HELLO! That was in all caps because today is our most important lesson yet. Good content is the secret sauce to having a successful blog, so it’s really important to get this process down.

Today, we’ll go over the following:

  • How to choose blog post topics and ideas
  • How to structure and format your blog posts for success
  • Creating your first blog post in WordPress
  • The ideal blogging schedule

Brainstorming blog posts to write

Chances are, you probably already have ideas for things to write about on your blog. However, as a blogger, it’s super important to write about things that people actually want to read about, not just what you are interested in.

I have a few free tools and techniques I use to do this. A lot of experienced bloggers use “keyword research” tools which can be helpful to analyze Google search trends, but they are truly just so expensive. I’ve managed to grow my blog without these expensive tools and you can too.

Using Pinterest trends to get & refine blog post ideas

The first tool I use to think of blog post ideas is Pinterest trends. Since 95% of my blog traffic comes from Pinterest (we’ll cover how you can do the same tomorrow), it’s a good idea for me to base my content on what people look for on Pinterest.

On Pinterest trends, you can see what the top search terms are for Pinterest users at any given time. You can also filter down by category to find topics that will be interesting to your readers. I typically use Pinterest trends in two main ways.

I use this table to find new ideas for blog posts. I filter by a category I want to write about, and then look for “growing trends”

When I know what I want to write about already , I type my idea into this search bar so that I can see if a lot of people are searching for it, or see if there are other topics that people are searching for more.

Using Pinterest and Google autosuggestions for content ideas

The second place i go for blog content ideas is autosuggestions. These are the ideas that pop up when you start searching on Pinterest or Google. Since they are based on what people search for, this can be a great way to get ideas for your blog.

My suggestion is to get a bit creative with the things you search for and see what Google or Pinterest suggests. Start a sentence like “how to start…” and see what comes up. This is good signal that the topics are popular.

Analyzing Google search results to see if I can make content that stands out

Once I have used these methods to select a blog topic I want to write about, I want to make sure that I can create the type of content my readers are looking for. So, I do a bit of competitive analysis.

I search for the topic or title of the blog post I am thinking of writing, and click on the top few results. I am looking for two things:

  1. ❓ How can I make content that is just as good if not better than these top results?
  2. ❓ Does my idea for my blog post line up with what I am seeing in these top results?

This is a good gut check to make sure you are writing about the right thing, and you have the opportunity to succeed in the topic you have selected.

So, once you have a good topic to write about, it’s time to create your first blog post!!

How to write an epic blog post

In my time blogging, i’ve written over 200 blog posts. I know what works, and what doesn’t. If you want to write a great blog post, here are all my best tips.

*I typically write my blog posts in Notion, and then copy them over into WordPress when I’m ready to publish. So first, I’ll go over how to write your post, and then I’ll show you how to add it & publish it in WordPress.

Choosing a catchy title

Every good blog post starts with a catchy title- one that will make people want to keep reading. You can browse Google’s top search results for inspiration, or rely on some classic format’s that always perform well for me:

  • Listcicle format: ex. 32 ___ blank to try right now
  • How to format: Exactly how I ____ (without _____)
  • Resource/guide format: The ultimate guide to _____

Address your reader’s intent

“Reader intent” refers to the information or value a reader is hoping to gain when they click on your blog post. It’s super important not just to create great content, but also for SEO.

Somewhere in your blog post intro, you’ll want to call out your user’s intent and assure them they are in the right place.

For example, if you’re writing a post on “23 budget friendly summer travel ideas”

you might want to include something like:

“Are you looking to go on an epic vacation this summer without breaking the bank? You’re in the right place! In this post I’ll share my top 23 summer vacation ideas you can do for under $500”

Avoid long sections of text

Unlearn everything you learned in high school about paragraphs needing to be 4-5 sentences or whatever. In blogging, you want to space out your content A LOT.

I actually learned this the hard way— going back through dozens of old posts and adding space between sentences.

