Many bloggers struggle to come up with fresh content ideas. They have a hard time coming up with blog post titles, they might not know how to structure the text, or they don’t know what makes good content. That’s why we’ve decided to put together this list of 16 elements that go into creating great content for your blog posts!
Create an Attention-grabbing Headline
A headline that grabs the reader’s attention is the first key to a successful blog post. Some of the things you can do to improve your titles are: include numbers, use keywords that relate to your content and create a hook with a question or provocative statement.
Your headline should be interesting and engaging so that it will grab the reader’s attention. It should also be long enough to pique their interest but short enough that they can read your content in one sitting.
Write a Compelling Introduction That Includes a Story or Anecdote
Hooking your reader involves telling a compelling story. Tell your reader how you came to the conclusion that this topic is important or interesting—what led up to it?
Use an anecdote instead of just stating facts and figures. This is often more engaging for readers than dry numerical data.
Anecdotes connect better with people because they are easier to visualize and relate to, so make sure your introduction hooks them by telling a concise and captivating story about how you reached the conclusions in your post.
Anecdotes are also helpful in providing the reader with context as to your experience, and making your advice more trustworthy. .
Just telling them your advice without context creates a dry tone which may turn off readers. Being emotionally compelling and engaging are key aspects of making posts more shareable.
Use Clear, Concise Copy With No Fluff
You know fluff. It’s the kind of copy that writers create just to increase the word count. Fluff doesn’t get right to the point.
If you find yourself using a lot of fluff, it may be because your introduction is not doing its job.
To fix this, make sure the intro paragraph catches the reader’s attention by grabbing them with an anecdote or statistic and then explaining to them how the topic works in simple terms—no jargon!
Think about it as if you were storyboarding a movie trailer: you’d cut out anything that does not contribute to the main point. Keep in mind key details such as “what,” “why” and “how.” Cut any information that doesn’t apply directly to what readers will need to know as they read on..
Miscellaneous information that doesn’t belong on the page can be a huge turnoff for readers.
Write a Strong Conclusion
A strong conclusion leaves the reader with a takeaway message and a clearer sense of accomplishment.
Good writers don’t use “in conclusion.” That’s a clumsy way to wrap up your thoughts. A conclusion is not just the final sentence of a paragraph; it should be a proper ending to everything that you conveyed in your piece.
Other bloggers recommend using “in conclusion” or titling the ending “conclusion,” claiming that this is more user-friendly and tells the user that they have arrived at the end.
This could not be further from the truth. It was instilled into me by my college English teacher—don’t be LAZY. Using the word “conclusion” is the easy way out. You want to be more creative with your conclusion and wrap up leaving the reader with something a lot more valuable than just “conclusion.”
Conveying a sense of accomplishment with your takeaway message is a great way to do this. You leave the reader with a final great impression that lets them also take away something valuable from the article or blog post.
Include a Call to Action at the End of Your Post
Examples include subscribing to your blog’s RSS feed, following you on social media, or purchasing one of your products.
Each post should be targeted to a specific goal. This could be anything from increasing the number of subscribers to your blog, driving more traffic to your website or boosting sales for a particular product.
If you’re not reaching that goal then it’s time to rethink how often you publish and what topics are being covered in order to better align with those goals. Periodically review which posts have been successful and which ones haven’t by analyzing your analytics data (e.g. email signups on an RSS feed).
If you want your user to take a specific action, make it as easy as possible for them to do so. This may include things like making that button/link visible from the start of your post and providing an explanation on how they can take this action (e.g. “Follow me on Twitter”).
You want to think about what you are trying to accomplish with each blog post when publishing content, whether it is increasing subscribers, generating more traffic or driving sales for one particular product.
Links to Other Related Posts on Your Site
These links are for readers who want more information about what you’re saying in the post (don’t overload your post with these links; just provide enough so people can find their way around if they want).
Make Your Post Easy to Read
If you want more readers you should use shorter sentences and paragraphs. Statistics show that the average attention span is decreasing.
If you’re making your post too hard to read, you may inadvertently turn off readers as a result.
Don’t use overly complex words either. Technical jargon has its place, but make sure it’s appropriate for the audience.
Readers want their content to be easy-to-read, digestible and engaging—and that applies to blog posts too!
Use Headings, Bulleted Lists, and Bold Text for Clarity
Creating clarity in your content is one of the most important parts of good blog posts. There are many ways you can do this, but these three tips will get you started:
Use headings and subheadings for each section in a post. This helps readers identify where they’re at in the post quickly so that they don’t have to read through everything or skip around. It also provides an opportunity for repetition with keywords—if it’s always on the same line then Google sees that as duplicated text, which should be treated more favorably by search algorithms.
Break up long paragraphs into bulleted lists when possible and use bold formatting sparingly for semantic emphasis, NOT for keyword emphasis.
Utilize numbered lists within sections of blog posts (these lists are often helpful when writing how-to posts or tutorials). With numbered lists, you provide a structure that’s easy to follow and allows readers to skip around if they so choose.
Include Images in Your Post
Images are great for sprinkling more oomph throughout your post, by adding either screenshots or photos to break up text blocks and add visual interest.
Use images, charts, or graphs sparingly, but when you do use them, include captions for each one with a description of what the image is showing or how it relates to your post content. This helps engage readers visually while providing context in case they don’t want to read through everything at once.
Adding images is important for breaking up the text blocks in your post and adding visual interest. You don’t want your content to read as a solid block of color because it will be boring for readers. Adding images can help spice things up.
But you also don’t want to add images for no reason. They should contribute to the overall message. For example, if you’re talking about how to make iced coffee at home, it might be helpful for readers to see what the ingredients look like on a grocery list or in their kitchen.
