We recently wrote a post that was a list of questions to stimulate writing ideas. Hopefully, they inspired a few topics. Now let’s get writing. But there’s no need to start with a blank page. You can use this…
Click File > Make a Copy. There. Now it’s yours! Or, you can download it here as a Word document.
Here are some basic instructions to help you get the most out of it.
First, we need to decide what we’re writing and where it will be published. Different parts of the template are relevant to different types of content, so after we decide what we’re going to write and where it’ll go, lets remove the parts of the template that we don’t need.
Let’s get started…
You would use this option if you’re writing content for your website. For example; your services pages, product pages, or landing page content for specific campaigns.
Tip: Delete the email newsletter, guest blog post, and social promotion sections of the content template.
The topics here could be anything relevant to your audience’s interest. It may tell them how to solve their own problems. Blog posts are usually helpful, but at times may simply express a viewpoint or opinion.
Tip: Delete the email newsletter and guest blog post sections of the content template..
Notice that there is no option to write a newsletter that isn’t also a blog post. Newsletters are just email invitations to read your blog post. Never put the full text of an article into an email. You won’t drive any traffic!
Tip: Delete the guest blog post section of the content template..
Here, our focus is on the audience and requirements of the host blog. But for search engine optimization reasons, we also want to consider which blogs will give us the best search engine optimization benefits.
Tip: Delete the keyphrase research and email newsletter sections of the content template.
Now that you’ve removed the parts of the template that aren’t relevant, we’re ready to research.
Here’s the trick to writing for web: create content with your content promotion strategy in mind. A little research and planning up front can lead to lots more traffic in the long run.
This is the purpose of the content template – to remind you to do all the little things that will help your writing get traction.
This is the key to ranking and search engine traffic. Find a phrase that balances search volume (how many people are searching for it?) with competition (do I have a realistic chance of ranking?). If you’re not sure how, read our post How to Research Keywords. Next, use the keyphrase in the title, meta description, and URL.
Plan your subject line and teaser text up front. Remember, the subject isn’t necessarily the same as the title and header. It’s all about open rates.Be specific about the value of the post, but leave room for curiosity.
Examples: The 7 Secrets to Growing Tomatoes or What to Ask Your Financial Planner about Taxes: 3 Questions.The teaser text in the email isn’t necessarily the first paragraph of the post. It’s all about clickthrough rates. Give a taste that will make the subscriber want more.
Don’t keep all that content to yourself. Writing for other blogs is great for inbound links and for social media. It’s also a lot of fun. I’ve written dozens of guest posts already this year!To get the best SEO value from a guest post, use OpenSiteExplorer.org to check the domain authority of the host blog before you submit. As a general rule, you should guest blog on sites with a higher domain authority than your site.
Yes, it’s time to write. The template includes writing tips for keyphrase usage, social mentions, calls-to-action, images, and links. Above all, pay attention to formatting, length and tone.
Designers know that white space is good, but most writers didn’t get the memo. Long, blocky paragraphs get skipped. Use sections with sub-headers. Use bullet lists. Use bolding, italics, and internal links.
Although sentences and paragraphs should be short, the blog post doesn’t have to be. Longer posts show expertise and perform well in search engines. Every post should be long enough to convey the meaning and not a word longer.
An easy tone makes for engaged visitors. Write as if you’re talking to your mom: courteous but informal. Be direct, get to the point, and avoid jargon.
You’ll also find sample HTML for your author bio.
…does not fit all. Everyone has a different approach for collecting ideas, writing, editing, and publishing. Some use paper; others write directly into the content management system. If you like this template, but want to change it or use these ideas in other ways, go for it!
Adapt it. Make it yours. Or if you have another approach you’d like to share with fellow readers, let us know with a comment below.