Basically, you want to press enter every 1-3 sentences when you blog. Not only is this format more engaging for the average internet user with a short attention span, it’s also good for your engagement rate & ad revenue (more on that later)

Link to other resources in your blog & elsewhere

Including links in your posts is best practice to start gaining repeat readers & followers. If you’ve written multiple posts about a specific topic, you’ll want to casually mention and link to your other posts in your blog.

Include a ton of images

Images images images— so important for a good blog post! Nobody wants to read a wall of text. When it comes to images, you can either take your own, or utilize free stock photo sites for royalty free images you can include on your blog. Here are my favorites!

  • Pexels
  • Dupe
  • Canva stock photos (paid but comes with the free trial we started earlier)

Use selective bolding and lists

Another way to make your blog post more digestible is to use some formatting hacks to break up the content. When appropriate, use numbered or bulleted lists throughout your post.

Also, use selective bolding to guide your reader to the most important information.

Make sure your post is long enough

Lastly, you’re going to want to make sure your blog posts are long enough. Longer blog posts tend to have higher engagement rates and keep people on your site for longer.

Some people will recommend an exact word count you should meet for every blog post, but I think it’s a bit more nuanced than that. In my experience, here’s a good blog post length to am for by topic:

  • Recipes ~700 words or more
  • Listcicle format posts: ~1,200 words or more
  • Guides or how to posts: ~2,000 words or more

With these guidelines, you’ll be able to create an amazing blog post for whatever topic you’ve chosen! Remember to use a voice that feels authentic throughout your post to keep your blog cohesive.

Creating your blog post on WordPress

Once you have the content written, you’ll need to create your first post on WordPress. Here’s how:

  1. Click on “Posts” left sidebar
  2. Click on “Add new post”

Now, you’ll find yourself in the WordPress post editor, where you’ll add and edit all of your blog posts. Here are some things you need to know:

  1. This panel opens when you select the plus button in the top left corner. It contains all the different types of content blocks you can add to your blog post. Get familiar, as many of these elements can make your blog posts visually stand out.
  2. This is the main area where you will write your content and add blocks
  3. This is where you will access settings related to your post and individual content blocks within. You’ll be able to set your post url, add tags, categories, and more from here.

Before you publish

Copy and paste your blog post content into the post editor. Along with that, there’s a few other things you’ll want to update.

Choose a URL “permalink” for your post in the right hand panel. This is the web address your blog post will be found at. Keep this short, sweet, and informative. It should include the keywords or topic you are writing about.

Choose a category for your blog post in the right hand panel. The categories we added earlier will show up here or you can add a new one.

Add a featured image in the right hand panel. This is the top image that will show up when you publish your post. It might also show up in search results previews.

Preview your post. Always check how your post looks before hitting publish. The option to preview will show up every time you save your post as a draft.

Ready to publish?

Now, you’re ready to publish your first blog post! You can also save your post as a draft and come back to it later if you’re not ready. WordPress has autosave so you likely won’t ever lose your work which is soo nice.

When you’re ready, go ahead and hit “Publish” in the top right corner and then view your blog post to make sure everything looks good.

Making your blogging schedule: How frequently you should publish blog posts?

Blogging is a really delicate balance between quality and quantity— you can’t be a perfectionist that obsesses over every detail, but you do need to create quality content that stands out to your readers.

Because of this, the exact frequency of blog posts differs for every person.

What I will say is that I wrote 2 blog posts per week on my blog for many years. Once I switched to 3 blog posts per week, that’s when I really saw things skyrocket.

I would recommend aiming for at least 2 blog posts a week. I was able to do this on top of my full time job so I think it is possible for many people. If you find this to be too challenging, you may want to look into ways to be more efficient with your writing so it is more possible. And don’t forget, you’ll get faster with practice!

The last tip I have is set aside a large chunk of time once a week to write. Don’t overthink just write as much as possible. Maybe 2-3 blog posts. Then, in smalled chunks of time throughout the week edit & publish your posts.

The writing is the part that requires the most focus so if you can knock that out, it’s smooth sailing from there!

Now, you’re done for the day! I know this lesson was a long one, so pat yourself on the back.