[Guide for Beginners to Earning Money Online – Part 4]
In this article, I’ll explain how to write for a blog post in order to attract the audience, gain trust among your readers, and optimize your content for the search engines to win authority. I’ll introduce some helpful tools and strategies for getting to know your audience and understanding its needs.
The Worth and Doubt in Writing For a Blog.
Do you have some important thoughts and ideas that you’d like to share with people online? Do you want to help people solve their problems and yet earn some money while doing so?
Then, running a blog is a great choice for you. It’s worth it!
Are you worried that your website may be lost among many others in the World Wide Web, and people will never find your publications?
I’m here to help you learn the techniques that will make your website visible to people and search engines.
Are you concerned that you may not do well in running a blog because you are not good at writing?
You don’t have to be! Writing for a blog is similar to speaking with friends. If you are fluent in speaking the language you are going to write in, you’ll do great! You don’t have to be a writer, and your writing should not appear like a school essay or a novel, neither it should appear like a whitepaper. If you write like me in a foreign language, I’ll share with you a tip that works well for me.
Do you fear that people who know you could come across your writing and criticize it, ridicule and embarrass you?
That’s a tough one! If that’s so, you are not alone. Sharing your writing in public is like speaking in public – you are sharing your thoughts and ideas, opening up your heart and baring your soul to strangers. I had this fear too. It gets easier with time…
Here is my advice for the start:
Choose in your mind a respected person whose opinion of your writing is most important to you. (Those who don’t deserve your respect, also don’t deserve your fear). Write your story like speaking to this person. Then talk to this person about the subject of your story without telling him or her that you are writing an article about it. You’d probably want to make some edits to your writing after this dialog.
When your article is ready, remind this friend of your conversation, tell him or her that you’ve written a blog post reflecting your discussion, but haven’t published it yet because you are worried about your writing style and whether what you wrote will make sense to strangers. Ask this friend to proof-read your story.
I know… this is the most intimidating moment. But, if you overcome this one moment, you’ll see that your friend will read your story from positive perspectives and feeling as he or she is your confederate or co-author. You might get some constructive criticism, but it will be in an attempt to help you rather than criticize you or make fun of your writing, and will only improve your writing experience.
I’ve done just that when I wrote for my first blog post. I am lucky to have a friend, CD Collins, who is a published writer and a native English speaker (which I’m not). I’ve asked her to read my story and expected tons of corrections in regard to my style, composition, and grammar. I was surprised about how few I received compared to my expectations, and yet she helped me a lot; I’m very grateful to her! With her advice and her approval, my fear of publishing my first blog post has almost vanished.
I didn’t ask her to correct each and every one of my subsequent posts. I ran by her one or two more stories I’ve written, and then I was on my own with more confidence in my writing.
Your friend doesn’t have to be a writer – just someone whose opinion you value. If you don’t have such a friend or the advice above is not acceptable for you for any other reason, here is a simple way to avoid the fear of being ridiculed for your writing altogether:
Run your blog under a pen name and provide a graphic image that represents you instead of your own photo. This way, if someone from your social circle comes across your publication, they will never know that you are the author.
10 Tips On Creating Readable Content That Ranks.
Let’s talk about how to write for a blog post from the structural perspectives to make your content easy to read and make the search engines accept and over time increase your authority level and rank your publications higher.
1. Post Only Your Original Writing. No Duplicate Content Is Allowed!
While doing your research for your next post, you can read and get ideas from other publications. Then, you’d need to assemble them in your own way and write in your own words.
You can site some short paragraphs with the name of the author and a link to their publication. Don’t include a very long quotation. Long quotes may hurt your ranking.
Copying and pasting text that was created by others without permission and certain agreement between the parties is considered stealing intellectual property. It is illegal with respect to the copyright laws and will be penalized by the search engines. It will damage your online reputation and in a few uncommon cases may also hurt the owner of the original content.
