13 Important Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Blogging

questions

What’s the most important factor of every blog post?

Quality.

But sometimes, it’s easy to find yourself in a grind, cranking out content because you think you’re supposed to.

That’s when quality suffers.

When it comes to blog posts, it’s really all or nothing. A “good” post will get the same engagement and traffic as a “bad” post.

You have to create outstanding posts on a regular basis for your content to make a real difference.

Willpower can help you create these posts, but studies have shown that people have limited willpower.

Did you know that of 86% of marketers who use content marketing, only 30% have a consistent content strategy?

These marketers don’t have the systems in place to maximize the return on their efforts.

If you are one of the 70% of marketers creating more content this year than last year, you need to ensure you maintain a high quality writing standard throughout your content creation.

To help you maintain that quality, I’m giving you 13 questions you should ask yourself before and after writing a blog post.

Not all of these will apply to your specific business, but most will. Once you read through this article, download this simple checklist of questions to keep you accountable. Go through them for every post to ensure your continuous success.

1. “Who is this post for?”

Have you heard that when you write a post, you should do it as if you’re writing to one specific person?

It’s true. That’s how you craft an article that really resonates with someone.

If you run a new or small blog, this is a fairly easy question to answer: write to your target audience. Before each post, think of your customer avatar, and write to him/her.

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But what about once you grow?

All of a sudden, you’ve attracted different types of people with one or more shared interests.

For example, Quick Sprout readers are made up of many types of people. Some are beginners trying to learn about marketing; others are employed professional marketers; and yet others are trying to market their own small businesses. And there are a few more distinct types of readers on top of that.

When I write a post, I know that it’s likely not going to resonate with everyone—that only happens once in a blue moon. But that’s okay.

Most often, a piece of content will speak to one or two segments of my audience. As long as I change it up, they all will find at least a few articles per month they will enjoy. This is another reason why consistent content creation is important.

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Let’s look at some examples from Quick Sprout…

How to Make Custom Images for Your Blog Posts Without Hiring a Designer

Many beginner marketers don’t have the budget to hire a designer. This post was for them. Some small business owners might also find this article useful.

How to Come Up with Winning A/B Tests Using Data

This post was not meant for newbie marketers. While they will learn a few things, they won’t be able to apply them right away. This post was for marketers working with a significant amount of traffic and looking to increase already substantial profits.

Is It Worth Speaking at Conferences? 

There is a very small portion of marketers who have the opportunity or desire to speak at conferences, and yet I wrote this post—for them. Some beginner marketers might find it interesting and consider speaking at conferences in the future, but it’s unlikely they’ll be able to apply any of the insights right away.

If you happen to run a blog with decent traffic, make sure you create detailed reader personas you can target with each post. Don’t let any important segment feel neglected as you plan your content schedule.

2. “What is the purpose of this post?”

Now that you know who you’re writing the post for, you need to decide what you want the post to accomplish.

In general, a post has 4 purposes:

  • to entertain
  • to solve a problem
  • to encourage discussion
  • to teach (not always the same as solving a problem)

Purpose #1: Entertain

Almost all posts contain entertaining parts, but their main goal is not entertainment. Conversely, some posts have a main goal of being interesting and entertaining, with only a small educational part.

Example: The $100,000 Challenge: May Update

You might learn a few things from each challenge update, but more than anything, they are entertaining. A large portion of Quick Sprout readers have never built a site that’s profitable, and they have a great interest in trying or seeing how it’s done. This post serves as an inspiration to help them move towards their own blogging goals.

Purpose #2: Solve a problem

The fundamental reason why most blogs are created in the first place is to solve a problem for a specific type of reader. That problem is typically large and complex. Each blog post has the opportunity to solve a smaller problem within that overall problem.

Example: How to Engage and Persuade People Through Storytelling

Most marketers know the power of storytelling but struggle to implement it. This is a problem. This particular blog post shows them how to solve this specific problem.

Purpose #3: Encourage discussion

In order to build a community, you need to get your readers to talk. There are many ways to do so, but the main ones are to pose a question or make an outrageous claim or observation.

Example: How to Make $100,000 a Month Within 1 Year

This is a very short post where I laid out the challenge. Not only did I claim the ability to reach a huge goal, but I also asked for your opinions to decide which site I should create. This post is one of the most commented on Quick Sprout with over 2,300 comments.

Purpose #4: Teach

Solving problems and teaching are closely related and often represented in the same blog post. I’d classify teaching as sharing general knowledge your readers need to possess before they can address specific problems. Both are important if your readers are to reach their overall goals (the reason you started your blog).

Example: How to Avoid a Google Penalty

In this article, my readers learn both what causes Google penalties and what precautions they need to take to avoid them. Technically, the reader doesn’t have a problem yet as they don’t have a penalty. In this instance, you could think of teaching as problem prevention.

Multiple Purposes

Some posts combine multiple purposes. For example, the post How Spending $162,301.42 on Clothes Made Me $692,500 is both entertaining and educational as it teaches how much looking your best really means (that sounds more shallow than it is!).

