I’m a bit unconventional when it comes to writing blog posts. I started blogging as a journaler in 2009, when the rules for writing blog posts were very different. I’m a rather creative writer and writing stories came easy to me. I write because I love writing, but I don’t enjoy writing when I limit myself with rules and technicalities. So I usually start writing in a very casual way, writing whatever feels natural. I also write about things that I’m passionate about and excited about. This is very important to my process. This makes writing quick and easy and doesn’t feel like a chore!
I have been asked many times if there is a step-by-step guide to writing blog articles and how I can still continue writing new articles after almost 12 years!
The secret is simply that I still love blogging. I still feel like it’s a hobby, but I’m so grateful that I was lucky enough to turn it into a career. But I think part of the love lies in the fact that my blogging process is still very similar to a journal. I write about things that I love and feel passionate about and then come back to it later and make it something that other people will want to read!
Other bloggers do this the other way around, thinking about what their readers want and creating content for others. This is probably a more sensible approach, but I’ve tried it and it kills my creativity and takes a lot of the joy out of the process.
This is my guide on how to write blog posts that leave room for passion, creativity, and journaling.
How to write blog articles that will actually be read!
I will use the example of writing a travel diary from Marrakech to highlight the process of writing a blog post.
#1. Begin with a working title
Title: Marrakech travelogue
This doesn’t have to be a “good” title. It’s something that will help you focus when you start.
#2. Add subheaders
Next, add subheadings to break up the text. Subheadings can help give structure, especially for topics that can go on and on and go in all directions!
This time we’ve broken it down based on time and activity:
- Arrival at the hotel – first impressions
- Lunch at the rooftop restaurant
- stroll through the market
- Dinner at a stylish restaurant
- early morning rooftop breakfast
- Le Jardin Majorelle
- night walking tour
- high atlas mountains travel
- nice lunch
#3. Get writing
And the important part is writing!
I think so many people get so caught up in the technicalities of blogging that they actually forget the most important aspect: writing!
Some days I can write very easily and naturally, and other days I have a really hard time stumbling over words or getting stuck in a thought. I try to accept the days as they come naturally and do most of my writing on those days.
There are a few things that can help:
- I write in complete silence, listening only to the gentle sounds of my computer
- I always make tea before starting
- If you can’t get started, start by writing it by hand in a notepad instead of typing it into your computer
- I have hundreds of unfinished blog posts on my computer, so sometimes I pick up where I left off, which is easier than starting a new post
- Sam is very understanding when it comes to me “getting in the zone.” Sometimes I’ll stop by the office to “answer emails,” write all that time, and then come back downstairs four hours later. He is very kind and brings me tea and biscuits.
#4. Then I figure out my focus and make it useful
Once you finish writing your post, you will usually find that your focus is clearer. Therefore, you may need to edit or rephrase some content to emphasize this focus. Often the main change I make is to remove giant chunks that are pointless waffles. Now I know what my focus is.
In my Marrakech diary, I wrote an entire page leading up to our arrival at the hotel, but I realized it wasn’t necessary for this post and was able to delete it and incorporate it into another hotel review post.
Especially when I first started blogging, I would sometimes write pages and pages only to realize that everything was disorganized and lacked a focus or clear purpose that’s ok! Sometimes I would process it into an email or Instagram caption, or I would cut out a part and post it as a separate post. But more often than not, it just ended up gathering dust in my Google Docs forever.
Travel Hack Tip: If you’re wondering how to write a blog post and actually get it read, let me give you some advice. Make your post useful! I think most people don’t want to read articles about you. In any case, there is no need to read the entire blog post about you. They came to your blog post looking for something helpful or informative. However, with a lot of practice, you will be able to write a personal diary and people will be able to get a lot of useful information from it. You have to switch your focus from yourself to what you are doing.
#5. Then I find a good keyphrase
Then use Key Search to find the key phrases you want to rank for in that post.
Now, this is probably the best advice I can give on how to write blog articles.
I started by writing a “Marrakech travelogue,” but using Keysearch I found that no one actually searches for Marrakech travelogues. So even if you publish with this title, no one will find it!
However, we found that many people searched for “things to do in Marrakech”. Although this phrase is highly competitive, The Travel Hack has strong domain authority so there is still a chance for this post to rank, so we decided to stick with the keyword “Things to do in Marrakech”. Did. As you can see from the finished post, the SEO focus is on “things to do in Marrakech”, but it still reads like a diary, so it’s charming and has plenty of personality. SEO posts don’t have to read like they were written by a robot.
#6. Then I get lots more ideas for future posts!
When using Keysearch, you’ll often find lots of other blog post suggestions during your research, so write them all down!
Write a title or any idea you have in mind in a new Google Doc and save it for later. I used to write down my ideas in notepads or to-do lists, but I would always end up losing them or not being able to find them when I needed them, so Google Docs comes in handy for me.
#7. Then I write a better title
Use the keyphrase you found in your key search and write an interesting new title that includes that keyphrase!
#8. Then I leave it and come back to it at a later date
I usually do all of this in one session, so I’m tired now, so I decide to try again at a later date. Also, while it’s still fresh, I find it hard to spot mistakes and typos.
#9. Then I proofread it, upload it to WordPress and add photos
I’ll get back to the post in a day or two. In some cases, it could be months or even years later. Read it again, make any necessary edits, upload it to WordPress, format it with an H2 title and spacing, and add your photo.
#10. Add ALT text to my photos
Adding ALT text to your photos will help Google find your photos and make your blog easier to find.
#11. Then I check it for SEO and add internal links
I use the Yoast app to check my blog’s SEO. I know it’s a heavy app so I shouldn’t use it, but I think it’s really useful. Then add internal links to related older posts that you think will be of interest to people reading this post. It also adds natural external links to restaurants, hotels, travel agencies, mentioned products, etc.
#12. Make a Pinterest image
Finally, create an image in Canva that you can pin to Pinterest to hopefully drive more traffic to your post.
Pinterest doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. We use sample Canva templates for all Pinterest images, so it takes less than 5 minutes to create and upload an image to Canva.
#13. Then I publish it in the early evening
I try to schedule my posts for the evening, as that’s when my traffic spikes. I check Google Analytics to see when I get the most traffic, but the most helpful for me is Instagram Analytics. When you share new posts on Instagram, click-throughs from Instagram can help you spike your traffic.
#14. Then I promote it on social media and add it to my newsletter
Then share the post to your Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram stories and add it to your newsletter. My newsletters usually add documents on an ongoing basis until I feel there is enough content to make a complete newsletter!
#15. I’ll check on the blog’s performance in 2-3 months
Every new blog post gets a lot of traffic as soon as it’s published, but after a few months you should be able to tell if the post consistently attracts Google traffic or not. If you see a drop in page views, you may need to make some adjustments to help Google recognize your page views.
This may mean asking fellow bloggers to link to your post from their blogs. Or it might mean changing the angle or keyphrase of your post.
This is a very important last step that bloggers should not forget. You can’t just click “publish” on a post and forget about it. You need to continually monitor and update your posts to continually attract new readers!
Honestly, I think this last step is what differentiates big bloggers from small ones, and this step can have a huge impact on overall page views.
This is my process when writing a new blog post. I’m often asked how long it takes to write a post, but the truth is it varies, anywhere from 2 hours to 15 hours. Usually it takes him about 4 hours, but if you are a travel blog and already write notes in your travel diary, the process will be much faster. But that’s why I think it’s really important to blog for the love of blogging. I don’t mind if it takes me a week to publish a new post because I love the creative process behind all that work!
As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or send us a DM on Instagram if you want a quick response!
You can check out more of my posts on blogging here.