7 Elements of a Perfect Blog Post
If you’ve ever written a blog post before, you know that blogging isn’t as easy as it seems. It takes a lot of time and effort to create a post that people will want to read and share. But blogging has many business benefits and plays a big role in the success of your content marketing plan.
Blogs help to inform and provide your target customers potential solutions to a tough business challenge or question they have. Blogging is also an opportunity to establish your company’s authority and thought leadership in a given industry, and to show potential customers that you care about their business beyond just trying to sell your product or service.
So how do you make sure every blog post you create will capture people’s attention and drive the results you want? Here’s a blueprint for the perfect blog post:
THE ANATOMY OF THE PERFECT BLOG POST
For newspapers and magazines, the headline is often the most important element on a page. A blog’s title is no different. Headline is what potential readers use to determine whether they would read your blog or not. In fact, your traffic can vary by as much as 500% based on your headline!
Sadly, 80% of readers don’t actually make it past the headline. So it’s crucial to create a stand out headline that will capture a reader’s attention and interest to click through. Research has shown that readers tend to absorb the first and last three words in a headline, so you’ll want to focus on those words when crafting your blog titles.
Also, try to keep your headline around 55 or fewer characters. This allows the entire title to fit on a search page. If it’s too long, it’ll get cut off and people won’t see the full headline in their search results.
When writing your headlines, these are some additional elements you will want to consider:
- Rationale – tricks, tips, or hacks
- Numbers – for example “Top 10 tricks in…”
- Adjectives – free, must-have, useful
- Keywords – for organic traffic
- Trigger words – why or how
- Promise – make a promise to readers like “7 Free Tools That Will Help You…”
Putting it all together, you can try out this headline formula: Numbers + Adjectives + Target keyword + Rational + Promise. An example would look something like, “10 Awesome Tricks That Will Help You Create An Effective Social Media Strategy.”
Once you’ve hooked the readers with your headline, they’ll look at the intro to see if your article is really worth their time reading. To keep your readers interested, use storytelling when writing your intro. Using storytelling can boost your blog’s readership by as much as 300% compared to one without storytelling. Groove HQ also found that readers spend 520% more time on a post that uses storytelling.
So how do you this? You can start your intro by sharing a personal story or an anecdote from an influencer, expert or famous person. In your intro, you should also try to answer questions readers may have, including: What is this post about? Why should I read it? What will I get out of it?
Now that readers have decided to continue reading your blog, keep them reading by making your content extremely easy to scan. Guide your readers through the post by using subheads for every new section or idea you introduce.
- Main Copy
The ideal length for a blog is about 1,600 words, which takes readers approximately 7 minutes to read the entire post. But most people only scan and read about 28% of the words in a post during the average page visit. So to make your blog more “scan-friendly,” you’ll want to use bullet points, lists, charts, quotes, and visuals whenever you can, to help readers pick up the most important bits of information quickly.
- Visual Elements
Did you know people can remember images 6 times easier than text? That’s why it’s really important to use quality photos to make your blog post more memorable. Visuals also help break up your copy to improve readability and scanability. Try to aim for one visual for every 350 words.
Blog posts with more images also attract more backlinks, and you’ll want this for SEO optimization because some search engines rank sites with quality backlinks higher.
When it comes to picking photos, videos or illustrations for your blog post, they should be relevant and of good quality. They also shouldn’t have a logo or watermark on them. In your blog post, make sure you include links to where they came from as well.
- Call-to-Action (CTA)
You’ve written your blog post for a reason, so make it easy for your readers to take action on it. Aim to have at least one CTA in your post, whether that’s in the sidebar, header, and/or footer.
Don’t ask your readers for too much though, since you want to make the call-to-action super easy for them to do. You should also make it extremely clear what readers can expect to get in exchange for their information or clicks.
- Sharing Elements
Writing a well-crafted, share-worthy post is hard work, so of course you want to get your content shared by as many people as possible. Make it easy for your readers to share your post by adding share buttons in the header, footer, and/or sidebar. Share buttons make a blog post 7 times more shareable than one without them.