3. “Why will my readers care?”

There is a small but important difference between this question and the previous—“what is the purpose of this post?”—question.

The previous question is about the purpose of the post from your perspective.

This question, however, addresses your readers’ point of view. It will help you frame the blog post.

For example, you may solve a problem with a post, but the reader doesn’t care about the problem. They care about the pain the problem causes.

Why does that matter?

Because there are 2 types of pain points, and both need to be approached differently when writing a blog post.

Type 1: Acute

Acute pains are those that hurt now. You will go to great lengths to solve them. If you find a blog post that tells you how to solve those hurts now, you’re happy to read it. These types of pains (like fixing a Google penalty) are straightforward to write about.

Type 2: Chronic

We often live with a minor pain that comes and goes. It’s not always severe enough to seek out a solution. From a marketing point of view, for example, such a pain might be the stress that comes with a hectic publishing schedule and subpar results.

The problem with trying to solve these pains for people is that almost everyone underestimates how important they are (because they don’t hurt that much right now). Furthermore, we feel that we can live with these pains.

When your blog post solves a chronic pain, you must first focus on making your reader feel the pain before you show them the solution.

If I’m writing about creating a content schedule, for instance, I’m not going to start the post with jumping right into the step-by-step process. I might not even include it in the headline as some people might dismiss it, thinking “I don’t really need that right now.”

Instead, I’d start by illustrating the pain. I’d cite credible statistics about how the lack of a content schedule is the number one reason for failed blogs. I’d describe in detail that without a content schedule, you will never achieve the results of the blogs you admire.

Once a reader relives the pain they’ve felt before, then they are receptive to a solution you present. Then it’s your job to present a solution that actually solves the problem for them.

4. “What is my unique angle?”

Over 7 billion people live on this planet. Most are with reasonably similar points of view.

An original thought is rare.

Type in almost any topic in Google, and you will find hundreds of thousands of relevant articles.

Does that mean you shouldn’t bother blogging at all? No.

Just because a topic has been written about thousands of times doesn’t mean it’s been written in a way that can help your audience in the best way.

You may be able to connect personal experience, opinion, or other seemingly unrelated topics to offer a new perspective. And this perspective is valuable.

When I search for “How to write a good blog post,” I get 270,000 results. But even in the first few results, I can see different angles presented by different authors:

  • how to do it when you lack motivation
  • how to do it fast
  • how to write so that people don’t just skim

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In fact, I’ve written my own take on this topic in my guide to writing a data-driven post.

So, how do you find an angle that no one else has written on?

It starts with research

Before writing any post, read through as many of the best articles on the subject as possible. If you don’t, you might be repeating one of them without even knowing it.

This happens all the time in the startup community. Someone believes they have a novel idea—all because they didn’t research enough to see they already have competition.

Once you know what’s out there, you can put your own perspective on the subject in a number of ways:

  • improve upon an existing angle – e.g., “write a good blog post as fast as a professional typist”
  • add personal stories – all personal experience is unique
  • add your opinion – while it shouldn’t be all about your opinion, your readers follow you because they value what you think
  • combine two topics – e.g., What Einstein Taught Me About Death

Whichever you choose, find a way to present an original angle. The simplest, although not most comprehensive, way to double-check you’ve found a unique angle is to simply search for your headline in quotations. You have a unique angle if you can’t find any other results.

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5. “What’s the best way to present my point?”

Throughout history, authors have expressed themselves through many different forms:

  • poetry
  • song
  • plays
  • books
  • journals
  • stone tablets…

Each form has its own advantages and disadvantages as a means of expressing a message. Some are more entertaining than others, while others are more informative. Some are great for long messages, and others are great for short ones.

When it comes to a blog post, you have a variety of formats to incorporate into your post:

  • text
  • images/gifs
  • video
  • infographics
  • audio
  • embedded social media (tweets, slideshows, etc.)
  • formatting (bullets, bold, font size, etc.)

They each have a specific purpose, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Text

Almost all blogs are built on text. It’s by far the simplest, fastest, and cheapest way to convey a message. But it’s also often not very effective at getting messages across. Reading takes a lot of time, and people can process images up to 60,000 times faster than words.

Images

You can’t create a blog post with just standalone images, but they can be used to enhance your content. Images can quickly convey data in a clear way or provide simple instructions that would otherwise require complex text descriptions. There are many types of images you can use in your posts: charts, screenshots, animations, and more.

Sites, such as Buzzfeed, often base entire articles on images or gifs illustrating their points:

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Video

Some things need to be learned visually, and images may not be enough to help with that. If you’re giving an overview of a tool, it can take several images to show what you need to show. In contrast, a video that’s 30 seconds to 2 minutes long can often show the features in an easier-to-understand way.

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Infographics

If you know me at all, you know I love infographics. Not only do infographics generate more shares than regular posts, they also allow you to quickly highlight the most important aspects of a topic.

