How to Write the Perfect Blog Post: A Complete Guide to Copy

143 amazing comments

Want to learn how to write the perfect blog post? Of course you do! Let’s start with a graphic you can save for future reference.

The Perfect Blog Post

Feel free to share or use this graphic on your own blogs if you like. Please just link back to this post as a credit.

Now we can get into the bulk of the details that you might want to bookmark and follow along whenever you write a new article.

Okay, so what makes this the perfect blog post?

Okay, so let me do a bit of explaining.

I’m not saying that I know how to write the perfect blog post and that everything I do on my blog is perfect.

It’s not.

In fact, I really don’t like my writing that much at all. (Do all bloggers feel like that?)

But I have been blogging for quite a while now and in that time I’ve been able to hone my posts by looking at what has worked and what hasn’t over the years.

It’s basically a lot of trial and error.

Today all I am doing is sharing the elements, strategies and ideas that I have seen make a big difference to the stuff I write. I’m hoping that you might read something new, apply it to your own blog and see a big difference in your own results.

So it’s more like a quest for finding your own perfect blog post based on what has worked for me.

5 things to keep in mind before you start

Let’s start this post by talking about a few background idea that you kind of need to keep in mind while you are writing your posts. This is a bit like the instructions as opposed to the actual creation.

1. Ask yourself “…and then what?” before you start writing

One of the best lessons that I ever learned as a blogger is this:

All your blog posts should form one big beautiful picture as opposed to each being stand alone items. Tweet this.

What this means is that you need to sit down and carefully figure out what it is that you want your blog, and your blog posts, to achieve every single time.

The question “… and then what?” seems to help me the most.

I’ll sit down, log in, and fiddle around with a title and an idea. Once I’m pretty sure on the topic I’ll ask myself very deliberately what I want people to do before I write any words.

Make sure your post all work together as a team to achieve one or two very deliberate goals.

2. More is more

The next few items are really going to grate on a few people – the idea that more is more is kind of something we’ve all been trained to disbelieve.

But, in blogging at least, the longer posts with more perceived value seem to have some of the best results. This also counts for landing pages that are selling a product or service.

Of course, no one is going to read 5,000 words of rubbish. But in my experience, if you can write a hugely long post you are more likely to grab someone’s attention as they instantly associate the length or number of compiled items as being of high value.

As always, test it for yourself. But here on Blog Tyrant I rarely publish anything less than around 2,500 words.

3. The way it looks matters as much as what it says

When I’m drafting my posts (I always do that in WordPress) I’m constantly hitting “preview” in order to see how the post is looking from a visual point of view.

Many writers out there will hate this idea.

But the more I go on, and the more aware I become of my own blog-reading habits, the more I realize how important it is for the layout to be appealing, simple and easy to read.

That means making sure you have:

  • A nice large font-size
    I talked about this a little bit last week but you want to make sure your font is easy to read and matched to your brand.
  • Quality images
    Draw people in with high quality (but fast loading) photos and images that add value to the post and pull the eye down.
  • Small paragraphs
    Make sure you don’t waffle on for lines and lines of text. People are used to skimming so keep the paragraphs short.
  • Bold text and bullet points
    Whenever you can break up the text with burst of bold or bullet points you should do it. Just imagine this section as one big bulk paragraph vs how it is now.
  • A narrow-ish content width
    Don’t make people read your text over a hugh long line. You want your content area to be no more than around 700 pixels (mine is 650) because tired eyes will get lost.

A lot of this is not based on any data I have from my blogs, but more based on how I go about reading blogs, and how I used to design websites for clients. Readability is very important, and you want to develop a level of consistency so that all of these things add up to a blog post that “looks” like one of yours.

The reason I say that this stuff matters as much as what the post actually says is because I firmly believe that a lot of people just won’t read even brilliant text on a super-ugly blog.

4. Adding something for everyone helps uptake

It’s very difficult to please everyone, but one thing you can try to do is cater to as many “groups” of people as possible.

For example, when writing my post about blogging in 2015 I noticed something interesting: the people who shared the post on Twitter weren’t the same people who shared it on Pinterest.

What this means is that people consume things in different ways. Some people like technical explanations, others like a big old infographic and a quick skim.

If you can create a blog post that covers all of these things you are on to a real winner because you are going to touch a lot of different groups of people who will hopefully want to pass on the element of your post that they found compelling.

This also has the dual benefit of being excellent for SEO – Google is constantly looking for websites that have different formats and features in order to provide a more varied front page of results.

5. Each headline/post should address a single evergreen problem

Something that we’ve talked about a few times is the idea of “breaking down” your blog posts and just focusing in on one smaller topic.

For example, a post about How to Be Awesome at Karate might actually be better of as a dozen posts made up of smaller topics like How to Throw the Perfect Karate Punch or How to Make a Fist in Karate.

Dudes like Mehdi from Strong Lifts have absolutely killed it by focusing in on topics like how to bench press.

Over the years I’ve noticed that articles that focus in on one problem such as how to sell a blog or how to start a fashion blog seem to do the best because they solve very narrow problems and these problems never really go out of fashion.

A guide to writing the perfect blog post

Okay, so, with all those things in mind, here is the way I go about writing my perfect blog post. I hope these steps might be useful to you as well.