Share Personal Anecdotes if They’re Relevant
Make your post more personal! Share your experiences with the topic to make it more relatable. Personal experience is a powerful tool because it shows the reader they can relate to you.
Take this paragraph for example:
I was at the grocery store, and there were so many people! It made me think of how crowded supermarkets get on a Saturday morning and how difficult shopping with kids is when you’re in such a rush.
This shows the reader I’m relatable, and gives them an opportunity to align themselves with me as they read my post.
It also gives an opportunity for your reader to put themselves in your shoes. They might not have experienced the exact same thing, but they can still relate because it’s an experience that is easily imagined by most people.
You could also take on a more personal narrative voice by using “I” as long as you’re careful not to sound too opinionated, condescending or pushy when writing in first person.
This will help readers feel like they are getting advice and information from someone who knows what they’re talking about instead of just reading an article about how to deal with crowds, for example:
To prepare myself mentally for shopping with kids, I think ahead about how I’m going to get everything done quickly so we don’t spend hours there while my child starts throwing tantrums at all the candy displays.
There are plenty of times when it’s beneficial to write in first person, but it’s important that you don’t come across as too opinionated or pushy.
Some more thoughts on personal narrative voice: when writing your post, stick to one topic and try not to go off-topic if possible. Darting from topic to topic in a post that has a narrow focus could turn off some readers.
Create a Hook for Your Blog Post
In order to hook readers into your post early, you want to create an engaging hook for your post. This will not only help readers get invested in the content they are reading, but it will also introduce them to your site and what you have going on there.
- Create a catchy headline that draws their attention
- Start with an interesting statement or question
- Be sure to include how long your post is so people know if they want to read more of it before scrolling down.
- Tease a bit more about your topic as if you were telling someone in person.
This will keep the reader engaged with what is going on at the start of the post and they will want more from you when they are done reading it. You’ll also be building relationships with potential customers which will lead to conversions!
Include Specific and Actionable Advice
Including specific and actionable advice in your post is important because it helps your readers know how to take the information and apply it in their own life.
Specific advice: “Buy this shirt now!”
Actionable Advice: “Include a few more of these shirts in your next order.”
Those are just a couple of examples of how you can include specific and actionable advice within your post to make it more engaging.
Creating a great blog post involves creating something that’s useful and impactful for your readers. This type of content is what will help you perform well.
Practical Tips for Implementation
It is also important to create practical tips for implementation because the reader needs to know how they will apply the content.
- Write about how readers can use this new knowledge in their projects
- Include examples of what other people have done with information from this blog post
- Include specifics: who, what, when, how
- What are three specific things you can do with this information?
Include steps on what readers should do when they implement the content. It is important to provide a plan of action and discuss how people will know if they need more help along the way.
Show them how it’s done!
Use Credible, Evidence-Based Sources (References)
Unless you’re writing a tabloid (improving tabloid writing is not the purpose of this article), you probably already follow this advice. If you in any way want to perform successfully, it’s essential to use good references.
Most writers will only publish their work if there are credible references or sources to back up what they say. If your content is not referencing any of the evidence-based published research about the topics in your articles, then readers may question how reliable and/or unbiased your article really is.
If you don’t know how to reference something properly in MLA format (Modern Language Association), you may want to look up the referencing requirements, depending on the style guide you are using. MLA is one of many standardized style guides that are available.
Referencing other people’s work lets them know that we read their work which increases the likelihood of citations far into the future!
Using quotes is a great way to get the attention of more established industry veterans who may link back to you if they’re impressed enough. For example, in SEO, some SEO professionals may monitor their brand names and personal names through Google Alerts.
If your post comes up through these Google Alerts, then you may have a chance of getting on the influencer’s radar.
Write in a Conversational Tone
A more conversational tone allows you to better relate to your reader, similar to using first person.
Relating to your reader is good because they feel like you are talking to them and not at them.
Being able to connect with your reader can make a big difference in how well your content is received.
It also allows the reader to better identify with what it is that you share, which will increase their desire for more of your information as well as improve retention rates.
Another thing conversational tone does is create an atmosphere where readers feel free to comment on or ask questions about what was shared.
This promotes community interaction, gets people feedback from others who have read the article, and creates opportunities for exposure through social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter due to retweeting posts if someone finds something worth sharing.
Creating Engaging and Great Content is Critical to Your Blog’s Success
With this blog post, it was our goal to give you tips and recommendations for creating content that is engaging, informative and persuasive. It will be a valuable resource to those who want to create better blog posts with high quality information.
If you are interested in writing your own blog posts, here are more resources:
Content Writing Tools – You can use Semrush’s Topic Research Tool to come up with topics for your site along with performing deep competitor research. You can also use their Keyword Magic tool for deeper keyword and topic research.
Keyword Research Tools – These tools help find keywords related to specific topics so they can be used in blog posts and other forms of online marketing material. SEO research has become an increasingly important part of modern day digital marketing because it’s vital to making sure that a site will rank well in the search engine results pages. They include the following: Keywords Everywhere, Semrush, AHREFs, SEO Arcade, and more.
SEO Tools – these tools are essential for monitoring how a blog post is ranking on Google and other engines, which helps determine what keywords are working well for your site. You can use Semrush, AHREFs, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics for this purpose.
Google Analytics – Speaking of Google Analytics, this resource can help you monitor your traffic sources from within Google Search or Adwords campaigns. It also measures conversions such as total sales revenue generated over time to track ROI (return on investment).
If you want to know more about any of the above resources then just click on them for further information elsewhere on our site, or to check out their site as well.
Good luck and have fun!