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As a bonus, it’s very easy to write a post about a topic and then create an infographic with the key takeaways that can be used for another post.

Audio

Podcasting has exploded in the past few years. There were over 1 billion podcast episode downloads in 2014. But that doesn’t mean you need to create a traditional podcast if your readers like audio. On some posts on the Crazy Egg blog, we embed a short “podcast” that summarizes the content in the article. Anyone who doesn’t like to read can listen instead.

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Interactive content

Interactive content is still fairly underutilized, but it’s a great way to get readers to engage with your blog post. If you can find a way to get a reader to take action on something you mention, it can help illustrate a point you’re trying to make.

Quizzes and calculators help readers learn and apply something immediately. For example, SilkRoad built a truly ugly calculator for their homepage to show prospects how much money they could save on their hiring and training procedures.

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Formatting

Decide which points are most important and need to be emphasized. Format the post so that these are the biggest and bolded on the page. In addition, you can (and should) use formatting to make your article more readable to lower your bounce rate.

Overall, you can prove your point in many ways. Think about which ones you can create and which ones will get your message across more effectively. Don’t be afraid to combine them if you believe it will be most effective.

6. “Does any research need to be done ahead of time?”

The reason that most marketers “get away” with not having a content schedule is because most of the time, they can write a post last minute.

I still don’t think that’s a good idea for a number of reasons, but aside from that, you can’t always write at the last minute.

This means you’ll either have to publish a subpar post (useless) or postpone posting altogether, which can have consequences of its own.

The reason why you can’t always write a post at the last minute is because some of them require work before you even start writing.

Most posts don’t require too much work. I typically spend about an hour researching my topic and finding useful statistics that support my points.

But not all research is like that.

If you need to interview someone, especially someone busy, it can take weeks to schedule a time when you’re both available.

If you need to collect specific data for a post, such as the results of a split test, that also can take weeks or months. For example, Bryan Harris split-tested the effects of removing his sidebar on VideoFruit. He couldn’t have done that overnight.

What if you need to analyze that data? That can take even longer. For example, HubSpot, among other companies, frequently publishes massive reports of benchmarks. The team needs to spend weeks or months collecting the data and finding important trends that can be presented as statistics.

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Ideally, you should ask this question when you first come up with the post idea. At the very least, ask it before you start writing so that you can complete all background work as soon as possible.

7. “Is my deadline reasonable?”

Before you start writing, you should always have a deadline—and a reasonable one at that.

If your deadline is too short, you’ll end up rushing the post and producing mediocre content. We all know how that goes: less traffic, less engagement, and fewer subscribers.

But having a deadline that’s too long isn’t good either.

Work fills the time allotted for it; that’s Parkinson’s law. Extra time gives you an excuse to slack off.

So what you really need is a reasonable deadline.

This means that this particular question has to be asked before you even start writing. It needs to be asked when you’re planning your content schedule.

Don’t have a content schedule? Make one. That’s the only way you’ll be able to produce great posts on a regular basis. It allows you to have a little buffer room in case a post takes longer than expected.

8. “Can I go the extra mile?”

To really stand out in the flood of content online, you need to write exceptional content.

Amazing content has to be many things:

  • interesting
  • useful
  • actionable
  • fun to read

Creating a great blog post is more like crafting a piece of art than simply producing a manual on how to solve a problem.

There are many ways to go the extra mile, but I’d like to highlight a few of my favorites.

a) Custom images

As discussed before, images can help you highlight and reinforce concepts. On top of that, they can be entertaining. Some blogs regularly use comics and images to illustrate key points:

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b) Spreadsheets

If you’re writing a blog post that advocates using a spreadsheet to solve a problem, give your readers a sample or template. This will increase the chances of them taking action. You can even use this as a content upgrade.

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c) Checklists

If you write a step-by-step guide, what’s more useful than a checklist? Create a simple checklist, and let your readers download it. Again, they will be more likely to use it and to associate any positive result that comes from its use with you.

d) Back up claims

When I write, I try to back up all statements with credible references. It’s the main principle of writing data-driven posts. References help readers trust you and your posts more than a simple opinion.

9. “How does this lead into my next post?”

At some point during the planning, writing, or editing process, ask yourself this question.

When you consider your next post, you have the opportunity to create cliffhangers. Make a note somewhere in the post about a related topic that you’ll be covering shortly in the future.

Additionally, knowing what you’ll be posting about next is extremely important if you’re about to launch a product. You need to write your post while keeping in mind what role it will play in your launch. It may be a case study, an educational post, or a post that highlights a chronic pain.

During the launch, you’ll email your subscribers a mixture of content and information about your product. It often makes sense to include links to recent blog posts to support your case studies or to educate subscribers—but only if you’ve planned relevant posts.

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10. “How will I promote this post?”

Just like it’s a good idea to plan your content in advance, it’s also a good idea to plan your promotion.

Not all forms of content promotion need to be considered during the writing of your blog post, but some do.