  1. Generate your idea
    Idea should be distinctive in the market. Try to base the post on reader feedback, a known problem in the industry or competition analysis. Research the front page of Google and your main competitors at this stage to see how you can improve on what’s out there. If you can’t, don’t bother.
  2. Develop headline
    Address problem in the headline using fear, scarcity or intrigue/questions. Keep under 65 characters long. Ensure SEO key phrase is in title. Constantly refer back to headline as you write. Use websites like ViperChill, Boost Blog Traffic and Viral Nova as a guide for headline generation.
  3. Write introduction
    First line of post should re-address your problem, headline and key phrase. Rest of introduction aimed at drawing eye down towards main points. Tell people what you’re going to do with the rest of the post, what they’ll learn, etc.
  4. List out the main points
    Rattle out your main points of the blog post so you can see the shape of the article and what you’re going to be covering. This helps to avoid double-ups and omissions.
  5. Open up tabs
    At this point I open up dozens of tabs relating to research, competition and topics that I want to cover. I then link to them as I go and if I get stuck I re-read information and try to improve on it.
  6. Write a base of 2,000 to 2,500 words
    I have a little personal rule that if I’m not hitting at least 2,000 words I’m not covering the topic deeply enough. I write out my main points to at least 2,000 words addressing the main keyword.
  7. Add bonus material
    At this point I’ll add extra paragraphs, tips, quotes, videos, photos, click to tweets, references, etc. in order to take the main content to the next level. This might take the article up another 1,500 to 2,500 words. Try to link to influencers who have written extensively or well on the same topic. Make sure you link to your own posts extensively.
  8. Don’t finish topic/pose question
    Don’t quite complete the topic. Leave room for discussion. Pose a question at the end of the article to encourage discussion.
  9. Select main photo
    I spend quite a lot of time looking for a good photo. I want it to be curious, involving a human being and something that fits with my brand. I use a lossless smusher to keep the size down but the quality high, and always make sure they are the same size and format.
  10. Publish at a peak time
    Do a quick read over for spelling and formatting but don’t waste too much time. Hit publish at a peak time. For me that is between 8am and 10am on Monday, Wednesday or Friday on East Coast USA time.

Okay so that’s the main formula that I follow every time I sit down to write. Of course, sometimes it varies based on the topic or strategy that I’m following but for the most part that’s how it goes.

How to ensure your perfect post gets results

Once you’ve written your post there are a few follow up things that you’ll want to take care of.

1. Email the people included

If I know the people well I’ll shoot them an email and let them know that I’ve included their website/post in my own article. I usually don’t ask them to share it because I don’t like putting the pressure on, I just let them know and that’s it. If your article is good enough they’ll usually give it a tweet.

2. Mail your list

I always mail my list to let them know that a new post has gone live. I send these out at peak times when the most people are online and I follow a very simple template of plain text with one link to the post. These emails are a great way to test your short-form copywriting which is aimed at getting people to open emails and click links week in, week out.

3. Test regularly

The perfect blog post will only be revealed through testing. You might hit a winner and go viral and never be able to repeat that success because you aren’t actually sure what made it stick. Split testing titles, formats, length, timing, etc. are all very valuable things to do.

4. Throw $20 at it

Sometimes it takes me a whole week to write a post, especially if it’s 9,000 words like my guide on how to start a blog. And if I’m spending that much time working on an article I want to give it the best chance of success. A quick $20 on Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads can really help to give it a boost.

5. Tweak it regularly based on feedback

As a blogger you get feedback from both human and non-human sources. It’s very important to keep posts “alive” by tweaking them based on things you hear and see. For example, if someone tells you that you’ve missed something, add it in. If Google Webmaster Tools tells you that your title isn’t getting a good CTR then change it and monitor.

Examples of some perfect blog posts

It wouldn’t be right to finish this post without showing you some of the most perfect blog posts that I’ve seen out there in the wild.

  • The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet
    Steve Kamb’s post over at Nerd Fitness has had over 2,000 comments and 45,000 likes on Facebook. It’s a massively detailed article with photos, videos and even it’s own app! Incredible value for anyone searching the topic.
  • Northern India: the Good, the Great and the Ugly
    I only found Legal Nomads recently but have been blown away by the quality of the articles that Jodi puts up. This one on India took my 20 minutes to get through and is filled with the most wonderful photos – a blog post made only after actually visiting the place!
  • How to Start a Podcast
    This tutorial from Pat Flynn is absolutely massive and contains the most complete instructions you’ll find on the topic. It includes a complete walk through and then a bunch of high res videos that take you through each step. This isn’t ranking number one on Google yet but it will be soon.
  • A Long, Ugly Year of Depression that’s Finally Fading
    One of the most heartfelt and comprehensive posts you’ll ever read from a CEO. Rand completely laid out his story of depression but also included emails, screenshots, slides, etc. about how and why it all happened. Fascinating read that touched a lot of people.
  • The Advanced Guide to SEO
    These guides that Neil Patel puts together are absolutely outrageous. Different design and content features and often longer than an actual book. They cost a lot to put together but they really cut through. This is the type of value we should be aiming for.

Do you have a perfect blog post?

Have you ever written a blog post that went viral or brought you a heaps of awesome results? I’d be really keen to hear about it. Please leave a comment below and feel free to leave your links as long as they are appropriate and on topic. Oh, and as always, let me know if I’ve missed anything!

Top photo: Ryan McGuire.

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143 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Sue Anne Dunlevie

    Hi, Ramsay,

    Great guide – I especially like making my posts evergreen and long.

    I had great success with “Start A Blog Like These Top 50 Successful Women Bloggers” since I linked out to 50 top bloggers!

    Thanks,
    Sue


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah that was a good one!


  • Kevin

    Well, how’s that for perfect timing?! I’m in the early stages of building a new blog and your post is an excellent reminder of what I should strive for. Thanks!


    1. Ramsay

      I’m really glad to hear that! Hope it works out for you and your new blog.


  • Richard Huckle

    An interesting read, but. I hate that but; it really upsets me.
    Most of your points are valid & I have learnt so much from them.

    The one thing, that I totally disagree with is the length of a selling blog or newsletter or call to action.

    I often mutter to myself “get to the point or pitch buster!”
    “give me the price already!”

    Guess your analysis shows otherwise?


    1. Paul

      I agree – this trend of massively long posts annoys me no end.

