What do bloggers do?
Do you know?
Maybe you’re a veteran blogger and you’d like a refresher.
Maybe you’re a new blogger and you’d like to learn.
Maybe you’re considering blogging and you want to know what bloggers do.
In any of these cases, this post is for you.
This post is an important guide for new bloggers and should teach veteran bloggers some new blogging tricks.
There are many advantages to having a blog, but knowing what bloggers do before you start is important.
This post will answer three questions:
What do bloggers do before they start writing?
What do bloggers do when they compose their drafts?
What do bloggers do after they publish?
By the time you’re done reading, you will have a comprehensive guide to all stages of blog post writing including monetization.
Not only will this post explain all the stages of blog post writing, but also you’ll learn how to boost your blog post’s SEO while you learn.
Are you ready to find the answer to the question, “What do bloggers do?”
Bring on the blogging hacks:
What Do Bloggers Do Before They Start Writing?
What do bloggers do first?
Bloggers have to come up with an idea for a blog post. In other words, they must formulate a topic.
How do bloggers come up with a blog post topic?
- Use Google Trends
- Use Twitter Trends
- Read Comments
- Use Quora
- Use a Keyword Research Tool
Use Google Trends
I recall a sponsor once sent me content to publish. I needed an angle for the post that would relate to my niche– blogging.
I needed an idea– money was literally riding on my success.
Lately, I have been obsessed with Instagram and would like to publish more posts about how to succeed at the popular social media site.
Can you relate to being stuck for a keyword you can rank for? Then, follow these strategies:
Step 1: Go go Google Trends.
Step 2: Type in your idea.
Look what came up when I typed “Instagram” at Google Trends:
Notice Google Trends offered 25 ideas for blog posts about Instagram.
Use Twitter Trends
I have struck Twitter gold several times.
For example, Twitter Trends told me Google+ decided to fold.
Believing I needed to “scoop” the story, I quickly blogged about it.
Gold! To this day, my post announcing the closure of Google+ is my 10th best post of all time, and I’ve published more than 1,500 articles. The post still generates page views.
You can read comments on blogs and social media sites to get new ideas for blog posts.
I love learning new tips to share with my readers. Don’t you?
In my travels on social media, I read about an unfamiliar site called “MeWe.” I asked the commenter if she’d guest post about it for my readers.
Gold! MeWe Review: Danger- Your Privacy Is at Risk- This Is a Facebook Alternative is my second best performing post of all time, and that’s out of more than 1,500 blog posts!
This technique for generating blog post ideas works on blogs as well. Read the comments. Invite the commenter to guest post for your readers.
Guest bloggers are like guest lecturers in a college classroom. They fill the gaps for teachers by giving the listeners more specialized information.
Answer Questions on Quora
By answering questions at Quora, you discover what questions are being asked in your niche.
After answering questions for people at Quora, plug the focus term into a keyword tool and see what populates.
If you are not familiar with Quora, here is a Quora tutorial.
Use a Keyword Research Tool
This screenshot is from KWFinder.
While searching to see how competitive the term “Instagram post generator” is, I came upon two additional topics I am knowledgeable about and can compete for in Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
I use the premium version of KWFinder. If you need a free keyword tool, the Mozbar is a free Chrome download. You get unlimited queries per month for free. Here is a MozBar tutorial.
Make Sure You Can Rank For the Keyword
You need to put whatever topic you discover into a keyword tool.
Before you start writing, you need to check three metrics:
The monthly search volume for the keyword.
You don’t want to waste your time. If no one is interested in your content idea, who are you writing for– the proverbial crickets?
The keyword difficulty of the term
I recently discovered my post 8 Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media for Business ranks on Page 1 of Google at Position 9.
When I drafted the post, I had a choice of two keywords: “disadvantages of social media for business” or “disadvantages of social media.” The post is about both.
I chose “disadvantages of social media for business” since the level of difficulty of the keyword, the kd, is easier. A 15 kd is easier to rank for than a 23 kd.
Online competition for readership
Again, look back at the screenshot in the DA column.
