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How To Write SEO-Friendly Blog Posts From Start To Finish [Ep. 74]

By Jessie Festa. This episode on writing SEO-friendly articles contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Interested in learning how to write SEO-friendly blog posts?

Well, you’re in luck, as in this episode of The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast, we’ll be focusing on how to write blog posts for SEO step by step.

By the end of this episode, you’ll understand:

  • How to write an SEO-optimized blog post from start to finish
  • Tips for choosing the best keywords to optimize your blog post for
  • SEO best practices to keep in mind when creating content
  • The best ways to drive traffic to your blog posts
  • And more!

In short, you’ll have a complete plan for writing a blog post step by step from scratch!

How To Write SEO-Friendly Blog Posts [Podcast Episode Audio]

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts/iTunes

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Prefer video? The following video also shares tips for writing a blog post from scratch (though is a slightly different script from the podcast). Feel free to listen/watch both for bonus tips:

Free Travel Blogger Resource Library

To help you really jumpstart your blogging success, I’ve added 55+ blogging resources like printables, video tutorials, and workbooks into a FREE resource library for travel bloggers – and this includes a Blog Post From Scratch Template to help you create SEO-optimized content from start to finish.

These resources are meant to help you grow your traffic, community, and income faster and with less overwhelm!

Master Writing Blog Posts For SEO With These Helpful Tools:

Travel Blog Prosperity. Snag access to 80+ courses plus over $2k in bonuses – all meant to help you grow your traffic, community, and income. If you’re interested in the discounted first month offer mentioned in the episode, email me at jessie (at) jessieonajourney (dot) com with the subject “Travel Blog Prosperity discount” and I’ll send you a coupon!

Jasper AI (formerly Jarvis). Use the power of artificial intelligence to quickly create content outlines, generate blog post ideas, write articles, and more. Here is also a guide on how to use AI to write blog posts.

Keysearch (snag 30% off with code “jessieonajourney30”). When it comes to doing keyword research to write an SEO-friendly blog post, my favorite tool is Keysearch – which helps me consistently rank my content at the top of Google search results!

Surfer SEO. This tool is like employing an SEO expert on your team (without the 4-figure monthly price tag). You’ll get specific recommendations tailored to your blog for how to optimize your blog posts for SEO and rank in organic search results. You can see my video tutorial here, too:

woman learning how to write SEO-friendly blog posts from start to finish

How To Write A Blog Post From Start To Finish [Episode Transcript]

You probably know it’s important to create great blog content that is valuable to your readers.

Maybe you’ve heard that you should also optimize this content for keywords, or that it’s helpful to niche down and continuously write about the same topics to establish your authority.

But, I’m curious: do you have a repeatable workflow for creating SEO-optimized blog content?

If not, then this episode is for you, as I’ll be sharing a step-by-step strategy for how to write a blog post from scratch – and optimize it to rank in Google search results and bring you blog traffic.

The importance of SEO in blog writing

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, can get complicated; however, at a basic level, understand that your goal is to create a great user experience. This involves things like making sure your site is speedy and secure, and that your content answers the questions your audience is asking – which is where keyword research comes in.

To accurately answer these questions, you really should have the experience and knowledge to properly do so. You know, as someone who has never raised kids, I have no business writing parenting articles.

This is why niching down is so helpful – you not only make it clear to your audience what you’re an expert on, but also to Google. And Google likes to rank blogs that are trustworthy, accurate, and that demonstrate first-hand experience with the topics they’re covering.

So, just keep this is mind as you create your annual content plan.

Additionally, it’s important to realize that SEO is about so much more than just optimizing individual posts for keywords. You really want to spend time creating a robust SEO strategy that helps you offer an incredible user experience across your entire site.

Okay, so on that note, let’s dive into the strategy. Keep in mind, this is the way I do things. My blog gets over 100,000 monthly pageviews and I’m quite good at getting content to rank at the top of page #1 results, so I do know what I’m talking about.

