Are you the type of writer who can’t wait to share your thoughts? Or maybe you are the type of writer who avoids writing whenever possible? Or maybe a combination of both?
Whatever your writing style, once you have the words out, how do you present them in a way that will have the most impact? You could just update your blog and hit publish, but what if you could give your readers a more enjoyable experience?
An Informative Title
The title of the blog post should say what the post is about. I titled this post “Anatomy of a Blog Post” because that’s what it is about. If I had titled it “Fly fishing 101” I would have confused readers on my hands! I could have titled it “Seven Steps You Must Know to Create the Perfect Blog Post”, but that feels a little like click bait to me.
An Enticing Description
When you, or someone else, shares your post on social media or your link shows up in Google search, an enticing description tells future readers what the blog post is about. You have around 150 characters, including punctuation and spaces, to make your blog post sound appealing.
“White space” is the blank space between paragraphs.
Why does it matter? White space makes it easier for the reader to read and absorb your words.
Without white space, our eyes don’t have a place to rest. We’re subconsciously trying to focus on too many things at once. Adding white space to your blog posts means your readers aren’t overwhelmed with text. Have you ever looked at a crowded store counter and gotten lost in the options? Or the sense of frustration you feel when you are looking for a something on someone else’s cluttered desk? Or the very annoying realization that the keys you have been looking for are in plain sight, but you didn’t notice them? Or maybe you’ve been skimming this paragraph because it is long, and the words are all running together.
I know, I know. Your high school English teacher had specific ideas about what was and wasn’t a good paragraph. Conventional English grammar says short paragraphs and too much space is all wrong. But we aren't in the print world anymore, we're in the digital world. New world, new rules. But grammar still matters. Please don’t ditch the grammar!
These mini-headlines introduce each section of your post, and help readers when they scan your post for information. They can be statements or questions – just make sure they are related to the paragraph beneath them. Making them a slightly larger font size or even a different color can help your subheadings stand out. But use discretion. A visually busy page can send readers running.
Beautiful images help illustrate your post and one image will become the preview image for your blog post when it is shared on social media. So make it interesting. Unless it is an artistic shot, grainy or blurry images won’t do.
If you plan to share your blog post to Pinterest, you can use sites like Canva or Pic Monkey to add text to your image. It is always a good idea to add the title of your blog post to one of your images, and don’t forget to put your URL or business name on the image so your work can be traced back to your website.
The Next Step
Do you want your reader to do something after they are done reading your blog post? Should they share it? Should they respond? Should they sign up for you newsletter? Make it clear, but don’t sound like a used car salesman.
There are all sorts of experts citing the exact, perfect length for a blog post. Should your blog post be long or should it be short? My answer – it should be the length it needs to be. This blog post is around 800 words.
From an SEO perspective, longer blog posts tend to mean the user is spending more time on your website. Time spent on site is one of many signals search engines use to determine the value of a website. It also means you are using all sorts of different word combinations to talk about your subject (these are those keywords everyone is always talking about). Also, creating a longer, and hopefully useful blog post, means you are providing valuable information people will want to read and share.
From a user perspective, reading short, dull blog posts that pretend to have good information, but are really just a shallow swipe at a subject annoying. On the other hand, writing a quick update might only require 300 words.
When you are writing your blog posts, say what you need to say, then stop when you are done.
Musings about marketing, social media, and small business.