The Ultimate Guide to Blogging for Beginners
Updated: May 30
Your Ultimate Guide to SEO-Focused Blogging for Your Business
Blogging is a great way to share your thoughts, tips, ideas, and knowledge with the world, and it's great for creating fresh content to help bring in website traffic that will ideally be potential clients and customers, from Google. However, if you want your blog to be successful, you need to make sure that it is SEO-friendly and is written with people in mind— specifically, your target audience.
This means that your content should be optimized for search engines so that people can find it easily. At the same time, you also need to make sure that your content is written with humans in mind, not just computers— I say this because oftentimes people get so caught up in writing content geared towards what Google wants to see so that they rank well on Google, and in the process, they forget about writing in a way that their ideal customers and clients resonate with and understand.
In this guide, we will talk about how to create SEO-friendly blog content that is easy to follow if you're a beginner and are new to the ways of blogging!
Step 1: Choose the Right Keywords
The first step in creating SEO-friendly blog content is to choose the right keywords. Keywords are the words or phrases that people use to search for information on the internet. You need to identify the keywords that are relevant to your blog post and include them in your content. However, you should avoid keyword stuffing, which means using too many keywords in your content. This can actually hurt your SEO ranking.
Striking the perfect balance of not using enough keywords, and using too many keywords sounds tricky, but it doesn't have to be! The key is to include your keywords and key phrases through your content as much as possible wherever it makes sense, naturally. If you aren't sure whether you're keyword stuffing or not, read your blog post out loud. If it sounds like you're saying your keywords and phrases way too often throughout your blog, in places where it seems way too repetitive and not like a natural conversation, you might need to tweak your writing a bit or cut back on repeating a lot of the same keywords or phrases!
Step 2: Write Quality Content
The next step is to write quality content that is engaging and informative. Your content should be well-written and easy to read. It should also be relevant to your target audience. Make sure that your content provides value to your readers and answers their questions. This will help to keep them engaged and coming back for more.
Not sure what to write about? Have writer's block? That's totally understandable, and it's normal— after all, unless you're a professional copywriter, I highly doubt you're a professional at writing lots of long-form blog content with an entire laundry list of creative blog topics about your industry. Here are some of the best tips I have when it comes to coming up with blog content...
Poll Your Audience — What are some of the questions you get asked a lot by your clients or customers? What topics, tips, or information do you find yourself having to repeat over and over again to your clients? These would make great blog content ideas! To take this a step further, head over to your Instagram stories and conduct some polls to get some more insight as to what your audience wants to know more about!
Tap Into Your Knowledge — What topics related to your industry or niche are you passionate about? Think about the things that you could chat about with clients- or others in your industry, for hours and not get tired of. If you've got a wealth of knowledge about how to choose the perfect location for a family photo session based on location, season, day of the week, and time of day, then write a blog about it! You never know who will be inspired by or impressed by your wealth of knowledge and that will help build what's called the "know, like, and trust factor" with your audience. If they're impressed with how knowledgeable you are, they might be more likely to book with you!
Conduct Research — I know, conducting research sounds boring, but you just might be surprised and get sucked into this part of the process, and come up with all kinds of ideas. To conduct research to come up with blog topic ideas, start with Answer the Public, which is a platform owned by Neil Patel, aka SEO genius, marketing guru, best-selling author, etc. You get 3 free searches per day when you create an account. You enter some keywords about your industry or niche and see what burning questions (the whys, whats, hows, wheres, whens, etc) people all over the country have about what you do. I use his SEO tools for my own clients, that's how much I love them. Copy and paste them into a Word Doc that sparks ideas for blog content. You can also get 3 free searches for Neil Patel's SEO tool, Ubersuggest. You can see detailed information about endless information related to your industry or niche and download them as a CSV file that you can upload to Excel or Google Sheets to look over and sort by column. Not only will these tools help you come up with content ideas, but they'll give you valuable insights as to what keywords you should try to rank for as well! Win, win!
Step 3: Use Headings and Subheadings
Headings and subheadings are important for both SEO and readability. They help to break up your content into smaller sections, making it easier to read, and provide a nice structure that makes your website easier to scan and understand for Google. Make sure that your headings and subheadings are descriptive and include your keywords wherever possible! Not only does having proper heading hierarchy help make your content more understandable for Google, but it also helps your readers scan your content while skimming to find what they're looking for!
