I’m making this blog post for myself. It’s an ongoing compilation of everything I’ve learned about writing a blog post. Hopefully it helps you too.
Step 1: What is the blog post about in plain english?
For example, in plain english, this blog post is about how to write a blog post. Or maybe we can make it slightly more interesting: how to write a blog post in a strategic way. That’s a little more interesting, but the idea is still easy to communicate in plain english.
Step 2: What are the 3 things I want to say about the topic?
This is like a high school essay. You have the intro and the outro, then you have the 3 main body paragraphs in the middle. So what are the 3 things I want to say?
I don’t to make this a “meta” post. In other words, I don’t want to use “how to write a blog post” as the example in this post. Let’s use one from my actual business. Here is the plain english idea:
How to write a tech house bass line using a sine wave.
What are the three things I want to say?
- You need to write the bass line
- You need to program the bass patch
- You need to process the bass sound
That’s a natural way to organize the information in a helpful way for the reader. Now I just need to fill in the post.
Step 3: Fill in the outline.
Let’s start with the intro. What does this do? Well, it’s supposed to entice people to keep reading. So I need to introduce the topic and mention some of the things the reader will learn and explain how they’ll benefit from the things they’ll learn. Something like this:
In this post, you’ll learn how to write, synthesize, and process a tech house bass line in Ableton Live using a sine wave. Bass is one of the most important sounds in tech house and it’s one of the most challenging areas for most producers. This technical post will reveal everything you need to know about sine wave basses so that you can get a professional sounding low end that translates with power in the club — every time
We’ll save the outro for last because that’s just going to be a basic summary with a call to action ( CTA) — probably to download a “tech house bass PDF cheat sheet” or something. The CTA will be a “next logical step” for those that want to go deeper into the topic.
The 3-Point Outline
So, let’s now move to the 3-point outline. The structure for each point is similar to the structure of the whole article: you entice them to read, then you deliver the goods. So the first sentence needs to connect to a benefit. Then I just outline the content for the first point.
So what benefit will the get by learning how to write a sine wave bass line?
Well, most producers don’t understand that a sine wave bass isn’t really supposed to draw attention to itself. Because of the simple nature of the sound, it’s just supposed to fill out the low end in the track. So that’s interesting because they’ve probably never thought about that before. So I’m going to lead the paragraph with this insight.
Then I’ll talk about the different kinds of bass lines that work well with a simple sound like a sine wave. I’ll talk about the best places in the frequency spectrum. Then I’ll talk about ways to make the bass line and sound interesting if they want to. So that’s a simple outline again:
- Interesting insight: sine wave basses are functional
- Write a bass line with a simple rhythm
- Where should the bass line live in the frequency spectrum?
- What if you want to make the bass line stand out a little more?
Then I’d continue to fill these sub-points out. But the process is simple: write the benefit, outline the content, fill in the outline.
And then continue this for the 3 points.
Now it’s time to wrap things up in a strategic way. I’m going to mention what they have learned AND how they benefit.
The simplest way to discover the benefit is to the “so you can” trick. For example, in the third point, I taught them how to process a sine wave bass. So this is how I would think about — and then write — the benefit in the outro:
And finally, in Step 3, I showed you exactly how you can add additional harmonics to your bass line SO YOU CAN ensure your bass stands out in the mix like a professional instead of disappearing behind everything else like an amateur.
All I want to do is connect each of the points in the 3-point outline to a benefit in the outro.
Then I just need to transition into the call to action. So if we break it down, you can write the outro in 5 sentences:
- Transition sentence from 3-point outline to outro: “Alright, so let’s quickly review what you learned.”
- What they learned from point 1 and how they benefit
- What they learned from point 2 and how they benefit
- What they learned from point 3 and how they benefit
- Call to action statement: “If you to dive even deeper into tech house bass and really take your bass skills to the next level, then click the orange button below and download my free PDF called ‘The Ultimate Guide To Tech House Bass’ — I know you’re going to love it!”
Step 4: Do some additional research
So far, I’ve taken everything that I want to say about tech house bass and I’ve laid it out and an easy-to-digest way. But what if I left something out? What if there are additional things I could say that would benefit the reader?
Start With YOUR Ideas First…
I like working in this order: do a brain dump THEN do the research. I feel the articles are more authentic this way. When you do the research first, you start to move away from how YOU connect with the material. So get your own ideas and voice out FIRST, then supplement your ideas and voice with additional research.
