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How to Structure a Blog Post: Step-by-Step Guide [2021 Update]

How to structure a blog post. 2021 update

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By now, you probably are aware of how blogging plays a huge role in the success of your content marketing efforts.

If that’s the case, then it becomes critical for you to learn how to structure a blog post — not merely writing one.

Having a blog is a great way to share your knowledge and connect with your audience. Blogging also helps you to establish yourself as an expert in your industry.

Without a blog, you’re bound to experience low website traffic, low ranking on search engine results pages, few prospects or customers, poor SEO, etc. I could go on, but you get the point.

But with over 10 million posts being published every day, how do you ensure that your brand or business stands out? 

You’ll need to learn how to structure a blog post that will attract and retain customers. I’ll be showing you a step-by-step process in this guide.

But first, let’s answer an important question.

 

What Is a Blog Post?

 

A blog post is a piece of writing that is published on a blog. It can include content in the form of videos, text, infographics, and photos — most blogs are a combination of these elements.

There are quite a number of blog formats on the internet. 

Let’s have a look at the 6 common formats that can be beneficial for lead generation and web traffic increase.

Related blog: Blogging in 2021: How Blogs Improve Your Content Marketing

Related blog: Do People Still Read Blogs? 22 Reasons Why You Need to Blog

 

6 of the Most Common Blog Formats

 

1. How-To Guides

 

Besides checking Instagram and other social media sites, most people go online to learn how to do something. For instance, it could be, how to bake a cake, how to start a blog, how to grow a business, etc.

People are constantly looking for solutions to their problems, and if you can give these answers to them, you’ll have your audience growing in no time.

Case in point: aren’t you reading a How-To Guide right now? Yes, this one.

 

2. List Posts

 

I’m sure you’ve come across these types of blogs:

  • The 100 Best YouTube Video Ideas I
  • 7 Holiday Recipes You Have to Try

I’ll even throw in two list posts that I did — which I’m sure you’ll find useful in your content marketing journey.

You see, lists are a great way to efficiently share information in a digestible format. 

Plus, they’re more likely to trend than other article types. The bottom line? People love reading list posts. So, why not create more of them?

 

3. Checklists/Cheat Sheets

 

Who doesn’t love the satisfying feeling that comes from checking items off of a list?

Well, at least, I do.

Knowing you’ve accomplished a task is liberating. Checklists or cheat sheets offer a quick reference guide especially when time is limited.

Providing a checklist will give your audience an incentive to download and consume more of your content.

 

4. Interviews

 

Interview articles have a huge sharing potential for web traffic because people love to know about how influencers do life or learn about a customer’s experience with a product or service.

Just pick a customer, an industry influencer, or your relevant buyer persona. The easiest way is to send them a list of questions, once they respond — edit, format, and post on your blog. Voila!

 

5. Infographics

 

Infographics may not be the best as a lead generation tool, but they are an ideal resource for driving traffic to your website as well as raising awareness. They’re informative, entertaining, and easy to digest.

A fresh break from a block of text — yes?

 

benefits of infographics

 

6. Case Studies

 

A case study blog post showcases real-life examples of your niche industry. Your audience is more likely to believe in your brand when they see authentic examples ultimately turning them into customers.

 

case study in blog post

 

What Makes a Good Blog Post?

 

A good blog post should be educational, informative, and interesting. It should provide solutions to the challenges your target audience is facing.

I must emphasize though, that it’s not all about answering your audience’s questions — you should include actionable steps while making the post engaging. For example, your introduction should hook the reader making them yearn to read the rest of the article.

So, how exactly do you come up with one of these informational and engaging pieces?

Here are 9 steps on how to structure a blog post.

 

What is a blog post

 

How to Structure a Blog Post in 9 Easy Steps

 

1. Use Catchy Titles and Subheadings

 

“On average, 5 times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent 80 cents out of your dollar.” – David Ogilvy

What?

Yes.

Headlines can either make or break your content.

Make sure that your headline is convincing enough to make your reader click on it.

A few tips for writing catchy headlines and subtitles:

  • Keep it simple and to the point.
  • Use a question and tie it to the main benefit.
  • Be clear about the main benefit.
  • Tell your reader what to do.
  • Announce exciting news that your audience cares about.
  • Add numbers and symbols.

Headings and subheadings allow readers to skim your post and pick the points they’re mainly curious about. Just whet their appetite, nothing more. 

