Blog posts that get responses from readers can come from that one brilliant post that inspires others with some lucky points…but it doesn’t need to be that way. The secret to creating a blog post that encourages your readers AND keeps them on the page AND results in them continuing to read your blog… isn’t that big of a secret so let’s share some secrets.
Keep reading to find out the anatomy of a successful blog post and what every post needs to keep your reader on your page. You’ll know what to include in every post and how to format your page so you’ll continue to keep readers on your page, even when they don’t want to read every word (I call them “skimmers”). You’ll be able to use the tips here if your blog is a business blog, a personal blog, a how-to blog, a cooking blog…. if you have a blog, then this will help you.
Every post will need a few paragraphs before you get into the “meat” of the post, the real content that your readers visit your post to get from you. Use this intro as a way to give a quick overview of what they’ll learn from your post. In journalism, we call it a nut-graf.
You won’t need to tell your life story, or an endearing story about how this post relates to your life, or a story about something that happened in your life that changed everything else, or any story at all. If your story or stories relate to the content of your post, then go for it! Making your copy relatable and showing your personal experiences can elevate your writing and how it connects with your readers.
Subheaders Are Your Friend
Ok, not truly a friend but they should contribute to your page.
Add in subheaders for two main reasons as they relate to your readers:
- They’ll help skimmers jump back into your copy. If they’re looking for the essential pieces of your blog post, then they’re likely looking for specific words that stand out. Giving them a subheader with some of the info in this section will pull them back into the copy.
- For those who are reading every word in your post, using subheaders will show them what’s coming up next in the copy in a way that is similar to chapters in a book. An overview, foreshadowing, and a summary, all in one line.
Bullets can help in the copy if you need to break up like items in one specific area. (See what I did there?)
Serve The Main Course
The body of your blog post is where you’ll serve up the “meat” or the main course of your content. Get right into what your readers are looking for here. If you’re pulling from your first 20 topics, you’ll likely be getting into something that relates to what you’ve done in the past, what you do now, or what you plan to do in the future. See my Get Started or Restarted on Your Blog Checklist to build this out further.
If you find that you’re hitting some points quickly, add bullets at up to five per group.
If you find that you need to break up the copy, format it with bolded or italicized words to help them stand out on the page.
And, if you find that you’ve written a post with a length so impressive that you’re losing your train of thought…stop that train and find a way to break it up into more than one post. 🙂
Wrap It Up In A Neat Little Package
After you’ve served up the meat of your post and you’re ready to close it out, be sure to include a few last items, so you’re not leaving readers hanging with an abrupt end.
- Revisit your main points in a style as you did in the nut graf at the beginning of your post. You won’t need to use a lot of words here, instead, go with just a sentence or two.
- Show your reader in another sentence why this info was essential to them now or how it is important to you. If the info in your post instead applies to your clients, then show why it is important to them (you know, the clients who are like your readers who may become your clients).
- Ask them to do something at the end, frequently called a Call To Action (CTA) in marketing terms. This CTA can be a quick link to your social channel of choice; an ask for an email to continue the conversation, a link to a free resource that you offer, or just a request to comment on the post.
There you have it: the anatomy of a blog post with the necessary elements to be sure that your readers stick with you to the very bottom of the page.
I’d love to hear if this helps you as you write your next post! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this page. I’ll personally respond.