Plan your blog post structure
So, once you’ve worked out the general topic that you want to blog about, based on the interests of your target audience, and worked out where you’ll blog, it’s time to work on your first blog post.
To do this, there are a number of key elements of structure you should consider to help you start.
The headline is the first thing that consumers will read on your blog post. It’s usually the part that Search engines pick up on and display. If you can write a headline that stands out on a search page, that can make a difference as to whether people even see your blog or not.
Think about the words you want to use in your headline. You need enough familiar words so that the reader understands what the blog post is about. But it also needs to use words that make it stand-out or sound different from other headlines about the same topic.
Words that sound emotional or are attention grabbing are great to include in your headline. You need to aim for headlines that are long-enough to capture people’s attention in searches. But not so long they don’t read them. Yoast for example suggest that around 55 characters and 6 words is about the ideal for a headline.
The opening paragraph
Your opening paragraph should encourage the reader to want to read more of the post. It should give a flavour of what the content will be. In our blog posts, we always try to include a snapshot, a single paragraph that sums up the intent of the post. This snapshot includes keywords to help the SEO for the post, and it’s also what appears on any blog summary pages.
The middle structure – key points
For the middle section of your article, that’s really where you want to be writing about the main couple of points. We recommend you aim for around three broad themes per topic. But how many points you want to make will depend on the topic and your brand identity.
For us, we generally aim for three because we know three is a strong number when it comes to the number of key points an audience can remember. It also fits in well with our brand identity. And from a word count point of view, three main topics is usually enough to get your word count with the right range.
Close the blog post well
As a final part to this section on writing blogs, you should also consider how best to finish your blog post. Is there a call to action like in advertising copy, where you want the reader to think, feel or do something differently? In advertising copy, the call to action tends to focus on “do” something. Click a link. Visit a store. Buy a product.
Blog posts can and should do this sometimes too. But remember the point of blog posts is to drive engagement. If every post is just to drive a sale, that’s maybe not what the target audience wants all the time.
You can also have your call to action be more “think” or “feel” to build more of a a positive impression of your brand. That you have something to offer in your blog writing that is of value to your audience. Information they didn’t know. A point of view about a subject that they hadn’t considered before. Or just stories, anecdotes or ideas that entertain and educate.
The close of the post will be the last thing the reader will read, so it’s the part that will be most likely to be remembered. Think about what you want them to remember from the blog post. Do you summarise the key points you made? Or do you focus on the one biggest point you want them to remember?
You need to think about the context and spend time to make the close as well-written and memorable as you can.