Behind The Scenes Of A Blog Post
Are you a business owner or marketing manager writing blog posts for your company all by yourself? How are you finding it?
As well as blog writing I spend a fair amount of time proofreading and editing blog posts written by my clients or guest bloggers. I welcome client written content or submissions from guest bloggers because it’s authentic content: coming from people who are experts in their field and practice what they preach.
However not everyone is a born writer, which is why there’s also room for the blog writer or ghost blogger. These professional writers not only know a thing or two about stringing a sentence together, but they also understand about good content structure. Structure can help you, the non-professional writer, improve your blog writing making your posts easier to read and digest; and consequently improving your chances of engaging with your audience and fulfilling your objectives for your blog.
So, here’s a behind the scenes look at a blog post sharing some tips on how you can improve your blog’s structure and make your blog writing easier:
Blog Content Structure
The Introduction: Most people use the introduction to explain what the blog post is about. Fair enough. But your first few sentences and paragraph also needs to capture your audience’s attention.
One trick I like to use is to address a particular problem or challenge my audience might face in the introduction. Asking, “do you have this problem?” either in the form of a direct question or by suggestion will make your readers think, “yes, I identify with this, I need to know more.”
Of course, they may think, “no, it’s not an issue” and navigate away, which is why understanding your target audience is so important.
Obviously not all blog posts are about problems and challenges. Instead you might appeal to your reader’s desire to be better informed, “if you want to know what’s hot in the content marketing sector…”, for example.
The Promise: Having highlighted the issue that your blog post addresses you now need to give your readers a good reason to read on. This is your promise to the reader, what you’re going to deliver to them through you post, e.g.:
“I interviewed 10 content marketing experts to find out what they think are the biggest trends in content marketing this year. Here I share them exclusively with you…”
The Delivery: Now’s your opportunity to share your insights, advice or expertise and build trust and your authority with your audience. Reading online content is a very different experience to reading an article in a magazine or newspaper. Readers tend to skim a blog post to ascertain whether it’s for them, and only give you their full attention when they see something that resonates with them.
Bite sized chunks are most effective, either in the form of short paragraphs, or by using bullet points, subheadings and subsections.
keeping your reader’s attention throughout your post.
The Value: Remember blogging is all about adding value even when you’re not directly sharing advice. Ask yourself:
- “Why will my target audience want to read this?”
- “What can I add to this subject that they don’t already know?”
- “How can I demonstrate my authority and be seen as a trusted source by my readers?”
- “What do I expect them to do with this information having read my post?”
Once again understanding your target audience key to this, as is having clearing defined objectives for your blog post and content strategy overall.
The Conclusion: Many people would suggest that in the conclusion you should summarise everything you’ve talked about in your blog. However at this stage readers might think,
“Got it! Now let’s get back to Facebook…”
Instead I would use the conclusion to give you audience a strong takeaway in terms of something they can action straightaway, and / or a call to action that will help your blog objectives.
This might include directing your readers to another blog post on a related subject, a CTA to share their experiences in your comments section, or perhaps gated content to get more tips and advice.
Good content structure will not only enhance your audience’s experience of reading your blog posts, but it will also make your blog writing much easier by following a simple structure. The next challenge is to find something to talk about…