How to Write Longer Blog Posts

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Have you ever wondered how some bloggers manage to pump out a thousand to two thousand-word blog posts and articles every couple of weeks without fail?  

 

There are over two billion Google search results for;

 

  • How Long Should a Blog Post Be?
  • What is The Ideal Length of a Blog Post?
  • How Long Should a Blog Post Be in X Year?
  • Is X Amount of Words Good Enough for a Blog Post?

 

These search questions are a pretty good indicator that business owners, content creators, bloggers and SEO specialists all understand that long-form content works best for search engines.

 

But it’s even clearer most of us don’t really know how to write long-form SEO-friendly blog posts and articles that are high-performing and people-friendly.

 

And it’s no wonder!

 

There are only about four hundred and fifty million Google search results for ‘How to Write Longer Blog Posts,’ and the top search results usually boil down to ‘Write good content people will enjoy.’

 

That means for every 500 articles telling you that you should write long-form, SEO-friendly content, there will be ONE article that actually teaches you how to do it. Or claims to anyway.

 

Writing good content is important. Writing content people will enjoy is extremely important. But if you write for a living, this is already a given. The real question is, how do you do it?

 

How do you write those long, beautiful, content-rich blog posts full of SEO-friendly keywords without sounding like a high-school student trying to extend the length of their essay?

 

Well, I think I found the answer.

 

Recipe bloggers.

 

Now, before you click off, just hear me out.

Recipe Blogger

The Recipe Blog Formula For Writing Long-Form Content

When people think of long-form content, the two biggest culprits are recipe bloggers and independent journalists. And that got me thinking.

 

How do you take a recipe for Arepas Con Queso and spin it into a seven-thousand-word essay that people will read all the way to the end? 

 

After combing through this recipe and several like it, I’m convinced these tips and tricks will help you write SEO-friendly, keyword-rich content that people will actually read all the way to the end.

Plate with Food

Outline the Benefits Your Content Has to Offer In the First Paragraph

Even before recipe bloggers get into their very long stories about how they grew up on this very same chocolate chip recipe handed down by their great-grandmother, they tell you why you want to know the recipe.

 

Because chocolate chip cookies are delicious.

 

At the beginning of the recipe, you’re told that chocolate chip cookies are delicious and gooey fresh out of the oven. Chocolate chip cookies are an American classic.

 

These cookies are little bites of heaven and happiness. They cure depression and bring us all back to our childhoods. 

 

That sort of thing.

 

It works because it sells you on the content as a reader, and it defines for search engines what kind of chocolate chip cookies you’ll be learning how to make in the context of cooking.

 

The blurb might be very different if your recipe is about gluten-free, low-fat chocolate chip cookies.

 

For other industries, this might mean a small blurb at the beginning of your article on filing and servicing court documents that outlines how difficult it can be to complete this process without the help of a family lawyer.  

 

A Calgary-based tire shop might benefit from adding a blurb about how expensive frequent tire replacements can be before launching into an article on how drivers can maintain and care for their new tires.

 

These are just a few examples of how a broad reminder that your content is valuable to your reader can help add length to your content, provide opportunities for keywords, and keep people reading until the end.

Use an Interesting Story as a Segue

Many people may moan and complain that recipe bloggers tell really long stories. And it can absolutely feel like an eternity has passed by the time you reach the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

But people still read the story segments

When we want to go back to a really good recipe, it is a lot easier to remember someone was talking about their Colombian grandmother than the specific measurements of flour to salt, cheese and sugar.

The human brain is hardwired to remember stories. The human brain is a lot worse at remembering specific numbers, dates and times.

Adding a story makes it a lot easier to re-find your content when you can search for keywords like ‘Authentic Colombian Arepas’.

Now, for some kinds of content, you may not have a personal story about something related that has happened to you. But a hypothetical one can work just as well.

Going back to the previous examples, let’s say you’re a family lawyer writing that blog post about filing court documents.

Now, writing a bunch of blog posts when you could be landing clients isn’t in your best interest long term.

But if you’re just starting out it could give your business a much-needed boost.

You could explain what might happen if documents are filed incorrectly in the form of a story or a joke.

You could describe the experience of filing court documents without the help of a lawyer from the perspective of a potential, stressed-out client.

You could tell a short story about what made you realize this was a topic worth discussing.

You could even pull out an infamous case study if you have one. Just as long as it illustrates some foundational aspect of the topic you’re discussing in a way that is memorable for the reader.

Chef

Broaden the Definition of Your Topic Using Compare and Contrast

Most recipe bloggers will redefine what makes something an arepa con queso. This may seem redundant because if you clicked on the recipe, you just wanted the arepa.

 

But this compare and contrast helps open up new avenues for information sharing within your blog post.

 

For example, you may want to compare and contrast services that are similar but different from the kind you provide.

 

This would give you an opportunity to define the circumstances in which someone would want or need what you are trying to sell.

 

By defining what makes a teapot a teapot, you can segue into the different kinds of teapots your online store has to offer while creating internal links to similar but different blog posts located elsewhere on your website. 