My DA of 43 beats the Domain Authority Rankings of most of the blogs shown in the screenshot. This is a final reason I felt confident enough to compete for this term and make “disadvantages of social media for business” my focus keyword for the post.
What Do Bloggers Do When They Start Writing?
Compose a Headline
There are several headline-writing formulas.
Are you familiar with any of them?
Let’s look at the formulas and then we’ll look at examples of viral headlines that met these formulas.
Headline Formula #1:
number + adjective + keyword + promise
Headline Formula #2
How to (desired outcome) in (time frame) without (pain)
Headline Formula #3
Buffer explains you need a combination of types of words in your headline and then Buffer’s CoSchedule Headline Analyzer scores you on those elements.
Your headline should consist of a combination of common, uncommon, emotional, and power words.
I had a post go viral three months ago. Let’s examine the headline for virality against these formulas.
How did Buffer score the headline?
The headline received a score of 78 and contained all four types of words found in powerful headlines. 78 is a good score. 80 and up is considered fantastic.
I recommend you see The Most Popular Words in the Most Popular Headlines and bookmark it as a resource for writing your blog post headlines.
Let’s review Headline Writing Formula 2:
How to (desired outcome) in (time frame) without (pain)
Once again here is my headline:
Does it match?
How to (Desired Outcome = Make People Happy) in (time frame = in 2020).
Let’s review Headline Formula #1 with a different headline.
number + adjective + keyword + promise
This post is my 4th best-performing post of all time, and I’ve published more than 1,500 blog posts.
Let’s look at the headline:
Headline Formula #1:
number + adjective + keyword + promise
Does it match?
(Number = 8) (Adjective= Proven) (Keyword = LinkedIn Posts) (Promise = Boost Your Influence.)
Get Post Title
If you are not the type that likes plugging words into formulas, there are places you can go to get your post title:
Portent is a free blog post title generator.
Hubspot also has a blog post title generator but I believe the free queries are limited.
Tweak Your Biz also has a blog post title generator.
Do you know what clickbait is?
Clickbait headlines are worded so that people click and you get automatic traffic! Make sure you keep the promise you make in your headline though or people will be mad. Readers find clickbait headlines annoying.
Content Row has a Link-Bait Headline Generator.
While I don’t recommend “baiting” people into clicking your headline, Content Row’s suggestions are pretty funny. Portent’s suggestions are funny as well.
Let’s look at how you can use Content Row’s Link Bait tool.
I typed “What bloggers do” into the Topics bar.
I received interesting headline choices!
Notice: Content Row tells you which are “Clickbait headlines” and which aren’t.
As indicated, I try to avoid clickbait headlines.
Look at Choice #1 in the screenshot and then look at the headline for this post. Can you tell I tweaked Content Row’s selection?
Since Headline Formula #2 said I needed a time frame, I added “in 2020.”)
Are you still interested in learning what bloggers do? Read on.
Write an Introduction
Katy Perry begins her famous song, Teenage Dream, with these words: “I know a place where the grass is always greener.”
Listeners are hooked. They want to know what the place is and where they can find it.
Tell your readers in the introduction that you know a better place for them, a place where they don’t have the problem they’ve come to your post to find the answers to.
What about Gene Wilder’s song from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?
“Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.”
What do bloggers do?
They urge their readers to picture a better world, a world without their problems.
Use the phrase “Imagine a world where…” three times.
For example, in my blogging tips niche I might write:
Imagine a world where you don’t wonder why your traffic is down.
Imagine a world where you can’t keep up with answering comments because you have so many.
Imagine a world where people share your posts so often, your email list explodes.
The reason you need to start the same way three times has to do with parallelism. Parallel structure (the rule of 3’s) persuades.
Readers come to your post to get their problems solved. Make sure you tell them in the introduction you understand their problem, and before they are done reading, they will get the solution they seek.
This actually has a name, the Sticky Blogging Formula. Tell readers in your introduction, “By the time you are done reading this post, you will know how to…” They will make readers stick to your post, hence the name, “Sticky Blogging.”