One of the Wealthy Affiliate members recently shared his story about the unfortunate experience he and his business partner had when someone duplicated their original content that hurt their business. This person had done it out of foolishness, ignorance, and negligence rather than malice, but the harm to the original authors was done.
If you have an agreement of publishing somebody else’s content on your website, you’d have to let the search engines know where the original content resides through setting up the dedicated meta tags.
The SiteContent platform at Wealthy Affiliate has a duplicate content checker feature. The SiteContent is available for all members, including Starter (Free) members. It’s very helpful in writing and organizing your content. You can write your articles in the SiteContent environment, utilize many of its features, and then publish your page or post directly to your website.
2. Use Clear And Simple Conversational Language.
Write in a simple language as you would talk to a friend. Some soft slang is acceptable. Jokes are encouraged, but be careful not to be offensive to anyone among a huge potential variety of your readers. Your humor in a public blog must be politically correct (even though I hate this phrase!). If your niche is International, it also better be culture-independent, or many readers will not understand your jokes.
What does it have to do with how to write for a blog post that ranks high in the search engines? Well, having your language polite, easy to understand and lively affects significantly your rank, even though indirectly.
No, Google bots won’t understand your humor, your style, or the ethics in your article, but human-readers will. Your readers will behave on your site accordingly to your tone of writing, and Google bots will capture their behavior and rank your content considering many factors, including the time people remain on a page, how many pages they view on your site, how many people return to your site at a later time, and the variety of groups of audience (by age, gender, geographical location, interests, etc.) that are most attracted to your blog.
3. You Want Your Content To Be Helpful, Interesting And Engaging.
Whatever your niche is, in your writing, you need to focus on your readers, the problems that they are having and the solutions that you can offer. People come to your blog seeking help in their needs, answers to their questions, advice on their actions for resolving their problems, looking for encouragement or inspiration. They don’t come to learn about you, sorry!
They might be interested to find out who YOU are in a sense of whose advice they are about to take. This will happen after they’ve discovered your blog searching for THEIR solutions and found your content useful in THEIR situation. Therefore, there should be one article introducing you to your audience. That article is essential in gaining trust and building your reputation. Click this link to learn about the “About Me” or “About Us” post or page in more detail.
Besides that one “About Me” story, I caution you not to write about yourself. I encourage you to use short stories from your personal experience to illustrate your advice to your audience, but the main focus must remain on helping people accomplish something – not on you, even if you have accomplished this exact thing in your life.
Your readers want to feel that the author cares about them. They want to be a part of the story. You need to engage them from the first paragraph of your writing.
In order to accomplish that, you need to understand your audience, what questions they are asking and what emotions are underlying these questions. There are some helpful resources that you can use in order to understand what people in your niche are looking for. You can search your niche in sites like:
and see what questions are being asked. You can also use in your own post the ideas found in the responses to these questions – just don’t copy, write in your own words.
Another way of finding what people are asking is to go to google.com, type your niche or main topic in a search field and then start adding question words in front of it.
You want to know not only what people are asking but also why they are asking it. There are both positive and negative emotions people have when they are searching for a particular concept. If you could understand these emotions, or find the “hot buttons”, and target them in articulating your content, your visitors would be engaged quicker and more likely to stay on your page, browse the other publications on your website, and follow your advice, which means for you – conversions.
Use the first section of my post as an example. In this article, I’m answering the question “How to write for a blog post?” You are here, which means that this question was of interest to you.
Thinking of why you might have this question, I decided that you may be worried that your writing skills are not good enough, or you might be concerned that your blog is not tuned well for SEO, or simply have a fear of writing for the public. In the first section, I’m letting you know that I understand what brought you here and I’m going to help you.
If my assumptions were wrong, then you’d probably wouldn’t be reading thus far. But since you are still here, I believe that I hit at least one of your hot buttons, spiked your interest and earned a little bit of your trust even before you dived deep into my content.