One of my favorite tactics is to simply email everyone I mention in a post, letting them know that I enjoyed their particular post and that I linked to it in my article. Most of them will be happy to read it and share it with their audiences if they liked my post.

Before you publish your post, carefully go through it to see if you missed any opportunity to mention someone’s work.

Note that while you could mention someone for the sake of getting a bit of extra traffic, I do recommend linking only to posts and resources that add value to your post.

11. “Will I repurpose this post?”

Repurposing content is one of the best ways to bring down the cost of each individual piece of content you produce.

If you have a limited budget, this is how you can consistently publish high quality posts.

If you ask yourself this question before you start writing, it will make your life a lot easier.

How?

Imagine if you’re writing a blog post and also plan to turn it into an infographic. Instead of having to pull out all your stats and main points later, you can put them into a secondary text file as you’re writing the post.

In addition, you can paste the URLs that you’ll put at the bottom as your sources in that document instead of going through your blog post later to get them one by one.

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12. “What do I want readers to do after reading this?”

Blogs can have many purposes, but each blog post should help you accomplish each one.

Let’s hope that by the end of a blog post, you’ve imparted some wisdom to your readers or discussed an important problem or topic.

There are two things you should include at the end of each post.

First, while you may think it’s obvious what your readers should do next, it usually isn’t that obvious to them.

You need to spell it out. Tell them exactly what they should do with the information in the post.

Secondly, include some sort of call to action (CTA). At this point, they’ve taken the time to read your whole post, so they obviously found it useful. This is your chance to ask for a small “payment” for the post.

Common CTAs include asking your readers to comment by answering a question (my favorite), asking them to share on social media, or asking them to sign up to your list.

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You might find that one type of CTA is more important to your business than another, so focus on that, and mix in the others when appropriate.

13. “How will I measure success?”

One of the hardest things about blogging for a business is tracking the results.

Not all posts are created equal. Some take weeks to write, others take hours. Some have custom images, some don’t. And almost all posts address different topics, which makes them hard to compare.

While we generally look to see whether we increased the number of backlinks, comments, or shares over a long period of time, these metrics aren’t very useful when determining if a single post is successful or not.

But we also know that the vast majority of engagement or results come within the first week or two of publishing a post. That gives us a time frame we can use to evaluate the results of each post individually.

Before you write the post, and while you are editing the post, ask yourself how you will measure its success.

Some posts are made to generate links and social shares, e.g., roundup posts.

Others are made to generate discussion, e.g., my earlier example of my $100,000 per month challenge introduction.

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Yet others are written to build relationships with influencers. A post can give you a reason to reach out and give them something of value.

You should regularly review the results of your past posts. The idea isn’t to deem each one a failure or success but to learn what does and doesn’t work for your business and your audience.

Conclusion

Nothing in this article is particularly complicated to apply—that’s the point.

These are simple questions you should ask yourself through your content creation process to make sure you don’t forget anything important.

I’ve put together a basic checklist you can print out and keep at your desk if you’d like: download it here.

I’ve said it before: consistency leads to success. Get in the habit of answering these questions for every post, and you will produce better content on a regular basis.

Now I have a question for you, which I’d like you to answer by leaving a comment below.

Which of the questions in this article is most important for your blog?

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Comments

  1. Eduardo Cornejo :

    Hey Neil,

    Great post. I’ve always thought of my articles or blogging mentality as solving a problem. Now that you mention it, looking to create a discussion is also a wise move.

    Maybe to follow up on this, do a post on how to create controversy and bring in comments (without hurting your own image).

    Thanks again! 🙂

    Eduardo

    • Eduardo, just posing questions honestly should do the trick. That’s the surest way to build trust with your readers.

  2. Amazing post Neil, thanks for sharing. I’m amazed that you can churn out this huge amount of quality content so regularly.

    • Christopher Pontine :

      Hey Manu,

      I scratch my head on that too, on finding time to write.

      But a thing to keep in mind is:

      This is his profession, so maybe we slave away at a desk for 8 hours trying to make it.

      He has the ability to sit down and construct a post around topics we reach out to him for.

      Thanks,

      Christopher Pontine

      • Christopher and Manu — thanks for sharing. It’s true, I just allocate a ton of resources to writing which makes it possible.

        • Anil Agarwal :

          I personally admire how you craft your blog posts. The intro, body and the conclusion, you’ve mastered the art of content creation Neil.

          2 cents from my side before blogging. Ask yourself is it really helpful for others or am I doing it just for the sake of posting.

          Its important to know the “why” factor.

  3. Christopher Pontine :

    Hey Neil,

    Great Post:

    I think one thing you do great, which you touched on in a comment a few days back is solving problems, and realize what we want to read.

    I never actually realized that:

    I just though, dude how does he realize what we want. Well Duh, you pay attention and analyze it.

    Thanks for a great post,

    Christopher Pontine

    • Christopher, thanks for the feedback. That’s very true — I try to get into everyone’s head to provide the best content possible.