You can also use subheadings to fit in related keywords.

 

2. Have a Clear Introduction

 

Each blog post should have a catchy and clear introduction. 

Your introduction should highlight in brief what the topic is about. You could start with a story, facts or you could opt to mention the challenges (pain points) of your reader and how you will solve them.

You could also start with a brief explanation as to why you’re an authority on that particular topic. 

Your intro is what will transition a reader to the body of your content. So make it count.

 

blog-formatting-checklist content marketing

 

3. Keep Paragraphs Short

 

In the content marketing world, we call them “white space” or “negative space”.

Ensure your paragraphs are shorter for easier reading. 

No one wants to read a block of text. It’s plain boring and mind-exhausting.

So keep to three sentences per paragraph. Anything more and it will look terrible on mobile. 

Did you know that Google now does indexing on the mobile version of websites first? 

So if your article looks awful on mobile, your desktop and mobile ranking will be negatively affected.

 

4. Write in Plain English

 

Keep it simple. Always.

Don’t use intricate metaphors and flowery language. No.

You’ll lose your audience.

One point per sentence. Long sentences and heavy vocabulary make it difficult for your readers to stay focused. The goal is to keep them reading. So aim to be concise.

 

5. Use Your Voice

The Unique Selling Point (USP) of your content is you. It’s a summation of your experiences, your opinions, and your voice. Incorporate this in your content and you’ll stand out, gaining your audience’s trust and loyalty.

 

6. Consider the Length of the Blog Post

 

How long should a blog post be? 

Are shorter blog posts read more? 

Let’s answer these questions by looking at the various lengths of blog posts and the value of each:

  • 200—400 words: These short posts are best for engagement and discussions. They’re mostly best for product descriptions or social media post copy. They’re, however, not adequate for SEO.
  • 400—600 words: These are considered to be “the minimum length” type of blog posts. They’re ideal for social shares yet too short for SEO. 
  • 600—1,000 words: These posts are mostly educational posts. They are great for reference links, including influencers, and slowly building SEO.
  • 1,000—1,500 words: As long as you provide valuable content, this length can be quite powerful for driving organic website traffic through call-to-action (CTA), link building, and partnerships.
  • 1,500—2,500 words: These are the kind of articles that search engines love. They’re referred to as “Google go-getters”. They’re perfect for SEO, giving you the opportunity to gain organic traffic while educating your audience. My advice—go long!

 

blog post length content marketing

 

7. Use Compelling Imagery

 

Using relevant imagery allows your reader to have “breaks” while reading which helps to hold their attention. 

Just ensure that the images you use are relevant to the content and topic of your post.

 

8. Have a Conclusion

 

Simply put, wrap it up.

Provide a brief summary of the points you have covered. Be keen not to introduce new points.

 

9. Don’t forget to include a call-to-action at the end

 

What do you want your readers to do after reading your blog post? 

Share your post? Leave a comment? Sign up for your mailing list?

Make sure your CTA is direct and clear.

 

How Do You Use Keywords in a Blog Post?

 

Here are some tips to have in mind when creating your keyword-targeted post:

  • Use the keyword in appropriate meta tags, such as the alt text of the images, file name, and meta description. Also, if it’s a video use it in the title and description.
  • Use your keyword and the relevant variations in the text.
  • Use your keyword in the title tag. It’s a good key signal for search engines.
  • Take advantage of internal linking.
  • Promote your post—on Facebook, Twitter, etc. This allows for external linking.

That’s not so hard, right?

 

Time for You to Get Writing

 

Ready to get started with that blog post?

You must be. 

We’ve looked at what a blog post is, what constitutes a good blog post, the most common blog formats, how to structure a blog post in 9 easy steps, and how to use keywords in a blog post.

Still feeling like you need help? Do you want someone to guide you through the process? Or better yet, offload this task so that you can focus on your core business? Reach out to me.

Simone Cunningham

Simone Cunningham

CEO Simone Cunningham Media & eWords Agency

Simone is a public relations and content marketing strategist. Partnering with businesses and individuals over the last 20 years to achieve their content and publicity goals.

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SIMONE CUNNINGHAM

SIMONE CUNNINGHAM

CEO Simone Cunningham Media & eWords Agency

Simone is a public relations and content marketing strategist. Partnering with businesses and individuals over the last 20 years to achieve their content and publicity goals.

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