When it comes right down to it, what you want from your blog post is to be memorable. You want it to help people on such a level that your readers simply can’t help but take the action you recommend. They are so blown away by the problems you solve in their life, or the value you give them, that they share it on every social platform, and the one blog post you took so much time and care to create becomes a revenue stream and email list builder that rivals anything you have done in your business.
That’s what comes from an epic blog post, and here’s how you write one.
What Makes an Epic Blog Post & Why Write Them?
You’ve probably heard the estimate that human beings are exposed to thousands of marketing messages each and every day. A frequently referenced HubSpot blog post from 2014 claims we are pummeled with around 5,000 advertisements each day. On the low end of the estimated range, Media Dynamics says the modern Internet-connected human can expect exposure to 362 ads or marketing efforts on a daily basis.
So even if you go with that lower figure, there are 361 marketing efforts vying for your prospect’s attention, aside from your newly published blog post. In anyone’s book, that is some stiff competition. Unfortunately, a lot of the ads and marketing campaigns that are trying to flag down your prospect’s attention are backed by piles of money you might not be able to compete with.
Now let’s look at exactly how many other blogs you are up against. The most popular blogging platform in the world, WordPress, reported in 2014 that there were close to 15 billion blog pages read each and every month. Around 40 million new posts showed up every 30 days, resulting in over 50 million comments. By the way, those estimates are just for the WordPress blogging platform!
This brings us to the first reason why you need to be writing epic blog posts – there is a lot of stiff competition out there, with more competitors and marketing messages appearing every day.
Some other great motivators for writing memorable, viral posts have to do with your business goals. A single engaging, interesting, problem-solving post can go a long way to displaying your authority in a field. It can land you podcast interviews and JV partnerships, single-handedly double, triple, 5X or even 10X your current list building efforts, and create a reliable, passive income for years.
You probably understand all of those points. You may have been trying to create that Incredi-Post to take your business to another level for a long time. If you are reading this now, your previous efforts may not have delivered the results you’re looking for. Let’s look at some characteristics that most viral, high-value posts display, so you can start writing epic posts yourself.
Epic Blog Posts Can Be Described as…
Here are a couple of blurbs taken from different definitions for the word epic, as a noun:
- “long poetic composition”
- “majestic; impressively great”
- “of unusually great size or extent”
There is no getting around it, to create a piece of content that will stand the test of time and take on a life of its own, you need to make it long. Aside from referring to definitions of the word epic that were outlined centuries before the Internet was born, is there any other proof that longer is better?
According to the marketing blog QuickSprout, if a post is longer than 1,500 words it performs better socially. Posts of that length “… get almost 70% more Tweets and nearly 23% more Facebook likes” than shorter posts.
Google agrees that length wins the day. The world’s largest search engine rewards blog posts of 2,000 words or more with more free, organic traffic than posts with less content. Rule #1 is simple – your post must be long to have a chance to be epic.
Taking Time to Write
Now that your post needs to be lengthy, you probably understand it will take you longer to write it than a simple 400 word, 12-minute piece. Regardless of how many algorithm changes Google undergoes, they reward consistent efforts. That has led a lot of bloggers to unleash 5 or 12 or 30 blog posts each month. There is no problem with that, until you apply the length rule you just learned.
If each one of the posts you create is 400 to 600 words, you are not getting the most bang for your buck. Looking at how much traffic Google delivers to posts of different lengths, it can be seen that a 500 to 749-word post receives only about 15% to 20% of the Google love shown to a 2,250 to 2,500-word piece of content.
That is 5 to almost 7 times as much traffic for that longer piece of content. Something that long has to be researched properly. You need to spend hours editing, writing, rewriting, doubling back and researching again. If it takes you several hours to write one valuable, lengthy, content-rich post, statistics show that when you put in the work, you are rewarded.
Relevant to Your Niche or Market
Pretend you own a peanut butter and jelly sandwich blog. You love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They are all you think about. Variations, recipes, what type of bread to use, which peanut butter is best, what jelly flavors pair with a particular type of bread – these are all questions and thoughts that control your every waking moment.
Now imagine if you were to post an informative, long, value-rich blog post about big block 454 engines. What? First off, you confuse Google and the other search engines. This means you are not going to get the traffic you have been looking for. Even if your 454 engine post is the best of its kind ever created, it doesn’t appeal to your market. So you not only upset the search engines, you confuse your audience as well. Stick to topics relevant to your marketplace.
