Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post
These days, blogs are a dime a dozen—as ubiquitous as 140-character status updates about what you ate for lunch. It’s near impossible to visit a business’s website without stumbling across their attempt at “that blogging thing the kids are into.” If you’ve started a blog, you’re in the ranks of millions of others clamoring for an audience.
Given the seemingly hopeless odds, how do you stand out in the crowd? How can you raise your blog above the cacophonous masses? The simple, honest answer is: You must write better than everyone else.
I know; I make it sound so easy. Stop for a moment. Think of it like listening to music. Ninety percent of the material out there is written by amateurs and practically un-listenable. The same goes for blogs. Reading this post will not single-handedly make you a blogging god. You won’t become a brilliant writer overnight, but employ some simple tactics, and you’ll improve the quality of your writing from the middle of the pile to the top, where all the eyes are.
Here, I’m outlining the anatomy of the perfect blog post. Follow these tips to evolve into a higher league than your blogging competitors.
Components of a Perfect Post
Just like your favorite songs, the blog posts you’ve enjoyed reading have an underlying structure you may not have noticed. It makes writing easier to digest and understand. Pay attention, and you’ll notice it in this article too. Ignore this structure at the risk of rambling and obscuring your otherwise well-crafted topic and points, thus, turning away readers.
Here’s the summary: In the years of asking successful writers, presenters, and storytellers, the same phrase comes up again and again–Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Then tell them what you’ve told them.
This is what it means:
“Tell them what you’re going to tell them.” Greet your readers; give them a synopsis of what you’re writing about and why. Provide a sense of what they’ll get from reading your piece. This is the time to hook them.
“Tell them.” Give them the details and outline your points. Now that they know what they’re in for, give them what they came for. Support your writing with pictures, videos, graphs, or infographics if you have them.
“Tell them what you told them.” Conclude, and give your readers actionable steps. Sum up your points, and remind them why what you wrote is important. If it’s a promotional article, remember to include links or a way of acting on the offer.
This is the place to ask for comments or ask your readers to share the article. Ask them a question about the post and ask them to respond. When you prompt your visitors, they’re more likely to take action. Remember, you’ll need social media icons at the bottom of every post, something you can set up in your theme.
Make It Even Better
Organize Information With Headers
People naturally read more quickly and absorb information in small chunks. With our 140-character, headline-skimming, noncommittal, short-attention-span culture, long blocks of words make people’s eyes cross and overwhelm even the most avid reader.
There’s an easy solution—break up your long blocks of words using headers. Use the bigger headers to break up sections of your post, the two to three main ideas. Use smaller headers to break up individual thoughts in each of those sections. With smart sectioning, your reader will be able to skim the post, get the general idea, and drill into the sections that interest them the most.
And remember, keep your paragraphs short.
Use Styles to Your Advantage
Bold and Italics: Call out important words and passages with bold and italics. Use this sparingly. This makes it easy for your readers to scan passages quickly.
Block Quotes: Block quotes are used to call out multi-line quotes from outside sources, like interviews and articles. Most blogging platforms have a block quote style, and your theme should utilize it. They provide an optimal opportunity to grab your reader’s attention, so put interesting info that hooks in them.
Lists: Which grocery list is easier to read, paragraph form or each item on its own line? Use your blogging software’s baked-in list styles to precede each item with either a bullet or a number.
Now you have the understanding and skills to make your posts prettier, more organized, and easier to digest. This won’t give you poetic prose. It will, however, make your writing more enjoyable to read and make your readers want to read more. Remember also, the easier a blog post is to read and digest, the more likely it is your readers will share your content. Now, go forth and write better posts!
Do you structure your posts this way? How has your writing and readership benefited from these tips? Any other advice you’d give to aspiring writers? Let us know in the comments!
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