The art of blogging is knowing how to write a blog post that grabs readers’ attention, entertains, informs, and teaches. Blogging involves many aspects beyond just writing a blog post. But without brilliant content, compiled in a way that’s easy to skim through and captivating enough to keep readers engaged, you will battle to get your blog noticed in an ocean of blogs all vying for attention!
Today I’ll cover 4 main aspects of curating a blog and 10 essential blogging basics. Bloggers must be aware of these when compiling each new blog post.
As a bonus, I’ve included a really cool Free Blog Post Template. This template acts as a checklist. Refer back to it whenever you need to. Eventually, you’ll be so practiced in structuring and writing excellent blog posts that you’ll create your own templates. All based on what you have learned and what you know works well. Create unique templates for different blog formats, from listicles to how-to guides to infographics, and more.
Did you know that 36% of readers prefer listicles? Why? Because they are easy to skim read. 43% of readers admit to scanning blogs, not reading every word. And 17% of users prefer How-to blogs. Over half of all people who read blogs prefer these two formats above all others. Interesting, right?
Now, without wasting another second, let’s jump straight in! And discover how to write gripping blog posts that’ll blow your readers’ socks off!
The Basics of Writing a Winning Blog Post
The AIDA Principle
A for AttentionI for InterestD for DesireA for Action
AIDA is an acronym used in sales strategies. By applying this acronym to your content structure you create a structure and format that promotes readability and scannability. But most importantly, if applied correctly, it will increase traffic and conversions.
For example, your headline should grab attention. And give enough information to hook a reader’s interest. Once you have their attention and interest, you need to deliver content that teaches or solves a problem. This may create a desire for the product or service being showcased. The conclusion should include a call-to-action (CTA) that will encourage them to place their orders through your site. Or sign up for the email list to receive something for free. Or subscribe to get notifications on content, specials, discounts, etc.
How to write a blog post – 4 Aspects and 10 Checkpoints to write a blog
Four aspects need attention when you write a blog post. They are:
Format, structure, and design sound like they could be describing similar things. But the slight differences, and knowing them, make the blog writing process more systematic and effective. I’ll take you through all 4 of these subsections in a bit. But before we get stuck in there, here is a quick list of 10 things you need to know and prepare for when you start writing your blog.
List of 10 Things To Know Before You Write A Blog Post
Okay, so you’ve set up your blog (How to Start A WordPress Blog) and you’ve settled on a niche. You’ve paid for hosting, your blog is live! And now you need to write and publish your killer content regularly.
Do put together a blogging schedule, or a blogging calendar. This will help you focus on what to research and save time when deciding what to blog about.
There is a lot of competition, regardless of how big or small your niche is. Part of running a blog is promoting it. I cover this in my article “How To Promote Your Blog”. But before you promote anything, you have to create the content. Over 70% of marketers understand how important content is as an SEO strategy and a marketing tool (77% of all internet users read blogs!)
The following 10 points will help immensely to get high-quality content together, to engage, delight, and inform your users.
#1. Who are you writing for? Know your target audience.
In a previous article, I speak about the importance of knowing your target audience. If you haven’t read it yet, here’s a brief overview. Your target audience is the niche element of readers within your niche that convert from traffic to customer. When you recognize these people, you can curate your content specifically for them.
The “less is more” principle comes into play here. Why? Well, if you are reaching 300 people, and all 300 make up your target audience, you could potentially make 300 sales. In contrast, if you are focusing on building traffic (which is still important for SEO and ranking) you may reach 400,000 people but of those, maybe only 1,800 will convert to subscribers, and then, of that only 300 will become customers (target audience). So you can see how finding the target audience results in higher ROI.
The example I use above is a blogging statistic from a 2017 HubSpot survey.
In the article I wrote, “How to find your target audience,” you get resources and information on how to gather data and analyze the results.
#2. Create attention-grabbing headlines
A good place to start is with some keyword research. Keyword research allows you to see what language your potential target audience is using. It also gives clues on what questions they have and what problems they need solved.
An easy way to do this is to use Google’s search bar. Just type in some phrases or words based on your blog topic. A good SEO headline will have a “power” word, a number, a scannable format, and of course, a title that piques curiosity and makes people want to find out more. Use a tool, like Answer The Public, to give you more ideas on what people are searching for.
