How to Write a Must-Read Blog Post in 2022 (the “Age of Content Overload”) + 7-Step Blog Post Writing Formula

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Last updated January, 2022
The first thing to do when you start writing a blog post – whether it’s long or short – is get straight to the point. Right now, for example, the last thing you want (as a busy reader) is a loooong intro about “why blog posts are great”; you just want to dive right into some meaty, useful tips on how to write the damn things.
So with lesson number one already out of the way (only 3 sentences in!) and plenty more still to follow – here’s a rundown of what you can expect to read over the next few minutes:
What’s on the menu for this blog post?
Main Course:
Click on a link below to jump straight to that section:
Side Dishes:
I’ve sprinkled some tasty accompaniments throughout the post to keep you drooling right to the end.
Dessert:
For the cherry on the top, I’ve cooked up a simple 7-step formula to help you write a blog post like a pro.
BEFORE WE DIVE INI want to share with you that this is a 6,500-word blog post.
< Pause for hysterical shriek from reader >
freaked out emoji
Ahhh!
Okay, okay, I hear you – I know it’s a bit of a gamble telling you at the outset that this is a long-form blog post. BUT I DECIDED TO GO AHEAD AND TELL YOU ANYWAY IN ORDER TO PROVE A POINT, because if the idea is to teach you my tips for writing a must-read blog post in the age of content overload – knowing full well that your attention is limited – I need to be able to demonstrate these tips ‘in action’, and doing it in a four-paragraph mini-post just won’t cut it, nor will it live up to the promise of the title.
Having said that – fear not! If you really are interested in helpful tips and encouragement in the face of a blank screen and ominously blinking cursor – I promise that’s what you’ll get by the time you’re done reading, and there will be many interesting ‘bonus’ nuggets of wisdom and pretty pictures along the way.
Think of this post as an in-depth guide, made up of a few mini-posts you can come back to as a reference whenever you like!
OK, let’s get on with it, shall we?
What makes a blog post a ‘must-read’ in the Age of Content Overload?
About a decade ago, blogging was “around”, but it wasn’t nearly as ubiquitous as it is today. In 2021, there were about 7.5 million blog posts published every day.  That’s CRAZY, especially when you consider that the people who write these posts then go online and promote them to their mailing list and followers on Facebook Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and basically everywhere they can think of – and every day there are 7.5 million MORE posts hitting the web. In fact, I know that this “7.5 million” figure is likely to increase way faster than I’m able to update this post, so it’s probably even more by now, but you get the gist. It’s a crap load of blog posts.
Domo’s Data Never Sleeps 9 (2021) Infographic, illustrating how much content is created or consumed in a single minute. Yep, it’s nuts.
And because there’s way too much content out there than we could ever hope to consume, it’s made us super-selective about what we’re willing (and able) to devote our attention to. As Gary Vaynerchuk puts it in this video (about 8:30 minutes in) – it forces marketers to master “day-trading attention”, because our attention is now so incredibly fleeting as a consequence of content overload, it’s become as precious to them as a commodity can get. Or in other words:

Online attention has essentially become a commodity more precious to marketers than gold. The better you are at mastering “day-trading attention”, the more effective you are as a content marketer.

Obviously if we’re going to take the time to write a blog post, we want people to read it (duh!), so the first thing we need to do (even before getting straight to the point 🙂 ) is capture the attention of online passers-by and compel them to click through to the post. The way to do this is by promoting the post as something that offers value, whether it’s in the form of entertainment or useful information.

Then, if you’ve successfully convinced people to check out your blog post, you need to do a stellar job at delivering that ‘promised value’ in a reader-friendly way, because a blog post that people click on which isn’t interesting enough to read beyond the first couple of lines – or in other words, where the dwell time is very low and bounce rate high – is NOT effective.
SIDE NOTE: Learn about Dwell Time and why it’s important
It’s important to bear in mind that not every post is going to interest every person who comes across it, so what you should really be aiming for, is to capture the attention of YOUR target audience.

In fact, it’s actually better if people who are NOT likely to be interested in your blog post DON’T click on it, because if they click on it and realize within seconds they’re not interested, they’ll bounce right off your website, and that’s not ideal for SEO. So the more precisely you can appeal to your target audience using your blog post’s title and feature image, the better the odds that the ‘right’ people will click through to read it.