Evergreen and Timeless
The epic sagas of the Vikings are still around today. That’s because their stories are timeless. You can relate to them in some way, even though you live in a world which is centuries removed from that of the Vikings. To give your post a chance to truly become epic, you should focus on content that is timeless.
In marketing circles, these are referred to as evergreen topics. People will always want to improve themselves. This means that fat loss, finding a mate, smoking cessation, and growing hair on a bald head will probably always be themes that will stand the test of time. Focus on solving a problem that will be around forever. Though a few exceptions exist, such as…
Breaking an Inside Scoop or Exclusive
Some blog posts which deserve the epic title have relatively short lives. They may only be relevant for a few months or a year. However, the massive avalanche of attention they receive in that short span, especially right after they are published, is what earns them the epic tag.
Do you remember when the engagement of Prince William to Kate Middleton was announced? How do you think the first few bloggers were rewarded when they told the world about this incredible event? They were the first to break the news, and accordingly received gargantuan amounts of traffic.
Their blog posts were shared, tweeted, re-tweeted, liked, and pinned at an incredible rate. Be the first to disclose a noteworthy piece of news as relates to your niche or marketplace, and your rewards can be truly epic indeed.
Your post should always be shareable. That means you should have built-in social media sharing buttons at the top and bottom of your post. WordPress plug-ins make this easy to do. However, you should not stop there. Just about every blogger has the traditional “top and bottom of the post” social share functionality.
Add “Tweet This” blurbs throughout your content. Reward Facebook shares and Pinterest pins with a free resource, PDF, or valuable piece of content. Make it easy and desirable for your readers to share your content and your chances of creating a viral post improve dramatically.
Containing Everything the Reader Needs to Know
Truly epic posts leave no stone unturned. Remember all the time mentioned earlier you are going to spend researching this lengthy piece of content? Put all of that data to use. When you are done, ask yourself if there is anything else a reader needs to know considering the topic you are writing about. If someone has to click away from your page to search for more information regarding the content you wrote, you have not created a one-stop resource, which should be your goal.
Say something that has never been said before about a particular idea or topic. Go where no one else in your niche has gone, bucking trends and raising eyebrows. If you are using hard facts and figures, only do this if you have data and information to back up your argument. Going against the grain, disproving a popular misconception or belief, or contributing new insights is a great way to get your content read and shared on a massive scale.
An Ultimate Solution
Imagine you have been trying to lose that last 10 pounds. You have watched your diet and exercised; you get plenty of rest and drink lots of water; and you have been rewarded with most of the weight loss you are looking for. However, you still have a nagging 10 pounds of fat that simply won’t go away.
Now imagine you come across a post which has done something that no other web content has ever done before. It shows you how to solve the one problem that has been nagging you … losing that stubborn, last 10 pounds of fat. How do you feel about the person that wrote that content? You are probably going to read everything they write until the end of time, aren’t you? Those are the rewards of solving a huge problem by providing an ultimate solution.
Just because your post needs to be long to be epic, doesn’t mean you can fill it full of fluff. Your post should not be one word longer than it needs to be. Edit very carefully. Look at posts which you would describe as epic. Every word serves a purpose. A sentence may say, “Be quick.” It will never say, “Be as quick as you possibly can.”
When you add words which are not needed, you distract the brain and the attention wanders. Take the time to research, write, and edit your post, and make sure it is lengthy. However, don’t create length if it just means adding filler of little substance.
A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words
You’ve probably heard that saying before. Well, if a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video must be invaluable. The lesson here is to add video, pictures, graphics, or even relevant doodles to your content. Picture a 2,000-word piece of content that is all text.
Would you read that? Probably not. You need to break up your text with supportive graphics and video, which have been proven to increase the social share factor of online content.
10 Types of Epic Blog Posts
Some types of posts are more inclined to perform better than others. Sure, you may create an awesome piece of content that does not fall under the following categories. However, when the most successful bloggers have a hard time trying to structure their content, they employ the following methods time and time again, to much success.
1 – How to Guides and Tutorials
You can even include “How to” in your title, which has been proven to increase readership.
2 – Latest News and Current Events
Incredibly, some people still care about what Kim Kardashian is doing, although it’s best to find news of particular relevance to your niche.
3 – Checklists, Lists
These are simple to format, easy to read, and they practically write themselves when you know a lot about a particular topic or field.
4 – Case Studies, Customer Success Stories
Social proof sells. Your readers are more inclined to believe someone just like themselves than they are a marketing message.
