Despite the uniqueness found in every blog post, there are certain commonalities that exist in every great blog post. Use this list and make sure your post has all six of these elements before sending it out to the world.
1. An Intriguing Title
Why are you reading this post? It’s probably because you wanted to learn about how to write a better blog post. My title was intriguing, attracted the right audience, and brought in readers like you.
Use different types of hooks to grip your readers. Some of the most captivating hooks include:
- The Educational Hook: connects a concept with the mind.
- The Topical Hook: connects a concept with the news.
- The Fresh Spin Hook: connects a concept with a normally unrelated idea.
- The Self-Interest Hook: connects a concept with the reader’s personal identity.
- The True Story Hook: connects a concept with real-life stories.
- The Curation Hook: connects a concept with a series of unrelated ideas.
Can you tell which hook I’m using in my title?
Blog posts are much more interesting and useful when the author uses examples. Some ideas of examples that you can use in your post include:
- Article References
- Case Studies
These are all great ways to show (not tell), and it helps keep the post more interesting and sharable.
3. Breaks in the Content
Breaking up your content is a crucial part of a great blog post. While it doesn’t change your message, it can quickly determine whether or not readers will actually read through and share you blog post.
People don’t like to read. Instead, they scan blog posts, looking for the most important points before moving on.
The Nielson Norman Group found that only 16 percent of readers read web pages word-for-word. That means that most of you aren’t actually reading this. You simply read my subheadings and moved on.
Posts without breaks in the content are visually unappealing and hard to read. Here are a few tips on how you can break up your content:
- Use subheadings.
- Write short paragraphs.
- Include bullet points or numbered lists.
- Bold or italicize important points.
- Add pictures.
Remember white space is an element of your blog post. Use it.
4. Proper Conventions
If I run across a post that’s packed full of spelling and grammatical mistakes, you can be sure that I’m never returning to that blog again no matter how qualified the author is to speak about the subject.
Realistically, though, I can easily let a few mistakes slide; mistakes are understandable. However, if an author’s not willing to edit and revise their content, it’s not worth my time to try putting the pieces together and guess what they’re trying to say.
On the other hand, a blog post that uses proper conventions sounds more professional and is easier and more enjoyable to read.
Bookmark a good grammar site and check any rule or wording that you are unsure about, or use a grammar checker if you don’t have a second set of eyes to scan your post before it goes live.
5. An Engaging Appeal
While I wouldn’t say that an engaging aspect is essential for a great blog post, it certainly helps peak readers’ interest and helps them get the most out of the piece.
You have to get your readers involved. For example, you might include an exercise to get your readers more engaged in the subject, or you could simply ask a question for them to answer in the comment section.
The Write Practice certainly has this down, and they have thousands of followers because of it. In each of their posts, they include a practice exercise and have readers share their results in the comment section.
6. A Unique Voice
A survey conducted by SmartBlogs.com found that 43.41 percent of respondents say a distinctive voice is the number one aspect a successful blog needs.
This means that readers love unique writers, someone who doesn’t copy another writer’s voice and can put their own personality to their work.
Your voice should not be forced, and it is yours alone. Not sure what your unique voice is yet? Use these 10 Steps for Finding Your Writing Voice which includes exercises like:
- Describing yourself in three adjectives
- Examining the types of writing you like to read
- Listing your favorite cultural influences
Your unique voice will set you apart and give your audience a reason to follow you. So find a voice, stick with it, and add some creativity and uniqueness into your posts.
When reading blog posts, it’s clear when the post is great, but when we break it down like this, creating your own spectacular blog post becomes a bit easier. Do you include all six in your blog posts?
Image credit: Bigstock
Great tips Alicia! This is a nice little checklist!