…Then Supplement Your Ideas With Research
After you write out what YOU want to say, start reading what others have to say. This is a great way to mitigate the “curse of knowledge” problem. When you write your post, you understand the material so well that you’ll likely take things for granted. When you read other posts, you’ll quickly realize that you need to develop and clarify some ideas a little further. You’ll probably also realize that you completely forgot to cover something obvious.
So do the research and workout the kinks in your articles. If you want to link out to other posts, do it! After all, the point is to help the reader.
Step 5: Sweeten the post
The content of the article is on point. Now we just need the post to be even more reader friendly. This is where we can add things to sweeten the post and make it more engaging, friendly, informative, and fun.
For example, in my tech house bass post, what are some natural ways to sweeten the post?
- Adding audio examples — we’re taking about audio right? So adding audio clips to people can hear before and after certain moves will really help the reader follow along and learn.
- Adding videos to explain things — tech house and electronic music is mostly made on the computer, so it would be extra helpful to show some of the technical and challenging parts of the article in a screen-recording style.
- I can use real-life examples from professional songs — that way (1) it shows I know what I’m talking about and (2) they start to understand professional songs in a new way!
What are some other ways to sweeten the post?
Images and GIFs:
Using images and GIFs to communicate something in a clearer and more immediate way. For example. I can show what a sine wave looks like in a spectrum analyzer.
We can get a little “meta” here. This entire post is a step-by-step outline. And that’s helpful. We can have nested step-by-step outlines too. For example, in the “Outro” section above, I gave you a 5-sentence template for your outro paragraphs. I can do the same kind of thing in my “tech house bass” blog post. Putting these step-by-step outlines in a bulleted or ordered list makes the outline even easier to read and understand.
Remember the extra research we did to supplement our post? Well linking out to the articles that helped you level-up your article will also help the reader. So linking out to those other helpful resources is a great way to sweeten your post.
Above, I said that connecting the lessons in the “tech house bass” post to professional songs would boost the credibility of the post and provide value. You can do this with any industry. Just support your ideas by referencing credible sources, quoting the top dogs in your industry, or citing historical data and other sources are all great ways to sweeten your article.
Tell A Story:
If you have a story that sets up the blog post, then use it. It’s a great way to draw someone in. Or if you have a story that helps illustrate a point, use it. Stories of a transformation are a great way to demonstrate the value of what you’re teaching. In my “tech house bass” post, I can talk about how before insight X I was lost, but then when I learned X, my bass sound completely changed — for the better. Transformational stories make our mouths water. That’s why testimonials are so powerful.
Make It Easy To Read:
I referenced high school English class early. But please don’t actually write like you would in an English class. Instead, write like you were talking to a friend. Address one person. Be concise but not to the point where you strip all the personality from your post. The easiest thing you can do here is read your post out loud. Is it clear? Do you stumble? Do it feel awkward? Keep tweaking until it feels right when you read it out loud.
Step 6: Keyword Research
At this point, we have a killer post for humans — our intended readers. But we also have to please the robots — the search engines. This is SEO or “search engine optimization.”
There are a million ways to get ninja about this. But here is the most straightforward way to go about this:
Run a Google search for the keyword you want to rank for. In my case it is “tech house bass.”
These are the pages that Google things are most relevant to the keyword. So all I really need to do is write down some of the keywords from the titles and work them naturally into my headline and subheads, and pepper them throughout the body copy. I want to do this in a natural way so it’s not awkward for the humans reading.
Google also gives you some related keywords at the bottom of the page. These are great to take note of as well.
So some keywords I can add to my post:
- how to make a tech house bassline using Ableton (headline idea?)
- bassline patterns (point #1 idea?)
- best vst for tech house bass (point #2 idea?)
- tech house bassline MIDI (point #1 idea?)
- how to make tech house basslines like [insert artists that use sine wave basslines] (intro idea? — this can entice them to read)
- tech house bass in the style of [insert relevant artist] (same as the last point — intro idea?)
These are keywords that people are actually putting into Google. So if I use those words, then Google will think my post is relevant and it will help me rank in the search engines.
And that’s it!
At this point we have a blog post that appeals to humans. We’ve started with an interesting and relevant idea. We developed a simple outline for the topic. We filled the outline in using our ideas first. We researched the topic to further strengthen the post. And we sweetened the blog post to add extra value.
And we also have a blog post that appeals to the robots. We’ve used keywords that people actually search for to help the robots put our post in front of the people we want to reach. The humans love our blog post. The robots love our blog post. And that’s what we want!
The only call to action I have for you is to write a comment below letting everyone who reads this post know what your secrets are to writing a great blog post. And let us know what resources you use to make killer content. After all, the goal of this post is to help you and others write better content. So lend a hand below and give us your best tricks!