Have you ever wondered why some blog posts seem to spread like wildfire and others don’t? Do your blog posts contain the necessary elements of a great blog post that they need to drive traffic, get shared and inspire engagement?
Here are the necessary elements of a great blog post and how you can make sure to give your blog posts the best start they can have and do everything from your end to make sure that your audience will love them enough to share them and engage with them.
1. A Topic
Your article should have a clear topic. Your audience needs to understand what you are writing about. Some pieces of content out there may have a philosophical topic, but it is not clear what it is.
Also, focus on ONE topic. Don’t confuse your audience by trying to cover it all in one topic.
2. Be Unique
A blog post that is just a rewrite of what everybody else has already written about is usually not going to get much attention. After all, if there are already numerous article covering the same, the attention of people looking for this information is split up multiple times to all other blog articles covering the topic.
Even if you cover a topic that has been covered before, try to add a unique aspect. This unique aspect can be
- a long list of tools
- a different angle
- a more thorough description
- and a lot more
3. Topic Audience fit
Always keep in mind that you are writing your blog for an audience. Your topic should be of interest and value to your audience – otherwise, it will not get the traffic and engagement you are looking for.
The better your topic fits your audience and meets a pain point or question your audience has the better will it resonate with your audience.
How well a topic resonates with your audience, you can see in your analytics.
Image of content analytics
Take a look at how much traffic your content gets and which of your blog posts get the most traffic. Especially for traffic from social media, this is a great indicator of what kind of topics your audience is interested in. Make sure that you compare posts that you shared in a similar way. If you only share one article on your social media accounts, you cannot compare it to the articles you did not share.
Take these stats into account when you decide on new topics you want to cover.
You only have a couple of seconds to grab the attention of a visitor to your content. Make sure the first sentence states what the post is about – and grabs the attention of your audience.
Nothing will scare away more readers than a boring first sentence.
Your first sentence should also make very clear what your post is about. If you confuse your audience by writing about something totally off topic or need a long and complex introduction to come to the point, some of your readers may lose their patience are believe they have come to the wrong place.
Online content consumers like to skim the content. They will rather not read your content word for word, but skim over it and only thoroughly read the sections that they are most interested in.
Structure helps them to quickly scan what your content is about, which parts they are interested in – and keep the attention of your audience longer than unstructured, long-paragraph text would do.
Also, reading online content is harder than reading a book. Missing the line is a very common problem.
You can help your audience to
- stay focused
- skim the content
- focus on the key aspects
If you use elements like subheads, paragraphs, bullet lists and such to structure your blog posts.
Images can be a very useful tool to keep the attention of your audience – and social media images will also give you more traffic and engagement through shares of your content.
There is a broad variety of images that you can use in each of your posts
- social media images
- quote images
Just make sure that you do not “steal” content: be careful to use other people’s social media images when it is not clear that they are just examples, mention the source of your image or use free images.
Social media posts with images get more shares. An image every couple of hundred words has the power to double the shares the post gets.
Image Source: Buzzsumo
Articles that are just a long string of words without much insight or advice are no good. Your audience wants more than a superficial text about something they already knew.
The more in-depth advice you can give the better.
8. Understandability, Spelling, and Grammar
Jonathan is always criticizing me for my writing. I tend to make too long and complicated sentences. While to me as the writer the meaning is clear, my audience would need to think and sometimes even guess what I was trying to say.
Never forget that you are writing for an audience and a blog post is not a Tolstoi romance where long sentences can be seen as art.
Plus, grammar and spelling should be the best you can do. Rather spend another round of spell checking and use a tool like Grammarly to help you, than annoying your audience. Even the free version of Grammarly with the browser extension can help you fix a ton of spelling and grammar mistakes.
I am not a friend of the spelling police who think every miss-spelling is a good cause for a negative comment. But basics spelling and grammar is showing respect to your audience.
Think, why are you writing this article? Ok. We already tackled the point that you are writing for an audience.
But why are YOU doing it?
Do you want to get traffic to the post? Backlinks? Should your article convert subscribers? Are you building your brand? Is it an affiliate post and you want to sell a product?
Have a clear notion, why you are creating this article. The reason can be to build your audience on a certain social network. Maybe you want to brand yourself as an expert in a certain topic – and maybe even sell a product with the post.
Just blogging for ages without a purpose will do you no good. There will come the point in your blogging career when each and every blog post you publish you contribute to your success.
So, what is the purpose of your next article?
10. Outstanding headline
If you want marketing success, you need better headlines. There are complete businesses built on the power of headlines.
Does your headline get social shares? Does your headline work for Google search? Dos your headline inspire people to click and visit your post?
Some headline types usually work well. But even with those proven headline types you can test, tweak and find a better headline.
Image source: Quicksprout
Make your post count. If your audience gets the feeling that they always get a ton of value in your posts, they will come back for more of that awesome content.
The more value you share in your posts, the more will they speak to your audience and leave a positive impression.
But beware: value can wear many faces. Entertainment, humor, information, tips, help – they can all be of value to someone. What value your audience expects from you depends on your relationship to them.
If you want any chance of success with Google search and free traffic from search engines: You have to do some SEO.
I do not want to go into detail here, you can check out what SEO means for bloggers in Jonathan’s post here. But you need to learn the basics about keyword research, meta descriptions, headlines and so on.
For WordPress, you can use the awesome SEO plugin YOAST which will help you to optimize your posts and tell you what you need to do to make them better optimized for search.
Now that you have created an awesome blog post and given the post all that it needs to spread like wildfire, get a ton of shares and drive traffic to your blog, you have to promote it. Your job is not done – rather your main job starts now. Give your blog post the best start. Share it with all the social networks that you want to get traffic from. Check back with your analytics, see where your traffic comes from. View your Search traffic, see if you get vies in Google search and if people click.
Be ready to optimize all your efforts and even your blog post if things are not working as you thought they would. And create your next awesome blog post!
Do you need help with that? Check out our “Beginner’s Guide: Create Awesome Blog Posts!”