Here’s an impressive statistic for you – small businesses that blog get 126% more lead growth than those that don’t (Source). One of my biggest clients contacted me one day because they had seen my blog posts on Linkedin. Off the bat, I was working on building a digital marketing strategy for them.
We all know blogging is a great way of generating more traffic to your website – otherwise, you wouldn’t be here. But blogging isn’t as simple as typing out a short post and hoping for the best. But there are simple things that you can do to make your blog post easier to find (attracting new visitors), as well as more conversion-friendly (attracting new business).
Let’s break down the structure of a blog post step by step…
The title: Choosing a headline
Picking a good headline title for your blog post is crucial in two respects:
- It needs to be contextually relevant to appear in search engine results
- It also needs to be enticing enough for people to click through!
So first of all, how do you make your blog post title contextually relevant? Well, you need to choose your keyword. This keyword is what people are likely to type into search engines like Google to find your content. No one expects you to be psychic here though! Google has its own Keyword Planner tool which you can use to find keywords that have high search volumes and medium to low competition.
The keyword will need to be in the title, preferably at the beginning but only if that makes grammatical sense! Not to worry if it doesn’t, as the main thing is to use it naturally.
Example: if you are writing about organic dog food, “Organic Dog Food: Three Ways It Helps To Improve Your Dog’s Diet” would be better than “Three Ways Organic Dog Food Improves Your Dog’s Diet” because the keyword is at the start of the title.
Next up is the harder part – making your title enticing to click through! People tend to gravitate towards these title structures:
- How to… e.g. “Organic dog food: how to introduce it into your dog’s diet”
- Numbered lists e.g. “Three ways…”
- Quick tips e.g. “Organic dog food: a quick guide to how its made”
- Using a question which the article will answer e.g. “Organic dog food: should you feed it to your pet?”
- A “negative” headline e.g. “Organic dog food: will your dog turn their nose up at it?”
Try and use a mixture of these headline types for your blog posts – one method may not necessarily work every time!
The introduction: reeling the reader in
The intro to a blog post can often feel like the hardest part, but it doesn’t have to be! You need to be able to incorporate your keyword again, whilst hooking in the readers to encourage them to keep reading. So how do you do that?
Here are a few components you can include in an introduction to prevent people from clicking the back arrow or closing the window!
- Interesting facts – people are often drawn towards statistics in particular. It positions you as someone who knows what they are talking about too.
- Give your reader the heads up – include a short summary of what people can expect from the post. Don’t give them all of the answers though!
- Share a brief anecdote – share a story which is relevant to the topic to intrigue people. Using the organic dog food example, perhaps you could talk about how your own dog is usually fussy with food and often won’t eat it without a bit of ham on top for flavour. People like stories they can relate to and will be instantly drawn into your blog post if they can connect with your experiences.
- Leave the readers with a cliffhanger – This can be a tough nut to crack, but is worth the effort to get it right! This method is about ending your introduction with a statement that makes it impossible not to read on! A cliffhanger doesn’t necessarily have to be what happened next, it can be what happened in between. Using our example, a “what happened in between” cliffhanger could be:”For many years, Rufus loved eating cheese and refused to eat his meals without a pile of cheddar grated on top. Now, the Cathedral City is safe.”
The best advice I can give you is to leave the introduction to last. You can spend hours trying to piece it together when really it will be much easier once the rest is written!
The content: Breaking it down, and breaking it up
The “body” of your blog post is much like a speech. It’s your chance to say your bit. But like a speech, you need structure to keep people interested. If a speech is all over the place you lose trust in the speaker and end up getting your phone out to play Candy Crush.
So how do we stop people playing Candy Crush while you say your bit? By breaking down your content into digestible chunks, and breaking up those chunks with subheadings.
Subheadings are helpful to those who skim – and lots of people skim, particularly those reading your blogs on a mobile device. Using subheadings will help them navigate to the part of the post that is most relevant to them. If you make it hard to find that part of the post, they will simply leave and find somewhere else to get the information they seek. When using subheadings, try and include the keyword for your post where you can – only use it in subheadings where it’s natural and don’t overdo it!
With our organic dog food example, you could have a subheading for “Where to buy organic dog food” or “What ingredients go into organic dog food?”. These are subtopics within the post that are related to the main topic of the post.
The outtro: Summing it all up
So the job of your outtro is to sum up the points made in your post – what are the key takeaways that your readers should think about?
An outtro should be fairly short and should aim to come full circle with the intro. You could also use the outtro to ask the audience a question or for feedback.
If we compare a blog post to a speech again, an outtro can also include an inspirational note to uplift and empower your readers. Give them something to be positive about, or get them thinking.
The call to action: what should they do next?
Novice business bloggers will often forget about the call to action altogether, but if you want your audience to do something after reading your content you do need to guide the way!
Writing a strong call to action is no easy feat. You need to decide what the goal of the blog post is to decide where you want to direct your audience. If your goal is to sell organic dog food to your reader, then adding a nice shiny button at the end with a link to your organic dog food products makes the most sense. Here’s a great post from Writtent sharing 15 call to action examples for you to try!
Are you ready to jump into blogging for your business? Setting up a free consultation to discuss how your business can benefit from a blogging strategy is really easy – just email firstname.lastname@example.org now.