It goes without saying that writing a blog post is a time-consuming process. One of the worst things that you can do is pull together a blog post without first putting in the necessary leg work. You can’t simply pluck a random idea out of thin air, throw some words onto the screen and expect it to perform well.
If you find yourself pushed for time and unable to do your research and writing justice, you would be better off not writing at all. Poorly constructed content is one of the biggest reasons why people bounce – and bounce rate ultimately changes how the search engines rank you on the SERPs.
Today we are going to take a closer look at the nine foundations of a perfect blog post. While SEO is essential, we are going to push it aside for today and focus purely on constructing a blog that’s worthy of your readers time. Once you have a writing template and place, future content production becomes quicker and easier to do.
When a reader lands on your blog page, it takes them approximately 8 seconds to decide if they’re going to stay or leave. This is where having an honest headline can help.
As the headline is the first thing that your readers are going to notice, you need to make it as attractive and click-worthy as possible. With that said, you should avoid using clickbait headlines. They might get the user to click on the link, but again, you can expect the bounce rate to be pretty high.
The aim of the game is to try to grab their attention while being as honest as possible. Think of it as being a micro sales pitch that lets them know what they can expect to receive from your content.
- How to
- 10 of the best
- Top tips for
- An easy guide to
- Seven reasons why
- Why you need to know about
These are all great formats for a headline that converts. People appreciate content that delivers value, so if your post isn’t an actionable how-to guide or a top 10 reasons why, you shouldn’t use that as your headline.
once you have come up with a fantastic header, it is time to start working on your subheaders. These help break up large blocks of text into bite-sized, digestible pieces of information that are a pleasure to read.
Whenever you write content for your blog, you want to have a beginning, a middle and an end. Subheaders help to guide the reader from start to end.
Again, just like with your header, subheaders should be eye-catching and intriguing. They should summarise what the following paragraphs are about and give the reader encouragement to continue.
They also make it easier for the reader to scan through your content and find precisely what they’re looking for. As a bonus, they can help with your search engine rankings as Google actively looks at your subheaders for context.
The body copy is the juiciest part of your content. It offers your readers the most value and makes up the bulk of your blog. Whenever you write your body copy, you should avoid using filler text and fluff.
Filler text and fluff serve a purpose every now and then. It can help bulk out than content. However, your readers will quickly lose patience if you don’t get to the point.
The average person is prepared to dedicate up to 7 minutes reading a blog post that interests them. On average, the typical person can read through 2000 words in 7 minutes.
But just how long should your content be? It is no secret that Google prefers longer content as it offers the most value to the reader. The search engines also look at the length of a post and determine whether it is long enough to be considered as authority content.
As a bare minimum, you should always aim for at least six hundred words. Remember, you can have too much of a good thing, so try to keep the blog post under 3000 words. Yes, longer content may perform better in the search results, but unless your readers are particularly determined, they’re not going to spend hours reading.
Whenever you use statistics or data in your blog posts, you should back these up with high authority references. By High authority, we don’t mean Wikipedia.
Yes, Wiki can be a great source of information, but it is all too easily edited or modified by the public. This can cause you to reference inaccurate or false information.
Wherever possible, try to use.Gov and .edu resources and present a summary of what the findings are. The more accurate your content is, the more likely your readers are to trust you. This can have a knock-on effect with the search engines, which will see you as someone who provides value.
Don’t worry if you don’t use references, statistics and data. Not every blog post calls for it. But try to use it where you can as it helps improve reader retention.
No blog post is complete without a few visuals. Be it an infographic, an image, a video, or even a gif; visuals make your content come to life.
But in today’s world of social media, visual elements can also help your content go viral and drive more traffic to your website. Both videos and infographics work amazingly well with this and are considered to be especially share-worthy.
Of course, social media sharing aside; everyone knows the old saying of a picture tells a thousand words. So whatever kinds of visual imagery you use, you need to make sure that it is relevant to the context of your content.
As an example, if you’re writing a blog post about organic gardening, using a photo of a race car will make no sense whatsoever. Every part of your blog post should connect in one way or another. Images and videos are just another piece of the puzzle.
At the end of every blog, you should always include a summary or final thoughts section. This is where you break down the things you discussed in the main body of your blog and share your thoughts or opinions.
You should always try to refrain from doing this in the primary body copy. The reader is there for authority value, not random opinions.
Basically, your summary will answer the question your blog is covering. It will then follow along with you wrote what you wrote. The summary is also where you can use your call to action, which we will discuss in the next section.
A CTA (call to action) is a crucial paragraph located at the end of your blog post. Think of it as being a request for the reader to perform a specific action. As an example, a CTA could include the following:
- Please leave a comment below
- Sign up to our mailing list for more
- Share this post on social media
- Check out our latest blog post here
The great thing about placing a call to action at the end of your blog post is that the reader is much more likely to act upon receiving value from your content.
Making Meta Descriptions Matter
Many bloggers and websites often overlook meta descriptions. But they can be an invaluable tool for encouraging readers to check out your work.
Every time you perform a Google search, you’ll see a small snippet of information explaining what the content is about. This is your meta description.
Instead of leaving Google to auto-generate a meta description that cuts off halfway through, you should try to create your own. Think of it as a window into your content—a place to pique the reader’s interest and encourage them to click on your blog page link.
A well-written meta description should be targeted toward people and not machines. Google is much smarter than many people give it credit for, and it fully understands the context of your meta description.
Use it in the same way that you would use Twitter. Create a coherent and grammatically correct sentence that tells the reader what they can expect to find. Simple.
Finding a Featured Image
Featured images work in two different ways. Firstly, they are located at the top of your blog post and give an attractive visual to the opening of your content.
Secondly, they can help readers find your content whenever they perform a Google image search. If you use image ALT tags to describe the image, whenever someone performs a search using those terms, it will be displayed to them.
Think of your featured image as being the cover of a book. It should entice and intrigue the reader while remaining utterly relevant to the content context. Pixabay is a great place to find free images to use. Or you could use Canva to create a unique and custom featured image for your blog post.
The main thing to remember is that even if you don’t use all of the above, everything should be perfectly connected throughout.
Whether this is the images you use, the statistics and data you quote, or the headlines you create – each should be relevant to the next.
The rest of it is up to you. Get creative and enjoy the process. Once you’ve completed a few blog posts using a set method, you’ll find writing blogs is easier and more enjoyable.
If you want to learn more about how to create awesome blog posts, improve your writing skills and learn more about SEO, check out our blog today. We upload fresh content weekly so that you can stay up-to-date with all the latest changes.