We all know that we read differently online than we do offline. But how does a blog post turn from mediocre into something great? When does yet another page on your website become something interesting, sharable and help build your authority?
The short answer is when a blog post is written well with the audience in mind. The longer answer is well, longer.
The anatomy of a great blog post looks something like this.
- A great blog headline
- Storytelling hook
- Scannable blog posts
- Good images
- Good use of white space
- Logical order
- Timeless and timely
- Links and further reading
A great blog headline
Ask anyone in media, marketing or publishing and they will all likely say that the title or headline should be the strongest words in your entire post. The headline is the first thing your audience sees, the boldest return in the search engine results and the main hook you have to pull the reader in.
The first and last words in a headline are the most powerful, so use them well. Anything over 55 characters will get chopped in the SERPS, so keep it short and punchy.
A headline that includes a question, surprise, galvanising opinions, numbers, emotion, negative words such as those that suggest greed, anger, cheating, lust or fear, positive words, specifics, time sensitive terms and those that pique curiosity usually work well.
Blog posts should be personal and that?s where storytelling comes in. A post that begins with a personal anecdote or introduction work amazingly well. So do those who reference influencers or famous people. Using a quote, interview or famous action to tie the reader into the point you?re trying to make can seriously increase engagement.
Scannable blog posts
Your blog post has to be scannable as that is how we read online. That means short, snappy sentences, short paragraphs, lots of subheadings and line breaks. Lists, italics, bold sentences and other font trickery can quickly draw attention to key points and keep the audience engaged.
Bulleted lists are a frequent tool used by blog writers because they are very effective at getting a lot of information across without a wall of text.
A picture really can paint a thousand words and the better the image, the better the engagement. Depending on the niche of the blog, an image with a touch of humour works well. As do ironic, descriptive or emotive images. Quality is everything when using an image in a blog post.
Given the sheer number of free stock image websites available now, there really is no excuse to steal or copy images without permission. We?re going to cover stock image websites soon.
Good use of white space
Any designer will tell you that there is power in the space between text and images. It isn?t just them getting out of doing any work either, it?s a fact. A blog post should be well laid out with a clean page design. Keep the sidebar, top and bottom as clean as possible too. If you depend on ad revenue, make sure the ads are secure and unobtrusive.
As your blog post is telling a story, make sure it is ordered correctly. When you?re in the middle of writing a great post, it?s easy to get carried away. Write it, then leave it for a day or two to brew and then edit. Ensure the post has a clear introduction and segues nicely into the meat of the story before summarising at the end.
Timeless and timely
A blog that has a mixture of timeless and timely content should do well. Timeless content is often referred to as cornerstone content and are your top ten posts in terms of quality, readers and shares. Use them well. Timely content is usually reserved for opinion pieces, news, special events, seasonal topics or something that has a schedule. Mixing up both of these offers a lot of variety for readers.
Links and further reading
The vast majority of blog readers just want something light to read. Something that will entertain them, teach them something, make them laugh, outrage them or evoke an emotion. Some readers will want to go into more depth, so including links to further reading or to sources that offer that detail is good practice. You could also go into more detail yourself and provide internal links.
A great blog post is one that is written from the heart. It contains a piece of you, some emotion, personal story, or opinion. It is these things that differentiates the average forgettable blog post from those that will be shared.
It?s also the least of what you can expect when you buy your blog posts from Coastal Content. If you want great blog posts for your business that are written from the heart, contact us today!