Today, there are hundreds of millions of blogs and other types of content that are competing for your readers’ attention. To stand out, you need to take your blogging game to a new level.
And the best way to do that is to focus relentlessly on the fundamental mechanics of writing a great blog post.
Don’t just hope you’re writing something that maybe somehow it’s going to go viral. Learn to consciously build great content, brick-by-brick, and watch your posts gain the attention they deserve.
Ready to get started?
Here are the building blocks of any great blog posts.
1. Feelings are your foundation
Envision what kind of experience you want to deliver to your reader. Weave a story.
You’ll want to plan your post to trigger your readers’ emotions. Use vivid imagery to punch up the power of your narrative.
Think of a roller-coaster ride. Starting from the headline, all the way to the ending, you need to be aware of the feeling and emotions you are translating into words.
2. Don’t forget: it’s all about the reader
Blog readers don’t have much of an attention span. If you want them to return to your blog you’ll need to deliver practical information that they can use. You can develop your “reader-focused” skills by doing a little research on your reader before you outline your post.
Use your research to pinpoint the topics that your reader wants to learn more about. Fill your posts with solutions and your readers will keep coming back.
3. Start strong
After the headline, your opening sentence is critical to enticing your reader.
Your readers should know right away what they will get by reading your post. They need to know why they’re there and why they should keep reading through to the end.
The battle is won or lost in those first few sentences, so invest some time in them. Reflect back on the early decisions you made about the emotions you were targeting.
4. Give more than you promised
Your headline and the opening drew your reader in and convinced them you had something great to offer. Now you have to deliver the goods. No, scratch that. You’ve got to over-deliver.
Great content makes complicated ideas easy to digest with a simple structure.
Write with clarity in mind. If you do not understand something well enough, don’t write about it.
You can also use steps and lists to help your readers get their head around complex concepts. And remember to keep the formatting clean and easy to scan.
Third, get inside the head of your reader and answer any questions or objections. Imagine that your reader is adamantly against your idea. What would they say? What would their objections be?
And then you need to do what so few bloggers take the time to do: you need to ruthlessly edit. Again and again. And again.
5. Ask for what you want
Great posts push readers out of their chairs with an irresistible call to action, thereby taking an abstract experience into the realm of the real.
You can juice your call to actions by deciding on what you want your readers to do before you start writing. Don’t leave this to the end.
In fact, write your call to action right after you write your headline. This will keep your objective front and center as you write.
For example if you want comments, then you should ask open-ended questions throughout the post. Poke your reader with provocative questions and tease them with the opportunity to speak their piece in the comments.
If you want to sell, write a tightly organized post that pre-sells with vivid benefits. Also give attention to raising and answering objections.
The key is to spend as much attention on the end of your post as you do on the beginning.
Pull out your best post to date. Not an “okay” post, I want the one that you’d die smiling if it were your last blog post ever.
Now run through this list of five steps and see how your post stacks up. Pick a section that could be improved, and tell me how you plan to do it in the comments below.