Writing blog posts requires a repeatable process that you can follow, so you can produce high-quality & in-demand content every time.
I came up with the 6P Process which outlines the main steps any blog article writers can follow.
1. Prepare It
Preparation is one of the most important steps in any venture, however small. Whether you’re setting out on an adventure in the Amazon jungle, or creating a simple blog post, mapping out a blueprint is essential to creating something that will bring you confidently to your end goal.
Clarify The Goal
That’s why the first step is determining the goal of your blog post. What do you want your blog post to do? Educate? Entertain? Inspire? Sell? What is the next step you want your reader to take after they read your article?
Without a clear outcome, you’ll be writing without purpose, and that never leads far. Even if your goal is just to motivate your reader to reflect on a specific thought, then that’s still an outcome which your writing would need to focus on.
Write down the goal of your blog post. That is how it will be shaped, regardless of the topic.
Know Your Audience
This is a very important step that if missed, will render your blog post ineffective to speaking to anyone. You’ve probably heard the common saying in marketing “If you try to speak to everyone, you’ll end up speaking to nobody”. It’s cliché but true. Understanding your target audience is important because it will allow you to communicate in a way that they will understand, connect with, and find valuable.
Think about who you’re writing the blog post for. Ideally, it’s one person, with a set of specific problems, fears, pain points, doubts, dreams, and desires. Write down as many as you can, so you can address these in your blog article. The more you understand your audience, the more likely they will resonate with your article.
If I know I’m speaking to someone who isn’t very technical, I’m not going to complicate things by throwing around jargon that would confuse them. If I know they have a fear of trying new things, I’d ease them into trying something very basic to get some success before encouraging them onto the next small step, as their confidence builds. If I know that their dream is to make boatloads of money and that is their motivator, then I’d tie all of my topics to the end result of making money. Or if I know that it was family that is their number one core value, I will weave that aspect into the blog post and share with them, how if they apply what I shared, will help them to create more quality time with their family.
Determine The Topic
Now that you have a goal & understand who you’re writing to, what is your topic? Just pulling a random topic from your mind is a waste of your efforts because you need to first determine whether you have a potential audience or demand for that topic first. Otherwise, who would read it?
There are several ways to find potential topics in your niche which are in demand. One of the most common ways is through keyword research. By using online software such as Google Keyword Planner (very basic but free), or more advanced tools such as SEMRush, Ahrefs, or Moz Pro, you can search and find potential keyword phrases which have a high monthly search volume and relatively low difficulty score (which indicates how hard it will be to rank on the first page of Google).
You can also use Google Trends to see what topics are trending lately as well. This will help you find topics that are currently hot and likely to get attention.
Craft Your Title
The next step once you’ve found your topic is to craft your blog post title. This is an art within itself because you need to know how to psychologically grab attention through a minimal number of words. This is when sales copywriting skills come in and you can make the maximum impact. You don’t need to be a pro copywriter, but you do need to know a few principles so you can emotionally hook your potential reader into wanting to read your article in the first place. Here are a few tips:
Be specific. The more specific you are in what the article is about, the more likely you’ll interest someone in it. For example, instead of “How To Find Freelance Gigs” be more specific like “7 Profitable Platforms To Find Freelance Gigs”.
Be benefit-focused. Include the main benefit that the potential reader will get out of reading the article. For example: “7 Profitable Freelance Platforms I Used To Earn $5,000 Per Month”. It shows the potential benefit or ideal outcome of applying the information in the blog post, which makes it more desirable to read.
Without the pain. Include how the potential reader can avoid pain or undesirable emotion or situation by reading the article. For example: “7 Profitable Freelance Platforms I Used To Earn $5,000 Per Month Without Working More Than 40 Hours Per Week”.
Be time-focused. In what timeframe can the reader be expected to get the results you’re promising in the title? For example: “3 Steps To Finding Your First 3 Freelance Writing Clients in the Next 9 Days”. See how it’s more attractive now that we have the timeframe included? Otherwise, subconsciously there will be a doubt as to when they could get those results. Any bit of doubt will paralyze action.
