If you’re new to blogging, figuring out how to write a good blog post can be intimidating.
Similarly, if you’ve been blogging for a while but are struggling to grow your audience, it’s likely time to rethink your blog post strategy.
The good news is that learning how to write a good blog post isn’t rocket science. If you follow a blog post template and stick to the fundamentals, you can significantly improve the quality of your posts and give readers a reason to keep on coming back.
1. Use the Right Structure
The first tip for how to write great blog posts is to use the right structure.
There’s no universally accepted blog post format. But, following a blog post template helps organize your content in a way that’s familiar and user-friendly for readers.
Typically, here’s how I organize blog posts:
- Title – Use a catchy title that clearly explains what the post is about. You can also use these headline tools to generate ideas.
- Intro – Make it succinct and answer the reader's question.
- Content – Tackle the main points of your article, using headers and subheaders to organize concepts.
- Conclusion – Summarize the main takeaway of the article. It's ok to repeat some of what you said in the intro but with different words
- Call-To-Action – Push readers to do something with their new information or encourage comments.
Generally, this blog post template works for most listicles and opinion pieces.
If you want to write product reviews or “versus” posts, you mostly tweak your content section to include information direct comparisons about features.
Whatever the case, start off with a template to give your blog post a solid framework.
2. Focus on User Intent
Considering user intent is another crucial part of writing great blog posts.
This is also where many bloggers stumble.
User intent is basically what Google thinks people are looking for when they search for something.
Usually, figuring out user intent is simple. If you’re writing a post on Instapot recipes, people searching for that topic probably have an Instapot and want some recipes!
However, for complex topics, it’s tricky to know every little detail people want to know when they search for something.
Let’s use an example: If someone Googles “New York City” what do they want? Which this search term gets over 800,000 searches per month so a lot of people are wanting something to do with NYC.
Do they want New York City real estate? The history? Images? Travel tips? News?
If you Google “New York City” you get a variety of things. Including images and news. But mostly what is ranking is travel tips. So, if you want to rank for this term, you'll need travel tips.
Ultimately, if you can match user intent and provide value, you have a much better chance of ranking.
3. Make Posts Scannable
No one likes to read a wall of text.
Plus, since 50% of traffic comes from mobile devices with smaller screens, it’s important to make content scannable.
To craft great blog posts that are also easy to read, consider tricks like:
- Using short paragraphs with one to three sentences
- Mixing in bullet points (like this one!)
- Bolding text to highlight points
- Using H2, H3, and H4 subheadings to break up content
- Using a healthy mix of long and short sentences
- Break up content with helpful images
Additionally, check your WordPress settings and set your font size between 16 to 18. This ensures your post is actually readable without having to squint.
4. Incorporate Images and Video
Feel free to mix in other mediums to add some flavor and additional information to your post. People like to consume content in different ways. And some topics just lend themselves to certain types of media.
Infographics are one tool you can use to quickly distill complex ideas to their basic form. Tables are also great for displaying lots of information in an easily digestible form.
As for video content, you can find a wealth of information on YouTube to include in your posts. Alternatively, you can make your own videos to help reach a new audience on YouTube and to also beef up your blog posts.
Besides, video content is becoming more important. According to a 2020 survey by Wyzowl, 69% of respondents said they prefer to watch videos to learn about a product or service rather than read about it.
Related: Is Blogging Dead?
5. Skip the Fluff
Think about when you are using the internet for personal use. When you Google something, you just want your question answered… right then.
The other day I was shopping for new floors. Overwhelmed with options I Googled “vinyl vs laminate flooring”.
Do I want the blogger's life story about the floors in their house? No. I want information that will tell me which type of flooring I should buy… and I want it right now.
Another important part of writing great blog posts is to stay focused on the reader. Personal stories are great for making a connection, but the reader is there for them. Not you.
There’s nothing wrong with an occasional ramble or personal anecdote. But only if your personal experiences are used to build trust or make a point. My flooring story above makes my point in only 52 words.
6. Follow an SEO Checklist
Speaking of search engines, it’s still important to follow a SEO checklist to make sure you've done everything you can to make sure that you wrote a rankable article.
There is a lot that goes into writing and editing a post. So having a checklist to follow will ensure you won't forget anything important.
7. Cite Your Sources
If there’s one thing that gets on my nerves as a reader, it’s when bloggers make claims or even use specific figures without backing it up.
This isn’t a big deal for information that should be common knowledge; you don’t have to cite that bread is an ingredient you need to make a sandwich or that the desert is hot.
However, for scientific facts, studies, or information the average person wouldn’t know, you need to cite the information and use a reputable source. The rule of thumb I use is that if I had to look it up, I should cite it.
Not only does this make readers trust your content more, it also helps your blogging authority.
According to Google, EAT, or expertise, authority, and trust, are major ranking factors. Unsurprisingly, part of developing these metrics means presenting accurate information that’s backed by experts.
So, if you want to write great blog posts, take the time to cite your information and only reference reputable sources, like scientific papers, government organizations, or experts in your given blog niche.
8. Balance CTAs & Links
Blogging is powerful because you can direct readers to other channels once you captivate them.
This could include things like:
- Promoting your email list
- Selling products or services
- Linking to your other blog posts
- Linking to your other channels, like a side business or second blog
- Calling for social media shares
- Affiliate marketing
Successful bloggers use a mix of these tactics. If you can get more email signups and more revenue per reader on average, it’s a good thing.
However, you need to avoid overdoing the whole link stuffing gameplan.
Too many links, email capture boxes, and promotional messages can distract readers from your content. It can also look somewhat spammy if you’re very aggressive with your call-to-actions.
Interlink where it makes sense and add a few revenue opportunities throughout your post. Providing a stellar user experience should be the primary goal because this helps your blog rank better, which generates more revenue anyways.
9. Consider Word Count
As a general rule of thumb, posts around the 2,000 to 3,000 tend to get more backlinks from other websites. This is awesome news if you’re trying to increase your website’s authority and want other websites to reference you.
As for social shares, the ideal word count is closer to 1,000 to 2,000 words.
However, don’t view word count rules as being set in stone. Rather, write enough to be comprehensive, authoritative, and to provide as much value as possible.
If you’re writing a very specific post, like how to cancel a Hulu trial, you don’t need to write an essay on the founding of Hulu and a streaming market overview: just tell people how to cancel the service!
In contrast, writing “the ultimate guide to investing” definitely shouldn’t be 500 words.
If you’re ever in doubt, spy on articles that rank on page one of Google and see how long their posts are. You can use the Word Counter Plus extension to quickly find how many words are in your competitor’s articles.
Related: What is the Perfect Article Length
10. Stay True to Your Voice and Brand
At the risk of sounding cliche, it’s important to stay true to your blogging voice when writing. This is especially true for new bloggers who are building their identity out in the wild world of the internet.
Repeat readers stick around because they like your ideas and writing style. Part of this includes your writing voice and style. At an even broader level, it also includes the values you stand for and the topics you choose to write about.
A surefire way to derail your blog post and even jeopardize the trust you’ve established with your readers is to sell out or go against your core beliefs.
Ironically, learning how to write the perfect blog post isn’t something you can achieve just by reading blogging guides like this one.
The reality is that to become a better writer, you need to write. Shocking, right?
However, it helps to follow a blog post template and to reference these tips when writing. People have been blogging for more than two decades after all, and a lot of the trial and error has been figured out already.
If you are having trouble building an audience, check out my free training – How to Create a Blog that Gets Attention (even in an oversaturated niche.)