      The only thing that annoys me more is long videos where the presenter cr*ps on for ages before getting to the point.


      1. Ramsay

        Hi guys. Yeah, I know that a lot of people don’t have time for long posts. I guess I just wanted to report about what seems to be working. I’m still yet to see any good stats on short posts converting better. It just doesn’t seem to happen so much…


        1. Diana Marinova

          Hi, all, I am on board with the “get to the point already!” attitude. I too don’t like long posts very much. Even yours, Ramsay, are often at the edge of my tolerance in terms of length ๐Ÿ™‚ I am thankful though that you have an awesome writing style and most often I read them quickly and realize they are so long only when I reach the end…

          However, I have found out that if the long-form post is not formatted properly (yous are, of course) and does not allow skimming through the section titles, I almost always head straight to the X of my browser. I hate it when I am “forced”, so to speak, to read the whole thing without being given the opportunity to know what the post is about and what points it tackles in details in its different sections.

          A question (maybe even an idea for improvement? ๐Ÿ™‚ – I have always wondered why you insert plain pictures in your posts. Why not add copy to the photos – whether the title of the post or some relevant catchy thought from within the post?


          1. Ramsay

            Heya.

            Sometimes I add text but I’ve never really found it makes a difference. I kind of like the approach of finding photos that say something or add a bit of humor.

            Thanks for the great comments everyone.


        2. Shelly

          Hi Ramsay, I’m new to blogging. I think why I’m not doing as well as I’d like is because I’m too critical.

          I’ve been an avid reader for a long as I can remember. But, I refuse to read something that won’t get to the point and grab my attention immediately. It’s the same with movies. 5 minutes of watching is too long for it not to get my attention. Get to the point already!

          As a result, I read only some authors and watch only some actors. I read your blog because I KNOW it’s always informative and have valuable information. I enjoy them so much, that I even read the comments :-). I don’t do that ever! Your blog comments are like the end of Jackie Chan movies. Great fun!

          I think I need to take your advise though if my blog is to perform better.

          Thanks for the great post as usual.

          Have a good one and continue enlightening us.


          1. Ramsay

            Hi Shelly. I’m glad my blog has passed your Jackie Chan test! My goal is to be at least half as nice a man as he is!


      2. Tom

        Like he mentioned above. Most ppl wont read the super long articles . But the reason you are reading those posts in the first place is because on a subconscious level you relate long posts with an author that has authority and knows what they are talking about. Ultimately it takes a lot to put out consistently evergreen content like that. Think about it. You are here at blogtyrant.com . and he posts awesome long stuff . ๐Ÿ™‚


        1. Ramsay

          Well put! ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Paul

    Long posts are harder to proof read.

    1st sentence, 2nd last paragraph of this post says:
    “These guide that Neil Patel puts together are absolutely outrages”

    Should say:
    “These guides that Neil Patel puts together are absolutely outrageous”


    1. Ramsay

      Fixed!


  • Inรจs

    Wow, Ramsay,
    this is awesome.
    I used to divide long blog posts into 500-600 words – like my 3 part-article on “Learn to forgive” – because I taught it is easier to read that way.
    To test the long evergreen form of blog posts I’ll compile it into a long one.
    I learned a lot from this guide and will definitely copy ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks


    1. Ramsay

      Let me know how your results go!


      1. Inรจs

        Hi Ramsay, it did terrific!

        I additionally added a quote on a picture from the post and shared it with the link to relevant communities on google plus.

        The all in one article has now 67 “+1” and re-share in one day, whereas the part 1 had only 6 “+1”, part 2 had 1 “+1” and part 3 nothing, in more than 2 weeks.

        Thanks again, this worked for me.


  • Jennifer Waddle

    As always, your info is real and practical, yet a touch personal.
    I generally have the ‘short and sweet’ mentality when I blog, but I am really going to consider the 2, 000 word goal.
    Thank you, and so glad to see you on Linkedin…:)
    Jennifer


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Jennifer. Thanks for mentioning the personal part. I try really hard to do that but am never sure it comes through.


  • Ian Brophy

    Great tips. Thanks Ramsay.
    They apply to all useful writing, not just blogs.

    I’m not sure about the length thing. It might depend on the audience. I’d be interested in feedback you have had from B2B readers. They don’t have much time and might want to get to the point faster. Without the other points-appearance, one topic, something for everyone- you could lose them.

    Point 8- Don’t finish…- is a great idea. Then they have to do your “… and then what?”- contact you, go to your web site or come back next week and read your next installment (Point 1). Just like TV Soaps.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Ian.

      Yes, that’s a good thought. My only question is whether or not you’d be able to get your content in front of the maximum amount of B2B readers with shorter content…?


      1. Ian Brophy

        Hi Ramsay,
        Maybe the answer about length is to say what you have to say. Not one word more; not one word less. I plagiarised that from someone, but can’t remember who.


        1. Ramsay

          Hi Ian.

          As a reader – totally agree.

          As a marketer – wish it was that simple.

          Thanks for commenting. Really appreciate it.


  • Kelly

    I see a lot of similarities here with my own writing method. Do you ever end up going back and changing your title because while you were writing you came up with a better angle? I find myself doing that quite a bit.

    My posts also aren’t quite as long as yours, I tend to go around 1500-ish. My core audience is work-at-home-moms, they don’t have as much time to sit and absorb a big chunk o’ writing.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Kelly.

      Yeah, I often change my title 40 or 50 times during that part of the process. And I change it years down the line for SEO purposes.


  • pragati

    Hello Ramsey,
    Thanks for such an articulate and well laid out post.

    But is there such a thing as ‘perfect’?

    I think that every post need not be long. It should have just enough length to cover the heading or make the point it sets out to make. That should be the difference between focused writing that has a purpose, and creative writing or journal writing.

