step guide in the body of your post.

Or, if you’re reviewing a product, you might want to include a section for pros and cons.

The important thing is to have a general framework in place before you start writing. This will make the writing process much smoother — and help you create a better blog post overall.

Creating a good blog structure or outline can be overwhelming sometimes. What if you had an option to create optimized blog outlines in a click without putting in much effort?!

Yes, it’s actually possible with AI Article Outlines Generator.

For instance, this blog post can be written in a hundred different ways using the outlines generated by the AI Article & Blog outline generator.

How to write a blog post that ranks
AI Article Outlines Generator

Step 7 -  Start writing your first draft.

Now that you have a strong understanding of what to write in a blog let’s start putting all of that together.

The first step is to get all of your thoughts down on paper (or, more accurately, on-screen).

This is what’s known as the first draft, and it’s important to get all of your ideas down before you start editing and fine-tuning your work.
An easier way to create your first draft faster is to use Instant Article Writer. This smart AI writing feature can write a 1500-word blog for you in one click and with just one input. Watch it live, in action.

Instant Article Writer

Try to write without overthinking or worrying about making things perfect – just get your ideas down, and you can polish them up later.

And if you feel stuck at one point, in between paragraphs, and want to write ahead, go to Sonic Editor, copy-paste the content you have with you, and click on “Write with AI.”

How to write a blog post
Sonic editor

To write a great first draft, include a powerful introduction, followed by the body (as per your blog outline), and then the conclusion. Make sure to include a CTA at the end, so your readers know what they have to do next.

Moreover, if you want to write a detailed blog post (of more than 1500 words), we recommend using Article Writer 3.0 which walks you through a 4-step process to write an optimized blog post in minutes.

Check out this Article Writer 3.0 tutorial to know more.

Article Writer 3.0

Step 8 -  Include visuals

People are visual learners, and including images, infographics, videos, or even just well-formatted text can help break up a long post and make it more digestible.

Not to mention, posts with visuals tend to get more engagement on social media.

So if you’re not already incorporating visuals into your posts, now is the time to start.

Here are a few tips:

  • Use high-quality images that are relevant to your post.
  • Be selective with your visuals and only include those that will add value for your reader.
  • If you’re using someone else’s visual, give them credit.
  • Include keywords in your Alt text to make it SEO-friendly

One of the best ways to improve your blog posts is to include links to external and internal sources.

External links show that you are well informed about the topic you are writing about and that you are not afraid to share information from other sources. This adds to your credibility as an expert on the topic.

Internal links are just as important. They help improve your website's SEO by showing Google that your website is relevant and authoritative. They also help keep readers on your website longer, which is a good thing for your website's metrics.

Both external and internal links are essential for a well-rounded blog post. So make sure to include them appropriately.

Step 10 - Slug and meta description

A slug is a unique identifier for a post or page. It is typically a short, descriptive string that appears in the URL for the post or page. Include your primary keyword here.

The meta title tag is the title of your post, and it should be no longer than 60 characters. The meta description is a summary of your page or post, and it should be no longer than 155 characters.

How to write a good blog post that ranks
Meta tag title and description

The meta title tag and meta description are both HTML elements and can be found in the <head> section of your page or post. If you’re using a CMS like WordPress, you can edit your meta title tag and meta description from the sidebar while publishing.

In case you’re finding it confusing to write attractive, SEO-friendly Meta tags, just use the SEO Meta Tag Generator (Blog posts). With minimum input requirements, this AI writing feature will create the perfect Meta tag title and description for your blog post in no time. Read more about how to use SEO Meta Tag Generator for a better understanding.

What Makes a “Good” Blog Post?

Most blog posts are, quite frankly, pretty average.

Sure, they might be informative and well-written, but they don’t really stand out from the crowd. So, what separates a good blog post from a great one?

There are really only two things that matter: engagement and shares.

If your post can get readers to comment, share, or otherwise interact with it, then you’re on the right track.

