How to write a blog post: A step-by-step guide from preparation to publication

Writing a successful blog post all comes down to the proper preparations. It starts before you even begin writing: what do you want to say and to whom do you want to say it? You might want to get going right away but remember: writing takes some time. And once you’ve written an awesome blog post, you’ll need to invest time in promoting it and keeping the content up to date. Today, we’ll cover all you need to do to write a successful blog post, from the first inception, to long after publication. So let’s dive right in!

Before we get going with our step by step guide, have a quick look at this image that depicts the three phases of a proper writing process: 

Process of good writing explained in a picture: 40% prepaparation, 20% writing, 40% correcting

In total, there are 6 steps you should take when writing and publishing a blog post. Does this sound a bit overwhelming? Don’t worry, at the end of this post, you’ll find a practical (and downloadable) checklist with an overview of these steps!

Step 1: Preparation

Let’s say you’ve taken a good look at your keyword research and decided upon a topic to write your next blog post about. Don’t start typing just yet, because first, it’s time to prepare that post! That means you have to answer a few questions. But trust me, answering these questions will definitely help you write a great blog. So, let’s have a look at the questions you should ask yourself:

What is the purpose of your post?

Before you start writing, you should first take some time to think about why you’re writing and what you want to achieve with this specific article. Articles can have different purposes:

  • You can write because you want to persuade people. You want to convince them to buy your product or adopt your ideas. 
  • The aim of your article could also be to entertain and amuse people. A column is a good example of an entertaining text. 
  • Your blog or article could also be informative. In this case, you write to share knowledge about a certain topic. 

Different articles on your website can have different purposes. Also, many articles have multiple purposes. A blog can be informative as well as entertaining. In any case, it’s important to think about the purpose of your article because it will give you a direction to follow. An article that intends to persuade people should be written differently than an article with a solely informative or amusing function. 

Read more: Why the purpose of your text is important for SEO »

What is the main message of your post?

You should also think about what you want your readers to know or take away after they’ve read your text. We refer to this as the message of your text.

For example

If you want to write a post about the importance of well-structured texts, the central question of this post could be: ‘Why is it important to write well-structured blog posts?’

The message of a post about the importance of well-structured texts could be: ‘It is important to write a well-structured text because it will allow people to understand your text better, it will lead to higher conversions and higher rankings.’

In order to formulate your message, you could try to phrase a question which your text should answer. We refer to such a question as the central question of a text. And the text you write should give an answer to your central question. So make sure that your central question is clear. Try to come up with a summarized answer to your central question in one or two sentences. This summarized answer is the message of your article. 

We usually put the message in the introduction of the post (telling readers what the post will be about) as well as in the conclusion of the piece. Making your message explicit is, in our opinion, especially important in web texts. It helps your readers to instantly grasp the message of your article and increases the likelihood people will keep on reading.

Who are your readers?

Ideally, you already thought about the kind of audience you want to reach when you started your website. But it never hurts to remind yourself before writing your text. So, take some time to think about the people you are writing for. Make sure you adapt your text to them and adjust the difficulty level of the information in your article as well as the difficulty of your style (use of jargon, long sentences etc). A good rule of thumb is to keep things readable and accessible to reach a wider audience.

What information do you need?

In some cases, all the information you need to write your text is already in your head. For example, if the chef of a local Italian restaurant wants to write a blog post about the types and uses of pasta, he probably doesn’t need to open any books. But if he wants to write an elaborate culinary history about 500 years of Italian cuisine, he might need some other sources. So, determine whether you need sources (the internet, books, newspapers) to get the information you need for your text. 

You should take the central question of your piece and come up with a number of sub-questions you want to answer. Find and formulate answers to all your sub-questions using your sources (books, internet, scientific articles, etc.). This will provide you with the basis of your post or article.

After this phase, you might want to make some adjustments to the (central) message of your article. Take some time to phrase or rephrase your message (the summarized answer to your central question) to make it entirely clear.

What ‘s the best way to structure your text?

The final step in the preparation process is the most important one. You have to decide how you’ll structure the information you want to communicate to your readers. If you don’t think about this beforehand, odds are your text will lack a logical order and will be hard to follow for your audience. A proper text structure is also important for SEO. Not sure how to begin? This post offers practical tips to create a decent structure.