  4. Neil it’s the best post ever for those who are struggling with blogging get into any successful persons life nd you will find there why? It is so important My Why @ Startupinstructions.com help you finding your why for anything

  5. Nausheen Siddiqui :

    Hey Neil,

    I was drafting my post when I got email notifying that you have new post here.

    Excitement to read your valuable advice keeps me here; I’m here 🙂

    Well if I take example of my start-up – AdorableShe.com my blog is all about using products & providing genuine reviews to my readers.

    As you said, I always keep readers perspective in mind while drafting posts – what to write in blog that my readers will enjoy reading here than landing anywhere else.

    What you suggest for a blog that write on beauty product reviews? How to make it interesting except making & adding videos in posts.

    xoxo 🙂

  6. Great post Neil! I put a lot of content out on my site and found the part you wrote about “What is the purpose of this post?” really insightful.

    Thanks again for the great info!

    Alan

  7. Hi Neil,

    Great post!

    There is so much that goes into coming up with and writing a great article. I really like the first type of content; acute pain is much easier to help them solve than minor pains people often underestimate.

    Keep it coming!

    Best,
    Djohny Al.

  8. Great points discussed Neil. I will follow up this now for my blog. Thanks 🙂

  9. One of the points more interestings for me is “What do I want readers to do after reading this?” Actually the risk is often understimate the why you are blogging. Thanks Neil

    • Alex, it’s a great question to ask whenever you are writing anything — thanks for the feedback.

  10. Great post. I miss to look few of the questions which you mentioned before writing a post. But with the help of this article I came to know well how to plan and take care of all the things.
    Thank you for sharing these tips…

  11. Cathy Goodwin :

    Hi Neil, Good post that works even more for guest posts, with lots of overlap with sales letters.

    Re research, one trick is to keep a list of topics and make a note as you come across something that might add to the topic. Then when you’re ready to write, you might have 10 to 20 thoughts from different places.

    One for the bookmarks!

  12. Nilantha Jayawardhana :

    Awesome post Neil. Thanks.

    I agree with you. Quality is the key factor of a successful blogger. Every beginner should takes time to plan your blog or website before start the journey.

    When I am going to start my journey, I considered about following questions.

    Question 01: Why am I starting a blog?
    Question 02: What is my niche?
    Question 03: What is the platform?
    Question 04: Design of my blog?
    Question 05: How to build traffic?

    I think it is the reason for my first conversion. I could earn $125 within the first month of my blog and I wrote a post about the my first conversion.

    http://www.woblogger.com/how-i-made-125-within-first-month-of-my-new-blog/

    • Great questions to be asking — I also like how you broke it down into a numerical value for yourself.

  13. Julie Woods :

    Neil,

    I read your blogs every week, but this is the first time I’ve been to comment, because this article is so valuable! I had to share with all my blogging buddies!

  14. Nate Johnson :

    Neil,

    This is great required reading for any aspiring blogger. I recently started a blog about marketing automation, a field I really love and work in every day. That being said I started cranking out articles on tips and tricks more from an SEO standpoint than an actual intended reader standpoint. After reading your post here I admittedly feel a bit guilty.

    I love that you throw down the gauntlet of creating avatars you are writing to. I almost feel like I should create these and post them on the wall next to my computer. In all reality if it isn’t written to resonate with these people it will unlikely be found and if so, the content won’t hit it’s intended target…

    Thanks for another great lesson Mr. Patel,

    Nate Johnson

    • Nate, glad I could help. I think at the end of the day it’s all about providing value and the best way to do that is to come up with unique creative content for your readers.

  15. Rajkaran Singh :

    Thanks for such valuable information. I have become regular reader of your blog. You are awesome. I agree that we should write quality post or nothing. Now that is going to improve my writing a lot. Thanks again.

  16. hi Neil sir it was fantastic fortunately i cover everything

  17. Hey Neil,

    Great post again

    in My point of view content is most importance factor. You can put external link whatever you like but all are relevant about your content like your post. if your content is easy to understand with info graphic images. this is really good for your blog. In this post is so nice for new blogging our friends. They easy understand about blogging post.

    Thanks
    Webleonz

    • Webleonz, glad you find it helpful. Let me know if you need help with anything else.

      • Sure Neil, I will Update you when I have in problem. however I got lots of ideas from your blog and implement in our website and got result in SERP.

  18. Hi Neil,
    thanks

    I always reading your blog since six months.I always learning new thing from your blog post.I also want to become a blogger and earn money . I am 42 year old.My English writing is not good.please can you tell me how to improve my self and get motivated.if you write any thing little bit for me for motivation me . I shall be very grateful to you.

    thanks.

    • Sudhir, thanks for all the support. I think you just have to keep practicing — reading helps a lot too.

  19. Neil, could you consider doing a post on the most important WordPress plug-ins to have from your experiences? Like what you recommend for SEO, blocking comment spam, website security and/or backup, emails/newsletters, etc. Thanks!

