As a Christian blogger, your goal is to get the message that God has put on your heart in front of the person (or persons) out there that need to read it. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways including sharing it on social media and with your email list.
But social media is time-consuming and short-lived. Once you've shared the post on social media, that is pretty much it. No one will see it again unless you share it again. And with email, well, you need actual subscribers, to begin with!
A better way to get your content in front of others is to get it ranking on Page One of Google results.
This is way longer-lasting and will ensure those who need to read it will actually be able to find it.
Here are 5 steps to getting your Christian content ranking on Page One.
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How to Write a Blog Post That Ranks
So how do you write a Christian blog post that will rank on Page One?
- Ensure the post idea reflects your blog structure
- Pick a topic people are actually searching Google for
- Do keyword research
- Draft an outline
- Write the blog post
It isn't as simple as just “writing from your heart.” You have to take that message and put it into a format that search engines can work with.
If you think of your blog posts as a method to go “find people” and not an actual conversation, writing a great blog post will be a bit easier.
What I mean is that a blog post isn't meant for people to read the day it is published. It can take several weeks or longer for it to get indexed and ranking in search engines.
One thing I always tell my students is that just because God put a message on your heart to share with others – He didn't necessarily say it needed to be shared as a blog post.
With that in mind, many of the things God puts on your heart to share should be shared via social media and/or to your email list. This is where those more intimate conversations are better served – not in a blog post.
The most important thing to remember is this:
If you want content to rank in search results, you must write about things people are searching for (satisfy the search query).
If you are brand new to learning about SEO, be sure to take my free SEO Fundamentals for Christian Bloggers training!
Ensure the Post Idea Reflects Your Blog Structure
The first step in writing a Christian blog post that ranks is to ensure the topic falls in line with your blog structure.
Your blog structure starts with your categories and these should be clearly visible on your navigation menu. This helps search engine crawlers establish what you write about. It also helps your readers navigate your site more easily.
If the topic you want to write about doesn't clearly fit into one of your categories, you shouldn't write it!
Pick a Topic That People are Searching Google For
Ok, this is probably the single most important part of writing a blog post that ranks on Page One!
Is anyone even searching Google for what you want to write about? Just because YOU want to share it doesn't mean anyone is doing a Google search for it!
Also (and I say this lovingly) no one is searching for anything about YOU. In other words, no one is searching for “What did LeeAnn did last summer” or “What is LeeAnn's opinion on XYZ.”
You have to write about things people are actually searching for because if no one is searching Google for it, no one will find it!
To figure this part out you can simply do a Google search for the topic of your post and use keyword tools (mentioned in next section) to see if there is any search volume for it.
If not, pick another topic.
The second most important part of writing a blog post that ranks is to choose the best keywords for the topic.
There are several free and paid keyword research tools you can use to figure this part out.
Keep in mind that you need to find a good long-tail keyword to try to rank for. That means you shouldn't choose a single word keyword, such as “faith.” Instead, you want a more focused keyword that sums up what your post will be about.
Instead of just “faith,” a better choice might be “how to grow stronger in your faith” because this is something someone would actually type into Google.
It is also important that you understand that SEO isn't just about a single keyword phrase. You need variables of that main keyword along with a good variety of related keywords to help bring the topic together. Read: How to Pick the Right Keywords.
Create an Outline
Once you've settled on the topic and the main keyword for the post, you'll want to put together an outline.
Now, this is often a huge struggle for most Christian bloggers because it seems so formal. But I promise that this will help you!
Remember, people go to Google searching for something in particular. And in their searching, they are anticipating a certain type of “answer” so to speak.
When we take a creative approach to writing, we often veer off topic very easily. An outline helps you keep the content focused to the point of the post.
Below is an example of an outline for this post about Godly friendships.
Not exactly sure how to put an outline together? No problem! I put together this simple training that literally gives you a peek over my shoulder as I do the research and outline for 2 different types of blog posts.
Write the Blog Post
Once you've completed the outline, the last step is to simply fill it in!
Make sure you don't make it about YOU and that you provide actual tips or encouragement based on what the person may have been searching for.
Of course, don't make it boring either! While you don't want to post to be about you, you do want to include personal experience or perspective along with the actual information you are writing about.
Some tips for writing the blog post:
- Insert the variable and related keywords throughout the content
- Keep paragraphs short (no more than 3-4 sentences).
- Use bullet points where appropriate
- Include internal links to other blog posts in the same category
I want to make sure you understand that – even if you apply all of these steps – your blog post still might not make it to Page One.
Why? Because there are so many factors that play into search engine ranking.
But the more you invest in these steps, the more likely your content will start ranking. And once you get a few ranking, it is much easier to get the rest there as well.