The gist is this: Since there are already too many blog posts in the world, the ONLY type of post to write is a 'must-read' post, or it simply won't get read. So if you're going to bother writing at all, you need to arm yourself with the essential bag of tricks that will set your post apart and compell your desired audience to read it. Or you can just stay mediocre and pin all your hopes on the Online Traffic Fairy...

By the way, this might be a good time to mention that not all posts require the same level of planning, research, or even writing time. It all depends on the type of post you want to write. Sometimes you might be so moved or inspired to write something that just “flows from the heart”, the post practically writes itself in no time at all.

And the same goes for length: Not all posts need to be epic essays, sometimes they can be 600 words that really pack a punch. If you’re ever inspired to write one of those – good for you!  But the purpose of THIS post, is to help with all the other times you want to write a post and don’t know what to write about or how to write it in a way that’s going to draw readers in and make it a worthwhile read.
Why it doesn’t matter that gazillions of blog posts have already been written about virtually every topic.
There are already MANY blog posts about how to write a blog post. About 2.37 billion of them, in fact (as of January 2022).
So why would anyone in their right mind attempt to write yet another one? Why did I bother to write THIS post? Aren’t 2.3 billion articles about this topic enough?

You’d think so. But here’s the thing:
  • Although some posts are updated from time to time – many are not, which means that a huge chunk of those millions of posts are most likely old and out-dated.

  • With search and social media algorithms constantly evolving, as well as cultural preferences and habits regarding how we consume content – in many cases people prefer new, up-to-date content to posts that are several years old. So in fact, it’s still worthwhile to be among those creating new, up-to-date pieces of content, or at the very least updating old content so that it stays fresh – which is a super-important blogging best practice. That’s why I made sure the title for THIS blog post includes the current year (current = relevant).
So the next time you tell yourself “Ehh, there’s no point for me to write a blog post about (…whatever) because so many people have already written about it before” – remember that just because there are already loads of posts about the same/similar topic, it doesn’t mean they’re any good (you could potentially write one that’s WAY better).

Also, there’s always a fresh crop of people looking for a post precisely on that topic who haven’t read any of the gazillions of other posts that were written a while ago, and would prefer to read one that’s current rather than one that’s old.
The 4 Pillars of an effective, must-read blog post
1. The title (or ‘headline’) – This is arguably just as important to nail as the post itself, because a crappy headline equals zero readers. It needs to instantly (and I mean in a split second, a.k.a. the blink of an eye, a.k.a. faster than a speeding bullet) capture the attention of YOUR target audience and compel them to click on it.
2. The ‘feature image’ that accompanies your post when you promote it on social media (more in a moment on why it’s so important).
3. The content of the blog post itself and the way it’s presented. This is where you need to follow through on the ‘promise’ of your title with real value, whether it’s useful information and/or an entertaining read, and you need to format it in a reader-friendly way so that it’s as inviting as possible to read.
4. The call-to-action (CTA) or key takeaway associated with the post, whether it’s subtle or blatantly obvious. If you want the post to ‘hit the spot’ or provide value, the key takeaway needs to be delivered in a way that will resonate with your readers, and either inspire them into action or leave them with the sense that it was a worthwhile read.
The long and the short of it: Does size matter?
There are arguments as to which posts perform better – long ones or short ones – and there’s evidence to support both cases.
Long posts seem to fare better in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), probably because Google aims to prioritize top-quality content; the more comprehensive the piece, the more effort presumably went into creating it, so it must therefore be of superior quality to a 600 word quickie.

Conversely, the main argument for short posts is that people don’t have the patience to read long posts these days, so the shorter the post, the more likely it is that it will be read.

I get it. I don’t always have the patience to read long posts either (and yes, I get the irony of that statement given the length of this post). But sometimes, once I start reading a long post that I can sense will be “good for me” (because it feels like I’m going to learn something useful) and the writing draws me in, I don’t even notice how far down I’m scrolling because I’m totally absorbed in what I’m reading.
The fact is, there are some topics you really can’t do justice to in less than 1,500-2,000 words, simply because they require more background and detail to get the desired value across to the reader. But there are definitely some tricks you can apply in long-form blog posts to help readers get through them without feeling daunted.
I chose a long-form post for this particular topic, for example, because I’m aiming to teach you a bunch of stuff that can’t be condensed into fewer than 500 words. Or it could, but then it wouldn’t be as comprehensive as I’d like, and you probably wouldn’t get as much value out of it as a result.

