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How to write blog posts people actually want to read

What do killer blog content and Greek yogurt have in common?

Well, as it turns out…a lot more than you’d think.

Before we get into what they share, let me tell you about how I made this startling revelation.

This puppy right here, in all its purpley glory, is my favorite sweet treat on the planet.

yogurt

(Source)

I know, Greek yogurt isn’t usually atop most people’s list of favorite sugary snacks. But that’s because most people haven’t tried this yogurt.

It’s thick and creamy and subtly sweet and incredibly satisfying.

And that satisfaction comes down to the fact that it’s full-fat.

…Which is also what your blog content needs to be, if you want people to actually read it.

 

What’s full-fat content?

 
It’s simple, really.

Full-fat content is content is full of substance, not filler.

It’s content people enjoy reading that provides them with something of value.

It’s rich + satisfying.

That doesn’t mean every post should be an in-depth novel or a heavy philosophical piece. A funny meme could totally be full-fat content, as long as it’s meaningful to your audience.

Full-fat is in the eye of the beholder.

 

7 ways to create full-fat content

 

1. Know your readers.

 
Before you can write blog posts “people” want to read, you need to get granular with who those “people” are.

Are they mothers? Construction workers? Teenagers? Hair stylists? Entrepreneurs?

Or even better…are they teenage mothers who work as hairstylists during the day while building their dream construction business on nights and weekends?

Knowing exactly who you’re talking to is the first step in writing blog posts they want to read.

If you’re not crystal clear on your audience, I gotchu, bud. My free Audience + Brand Clarity Workbook will help you get to know them inside and out.


 

2. Pick the right topics

 
Now that you know who you’re talking to, what does she want to read about?

I’ve got a whole slew of techniques for you to do this in a data-based way. It’s one thing to speculate what she wants to to read about — but it’s a whole ‘nother beast when you KNOW.
 

Here are three ways to find topics your readers are interested in:

 
1. Ask ‘em!

You can send a survey to your list.

Get on the phone with 10 of your dream clients.

Email your list and straight-up ask them to reply with one topic they’d love to learn more about.

Track the links they click in your emails to find the topics they’re showing interest in.

Once you know what topics they like the most? Give ’em more of THAT in your blog.

2. Do your research.

Now, I’ll never tell you to copy what a competitor is doing on their blog. But I will tell you to be aware of what’s working so you can employ a similar strategy.

If there’s someone in your space who’s KILLING it with their blog content, notice which posts get the most engagement.

What common threads exist among those posts? What topics are they centered around?

Take note of what’s working for others in your industry and brainstorm how you can talk about those topics in a new way with your blog.

3. Work backwards, starting with readers’ struggles.

You know that saying “people are more likely to buy aspirin than vitamins?” Totally holds true with your blog, too.

People will be more likely to read your blog posts if you’re solving a problem.

I developed my PS Content Method as a way to choose full-fat blog topics that solve problems. We define reader problems then connect the dots backwards to discover a topic that provides the solution.

As part of the Blog Planning Made Easy Challenge, we’ll work through the PS Content Method together. And you’ll get a copy of my template so you can use the simple system to come up with bucketloads of full-fat blog topics.

Click here to sign up for the Blog Planning Made Easy Challenge.

 

3. Include (lots of) interlinks

 
A blog post — even a full-fat one — can only include so much information.

People will be coming to your content from different stages of the process. Some will be brandy new to you while others will have been following along for months or years. Some will be beginners and others established experts.

You want to make your posts valuable for ALL of them.

The way to do this is with interlinking.

Interlinking is when you link within your blog posts to more of your content, to provide a more satisfying experience. (<– You can click on the word ‘interlinking’ in the previous sentence to read an article on the topic. That’s an interlink! #meta.)

Interlinking makes your blog posts “sticky.” It allows reader to choose their own adventure and read more content that is meaningful or helpful for them.

Want a tool to make interlinking within your posts easy peasy? Download my blogssary template.


 

4. Play up your uniqueness

 
Fran Lebowitz said, “Original thought is like original sin: both happened before you were born to people you could not have possibly met.”