Step 2: Write your blog post!

At this point, you’ll have all the information you need and an outline of the subjects you want to discuss in your blog post. And yes, this means that it’s finally time to start writing. So get going! And don’t worry. Your text doesn’t have to be perfect yet, as you can edit things later on.

Get it all out there, while trying to stick to the structure you decided on and making sure your tone and style are in line with the audience you want to reach. Also, you don’t have to write your blog post from start to end. Feel free to switch between paragraphs and skip hard bits to get back to later on. Whatever feels most natural to you!

Keep reading: SEO Copywriting: The ultimate guide »

Step 3: Correcting, editing and optimizing

Once you’ve put everything on (digital) paper, it’s time for the editing phase. Now, you should look more closely at your text and smooth out weird sentences and errors. That means checking for mistakes on a sentence and paragraph level, and also evaluating whether the structure of your blog post actually makes sense. If you’re not an experienced writer, it can be very helpful to use online spell checks or to ask someone you know to read your text. Another pair of eyes has a fresh perspective on your text and can, therefore, spot mistakes much more easily.

Optimize your post for the search engines

Optimizing for search engines should, of course, be a big part of preparing your blog post for publication. For example, it’s important to check the distribution of your keywords, meta description and the readability of your text. As you know, the Yoast plugin offers a lot of help with this step! Check out the SEO analysis tool, and our post on how to optimize your blog post.

Step 4: Practicalities before publishing

Before you can send your new masterpiece into the world, there are a few more things to do, to improve its chances to do well: 

Don’t forget to add images

Images are an invaluable addition to (almost) every blog post. So before publishing the post you wrote, you need to add at least one quality image and make sure your images are optimized. Some bloggers prefer to create photos and images before they start writing their texts. Others prefer to first write and then find the correct images. Whether you use stock photos or create your own graphics, make sure you at least have a header image that can also be used to share on social media. In Yoast SEO Premium, there is a social preview where you can see what it looks like when your post is shared on Facebook or Twitter. And you can also set a different social image if desired.

Add categories and tags

Categories and tags provide an extra layer of structure for your site, and you really need to give some thought to how you use those. As you’re preparing your blog post, it’s easy to forget to add the right taxonomies. So check whether you’ve done that before you hit the publish button!

Optimize for social media

Not only can you set your own social image in Yoast SEO Premium, you can also write a different description for Facebook and Twitter than for Google. People who find you through Facebook, often have a different connection with you than those who find you through Google. Make sure the description resembles that! 

If Pinterest is a platform that’s relevant for your blog, another part of your blog post’s preparation is designing a Pinterest image. These should have a ratio of 2:3, which means that it’s vertical. Also, fun to mention: Pinterest comes with a scheduled feature now. So you can schedule your pin before publishing the post. Just make sure you put the correct publishing URL in!

Step 5: After publishing your post

After publishing your blog post, you can either sit back and hope people will just pick up your newest masterpiece or you can take some steps to draw attention to your new post. It’s time to make some noise and get the story out there!

Share your post on social media

Although social media are designed to keep their users on their platforms, instead of clicking a website, your followers love hearing from you. And especially if you write for your social audience, it’s important to post your blog posts on these social media accounts. There are plugins that push your blog posts to social media as soon as you hit publish, but you could also do this yourself.

And although Pinterest isn’t a social medium, but a visual search engine, we’ll discuss it here as well. While Google finds out about your new blogpost through crawling and sitemaps, Pinterest doesn’t. So, if you want your content on Pinterest, you need to actually tell Pinterest you have a new post by posting to it. So if you have not used the scheduler or want to place your pins on more boards, now is the time to do so!

Internal linking to new post from other posts

Are you aware of the importance of site structure? To improve your post’s chances to rank, you should add internal links. Internal links are links that are in your text and they tell Google all about context. It’s important to link to your blog post. While writing your post, you most likely already linked to other posts you’d already written. After publishing, make sure you check which blog posts could have a link to your new post and add those links immediately. 

Step 6: A while after publishing your blog post

To make sure your blog posts don’t disappear in the large sea of content out there, it’s important to keep working on promoting and improving them even after they’ve been published for a while. 

