Having a good content structure is critical to writing blog posts that people can easily read and understand.
When you are starting out blogging it takes a little while to find your feet and what works for you.
In this post, I am going to share the content structure for a good, strong blog post.
Good strong content serves you and your reader better. It enables you blog to get traction faster and builds your credibility as a content creator, faster. Having a good structure makes the writing process so much easier for you. And I’m all for working smarter, not harder.
The four main elements to well-structured blog posts are:
- Tell ‘em what you are telling ‘em,
- Tell ‘em
- Then tell ‘em what you told them.
If you’re coming from a training or speaking background you’ll recognise that structure straight away; it’s what forms the basis of many training classes, workshops and speeches.
Shall we get started?
The introduction to your blog post.
The first sentence of any article needs to be carefully thought out to catch attention. People should instantly be able to grasp what the essence of the article is just by reading the first sentence. The first paragraph should elaborate on the first sentence, hook the reader in and get people interested in reading to the end of the blog post. You have just 10 seconds to answer “what’s in it for me”
You’ll know if you have this right because your blog posts will get more shares, start to get more comments and readers become subscribers. Your analytics will show people staying for longer on your blog, and your bounce rate won’t be so high.
Tell ‘em what you are telling ‘em (also known as let your reader know what to expect)
Before jumping into the meat of the content, let them know what to expect in the rest of the blog post. This can be as detailed as “we’ll cover X, Y and Z now” to as simple as “here’s how to do X.” The most important thing is to prepare people to receive whatever you’re about to share. If you have ever had feedback that’s unexpected, you’ll know that can leave an odd taste in your mouth. An unprepared reader can have the same experience as they read your post. So prepare them.
Tell ‘em – the main talking points of your blog post.
Go through each of your talking points, one by one.
- Make sure to separate your content into easily digestible chunks.
- Don’t just write a 500-word article from top to bottom,
- Break it up into subsections, subheading and bullet points.
- Add at least one image to your blog post and remember to credit the image creator if you have used Flickr or another photo-sharing site.
- Your reader should feel like you’re speaking directly to them, and if you have written for your ideal reader rather than anyone and everyone, you will be.
- Make sure that you word as much of your content in “what’s in it for you” terms. We’re all selfish, so each post should answer the “what’s in it for me” that we silently ask as our eyes skim the post. It often helps to present a few different solutions, angles or opinions in your main points.
- If you’re talking about blogging, for example, offer the reader several different techniques, they can use. Sometimes you can offer advice at varying levels, for example, the beginner blogger may just want to add an image to their post, a more experienced blogger will break it down into sub-heads and paragraphs that are easily read.
- Give examples or use case studies.
The more theoretical your article is, the less likely your reader is to remember it a few weeks henceforth. Case studies are extremely powerful tool that bloggers can use to their advantage. They help take something that’s theory and turn it into something real, something tangible for your reader to hook into. Readers are far more likely to remember an example demonstrating a technique than just the plain old theory.
Tell them what you told ‘em – the summary.
The last paragraph of your article is the summary. The summary should sum up everything you just wrote about and reinforce the most important point. Sometimes it’s best to leave the reader with an actionable piece of content, something they can immediately complete at the end of the summary.
Tell people exactly what it is you want them to do. Be assertive and make sure to recap all the main benefits to them taking action now rather than later.
These are the main parts of a good strong blog post structure. Following this structure will help give your users a good sense of what to expect from your blog post and keep them engaged as they’re reading.
It’ll also make it easier for you to organize your thoughts into a coherent chronological order before you start writing.
What structure do you have in place for your blog posts?
Come and share your tips in the comments.
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