Insert a Table of Contents
Before you get to the body, you need a Table of Contents with bullet points. The bullets in the table of contents are your subheads.
There are several plugins that will do this for you. I use the LuckyWP Table of Contents. Previously, I used the Gutenberg Block Table of Contents.
They should begin with the same part of speech according to marketing strategist Phil Adair.
Google believes the Table of Contents (also called the “TOC”) structures the blog post enhancing the User’s Experience (UX).
You need an outline. The subheads in your outline are the tips in your blog post.
Make sure each tip starts with the same part of speech. I try to start with verbs.
Write the Body
As indicated, the body of the post should take people on a journey, a journey to find the solution to their problem.
In the story the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is on a journey to find the solution to a problem. On her search, she goes down a yellow brick road.
View your tips as bricks in that road. In the body of the post, you lead people to the solution to their problem.
How long should your blog post be?
Strive for 2,000 words.
Your readers have come for detailed solutions to their problems. Cursory answers might leave them more confused and seeking clarity on someone else’s blog.
Write a guide. People like guides.
Readers bookmark guides to reference later bringing you even more traffic. People share guides and link to guides.
Also, Google likes in-depth quality information.
Although all blog posts should solve problems for their readers, what bloggers do takes different formats.
One of the most common formats is called a listicle. Listicles list tips explaining how to solve a problem.
In our guide explaining how to write the perfect blog post, my guest author differentiated between a listicle and a “how to” post.
The How-To Post
She explains the “how to” post explains steps in a process. According to her distinction, this post is indeed a “how to” post and not a listicle. A listicle lists tips that can be followed in any order. Whereas, a “how to” lists steps that need to be followed in a certain order.
The Expert Round-Up Post
A nice variation on the listicle format is having experts provide the tips. I’ve only ever had positive experiences publishing expert roundups.
For instance, I mentioned my post that went viral over the holidays, How to Make People Happy with These 50+ Good Vibes Quotes in 2020.
I knew I wanted to publish positive quotes in time for the holidays, but I did not know the quotes. Easy! I asked other bloggers who provided the quotes.
I got the quotes and they got listed as the sources. Win-win!
Remember: White space is your friend. Space between your tips. Don’t have any paragraphs longer than three sentences.
This white space enhances your visitors’ clarity of your information, Also, Google rewards blogs visibility that enhance the user experience.
Do you remember the focus keyword for the post which you chose after researching a keyword tool?
Use the keyword in your post.
SEO Tools like the plugins RankMath and Yoast will make sure you don’t have the word too often or not enough.
Insert an Image
Choose a long relevant image.
How long should your blog post image be?
1024 pixels long works great for Pinterest and other social media sites.
Text on an image is ideal. Also, try to make your graphic brightly colored.
This is an example of a graphic I used for a post about Pinterest.
People notice the brightly-colored graphic on social media sites and are more apt to click your link.
Don’t reinvent the wheel; free graphic design tools with templates exist to help you.
These are some of my favorites:
Mostly Blogging has tutorials to help you get started with these graphic design tools:
Write the Conclusion
The conclusion includes important elements:
- A recap of the ideas
- A takeaway reminding readers of what they received in exchange for their time reading your post
- A Call to Action asking people to share
- A Call to Action asking people to comment
Let’s look at some examples:
According to Buzzsumo.com, this is my most shared content:
Let’s examine excerpts to the conclusion to my most shared article, 13 Quick and Free Unfollow Tools for 3 Social Media Sites.
Wrapping Up: Which Free Unfollow App Will You Try First?
The conclusion starts with a phrase that gives the post a finished feel. After the colon, I used my keyword again, “Unfollow app.”
Unfollow App Takeaways
This post discussed keeping your follower count in check so you can look like a winner and attract more followers at social media sites.
This post reviewed 13 apps you can use to unfollow Pinterest unfollowers and people on Instagram and Twitter.
The end of the post offers a review of what people learned as a result of reading my post. If they feel their time was spent in a valuable way, they’ll share and return.