    I think there are takers for both short and long posts, and you will get a mix of both type of visitors. Some people may just prefer the short and to the point version.

    Having said that, I just published a long post on blogging success. I started out with some bullet points on what I need to focus on in terms of blogging this year, but then it blossomed into a blog post.

    Looking forward to more advice from you ๐Ÿ™‚

    pragati


    1. Ramsay

      Very well put. Thank you for commenting. Good luck with your blog this year!


  • Dawn Kealing

    Hey Ramsay,

    This post is fabulous and extremely helpful. Thank you very much for taking the time to write all this down. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take a lot of notes while reading this post. Looking forward to building my next blog post using this outline, I am certain I will see a big change.

    Again, thank you!
    Best,
    Dawn Kealing


    1. Ramsay

      Please let me know how it goes!


  • Vadim

    Hi Ramsay,

    Yet another good guide! I like the “don’t finish” point, but I as a tech blogger I find it’s often better to get the issue covered completely, or you can end up clarifying it in the comments ๐Ÿ™‚ This is where series work great, and they can mix with other posts.

    Question on headline. Do you always have it firm upfront? I usually have a draft of it, with the keywords and such, but I almost always change it after the post is written. Also, I use SEO headlines for search and catchy headlines for readers (not always the same :).

    Vadim


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Vadim.

      Yep, totally. I should do a screen capture video showing how many times I change the title. Sometimes it’s like 50 revisions.


  • Slavko Desik

    Hey man, great read. I especially like those “personal” but niche centred long reads- like the one Rand published. Narrating a personal story, chronologically, revealing tons and tons of niche specific info- in this case about a software start-up company and some SEO related stuff.

    Glen once wrote an article about “the future of blogging”. It greatly influenced my approach when I tried to craft something similar- long, detailed, all encompassing, and niche specific, with some personal info buried in there.

    Oh, and thanks for the 20$ Fb reminder.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks mate. Yeah, Rand is a legend. Love him.


  • Cathy Mayhue

    Excellent blog post! Many experts have advocated the need of long form blogs, as they help us to appropriately cover all the main points and generate lots of value for the readers. Rest of the points you covered were equally impressive and made complete sense. I am definitely going to adapt the lessons learned here.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks.


  • Beth Hawkes

    This is SO helpful to me as a new blogger. I have bookmarked this page so I’ll never lose it!
    My first biggest take-away is #8. I haven’t been able to generate discussion, and NOW I think I’ll be able to!

    Thanks much,
    Nurse Beth


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Beth! Let us know how it goes.


  • Charlotte

    Wonderful blog post! As usual. We can always trust Blog Tyrant to give us the best possible information. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Ramsay

      Ha. Thanks.


  • Kristiina

    Hi Ramsay! This is my first time commenting, but I’ve soaked up so much of your knowledge over the past 6 months. Just two quick notes:

    1–I barely notice how long your posts are because I’m so sucked in and anticipating the next great nugget! I think you are a master of motivating me to read, without frustrating me. I also think, if it’s worth writing about, it should be thorough.

    2–I am CONSTANTLY hitting preview while I’m writing/editing. Not only do errors jump out at me because I’m seeing the text in a different font/layout, but it is very helpful to see what the reader will see in the finished product (paragraphs too long? need more photos?).

    Thanks for continuing to write thoughtful and relevant information. For FREE, no less ๐Ÿ™‚

    -kristiina


    1. Ramsay

      I’m so glad to hear you’ve been enjoying the stuff here. Thanks for taking the step of leaving a comment! Really appreciate it. Such great bloggers here.


    2. Marsh

      Great article with lots of gems. Thank you!


  • Herman

    Long posts are valuable to me only if they don’t ramble on, don’t contain a lot of fluff and offer pertinent info. Sometimes a long post can be so overwhelming so it leaves you paralyzed instead of taking action. Alternatively short posts that address a specific topic very well inspire me to take action…which is ultimately the result you want.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Herman.

      Thanks for sharing. I guess I’m still yet to see a blog that does it well, while still providing something useful. But it seems like there is absolutely a market for people who want shorter content.


  • Chris

    I use an occasional breakout box in my long articles. It might be a single sentence or a paragraph that goes deeper or is a related point worth pointing out. It’s also a great place to link out to a related post, product, etc.


    1. Ramsay

      Love it.


  • Lisa Sicard

    Hi Ramsay, I tried a few posts 2500+ words and they didn’t rank #1 for me but I do plan on trying that again. I have read it again and again that longer posts generate more readers and visits.
    I, like you, do the same as I am writing my post in WordPress editor. I love to see how each paragraph and image will look as I go along.
    Thanks for sharing what works for you Ramsay and have a great week.


    1. Ramsay

      Make sure you don’t forget to promote them!


  • Gregorio Jonas

    This article is great! I’m forwarding this article to my wife who is starting her own blog!


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you! Appreciate it.


  • Saif Ullah

    Hi Ramsay bro, I have a question, I read at different blogs creating posts of words 1000+ helps to gain Authority fastly? I want your views on th and Thanks for sharing useful tips to write a perfect blog post.


    1. Ramsay

      It used to. Now you need something more.


  • Sally

    Love the article, Ramsey. QUESTION FOR YOU about setting goals for each blog. This I find difficult. Can you give some examples of “then what’s” that you come up with. Are they things like how many comments you want, or new signups want as a result? Is there a certain kind of conversation you want to stimulate? What are the range of goals that can and should be set, as you see it? Thanks in advance.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Sally.

      I actually have a huge post about this coming out soon.

      But, quickly, I always have a conversion funnel in mind for the blog. It might be a product you want to promote now and in the future. I then go about writing posts that encourage a sign up or to build links to the keyword market that I’m targeting. The idea is that every thing you do works together to tap into the right people for your end result.

      Hope that helps.


