This post has been updated from the orginal publish date, November 2015.
Have you ever wondered if there is such a thing as creating the ultimate blog post? When I was a new blogger I often wondered about that myself and while there is no perfect formula there are certain elements we need to create the ultimate blog post.
Think of it this way. Creating a blog post is like baking a cake. A baker needs to follow a recipe in order for a cake to come out moist and yummy and would have people ask for a second slice.
The same goes for creating a blog post. A blogger has to be sure his or her post has all the right stuff to get folks to read it from start to finish and go back for more.
Is it me, or did that remind you of the song by the New Kids On The Block called The Right Stuff? Great, now I have that song my head…oh, oh, oh, oh, oh the right stuff.
Anyway. Now that I’ve given away my age, let’s move on.
There are seven key elements you should always include, a featured image, the title, subtitles and of course the content, the style, a close and call to action.
Let me break down the elements and share why each one is an important part of the formula for putting the ultimate blog post together.
Every blog post should have at least one featured image. A featured image should introduce your blog post and connect emotionally with readers.
If you’re a fashion or foodie blogger, you definitely want to have more than one image.
Images can also be optimized for SEO. Make sure to include keywords in the title of the image as well as the Alt and description text.
First and foremost, your blog post has to have an attention-grabbing headline. It’s the first thing a reader sets their eyes on so you have to make sure your headline will peak a reader’s interest to read your post.
If you ever get stuck writing a headline, and who hasn’t, help is just one click away. When I can’t come up with a topic to write about, I use Content Ideator. All you do is type in a couple of keywords and it will generate a list of headlines/topic ideas. Trust me, it’s gotten me out of a jam on more than one occasion.
A subtitle lets a reader know what that section of your post is going to be about. Some folks tend to skim through a post. A good subtitle will let a reader know what you’re going to talk about. Then he or she can read what part is relevant to them and continue skimming.
Subtitles are also picked up by search engine spiders. Use specific keywords in phrases of two to three words. Plugins like Yoast SEO for WordPress is a great tool that will help you make sure your post is optimized.
This is a basic format using the HTML codes <H2>, <H3> or <H4>:
H1: This is the main title
If you have a WordPress blog, the WP Edit plugin adds more editing features to the default WordPress editor.
After you install the plugin, go to the WP Editor settings. Under the “buttons” tab, just drag and drop the “Formats” or “Paragraph” buttons from the button container to the button rows.
Think of your content as the piece de la resistance. Now that you’ve gotten a reader’s attention with an awesome title and image, your content needs to deliver.
The opening of your post is important because readers are more likely to continue reading the rest of the post after three or four sentences. So make sure the first paragraph rocks!
When writing a blog post, keep these goals in mind:
- Keep a friendly, conversational tone throughout your blog post.
- Make a connection with your reader by sharing a personal experience they can relate to.
- Deliver a clear message.
- Point out any benefits to your reader.
- Provide helpful advice or easily-implemented how-to’s your readers can use.
Format and Style
Avoid long blocks of text and keep paragraphs to three to four sentences. Long paragraphs may lose a reader’s interest while one-sentence paragraphs can be distracting.
Use simple words. Remember, the goal is to connect with your readers so avoid the professional words. For instance, instead of writing “tips you can utilize”, write “tips you can use.”Make sure you have the right stufff to create the ultimate #blogpost.Click To Tweet
Call To Action
Now that you’ve connected with your reader, it’s time for call to action. This is where you either get your reader to buy a product or subscribe to your mailing list. A Call to Action is placed at the end as part of the closing text and should be written in a way that will tempt a reader to, well, take action.
For example, if the goal is to get a reader to subscribe to your newsletter you can write: “Subscribe to our newsletter to get more posts like this when it’s hot off the press! Click here to subscribe.”
And speaking of closing text…
Close your post by encouraging your readers to engage in conversation by leaving a comment. Place share buttons at the end of your post so they’re easy to get to. That way, when you ask readers to share your post they can do it in a few clicks.
And There You Have It
These are the seven key elements to create the ultimate blog post. Is this format set in stone? No, it’s not. But it is the most commonly used.
What about you? What kind of format do you use for your blog post? If there is anything you do differently? Leave a comment below and share what’s been working for you.
P.S. Here’s the video for the song You Got It (The Right Stuff). I don’t want to be the only one with that song in my head, hehe!