As a content marketer, I write blogs - a LOT. I recently had a client ask me what I needed to write a blog post for them, and I was able to list these steps:
1. Define the blog post's objective - What are we trying to accomplish? Driving leads to fill out a form? Improve web traffic for a particular key words? Freshen up website content? Provide content with an alternative voice to the rest of the site? Defining the "why" will help inform the "what."
2. Share resources - Ask for reputable websites or other sources to get the facts you'll need to write content. Don't be afraid to excerpt, attribute and link back to other sites.
3. Do a SERP search - Using tools such as Moz.com, do a a search engine ranking page (SERP) analysis and find top ranking sites on the subject you are writing about. Then use excerpts and link out to these sites to help your blog SEO.
4. Highlight important keywords - What are the most important keywords and key phrases you should include in the blog? Moz.com also lets you research top keyword searches for whatever subject matter you are writing about. Then put those important keywords in the blog title, subhead and throughout the body copy in a way that works for both the web crawlers and the human readers.
5. Optimize photos and videos - If you embed photos or videos, be sure to use captions and alt tags. This helps with the overall SEO for the blog.
6. Ask for Subject Matter Specialists - Depending on the subject matter, you might ask your client who is the most knowledgeable person in their organization or industry on the topic in question. Interview them and include their quotes, their photo and link out to their company profile or LinkedIn page.
7. Share, Share, Share - A blog page without traffic is like putting up a billboard on a street where nobody drives. Once you publish your blog post, share the heck out of it. Post on your personal and professional social media profiles. Highlight it in customer enewsletters. Share the link with the client and their employees and ask them to do the same. Post to the social media pages of any related professional organizations or local chamber of commerce. Share it with influencers and media contacts. Consider a paid boost if the topic is mission critical. Drive traffic to that blog post! If you've taken the steps above, it will drive organic search, but pushing out content always helps.
The difference between writing and writing content is understanding the marketing purpose of your post and using a multi-channel marketing approach (social, email, paid search, PR, etc.) to reach your audience with your message.