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How to Write a Good Blog Post - and Attract your Ideal Readers

Written by
Sandrine
Content Marketing

How to Write a Good Blog Post - and Attract your Ideal Readers

Everyone can write a blog post… but not everyone can write articles that people love to read, share with their friends and that entices them to read more of your stuff.  

Don’t despair - writing great blog posts can be taught and trained. And you can get started by knowing the following five main elements of EVERY blog post.

At the bottom of this page, you’ll also find a checklist you can download and print - so you can make sure each and every post you write has the potential to go viral.  

1. Write About Topics your Readers Want to Know More About.

For some bloggers, it’s tempting to share their own experiences, insights and ideas… without much regard for the reader and what’s in it for them.  

4 Questions to ask yourself before you start writing  

                   

4 questions to ask yourself before you start
                                                                                                                                     <img src="https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/5e694be9dc255b04972e687f/1586963000794-MJB3ZB9CK8X7581F6Q7I/image-asset.jpeg" alt="4 questions to ask yourself before you start" />                                              4 questions to ask yourself before you start                                

         

With every blog post you write, ask yourself these 4 questions:  

  • Who am I writing this for? Who needs to read this?  
  • What is this reader struggling with, and how is this article going to solve their problem, answer their question, or make their life better?  
  • If they’re looking for information about this topic, what would they search for? What exact words or phrases would they use e.g. on Google?

What do I want people to do when they’ve read this post? What’s the next step?  

Make your reader the main character in your blog

Even when you want to write about yourself and your own adventures - you’ll easily double or triple your traffic by making the reader feel like it’s about him or her. Talk to your reader, ask them questions, make it about them.  

If you’ve got a hard time doing this, imagine you’re talking to a friend or a group of people sitting in front of you. Some bloggers will even stick a picture of their ideal reader on their computer screen, so they can remind themselves to talk to that person.  

2. Give your Blog Post a Clear Structure

Craft an Attention-Grabbing Headline  

On a newspaper, a great headline is what often sells that newspaper (unless you're subscribed to it). Same with blog posts or articles: the headline is what will get traffic TO your blog.

The headline of your article has 3 functions:  

  • Giving people an idea of what the blog post is about
  • Pulling people in: making it irresistible for them to start reading
  • SEO: using keywords in your blog post title is one of many ways to get traffic from search engines.  

I could write a book about how to write a great headline (and I’m sure several people actually have); I like this article by Hubspot on how to craft great titles for your blog posts - and I can recommend CoSchedule’s (free) Headline Analyzer to test how well your headline might perform.  

Write a Powerful “Hook” or Lead  

In the first paragraph(s) of your article, lock in your reader’s attention.  Clarify what’s in this for your reader: how is this article going to solve their problem, or help them make something better than it already is?  

Throughout your copy, it doesn’t hurt to add the occasional “cliffhanger” - make your section flow into the next one.  

Structure the Body of your Blog Post

Giving your article a great structure is crucial for readability.  Write down the headings and sub-headings before you start writing the whole thing; it will help you stay on topic - and headings make it easier for your readers to navigate your article.  

Use my 5-step content creation system to not only create more and better quality content in less time - but also to make it easier on yourself to add a sound structure to each article.  

Draw a Clear Conclusion…  

You might not need this part in a short article, but in a longer blog post it’s smart to repeat what they’ve learned. You could include what this information will help them achieve (something positive) - or avoid (something negative).  

End with an Irresistible Call To Action

In many cases, once someone has finished reading a blog post, they’ll just click away and go about their business. What can you offer them so they don’t do that? Add a CTA - and make it irresistible for them to take action!  

Examples can be:  

  • A content upgrade - e.g. add a checklist, cheat sheet or ebook (like what I included at the bottom of this blog post). Only do this if a content upgrade really is an upgraded - and adds value to your article. The extra perk of a content upgrade: it’s a great way to sign people up to your mailing list!  
  • Related articles: maybe the next step is to read another one of your articles. Tell your readers why they should do that!
  • You could tell your readers about one of your social media accounts. Why should they follow you there, what’s in it for them?
  • Or maybe you want to lead your readers to a paid product?    

3. Make it Look Pretty & Easy to Read  

Use headings and subheadings

We touched on the purpose of headings and sub-headings when it came to structuring your article - but they’re also important for readability and SEO.  

Use 3 levels of headings:  

  • H1: blog post title
  • H2: Main headings
  • H3: Subheadings  

Headings will help your reader navigate the sections in your article (especially if it’s a longer one) - but they’ll also create extra space and let your article “breathe” a bit.