  20. Hi Neil, It is a great post.

    And I always thought about while writing, “Why I am writing this” And when I find the reason I did very good…

    Thanks for sharing..

  21. David Throop :

    Neil,
    As always, great post. Writing with an idea about the NEXT post is an important point.

    You said it’s especially important when pre-launch of a product, but I’d say it’s important to have some idea, even if granular, about what you might write next. It helps with the continuity, as well as helping stay on track with your content calendar.

    I know that I fall into the trap of writing something that seems like a great topic or idea at the time, done the research and it confirms my thoughts, but after its published, there’s no continuity with any following posts.

    Thanks again for always providing such great stuff. Always inspiring and raising the bar for the rest of us!

    • David, glad I can help. I think it’s important to create a continuum of content that works off other content. Thanks for the feedback.

  22. Deepak Mehta :

    Hi, Neil,
    An excellent article like every article, I have read in last three months. I am a newcomer to this arena of blogging. The most critical question or the step that is still an enigma to me is the doing a research and compiling the material to form a blog post. That also applies to finding references for the squeeze pages which makes your blog post more relevant and interesting. I know I am new. In fact, all the steps or questions you mentioned are important and very appropriate for writing any blog for that matter.
    Thanks for this very resourceful and benchmark article. For me, it is very timely.

  23. Sherman Smith :

    Hey Neil,

    You provided a list of great questions to ask and I can say that I ask myself half of these questions before I start a blog.

    I believe for most blogger, including myself in the novice days, that there’s a fear to write for just one person. Why? Because you feel like your missing out on a bigger audience. I know now that this is powerful when it comes to marketing your content and you’ll attract more than you anticipated.

    But besides that each of these,questions need to be considered before you write your post and afterwards. It does make a big positive difference in your results.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!

    • Sherman, you ideally want to capture the largest audience possible. However, you also want to make sure your post is relevant — that’s always a conundrum.

  24. Thank´s,

    It´s a great post, just incredible!

  25. The most important question is #2.5…Where does the purpose (MY point-of-view) intersect with why the readers will care (AUDIENCE point-of-view)? Really good decision point 🙂

  26. Anyone who wants to be a successful blogger should read this. It’s very helpful and makes one take a second-thought and look to the right direction.

  27. Hi Neil’
    Incredible post once again. I like very much your style of writing posts. “What is the purpose of this post?”is the one i like most. Every one should answer ourselves to this QUESTION to create blog posts angels admire.

    After reading many more blogs, i’d say one thing clearly here that your blog is the top one on my mind to not miss anything from you. Keep up.

    Anyway, thank you very much.

  28. Hi Neil,

    Definitely all these questions we should ask ourselves before blogging.
    We should have in mind what is the purpose to write a content! We should realize the readers needs and solve their problems. It does not mean to write unnecessarily with out thinking our audience.

    Really i was not aware all of these important question in my blogging life past years.
    It is worth to read such kind of valuable post.

    Thanks for sharing this great article with us. Keep it up!

    Have a nice day.

  29. Deependra Kumar :

    This post is really relevant to the person like me, Neil, Beautiful indeed. Neil, i am a regular reader of your blog, i follow your guidelines and try my best to implement as well. You are just an idle person for me as far as my professional life is concerned. I always try to learn new things as you update your blog regularly. Neil, i have just one question for you! I am an Internet marketing professional, i am in the process to create my own blog. That blog will mainly cover the area – Spirituality, Health, Education and something relate to all these. I have a good knowledge of all these – not only the good knowledge but practical knowledge. I have also a range of ideas of all these aspects, but problem is i am not an effective writer. Because i am not a content writer, and for this reason my English and related part like Grammar is not at the peak. What to do to overcome this problem? Can you help me become a good writer in this aspect? Thanks,

    Your kind Reader – Deependra!

    • Deependra, it’s a problem many people come to me with. If you aren’t a great writer don’t worry you can practice. Just read a lot and keep a consistent writing regiment to get better.

  30. Paul Anthony :

    Hi Neil,

    Awesome content! As an aspiring blogger and online marketer, these 13 questions are very valuable specially question # 3 “Why will my readers care”. As I tend to only teach or share my own perspective without even really considering my readers point of view. I need to listen and relate more to them (their pains) thru my own experiences and storytelling, so I could serve them better by producing valuable contents.

    Will definitely use the checklist. Can’t wait for your next post!

    Thanks!

    • Paul, thanks for the feedback. Let me know if you need any help along the way. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  31. I am happy to read your article. I learn how you discuss it in depth. It will make the readers satisfied because your descriptions are very complete. Thank you.

  32. Antoniya K Zorluer :

    Fantastic post as usual, Neil! The value you provide your readers with is truly impressive. I really loved the fact that you have the list as a downloadable PDF, I just saw it as I was thinking “how should I best save this to use next time I write a blog post”. You’re awesome!

  33. Thanks Neil!
    a. what website do you use to make infografics that are Copyable? and are they readble by Google as text is?
    b. i write a blog in Hebrew. there is not much useful statistics about SEO in Hebrew. If i use English statistics, how do you recommend presenting them, that it will not confuse my readers?

