Here’s the Best Way to Structure Your Blog Posts
Blogs are everywhere. Every business, not-for-profit organization and serious writer has a blog. They are essential in providing information to readers, boosting a website’s search engine ranking, driving traffic and establishing a solid relationship with the intended audience.
Blogs are great, but more often than not a lot of people get it wrong. Although the content of this format is important, it is equally essential to structure information and opinions in a cohesive and coherent manner.
Most blogs follow a common format although some incorporate more visual elements than others. Still, 90% of all blogs present in the online world follow this tried-and-tested anatomy:
Attention Grabbing Headline
Headlines – it introduces the topic to readers. It clearly indicates what the blog is about. It’s meant to grab a reader’s attention and persuade them to read the blog. To be honest, headlines can either make or break your blog. Whew – That’s a lot of pressure!
But there are certain tips and tricks you can use to make the headline grab eyeballs. Some of these include using powerful words, keeping it short, clearly stating what your blog is about and evoking an emotion.
You should spend a significant amount of time curating a stellar headline. In fact, many experienced bloggers spend as much time coming up with a brilliant headline as writing the blog.
A Catchy Lede
Not all blogs have a lede, but most do. A lede is a short introduction to your blog that is meant to entice readers and cajole them to read finish reading it. Think of it as a longer form of your headline or a very short and creative description of your blog.
The main job of an introduction is to hook your readers. Great introductions ask questions, state facts, elicit emotion with the help of a touching story, pique interest with an anecdote or seemingly let readers in on an author’s secret.
You should also spend a considerable amount of time penning a great opening for your blog. It doesn’t have to be over-the-top or over promise readers. It just has to be simple and effective.
A Compelling Visual
Read any blog. Go on, read any. You know what it would most certainly have? A picture.
An impressive, high resolution picture can do wonders in keeping audiences interested in your blog. Not only do suitable images serve to explain a blog better and evoke emotion, they also help in breaking up large chunks of text.
Large pieces of text are boring. When was the last time you read a 2,000-word blog post which had no pictures?
However, it’s basic courtesy to credit images even if they are from websites like Flickr which gives license to use and share free images.
A word of caution, though: Avoid using generic stock photos.
The Main Body
The main body is where you finally flesh out all your points. This where you fill in the details and give your audience what they want. But while getting to the heart of your blog, remember to:
- Present your main points in a list: Use bullets or numbers. Readers tend to scan before deciding to read text. Your bulleted list will help them understand your key takeaways and help them decide if they should read the whole blog or give it a miss.
- Or present your points with sub-headings: Sub-headings aim to break large chunks of text into easily digestible bits of information. Make paragraphs short – stick to 2-4 sentences per paragraph.
- Write for readers, not search engines: While adding keywords is important, don’t forget that your first and foremost priority is to your readers.
A powerful conclusion can do two things: First, it explains to the reader that the post is winding up and second, it reiterates the article’s key takeaways. Spend time writing a good conclusion. Don’t rush it since it’s meant to wrap up your blog in a nice little neat bow.
A Call to Action
Okay, your audience has read the blog post. What do you want them to do besides get information? Do you want them to subscribe to your newsletter? Do you want them to buy your product or use a discount coupon? Whatever you want them to do put it in the form of a well thought-out call to action (CTA).
A CTA needn’t necessarily be placed in the concluding part of your post. You can setup CTA buttons at the top, bottom or on the side of the post.
Encouraging Comments and Social Media Shares
Finally, encourage readers to engage with you by asking a question, prompting feedback or sharing their views on the topic. Urging them to share information, feedback or their opinions gives you a chance to interact with them and build a strong, long-lasting connection. You do want them to keep coming back to read your other blog posts, right?
Examples of Well-Structured Blogs
New York Times best-selling author and ace content marketer, Neil Patel, knows how to structure a blog well. His posts are rife with compelling visuals (images, screenshots and videos). He structures his points well and always keeps paragraphs short and simple.
Powerful image – Check. A great headline – Check. Bulleted points – Check. Hubspot knows what it’s doing.
Lifehacker peppers their blogs with generous doses of visuals, videos and tweets.
NerdFitness not only uses non-generic photos, they also place their CTA on the sidebar. Social media buttons are placed at the bottom of the post just before asking readers to sign up to their mailing list.
Wrapping It Up
No matter how great your content is, it won’t reach a wide audience or garner a substantial amount of social media shares if it isn’t structured well. Online readers tend to scan text before deciding to read it so the more visuals it has, the shorter the paragraphs are and the more sub-headings there are, the greater the chances are that it will be read by thousands of readers.
Chief Content Officer
Annie has over 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.
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