Appeal to a specific target market. Call out the audience your blog post is for, so they feel it was written just for them. People value and gravitate towards things more if it’s specifically for them. For example: “7 Freelance Gigs Single Moms Can Do From Home In Just 10 Hours Per Week”.
There are a lot more principles, but we’ll stop here. I highly recommend studying sales copywriting techniques to learn about how to influence through words. The more you practice, the better you’ll get!
Also, make sure to keep a swipe file of headlines that you find which grab your attention which you could re-engineer into your own blog article titles. You can abstract them out and then refine them into your own.
For example, I went on Medium and just saw this one: “11 Ways to Attract Abundance and Never Worry About Money Again”, which I could abstract to “X Ways To [Result] and Never Worry About [Pain Point] Again”. See how you can now re-use this skeleton to create a gripping title within your own niche and specific topic? “8 Ways To Raise Fluffy Kittens and Never Worry about Matted & Dirty Cat Hairs Again”. LOL! I’m intrigued.
Research Your Content
To create great content, do some research before you start writing so you can sprinkle in some valuable tips & interesting facts which you may not already know. It also keeps you learning, which expands your mind and keeps you updated with the latest in your niche.
Backing up your main argument with trustworthy sources adds credibility, which contributes to your reader believing in what you’re sharing.
Research can also help you shape the structure of the blog post and main points by seeing what points other popular articles have covered. I’m not saying copy them, but it will give you guidance as to what your target market is expecting and finds valuable.
2. Pen It
Rarely would somebody use a pen today to write a blog post, except if you’re journalling some simple ideas on paper, but I had to make this one fit in the “6P” structure!
Before you start writing, get yourself in the right state of mind and flow. This will allow you to let your fingers flow like butter without resistance. What gets you in the zone? What makes you feel inspired? Is it listening to chillstep music? Is it going for a run or doing yoga beforehand?
Make sure you’re properly hydrated and your blood sugar levels are high by having a snack beforehand.
Then, start writing. If it’s hard, just get yourself to write the first 150 words. After that, aim for 300 words, then 500, and by then you should already be in the flow to continue writing until you feel you need a quick break.
After your break, come back and write some more. By now you should already know if this blog post will be a relatively short one that you can bang out in a single sitting or a longer one that requires working on it over a few days.
It may take time to build up your writing chops, so don’t push yourself to the point where you don’t enjoy it. Just write enough until you feel like you don’t want to write. Stop, then come back to it when you feel like writing again. You don’t want to make it feel like a chore.
3. Proof It
The next step after writing your blog post draft is to proof it. This means reading it through to see if it flows well, rewriting any parts that don’t make sense, and shortening sentences as much as possible while keeping the meaning intact.
Finally, do a spelling and grammar check to make sure it’s ready to go.
If you can, get a 2nd or even 3rd pair of eyes on your draft to spot any errors you missed, and give you feedback on the article overall, to see if there’s anything they think could be changed, added, or removed to make the blog post even better.
4. Polish It
This part of the process focuses on the visual parts of your blog post. This is what will make the blog post easier and more enjoyable to read.
The featured image is the image that will show up as the thumbnail of the blog post when your potential readers are scrolling through Medium or your own blog.
An ideal featured image needs to grab attention but also relate to the title and topic of your post.
You can find high-quality photographs on Unsplash, Pexels, or Pixabay for free, or if you prefer a more premium selection, I suggest Envato Elements or Adobe Stock.
Your featured image should ideally be 1920 x 1080 which is 16:9 widescreen format, so you may need to crop and resize it. The ideal format is JPEG (not PNG), and if you’re hosting your blog post on your own blog, then using ImageCompressor.com will reduce the size of the file without sacrificing quality, to speed up page loading — one of the key factors in higher search engine rankings.
To break up large chunks of text and make your blog post more engaging, add 5–10 images within your article, for a 1K-2K word post. If it’s longer, you should add more images.
Before you upload the images, make sure they are in JPEG file type and the filename describes what the image is about. E.g. “dog-playing-in-the-snow.jpg”.
Typically, I resize my embedded images to maximum of 1,000 pixels wide and compress them with ImageCompressor.com before uploading them.