Remember, that for earning money through your blog, you’d want to convert your visitors into your customers. The way that you as a website owner approach people is going to dictate the rate at which you can build trust, which is a prerequisite to any form of conversion.
In order to increase conversions, you’d need to accomplish 4 tasks in each blog post you write:
- Identify a problem
- Offer the solution
- Explain the benefits
- Give your reader a clear instruction on what to do next (Call to Action – CTA)
Doing research and a reasonable guess of what your audience is looking for and might need help with is the way to define the direction of your writing. You also want to engage your visitors by asking questions and requesting their opinion or their own experience related to your post’s topic.
Prompt your visitors to respond to your questions by commenting under your post. Always reply to the comments as soon as you can, preferably, within 24 hours. Each comment and your response to it, add relevant content to your post, which search engines include in their ranking algorithm. You may start with a 1,000-word post and end up with 5,000 if you manage to engage your readers through comments.
4. Carefully Research And Choose 1 Keyword To Target.
Researching, choosing, and using your targeted keywords in your content deserves its own post. Today, I’ll give you a short checklist of the requirements. You’ll master the skill as we move along in this “Guide for Beginners to Earning Money Online” tutorial.
- Use the help of Google and the sites I’ve mentioned above (Quora.com and Answers.com) to get the idea of popular questions in your niche. Another great tool that can help you with this task is “Answer The Public”. All these tools are free. They will help you to come up with the general idea of your post.
- Once you know what you want to write about, you’d need to find a keyword (or a keyphrase) that is being searched for at least 50 times per month and has preferably fewer than 100 competing sites that target the exact same keyword.
Jaaxy is a great tool that provides this information and offers help with your overall keywords analysis and new ideas. Jaaxy Lite is included in your Premium Membership with Wealthy Affiliate at no additional charge. You can purchase Jaaxy separately too. There is also a Starter Trial version that offers 30 keyword searches for free. The Wealthy Affiliate Premium members also get deep discounts on Jaaxy Pro and Enterprise versions, but I’ve been satisfied with the Lite version so far.
- Use your targeted keyword 2-5 times in your content.
Use your keyword in the title, first paragraph, and maybe a couple more times if it fits naturally your content. Don’t force your keywords in if they don’t flow organically. For the SEO, it’s better to have fewer occurrences of your keyword than make your content stuffed with keywords in an unnatural way.
5. The Importance of Relevancy.
Your keyword must be relevant to your niche, and your content must be relevant to your targeted keyword.
I can’t stress enough that the main goal of writing for a blog must be helping people to solve their problems. You will generate revenue ONLY as a result of offering VALUE to your readers.
A narrow niche produces better results than a broad one in attracting visitors and converting them into your customers. Writing many useful posts within this narrow area of interest will build a quality audience meaning that interested people will follow your publications and come back for more advice and check out your new content. You will steadily gain the trust of your audience, your authority within search engines will increase and so will your ranking.
You should choose one keyword or keyphrase per post and write relevant content to this phrase. Your promotions may, but don’t have to be, directly relevant to your keyword. However, promotions must be relevant to your content and fit in naturally.
I am writing this post to provide you with the winning tactics in writing for a blog. In my content, I advise you on how to write for a blog post that ranks on the 1st page in Google. As I mentioned above, accurate keyword research is one of the main factors in the ranking algorithms. In this post, a couple of paragraphs above, you see my promotion of Jaaxy. I use Jaaxy Lite daily to help me with the keyword analysis. I recommend you Jaaxy because as a website owner, you’ll get a great value out of it.
I don’t promote Jaaxy for the sake of making money. However, if you purchase Jaaxy or get it for free with a Wealthy Affiliate Premium membership, I’ll receive some commissions. I’ve joined Jaaxy and Wealthy Affiliate affiliate programs because I believe that both platforms provide incredible value to people in my niche – not vice versa. My commission could be smaller if you purchased WA Premium Membership, but I believe that YOU would get more value for your money if you take this route. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you get Jaaxy through Wealthy Affiliate rather than on its own.