      1. Sally

        I’m looking to your post, Ramsay, and learning more!


  • Scott Kindred

    “I kind of like the approach of finding photos that say something or add a bit of humor.” -Ramsay

    ^^thumbs up!

    I think the long form content says a lot about the author and those who consume it. The idea that there is a short (read: easy) way to instant success (read: magic), is usually an empty one. Thus, the long format that tackles a certain topic or process is one that allows the author to share their expertise and for the rightly-minded consumer to put it to use in a bigger-picture plan; the short reads that generate a “run-off-and-do-it-now”reaction are a dime a dozen and can be huge bandits of time & productivity. Unless you string them together. And then you’d have, well, a long form post.


    1. Ramsay

      Very, very well said! Thanks for sharing Scott. As always.


  • Elena

    I think that the DON’T FINISH point doesn’t work for all markets. I blog in the health/nutrition niche, so, if I don’t finish a point on scientific research, etc. I would appear incompetent and lose credibility
    My goal is the opposite-to have answers, so my readers come back and eventually turn into clients, because of my expertise. I do, however, always ask for input.

    I had quite a few successful posts and are shared a lot, even years after being written. Interestingly, a lot of them are on the longer side–more detailed, expert posts. For example, one coversion details of the Daniel Fast, another of benefits of DRY Brushing.

    Personally, I like when the blog is FINISHED. Might be my personality, but otherwise I wouldn’t go back to the blog much.

    As for length, I like it straight to the point, facts, not too long. This post, for example, was getting a tad too long for me. I was hanging in for about 80% of it, then just wanted to see comments ;).

    Love the remaining reminders, however.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Elena.

      Thanks for the feedback. Guess I’m going to have to try some shorter stuff again! ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. Elena

        Oh, no, no! Sorry, did not mean to be rude. I am a business owner and also a mom to an active toddler with very few minutes to spare, so, I speed read as much as I can. I might not be your normal demographic.


  • Neil

    Hi Ramsay

    Great guide to writing the perfect post. You talked about using some facebook ads, especially on the top of the line posts. Can you give some idea about how much visitors/converstions you get from that? I have been thinking about trying it for some time and I have an exp-ert roundup coming up, may actually promote it on FB.

    Neil


    1. Ramsay

      My last one I had a CTR of 1.59% from FB to my blog and sign ups were huge.


      1. Neil

        Thats great. I will try it for sure.


  • Raza

    Hey Ramsay,

    This post really hit home for me… the timing is great because Neil Patel came up with The Ultimate SEO Checklist article and Chase from Fizzle came up with a video about blogging.

    I used to be focused on quick affilate SEO, but am realizing that’s not the way to go. It’s about time to build a real blog that resonates with my target audience…


    1. Ramsay

      Affiliates work well man. Don’t count it out. A lot of guys/girls make a lot more money than me making those sites. It’s just really short term and very competitive.


  • Alexis

    It all depends on how inspired you are and how you know to write. you need to lecture quite a lot until you decide to write. you have to create your own style of writing.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah developing the style of your blog is really tricky.


  • Julie

    Hi Ramsay,
    Number 4 is a great idea, I link a little bit after I have written but opening all the tabs before makes common sense.
    Ha Ha I am a preview addict too.
    Great read as always.
    Cheers Julie


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Julie. Appreciate you stopping by.


  • Ryan Biddulph

    Ramsay, it only took me 6 years to learn, and to follow, Tip #2 ๐Ÿ˜‰ Through diligent practice – i.e. writing every day – and through getting clear on my direction I decided publishing one, 7,000 word resource weekly beats publishing 400 to 600 words daily.

    So far, so good. Who’d have thunk that creating value would help you achieve some level of success, eh???? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Brilliant points dude, thanks!

    Ryan


    1. Ramsay

      7,000 words a week consistently is hard work. Congrats mate!


      1. Ryan Biddulph

        Thanks dude I am getting there.


  • Konrad

    Nice one Ramsay.This is really thorough.

    And it’s always great to get extra inside tips from a veteran like yourself.

    I’ll be running some one-day content marketing and social media strategy courses in London soon (with Liz Azyan), and I’m definitely going to include some of your tips ‘n tricks in the course.

    Of course I’ll direct the trainees to BlogTyrant.com too, so that they can religiously follow your ever-flowing fountain of content marketing wisdom ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh and since you’re encouraging links, this guide to blogging I wrote might add a few bits and bobs that aren’t covered here – http://www.creative-copywriter.net/content-marketing/essential-guide-to-blogging

    Although your post, as always, is a lot more extensive.

    Cheers mate. Have a good one!

    PS. You can have another month for those questions, as it’s all shuffling along very slowly


    1. Ramsay

      Awesome mate!

      Sorry about the slowness on that. Been mental around here.


  • JT

    This post was big time for me. As a new blogger, there’s a lot of things that I’m still unfamiliar with… a lot of trends I’m still catching onto. I used this post to help me with my latest post and I can already see a difference! http://jtcastner.com/key-resolution-new-year/

    Let me know what you guys think and of course leave your comments in my blog as well. I am a new blogger and looking for some conversation starters! Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ Lets grow together!


    1. Ramsay

      Nice work JT.

      I’d recommend simplifying your header a bit – probably want to make those social icons clickable in the sidebar.


  • Buzzmeter

    Hello Ramsay..
    Hope you doing well..

    Really nice tips for blog writers ..Very informative article..


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks.


  • Anirudh Pulikonda

    Wonderful blog post! As usual. We can always trust Blog Tyrant to give us the best possible information. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you. I really appreciate that.


  • Andrew

    Hi Ramsay,

    Really great post here.

    I really like that first point you raised, “… and then what?” That seems like something I’ll have to try.

