When I first started blogging, I really had no idea what I was doing. Most of my posts consisted of one low-quality image, followed by 200 words of not-so-helpful content. And as you can imagine, I wasn’t bringing in a lot of readers that way. It wasn’t until I had been blogging about 6 months that I finally caught on to the fact that what I was doing wasn’t working. So I changed things. I started writing content that was relevant to other people, and not just myself. Because I was writing better, more useful content, it was a heck of a lot easier to go from 200 words per post to around 1,000 words per post. I put thought into my images and started creating images that were nice to look at, as well as optimized for social media. And things changed fast. I went from getting a few hundred page views per month to a few thousand, and that number continued to grow exponentially each month. Changing the structure of my blog posts was hugely beneficial, and today I’m going to explain my system. Here are 6 things to include in every blog post!
An Engaging Title
When people are scrolling through social media or their blog reader, the title of your post is the first thing they’re going to see. It needs to be engaging enough for them to stop scrolling to check out the rest of the post. Next time you’re scrolling through social media, take note of the post titles that jump out at you. Lists and “How To” titles often draw people in because they know the post is going to teach them something!
An Intro That Draws People In
I always structure my blog posts the same way (which you may have noticed), and it always includes an introductory paragraph before any other content or images. I was an English nerd in school, so having a solid introduction is something that’s pretty much ingrained in my mind, and it’s a great way to ease into any topic. You can use your introduction to summarize what people are going to learn in your blog post, as well as why that information is important and how it will benefit them. I recommend putting the intro paragraph before any images, so people don’t have to scroll too far to hit the actual content of your blog post.
A High-Quality Image
This is more important than ever today! I get more than half of all my blog traffic from Pinterest, and I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I didn’t have high-quality images in my blog posts. There are so many tools today that make it super easy to create images for free. My favorite is Canva, which is just a drag and drop editor. I know some bloggers who use PicMonkey as well. If you prefer something more similar to photoshop (without the investment) there are free programs like GIMP you can download. It’s definitely not the most user-friendly program I’ve used, but it does the trick!
So what constitutes a high-quality image? If you’re going to be sharing the image on Pinterest (which you should be), then it needs to be vertical. Canva makes it easy and when you’re creating your image, you can just select the Pinterest-sized image. Bright images do well on social media! I also like to create a horizontal image for each post that can be shared on Facebook and Twitter.
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Supportive Bullet Points
This is the meat of your blog post, the body section. Take a look at this blog post, for instance. I’ve broken down each of the five elements I think you should have in each blog post, and each of them is a sub-header in the post. I’ve used an H2 (Heading 2) tag to indicate that each of these sub-points contains important information, and each represents a section of the blog post. Say you’re blog post is “5 Tips to Accomplish Your First Whole 30”. Each of the 5 tips would be a sub-header that supports the main point of the blog post, and those 5 sub-headers are the meat of your blog post. Also, for SEO purposes, I recommend using the actual H2 tag and trying to include your main keyword in at least one of them.
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This might include affiliate links if that’s one of the ways you monetize your blog. It might include links to other blogs you mentioned within your post, or relevant products or resources. It should also definitely include links to other posts on your blog! One of the best ways to keep people on your site and lower your bounce rate is to provide quality content, and then direct them to other relevant quality content that they’ll also enjoy. So if you’re writing a blog post about your favorite chicken recipe, perhaps link to other chicken recipes on your blog, or link to the recipe for a side dish you think goes great with that chicken dish.
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A Call to Action
This is the last thing you’re leaving your readers with. You’ve given them all the information, now what do you want them to do next? Most often, people are going to read your blog post and then move on. But you would be surprised how many people will respond to a call to action. Maybe you want to ask them a question in your CTA and have them answer in the comments. Maybe you want them to pin your post to Pinterest, or share it on Twitter. Maybe you want them to take an action directly related to what you shared in your blog post, such as trying a technique you shared. Whatever it is you want them to do, this is the place to ask them to do it!
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Have you been including these in your blog posts? If not, what are you missing?
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