I hope that the example above well illustrates the relevancy of the content to the targeted keyword and relevancy of the promotion to the content: as I point out the importance of the quality keyword in writing the post that ranks, I recommend you to use Jaaxy because it’ll help you select such keywords.
6. Pay Attention To Structure, Detail, and Comprehensiveness.
Your content must be well structured, detailed and thorough.
Once you’ve decided on a keyword for your next post, come up with an eye-catching title that includes the keyword. Break down the article concepts into several sections. Create headlines for each section that foreshadow the content in it and are captivating. I recommend having at least 5 headers in your post.
These headlines will define the overall structure of your writing. Of course, you can modify, add, move around or remove your sections later, but this initial structure will help you to put your ideas together and get your thoughts organized.
Follow the traditional composition:
- Body (Main Ideas)
Start writing with the introduction of what specific issues you are going to address in your post. Place this short introduction before the first header, right after the title.
Put yourself in the shoes of a person who knows nothing about the subject and write your content as thorough and detailed as possible – so that your visitors find all the answers in your post and wouldn’t need to seek additional help elsewhere. Once again, use the help of Google, Quora, and Askme to make sure that you answer every possible question people ask within your topic.
Make your paragraphs short. Large blocks of text are hard to read.
End your post by summarizing everything you’ve talked about in your article.
Introduction and Conclusion help people who are scrolling through, to quickly get an idea of whether your post is relevant to their search and should they stay or should they go.
If your post is long, over 2,500 words, I suggest including a table of contents at the top. Table of contents also helps people understand what your post is about and jump to a section of their interest rather than annoyingly scrolling down.
7. Create a Captivating Title and Headers.
Not only your headlines should give a clear summary of what you’re going to talk about in the post and in each section, but they also have to be catchy. Most visitors start with scrolling through your article to see how relevant your content is to their interest. The headlines are a crucial part of your post because they are the first thing people look at before deciding whether to read the post or not. You have only a few seconds to catch their attention – use them efficiently.
Instead of giving a dry essence of the following content, try making your headlines lively and attractive.
The Best Title Generator is a free tool that may help you to come up with the ideas for the eye-catching headlines.
8. Can You Pass The Grammar Test?
– Yes, you can, regardless of your education.
The grammatical errors in your post make it unpleasant to read for many visitors, diminish your authority and hurt your ranking. I understand that not all of us can write error-free, but these days, everyone can minimize errors by using spelling and grammar checkers. Grammarly is one of the common tools that you can use for free. It can be added to Google Chrome as an extension.
Even if you are an expert in the English language or the language you’re writing your blog in, always proofread your finished article from the beginning to the end, and always use a spell checker. You may miss some typing errors, and spell checkers will help you to catch those.
If you are like me writing in your second language, I have a useful tip for you. Use Google Translate in the reverse engineering way: translate your English (or whatever language you’re writing in) back to your native language. If the text in your native language still makes sense, then you should be okay. If you see that the semantics have changed in the translation, try to reword the English phrase.
Google Translate is still very inaccurate in translating many languages to English – don’t rely on it. Write your own English text, and only use Google Translate as I explained above.
Another great grammar checking tool that you can use for free is offered by Wealthy Affiliate through its ultimate writing platform called SiteContent.
SiteContent Grammar Checker is better than the free version of Grammarly and checks your work in 4 phases:
- Sentence Structure
9. Deciding On The Length of Your Post Should Not Result in a Migraine.
The experts suggest that each publication must be 1,000+ words.
However, don’t force your writing just to increase the length. This may lead to filling your post with meaningless content, which would be much worse than having a short post!
If there is really nothing to say about the subject, and all the ideas you could come up with fit into 300 words, it might be better to choose a different topic and find another keyword.