Please share so people wanting social media growth can discover a new management tool.
I asked readers to share. Don’t assume visitors know you want them to share your posts. Tell them in your conclusion.
Which is your favorite unfollow app? Which social media platform is the app designed for? I look forward to your recommendations in the comments section.
I asked people to comment, I told people what to write in their comments, and I told people where to comment. Again, don’t assume your visitors are mind-readers.
Did you think you were ready to publish?
You don’t want errors in your writing, do you? You need to publish mistake-free writing.
Publishing writing with errors is like showing up to a fancy dinner with stains on your clothes.
You are indeed showing up to somewhere fancy; you are putting your work on the internet for all to see.
Do you still want to know what bloggers do? Read on.
What Do Bloggers Do After They Publish Their Writing?
Social media has many advantages. One of them is your ability to advertise your content.
If you want people to read your posts, you need to promote your content.
When you’re a new blogger, promote everywhere. Here are 63 places that allow you to promote your blog posts without being called a “spammer.”
I realize promoting in all these places is time-consuming. Fear not!
Once you start blogging, you can narrow down the places you promote by only promoting to the places you receive traction.
Google Analytics tells you where you receive social media traction.
Go to Google Analytics.
Click Acquisition/Social/Overview. Scroll down.
Quora, Facebook, and Twitter are my Top 3 referrers from social media sites. These metrics are for the week ending April 5. You can change the date range to get a more complete view.
Respond to comments
Set aside time to respond to commenters.
First, it’s rude to ignore your comments.
Next, comments are a sign people are interested in your content.
Third, blogs should be a place for discussion about topics relevant to your niche. By creating this dialogue, you are creating a sense of community.
In addition to helping people, bloggers definitely create a sense of community. Building an engaged community is definitely what bloggers do.
Also, positive comments count as user-generated content which is trendy right now. Capitalize on this marketing trend. Let your commenters write your testimonials for you. You can share the testimonials on social media sites and boost your branding.
Last, commenters show Google you have an active blog, so you get more search engine traffic.
You should network by commenting on other bloggers’ posts.
Find top blogs in your niche. Learn when those bloggers publish, so you can be the first commenter.
Make a thoughtful comment which adds to the discussion.
All the other commenters will see your comment and be likely to click your link.
Networking is a great way to grow your blog and meet other bloggers in your niche.
Update your content
When you learn new information about your topic, update your content after publication.
This keeps your information fresh for your readers.
Also, Google loves updated content, so I often start my updates with the word “Update.”
After updating, go to Google Search Console.
Click Search Console/URL Inspection and paste your link.
Click request indexing.
Here you will find more information about submitting to Google Search Console.
Many bloggers combine their posts into ebooks and sell them on Amazon.
Other bloggers become coaches and freelance writers.
Often bloggers will sign up with Google Adsense and make money each time a visitor clicks on an ad. Here is more information about using Google Adsense to make money.
Related: If you need one-on-one monetization training, the Mostly Blogging Academy is currently offering classes for $1.00.
Wrapping Up: What Bloggers Do
In closing, the function of blogs is to entertain or provide information.
This post explained what bloggers do who are not humor bloggers– they provide information.
This post explained how to use blogs to provide information and educate your readers.
This post gave you four action plans: three writing checklists and an action plan for monetization.
Please share so other people considering blogging learn how to blog. Also, veteran bloggers looking for a boost might find new tips in this guide.
I look forward to your views in the comments section. Did I leave anything out? Can you add any tips to the discussion about what bloggers do?
Janice Wald is the founder of MostlyBlogging.com and co-founder of the Mostly Blogging Academy. She is an ebook author, blogger, blogging coach, blogging judge, freelance writer, and speaker. She won the Best Internet Marketer Award and the Best Blogger Award at the 2021 Infinity Blog Awards. Wald was also nominated as 2019 Best Internet Marketer by the Infinity Blog Awards and in 2017 as the Most Informative Blogger by the London Bloggers Bash. She’s been featured on Small Business Trends, the Huffington Post, and Lifehack.