That being said, of course, there may be other experts who do things a bit differently. Also, SEO is an ever-evolving process and Google updates its algorithm constantly, so do try to keep up with best practices.

Now, let’s kick off our strategy on how to write an SEO-friendly blog post from start to finish with…

Step #1: Define your main goal with the blog post

Are you simply looking to grow your traffic? Is this a post optimized for affiliate clicks or sales of your own digital product?

This will be important when we move to the next step where we start doing keyword research, because you want to make sure that your main keyword aligns with your goal.

For example, if your goal is related to affiliate marketing for bloggers and you want to get people to click your Expedia affiliate links, you should choose a keyword that attracts people looking to book a hotel.

On that note, let’s move on to…

Step #2: Choose a main keyword

Again, this should be related to your blog brand, niche, and main content pillars.

You really want to choose a keyword that you can realistically rank for – meaning, you have the topic authority and you can beat out the other articles that are already ranking.

There are a few strategies I like to use to find keywords, including:

  • Starting with a general idea that I want to write about and then doing research in a keyword research tool to find the best possible main keyword to use
  • Doing a competitor keyword analysis, which means seeing what keywords other blogs in your niche that you can reasonably compete with are ranking for, and trying to create content around those that is even better
  • Researching Zero Search Volume Keywords that can allow you to outrank forum posts – which I have to thank Nina Clapperton of She Knows SEO for teaching in my Travel Blog Prosperity membership; it’s such a powerful strategy that I think many bloggers aren’t utilizing

Now, you may be thinking “how the heck do I find out this information?”

Well, I use Keysearch, which is a budget-friendly yet robust keyword research tool that will allow you to do all of the strategies I just mentioned. Click here and use code JESSIEONAJOURNEY for 20% off!

Learn SEO & keyword research

I’ll also add that if you’d like guidance on these keyword research strategies, I have workshops on all of them – as well as other SEO tactics – in my Travel Blog Prosperity membership. Doors are technically closed right now, but if you email me at jessie (at) jessieonajourney (dot) com I can give you a coupon to try out your first month for just $9, and then you can cancel at any time – even before the discounted month is over.

Just note that discount offer is for new members only at the time of this episode going live and may not be valid in the future.

Can you do keyword research for free?

Now, you may also be thinking, “Is there a free way to find these things out?”

I’d say there are tools that give you ideas for travel blog posts and keywords; but in my experience, I haven’t found any free tools that truly give you the full picture to really optimize your content for SEO, especially when we move on to the next steps and we’re collecting even more keywords for our content.

Okay, once you have your main keyword, it’s time to move on to the next part of our how to write SEO-friendly blog posts strategy….

Step #3: Check the search intent of your blog post

This is one of the most overlooked steps when it comes to writing SEO-optimized blog content.

You want to make sure that what you plan on writing matches what is actually ranking in Google.

To do this, Google your main keyword and see what comes up. Are there other blog posts answering the same question you set out to answer? If so, that’s a good initial indication the intent matches.

Okay, now let’s continue to chat about SEO blog writing with…

Step #4: Find additional keywords to include in the blog post

While you’re optimizing for your main keyword, it shouldn’t be the only keyword you aim to rank for.

This is why, when people ask me if I ever optimize content for low volume keywords, I remind them that your posts should be getting traffic from more than just one keyword. You want many different keywords to bring your article pageviews.

So in Keysearch, I will look at:

Related keywords – which are typically variations of the main keyword, like NYC solo travel vs traveling New York City solo

Must words – also known as Latent Semantic Index keywords, which are words and phrases found in many of the first page results

Ranking keywords – I’ll also look at the keywords that other first page results are ranking for – so this is basically another form of competitor research

As I do this research, I create a long list of keywords that I want to include in my blog post.

