What should you put in a blog post?
Just as importantly, what items should you leave out?
Whether you like it or not, the way your blog post is outlined has a huge effect on how well it’s received.
So, if you’re not sure about what elements to include or exclude and how to organize them in your articles, you’ve come to right place.
Below, I’ll guide you through a blog post template that works.
It explains all the components you want and how to order them so that readers will love reading your article.
Before You Start Writing
Before you start writing, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
These items are very important because they allow you to decide:
- What you’re going to write about?
- How are you going to write it?
- Why are you writing it?
Do Keyword Research
The very first step to writing a blog post is to do Keyword Research.
Basically, keyword research tells you what your blog posts are about.
The reason for this is that your visitors or traffic make everything else possible with your blog.
While you don’t need a ton of traffic to make money blogging. You do need to get at least a few thousand people to your site each month.
They’re the ones who’s share your content
Your readers are the ones who’ll sign up for your email list
They will be your social followers
They’ll be the one’s leaving comments
And many more.
But, most imporantly, at the end of the day, they’ll be the ones who are more likely to buy what you’re offering.
What is Keyword Research?
In simple terms, keyword research is finding the terms (or keywords) people search for online. Because Google owns over 90% of the search market, it’s best to focus your efforts on Google’s search results.
^^ image of auto suggest
In addition to knowing what people are searching for, there are two other things to consider:
- Search Volume – How many people search for that keyword each month
- Keyword Difficulty – How hard is it to rank on the first page of Google’s results.
Search volume is important because you don’t want to spend 2 or more hours writing an article that just receives 0 or 20 searches per month. That’s not the best use of your time, right?
Instead, you want something that has at least a few hundred or ideally a few thousand searches per month.
Keyword difficulty is likewise crucial because studies show that the top 3 positions in Google get 75% of the clicks.
As such, if you’re able to get in that 75% of a keyword that has 10,000 visits a month, you’re likely to at least receive a few thousand visits to your site monthly just from that article.
And what if you have 50 or 100+ articles. Then, you’ve god solid recurring traffic.
What Type of Post Are Your Writing?
This refers to how are you going to write your blog post.
In short, what kind of article are you writing?
Is it going to be a tutorial, testimonial, review or something else?
Knowing this allows you to outline its content accordingly. Also, it lets you organize your editorial/content calendar.
Doing this helps a lot because you don’t want you blog to be populated by the same kind of blog post over and over.
- It’s gets tedious if say, 80% of your articles are all list posts.
- Or, 5 or more consecutive articles of the same type are shown in your blog’s post feed
Instead, you want to mix things up.
Often, this means planning out the breakdown of your articles from the keywords you’ve selected to write about.
For example, your content breakdown may look something like:
- 20% List Posts
- 20% How-to Posts
- 15% Case Studies
- 15% Personal Stories
- 10% Reviews
- 10% Latest News and Industry Updates
- 5% Interviews
- 5% Infographics
This is a bit more broken down than what you’d see in most blogs. But, I intentionally did so to show diversity. That said, as long as you have at least 3 different types covering majority of your blog posts and a few other types littered in between. You’re good to go.
The goal is just variation.
Additionally, it would be a good idea to space out the same type of blog post when publishing them.
For example, just imagine seeing the first 10 articles of a blog all being infographics or review posts. You may start to think that maybe all the articles in there are just the same.
So, it’s a good idea to organize them so that readers can see a variation of content while they scroll.
What’s the Purpose/Goal of Your Blog Post?
Finally, this is the why are your writing it.
Since you’re going to be spending at least an hour of your valuable time researching, writing, formatting and publishing it, the blog post ought to have a goal.
Is it to:
- Drive more traffic to your site?
- Get more social shares for brand recognition?
- Attract backlinks from other blogs?
- Help you gain credibility so you’re accepted by bigger blogs when you ask to guest post?
- Sell a product?
- Or something else?
Knowing this allows you to tailor what you write and how you write it to achieve that purpose.
Altogether, these 3 elements allow you set up a solid foundation for your article.
Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post (Using WordPress)
So what does the perfect blog post template look like?
Basically, it has the right elements that allow it to be:
- Easily readable
- Useful and informative
Basically, you can do that by having the following components.
Your blog post’s title has 3 functions:
- Target a specific keyword for SEO purposes
- Grab the reader’s attention
- Make them click
As such, here’s where the extra work you did above doing keyword research comes in. By including the keyword in your title, you’re letting Google know what the topic of the article is.
This lets it’s search engine algorithm, properly “classify” your article as one that’s targeting that specific keyword.
^^ image of search results (title with keywords)
In addition to ranking in search results, you want potential visitors to click on your headline.
As such, you want to craft an engaging title that makes them want to click and read what’s in the article.
The meta description plays a supporting role to your title in SEO. While it doesn’t factor into influencing the results of Google’s algorithm, it still have a big role to place.
Besides your blog post’s title, the other two things searchers see are your post’s:
- Meta description
^^ image of meta description in Google results
The URL isn’t going to mean much.
But, the meta description does.
That’s because when all titles that appear in the search results are very similar, people will likely refer to the meta description to “break the tie”.
This means it can help convince people to click on your article instead of the other 7 to 9 articles on the page.
So, like your blog post’s title, do craft a meta description that entices readers to click on your article.
To easily set the meta description for each blog post, use the Yoast SEO plugin.
Depending on how you’re WordPress Theme is configured, your featured image may or may not appear on top of your blog post.
- Some WordPress themes automatically place the featured image as the top image of your post.
- Other themes like Astra, allow you to decide what to put and where to position it.
- Yet others don’t do this. So, if you want a featured image, you’ll need to insert it using the WordPress editor manually.
In either case, it’s easy doing so.
That said, when using images for your blog, make sure to:
- Use those that are relevant to your aritcle
- High quality
- Copyright free (you can legally use)
Once your reader is on your blog post, your introduction comes into play.
After your title, it’s your blog post’s introduction’s job to keep your reader interested.
As such, it often has a hook (to immediately grab their attention).
And, once they’ve gotten the reader’s attention, it’s goal is to convince them to read the rest of the article.
The tricky part about introductions is that there’s no hard and fast rule to them.
You can be funny, curious, ask a question or do something else.
And that’s what makes them awesome as well. They give you a free hand on how you want to write them.
That said, here are a few things you may want to include in your introduction:
- The specific problem your reader has (ie. the reason why they searched for your article’s keyword/topic)
- How you will help solve their problem (in the article)
Their problem is the reason they’re searching the internet.
Your solution is why they clicked on your article.
As such, it’s a good idea to let them know that you’ll be giving them what they’re looking for.
In addition, you can likewise tell them what they’re learn from your post.
Subheadings break up your article to make it easier to read.
In addition, it also helps readers know what they’re about to learn in that section of your blog post.
The best way to add sub-headings in WordPress is to use the H2, H3, and H4 tags. Often, these are formatted for that they’re in a different font and larger in size compared to your content’s font.
^^ image of subheaders
This makes them easy to distinguish. They likewise break the pattern of the text.
Besides design and readability, subheadings also play a role in SEO.
Google sees sub-headings as important sections of your blog post. As such, including keywords in them helps you target more secondary keywords. Doing so boosts your article’s traffic potential.
This is the meat of your article. Ideally, it should take up about 90%+ of your blog post.
In it you’ll be helping the reader understand and ultimately, solve their problem.
As such, it’s goal is to deliver value.
That said, the approach you take will vary depending on the type of blog post you’ve decided on.
If it’s a:
- Tutorial or guide – you’ll likely showing each of the steps in detail
- List post – you’ll be listing items
- Case study – you’ll be explaining an entire event and its scenarios from start to finish
Additionally, if you plan on eventually ranking on Google’s search results, it’s a good idea to pack your article with lots of relevant information.
That’s because the top ranking articles in search often have 2,000 or more words to them.
This is also why it’s important to break up the paragraphs into sections using the H2, H3 and H4 tags.
