The topic of how to write a blog is a big one as it encompasses many aspects: the niche, planning, where to write it and how, and once you have your blog growing, how to promote yourself as a blogger.
The reasons for wanting to start blogging and the initial need for writing a blog also vary, from personal interest and a desire to share your world, to a business blog and the need to promote products and services engagingly.
Stick with this guide on how to write a blog post, and by the finish, we will have taken you from the start of blogging to becoming a confident blogger with all the tools you need to get the job done.
And while we are on the subject of sticking, that's one of the most important aspects of a blog post: sticking to the topic, audience and task, but more on that later.
Blog topics, a niche in the market
The world may be divided on how to say niche but the blogging community is clear on one thing: picking a niche and sticking to it is vital to growing a blog.
Yes, you can get away with a more smorgasbord approach, but for that to work, you need a community, a following already interested in you. Don't make life difficult, pick a niche in the market and then stick to it, and by stick to it I mean from the readers' point of view.
A simple example will help here. Say you are a gardener and you want to do a blog about gardening; you want to talk about your yew trees, your Taxus baccata, your apples and pears, your Malus domestica and Pyrus communis.
And there we have it, already I have confused my audience. I have referred to the same trees by their common names and by their botanical names. I need to decide if I am talking to a new, novice audience or an expert audience. I should not mix my approach, language and style, otherwise I risk losing one audience by going too deep too fast and the other by boring them with things they already know. Pitching your niche to the audience you have or want to cultivate is so important.
You can bring an audience with you, but rapid change will not help you grow your niche. One idea is to write audience personas detailing who your audience are, the demographic. Establish your voice and tone and every so often, revisit the personas to see if your blog niche is still talking to that demographic.
Choose a niche that interests you
One golden rule when choosing the right niche is to look at what you are passionate about or subjects you have a lot of knowledge about. It's hard to keep coming up with good blogs if the subject you are writing about is not a passion, so pick niches of interest; your blogs will turn out more interesting and engaging that way.
Sometimes topical events can string into a theme and create a niche to write about. Fashion is seldom out of the news, there is always an award ceremony somewhere or a star becoming engaged/married/divorced/sued. If you are interested in such subjects, then plan out a calendar of the main events in your niche and then write blogs before, during and after the events which are topical and will interest others in the niche.
Using Google Trends
Still, stitch for the perfect niche? A little time working with Google Trends may reveal all you need to know about people's interests and search habits. A little time spent in research can bring home large rewards. There's no point picking a niche you are passionate about, but the world has turned its back on.
I'm sure flint knapping was much more popular in the Stone Age and would have been the talk of the campfire, but it's not really kept its popularity, so do check out your ideas and see that they are still popular with an audience of more than one!
Types of blog posts
So you have your niche and you have worked out your audience, you are finding your voice. What type of blog post are you going to write?
Yes, there are several different types of blog posts.
How to posts
A how-to post is a post that explains a subject in an organised and structured way usually involving steps.
Back to our gardening niche: a how-to could be “How to take a cutting” and would outline the steps needed to successfully take a cutting.
Expert tips and advice posts
This style of a post will have fewer items in the list but dives a little deeper into the tips and advice. It takes on an expert voice and will be more detailed in its explanation:
“Best ways to get the most from your cuttings”. It should go the extra mile and often contains original research.
A definition post will set out to give the last word on summing up a subject.
They are often picked up and added high in google as a key definition of a particular subject: “What is a leaf cutting”. The definition is usually put in a nutshell in 300 characters or less then unpacked to make sure all is covered.
Curated list posts
The curated post is a popular list of either the top ideas in an unordered list or a specific number such as “Top 10 ways to successfully cultivate cuttings”. You see the twist, it doesn't have to follow through the whole process, it is more a “best of” than a “how-to”.
Posts that highlight trends
These are time-sensitive posts, some can be evergreen posts. Evergreen posts are posts that come back in popularity time and time again, seasonal. Some trending posts are not time-based but get their popularity from the zeitgeist, and cultural trends.
So an evergreen would be:
“Spring cuttings and how to strike them”
A none evergreen might be:
“Using crisp packets to start your cuttings in”
Odd, funky but very popular for a period of time until it fizzles out.
Unique research posts
Hard work and not a regular type of post for most, but the unique reveal post can get a lot of interest, especially from other bloggers and is great to cement your position as an influencer in a niche: “First look at taking cuttings of the exciting new variety of apple”.
The blog must contain original material and often has tables and definitions or images of the new object / unique technique.
The blog posts you write in your niche will most likely use a mix of post types to keep your audience interested and allow you to find your voice.
