#67: How to Write an Epic Blog Post

September 28, 2017

How to Write an Epic Blog Post
It was quite a shock when I realized that one of my blog posts was number one on Google. I couldn’t believe it. I went to another browser and checked if it also turned up number one there, and it did. I logged out of my Google account and checked if it came up again, and it did. I hadn’t spent a single dollar on advertising this blog post, yet it was number one on Google. Here is how I did it. 

Getting Started
It was February 2014 and I hadn’t made a single dollar in my business. It was actually a month before I was about to make my first online sale. I remember being very active on social media, sharing with people that I had started my business, that I was creating programs and doing marketing, and that I made my first freebie. People started asking me questions about how to start a company in Switzerland.
I would meet them for coffee or lunch and answer them over messenger, I would reply to their emails, and I noticed that this was taking up a lot of my time and distracting me from actually focusing on building my business. That’s when I decided to write a blog post on how to start a company in Switzerland. 
I wanted to share everything I knew, specifically if you are an expat. A lot of expats were asking me questions like do they need a special permission or do they need to be affiliated with another Swiss person or can they start their business on their own. These were questions that I had thought about and had to go through myself.
I sat down, and it took me about eight hours to write the blog post. I created a PowerPoint slide to show the different systems and structures you can have in your business. People could download it, and I was so new to online marketing that I didn’t even ask them for their email address! 
I started going on LinkedIn groups around Swiss Startups and asked people for feedback. I asked if they could read my post and see if I missed something or if anything was incorrect. I got all these people to read my blog post, which in hindsight was such a clever idea, because it started to go viral. People started to share it. But I also got valuable feedback, so I spent another two hours integrating that feedback, and then my blog post was ready.
I published it in February 2014 and didn’t do anything with it anymore, it was just there. Then, six months later, I realized it was number one on Google. Wow, how did that happen? 

Structuring Your Post
First off, people really wanted to know how to start a company in Switzerland. I was writing about something that everybody was asking me about. If you want to write an epic blog post, write content that people are waiting to read. When I wrote mine, I wasn’t thinking about making money. I just felt compelled to summarize my knowledge and be helpful – and save time. Instead of answering all these questions individually, I put all my knowledge in one blog post.
It was long and informative. Many people tell you to write a short blog post, and even keep the word count to 800 or 1,000 words. But the research actually shows the opposite. People prefer a long blog post when the content is worth it. My blog post was over 2,000 words. I would say you should even go for 3,000 or 4,000 when you’re writing an epic blog post. So don’t hold back. 
I already knew a lot about how to start a company in Switzerland, but I still spent hours researching the topic and verifying my knowledge to make sure all my information was correct. It was definitely worth it. Once you have all the information, make sure your post is easy to read. 
When writing a long blog post with lots of important information, it’s also good to have a summarized view. Add subtitles, summarize the blog post at the top or at the end, and give people bullet points, so it’s easier to scan and get some knowledge from the blog post even without reading every single word. My overview table where I compared the different structures with an image from my PowerPoint slides really caught people’s eye. It made them want to read, because I had made the effort of summarizing everything, so they knew immediately by just looking at the blog post that it was worth reading. Make sure you also have white space and different fonts, bold images, anything that makes it easier and more pleasant to read, and have a title that people search for on Google.

Using SEO 
Choose your title wisely. My title was simple and straightforward: How to Start a Company in Switzerland. Using complicated or expert words isn’t good for SEO. When people search on Google, they pick simple words and will go to those blog posts that have those words in them. 
There is a tool called Google Keyword Planner that helps you choose the best words for your title. When I typed in the word ‘company’ and ‘Switzerland’, it resulted in medium competition and about 1,600 searches a month. Overall, I recommend that you use a medium competition keyword, because if you use a high competition keyword it means that there’s already a lot of other people ranking number 1 on Google and it will be very difficult for you to compete. 
If you’re using WordPress, it helps to use tags in your blog post, so anyone looking for those topics will find your post more easily. Use a plug-in to optimize your SEO. I recommend using Yoast, which is integrated in WordPress. Yoast will give you recommendations on how you can improve the SEO in your post by adding your keyword in the subheadings or in the first paragraph of your text and creating a good readability. 

Creating Visibility
Once your post is SEO-approved, promote it on social media. I immediately got a lot of traffic by posting my post into LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups where people were already interested in startups. Then, I tweeted and posted it from time to time. I never spent Facebook ads on it, but I would re-post it every now and then because social media is a great distribution channel. 
And if anyone asked me questions about the topic, I referred them to the blog post. When I was getting messages and emails about how to start a company in Switzerland I directed them towards my blog post and then that person would like it, share it, and off it went into the world of viral blogging.
When you’re sharing your post on social media, make sure that you’re using really good images. We are very visual people and even if I love reading myself, when I catch a nice image with a nice title, that will more likely make me read that blog post. 
Also think about repurposing your content. You can reuse your epic blog post by doing a Facebook live or creating a podcast episode. Think about what you can do to get the word out there. 

Attracting the Right Audience
My blog post was a great success. But in the end, I still decided to remove it from Google. Why? Because it was attracting the wrong audience. It got lots of comments from people who were based all around the world, had no money to invest and were asking me follow up questions as comments to this blog post. At some point I realized that it was distracting me from my business. 
I left it on my website because it’s a great reminder of how a blog post looks like that can go viral and can get organic reach without spending anything on Facebook ads. But when you’re about to write your epic blog post, I advise you to think about what you want to achieve with it so that it attracts the right people who could become potential clients in the future. 

Key Takeaways:

  1. Write content that people are waiting to read.
  2. Your content should be helpful, long, and informative.
  3. Make your post easy to read and visually appealing.
  4. Create a title that people search for on Google.

Resources Mentioned:

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