While there is a lot to be said for writing a great blog post that is full of passion and which flows out of you and onto your computer screen naturally, these moments are often few and far between. This is why it is best to have a clear structure in mind for your blog post and there are a number of elements that you want to hit every time.
The key elements of your structure are:
• Your headline
• The storytelling hook
• A featured image
• The word count
• Soundbites that people want to share
It stands to reason that this is a vital part of your blog post because if your headline doesn’t encourage people to read on, you’ve lost them and all of your hard work has been for nothing.
How can you create a great headline?
Well, there are no definite rules, and a lot depends on your site, your audience and what you are looking to do but there are some elements that that are consistent in great or successful headlines.
Studies indicate that readers will take on board the first three words of your headline and then the last three headlines. In this regard, it seems as though the perfect headline would be 6 words long but of course, that is rarely the case. However, you should look to make the first three words and the last three words count.
You also want to keep your headline short and snappy to assist your SEO. You should look to keep your title tag under 60 characters to ensure that the entire title fist on the search engine results pages.
With respect to winning people over and enticing them in to read your blog post, there are a number of key strategies that work well for headlines, including:
• Surprise – Create a headline with a twist
• Ask questions
• Create some curiosity
• Post a negative and get people interested to see how they can avoid the negative
• Provide a How To
• Use numbers or lists
• Call out to a particular section of your audience
• Be very specific about what your blog post will offer
When it comes to researching the best headlines from the sites that draw in a lot of traffic, the following formulas has been created:
Numbers + Adjective + Your Target Keyword + Rationale + Promise
As an example:
8 Easy Steps To Take Today That You Leave You Feeling Happier
If your headline worked, people will click through and then the next step to keeping people interested is to use storytelling. People engage with stories and studies have indicated that if you use storytelling in your blog posts, people are far more likely to keep on reading and scrolling.
To make sure that you engage people, add in personal elements or be sure to use anecdotes from respected people or celebrities. When it comes to storytelling, you have to have a beginning, a middle and an end, and you want to create a flow for your audience.
A featured image
A featured image is a great way to boost SEO and it helps people to visualise what you are looking to do. A featured image is great for drawing people in but if you can place the image at the top right or left hand of your screen, there is a psychological bonus. If you can shorten the number of characters on each line at the start of your page, you will make people think that there isn’t a lot to read. This will help to persuade them to keep on reading.
If you don’t want to use an image at this point of your page, you can reduce the number of characters in opening lines by increasing the size of your font.
If you’re opposed to a featured image, there’s another way of achieving fewer characters per line. You can boost the font size of your opening paragraph.
Subheadings are another important part of your structure and again, they help with SEO and in enticing people to keep on reading. When you have properly tagged subheadings, you send more signals to search engines about what your page entails and who it used be useful for.
When you have notable subheadings that are relevant, you will give yourself a better chance of being found by people who scan pages as opposed to reading every word. The fact that this is a sizable proportion of readers means that you should look to add in relevant subheadings at various parts of your page.
The word count
When it comes to creating quality blog posts, the correct word count is as relevant as asking how long is a piece of string. The right word count for your page depends on what you are trying to say and who you are trying to reach. You shouldn’t pad your page out, so try and be relevant and make every word count.
However, studies indicate that if you have plenty to say, the blog posts that get shared most often on social media have 1,500 words or more. Broken down into reading time, this equates to around 7 minutes’ worth of reading time.
If you can write lengthier blog posts and ensure that they remain relevant you should, but the longer your post, the more you need to do to make it readable. Some tips include:
• Using lists – either numbered or bullet points
• Block quotes
• Bold text in paragraphs
• Use short paragraphs
• Add images or visuals
When it comes to generating interest or getting people to share your content, you want to have a few quotes or comments that can be grabbed and shared as easily as possible. These are referred to as soundbites or “tweetables”.
The way to do this is draw together interesting or strong pieces of content and then place a “share this” or “tweet this” beside the text. There are plugin tools you can use to help you with this but you can also do it manually.
In addition to these key structural elements, some key points to remember include:
• Have a call to action in every blog post
• Use great visual content
• Provide social share buttons
• Create a URL that can be searched for, can be read and can be used
Interested in our content writing services, please contact us today to see how we can help you.