The anatomy of great blog articles

If you have ever tried to write a blog post, you already know just how difficult it can be. Even if you have a great idea for the article, and you have plenty of knowledge of the topic at hand, it’s still a struggle to get the words to come out just right. Hopefully, with the ideas and suggestions below, we can help you get on track toward finishing a blog post that will serve your site well for years to come.

A Compelling Title

The title of your blog post is going to go a long way toward determining its success or failure. In fact, the title alone may be the deciding factor when a web user is trying to decide which of the many search results to select. If your title grabs their attention and speaks directly to the problem they are trying to solve, you’ll be far more likely to get a click. Some of the keys to a great blog title are as follows –

  • Not too long. If your title goes on too long, it may not deliver its message in an effective manner. At the same time, you want to use more than just a couple of words for your title, as that won’t be enough information to encourage the reader to learn more. Try to land somewhere in the 5 – 10-word range for most of your titles, although that can vary a bit depending on the topic at hand.
  • Include a keyword. When a potential site visitor finds your blog post in the search results, it’s likely because they searched for a keyword that is featured prominently in your post. So, it only makes sense to include that keyword or phrase in your title if at all possible.
  • Open-ended. You want to make your titles informative, but you also don’t want to completely answer a person’s question with the title alone. If you do that, there will be no reason to click on the title and actually read the post. Offer an indication that your post is going to deliver the information they need but wait to deliver that information until you are into the post itself.

Get Right Down to Business

It’s well known that you don’t have much time to capture attention in the modern world. Attention spans are only getting shorter in the digital age, and that is particularly true on the internet. If you are trying to get someone to read your entire blog post from start to finish, you better get their attention within the first few sentences. Otherwise, that ‘Back’ button is just a click or tap away, and they can be on to something else.

The best way to grab the reader’s attention is to get right to the point. Rather than waiting for the end of your blog post to finish with the point that you have been trying to make the whole time, you should consider leading with that point. That’s what the reader is looking for anyway, so you might as well give it to them right at the start. Then, with your main point established, you can use the rest of the post to back up your point, provide evidence, add to it, etc.

Plenty of Breaks in the Content

This is another point that relates to shorter attention spans and holding the attention of the reader. As you construct your post, be sure to use plenty of breaks in the content in the form of bullet-point lists, headings, etc. Large walls of text that run on for hundreds of words are only going to turn your readers away.

Not only will breaking up the text make it easier to keep the reader’s attention, but it might also make the content easier to understand. You can highlight specific points in the short sections of the article and use lists to make sure pieces of information stand out clearly.

Images are Your Friend

Blog posts are about written content first and foremost, but great images can go a long way toward helping you make your points and leave an impression on the reader. Images are another way to break up written content, of course, so this point fits in nicely with the previous section. Even if you don’t necessarily need an image to compliment your writing, something like a picture of beautiful scenery can add appeal to the post as a whole.

Once you have an idea for a new blog article, take some time to search for images even before you start writing. Collecting a few images in advance can make it easier to form your post, as you can use those images as milestones to structure the post and bring everything together. If you get into the habit of picking out images first and then get down to the work of writing the content, the process may be easier and take you less time to complete.

Adding a Social Aspect

Given the tremendous popularity of social media in the modern world, you might want to look to include social elements in your blog posts. This is not a strategy that will work for each post you create, but it can be an engaging addition on the right topic.

For instance, once you are working on a blog post and you have an established topic and direction for the content, start browsing social platforms like Facebook and Twitter to look for discussion on the subject at hand. If you find interesting comments or posts from notable people on the topic, consider reaching out directly to see if they would like to be included in some way in your article. Those who are active on social media are often trying to promote themselves in one form or another, so many will be happy to oblige and take part in your article.

Try Using Conversational Language

It’s important to remember that you are writing a blog post, not an academic paper, and the appropriate tone is likely a friendly and conversational approach. If you have a background in writing more formal pieces, it may take some time to adjust to the relaxed wording and phrasing that works so well in a blog setting.

Think about your approach to writing a blog post as you might think about sending an email to a friend. You are going to use personal language, be relaxed, and engage them in the conversation (even though it isn’t a live conversation). This is much the same way that you should write your blog posts. If your blog is a personal endeavor that represents you as your own brand, be sure to write in the first person to draw the reader in and allow them to feel like they are speaking with you directly.

Varied Topics on a Central Theme

One of the many challenges associated with writing content for a blog is thinking up fresh, exciting topics. The goal here should be to stick closely to your central theme while including enough variety to keep it fresh and keep people interested.

For example, let’s say you run a blog that is meant for avid home cooks. You love to prepare your own food at home, and you’ve made this blog to share that passion with others. That’s a great concept, and many others have created popular blogs with a similar idea. But will your readers keep coming back if you prepare the same few dishes over and over again? Of course not – you need to mix it up to make it interesting and worthwhile for the reader.

Whatever the subject of your blog happens to be, stay creative and pick varied topics to write about that all come back in one way or another to that theme. As long as you keep an open mind and are willing to do some research when you get stuck, it should be possible to keep coming up with new topics for years to come.

Find Your Own Voice

Perhaps the most important piece of advice you can receive regarding writing blog articles is to seek out your own voice. Sure, you can benefit from advice in articles such as this, but ultimately it is up to you to find your own personal way to deliver a message to your audience. If you are just copying other blogs, it will be hard to attain the kind of success you have imagined. Be willing to put yourself out there and find your own style – with any luck, your style will resonate with a portion of the market and you can build your audience one reader at a time.

No one gets better at blogging by sitting around doing nothing – you need to actually write posts if you are going to improve! Your first few articles might not be very good, but that’s okay. Stick with it and improve your skills as you go. Good luck with your blog adventures and remember to have fun along the way!

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