Including posts in the newsletter

A lot of businesses maintain a newsletter. If you send out a newsletter, you have to decide if you are going to share all your recent blog posts, or will only share your funniest or most informative ones. You can share your newest blog post in today’s newsletter, and if it’s still relevant six months from now, or you’re doing a themed newsletter, you can include it again. If the content is still relevant, it won’t matter if the article is one week or month old.

Reposting on social media

You shared your blog post on social media right after you published it, but that doesn’t mean you cannot republish it again after a few months! The same goes with the newsletter. Don’t overdo it, but it’s safe to reshare something 6 months after you first shared it. You can even decide to use another social image or another introduction text to give the social media post a different look.

Analyzing the post performance

After a month or so, you can start to analyze your post’s performance. This is something you need to do regularly, for instance, every three months. You should look at Google Analytics and check Google Search Console to see how people find your blog post, but also whether you’re ranking for the keywords you want to rank for and if you should create more posts surrounding the subject or make the blog post even more in-depth. 

Optimizing where necessary

SEO is an ongoing process. One month, you may rank #1 for a keyword, but what if the next month your competitor has created a better piece and starts ranking first? And, did you know search intent for a keyword can change over time? In short, you should periodically revisit your blog post with the data you have collected and optimize where necessary. 

Check what your competition does better than you and decide whether you want to optimize. Do you feel it’s worth your time to improve a post if you dropped from the first to the second place? Optimizing could mean you need to focus more on things like link building, or Schema. Check what your competitors do that you don’t. Don’t copy, but learn from them.

While updating and optimizing your content, it might be a good idea to work from a copy of the original post. This makes it possible to work on your update without bothering visitors with work that’s half-done. By using the Yoast Duplicate Post plugin, you can clone the original post with everything in it. Simply edit this clone to your hearts content and copy the content over to the original post once you are done.

More internal linking

So ideally, you already worked on your internal linking when you just published your post. If you did that and kept an eye on it over time, then you can skip this step. If not, you probably need to work on your internal linking again! Use the orphaned content filter in Yoast SEO Premium to see which articles need some attention regarding internal linking.

Practical checklist

To keep track of what you need to do to write and publish a perfect blog post, we created a checklist. You can print it out and keep with you as a cheat sheet when you’re preparing, writing, and fine-tuning your text. We even added some empty checkboxes so you can add extra steps if we didn’t cover something you consider absolutely necessary! Download the free checklist here!

Conclusion

Writing a blog post can be a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. You need to invest time in preparing your blog post, writing it, and even once it’s written, it’s important to make sure it gets the attention it deserves by sharing and improving your text. It might seem like a lot, but in the end, you’ll see your content perform well consistently. And trust me, it will be worth it!

Read on: SEO copywriting: The ultimate Guide »


37 Responses to How to write a blog post: A step-by-step guide from preparation to publication

  1. TrovAziende
    TrovAziende  • 2 weeks ago

    We’ve got our blog up and running, all set up with Yoast SEO plugin. We’re getting some good results but we’ll improve quality thanks to your guide. Thank you.

  2. Noor
    Noor  • 2 weeks ago

    A great article,

    You are absolutely writing about that, when you are writing an article most of time goes into planning and researching, once that is done writing is the easy part. Once your plan is clear, you know who your target audience is, and what is the message that you want to deliver, writing will be no big deal.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 2 weeks ago

      You’re welcome, Noor! You’re right. With the right preparations, writing becomes much easier and much more fun :)

      Glad to be of help and good luck with your writing!

  3. Ivan
    Ivan  • 3 weeks ago

    Wow, this is the best article about writing a blog post including SEO for it. Thank you so much, and I hope to see more articles with a similar topic!

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 2 weeks ago

      Thanks, Ivan! You can find more articles on this topic here: https://yoast.com/tag/blogging/

      Also, we quite like writing about this topic, so you can expect new articles on a regular basis :)

  4. Jyoti Vedi
    Jyoti Vedi  • 3 weeks ago

    Thank’s for sharing good information. These SEO tips really help us. So please keep writing for more information.

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 3 weeks ago

      You’re welcome, Jyoti! Glad to hear that they’re helpful. And no worries, we’ll keep writing posts like this to help you with your SEO. Just keep an eye on our blog!