If you feel like the topic, even though it’s short, yet is in high demand, go for it! 300 words in one post out of many will not hurt. Only make sure that not every post on your website is that short. Also, if the subject is in demand, you may get good user engagement for it and increase the size of your content via readers’ comments and your responses.
Write naturally. The thorough posts as we discussed above, most likely will exceed 1,000 words. The length of each publication will vary. Some of your posts might be under 1,000 words, others – over 1,500, and yet others could be 7,000+. Google takes this into consideration. The variety in length is a good sign for the search engines that you are writing for humans with an intention to address certain issues and genuinely help people rather than to please the bots and benefit yourself by promoting something.
10. Consistency In Your Publications is the Key to Success.
“Content consistency leads to authority.
Authority leads to rankings.
Rankings lead to traffic and ultimately revenue opportunity.”
The guideline for the frequency in publications is 2-3 posts per week. Many bloggers write and publish quality posts every day.
Having said that, consistency is more important than frequency.
The frequency of your writing will depend on your abilities and availability.
We all have other obligations. Some of us may dedicate to the work online 10 hours per week while others work online full-time.
The frequency will depend on your skills and efficiency. You may start your blog by publishing only 1 post per month, but as you write more and more content, your efficiency will increase. You’d be able to double, triple and quadruple the number of posts you write within the same amount of time. Don’t worry if at the beginning 2 posts per week sound unrealistic.
Set your personal goal! Decide how many posts you can write within a certain period. If it’s once every two weeks, set the same day two weeks apart, mark these days in the calendar for the next 3 months, and be determined to publish a post on every day marked in your calendar. Reevaluate your abilities in the 3 month period.
Don’t post several articles in a row when you have more time to write them, and then have a huge gap in updating your website because something else in your life has taken the priority.
The better way to use your extra time is to plan ahead and define the topics and keywords for several posts ahead. Create a framework for each post, and if you still have time left, even complete the following articles, but publish them by your schedule… unless you know that moving forward you’d be able to consistently increase the frequency of your publications.
Consistency in your publications will create anticipation of your fans; they will expect your new posts and look forward to them.
Consistency is the core of blogging. It builds a Business and creates credibility. Only pursuing consistency you will become a leader in your niche. A consistent blogger creates a community and keeps it together by continuously addressing its pressing issues in the fresh publications.
Consistency builds a brand. Create your posts in a consistent style. Don’t change the overall appearance. Choose your fonts, colors, logo and stick to the theme you’ve selected. These tactics will make your brand recognizable.
Why Wealthy Affiliate Bloggers Take the First Page on Google?
This is the fact: a lot of Wealthy Affiliate members get to the 1st page on Google for their targeted keywords. There are several reasons for it.
- Excellent Training and Tremendous Community Support.
Wealthy Affiliate offers lots of training modules for any type of online business and any topic you can think of.
Two main training programs, Online Entrepreneur Certification (5 courses/ 50 lessons) and Affiliate Bootcamp (7 courses/ 70 lessons) created by the co-founders are only a small part of the wealth of knowledge available on this platform. The library grows daily as new tutorials are added by the community experts. Our awesome live coach Jay runs weekly live webinars for the Premium members.
WA encourages the “Pay It Forward” model and supports Premium members in sharing their own knowledge through the Open Education Project. There is even some financial reward for the members whose training becomes popular within the community.
Whatever your need is, just type a keyword you are looking for in the search bar on Wealthy Affiliate dashboard, and numerous text- and video-tutorials, answers to previously asked questions, and posts in the internal WA blog will come up.
It’s extremely rare that you won’t find what you are looking for, but if that ever happens, you can post your question, and someone with the knowledge will respond to you promptly or create a new course on your subject.
In the screenshot below, I used “content” as a keyword to show you the results that I received. I had to cut off the “Questions” section in the middle in order to fit the “Blogs” sections in one image. Even more relevant tutorials came up when I searched for “content writing” keyphrase.