Which brings me to the next piece in our strategy on how to write a good blog post for SEO…

Step #5: Create an SEO-optimized blog post outline

Creating an outline not only helps you write blog posts faster, but it can also help you implement on page SEO as you create your content.

My first step with this is to look at the blog posts already ranking on the first page. What questions do they answer? What sections do they include?

Because your goal is to create the most in-depth piece of content that exists on the topic, you want to make sure you answer those – and more.

Now, I want to make one thing very, very clear: You 100% should not copy and plagiarize anyone’s work. However, you do want to do research.

When I’m writing blog content, I’m always thinking “How can I make my article even better than what is already out there?”

So consider ways to make your content more clear, digestible, and actionable.

One your outline is created, it’s time for…

Step #6: Write your SEO-friendly blog post

Now it’s time to create your incredibly valuable and helpful content. This content should really keep the reader in mind including what they’re looking for and what questions they’re seeking answers to.

In terms of optimizing content for Search Engine Optimization, you want to include the keywords from your longer list in your blog post.

When it comes to how to write SEO-friendly blog posts, you should include your main keyword in:

  • Your blog post title
  • The meta title + description
  • URL or post slug
  • Within a few sub-headings
  • Within the content itself
  • Within image alt text if it makes sense organically – because above all else alt text is meant to describe the images you use for those who are visually impaired
  • Within image names – for instance, instead of DSC1234.jpg, I’ll name it something like “NYC-solo-travel-Central-Park.jpg”

Building on SEO, make sure to add any relevant links to past posts you’ve published within the content. Backlinks are an important part of any SEO strategy.

You might also add an FAQ section, which can make the post more robust while helping you add more keywords. Plus, it can increase the chances of these questions appearing directly in Google search results – which can help increase your click-through rate.

You also should think about ways to help this content help you. This means adding affiliate links to bookable actions, promoting your opt-in freebie to grow your email list, or mentioning your own digital products if it makes sense.

Ready for the next step in our strategy on how to write SEO-friendly blog posts?…

Step #7: Finalize your blog post

Add your:

You should also thoroughly proofread – because if your post is full of errors people will not trust what you have to say.

Once you’re ready, it’s time for…

Step #8: Publish and promote

Once you hit publish, the work doesn’t stop there. First of all, make sure to link your new post from your other relevant content to help improve SEO.

You also want to promote the post like crazy via:

  • Your email list
  • Social media – utilizing each platform’s best practices to really improve your reach
  • Pinterest
  • An Instagram Story
  • Google Web Stories

Really anywhere you have an audience, get eyes on that new content.

Alright, now I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you feel inspired and empowered to create SEO-friendly blog content.

Don’t forget to grab access to my free resource library for bloggers. There are a ton of resources in there that can help you better understand how to write SEO-friendly blog posts.

Also, I know this episode was a bit more technical than usual, so again, if you found any of the concepts discussed confusing – SEO, link building, affiliate marketing, content planning, site structure, traffic – we discuss all of it and more in the courses included in Travel Blog Prosperity. And remember, if you’re interested you can email me at jessie (at) jessieonajourney (dot) com to get your first month for just $9 to try out.

And of course, make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes sharing these bite-sized strategies for bloggers who want to turn their blogs into profitable full-time businesses.

Happy blogging!


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Write Better Blog Posts With These Helpful Past Episodes:

Create A Streamlined Blogging Schedule In 3 Steps

How To Overcome Creative Block As A Blogger

How To Create A Gift Guide For Your Blog

How To Create & Monetize A Blog Series

How To Come Up With Blog Post Ideas People Actually Read

Use This Template To Make A Blog Content Calendar

12-Step Content Creation Checklist For Bloggers

7-Step Blog Post Promote Checklist – Trello Board Included

How To Update Your Content For Increased Traffic

How To Use AI To Create Blog Content

How To Sell Your Blog For Profit

Click here for all profitable blogging podcast episodes.

What would you add to this guide on how to write SEO-friendly blog posts?