I find that keyword research is a real aid in writing any blog. I have the niche, topic and audience in mind, but the keyword research allows me to understand what my audience is looking for, and what they are interested in and often sparks ideas and further research.
This research is going to help me “listen” to my audience, to write blogs that they are interested in rather than talk to my audience and come across as a bore.
There are many keyword tools you can use to select the right keywords for your blog post.
I use Google's own keyword planner which comes with Google Ads.
Google itself can be a good source of keywords. When you do a search there are two main sections, “People also ask” section in the search results is rich with ideas for keywords and at the bottom, there is “related search” which will give you some great suggestions.
Uber suggest is a good keyword tool for doing keyword research but it goes further and can dig into other people's sites and allow you to see what keywords they are targeting.
One technique to find rich keywords is to just start typing into Google and it will autosuggest the most popular keywords as you type. It won't tell you the search volume or the difficulty but it will let you see the most popular keywords that people are searching for.
Structured content, Semantic Web
So you are finally at the point of writing your blog, you have the audience and keywords research, and now you need to organise the words on the page.
Your style and layout will come but it's good to look around and learn from those you think are doing a great job of blog writing.
It used to be common for the big reveal to be always at the end of your blog, but now that's not the case anymore. Many blogs will attempt a definition of the topic after the opening paragraph and this is done in 300 characters or less. If it's good and Google thinks yours is the best found it will use your post definition at the top of its search results.
Good semantic structure is important, by that I mean that your title is an h1 and that it's followed by the content broken into h2-headed sections and these are subdivided into h3 sections. That they are nested in relevance, each section focusing on its point.
Structure your content so that it has an introduction which contains your definition, then the main post's body text and wrap it up with a conclusion to summarise the main points or leave the reader with a call to action.
Free images, royalty-free images
Images are great at keeping engagement in a blog and setting the tone and mood of a blog. Introductory images can grab the attention of the reader before a single word has been read.
So where do you get such images from? I use a mixture of sources for my images.
First I use my own, I'm always snapping away with my camera or phone capturing images I think might be useful either for a specific project or just potentially useful one day.
As you have seen, images can be screenshots, cropped and edited to reinforce the point of the blog or blog section.
There are many screen capture tools available, usually built into your phone, laptop or desktop. In this blog post, I have used Snippet.
Free image sites
There are a number of good free image sites. Usually, they advertise paid-for sites as an alternative if you cannot find that image that's just right.
Always read the small print to make sure they are royalty-free.
Unsplash and Pexels are my go-to sites for royalty-free images. I used these two and my own photos in my own blog, naturally relaxing where I test out SEO ideas and monitor the results. Many articles will insist you need images you have paid for but this site does very well without and you can judge for yourself if they are doing a good job.
Another source if you have an account is Canva.
If you do buy images, make sure you read the license and follow the obligations laid out. Some licenses have restrictions on where you can use them and if used on a commercial product a more expensive licence is involved.
Credit the photographer
Sometimes crediting the photographer is needed, but it's always good to credit the person who took the time to take, upload and describe the image. On my site, I show all the images used and credit the photographer and show where I and for that matter, you can find the original image.
Proofreading your blog post
Once you have finished writing a blog post, read it through uninterrupted. Be the audience and with that audience in mind see if it flows and reads as you would expect it to.
Always get someone else to proofread your blog post. It's so easy to become word blind, missing obvious mistakes. Get feedback and if there is an edit suggestion that would improve the blog then make the changes and proofread again, it's so easy to add a correction and introduce an error.
You have written the article, and made the changes, but have you stuck to your keywords?
It is worth reading through making sure you have used the correct terms and stuck to them.
Add the metadata description, this is the description that Google will use when it indexes your site and shows it. If you are using Joomla as your Content Management System then that's all built into the area where you write your blog and is a simple matter of adding the meta description in the metadata tab
Make sure all your images have an alternative title added, otherwise known as an alt tag, with Joomla that's located in the images and links tab.
Testing your blog post
Once you have published your post, test it with some of those tools I mentioned. With some, you can point to a specific page and see how they perform for speed, keywords, and all the things that matter and will help get your blog to the top.
You can also use Goggles lighthouse tool to make sure your page is performing well and is accessible to all.
What should I use to build my blog?
If you are using Joomla 4 Content Management System for your blog you can relax as Joomla performs really well out of the box.
You can try a one-click Joomla 4 install at https://launch.joomla.org/ to get your blog started.
There is a wealth of help and information for anyone new to Joomla and blogging to be found in the Joomla documentation as well as help and guidance in the Joomla forum. How do you know the above will work? Well if you found this article through an online search then there is no better way to demonstrate that this blogging how-to can make a difference and help you to start blogging today!