5 Must-Have Elements of a Kick-Ass Blog Post
Posted on May 25, 2015 | By Kelly | 16 responses
Writing a kick-ass blog post is kind of like baking the perfect lasagna. You have to start with all the right ingredients, and then you need to layer them one by one to create a finished product that not only looks good from the outside but has interest all the way through.
Now, in this analogy, the headline would be the mozzarella cheese on top – it’s what looks beautiful and yummy and draws your attention to get you to cut in and try a piece. If the headline doesn’t look good, there’s a good chance no one will ever taste your lasagna… er, I mean read your post 😀
But once you get them to open it up, what ingredients do you need to keep them reading? How do you layer your blog post in a way that makes readers want to eat it up?
In this post, I’m going to talk about the ingredients you need for your blog post; the elements that will help you build that perfect, mouth-watering piece of content that not only keeps people reading until the last morsel, but will have them coming back for seconds.
Every post needs to start with an irresistible introduction. Your headline is going to get them to click on your link, but if the intro doesn’t capture their interest within the first couple of lines, it’s unlikely they’ll read the rest of the post. On the other hand, if you can get them hooked with your preface, they’re more likely to read the whole thing.
There are different things you can do in your intro – it’s not a one size fits all kind of thing. You can tell a story, or tell a joke – there are many ways to create an instant connection with the reader. But what’s important is that your introduction builds on the desire to keep reading.
Use Subheadings To Break Things Up
One of the worst things you can do in a blog post is have a huge wall of text. That works ok in a book, but on the internet it’s very difficult to read – and if it’s hard to read, people will hit the back button and look for something easier.
Break your text up into easy to read chunks. This is called “post segmentation” if you want to get all fancy-schmancy about it. See how I’ve got large, bold subheadings for each section? That creates visual interest and draws the eye down. Pauline Cabrera over at Twelveskip did a great post on why subheadings are so important.
Paragraphs should be short – 2 or 3 sentences is best. You want to have plenty of line breaks and white space to make it easy to read.
The images you use on your post will also help keep the reader on the page. Use Picmonkey to add a quote from your post to an appropriate image – it draws interest to that section of the post.
Images are important for several other reasons – for one thing, there’s a lot of similar content on the web, and your images can make yours stand out. And when you do them right, they help your SEO.
Add More Visual Interest
You can keep your readers on the page with more than just images and bold subheadings.
Add in –
- Text boxes and “Click-to-Tweets”
- Bullet points
- Numbered lists
- (see what I did here?)
Call to Action
Your kick-ass blog post doesn’t really matter much if it doesn’t get your reader to do something – and they likely aren’t going to do anything if you don’t tell them what to do!
Telling them what to do is called a “Call to Action” (CTA) and it can be something as simple as saying “What do you think? Tell me in the comments below!” or “If you liked this, please use the buttons below to share it with your friends!”
All my posts have an opt-in CTA at the bottom, asking people to sign up for my email newsletter. To me, that’s the most important thing on my blog – and it probably should be on yours, too.
The purpose of your blog post should be to educate, entertain and solve problems – but it’s not going to do any of that if people don’t read it. By making sure you have each of these essential elements in your blog post, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of not only keeping a reader on the page, but turning them into a regular reader.
And hey – if you liked this post, make sure you share it! 😉