Writing a blog is essentially like writing your articles for a magazine—just like building a new Web page that you want people to find and to read. Perhaps the single most important thing is the title of your blog.

How to Title a Blog

This is what you are going to call your blog. This title is different from the title you’ll use for each article you post. If you’re writing a blog on apples, the title of the blog might be The Apple Blog. Remember to use your keywords research to target the best keyword or phrase to use in the title of the blog. We define best here to mean the phrase you want to be found for with good daily or monthly search volumes.

Writing Article Titles

The key here is to establish the keyword you want the article to rank well for. If you’re posting an article on Red Delicious Apples, then be sure to include that phrase in the article title.

After that, try to write a title that is catchy. Saying Red Delicious Apples is fine, but using The Health Benefits of Red Delicious Apples is more likely to catch a reader’s interest. Just be sure to construct a title that reflects the content the reader will find in the article itself. It’s a bit of an art form, but after a few posts you’ll get the hang of it.

Using Keywords Properly

As with basic search optimization for a Web page, you’ll want to use the keyword or phrase a few times in the text of the article itself. Even if you are simply posting a press release on something related to your topic, you can write a brief introduction to the release yourself, and then perhaps mention the keyword once or twice in the introduction.

Press releases are often not written with search optimization in mind, so you will have to take this into account when using them as content for your article.

Editing the press release is frowned upon, as the original authors were trying to announce something newsworthy, and changing their copy is not what they expect of folks using the release. For this reason, I usually write a simple introduction or preview myself, with my own thoughts, to ensure the keyword I’m after makes it into the post.

Writing Your Articles

Writing the articles you will post can seem like a daunting task. Yes, it requires some creativity. Yes, it requires a command of the language in which you’re publishing. Yes, you should try to be as professional as possible. In the end, though, you may simply write down and post your own opinion on a topic.

You may choose to follow an event and post press releases to update readers. You may use quotes from other articles and link your readers back to the full article elsewhere. This is the beauty of blogging—you are not constrained by any rules about what is expected, though common sense should lead.

How Much to Write for Each Article

How long should an article be? Blogs are not that different from Web sites, so again, writing between 200 and 300 words of unique, topic-relevant content should be fine for each article you will post. Don’t fret if you cannot get past 100 words. Don’t fret if you go past 500 words. Use these numbers as guidelines and build from there.

You will be surprised how quickly you reach the 200-word mark when you set out to expand on a topic a little bit. Just make sure to follow the basics about including the key-word phrase a few times in the content and let your fingers do the rest.

There are no hard-and-fast rules here, so write as you see fit, following the basic search optimization guideline of mentioning the keyword or phrase you want the article to rank for a few times in the article, ideally near the top. In the big picture, you’ll be fine.

Some posts will be longer, some shorter. Some will be simple reprints of press releases or a post of a series of images from an event. Don’t try to write a book in every post—your readers will not read it all and the spiders won’t care about the extra work.

What to Write About

Well before this point, you will know what the topic of your blog is about. Your keyword research will have led you to discover a host of related items. Begin with that keyword research and start writing. When you begin expanding on the topic itself, start offering opinions on things and updates on the latest news related to your topic; you’ll quickly realize there is no shortage of items to base blog articles around. If you haven’t figured.this out by reading other blogs, they are a great place to express your opinion on things.

Good or bad, you’ll find some folks who will support you. Even if they don’t, the old saying applies: “Any press is good press.” One key point to remember is this: while you’re trying to get your articles ranked well in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), always write them for your human readers.

Those are the folks who will spread the word about your blog. As for topics, well, spend some time with your keyword research data.

This information will show you exactly what phrases users are searching with, so you’ll know what to target for blog articles. Keep an eye on the news sources as well. If there’s anything big happening in your world, your blog will have a ready made source of information to write about. Keep it relevant and related to the overall topic of the blog, of course. Also, keep in mind that long-tail keyword tool we mentioned earlier—HitTail. It’s a great source to see what phrases users are using to actually find you.

Tracking these alongside the keywords you researched before starting is the perfect way to see your growth on popular phrases (your ranking, basically). If the phrases you found in your keyword research phase start showing up in your HitTail data, it means that users are finding you ranked on those busier phrases—excellent news. Be ready for this to take a while, though.

In the meantime, enjoy the gold mine of data this tool pro-vides and use it to help discover new topics to write about.

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