In other words, there aren’t a whole lot of purely original ideas out there.

Almost every blog post you could think to write either has been written or will be written by someone else. I’m not saying that to bum you out — I’m saying it to inspire you to make yours different!

What makes your blog content valuable is that it’s coming from YOU. Your personality and Unique Value Proposition (UVP) makes even the most common topics feel fresh and distinct.

I’m far from the only person to write about how to create a good blog post. Yet here you are, in my tiny corner of the blogosphere, reading THIS one. (And I’m so thankful for that!)

Give readers a reason to read your posts. Share personal stories. Write in an engaging voice. Play up certain aspects of your personality to show you’re human.

And listen to this Jenna Kutcher podcast on bringing more YOU into your social media. Apply the lessons she shares to your blog content to juice up the personality. (Highly recommend the podcast!)

 

5. Stick to a formula that works

 
Blogging can be intimidating. No bones about it. That’s why I like to make the process as easy as possible.

Because, truth? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you sit down to blog.

I created a checklist for myself to map out my outline before I write the post itself. It helps make sure I’ve got the big pieces in place so I don’t get too off-track as my creative mind wanders down twisty turny side roads.

When you have a solid structure for each blog post, you can give yourself the freedom to get creative, knowing the big picture pieces are taken care of.

Invest 30 minutes to map out the must-have pieces for each of your blog posts and use that structure to plan your posts.

Or, you can steal my blog post checklist below:

 

6. Don’t be afraid to go small

 
There’s a common misconception about blog posts that bigger = better. That couldn’t be further from the truth!

Writing is more impactful when it’s to-the-point. I’d much rather see you write a rich, meaty 400-word blog post than a 2,000-word watered-down version.

I always always always recommend writing in stages so you can come back with an editor’s eye.

Try this process for your next post…

Step 1. Write a garbage first draft where you let all your ideas spill onto the paper. No judgment whatsoever.

Step 2. Come back at least 24 hours later to prune. Cut with a vengeance — get rid of anything that doesn’t add value.

Step 3. Come back again and give it one final polish.

The longer between drafts, the better, because you don’t feel as close to your work. It helps you not be protective of your words but rather, as Stephen King says, “kill your darlings.”

The Hemingway App is a great free tool to help you simplify your writing. Toss your first draft in there and watch as the app points out complicated phrasing, wordy sections, and more.

 

7. Raise your standards

 
What would happen if you had a rule to ONLY publish blog posts you were psyched about?

One of my 2017 resolutions is to only hit ‘publish’ on blog posts that I’m *excited* to share. And it really changed the way I show up to create my content.

Most entrepreneurs (myself included, sometimes!) have this totally bogus belief that there are only a few killer blog post ideas. But that’s not true at all!

Within each of us is a limitless potential for exceptional work. But we need to hold ourselves accountable to that standard.

Before you post, ask yourself, “if this were the ONLY piece of content someone read of mine, would I be happy with the impression it gives them?”

You don’t want to share a lackluster post…or people might think YOU’RE lackluster. (Which we both know ain’t true!)

If a blog post doesn’t hit “psyched-to-share” standards, chuck it. You can do better. I know you can!

And if you stick to this standard, your blog will be a library of full-fat goodness.

Remember, attention is the most precious resource your readers can give you. It’s your job as a content creator to earn and keep it.

If you’re only sharing reduced-fat, or worse, fat-free content, they’re quickly going to tune out and start ignoring when your posts come up. And once they’ve decided you’re not worth paying attention to, it’s really hard to turn it around.

So hold yourself to a higher standard. Make full-fat content your goal. And reap the rewards of a happy, engaged, fully satisfied audience.

If you need help creating full-fat content, the Blog Planning Made Easy Challenge is exactly what you need!

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In it, we’ll plan your full-fat quarterly blog calendar — one that’s custom-designed for your unique readers AND helps you hit your business goals.

Click here to sign up.

join the convo

Who’s your favorite full-fat content creator?

What does he/she do that makes you come back week after week?

In what other ways do you make your blog a full-fat experience for your audience?

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