Here’s an example of how to get a gripping headline:
You decide to write a listicle on the benefits of different fruits and vegetables. You write in the health niche and your micro-niche is millennial men and women that work with autistic children. This niche audience would also include parents of autistic children. You start by typing in “best diet for autistic….”. From here you will get a few leads like best foods for autism, the best diet for autistic children, toddlers, adults, autism diet food list, what foods are good for autism, foods to avoid for autism, etc. From here you can come up with a headline that works both for SEO and gets attention.
Try to come up with 5-10 titles. And narrow it down to three choices:
15 Best Foods For Autistic Children (And 5 To Avoid!)Best Foods For Autism: Includes Autism Diet Plan and 15 Recipes!Nutrition and Autism: Groundbreaking Autism Diet Plan for Children – Includes Recipes
Do these titles spark interest? Which would you choose? Remember to keep the URL short. If appropriate, add a number, a time frame, and info on what the post is about. See above.
Headlines with 6-13 words consistently get strong results. And headlines with 6-8 words increase the CTR (click-through-rate) by 21%! Adding a hyphen or colon increases it by a further 9%.
#3. Choose a format that’s compatible with your content
The most popular blog formats remain how-to posts, listicles, and tutorials. The longtail format is increasingly popular. And according to the following blogging stats, quite a few things have changed for bloggers in the last few years.
An average blog takes longer to write now than it did two years ago. And the average length of a blog has increased to around 1,200 words, compared to 500 – 800 words before. But 2,000 words get better results – Stats from Optinmonster.
#4. Structure your blog for effective SEO, good readability, and scannability (easy to skim over)
Only 20% of your content gets read! Skim reading is how users consume most of their content. If you write scannable content, your usability rate could increase by over 100% (Nielsen survey, 2020). You can do this by:
Using bullet points.Keeping language simple, sentences short and paragraphs sectioned into subheadings.Formatting your posts with bold, italics, or different font sizes, just to break up your post and make certain keywords pop out.Inserting charts, infographics, and tables.Using block quotes that emphasize key points.Including white space. Break text with white space, leave gaps between headings and paragraphs. White space increases readability.
#5. Come up with creative ideas for content.
Do you get stuck sometimes, trying to keep your content ideas fresh and trending? I have 3 inspirational articles on finding creative content. Give them a read. They are:
#6. Consider design elements
How will your blog appear across multiple devices? Make sure your blog is easy to navigate. The following set of variables are all blog design elements that you can add and/or customize as you see fit. Remember who you are writing for. Most people use smartphones to do their online shopping.
Design elements include aspects like footers and headers, social media share buttons, widgets, comment box, RSS feeds, and CTA subscribe buttons.
#7. Be authentic
This can be conveyed by your tone, confidence in what you are promoting, and by giving honest, accurate information. When you tell a story or speak conversationally, readers will pick up the genuineness of your post. If you sound like an expert, constantly give good advice and answers, your followers and subscribers keep increasing.
#8. Quality over quantity
Less is more. Post often, if you can, but make sure each post is of high quality. Rather post less but deliver excellent, engaging content. Think long-term. Each published post should aim at building your online reputation as an expert in your chosen niche.
#9. Give facts, proof-backed evidence, statistics, and testimonials
Nothing is more convincing than genuine testimonials from people who get results and are happy with your product and content. When you can back up your content with studies, reviews, testimonials, and statistics it adds credibility to your brand and your content.
#10. Consider your writing style
There are 4 main types of writing styles:
Narrative: Great for long-form content. A narrative gives content in the form of storytelling. This style creates connections and builds relationships based on characters, conflict, and settings. Includes oral history, novels, short stories, and anecdotes.
Persuasive: Good style for advertising, reviews, academic papers, editorials, opinion pieces, letters of recommendation.
Expository: Expository writing deals with facts, stats, and evidence-based content. You will not find opinions with this style. Expository writing is good for textbooks, technical papers, recipes, news, and business proposals.
Descriptive: This style is not only used for fiction. You can write descriptive articles when you don’t need to add sales tactics. Poetry, journaling, novellas, plays, travel guides, and relating experiences will fall under descriptive writing.
These 10 points above blend into the 4 aspects I am going to describe next. The thoughtful curation of a blog post adds to the overall quality. A well-written, sensibly-constructed blog post delivers value to your audience without fail.
4 Aspects to write a blog post
Different formats appeal to specific target groups. That’s why it’s important to know who you are writing for.
