A great blog post has much more to offer than a few meaningless tips and empty words. Have you been focused on publishing ‘words’ according to a certain schedule? Then it’s time to take a step back… A great blog post provides real value to your reader. It solves a problem, answers a burning question, or inspires the reader in a meaningful way.
These are the 11 essential ingredients that every blog post should contain…
1. A Catchy Headline
You have to cover this part before you even start writing. An interesting title will attract the reader, but will also keep him engaged. Don’t you know how to write an exciting title? Think of magazine headlines that dare you to read the piece. This is the first thing a potential reader is going to see, so you need to make it right.
Here are 10 headline templates you should start using today!
“X Things You Didn’t Know About ____”
This headline plays on people’s desire to know things they don’t know and find out things they’ve never been told before.
People often like to think they know a lot about a given topic… However, a blog post with this headline promises that there is at least one or two things about said topic that they DON’T know, prompting them to click through to the blog post to try to figure out what it is that they’ve missed or that they haven’t heard yet.
“X ___ Myths”
People love finding out the truth about things, or finding out something they thought was true is actually a myth or untrue in some way. On the other side of the coin, people who think something is a myth really enjoy having confirmation that they are, in fact, right. A post with this headline will convince readers to click because it will either teach them that something they thought was true isn’t, or confirm that they were right all along.
“Top X ____ Mistakes You Must Avoid”
The thought of unknowingly making a mistake when doing something is a fear that many people have, so this headline plays on their fear that they may be making a mistake without having any idea that they’re doing it. People are going to click on this blog headline to make sure – absolutely sure – that they aren’t inadvertently making these mistakes.
“How To ____ Like A Boss”
This title can also be written, “How To ____ Like a Pro.” People want to be good at what they do. In fact, they want to be the best at it. Use this headline to entice people who want to learn how to master a particular topic.
“Top X Must Haves For ____”
This headline plays on people’s natural need to be consumers. We live in an “I need this, I need that” society, and most people are afraid that they don’t have this thing or that thing and that they’re missing out. This title plays on that need and entices people to click on it to find out if they have the essentials for a particular activity.
“X ___ Rules You Should Break!”
People love breaking rules, even if they’re not really “breaking” rules. This type of blog post refers to old “unspoken” rules or things of that nature that may no longer apply in today’s society. People want permission to “break” these rules and to ditch old ways of thinking. So give it to them.
“The All Time Best Way To ____”
Again, this headline plays on people’s need to be the best at something, or do something the best way, the fastest way or the easiest way. As a matter of fact, “Best” in this headline can easily be replaced with “Fastest” or “Easiest.” People will want to click on this headline to find out if they’re already doing something the best way, or if they need to change what they’re doing. Many people really enjoy confirmation that they’re already doing something the best way there is. We just love to pat ourselves on the back.
“How To ____, The Easy Way”
We live in an instant society, where we want everything to be simple and easy. We don’t really want to work for anything, and if there’s an easier way to do something that takes less effort and less time, people want to know what it is. This headline entices people to click on the blog post because they want to find out if there’s an easier way to do something than the way they’re doing it.
“X Simple Tips To ____”
This cannot be said enough. People want easy, they want simple, and they want fast. They want to ditch old ways of doing things that have taken lots of effort and time in the past, and they want to find the key to doing something easily, without much effort. Play on their desire to find the “easy way out” by writing a blog post on simple tips to do a particular activity.
“Are You Doing ____ The Right Way?”
Just like people are afraid of making mistakes, they’re also afraid they’re doing something the wrong way. When people read this title, it sits in the back of their mind and the little voice inside starts making them wonder if they really are doing something the right way, or if perhaps they’re wrong. They’ll click on the title just to make sure.
2. Impeccable Opening Paragraph
The attention span of blog readers is not that impressive… Remember, we want it fast and easy. So get right to the point and tell your audience why the post is important to read. The opening paragraph is the promise of what’s to come. Make a big promise and then deliver on that promise.
Think of the opening paragraph as the summary that will show up in Google search results. What will make your readers want to click on your results rather than your competitors?
Summarize the best points of the blog post in 2-3 short, informative sentences.
3. Make A Point
If your blog post doesn’t have a point, your readers won’t remember it and won’t be compelled to comment and share. It’s about more than keywords and SEO. Keywords don’t define your point; you can still use them as part of your content marketing strategy, but make sure to place them into meaningful content with a clear direction.
Your blog post should answer a question, solve a problem, or make your readers feel something – it could be joy, anger, pain, or happiness.
The days of empty, meaningless click-bait articles are over. Internet savvy readers want REAL content that will change their lives in a meaningful way. If you can answer their biggest question or solve their biggest question, you’ll have a loyal follower. Even better, if you can make them truly FEEL something, you’ll be in the top 1%. Even if that feeling is anger and disgust, they’ll keep coming back for more…
4. Structure It Properly
Bloggers commonly overlook this aspect of a post. If you want readers to go through the entire post from beginning to end, then the post needs to be well structured. Also, making sure that all of your posts have a similar layout and structure will create a comfortable rhythm for your audience. People like familiar routines. It makes us feel comfortable and safe.
Create a structured layout and publish all of your posts with clear headings, sub-headings, bullet points, and paragraph breaks. There should be lots of white space and images to guide the reader down the page.