5 – Guru Interview, Advice from Experts
You may not yet be the top expert in your field. However, you can interview that person. Make the interview in-depth, revealing something your guru has not shared before.
6 – Lists of Valuable Resources
If you were a copywriter and you discovered a blog post which listed the top 123 copywriters of the 21st century, you would feel as if you stumbled across a gold mine. Lists of valuable resources relative to your niche are easy to compile, and when you make them evergreen, you have a good chance of becoming epic and long-lasting.
7 – Frequently Asked Questions
Your prospects and readers are asking questions which have already been asked and answered. Create a lengthy, valuable frequently asked questions (FAQs) post and you serve your audience well.
8 – Top Takeaways From _____
If you have attended a seminar or taken an online course, this type of post is easy. Write down the top 10, 15, or 21 valuable takeaways you experienced and share them in the form of a blog post.
9 – Beginner’s Guides
You have probably downloaded, read, or purchased beginner’s guides in the past. Written on the correct topic, these can be evergreen in nature.
10 – Additional Resources
No product or service is perfect. Take a best-selling info product, course, or service and make it better. Purchase the course, take it, and note where it is lacking. Add the pieces that are missing and provide them in a free blog post, linking back to the info product or course for an affiliate marketing bonus.
How to Come Up with Epic Blog Post Ideas
Sometimes the little gray cells just aren’t working. You find it hard to come up with even a basic blog post topic, much less one that is memorable. What can you do to get your brain firing on all pistons again? Use the following ideas to help you come up with epic blog post topics that are sure to get your content shared, favored and acted upon.
- Check the magazine rack at your local bookstore or supermarket on topics relevant to your niche.
- Make a Top 10 list of favorite/best/most valuable resources or ideas from the biggest authority blogs in your market.
- Create a “Top 25” list of people to follow on Twitter that are influencers in your industry.
- Ask your email list what they want.
- Interview a guru or expert.
- Create an exhaustive list of resources, tips, or strategies.
- Write a case study that tells a happy customer story.
- Review a popular info product or service.
- Repurpose your favorite posts.
- Create a giveaway or competition.
- Think about the biggest myth or misconception in your market and destroy it.
- Make an “A to Z” post relevant to your needs.
- Publish a “Why I Failed, and What You Can Learn From It” post.
- Take a poll or survey, rewarding action-takers with a valuable product or service.
- Search question and answer sites like Quora and Yahoo Answers for ideas.
- Create a valuable and authoritative white paper.
- Make a list of the best books in your niche.
- Hijack a news-breaking event and tie that story into your market, products, or services.
These are just a few ideas which can get your brain pumping. They are all based on types of blog posts that tend to perform better than others. These are by no means the only epic blog post types, so put on your thinking cap and get brainstorming.
Planning Your Blog Publishing Schedule
Knowing when to publish is just as important as what to publish. Publish an incredible piece of content at the wrong time, and you are missing out on a lot of traffic. That’s why you need a set schedule for publishing your blog post. As far as writing your post, you should get in the habit of setting aside one day a week for this task. You want to spend several hours on a single post and should have no other distractions.
According to KissMetrics, a good day for publishing posts is Monday for traffic and Saturday for comments. This means you may want to schedule your post writing for Sunday or Friday and schedule an auto-publish for the following day.
A Track Maven study showed that “leisure hours” are far and away the best for engagement. This means after 6 pm in most cases. One of the few exceptions would be weekends, where data shows web surfers log onto their favorite devices much earlier in the day.
- Saturday is the best post publishing day for engagement and comments.
- Monday, after 6 pm, is when you should publish for maximum traffic.
- Any weekday after 6 pm will improve the level of engagement with your audience.
- Spend whatever is time needed to create your post a day or two before you’re going to publish, and schedule an auto-publish for the appropriate time.
6 Key Elements of an Epic Blog Post
We spoke earlier about the characteristics of an epic blog post. These include longer length, evergreen in nature, providing the ultimate solution and other important points. You should also understand special formatting and design elements that help your post improve on your valuable content.
1 – Social Share Buttons
This element of an epic blog post was mentioned earlier, but it bears repeating. The social share plug-ins for WordPress and other blogging platforms are too valuable and easy to implement to ignore.
2 – Formatting
Make sure your image, alt, H1, and all other tags have been included. This helps your search engine rankings, which helps with traffic.
3 – Bulleted Lists
Bullet points …
- Make your content easier to read
- Appeal to the human inclination for lists
- Allow you to focus on important points
- Help break up large blocks of text
4 – Sub-Headers
Think of these as subtitles. They should serve as standalone, attention-grabbing titles for each of the subsections throughout your blog post. They help the eye travel easily down through your content, and should be able to function on their own if you use them as blog post titles themselves.
