The foolproof guide to the perfect blog post

Not to put any pressure on myself or anything but I’m going to teach you how to write a perfect blog post every single time! Creating an awesome blog post can be daunting at first (I know it was for me) however, I’m hoping that this guide will make it easy as pie for you.

I’m going to try and cover everything you need to know from titles and length to images and subheadings….wow that’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive in.

Headline

This is your make or break moment. According to Copyblogger eight out of ten people will read your title but only 2 out of ten will read your post. Which highlights just how important those few words actually are.

KISSmetrics found that readers only tend to pay attention to the first and last 3 words of every title. Apparently, we not only skim read blog posts but their titles as well.

This does not mean that you have to try and make your headline six words long, only that the first and last three words have to stand out.

Take our title for example; it is eight words long but the first and last three words are what catch your eye. This should be your aim with every title you come up with.

SEO guidelines say that your title should be no more than 55 characters in order to fit the entire title on a search results page. Ours is 44 in case you were wondering.

In terms of actually writing your headline, there are plenty of guides online with lots of different formulas featured. Here are a few of our favourites:

The how to – How to create the perfect blog post

It’s a numbers game – 8 tips to writing the perfect blog post

Ask a question – Do you know how to write the perfect blog post?

The plan – 10 step plan for writing the perfect blog post

Here is a fantastic article from Hubspot: How to Write Catchy Headlines and Blog Titles Your Readers Can’t Resist

Take your time coming up with your headline. It is literally the first thing people see, it’s what will get people to click on your links and actually continue to read the rest of your post.

The intro

If your headline is what reels your audience in, then your intro is what makes them want to stay.

Creating a narrative using storytelling is “muy importante”. To really achieve this start your blog post off with a personal anecdote or a moment of honesty. People are more likely to keep reading if your post starts with a dash of your personality.

You’ll notice that in the first paragraph of this post I talk about the fact that I’ve put pressure on myself by writing this post and told you how daunting I found trying to write the perfect blog posts at first. These confessions make it more likely that you’ll keep reading as honesty between writers and readers builds trust.

Free images for blogs

Images

We are very visual creatures, so it should go without saying that the perfect blog post includes images.

Include high-resolution images in all your posts and remember to fill in the Alt text and description including your keywords/phrases. Google can’t see images so you need to tell them what they are. Image alt text gives you the opportunity to do this.

We include a featured image at the side of our posts, this doesn’t mean that you have to do this, you can put it at the top or below your intro. Just make sure it’s visible as soon as your reader clicks on to your post.

Sentences and Paragraphs

You want to make your posts as easier to read as possible. This doesn’t have to mean simplifying the actually subject matter, it can be done by using fewer characters per sentence and fewer sentences per paragraph.

Doing this will make the information seem less complex and break it down into more bite-size chunks for your audience. The less daunted your readers feel the more likely they are to read until the end.

Subheadings

For the longest time, I didn’t use subheadings, silly me. I just didn’t understand what they would add to my posts. As it turns out they’re quite useful.

Although not true for everyone, the majority of people on the internet skim read. They scan posts to find what bits are applicable to them and they do it very quickly.

Putting in subheadings lets your readers know exactly what each part of your post is about and they make it more “scanning “friendly. We use the H2 and H3 tags for subheadings in our blog posts.

Length of content

Now I’m not going to start this section off by giving you a set amount of content as that would be incorrect. There is not set length on a blog post, sometimes you’ll be able to write pages and of information and sometimes the subject matter won’t require more than 300 words. 300 words is the minimum we recommend though.

What I will say is that in general longer posts get more shares, specifically those that have more than 1500. However, if this seems like a bit much for you to be posting every week then stick to shorter posts most of the time and do a longer one once a month. This will give you more time to research it and fully make use of this guide ;).

If you’re worried about a post that long not being scannable (as mentioned above), fear not! Use subheading to break up the content and inter-lace it with a few of these:

  • Bulleted or numbered lists
  • Block quotes
  • Short paragraphs
  • Visual content

Extras that will make your blog perfect

A few extras

  1. Call to action

Got something you’d like your reader to do for you? Place calls to action in multiple places throughout your piece. You can use the sidebar, header, footer and internal links featured in the body of the content.

  1. Sharing buttons

This is a no-brainer, if you want your content shared, add share buttons. You can add these to the header, footer and sidebar of your content.

  1. Visual content

In a study performed by Blog Pros where they analysed 100 high ranking blog, they found that on average there was a visual element every 350 words. This could be an infographic, another high-res image or even some video content. Everyone loves a good video.

  1. URL

Your URL should be easy to read, contain between 3 and 5 words and be an accurate description of your post. Don’t just stick with the assigned one your CMS automatically gives you, tweak it until it’s perfect.

  1. Add a tweetable

If you want to add something a bit special to your posts, why not give tweetable quotes. These little sound bites from your blog are ideal for Twitter. Pull some of the best pits from your post and add a “Share this” or “Tweet this” link alongside the text. There are some really good WordPress plugins that allow you to do this.

To help you on your way to creating your awesome blog post I’ve created a handy little checklist that you can use to make sure you’ve ticked everything off. Get it here:

Free perfect blog post checklist

 

To up the ante even further, why not take a look through our SEO basics for bloggers?