Here’s a good blog writing process to follow:
- Select the keyword phrase to target – this is the main topic of your blog post and should be 2-5 words.
- Write an engaging headline (include the keyword phrase.)
- Write 3-5 subheadings (include the keyword phrase when possible) so that your post is skimmable to readers. Online readers LOVE to skim.
- Write the introductory paragraph. Remember, this is the promise of what’s to come.
- Write 2-3 paragraphs under each subheading. Keep paragraphs short – just 2-3 sentences. This makes your blog post easier to read on smaller devices and also makes it more skimmable and easy to digest.
- Write the conclusion (1-3 sentences.) Remind your readers of the key points of the article and I also recommend that you add 3-5 links to articles that they should read next.
5. Make It Unique
If you don’t have something new to say, or at least your own unique twist, then don’t write the post. It is okay to write on a trending topic, but don’t repeat the same point that all other bloggers are making. You need a spin or a unique angle of your own.
Think about what’s missing from the topic. What has not already been covered? What’s the counter-argument to the mainstream coverage?
Sometimes making something unique can be as simple as pulling together all of the existing content into one place like a checklist or “top 10” article.
Your blog posts do not need to be completely new ideas. Maybe your super power is taking a complex topic and breaking it down so that anyone can understand it. Maybe you’re a “connector” or excellent researcher. Then your blog posts can be research based and link to other posts that go into the details. If you’re a photographer, add your own images to posts for a unique flare.
6. Freshen Up Things With Visual Content
As a blogger, the quality of the content you write is critical. However, content does not only involve text. In fact, most readers will scroll through your post looking for images. We are visual creatures and get bored easily if it’s all words.
Adding an eye candy is always a good thing. In addition, images should add more meaning to the content, so make a careful selection. Don’t just add random images…
DO NOT copy images that you find on other blogs without permission from that blogger. You’re better off spending a few dollars to create your own licensed stock photo library.
We personally use the following image sites.
- https://stock.adobe.com/ – my personal favorite
All of these are paid image resources meaning that you have to pay for the images, but there are several free image resources out there if you do not want to pay anything out of pocket.
http://www.everystockphoto.com/ – this is a search engine for free photos that searches across many of the other sites.
7. Share Your Experience
A blog post sounds more believable when you write it from your own experience, your own point of view.
No one else has lived your life or shared your experiences. Be you and share your unique thoughts and ideas. Don’t try to be like everyone else. Your content will be much better when it comes from your heart and knowledge.
It’s perfectly OK to quote other bloggers and add links to high-quality, related articles, but your posts need to include your input, your style and add additional value not provided in those other posts.
8. Add Relevant Resources
If you rely on scientific facts, statistical data, or results from academic research, make sure you provide links and information to the relevant resources. Your readers will trust you more if you offer relevant evidence. For example, if you are elaborating a topic on vaccination, you will add more strength to your arguments if you rely on the results of an authoritative research.
This could also be content links to related blog articles from other bloggers and on your site. Rather than repeat content over and over, link to other cornerstone content posts on your site. Links to related blog posts from other bloggers can add tons of value to a post – just make sure that it’s a related article from a reputable blogger.
As your site gets more popular, you’ll start getting guest post requests from all sorts of link building services. Some of these can be excellent articles that link to useful resources, but make sure you review every single link for quality and content. The last thing you want is a link from your SEO blog to an online gambling site!
9. Provide Internal Links
Let’s talk about the value of using your own site as a link resource… When you link to your own content, that shows Google that you think the content is important and it shows your reader that you think it’s important.
Here’s a great article from Yoast on internal linking and why it’s important: https://yoast.com/why-use-yoast-internal-linking/
See how I did that… 🙂
10. Just Relax!
Even if you think that the issue doesn’t allow a relaxed approach, the post will still benefit from a joke, an expert’s witty opinion, success story, some historical examples, and so on. Be yourself.
As bloggers, we often take ourselves WAY TOO SERIOUS!
Relax, have fun, and enjoy the journey. Blogging is not a j-o-b. It should be fun. If it’s not enjoyable, you won’t stick with it long enough to be successful.
And, when you’re relaxed and having fun with it, that will come through in your writing style and in your posts. What I have learned after 10+ years, OK so maybe it’s closer to 20 at this point – it that people relate best to other REAL PEOPLE. The less formal I am, the better the response I get from our readers every single time.
Trust that you are the best you possible, RELAX, and let your personality shine in your blog posts.
11. Make It Interactive!
The main thing that distinguishes blogs from magazine and newspaper publications is interaction. Blogs are social! If you don’t add a question that stimulates the readers to comment and share, then you aren’t finished yet.
If a reader reaches the end of your post, then he is ready to take action. Whether you want him to download an eBook, visit another page or website, subscribe to your email list, comment, share, or purchase a product, you need to have a clear call to action if you want to achieve the goal.
Don’t be modest; write an explicit, effective call to action with bold, authoritative voice!
Read These Related Articles To Help You Write Amazing Blog Posts…
- What is a Call to Action, and Does My Blog Post Need One?
- Tips For Writing Your First Blog Post(s)
- How to Start a Blog – Write your First Blog Post
- How To Write Your First Blog Post
- 4 Places to Find Great Ideas for Your Blog Posts
That was a call to action by the way. 🙂