The 6-step guide to writing the perfect blog

Nick Harland
April 2023

Want to write a blog but don't know where to start? Here's the beginners guide to writing a blog that actually gets read.

The best blogs - the ones that people actually read - are the result of hard work and planning. They weren’t just jotted down in 20 minutes and then forgotten about. If you want to write a blog that actually gets read, you’ve got to put the time and effort in.

Otherwise, you’re simply wasting your time.

Here’s how to write a blog that gets read.

1) Find your topic

The first step to writing any blog is thinking of the topic you want to write about, duh. But how do you do it? Well, one good way to start is by doing some keyword research.

To do that, you have a few different options. Google Keyword Planner and Answer the Public are two free tools that can give you some good ideas for new topics. All you have to do is input a search phrase, and they will suggest a load of possible topics based on your phrase.

But although keyword research can give you a good idea of what people are asking online, sometimes it’s a better idea to draw upon your own knowledge. After all, presumably you’ve sat down to write a blog because you have expertise or insight to share. So think about any challenges you’ve faced recently and how you overcame them. Think also about trending or controversial topics within your industry. The future of your industry or topic. Your story - how you got to where you are today.

If you’re still struggling for inspiration, here are some more blog topic ideas.

2) Get inspired

It’s not quite time to start scribbling yet, so put that pen down and hold your bleedin’ horses.

Before you start tapping away, it might be best to do a little competitor research. Let’s say you’ve decided to write a blog about ‘how to paint a bathroom wall.’ Google that phrase, and check out some of the top search results.

How could you improve on it? What have they not written about that you could write about? What can you add to the topic that isn’t already out there? What value can you add?

Don’t just rehash what other people have already said. You’re just adding more hot air to a place that’s already pretty full of hot air. Your content should add new insights and new knowledge on a topic.

3) Plan the structure of your blog

Right, it’s almost time to write. But there’s just one thing to do first. PLAN. Because as the old adage goes, fail to plan, plan to fail. Or something like that, anyway.

Planning out the structure of your blog in advance can save you a hell of a lot of time. It’ll help keep your blog coherent, logical and easier to digest for the reader.

Start by jotting down the subheadings you’ll use in your blog, along with a 1-2 sentence summary of what you’ll write about each one. If you’re struggling for subheading ideas, Google the name of your blog. The suggested searches at the bottom of the page should throw up some good subheading ideas.

4) Write your first draft

Steady on, steady on! There’s just one more thing to do before you start writi-...oh wait, no, this IS actually the time to start writing.

Now that you have your blog named, planned and structured, start writing. Don’t think, just start writing. Your first draft is a chance to get all of your ideas out of your brain and into the screen (or paper, if that’s how you choose to live your life). 

Don’t worry about writing the perfect blog the first time around. You’ll have plenty of time to edit and refine your blog later.

If you’re unsure about how much to write, it really depends on the topic. In general blogs tend to be at least 500 words, and can be anywhere up to 2,000 words. Write whatever feels right, and don’t repeat yourself to meet some imaginary word count. There is no perfect word count.

5) Edit, edit, edit

Now’s the time to go back over what you’ve read and EDIT, EDIT, EDIT!

And editing doesn’t just mean checking for spelling and grammar errors. It means reordering the structure of your blog, it means taking out repeated information, it means rewording unclear sentences, it means taking out repeated information.

One vital thing to remember is that your blog must have a memorable headline and intro. People often overlook this - but your headline and introduction are the shop window to your blog. So they have to draw people in. How do you do that? 

Well, you could throw in a controversial statement. Include a memorable word or phrase. Use a statistic. Use an open-ended question as your headline. Whatever you do, it should grab attention and generate intrigue in the reader. Never lose sight of that.

Keep editing and revising your blog until there’s nothing you would add, and there’s nothing you would take away.

6) Finish and compare

Once you’ve finished your blog, compare it with your competitor’s content again. Does your content add new perspectives? Does it lay the information out in a more logical way? Does it offer extra value for the reader?

If you can’t answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, edit your blog until you can. As we said, there’s no point adding an undercooked blog to the interwebs. It will sink, nobody will read it, and ChatGPT will probably write a better one anyway.

Publish and share

It feels kinda pointless including this section, but to be honest we only did it because ‘share’ rhymes with ‘compare’ and it sounded quite nice. Anyway. It’s now time to publish the blog and share it among your esteemed colleagues and customers. And the rest of the world, of course. This could be the start of something beautiful. Maybe.

Nick Harland