Formatting plays a huge role when it comes to writing for the web.
- Most people now use their mobile phones to browse the web. That means your content needs to be easily readable even on small screens.
- People skim more than they read. Thus, people quickly bounce from pages with hard to read content.
So how should you format your articles?
Here are some effective, yet simple to follow tips:
- Break up big paragraphs. Limit them to at most 3-4 sentences.
- Use short sentences
- Include subheadings (as mentioned above)
- Use bullet points and numbered lists
- Insert relevant high-quality images which help break up the monotony of text
- Embed videos when relevant. Besides breaking up text, video increases the time people spend on your blog.
- Use tables, charts and graphs
People like looking at numbers. Probably because they’re easier to go through compared to entire rows of text.
That said, they’re not always applicable. It all depends on what topic you’re writing about and the kind of post you’re writing.
That said, when you can add data, do so.
Images, Videos, Charts, Tables & Other Elements
Including different types of media in your article helps people stay interested.
For one, it’s breaks up the pattern of having all text on their screens.
But, more importantly, the information in the media offers them something to get engaged with.
This is especially true if the media helps explain things better.
- If you’re talking about fixing a faucet, a video showing a plumber assess the leaks and fix the problem will explain things much better than any words.
- If you’re comparing numbers and figures, a chart allows your readers to instantly see the differences, as opposed to reading through them.
Internal & External Links
- External & Internal Links.As a best practice your blog posts should contain two types of links: 1) external links (to other websites) provide additional resources for your readers and credibility for you, and 2) internal links provide other relevant resources on your website to keep readers engaged with your brand.
In addition to the text, images, videos and subheaders, you also want to include links in yoru blog post.
In general, there are two types of links:
- Internal links – these links point to other pages in your blog. So, if a reader clicks on them, they arrive at another page in your website.
- External links – these links go to other blogs. While it seems that you’re redirecting visitors away from your blog, they’re actually good for SEO. That’s because Google focuses on user experience. So, if there’s information out there that helps explain a term or phrase in your article, linking to it helps your readers understand those terms or phrases better.
For each blog post, you want to include both types of links.
- Sharing Buttons make it easy for readers to share content they’re into. We like sharing buttons that “float” alongside content to make sharing always within reach.
Sharing buttons allow your blog’s readers to easily share the post to their followers.
The good news is, adding social media buttons can be done by using a WordPress plugin. This makes it super easy to do.
This closes out the content portion of your blog post.
In your conclusion, you’ll summarize the most important things you mentioned in the article.
Additionally, it’s always a good idea to include a CTA or call-to-action.
Call to Action (CTA)
As its name suggests, here’s where you tell the reader to do something.
Call to actions or CTA work very well in increasing reader engagement.
And, all it takes is 1-2 short sentences. But, you do want to explicitly tell your readers what to do. Don’t make them guess or think. Nobody likes that.
A few examples of CTAs include:
- Sign up for our newsletter
- Leave a comment
- Send me an email if you have any questions
- And more
Sources and References
In some cases, you may want to list your sources. This is especially important in some niches where research is a big part of content.
Among these include the health & fitness niche.
However, this isn’t relevant for most niches.
Content Upgrade or Opt In
If you’re trying to build your email list, it’s always a good idea to include a content upgrade at the end of your article.
Content upgrades are free extra bonuses that provide more information related to the article.
So, if a reader wants to know more about the subject matter, they can sign up with their email address to get that extra information.
This lets you grow your email list faster.
Finally, other posts that are related to the current article. These are blog posts that talk about the same topic or something related to it.
Once again, you can easily use a WordPress plugin to get this done. This saves you a lot of time since you don’t need to manually add these to each post.
So there you have it.
Putting together a blog post isn’t rocket science.
But, it’s important to have the right elements in there, in the right order.
This makes it easy for people to read. And, it ensures that your readers get what they’re looking for.
By going through the blog post template above, you’ll be able to keep your readers more engaged.
Do you have a blog post template you like to follow? Let me know in the comments below.