BUT – even though THIS is a sizeable blog post – note that rather than presenting it using boring chunks of just text, I’m also using sub-headings, bold font, images, highlighted quotes and interesting “side notes” to keep you engaged.

It’s important to remember that when you’re publishing online, the way your blog post looks on screen can significantly impact the readers’ willingness to read it in the first place.

A long-form blog post needs to be formatted so that it’s as ‘easy on the eye’ as possible, because the majority of online readers (79%) don’t read blog posts from start to finish, they scan (or ‘skim’) them. That’s not to say that no one will ever read your post in its entirety, but it is definitely prudent to assume that many people will merely skim over it in the hope of extracting maximum value with minimum effort, so always aim to create scannable content (more on that in a moment).

As I mentioned earlier, Google seems to favor long-form posts, so it ranks them higher in SERPs and they inevitably enjoy more traffic as a result (which boosts their rank even more). But if you consider people’s ever-decreasing attention spans, and the fact that the majority of online readers skim blog posts (especially long ones), perhaps length may be a factor in boosting a post’s rank in SERPs, but it isn’t necessarily an accurate measure of how effective a blog post actually is or how much value it contained for the readers.

A blog post shouldn’t be deemed “effective” because it is either long or short (regardless of where it ranks on Google), but rather because readers consider it to be a highly relevant and worthwhile read.

If it is truly a top notch post, and readers give it the ‘online love’ it deserves by sharing it, linking to it, etc., it will eventually climb the SERP ranks based on its own merit.
How to figure out what to write about and overcome “Blank-Page Syndrome”?
One of the most common frustrations for bloggers who are not naturally inclined to writing, is what the hell to write about in the first place.  

I have run corporate blogs in the past where it was my job to encourage team members to write, but they would often come back with “but I don’t have anything ‘special’ to say” or “what could I possibly write about that hasn’t already been said a million times before?” To which I’d usually respond with something along the lines of:

“Your current role, you background, expertise and opinions, make you unique. So even if a subject has been written about a million times before, none of the people who wrote about it, did so from YOUR point of view, or with your particular flair, and that’s the ‘twist’ that you (and no one else) can bring to any blog post YOU write.”

Obviously plagiarizing other blog posts is never a good idea. Not only is it totally lame, but in the age of content overload, it’s also what I (don’t) like to think of as “content pollution”.

To make a blog post worth reading, you have to bring your own twist to it, or a different, fresh way of saying the thing that has already been said before ad nauseum.