5 – Images and Video
As mentioned earlier, video, graphics, photographs, and images drive engagement.
6 – Call to Action
Anytime you produce any type of content, you need a strong call to action. Why are you writing this blog post? What do you want your readers to do? Tell them exactly what action to take, say it in as few words as possible, and place your call to action throughout your post.
8 Step Guide to Writing an Epic Blog
Now it is time for a little structure. A massive piece of epic content cannot be created by just winging it. Use the following formula below to polish your creation so that it is as good as it possibly can be when you hit publish.
1 – Brainstorm
Before you can publish any kind of content online, awesome or horrible, you need to have a topic! Refer to the section earlier on how to come up with blog post ideas. Remember the more innovative, unique, challenging, or valuable your blog topic is, the better it will perform.
2 – Rough Outline
Sketch together a rough outline. If you don’t usually use outlines, don’t worry, this can be very rough and “by the seat of your pants”. Any blog post worth 1,500 words or more is going to have a lot of individual pieces, and this is where your outline helps.
3 – Fill Outline Sections with Ideas
Now make a rough outline for each section of your rough outline. In other words, jot down some ideas, data, problems, solutions, subsections, and information that will fill each section of your outline. Again, don’t worry about grammar or structure here. This is just to give you some direction when you create your first draft. Speaking of which, now it is time for your…
4 – First Draft
Take all the information contained in your rough outline and write the first draft of your post.
5 – Format
Add bullet points, lists, bold and underlined text, italics, graphics, videos, and different fonts and text size. Break up your text, and make it easy to read.
6 – Edit and Write Your 2nd Draft
Only do this after walking away from your project for a while, preferably at least 24 hours. You’ll be amazed at the errors and opportunities you will find.
7 – Read Out Loud and Ask for Help
This is a professional copywriter’s trick that works wonders for your copy. Read your post out loud. You will find problems with the flow of your content that are not always revealed when you read it silently. Also, get a friend or family member to read the post and ask them for their honest input.
8 – Final Edit and Rewrite, Then Publish
Make a final edit. Take out every word or sentence that doesn’t belong. Perform your final rewrite, then click publish.
14 Things to Do After You Hit Publish
Okay, congratulations are now in order. You have created the most epic blog post on “fill in the blank” of all time. Now what do you do? If you simply hit publish and do nothing else, you should probably not be in the blogging game at all. The best salesmen and women on the planet understand that an average product and a great marketing campaign will outperform a superior product and a poor marketing approach every time.
This brings us to your next step, marketing your blog post. Take the following steps after you hit the publish button to provide yourself with the greatest opportunity at owning an epic piece of content.
1 – Tweet out the headline only. If your headline is worth its salt, this should create some interest and click-throughs.
2 – Host a webinar, referring to your post as a one-stop, all-in-one resource on a particular topic.
3 – Make a video version of your post and upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, and other video sharing sites. Keep your video under 1 minute, and make it a tantalizing summary that links to your complete blog post.
4 – Take the highlights from your post and compile them into a PDF. Publish that PDF for free on PDF sharing sites.
5 – Add an email to your autoresponder sequence, linking back to your blog post.
6 – Write a press release announcing your new post. Share on the dozens of free and paid press release distribution sites online.
7 – Turn your post into an infographic and share on social sites.
8 – Talk about the major points, not the details, of your blog post on your podcast. If you don’t have your own podcast, get interviewed by someone in your niche that does. Podcasters are always looking for episode content.
9 – Go social. This is a no-brainer. You probably already post your new content to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the other major social sites. However, there are more than 100 social media sites on the web, so why not share your post as widely as you can?
10 – Hit the question and answer sites. Quora, Yahoo Answers, and similar sites are full of people asking for solutions to problems. Look for people asking questions similar to the ones you answer in your post, and then link to your new content.
11 – Link from your old posts. Internal links going from your previously published pages and posts to your new post is a free on-site traffic source, and Google has stated it improves your chances for free organic traffic.
12 – Join forums, chat rooms, and online communities in your niche. Link back to your new post.
13 – Pay for traffic. Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other influential web properties all offer paid advertising opportunities.
14 – Repeat. Don’t just publish your post on Facebook once and consider yourself done. Less than 10% of your followers see any post you place. This means repetition on Facebook and other web properties is probably needed for your post to reach the biggest possible audience.