    In regards to your point about more is more, I was publishing around 3,000 consistently for a while last year. Right now, the majority of my posts have been 2,000 or less. I’m testing to see if those are more responsive than the lengthier posts, but I do agree that more is more. Hopefully my readers think so as well.

    “When Iโ€™m drafting my posts (I always do that in WordPress) Iโ€™m constantly hitting โ€œpreviewโ€ in order to see how the post is looking from a visual point of view.”

    Holy crap, I thought I was the only one. I’m always hitting “preview”. I feel as though I’m now incapable of writing outside of wordpress.

    Lastly, I love point #5. Some of the posts in my draft are around 4,000 words but when I read them, I thought to myself, I could easily break it into multiple topics. Which is what I did.

    I feel that being focused on a topic is what really works. And that’s what I’m aiming to do with the majority of my posts this year.

    All in all, excellent post.

    – Andrew


    1. Ramsay

      Hey Andrew. Appreciate the awesome comment. Glad I have another “preview freak” out there! ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Syed Naimath

    Great article Ramsay.

    Speaking of evergreen content, I think this post is itself an evergreen content piece. Knowing how to write the perfect blog post is something that bloggers (new, intermediate, even old) will always look learn in the future as well.

    Writing longer posts with consistency is a huge challenge but definitely worth-trying.

    Thanks Ramsay, this is an awesome guide!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Syed. I’m glad some people are finding this blog useful.


  • Paul Back

    Hey Ramsay

    Loved the post – but specifically the idea that a blog post should be on something very specific.

    The karate analogy is fantastic, and It really explains a complex idea in a beautifully simple way.

    Brian Dean of Backlinko told it to me in another way which is also really powerful- he said when he writes his in depth articles he goes ” an inch wide, but a mile deep.”

    I think this is an approach that a lot of bloggers could take on board.

    Paul


    1. Ramsay

      That is a very good site that one. Love the analogy.


  • Holly

    I’m a new blogger and found many actionable tips. THANKS!

    – The first point about “what I want people to do” as/after they read my post will help me keep my focus as I write. A GREAT thing to remember.

    – I too spend a lot of time on looks with the Preview button in WordPress, but I find it gets in the way of writing. For my next few posts, I’m trying to write the bulk in Scrivener and then fine-tune and add bonus-material in WordPress.

    – Thanks for the best time to publish. Right now, as a new blogger, I’m happy just to hit the Publish button.

    – Facebook Ads. Tips? It took me a lot longer than 1 week to write my 8,000+ word post so $20 would be well spent. I’ll also be emailing my links.

    Any other tips on getting good results with a post?


    1. Ramsay

      Keep pushing the FB ads until you get some good results. Knowing how to work FB can be a huge advantage over the life of a blog.


  • Arbaz Khan

    Glad to know that I am not the only one who keeps on hitting the Preview button after completing a new paragraph!

    I have also started focusing on providing articles that are at least around 2000 word count and no less. That gives me the liberty to add a lot of resources and case studies in my article that proves my point.

    BTW, thanks for the article, Ramsay! ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Ramsay

      How is it working using the longer articles?


  • Frazer

    I do think some blogs are way to long. Nothing worse than scrolling through strung out content. I prefer short and sweet blogs.


    1. Ramsay

      Interesting. Thanks for the feedback Frazer.


  • Jay

    You know what Ramsay, you really hit a spot for me.

    Not about structure, but about throwing $20 at it.

    And not in the way you wrote it.

    My take is that if what you write isn’t worth investing $20 in publicising, then you shouldn’t publish it.

    Thanks for giving me a “$20 quality test” benchmark mate.


    1. Ramsay

      Totally agree! I really think one of the “blocks” that bloggers need to get over is that they shouldn’t spend any money promoting it. But it’s like any other business.


  • Lewis LaLanne

    One of my favorite humor bloggers, The Bloggess, has a one line Twitter bio that reads… “I have friends in spite of myself.”

    When it comes to having any kind of success with my blog, I think it’s safe to say that make a living with this thing in spite of myself.

    I don’t do any of the promotion for posts that you suggest and I should change that. You do an amazing job at making a compelling case to come see your posts in my inbox, with very tight copy. I should be doing that instead of just letting the weekly Aweber newsletter announce new posts with only the headline.

    I also don’t see any harm in throwing $20 bucks at the post to promote it. Hell, we don’t even promote the posts on our Facebook page which is where our most rabid fans reside. Dumb, I know.

    And of course this leads to a lot of the posts I’m incredibly proud to have written being ghost town central. And the one commonality of the posts that end up being popular are the ones that actually get promoted by us and others on Facebook.

    If the money didn’t pour in, I’d definitely see this as a big kick in the nads. But since it does, I can pretty easily shrug off being the nerd who eats alone at the commenting/sharing lunch table who just keeps going about his business. ๐Ÿ™‚

    One thing I can relate to you on Ramsay is always being conscious of how my piece looks. I find it damn near impossible to even write another word if I see a red squiggle on the page.

    But unlike you, out of the 400-whatever posts I’ve written, I think I’ve written two of them in WordPress. The very first two that I wrote. All the rest of them have been written in Windows Live Writer.

    With Windows Live Writer I can see exactly how my content will appear on the blog because I can download the dimensions and aspects of my theme to it so that what I’m seeing as I write is what I’ll see on the blog.

    I upload my post to WordPress from Windows Live Writer, and scan down the post there in drafts. The only reason I even take the time to do this is because for some reason, with my long ass posts there is usually one or two places that it creates a wider than normal space between paragraphs which is easily fixed by backspacing a couple of times… and after I’ve done this I hit preview. Once.

    Windows Live Writer is about as basic as you can get. It doesn’t “look cool” at all and the bullet function of it is worthless but it has worked like a champ for me for years now.

    The other side benefit is that is an offline program so while I’m writing, I’m not seeing distractions (notifications, etc.) from the web in my tab tray. Also, if for some reason I don’t have the internet, I’m still able to write.