Once embedded, I make sure that the alt-text is filled out. This meta-field is the text description of the image and helps search engines to understand what the image is about, to create a more accurate context of the image and blog post as a whole.
The image title field is optional and is the text that shows up in a tooltip when the reader hovers their mouse over the image.
Finally, you can add an image caption below the image if you want to add image credits or a more detailed description for the reader.
Headings, Paragraphs & Text Highlights
If you haven’t already while you were writing your blog post, make sure your heading structure makes logical sense and has the correct hierarchy. What I mean by this is that primary blog post headings throughout the body are always “H2” type. Subheadings that are headings within the H2 headings are the “H3” type, and so forth.
Break up your text into easy-to-digest paragraphs, which are not too long. Remember, most people skim web content, so large chunks of text are tiring and boring to read.
Finally, you can decorate any words or phrases to add visual flavor or emphasis to certain bits by using italics, bolding, and underlining.
Any quotations can be styled differently as well to stand out and break up the text as well.
The final step to polishing your post is to write the blog post metadata, which includes the title, description, and URL slug.
The blog post title which you’ve already come up with in the first ‘P’ (Prepare It), needs to be no longer than 60 characters, otherwise, it will be truncated in the Google search results (the blue underlined text). If it’s longer, make sure you shorten it so it fits within these limits.
The blog post meta description (the grey text under the blue underlined text in Google) must be 160 characters or less, otherwise, it will also be truncated.
By default, Google will randomly grab one of the first paragraphs in the post to use but rarely does this default gives a relevant or compelling reason for searchers to want to read your blog post. That’s why it’s important to craft it manually, with the goal of intriguing the reader to want to learn more. It’s a call to action after all!
The URL slug should be relevant but not too long either. It should give someone a clear idea of what the blog post is about from the URL alone, but also make it short enough so if they had to remember it and type it out in their browser it wouldn’t be impossible.
Another reason why the URL slug shouldn’t be too long is that Google also truncates long URLs if they are unnecessarily long (over 70 characters).
5. Publish It
Before you even started writing your blog post, you probably already knew which platform you’d publish it on. Perhaps it was Medium.com or your own WordPress blog. In case you didn’t, choose a platform to post your article on. I recommend Medium or if you want to fully control your content, then a WordPress blog. There are other platforms like Blogger, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and many others, but from my experience, Medium and WordPress are the best and most flexible.
Choose Medium if you like to get more exposure faster and earn income from locked content. Choose WordPress if you are more experienced with SEO and prefer to control your own platform.
Once you’ve published it or scheduled it for publishing on a specific date, share it on your social media channels to start getting people reading it.
Ideally, your blog will already have Google Analytics or a built-in analytics platform that will allow you to see where your readers are coming from and how many have viewed your blog post. That way, you can see which topics were most popular and give you an idea of which topics to focus on in the future and even what products you can start to develop to deliver more value to your audience.
6. Promote It
The final and one of the most important steps of the 6P Process is to get your blog post in front of the right audience with the most exposure possible.
This is when marketing skills and knowledge is super valuable. Sure, you could rely on organic traffic through search engines, but even if you’re publishing through Medium, you still need to know SEO to a deep enough level to get traction.
So what are some other ways to promote your blog article? The obvious choice is through social media — Facebook pages & groups, LinkedIn posts, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, Quora, YouTube, TikTok, Podcasts, and more.
If you have an email newsletter, then blast it out to your fans on there. Otherwise, you can always link up with someone in a similar or same niche to send it out to their list.
You could do a few guest posts and link back to your blog article as further reading or bonus information, which will also give you a backlink (if allowed).
Or if you have a marketing budget, boost it using Facebook or Instagram ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, or even YouTube video ads.
Be creative, and you’ll start to find what works and what doesn’t. Then do more of what does work, and less of what doesn’t work. That will lead you to build up a good following and fanbase.
If you enjoyed this article but want to dive deeper into the 6P Publishing Process and discover some more advanced tools, techniques, and strategies to crafting top-notch blog articles and web content that performs and gets results, be sure to join my video course “How To Write Content For Your Website For Maximum Exposure & Sales in 2021” which shows you exactly that! Pre-order it for 90% off the launch price.