It’s crazy to think that in a few months, I’ll be coming up on the three year anniversary of my blog. As many of you already know, I had a whollllee other life before I decide to pursue blogging full-time. I worked as a magazine editor and freelance journalist for about a decade, so my writing was always for other outlets—and always crafted with their audiences in mind.
Going off on my own to start this blog gave me the freedom to write whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and in a tone that felt like me. Being able to do that has been more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined when I was terrified to leave my job back in October 2018.
That being said… it’s by no means easy! Running a blog that not only has good content, but also generates revenue, is constant work. It’s a lot of trial-and-error, and lot of strategy, and an obsessive attention to detail.
Over the past 2.5 years, I’ve grown my traffic from 0 to 191k pageviews/month — and on average, it generates between four and five figured in revenue each month. (To think that I almost never started one, because I kept hearing people say that blogs are dead!)
I wanted to share a bit about my process in creating a post, since I know there are SO MANY of you who already have blogs or who have toyed with the idea of starting one.
Depending on the type of content, a blog post can take me anywhere from a few hours to several days/weeks. I know there are a lot of bloggers who can churn out multiple posts per day, but I’m definitely not one of them. My posts tend to be very long, and very in-depth…and thus, take me a LOT of time! But the pay off is always worth it.
Thank you to Dell XPS for partnering with me on this post! It’s something I’ve been wanting to write for a long time, and having the support of such an awesome brand (specifically one that makes the product I use to run my blog!) makes the work feel that much more validated.
[Below, I share a bit more about how my Dell XPS is integral in helping me run my blog smoothly.]
So without further ado… let’s get into it!
How to Write a Killer Blog Post in 10 Steps
1. Pick a Topic
What’s been on your mind lately? What are you an expert at? What do people always ask you for advice about? Is there something you Googled and couldn’t find the answer to, that you eventually figured out for yourself?
These are all great prompts for coming up with topic ideas.
For example, years ago I was preparing to go to Kenya on a safari. Prior to my trip, I was panicking about what to pack and what to wear, so I did what anyone would do – I googled “what to wear on a Kenya safari.” I was surprised that all of the results seemed either outdated, not my style, or not really relevant to the type of safari I was doing.
They didn’t really offer the level of detail that I was hoping for, and they didn’t really answer the questions I had—like what to wear at night, whether I should wear pants or shorts, and do I really need to buy ugly hiking boots, or will regular boots suffice?
So, when I returned from my safari, I’ll give you one guess what blog post I wrote first! You guessed it — What to Wear on a Safari: Cute Outfit Ideas & Inspo. I included everything I wish I had known prior to my own trip, photos of my outfits, links to products I bought that were helpful etc.
2. SEO & Keyword Research
Arguably the most important part of my process. Learning & incorporating SEO (aka search engine optimization) isn’t necessarily a requirement when it comes to running a blog, but if your goal is to drive traffic and get more eyeballs on your content (beyond just those in your social audience), there’s no better way to do it than with SEO.
I can’t really dive deep into SEO here because there’s WAY too much to explain, but at the most basic level, SEO is a strategy that involves optimizing your website content so that people using search engines (i.e. Google) are able to find it.
SEO-optimizing your content is a way to get organic, non-paid traffic by appearing in search results for a specific topic or question.
You’re probably shocked to hear that I create outlines for my blog posts before I actually write them, right? It sounds like something you’d do for a college essay, not for a personal blog post! But I find that outlining first helps keep me on track — and ensures that I hit all of the points I know I want to make in my post.
For example, with this post, I first wrote the sub-headlines for my top 10 steps… and now I’m just going back and filling them in. It’s much more efficient for me to do it that way, rather than writing on the fly.
After my outline is done, I’ll go back in and flesh it out with text. Sometimes this part comes easy to me, and other times, the writing is truly a struggle!
Often, if I’m writing a post that requires a lot of additional research, I’ll have like 20 tabs open at a time. (Am I the only one?) The nice thing about the Dell XPS is that it can actually handle my tab-hoarding problem without lagging or slowing down.
5. Adding Affiliate Links
When I feel like the bulk of the text is in a good place, I’ll go back in and and link to any products that are mentioned in the post.
If you’re part of any affiliate networks (like Amazon Associates or RewardStyle) then adding these links are even more crucial, as they can become a lucrative source of revenue.
6. Cross-Linking to Other Relevant Posts
One thing that’s extremely important in terms of both SEO and user experience is cross-linking to other relevant posts within your text. By doing it, you’ll incentivize readers to stay on your website longer by giving them other content that they might be interested in.
For example, if you’re reading this article, you might also want to check out this post about how to take good photos of yourself, or this one where I talk about all the little-known secrets about working as a full-time influencer.
The next step is adding photos. I edit all of my images in Adobe Lightroom and the file sizes are HUGE, so it’s nice to have a laptop that’s both powerful and fast enough to accommodate my process.
Also, the screen is HUGE, which makes seeing my images a lot easier. Plus, the display on the screen is so sharp and vibrant, I’m able to accurately see the colors in my photos while I’m in Lightroom and making tweaks.
8. Headline & SEO Title
One of my last steps is adding a headline and a keyword-rich SEO title and meta description, which helps with the article’s search visibility in Google.
9. Designing a Lead Image & Pinterest Graphics
I’m not very well-versed in Photoshop, so I design all of my graphics in Canva. I can’t recommend it enough! I always call it “Photoshop for Dummies.”
They also have great templates you can work off of if you don’t really have an eye for graphics or design.
10. Sharing on Social
Last but not least… sharing my content with the world! When I hit publish on a post, I’ll share it in the following places:
- Instagram Stories
- Facebook Page
- Facebook Group
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