4 Key ingredients for a great blog post

4 Key ingredients for a great blog post

As a copywriter, I’m often asked, “what makes a good blog post?”. I’ve been mulling this over and have distilled it down to four key ingredients, which I’d like share with you now…

 

Ingredient 1: An engaging title

If your title doesn’t catch people’s attention, they are unlikely to click on your post, which would be a shame.

 

Well-proven title structures for getting the ‘clicks’ include:

‘How to…X’

The reader knows they will learn something from this post.

‘10 Ways to…X’

A small number makes the post sound manageable, whilst a larger number makes it sound chock-full of valuable info.

‘What are the best ways to…X?’

Questions are great because they encourage the reader to click for an answer.

 

Evoking emotion is also powerful:

‘Are you using this easy marketing trick?’

Oo – easy you say? Well count me in! (…click)

‘Are you making this common marketing mistake?’

Oh my god – what if I am?! (…click)

‘I can’t believe this marketing secret is so simple’

Secret? What secret? Why is it simple? (…click)

 

Ingredient 2: Lovely, lovely formatting

Blogs are, by their nature, an online medium and whilst it isn’t true of every person, blog readers are often skim readers. People will frequently read through blogs on their lunch break, during their commute, or from their phone, whilst watching TV.

My point is that reading a blog is not the same as reading a novel. People read quickly, they look for the ‘gist’ of the article and they move on.

If they click on your superb title, only to be confronted with a page of solid text, they may be put off. Even more so, if they’re viewing a truncated version on their phone or tablet.

 

So – where it’s relevant, make it easy for them by using:

  • Short paragraphs
  • Lists
  • Subheadings in bold
  • Bullet points

(Examples of each can be seen throughout this post)

 

Ingredient 3: A clear, consistent voice

If you’re blogging, it’s likely to be a regular thing. Maybe you’ll post once a month, once a week or once a day. Whatever the regularity, make sure that your blog posts have a clear, consistent voice.

 

Think about the following…

Is your blog written from an organisation or from a person?

“Here at Gilbhub, we’re often asked…”

“As a copywriter, I’m often asked…”

 

How formal or informal is your tone?

“I found this blog very useful”

“I loved this blog!”

“I freakin’ loved this blog – it was amaze-balls!!”

 

Do you want to use sentence case or title case?

Sentence case: ‘4 Key ingredients for a great blog post’

Title case: ‘4 Key Ingredients For A Great Blog Post’

 

In reality, any blog could be written by an individual, a team of alternating people, or a hired copywriter such as myself. The key is to keep consistency, so that every post sounds like it’s coming from the same place. Setting some basic guidelines, like the ones above, will help you achieve this.

 

Ingredient 4: Valuable content

Above all else, you want to ensure that your content is of value.

Try to come at each post with the aim of helping the reader. This may be by listing some quick tips, giving advice or simply providing a new perspective on a topic they care about.

If you’ve made a promise in the title, make sure your blog post fulfils it. This will make your content more shareable and keep your readers coming back for more, because they know that when you write a post, it’s worth reading. I personally have several bloggers bookmarked because I know that I’m always going to learn something great when I visit their websites.

Now I’d love to hear from you. What are your key ingredients for a great blog post? Leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter: @hannagilb

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