When it comes to headings, heading hierarchy is absolutely crucial. Your blog title will be your H1, automatically. Then, you want at least one H2 heading style— but you can also have multiple H2s it seems necessary. Then, you might have some H3s as well! Here are some examples to help you visualize how the hierarchy of headings works!
The Best Chocolate Pie Recipe (H1)
Ingredients for the Best Chocolate Pie (H2)
Ingredient List (body text or paragraph text)
Baking Instructions (H2)
List of baking Instructions (body text or paragraph text)
Tips for Preventing Your Pie from Burning (H3)
Tips for baking (body text or paragraph text)
Basically, you have your main points that you want to hit on in the blog post, and then you might have some sub-categories that provide supporting information or that might brand off below, in relation to one of main those topics, to put it simply!
Step 4: Optimize Your Images
Images are an important part of your blog content. They help to break up your text and make your content more visually appealing. However, you also need to optimize your images for SEO. This means using descriptive file names and alt tags (or alt descriptions) that include your keywords if it makes sense in relation to the photo, as well as making sure you compress your images before uploading, as larger images can slow down your website, which will also hinder your SEO.
By using descriptive file names, you are providing search engines with valuable information about the content of your image. This helps them to understand what your image is all about and how it relates to your blog post. Additionally, by including alt tags that contain your targeted keywords, you are further improving the chances of your images being discovered by search engines. Be specific but brief when writing your alt descriptions for your blog and website images.
Optimizing your images for SEO not only improves your search engine rankings but also enhances the overall user experience of your blog, and plays a big part in something called website accessibility. By making your images more accessible and understandable, you are creating a more engaging and informative experience for your readers, but especially for those who might be using a screen reader to explore the content on your website. Accurate and descriptive alt descriptions on your photos make it much easier for Google, and those with impairments or disabilities to engage with your website.
To compress your images (reducing the file size) while keeping the quality high, I always recommend using tinyjpg.com, or Optimizilla. These are both my go-to when compressing my clients' website images!
Step 5: Link to Other Relevant Content
Linking to other relevant content is an essential aspect of search engine optimization (SEO). By doing so, you can help search engines comprehend the context of your content and potentially enhance your ranking. It's crucial to ensure that you link to high-quality, topic-relevant content that offers value to your readers. This not only helps establish your website as a reliable source of information but also encourages visitors to stay on your site longer. Therefore, it's imperative to be mindful of the links you include in your content and make sure they are relevant and useful to your audience!
Step 6: Promote Your Blog Content
To ensure that your content reaches your intended audience, it is crucial to promote it effectively. It's not enough to simply publish your blog post and hope that people show up! One way to promote your blog posts is by sharing your blog posts on various social media platforms and other relevant channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Alignable, local forums and groups, your email list, and more. By doing so, you increase the chances of your content being seen by individuals who are interested in your niche.
In addition to sharing your content yourself, it is also essential to encourage your readers to share it with their friends and followers. This can be done by including social sharing buttons on your website (if you use Wix, your blog posts should have social share buttons built-in to your blog posts!) or by simply asking your readers to spread the word. The more exposure your content receives, the higher the likelihood of it reaching a wider audience.
Remember, promoting your content is just as important as creating it. So, take the time to develop a solid promotion strategy that aligns with your goals and target audience. With the right approach, you can increase your content's visibility and attract more readers to your website, which will eventually, hopefully, lead to more bookings and sales!
By following these steps, you can create SEO-friendly blog content that is also written with humans in mind. Remember to choose the right keywords, write quality content, use headings and subheadings properly, optimize your images, link to other relevant content, and promote your content online. With a little bit of effort, you can create blog content that will attract readers and help you achieve your blogging goals, and bring in more potential clients and customers!
Have questions? Leave them in the comment box below and I'll reply back to you! Interested in adding a blog to your existing Wix or Squarespace website but don't know where to start? Book a free 30-minute Discovery Call with me and we can talk about how to create a blog that benefits your business! Want a blog, but don't have the time or energy to create the content for it? Check out my Website Maintenance plans which include blog content writing! Happy blogging!