There’s this client I’ve been working with since early June, tackling shorter blog posts.

A few months ago, they briefed me on a short blog post they wanted me to create to steal traffic from the competition for a specific keyword. 

It seemed like the perfect opportunity to pitch an idea that would turn a good blog post into something great. 

Something longer and more media-rich that would rank for several keywords and capture more traffic to drive conversions. 

So, I suggested the following six-step process for writing a long-form blog post (I’d like to thank Jane Flanagan, the Content Director at FreshBooks, for providing me with the below framework, which I’ve adapted to my own business):

  1. Pull the top 10 results on Google for that keyword. Use a tool like Ahrefs because the results you get from Google will only be location-specific. 
  2. Check the word counts on these posts to get an idea of the content length, and then plan to write more. All things held equal, longer posts rank better in Google because they provide an opportunity to cover the topic in more detail and include related keywords throughout. 
  3. Reverse engineer (outline) each of those competitors’ posts to get an idea of what content their posts include. You’re basically deconstructing the post structure, writing down headings and subheadings.
  4. Look at elements that make these posts pop and highlight them. These may include video, images, industry-specific examples, and so on. The idea is to see how you can incorporate these elements into your post. Perhaps you can add an infographic. Or maybe you can take screenshots to illustrate an example.
  5. Make sure your post is better by
    • Including the best parts of all the posts, so you’re covering the topic in-depth
    • Bringing your own unique spin to it and incorporating new insights and thoughts
    • Writing more and including plenty of detail and examples
    • Adding other forms of media: video and audio
    • Adding information from experts and influencers, if possible
  6. Including keywords semantically related to your chosen topic (LSI keywords). Use a tool like LSIGraph to find these keywords. Or simply type your primary keyword into Google and scroll down to the bottom of the page to view any keywords related to this term.
  7. Package your post so it looks professional. This means having a quality feature image and branding. You want prospects to land on the page and think to themselves, “Wow, this looks awesome. This looks professional. This company means business!” Something like this, for example.

This process cannot guarantee a certain number of traffic or conversions—especially as there are loads of ingredients that go into the content mix and ultimately influence rankings, from research, production, and promotion to optimization, distribution, and measurement. 

However, it can significantly improve your chances of ranking and getting more conversions over time— particularly when you combine proper keyword research, SEO optimization, and funnel-thinking, AND use the right writer. 

A writer who:

  1. Understands the value of long-form content
  2. Knows exactly how to create long-form content
  3. Has several stellar writing examples to share like this onethis one, and this one.

A writer who’s happy to jump on a FREE no-strings-attached call to learn more about your business. And yes, here it comes….

As you know, long-form content is my thing (if you didn’t, now you know). And so, if you’re struggling with your content plans or simply don’t have the time to invest in creating something that will knock your audience’s socks off, then you know what to do. 

Schedule a quick call with myself and remember, it’s just a chat. There’s no obligation to hire me, and even if we don’t end up working together, at the very least you’ll get some solid advice and a chance to hear my sweet South African accent 🙂 

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