Running a blog in isolation, when the Internet and Google are your only helpers, is a more difficult task than you may think.
If you are an extravert, you’ll definitely make friends at Wealthy Affiliates and will enjoy all the support you’d get from other members whenever you ask a question, write your own WA blog post, or through the private messaging system (Premium only!).
If you are an introvert, this platform is even more useful for you: you don’t have to interact with people when you don’t feel like doing so, and yet you can get their help quietly just by watching new blog posts, courses they create, and answers to questions of other members. Though, asking questions is highly encouraged: if you don’t ask, we don’t know that you need help.
All this knowledge base keeps Wealthy Affiliate bloggers up to date with the ongoing changes in SEO, affiliate programs, legal requirements, and common trends. People are sharing in their internal blog posts the mistakes and misfortunes they experienced as well as the techniques that worked great for them. We learn from each other, take in what works well and brings success and try to avoid the mistakes that affected others. Google honors websites hosted at Wealthy Affiliate.
- Advanced Keyword Research Tool
I’ve explained Jaaxy above. You’ll get this valuable tool for free with your Premium Membership. No blogger can succeed without a good keyword research tool. Why not get it in a package with many other great benefits? Jaaxy is an irreplaceable help in reaching 1st page in Google.
- SiteContent Platform
You can use this platform to write and edit your content, organize your articles in “buckets”, set writing goals, create templates for your common content, use the existing templates, take advantage of the advanced grammar checker and duplicate content checker, select pictures for your post from over a million of free stock images, upload and store your own pictures, and publish your post or page from the SiteContent directly to your website.
All these features help Wealthy Affiliate sites be genuine, well organized and structured with the grammatically and stylistically well-written content that ranks high in search engines.
- SiteComments Platform
Another powerful feature included in Premium membership is the SiteComments platform.
As I explained above, user engagement is an important factor in the ranking algorithms. Also, the comments add and enrich the original content of a post.
SiteComments platform allows Wealthy Affiliate members to exchange comments on their blogs. As a matter of fact, as soon as you publish your post or page from the SiteContent writing environment, a window comes up asking you what you want to do next. One of the options is to request the comments with SiteComments – see the screenshot below.
The SiteComment Platform allows Wealthy Affiliate members to leave quality comments on each other’s sites. A quality comment means that it truly adds quality to the content and is free of grammatical errors. Low-quality comments can be denied by the requestor.
The 4 categories in the image above serve as guidelines for the commenters of what the author wants to hear back from the visitors. All 4 options can be selected simultaneously when submitting a request. Then, the commenters have options to choose from; they don’t have to address all four in one comment.
Commenters earn the community credits for each offered and approved comment. These credits can be used for requesting comments for your own posts. Such a credit system provides the assurance that the members do both: offer and request the comments.
Wealthy Affiliate also offers a monetary reward to people who offer 50+ comments per month with an approval rate of at least 80%.
SiteComments is a great way to boost user engagement on your site.
The Bottom Line.
Take your first step, write your original content. If you feel intimidated, use my advice (at least one of the tips must work for you!) to overcome your anxiety in publishing your writing.
If you are writing in your second language, try my method for proving that you accurately expressed the sense you intended to deliver. Use grammar checkers to eliminate linguistic errors in your writing.
If you write consistently, writing for a blog WILL get easier with practice and eventually become your second nature. Remember that consistency is the key to successful blogging.
The 10 tips in this post will help you create relevant and engaging content that ranks well. These tactics work, trust me!
I hope that you’d take my advice on joining Wealthy Affiliate because it provides such great value to all bloggers.
Jaaxy, the keyword research tool, on its own worth joining Wealthy Affiliate, and so is the SiteComment platform.
Click the button to join for free.
Explore the platform and its features using your free membership, and do plan to upgrade to the Premium when you’re ready. Free membership can get you started, but you’d need access to the resources available for Premium members in order to grow your business into something significant.
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Guide for Beginners to Earning Money Online.