    If you use a PC and you ever grow tired of hitting preview over and over and over again, I highly recommend you check it out Ramsay. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Lewis. A few people have recommended that to me. My only problem is that I constantly research and reference and mark up as I go when I’m writing. So it helps a lot to be online.


  • Hamayon

    Ramsay you mentioned in the blog post that you throw $20 to promote your new blog posts with Facebook and “Twitter ads”. I am using FB ads since a long time and now the things there but have not tried the Twitter ads yet. I would like to know about your experience with the Twitter ads, how much visitors $20 get you from Twitter ?


    1. Ramsay

      Twitter seems to be a lot more expensive than FB but that might just be because no one has really tested it as much as FB. It’s worth a shot, I think.


  • jill brock

    Thanks Ramsay, This is a really helpful blog. I think the idea of writing blogs that are 2000 words or longer is a good one if the blogger only sends out one blog a week but a lot of blogs come into my mail box every day and I simply don’t have time to read them so they get book marked for later or go into the trash unless they are 1000 words or under. I do look forward to getting yours as they are informative and helpful but if they came more than once a week they would probably not be read very thoroughly if at all.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah I absolutely don’t recommend publishing long form articles every day.


  • Sharon P.

    Hi Ramsay–

    Your blog has been so helpful in providing practical guidance to build my website for parents of adolescents/teens. While I’m still in the building phase and working on writing content, I always take away something valuable. I’m constantly scouring other sites and blogs to help trigger a fresh angle as you have suggested. I love your tip to pose a question to spur further dialogue. Since my target audience is parents of teenagers, I imagine there won’t be a shortage of questions and new concern. Thank you! Your work is truly motivating!


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Sharon. That means a lot. Let me know if you ever have specific questions you’d like addressed.


  • Herman Navea

    I would like to emphasize, don’t underestimate the $20.00 advice, this is very important especially for beginners. Much cheaper and more effective than adwords.

    Thanks for sharing!


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah it can make such a difference!


  • Suzanne Fluhr

    I’m noticing a trend in favor of wide posts—like the entire page width with no sidebars. (Popular blogs going to this). I find those really hard to read. I wonder if it’s just the blog fad of the month or if someone has done research that says that the wide format is better. IMHO, it’s certainly not better for me as a reader.


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Suzanne. I can’t remember where I saw it but there is a study showing that if the page goes too wide people struggle to follow along. I think overly wide content areas are a mistake personally.


      1. Mark Gandy

        I just commented about this same topic, and missed this one (sorry).

        I did not inlcude the link in fear of the message going into a spam folder … if you Google Derek Halpern What’s the Perfect Width for Your Online Content … he addresses this.

        His width by the way is 585 pixels–just wish his font was little bigger.


  • Michael D Gorman

    I can only look on with admiration Ramsay, you obviously put a lot of work into your writing, and long-form blog posts exude professionalism, diligence, research, quality, exploration. In these times of diminishing attention, patience there are still lots of people who appreciate these qualities – as long as the value is there!
    It really is all about offering value, and if there is a generous amount of in your posts people love it. Thanks mate, this is useful ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Ramsay

      Thank you so much. I really am glad to hear it is useful for someone.


  • NurseMike

    Ramsay I really enjoyed reading this. What a wealth of info! I’m sort of newbie when it comes to blogging. I’ve really just kind of jumped in head first, learning as I go. I’ve just subscribed to your blog here because after looking at quite a bit of your posts, I believe I could glean a lot from you. Keep up the great work! Oh, and thanks for the free guide too. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • CC

    My latest post (posting in about 2 hours – Wednesday’s 3pm WA time are my peak period – weird right?) has had 53 revisions. Thats me saving draft and previewing. The way readers experience my site visually is very important to me. I feel a little less obsessive if I’m not the only one doing this! I think the length of the posts really depends on your audience and your topic. If I’m reviewing a product that is $20 and simply does what it says on the tin, it might get 1-2 pictures and 500 words. If its a product that is new, groundbreaking, expensive or visually stunning it might get 10-20 photos and 2000 words. If I’m writing an How-To or an essay on a topic I am particularly passionate about it might be 3000 words and only a few relevant visuals. But then, my site is about retail, and helping customers get the most out of their shopping experience. My reader’s attention span and the level of detail they want is going to be different from a blog with a more technical theme.


    1. Ramsay

      Sounds like you know exactly what you’re doing. Really good way to break it down.


  • Tommy

    I totally disagree with the impatient ones here…

    The whole point with an article is to provide valuable information and tips to your readers and it’s just so limited what level of value you can provide with a 500-600 word post.

    Yes you should get to the point and don’t jabber too much just so your article can count more words than it should, but when I’m looking for information on something, I prefer to have all the information I need in one big post rather than having to Google each point in the article to find more information about it.

    That this article for example, it’s both concise and to the point, yet long enough to provide the value that I’m looking for. .

    You could have just left it with the 10 headlines and say “develop headline” and let people do a new Google search on how to develop a good headline, but I know I wouldn’t bother reading it…

    Anyways, always a pleasure reading your articles Ramsay!

    Tommy


    1. Ramsay

      I agree with all of this! Thanks for sharing.


  • Linda

    Hi Ramsay,
    Great article, thanks. I think the length of the post depends on the info, your posts are not too long, because if they were shorter, they would not give enough information.
    But some posts (by other bloggers of course) are ridiculously long and stretchy, they explain the same thing over and over again and never get to the point.
    Back to your question: I’ve written long blog posts, short blog posts, awesome blog posts and s***ty blogposts, but none of them convert like they should – sorry, you caught met on a bad day – they have a name for it BB (Blogger Burnout)
    Be blessed
    Linda


    1. Ramsay

      Hi Linda.

