Are you looking for tips to make the “perfect” post? Nope, can’t help you with that.
The thing is that every article you come across has its flaws. That isn’t what matters though.
The one thing all bloggers have in common is their desire to get people to listen.
Seeing that no one commented, tweeted or liked your post isn’t encouraging to say the least. Seeing that your latest post didn’t help you make a sale isn’t pretty for the ones trying to monetize either…
So if your goal is one of the above, you need to make sure you aren’t neglecting the variety of components that can make or break your next piece.
Below are nine very important elements of every blog post that you need to pay attention to.
Read below to find which they are and what steps you can follow to optimize and get the most out of them!
1. Don’t Rush with the Title
To get the most out of your headlines, think of the following before knocking together your next title:
- Is it informative enough so that people can understand what I’m going to cover?
- Haven’t I revealed too much so that people aren’t inclined to read?
- In list posts have I included adjectives e.g. effective, simple, quick, etc.?
- How lengthy is it? The perfect medium for social sharing is 60-70 characters.
- Have I added a keyword, preferably in the beginning?
More on researching and creating better titles you can read in this article: How To Write Killer Headlines That Drive Massive Traffic.
2. Watch out With the Introduction
The title is what get people to check your posts, since that is what they see first (for example, on social media). It’s up to your opening paragraph, however, to grab the attention and get visitors to read the article.
Here is a plan of attack for those first few sentences:
- Start working after having finished the actual content. A whole article waiting to be finished is not the ideal intro-writing environment. You need full focus.
- First come the keywords. Before writing anything, go through the whole article and come up with relevant keywords. They will be the base.
- Relax and write. From that point on get on with writing. Add whatever you find suitable without putting much thought to it.
- Then comes the editing. Now read the draft and start editing. Be sure to find all the kinds of errors and misconceptions.
- Shortening’s turn. You will probably find at least two filler sentences. Delete them! Also delete all unnecessary words to make it neat and clean. I’d say beyond 250 words is overdoing.
- Final editing. Spell-check once again and you are done!
3. Add a Bit of Eye-Candy
Turning on the reading-mood in your visitors’ minds is not always easy. Seeing all that plain black text on white background isn’t the key.
As great as the information you present, a good image can always create curiosity. Think about seeing two articles posted on Facebook – one with and one without an image. Wouldn’t you be more inclined to click on the first one?
Finding a good image doesn’t take more than 15-20 minutes and the additional eyeballs you can get make it all worth the effort.
More on where to search for images and why you should: 4 Reasons Why You Must Add Images to Every Blog Post You Publish.
4. Chose a Bigger Font Size
I’ve read more than one or two articles saying that smaller font sizes are better since they make for a less-intrusive design.
Lately, I’ve been doing some optimizations and decided to put this myth to the test. What I did was to add a slightly bigger font size for the navigation bar, the headlines, subheadings and the sidebar. To my surprise that actually worked quite well. A couple of weeks later I’m actually seeing a small improvement in the “time on site” figure!
So in brief an increase in font size improves visibility, which makes for people clicking through more often and bouncing slightly less.
The changes I’ve made are as follows:
- Title font size – 31px
- Subheadings font size – 26px
- Sidebar headings – 24px
5. Turn Complex into Simplicity
Even if you have decided to write content on complex subjects, you should not think of your visitors as people with clear understanding.
The problem with achieving simplicity is that bloggers often fail to realize that other people don’t know what they know. Many visitors are people who have no clue.
While an idea might seem simple to you it is not necessarily that simple for a person with no experience.
When writing, you need to constantly remind yourself that not everyone has your level of expertise. Write for your audience. Avoid using terms and when you can’t, make sure to explain them in detail.
6. Be Careful with Big Chunks of Text
Reading books and reading blogs is not the same thing. It seems like many newbies neglect that simple fact.
When reading a book, people have usually more than 10-15 minutes at their disposal. Now, think about when you read blogs. I’m certain many of you will agree that it often happens during a small pause or when there are a couple of minutes to fill.
In other words, time is a factor. And when time is a factor, one is certainly not in the mood to go through huge passages of text. You need to make sure that paragraphs are well spaced.
When writing, always separate different thoughts with a line break. So to not find more than 60-80 words per paragraph inside a post.
7. Take Advantage of Bullets and Subheadings
The no-big-chunks-of-text approach is good, but you can go a step further.
I won’t even talk about subheadings, since I guess most of you already know their importance.
Something else you can do, however, is to take advantage of bullet points. Unlike subheadings, those aren’t used that much and that’s a miss.
The shorter your posts, the better the chance of people reaching your call to action. That’s where bullet points come in handy. You can cut off a lot of words using them. The bullets in this post alone are enough of an example of why and how they can help.
8. Put Some Links Here and There
As all of you know backlinks are the most important SEO component. And nowadays getting backlinks is not so impossible.
Plus, you can also build some link juice via internal linking, which means including links in your posts, pointing to other relevant posts on your blog.
There are a couple of ways to do it. More about this topic can be found here.
9. End with Style
The idea behind every article is to generate a buzz. Your last paragraph is decisive.
The conclusion can be your call to action. That is how you will get the ones who read to act. You might pose a question and hence ask for more comments, you might encourage people to spread the word or to join your list if they liked the article.
Whatever your call to action, you need to have it. Miss that and conversion rates drop.
Everyone knows that you want more retweets, more likes and more subscribers. Every blogger wants that. Most won’t do a thing if you don’t encourage them though. If you want readers to take specific action, then ask for it!
Now It’s Your Turn
That was it. I hope the post helped you identify problem areas in your articles, showing how to get them fixed.
Now it is your turn! Let me hear what you think of the above tips.
What else can be added?
Feel free to share your two cents in the comments section!