Practice, Practice, Practice. There’s just no other way. If you want to become good at something you need to put in the hours and do it consistently. But while it will take some hard work in the beginning, you can take comfort in knowing that you’ll eventually be able to shot out blog posts in no time at all.
We all have to start somewhere, whether it’s learning to play for the first or in this case starting to blog. But as you probably know, being able to write quality blog post has the potential to transform your business through increased awareness, more inbound leads and higher sales figures.
But how do you go about writing quality blog posts? Unfortunately there’s no magic formula. But there is a well-defined structure below you can follow for every blog post you write, which should make the process easier for you.
Identify a problem
The most popular blog posts usually solve a problem people are experiencing, address key issues that help people achieve something and deliver content that’s fresh and unique
A good place to start with your post is to identify a problem your target audience is experiencing. Which means you need to have a good idea of their likes and dislikes, issues they’re struggling with and what they want to avoid.
A simple way to find out is simply by asking them through social media, or face to face. The trick here is to listen and also put yourself in their shoes.
The main objective here is to deliver value and write a blog post people want to share. Whenever I write a blog, I always ask myself if I’d share this on social media. If the answer is no, it’s back to the drawing board.
Write an eye-catching headline
The first thing people see, whether it’s online or in print is the headline. There’s a reason why they’re bigger than the other text, and it’s because headlines are supposed to draw you in.
You’ll want to come up with a headline that appeals to your audience’s self interest. Here’s a short list of tips of what you should do with your headlines:
- Keep it short
- No clever
- Give your audience what they want!
- Focus on the benefits
- But combine it with something unrelated to make it unique
- Create urgency
Writing excellent headlines is difficult, but the more you write the better you’ll get at it.
For more information on writing headlines check out: How To Write Headlines That Make People Click Like Crazy.
Make a strong opening
Equally as important as the headline, is the opening sentence. You want to start off with something that arouses interest and compels the reader to continue reading.
What typically works here is writing a surprising statistics or making a bold (if not controversial) statement. The reason they perform so well is because it’s not something everybody is going to be saying.
This also works with headlines, as you might have noticed with my previous post: 8 Things That Make Your Facebook Page Suck.
If you’re a regular reader at Cuutio, you’ll probably notice we use around two paragraphs to explain the topic, its relevance and the benefits you’ll get from reading the post.
The first paragraph sets the stage for the blog post. Your second paragraph goes deeper and it’s where you elaborate your opening statement and outline the importance of your blog post.
But while you can just start writing the main points, without an opening paragraph you lose out on building a relationship with the reader. You can’t just assume everyone knows the problem or the topic and reason why you’re writing it.
Break up your main points into sections
Another thing you may have noticed is that our posts are usually broken down into sections. This just makes blog posts easier to read, since folks aren’t confronted with huge pile of text in front, which can easily put people off from consuming your content.
You’ll also want to use your main point or arguments as subheadings by using the h3 tag in your post. Make sure to include keywords in the tags because it helps Google read your page better and lead to a higher ranking.
The other benefit here is that people generally skim through a post before deciding to commit themselves to reading the whole thing.
Pick an image
Images give your post a visual context and makes it stand out. But the problem I hear most often is that folks don’t know where to find royalty free images and also unwillingly to spend the time surfing for that perfect image to include.
Luckily you can head over to http://search.creativecommons.org/ and search Flickr for images under a creative commons license. Depending on the license you’ll have to give attribution to the creator which usually involves linking back to the original.
Alternatively you can also create your own graphic to put in your post if you can’t find anything suitable.
Another thing to consider is that it can increase click-through-rates when sharing your post on social media since it will display a thumbnail. Again, it will stand out more and adds some character to the post.
Want more comments – or everyone to share your blog post? Then just say so!
The conclusion is where you sum up your key points or add something motivational to encourage people to take action. Essentially, this is where you’ll want to include a call to action.
Show your readers the next step for them to take by closing with a question to encourage comments – or recommending them to check out a related post they might also like. Don’t leave them guessing what to do next!
After working so hard to get folks to your website, you don’t want them to leave without some sort of engagement.
Nevertheless, the more practice you get the better you’ll become. Nobody started off being an amazing blogger, it takes hard work (I’ll be first to admit it). But you need to remain persistent and develop a habit for it. This is a structure that will get you writing quality blog posts efficiently.
What about you? What have your blogging experiences been like – and how did you get started? Let us know by leaving a comment below, we’d love to hear your story.