When I started to blog, I knew nothing about writing. I just have a few knowledge that I wanted to share and a few lessons about essay writing back in high school. But on many occasions, just when I’m excited to express my opinions to my readers, I usually find myself staring at the blinking cursor on my screen, waiting for my fingers to hit the next key. And then realized, I have just wandered far-off my topic.
Knowing what to write and packaging my piece couldn’t be any harder.
Learning how to write a good blog post is intended to anyone who wants to make use of their time efficiently while writing a blog post. This is the first part of this series where we will talk about the things you need to do and understand first before you start to write your blog post. The second and third parts are all about the guidelines or structures you can follow to create a good blog post. There, you will learn how to write effectively and quickly with the structure at hand.
Part 1: Blog Writing is Different from Print Articles
If Mark Twain is alive today, he would have hated Google.
Unlike writing for magazines or newspapers, we have to consider search engines to come up with a blog post. No matter how good your writing is, if you don’t make it accessible to search engines, no Internet user will be able to read your post. I have written extensively about search engine optimization on my previous articles but just to give you a quick lesson, here are the main points to consider before you start your blog post:
Make a keyword research
Find out the words that people use to find the topic that you have in mind. When you publish your blog post, search engines crawl your page to find keywords that will help them determine what your page is all about and how important it is to be included on their search result page. The keywords on your blog post should match a search query to be considered on their listings. You can use Google Keyword Tool to help you with your keyword research.
Use keywords on your URL, title, and across your blog content
When you go to a library looking for information about raising horses, the librarian would usually look for books with the keywords raising horses on its title. That goes the same with search engines. They put greater weight on the keywords they will find on your blog URL and title.
If I have chosen to use “If Mark Twain is Alive Today, He Would Have Hated Google” as the title of this article to make it compelling and interesting to readers, it might work on magazines, but not on the Internet. Search engines might index this page wrongly. They would likely include this page on search results about Mark Twain which is irrelevant to the main body. Therefore, this page doesn’t serve its purpose to users.
Google recently published a newsletter about the page layout algorithm improvement. Algorithm is the program they use to determine the importance of a webpage in relation to a search query. In their newsletter dated January 19, 2012, they said that sites that doesn’t have much content “above the fold” will not be ranked highly on search results. Above the fold is the visible part of your page where you don’t need to scroll down.
Therefore, an article with less than 250 words may suffer as a consequence to this algorithm improvement. Most experts in this field suggest that an article should have at least 400 words. Avoid writing too much. Information overload tires a reader. If you have a lengthy article, break it down into two.
Next Part is about organizing your thoughts and learning the structures to come up with a good blog post in a short period of time.