But why?

Simple: because that means you’ve struck a nerve. You’ve said something that resonates with people and has made them want to engage with your content.

And when it comes to shares, it’s all about reach. The more people see your content and think it’s worth sharing, the better. It doesn’t matter how long your post is or what topic you write about — if you can get people to engage and share, you’ve succeeded in writing a great blog post.

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Pro tip: A good blog post is a result of continuous re-writing. Whenever you are done writing your blog post, make sure to edit and proofread it again and again. Include synonyms for usual words (that you tend to repeat), Try to restructure your paragraphs and sentences.

To make your rephrasing process faster and smarter, put the content you want to restructure in the Content Rephraser and click on “Repharse.”

Elements of a blog post that rank and convert

Search engines can’t read plain text or view images or videos. Instead, they just understand the language of zeros and ones, which is what the HTML code contains. And that’s why we need to take a few relevant steps while writing the blog post to ensure the robots understand.

Here are the important elements of a blog post that can help you rank and convert better:

Title and Headings

When search engines crawl your page, things like the title (H1 Tag) and sub-headings (H2, H3, H4, H5….) are the first things it recognizes. Placing your primary keyword in the title, heading and subheadings help them recognize what you’re talking about.

Bullets, numbers, bold, and italics

Just like the Headline tags, these also get highlighted in your blog. Include your secondary keywords here to make an optimized blog post.

Alt Text

This is the text that describes the visuals (Images, Gifs, videos, etc.). Put your primary or secondary keyword in the alt text to help search engines understand what your image is about.

Introduction, body, and conclusion

Try including your primary keyword in the first paragraph (i.e., introduction) naturally. You can repeat your primary keyword 2-3 times and the secondary keyword at least once throughout the blog post.

URLs and anchor text

Focus on using keywords in the URL and anchor text in a way that makes sense for your readers. For example, if you're writing a blog post about the benefits of meditation, you might want to include the keyword "meditation" in your URL and anchor text.

Meta Tag Title and Description

Add your keywords to both the meta title tag and meta description because they help search engines understand what your page or post is about. They also help searchers decide whether or not your post is relevant to their search.

Blog Post Examples to Model

  1. Let’s have a look at this blog post from Brittany Berger. It talks about how to remix your content marketing; It’s short, to the point, and uses a conversational tone. Moreover, their visuals attract attention and make the blog post easy to scan.
How to write a good blog post
Example of an engaging blog post

2. If you’re wondering how to write a blog post that is long and informative, read this Ultimate Guide to Creating a Sales Process by Hubspot. It summarizes the entire process quite well, leaving you with quality takeaways.

How to write a blog post that ranks
Example of an informative blog post

3. Another great example is this blog post on tips for content marketing. This is a perfect example of a listicle blog post.

How to write a blog post
Example of a listicle blog post

4. Now, let’s have a look at a “How to” blog post. The How to Ace Your Self Introduction in Interview blog post ranks first on Google when searching for a long-tail keyword. Isn’t it a perfect example of a visually-pleasing blog post?!

How to write a blog post
Example of visually-appealing blog post

What to write in a blog to make it rank better?

If you spend time creating quality blog content, the rewards will follow. Google and other search engines will begin to see your site as an authoritative source of information, which will lead to higher rankings.

As your blog posts gain traction and attract more readers, you’ll also start to see an increase in social media engagement and shares. All of this leads to more website traffic and, ultimately, more conversions.

Now the question is, what to do when you don’t understand where to start or what to write?

What if you’re going through writer’s block?

The solution is pretty simple: Take help from an AI writing assistant!

Writesonic’s 80+ AI writing features will assist you throughout your blog writing process. Just give your input, click on generate, and voila!

Shrutika Joshi

Marketing Copywriter @ Writesonic

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Discover what writing with AI feels like. See for yourself with a free trial -- we assure you'll save 20+ hours every week.
Try for FREE