      I think the thing to remember about most long-form articles is that they are targeting new readers, not really existing ones. So while it might seem repetitive to us, it it all new stuff for a beginner.


  • Paul

    I landed here straight from my email thinking I would be the first to comment. I guess roughly 60 people already beat me to it. Your posts always teach me something new. I was actually going to put up content a little similar to this but now I think I should research more and aim for a more detailed 2000 word post. Though my blog is still a work in progress, your posts help me make it more professional everyday. And please do you have an idea what happens if you mistakenly approve spam comments? Is it harmful to a blog? Thanks.
    Your Loyal subscriber,
    Paul.


    1. Ramsay

      Yeah it’s a good idea to get rid of those spam comments as it hurts credibility but can also get your site ranked for keywords you don’t really want.


  • Liz Froment

    Perfect timing, I’m smack in the middle of Everybody Writes by Ann Handley and the idea of starting by doing a version of “and then what…” is something she advocates for too. It’s really helped me reframe how I approach my writing. Highly recommend book as a great read (not to hijack your post!).


    1. Ramsay

      Haven’t heard of it. Thank you for the suggestion.


  • Deborah Harper

    Love this post and have saved it too, as I will be back when compiling my next post. I don’t mind the long post and agree 2000+ words covers a subject comprehensively and I am stoked you included the legendary posts from other bloggers. Your helping me get better thanks Ramsay.


    1. Ramsay

      That means a lot. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.


  • Joep van der Poel

    Awesome post Ramsay!

    This was a very inspiring post and good to see that this post also definitely works for you, comments going through the roof already!

    I have to agree with you that long-form posts seem the way to go. When I just started out I wanted to get more content out there covering different topics, to offer something for anyone. Now that I have covered the basics I am focusing more on high-quality long-form content.

    So far what I have noticed is that personal posts seem to be the easiest for me to attract visitors. I wrote a personal post as why we decided to leave China and this attracted a lot of new visitors. Although this is nice, I also want to be cautious as I don’t want my website to be only a ‘diary’.

    Thanks again for this post and the hard work that you put in writing this!

    Cheers,

    Joep


    1. Ramsay

      That sounds like a very interesting article. I can imagine it would do very well. There was a really popular post a few years ago by one guy who wrote ten reasons why he’ll never live in the USA. It was incredible.


  • jill brock

    Hi Ramsay, Just want to say that your writing is the reason you’re still in my inbox. You have a really sincere and upfront presentation that I find enjoyable to readโ€ฆโ€ฆand your information isn’t bad either!


    1. Ramsay

      That means a lot to me. Thank you very much.


  • Theodore Nwangene

    Hello Ramsey,
    This is really an epic guide on how best to write the perfect blog posts.

    I love all the points you made here and I totally agree with all. Writing is what anyone can perfect on with time, you just have to make a habit and before you know it, it will become a very vital part of you which is why they said that practice makes perfect.

    This post is worth tweeting and I will do that immediatly.

    Thanks a lot for sharing.


  • Extreme Sports Blogger

    I think that there is a definite distinction between long form posts and long form sales pages.

    I donโ€™t mind reading long form posts as long as they arenโ€™t just a wall of text and are broken up with the usual headings, bullet points and images etc.

    However, I hate long form sales pages. Particularly those that look as if they are still being created using KompoZer. You know the ones I am talking about.

    Even if I am interested in a product, as soon as I am lead to a long form sales page I switch off and I wonโ€™t purchase. That is where the scroll function comes into its element and I head down through the fluff, down through the green and red bulleted points, past those 6 testimonials gained from the warrior forum and straight to the buy now button and hey presto I am getting a $1,000 package for a grand total ofโ€ฆโ€ฆโ€ฆ..$7. Plus, if I get in before the price goes up I get a further bonus of 40 hrs of video.

    I think the only people who actually read those long form sales pages are other bloggers who are potentially doing so to โ€˜see how itโ€™s doneโ€™. Canโ€™t say I have ever seen them in any niche other than the MMO niche. It just feels so scammy and faked and most people I know see straight through it.

    One side effect of the long form sales page is that whenever I come across another blogger that I think I can learn something from, the first thing I look for is how they sell. If I see a long form sales page they donโ€™t get my email address and I will move on. It is so old hat yet it is still being touted.

    Each to their own.

    Jonah


  • Jonathan Foster

    Awesome article and graphic Ramsay!

    Writing out the main points and subheadings is something I didn’t do for a long time, but once I started doing it I know it helped my writing a LOT.

    Just getting the main points down before diving in seems to really help in making an article more focused, and helps to avoid little tangents that detract from the main idea behind the post.

    Cheers!


  • Rebecca Wright

    Writing a perfect blog is very important to stabilize your site and to top you with the highest PR.


  • Mark Gandy

    Thank your for comment about the blog width. In these days of minimalistic design and “losing the sidebar”, it appears there’s been a license to widen the blog content area–bad decision.

    As you pointed out, your width is just perfect.

    Larger font size, again, THANK YOU and excellent point.

    As always, great content.


    1. Ramsay

      Thanks Mark. Appreciate it.


  • Andy

    Thank you so much for writing this. I’ve been looking for cohesive advise for blogging and your post fit the bill! I was thrilled to see what you said about the length of the blog post.

    I blog about backpacking and sometimes I feel like people won’t want to read the whole post because it’s too long. Now that I’ve read your post, and understand where and how to break up a long running article, I think I can improve.

    I would love to figure out when is the best time to be posting (I’m on the west coast) but I guess that’s based on experience as well as trial-and-error.

    Thanks again for sharing this!


  • hasan5525

    Thnks for shering such important post.Recently I found such post com I have a blog thats new but I donot know how to write a god article and how ti post properly.(Image,text,meta)this I dont know well past.thnks again


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