  5. Digi Media Coporation
    Digi Media Coporation  • 3 weeks ago

    your content is really good . it helped me a lot in many ways , keep posting such content .

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 3 weeks ago

      Thanks! And don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere :) Just keep an eye on our blog for news and informative articles on SEO!

  6. Kedar Joshi
    Kedar Joshi  • 4 weeks ago

    This is an interesting article. Very well written and articulated. It is an highly informative article for anyone who have started their blogging journey. Thanks for writing on this topic.

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 3 weeks ago

      Thank you for those lovely words, Kedar!

  7. mashood ali
    mashood ali  • 4 weeks ago

    Ya i have created the blog, but unable to rank it in even 4th or 5th page of search results. I have also installed yoast seo and follow tips by him.

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 3 weeks ago

      Hi Mashood! First of all, welcome to the wonderful world of blogging :)

      Now, to get back to your comment: it can take some time to start ranking high with your pages. Especially with a new blog. So don’t get discouraged!

      It sounds like you’re already doing lots to get going with SEO, so keep up the great work and have a look at these articles for more steps to take:
      https://yoast.com/complete-beginner-guide-to-seo/
      https://yoast.com/keyword-research-ultimate-guide/

      Good luck, you’ve got this!

  8. msnelv
    msnelv  • 4 weeks ago

    Very informative! Thank you for sharing

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 3 weeks ago

      You’re welcome! That’s what we’re here for :)

  9. Sanjeev
    Sanjeev  • 4 weeks ago

    Is different texts in the main title and SEO title matters? Should I use same title on SEO title?

  10. Patrick
    Patrick  • 4 weeks ago

    I think this guide is for everyone. Whether a beginner or an expert blogger. This is great

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Patrick! You’re right. The steps in this guide stay the same, whether you’re just getting started or writing your 100th blog :)

  11. Diego
    Diego  • 4 weeks ago

    Thanks for the Information and the structure, helps me think better and follow step by step process.

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 3 weeks ago

      You’re welcome, Diego! Good luck with your writing!

  12. Cassie Journigan
    Cassie Journigan  • 4 weeks ago

    Interesting article. I’m just beginning my adventures in blog land and know your advice will prove useful. Love the download, too. Yoast gives so much well-written, easy-to-read, and in testing articles and courses.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 weeks ago

      Thanks for your kind words, Cassie! Best of luck with your blog and you know where to find us for insights and advice ;-)

  13. iswanto
    iswanto  • 4 weeks ago

    Really great article. I like this article because it looks details. Thanks.. I would practice it now on

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 weeks ago

      Thanks and good luck putting things into practice! Don’t forget to use the checklist :-)

  14. Sukanta Das
    Sukanta Das  • 4 weeks ago

    What a nice piece of writing about proper blog post. Really helpful writing for seo services company.
    Thanks again for this blog.
    S.Das

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 weeks ago

      Thank you, Sukanta, great to hear you found it helpful!

  15. Nats
    Nats  • 4 weeks ago

    This topic is difficult to me because write a lot is not doing well sometimes so, i try to understand the basics to start making good content in my website. Thanks a lot for this, it work to me very much.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 weeks ago

      Hi Nats! I’m glad to hear the steps work well for you! It can be hard to write content that does well in the search engines… But don’t give up, you’ll get there!

  16. Parth
    Parth  • 4 weeks ago

    Really amazing information, now I got knowledge how to write an effective post that rank on Google and get more visitors on my digital marketing posts. I can implement on my post and then I can check how effective this post ideas are. I’ll buy premium membership as well if this information is really effective for me.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 weeks ago

      That’s great to hear, Parth, hope you’ll see some positive effects soon!

  17. Angelaanny007
    Angelaanny007  • 4 weeks ago

    I really like it

    • Camille Cunningham
      Camille Cunningham  • 3 weeks ago

      Thanks, Angela!

  18. Juan Ortega
    Juan Ortega  • 4 weeks ago

    “I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.”

    – G.K Chesterton

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 weeks ago

      Whatever feels right to you, Juan!

  19. YVS Institute
    YVS Institute  • 4 weeks ago

    A great post.Thanks for sharing wonderful information about writing a blog post with us. It is very informative and useful.

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 4 weeks ago

      Thank you for your nice comment!