    • Marin.

      1. I have a designer make them. The text within the post is readable but not the image
      2. You can write a short blurb in Hebrew, then have your image be in English.

  34. Who is this post for.

    I still have lots to learn about blogging, but one question I ask myself is this. ( is this post for a startup or old business owner ? ) I try to write them for both.

    Q: ?

    Do you think startups or old business owners that need information are best to write for ?

    I currently try to give information and some small tips & tricks I’ve leaned from others like yourself and mistakes of my own to save people time and money.

    Thank you.

    Marc.

    • Marc, whatever you have a passion for and expertise in is what you should write for in my opinion.

      • What if you love it all ?

        Startups are more rewarding, but business owners pay the bills. I’m not the best but I’m ok at marketing and some parts of of SEO.

        My one business out rank all all my competitors and some big names for my keywords.

        Is it possibly for you to follow me back on Twitter please Neil so I can talk offline about a massive opportunity that could pull 10 millions each year easy with your SEO skills and my brand ?

        Thank you.

        Marc.

  35. Ritoban Chakrabarti :

    I’ve always felt that discipline is the key to success with blogging. And it’s really REALLY difficult to be able to pump out thousands of words a day CONSISTENTLY no matter what happens in your business.

    I’ll try to keep myself disciplined from now on. Thanks for this post.

  36. BramaMobile :

    Hi Neil, Thank you very very much for sharing a very helpful article.

  37. Hi Neil,
    Thanks for your detail of guides. I have learnt many things in your blog. In this post I like step forth. I think the post more different more get the reader

  38. Themba Mkandla :

    Your articles are always so packed with value. Thanks Neil.

  39. Mudasar khan :

    ok so that was some thing to which i was looking for. A great article sir . It took me out of confusion. Thanks for this sir

  40. Thanks for the great advice. I used to post everyday and got some constant traffic. However, when I started to post once every week, the social engagement increased a lot. Thanks for the advice.

  41. Sonam Asrani :

    Hey Neil,

    Whenever, I land on your page I do learn things, which are very important for a blogger to know. All these tips are very important.

    Very comprehensive post, though it took me time to read the full post, But at last, I learnt something. Thanks. 🙂

  42. Dr. Rin Porter :

    Neil, thanks for this post. It reminded me to go through all the steps before I publish. The hardest one for me is #2 – purpose. I often find that I want to write about something, but I fail to stop and think why. I appreciate this list of 13 questions and will use it regularly.

  43. Great job, it is nice and very interesting for us.

  44. Sebastian Criz :

    No doubt it is all important! Friend, be amazed by the size of this article: Congratulations and already am a fan!

  45. Christine DeAza :

    These are ALL good!
    BTW Got done with the first Quick Sprout Chapter.

  46. Shivani Sharma :

    Hello Neil, I know U’ve already heard it ten of thousands of time before but I also wanna tell you, All ur posts are like life savers. Quicksprout is first in the list of my bookmarks and I open it every alternate day and always find awesome stuff. Thanks for sharing these anmol knowledge 🙂
    Neil I have an Indian movies blog which have 10k+ avg. pageviews daily and a Love & Relationship niche based blog with 5k+ PV daily. I’m currently monetizing them with Adsense. But I’m not happy with the CTR and CPC I’m getting. So I want to know what monetizing strategies I can use to get best out of my entertainment niche audience. I hope U heard what I’m saying and U’ll reply my comment. Waiting.

  47. Rahul Sharma :

    Hey Neil,

    Another great article i have a question about blogging. How can i get ad-sense approved with in three months. please help me how much content and images required for the blog. Thank you for writing about blogging.

    I am grateful to reading your blog.

    Thank You
    Have a Good Day!

    @AMRahulSharma

  48. Hi Neil, its interesting and truth told at all levels…working on a blog, will seek help as and when needed….hope you don’t mind. Your approach to entire blogging structure is fantastic and step by step guidance for starters as well as for seasoned is awesome, and above all you are a blessing to many.

  49. Hmm, they look to be too many questions. When I started by blog I only thought Why not? Not thinking of making any money out of it. It was just to use some of my free time. At the beginning.

  50. Nicci Bateman :

    Neil these recent posts about blogging are amazing, so helpful and easy to action points. Thanks for the checklist

  51. Simply Amazing!
    Also share updates about the Nutrition Blog Neil. Please. I’m following every step and waiting for next.

  52. Really nice Blog i got informative tips thanks for Sharing

  53. Aarti Agarwal :

    Hello Neil

    this is Amazing Post I like it It is Very important , For About Blogging Question Keep on Very helpful Guideline
    Have a Nice Day

  54. Abhishek Jha :

    Thank you Neil for keep us updated with the progress.

    I have also started one blog http://digitaldrench.com/. Lets see how this goes.

