You want your blog posts to be the best options for your audience.
But, blogging and getting found in Google’s search results is becoming more and more competitive.
Here are seven keys to writing a great blog post that users will seek out and click on.
The 7 Components of a Compelling Blog Post
First, and foremost, is deciding on what your audience is interested in.
The subject that you write about is one of the most critical elements to a compelling post. How do you select the topic?
- Know your audience and your niche: Do you have experience in this niche? Do you ‘hang out’ in the same circles? For example, Facebook groups.
- Research keywords and competitors: What subjects have competing blogs already tackled?
- Google Search: Use Google to research your topic. What are the top results? What does the autocomplete say?
- People also ask: Use this Google Search feature and find some great, underserved topics that people are searching for.
- Related Searches: People that have searched for this topic also search for?
- Google Trends: If your niche is related to a trending search topic then this can be a great way to capture traffic. For example, the puzzle Wordle was one of 2022’s most popular trends.
- Social Media: Be on the platforms that the community surrounding your niche is on. What are they talking about?
- Youtube Comments: Not just the videos but the comments are a great way of finding questions related to the topic of the video. These can be a good way to find little covered but relevant topics to blog about.
- Reddit: Reddit is a great place to track what people talk about with your niche and find topic ideas.
- Tiktok: One of the most popular platforms and still growing! What are the latest trends?
A compelling title on your post can make a potential reader want click through. Great blog post titles contain the following:
Power and Emotion Words
You want your title to use words that evoke emotion. I use this list of power words when creating titles.
- Numbers: Putting a number in works. For example: “7 little known details about X that people love“
- Makes a reader curious: The title should make the reader wonder and want to click through to satisfy their curiosity.
No matter if you use these techniques or others, the bottom line with titles is: Don’t be boring
3. Good Content
We are at the beginning stages of AI content. In other words, blog posts written by robots.
But algorithms can’t create. They can only rehash what others have written. Your job is to come up with GREAT content.
Your blog posts should be original, have heart, and connect with your community. Additionally, you may want to think about adding value to your post with the following:
Anything you can do to separate your creation from the boring, average blog posts that are out there is worth doing.
Types of Posts
I’ve become a big fan of having a framework for my blog posts. So, look for templates on the following types of posts:
- VS or Alternatives
These can help keep your blog posts well structured and overcome writer’s block.
A compelling blog post needs to contain a bit of search engine optimization to make sure that it can get found by people searching for your content. Therefore, you’ll want to include some of the following:
You want to do a little keyword research and focus your article around one key topic.
I don’t believe Google has a recommended length of a blog post but Yoast recommends a minimum of 300 words for a topic and this 2021 Hubspot study found 2100-2400 words to be optimal.
Obviously, you want to use however many words it takes to fully cover your topic rather than filling up a predetermined word count.
Consequently, you want to make sure that your content isn’t ‘thin’ and just taking up space to try and manipulate Google’s search algorithm.
Assuming your blog is focused on a niche, it only makes sense that you will be writing about topics that are related to one another.
For example: For a bicycle blog, you may have one post that covers 7 different components that need regular maintenance. Then you may have a more in-depth post on each of the 7 components.
You would want to link the different blog posts together. This is called internal linking. It demonstrates to Google that the posts are related to one another.
Make sure to use internal linking but don’t abuse it by linking unrelated or poorly related topics.
WordPress plugins that help with SEO are a must, in my opinion. The following are just some of the options available to WordPress bloggers:
5. Easy to Read
Formatting is one of the best ways to break up your text and make it easy for a reader to digest. Take a look at this post from Morning Brew who do a great job of formatting their articles.
They use frequent paragraph breaks along with bolded text and bullet points to break up a short article.
You may want to consider getting a Flesch Reading Ease score for your blog post prior to publishing.
While this tool shouldn’t be the final word on whether your post is easy to read it can provide valuable feedback.
Font size/line spacing
Big fonts and space between the lines makes things easier to read on a mobile phone.
As a result, you’ll want a minimum of 16pt type and 1.5 spacing. Many times, 18-20+ is recommended along with 2x spacing.
There are a few writing tools that can help with writing, punctuation, spelling, comprehension, etc. I’m listing two below.
Some are free, some are paid, and some have Chrome extensions etc.
These tools can be very helpful in editing your posts.
Images in your blog posts are a must. But there are some guidelines to adding them.
Your photos need to be original or you need to have permission to use them. This is an advantage for bloggers that are involved in their niche. Original photos are much easier to comeby.
However, you can’ t just upload your full-size images to your post. They need to be downsized or they will bog down the loading of your webpage and make it too slow.
As a general guide, I’ve heard 100 kilobytes is a good size for blog images.
Other media like video, audio
Look to add other forms of media if they can add value. Google owns Youtube and has no issues with including videos in your post. It may even help your search rankings.
7. Call to Action
The final component of a good blog post is to have some sort of a call-to-action included. This can linking to something like:
- email list
- make a purchase
- related post
- schedule an appointment
Compelling blog posts don’t happen by accident. Following the tips in this post and video will help but ultimately it’s about connecting with the audience in your niche.
James Upton of DIYTileGuy and The Grinder hosted this event for WordPress Seattle. You can find out more about him from the bio on his website.