How to Write a Great Blog Post
how to write a blog post
You’ve probably got tons of ideas for blog posts rolling around your head, but before you publish, you should make sure your blog post has all of the essential elements of a great blog post.
*This post contains affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here.
Take your time
Don’t sit down and hammer the whole thing out in 20 minutes.
Take your time.
Write it in a Google Doc first. Brainstorm. Do an outline. Whatever helps get your creative juices flowing.
I always start with an outline of my headings. Then I fill in bullet points about what I want to cover. Only then do I start writing.
I do all of this in Google Docs, well before it ever actually hits Squarespace.
Use whatever process works for you, but don’t rush it.
Write a catchy headline
Your headline is super important. I’ll repeat that: your headline is super important.
According to Copy Blogger:
Think about that. That’s crazy! And it goes to show how important your headline is. So take your time and think of a good one.
To help you out, try using CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer (it’s free). Type in your headline and it will give you lots of data on its strengths, and ways to improve it.
Use H2 and H3 headings
Using H2 and H3 headings is a good idea for several reasons. According to Yoast,
Good headings will help with SEO (they’re a good chance to use your keywords), and they’ll also help the reader navigate your article.
People skim and scan when they’re reading on the computer (not to mention mobile), and headers help them zoom in on what they want to see.
You can see that I’ve used an H2 heading for each section of this post.
You should use images pretty liberally in your post. Don’t go overboard, but they’re a good way to break things up.
Plus, they can often be helpful in explaining a concept. I often use screenshots to convey what I’m teaching. A food blogger is going to include lots of photos of her making the dish, etc.
Even when a photo isn’t necessary, you can always include a nice stock photo to break things up.
Write short paragraphs
You need to train yourself to use short paragraphs.
If you’re like me, you were taught in school to make every paragraph around 5 sentences. But that’s not going to fly here.
Your blog post paragraphs should be 1-3 sentences. It’s just the way people read on the internet.
You want to make it easier for them to read so that they stay on the page and keep reading.
Use different formatting options
Break up your text by using different formatting options. Like bold or italic.
Or use some bullet points:
Or even this
Or throw a formatting quote in there:
Anything that breaks up the text and draws the eye is good. Of course you shouldn’t go overboard, but just use your best judgment.
Include tangible takeaways
Most people are coming to your blog post because they have a problem that they want solved.
That problem could be anything under the sun. But they want to know what to do.
You should make it your job to solve that problem.
When someone can come away from your article with clear steps to action, and a defined result, they’re going to think highly of your blog and come back for more.
Writing a blog post is not like writing an academic paper. You don’t need a citation for every sentence you write.
But, putting in a few citations here and there is a good idea. It lends authority to what you’re saying because you’re showing that the experts agree with you.
Use external links
It’s good for SEO if you use an external link or two to an established site. This shows Google that your content is serious.
So find a good quote and then link to the source. It’ll kill multiple birds with one stone.
Use internal links
It’s a good idea to put at least one internal link (i.e., a link to one of your other blog posts) somewhere in your post.
It helps SEO when blog posts reference back to one another. And it can keep the reader on your site for longer too.
For example, I might mention Leadpages in passing and then say that I wrote a whole article about Leadpages at this link, if they want to learn more.
When you’re doing this, be careful what your anchor text says. In my example, the link should go over something like “how to use Leadpages” not “right here.” It’s the difference between telling Google that the link is about how to use Leadpages versus telling Google that the link is about “right here.”
Use social sharing
Not only do you want people to read your post, but you want them to love it so much that they share it with their social networks. So give them a way to do so!
First of all, every single blog post needs to have an image optimized for Pinterest (scroll to the top of this post to see an example). It needs to be 2x3 vertical, with a nice image, and a good text overlay. People need to want to pin it.
Finally, you need social share buttons on your blog post. Sumo can provide share buttons on the side of the post (like you see on this site) and above/below the post as well. Social Warfare can do the same. And in Squarespace social share buttons are automatically placed below each blog post.