Blog formats include the following:
How-To Posts,Listicles,The “What and Why” post or “Q & A” post,Guest Posts,Interviews,Curated Posts – Templates/ Checklists/Cheat Sheets and Resources,Testimonial posts (Storytelling),News and Entertainment posts,Case Study posts (content backed by studies, trials, statistics).
The format also includes what font you use, when and how you use bold, italics, bullet points, etc. Will you write a list, deliver a guide, or offer a step-by-step how to post? Are you introducing content in the form of a pillar post or cornerstone content? Or is it a shorter post that branches off from a cornerstone article?
The structure is how you break your blog posts up into sections. This is where our Free Template comes in handy. A basic blog post structure will have a title (H1), followed by an Introduction of between 150-300 words. Then you break the content into relevant sections and use your H2, H3, H4 heading sizes to create good SEO and to improve readability.
Stick to short paragraphs and sentences. Use simple words and keep the tone conversational.
Design elements include:
Custom headers and footers,Social media share buttons and widgets,Search bar,Adding a comment box,Adding a subscribe box and an RSS feed widget,Make your blog easy to navigate. Keep categories less than 10 for extra clarity and usability,Add an “About Me” page. See this article on how to put together an appealing “About Me” page.
Be original,Solve a problem,Answer a question,Be accurate,Add value to your website, brand, or product,Be well-researched,Be backed by evidence,Contain mixed media, like videos, images, infographics,Be structured for maximum SEO.
I hope this article has given you clear insight on how to write a blog post! Here’s a brief rundown of what you need to remember when you curate your future fabulous blog posts:
Use our free template to guide you when you compile your content.Remember to create attention-grabbing headlines.Format, design, and structure are just as important as the content.Know your target audience.Be authentic.Choose your format and style based on the type of content you will be delivering.Structure your content so that readers can scan and/or read the article with ease.Add facts and figures when relevant.Less is more, so always choose quality content over quantity.
And as promised here is our Free Blog Template. Sticking to this structure helps you to stay organized and remain on topic. Use the template as a rough guide to your outline. Once you have your structure set out, you fill in your potential headings and subheadings. Allocate a word count to each section. This helps you to stay within your word count and saves time.
How to Write A Blog Post – Template
#1 The main title of the blog post
Always H1 headlineBetween 6-8 words longUse your keyword or keyphraseInclude a numberInclude a power wordDescribe the content in a way that hooks your readersTry to come up with 5-10 titles. And narrow it down to three choices, then pick the perfect one.
First, a short SEO brief. All the elements included in the table below help optimize the website for search engines and, at the same time, affect the quality of the article.
Sample Post TitlesTitle 1Post Title 2Title 3Primary Title H1*Look at competitorsDon’t copy themDo it better*Post URLNew URL: yourdomain.com/new-post-url/Use your focus keywordKeep it shortMeta Description*Length up to 155 charactersUse your focus keywordInclude a call-to-actionMake it uniqueMake sure to use the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress – it will give you some irreplaceable tips*Focus Keyword or KeyphraseCraft a keyword strategyFind a focus keyword people search forResearch the search volume (MSV- Monthy Search Volume – The aproximatly number of monthly searches for the given kyeword idea on Google)Related Keyword or Keyphrase* Less searched forKeywords with lower MSVLess popular means less competition & less competition is higher chances to convert (usually)*Internal Links in Your PostLinks from one article on your website to another on your website, are essential to SEO So don’t forget to add themOutbound (External) Links*Consider whether you want to add external links from your website to othersRemember this way you support other websitesAdd non-competitive external links *
Use your focus keyword or keyphrase in your introductionThe intro should tell readers what they can expectTell them what problems will be solved, and which questions will be answeredWord count: 150-300.
#3 Headings and Subheadings
Use the H2, H3, H4 hierarchy. It improves SEO and keeps posts organized and easy to read.Remember that your post title is always H1 heading, so for your content section you should use your H2, H3, H4 heading sizesUse your keyword or keyphraseWord count: 150-300 (per subsection).
Keep short. 3-4 sentences per paragraphUse your keyword or keyphraseUse simple words.
End with CTA (call-to-action) and a summary of your contentWord count: 150-200.
This is what your blog post should look like: The word count on this post would add up to 1450-2000, an ideal number for short-form blog posts these days.
The post How To Write A Blog Post + Free Blog Post Template appeared first on Blog On Your Own.
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