This is essential if some of your followers read your articles on their phones… great writing easily turns into a big blob of text on a phone screen, if you don’t add enough space and white lines.  

Add Beautiful and Relevant Images  

Each blog post will need at least one image, to be added as the “featured image” (more on this below)… but there’s more.  

Images help create a bit of space in your blog post. Ideally, place images just above headings (and not just below them), as a paragraph is more likely to be read if there’s no image between the heading and the copy.  

Make your blog post easy to read

Great writing doesn’t always translate into blog writing. Some find it sad, but it’s just a fact: blog posts often get read in a hurry, people just want the information  so they can move forward.  This means blog posts don’t need to be great works of art… ideally, they wouldn’t.

A blog post needs to be easy to read - it needs to convey the information in a way that’s clear, concise and easy to follow.   If this makes you feel a bit reluctant, know that you’re not the only one. It’s tempting to state that “your blog will only be for people who want to make the effort to read properly”… and that’s fine, if your #1 aim is not to help as many people as you can, or to get more traffic, or to drive sales.  

To make a blog post easy to read, do these 7 things:  

  • Use headings and subheadings to make it easy to navigate
  • Use short sentences
  • Make your paragraphs short, and add enough white in between them
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists whenever you can (just like this!)
  • Explain anything a newcomer to your blog might not understand: jargon, acronyms, names
  • Link to related topics if you don’t want to explain it in length
  • Use bold or italics for extra emphasis  

Check grammar and spelling.  

For this, I love and recommend Grammarly; it checks your writing both online and in specific apps. It really is a life saver!  

4. Optimise your Article for Search Engines          

Getting people to click and read your blog posts on social media is one thing - getting organic traffic from search engines is a whole different ballgame.

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is an art I can’t explain in full here; if you’d like to understand the basics, do grab the SEO Guide by Mellissa Wheeler of Mean Creative. It’s by far the best and most simple overview of SEO I’ve ever read!  

If you want your articles to get found on search engines, pay attention to the following things:  

Use keywords in your article.  

Use keywords and search phrases your readers would use when searching for information about the topic. What would they write in Google to get lead to your article as a result?  

Use these keywords and search phrases  

  • In your headings and subheadings
  • In your metadata/excerpt/short description of your article
  • In the first paragraph or your article
  • In the first phrase of any paragraph  

Link to relevant articles  

In a regular blog post (500-1000 words), I am to include at least 2 internal links (leading to other articles or products on my own website) + 2 external links (leading to articles on a higher authority website). The longer the article, the more links I like to include.  

This is called “link building”, and it works best if other platforms also link to your articles in return. Writing an article that other people link to often means it’s a valuable article in the eye of search engines - which will make it rank higher in search results.  

How long should your blog post be?  

There’s no “right” length for blog posts; sure, articles that have about 1500 words will often rank high in search results… however that’s most likely NOT because they happen to have 1500 words - most importantly, it’s because longer articles tend to include more information.  

My 2 cents (or 2 pieces of advice):  

  • Make your blog posts at least 300 words long. 300 words is really not that hard to reach if you have something valuable to say - and it’ll allow you to add in relevant keywords, links, and a call to action.
  • Don’t make your blog posts longer than necessary. If you have a super awesome 300-word blog post that you could extend to make it a 1000-word article just so you could rank higher in search result - don’t.
    If making your blog post longer doesn’t make it more informative or interesting, it makes it boring - leading people to click away before the end… which will hurt your ranking.  

Choose your URL carefully

With every article you write, you get to customise your URL (the link to your article). Use that opportunity to make the URL short but to the point; include important keywords so people can see what the blog post is about just by looking at the URL.  

5. Make your Blog Post Easy to Share  

Make it easy for yourself AND your readers to share your blog posts on social media by adding these 4 elements:  

  • Optimise it for social media by adding a featured image (thumbnail), a great title, and a good excerpt/metadata
  • Make it easy for people to share on social media by adding “social share” buttons
  • Create a “pin” - an image people can save to their boards on Pinterest and share with others… who can then discover your article as well.
    Ideally, a pin image is vertical (rather than horizontal) and has the title or your blog post on the image.
  • Reach out to others who might be interested in linking to your article - and collaborate with others in your niche on guest blog posts, link building and other ways to get more visibility.  

So now you know what makes a good blog post:

  • content your readers want to read,
  • a form and structure that makes them keep reading,
  • search engine optimisation and
  • making it easy for others to share your work.  

Want my cheat sheet for blog posts that includes the prep work you need to do with every article + a checklist of all the elements your blog post should include + a list of things to do to promote your blog post?  

   Get the cheatsheet