How to Format A Blog
Are you still contemplating whether you need a blog? Unsure how to format a blog? It is tough at first, and people are fearful of getting it wrong and how it will affect them and their business. Remember the mantra “Done, Not Perfect”.
I hope the following tips will make it easier for you to tackle writing a blog more confidently with my (not so secret) blog success format. My previous post on How To Write Your First Blog dealt with the importance of blogs and how to create ideas for blogs using keywords. Here we will get into the essentials of a blog, what to include in your copy and a recommended format for writing a blog.
How Do You Start?
Start at the beginning as they say…start with your title. The title will be ideally 6-8 words long and include 2-3 of your chosen keywords. The use of keywords benefits SEO, organic search, and driving your target audience to your website. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is the different ways that you can increase the number and quality of visitors to your blog/website. This is done through organic search engine results where someone types in a query or word into Google and the results that appear are the organic results. These do not include the paid-for Ads (that you’ll see at the top of the page). Some bloggers advise that if you are aiming for long-term SEO and sustainability with your blog, longer titles are more beneficial, that is something we will discuss in the future.
Plan Your Word Count
The aim is to write a blog that has a minimum of 600 words and a maximum of 3000. HubSpot found after reviewing their blogs’ SEO performance that the ideal blog length is 2,100-2,400 words. However, they also found some of their most read blogs were under 1500 words. This shows the optimum number of words can change and vary but generally Google rewards quality content and longer pieces with higher rankings.
That aside, this blog is about writing some of your first blog posts, so we need to not procrastinate but aim for getting blogs out there. Then we can move onto building up your confidence and skill with longer and more specialist blog posts.
How To Structure Your Blog – The Format
Follow this simple format for writing successful blogs:
- Title – choose a title based on your keyword research.
- An introductory paragraph – explain what you are going to tell them (include the same keyword/ keyword phrase as the one in your title). Remember to keep your target audience in mind all the while you write. Who are they? What problem do they have and how can you solve it? What advice can you give them?
- The main content – tell them. Write 5 simple tips (75-100 words each section) and include the same keyword phrase as the title at least once, if not twice. This is where you give them the solution to the problem.
- The conclusion – summarise what you have told them (include the same keyword/ keyword phrase again).
- Add 2-3 images that have been renamed (remember to include the same keyword phrase and a description of the image).
The Words We Use Can Make All The Difference
People’s reasons for reading blogs vary enormously but generally they want to learn, be engaged and entertained. Sensory words are important as they can capture our senses and help provide interest. Sensory words help to paint a picture in the reader’s head, and can trigger a sensory response, making the reader see, smell, or hear your words.
As I write, the birds are tweeting in the sunny garden and those sounds remind me that we all like to be heard and share our opinion and voice – no matter how big, small, or pretty we sound. This is part of the reason for writing a blog, so we give a voice to our businesses and are heard in an individual way.
Choose Relevant Images
Humans are generally visual animals, relying on their visual skills for learning. Images chosen appropriately can make us connect with the person, business, or product more effectively than just a written description. Also, Google loves anything that increases engagement and the quality of content in a blog, so carefully selected images could increase rankings. Therefore when starting to write your first blog you will need to learn about increasing your use of images. Orbitmedia found bloggers who reported strong results from their blogs used between 7 and 10 images per post.
Always Include a CTA
Within the blog, a call-to-action (CTA) is super important as it convinces readers their reading was worthwhile, and it has led somewhere. They may choose not to carry out the CTA but at least they have been given the option. Just knowing why they should act can make the copy effective for some readers.
We have looked at what to include in your copy, the importance of word count, images, and using sensory words. Use the recommended format for writing a blog and see how easy it is to get started with your own blog. I do hope these tips will boost your confidence and help you enjoy the process of writing your blog. Email me to let me know how you are getting along.
Look out for next week’s blog where we will be looking at the use of power words in our blogs.