  55. Mohit Chauhan :

    Really awesome post as usual, Neil! The info you provide to your readers is truly impressive. I really loved the fact that you have the list as a downloadable PDF, I just saw it….You’re simply awesome!

  56. Thanks , I have just been looking for info about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered till now. However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you positive in regards to the source?

  57. I find it hard to answer “What is my unique angle?” Your example gave me a new life by combining keyword + condition. Also it is not always to find something that nobody write, but it can also be writing a better version if the available version isn’t good enough.

    • Tan, it’s definitely a tough question to answer. Finding that unique angle can make or break your traffic numbers though.

  58. Cathy Mayhue :

    You have just explained the ‘science of blogging’ and I think, I will be going through this blog again and again to actually find out how a wildly shareable blog should be written. A unique point that I found here was, why a reader should care? I guess this is the most important part and made complete sense to me, any body who cracked this are one on their way to write an excellent and very attractive post.

  59. Read many posts about “how our blog should be” but this one found very specific and easily understanding.

    Thanks for the nice article.

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  61. Hey Neil, I asked a question above but haven’t got reply 🙁 I want to know ur views upon how an Entertainment niche blog can be best monetized other than Adsense. Thanks.

    • Shivshi, it may have went to spam — apologies.

      The best way to monetize would be to provide content that is valuable. Have you thought about an e-book?

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  96. Great tips. Plenty of things to take on board. Ultimately it’s important that content is written so with a purpose. Referencing and backing up everything you say with sources is something which greatly increases credibility.

  97. Read many posts about “how our blog should be” but this one found very specific and easily understanding.

  98. Hello Neil..

    Thank You For Sharing This..

    I am new at blogging and your blog help me to begin my journey..

    once again.. thank you for sharing this.. 🙂

  99. Steven Mack :

    Neil, I am always amazed at the value you provide in every single post you write!
    I have regularly mentioned your name to all of my friends and colleagues as an inspiration. You have a way of constructing post’s that beginning marketers can truly enjoy and I can definitely see how you have a way of targeting each segment of your audience!

    I read your posts in my spare time, work time and everywhere in between. (I actually slipped away from a party this past weekend because I could not wait to read more of what you had to say).

  100. Linda Schrier :

    Hi Neil,

    Tremendous post and it was written in such a way everyone can understand. It’s quality that counts.

    I always need to remember who I’m writing to, who my audience is.

    I just started researching the things I blog about now and I see how important it really is. I never thought to do a google search for a title. That is a cool idea.

    I’m just getting into graphics and they really do make a difference and I am learning how to plan ahead before I do a blog post.

    A CTA is a must and should be simple and clear.

    Thank you for a wonderful post and you have an awesome weekend.

    Linda

  101. Hi Neil, another great post

  102. Thanks a lot man! I discovered your site and now has turned into a regular reader.

    Congratulations!

  103. Mokter Hossain :

    Hi Neil,
    This is really a great tutorial to write an effective blog post. I believe if anyone follow this his/her blog post will be high quality.
    Thanks for this 🙂

  104. this site is really very inspirational and conducive . I would like to create a mathematics blog where I am intended to show the very basic math concept in an intuitive way and as I am currently unemployed So I would like to make some money also from this blog.is it possible or not?I am extremely beholden to you for your response .

    • Humnath, you should definitely create one – I think you’d provide a lot of value if you created a blog on that topic.

      Let me know how it goes and if you need help along the way.

      • Thank you very much for encouragement sir but many people are saying that educational blogs can’t earn any money online is it true sir ? Thank you very much for your time.

        • Humnath — they are misinformed — you can get a ton of money from educational blogs.

          • I am extremely gratitude for such exhorting response but as there are millions of website on math topics along with millions of freely available ebooks on math how am I supposed to perform or create my blog to really make money overcoming such vast crowd? I am ecstatically waiting for your response. Thank you very much

  105. Neil, I knew you watching your interview with the CEO of Hotmart, here in Brazil.

    You’re amazing, this post is simple perfect. I love all your tips!

    🙂

  106. The knowledge you give is so valuable, every single post i read from you is amazing! I can’t get enough! I’m putting all the knowledge I have gained from you to work and I’m noticing results. Thank you so much!

  107. Hi. I just created a blog in blogger. The blogger is about Photos. Everybody can see the photo posts. But only the registered users can post new photos I wanna add a function to login with facebook or google + for new users that wanna post photos. How do i do that? Or is it even possible?

  108. Great piece. Money follows passion, but you can’t let passion blind you to the realities of the world.

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  110. Greetings to you! The question I find most applicable to my blog on WordPress.com is “Who is this post for?” because the field in which I write is not the most popular field. It is that of Theology (Christian & otherwise). More and more people are non-religious or anti-religious these days, so the target audience I aim for is particular and not very broad. It includes Christians of all types and denominations, and also Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews maybe and people of other faiths. And people searching for religious answers. So that is that. Who will be interested in my blog called “Theological Things” by ern4yeshua?

    Thanks Neil. I have been reading a few of your posts/articles.

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