 

This can even extend to the type of materials a product may come in, the steps required to complete the process or different methods for something like dog breeding. 

Ingredients

Tell People Where to Find The Right Ingredients

Now, this segment primarily applies to affiliate bloggers, but I’m going to be broadening the scope a little bit.

 

Most recipe bloggers will include links to the specific brand-name ingredients they use in their recipes. While this does help ensure a small level of quality control for the end recipe, it is also an opportunity to include affiliate links.

 

And in a general sense, affiliate links are external links.

 

So, if you aren’t talking about something that mentions tools or materials, this segment can easily be replaced with another form of external linking. Credits and acknowledgements.

Shouting out the company that printed your business cards in a post discussing your top ten favourite business card designs is an excellent way to help your readers understand what kind of vendors you work with.

 

Linking to blog posts from other content creators that add to or augment the topic you’re writing about not only gives you more credibility, but it can also help create connections between you and high-quality domains.

 

A recipe ‘ingredient’ might also include books, documentaries or podcasts that you found helpful while putting together your thoughts on the topic.

 

While you don’t have to link out and can skip this segment altogether, providing additional resources to readers can be an excellent way to add to your authority on a subject without having to do all the heavy lifting yourself.

Go Into Detail on How the Sausage Gets Made

Before you even get to the recipe card at the end, there is usually a long-form guide.

 

This version is usually several times longer than the step-by-step index card provided in the article. It goes into nuanced detail about the way certain variations in temperature or measurements may affect the end result.

 

And it walks you through the process, sometimes with a video included.

 

Again, this is redundant, but an in-depth approach helps answer questions about what each step in the process may look like, where you can try to spice things up and how it can all go so horribly wrong.

 

It also has the added benefit of informing the search engines not only about the context of the article but also to provide educational tips, tricks or facts that other similar articles may be missing.

 

As a result, your content may be prioritized in SERPs for containing ‘new’ information not covered by other bloggers.

 

Google Search wants to give readers the best, most informative version available. So, including a lot of answers to smaller but related questions is essential for creating long-form, high-value content.

Recipe Card

Make Sure Your Recipe Card/Search Excerpt Always Comes Last

Usually, there are two kinds of search excerpts used by recipe bloggers. The first kind comes from that opening paragraph that describes the appeal or value of a topic.

 

But the most popular blurb to use is the ingredients list from the recipe index card. The reason for this is pretty sneaky.

 

When a user is searching for a recipe, they just want to know what’s in it and how to combine the ingredients together.

 

So, teasing the one section of the recipe people want the most will keep them scrolling until the very end of the post.

 

By using it as an excerpt, the user is sure the content they’re looking for is in the blog post if they can only get past all the stories, FAQs and substitution advice.

It’s a given people are going to skim. Because not all the information you provide will be useful or interesting to every person at that moment, and that’s okay.

 

As long as you provide exactly what was promised, people will be happy. And, if you can provide a little more than what was promised, that’s even better.

 

You want to give your user the opportunity to see and understand the additional value you’ve added to the post, even if they skip right down to the bottom.

 

Because if they do have questions later, they can just scroll up and read through your post instead of searching for topics like; 

 

  • What kinds of sauces go well with arepas?
  • Why is my arepa dough sticking to the pan?
  • Convert 2 cups to grams.
Descriptive Headings

Use Descriptive Headings and Bullet-Pointed Lists

Because you’re writing long-form content, you want to break your points up as much as possible so users can skim through and still find what they’re looking for easily.

 

Not only is this good for readers, but it’s also good for search engines.

 

If you’re writing a blog post about different kinds of bees, look for similar articles in Google Search and browse the People Also Ask section.

This section is an absolute gold mine for subheadings and topics to include in your posts. 

 

Once you learn to break your content down into paragraphs that answer specific questions, it will be easier to write long-form content and create skimmable, readable subheadings that search engines will love.

 

Lastly, take advantage of bullet-pointed lists and anchor link menus.

 

Not only does this help add to skimmability, but it’s also a great way to summarize and underline your talking points one more time.

Box

The Secret to Writing Longer Blog Posts is Actually Very Simple

I’ve already used a modified version of the ‘recipe blogger formula’ to write this blog post, and it was incredibly easy.

 

The not-so-secret formula for writing SEO-friendly, long-form content only has seven steps;

 

  1. Outline the Benefit Your Topic Has to Offer in the First Paragraph.
  2. Segue Into Your Topic With an Interesting Story.

 

  1. Broaden the Definition of Your Topic Using Compare and Contrast.
  2. Tell People Where to Find the Right Ingredients.
  3. Go Into Detail on How the Sausage Gets Made.

 

  1. Make Sure Your Search Excerpt/Recipe Card Comes Last.
  2. Use Descriptive Subheadings and Bullet-Pointed Lists.

 

However, if you’re still struggling to understand best practices for your content from an SEO perspective, it may be time to explore your options and talk to a professional.

 

Even a quick consult can be a great way to iron out the kinks in your content and ensure you’re moving forward with the best possible information for your next project.

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