Very often when writing a blog post many doubts arise: is this an engaging title? should I place the image on top, in the middle or at the end? how many words should I use? what if I place a link or two, is it too much? Don’t feel bad, we all have been in this situation at least once or twice!
So…what’s the best structure for a blog post? as an online marketer I do believe that there will never exist a perfect blog post structure, but I do believe that there are guidelines to follow in order to maintain an organised structure. Here I listed the most important guidelines that I recommend to take into consideration when writing a blog post:
1. Use a catchy title
Highly important (!) your title should grab people’s attention. Try to keep it under 70 characters since Google will only display the first 70 characters. Also keep in mind that short titles are easier to share in social media (e.g. Twitter’s 140 characters limit). Don’t forget to include any keyword close to the start of the title and always make use of Google trends, this online tool will help you to find out how often specific keywords, subjects and phrases have been queried over a specific period of time.
2. The first paragraph matters a lot!
If the introduction paragraph is boring, do you really think that people will continue reading your blog post? epic fail (!) always try to let them know what can they expect from reading the article, announce your intentions, make use of questions, use facts or surprising statements to keep your readers interested.
3. Use a relevant image
The content of a book is the most important, but what would be a book without a nice cover? Adding an image to your post will make it more engaging and will help to deliver the intended message with a bigger impact. Always keep in mind that an image is an extra element. If it’s too big it becomes the main element. Use images that are either not wider than one-third of your content block width, or even up to the whole width but really small in height.
4. The body and the call to action
The body: Blog posts should be as long as they need to be to serve their purpose. Let’s take as an example a research done by HubSpot. During this research they compared the performance of blog posts with more than 2,000 words and other blog posts with less than 100 words, the result? both types of blog posts performed really well. Don’t forget that brevity is important, If you can say something using few words, you should. No one likes to read that much anyway.
The call to action: It can be placed anywhere in your post as long as it makes sense and is relevant to your content. However, you should always include a call to action at the end of every blog post you write. Here are some of the many actions that you can request your readers to perform: ask them to comment on your post, ask them to share your post with their social network, ask them to like your post, ask them to download your e-book or ask them to click on a link to a related page on your blog.
In my opinion is not very recommendable to use a lot of links in every paragraph, don’t abuse. Depending on how long is your blog post, allow yourself to use 1 or 2 links throughout your post that direct viewers to past blog posts. You can also list a previous relevant post that viewers who enjoyed this post might be interested in.
E.g.:“You may also enjoy: 5 tips to increase your new blog traffic in 5 days without paying“
Lastly, remember to experiment, try different things out, find out what works best for you, but always keep in mind these guidelines listed before. Feel free to share my post if you’ve found it very handy!