Freaked out about what to write about for your next blog post?
How to come up with ideas for blog post:
First, think about the niche your business is in and who your audience is:
  • Who are your customers / followers? What are their interests and what information would they appreciate you sharing with them that might benefit or entertain them? Also, how can you deliver this information in a way that will appeal specifically to them?
  • What aspects of your industry or of your products/services – or even of complementary products/services – can you write about, where the aim is to simply offer them value with no strings attached in order to build trust and position yourself as an expert in your field?
  • If there are strings attached, meaning that you’re using content as part of a sales funnel where the end goal is to establish enough interest for the user to make a purchase – what topic can you write about that might inspire them to further engage with you on their way to the bottom of the funnel (and hopefully to a purchase)?
Then try one of these methods to brainstorm ideas:
1. THE ‘SHMOOZING OVER DRINKS’ METHOD.
Think of approaching the task of ‘finding something to write about’ in the same way you might make conversation with your potential customers or followers at a social or networking event. If you’re passionate about what you do and what you’re offering, conversation ideas should flow very naturally to you. But if you can’t think of anything at all to say, then I hate to say it, but maybe you’re in the wrong line of work, or running a business that might be a waste of your time.
2. THE ‘WHENEVER & WHEREVER LIST’ METHOD.
Make a list of topics to write about, keep it somewhere handy (I keep mine in the “Notes” app on my iPhone) and add to it whenever you think of a new topic: Whether you’re on the bus, in the shower, at your desk, out with friends, exercising, cooking, browsing the web, etc. In short – whenever and wherever you think of a potential topic, write it down, until you end up with a big fat inventory of blog post ideas.
3. THE ‘GOOGLE AUTO-COMPLETE’ METHOD.
Do a Google search for your niche, product or related topics, and see what phrases come up in the ‘auto complete’ search suggestions. These phrases are an indication of related popular topics that your potential customers or followers in your niche are interested in, so they’re a great source of ideas for what you could potentially write about.
4. THE ‘STALK YOUR COMPETITORS’ METHOD.
Obviously I don’t really mean that you should stalk your competitors “for real”, but it could be well worth your while to visit their websites and even subscribe to their newsletters and follow them on social media, to get an idea of what kind of content they’re producing. The idea here isn’t to copy exactly what they’re doing (because again, plagiarism is way lame) – but to get inspiration for topics you could also create content around, only with your own ‘twist’, and ideally with added value that your competitors hadn’t thought to include in their versions.
5. THE ‘BRAINSTORMING WITH YOUR AUDIENCE’ METHOD.
You can always reach out to your customers or followers and ask them straight out – what would they like you to talk about in upcoming posts? Whether you reach out in a video, your newsletter, or your Facebook business or group page – it’s not only a perfectly legitimate way of getting ideas for future blog posts, it’s actually a fool proof way of choosing topics your audience is already predisposed to read, because they’ve told you they want to read about them. It’s such a simple but genius hack, but my guess is that not enough of us are using it as often as we probably could.
OKAY, NOW IT’S TIME TO GET TO THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF WRITING A BLOG POST.
The 5 essential elements of a blog post: Why they’re important + How to nail them like a pro
At its most basic structure, a blog post consists of the following standard components:
  1. Title (a.k.a. headline)
  2. Feature image
  3. Intro paragraph
  4. Content paragraphs
  5. Conclusion
The 5 Essential Elements of a Blog Post
Here’s why each of these elements is important:
1. Title (a.k.a. Headline)
The headline is a one-line advertisement for your post, and it’s usually the ONLY part of your post which is seen when you promote it. Sometimes the first 1-2 of lines of the post are also visible when you promote your post (for example in Google search results pages or Facebook/LinkedIn feeds), but not always, which is why you always need to assume that the title is the thing that’s going to be doing most of the heavy lifting to capture your audience’s attention and compel them to click on it.

The title needs to be so instantly interesting to your target audience – either because it’s funny, shocking or clever, but most importantly because it suggests that there is some sort of relevant value in the post itself which makes it potentially “unmissable”. A great headline should inspire a level of FOMO that makes it irresistible for people to click on.

Simply put, if the title fails to instantly compel your target reader to click on it, your post – no matter how brilliant – will barely be read by anyone (if at all).
Should you write the title before or after you write the actual post?
My recommendation is… both. Okay, I know that sounds weird but hear me out:

Before you write ANY blog post, you need to have a purpose for writing it, and “I set myself a goal to write a blog post this week” isn’t good enough. That might be YOUR purpose for writing the post, but that’s not the main takeaway you want to convey to your readers with as a result of reading your post, and that’s the purpose I’m referring to.
Once you figure out what message, lessons or experience you want to convey in your blog post – or in other words, your purpose for writing it in the first place – you should be able to summarize that purpose into a single sentence, and that sentence should form the basis or inspiration for your blog post’s title.
Then, there are ways of finessing the phrasing of that title so that it is as “inviting” as possible for the potential reader who stands to benefit from this intended purpose.
The benefit of summarizing the purpose of your blog post into a single sentence before you start writing
The process of distilling the purpose of your blog post into a single sentence (or several variations of it as a potential title) also helps you to form an outline in your head of what sorts of things you might want to talk about in order to convey that purpose as effectively as possible.
By figuring out your title before you start writing, you’re actually subconsciously (or consciously) coming up with potential talking points to support that title before you’ve even started writing the post.
Having said that, sometimes, once you start writing a blog post and you’re ‘on a role’, your mind goes off on unexpected tangents. Or, when you do your research for the post, you come across brand new information or angles you hadn’t thought of before, so by the time you’ve finished writing, the post may end up being different from the vision you had for it before you started, and as a result, the original title might no longer be the most accurate representation of what the post is actually about. When that happens, it’s a good idea to revisit the title you already wrote and tweak it so that it makes sense for the post you’ve actually ended up with.
Why misleading or clickbait titles are WAY lame
There’s nothing more annoying to readers than a misleading headline which implies that the post is about something, but ends up being about something else. And I’m not just talking about obvious clickbait-style titles where the readers know they’ve been duped within seconds – I’m also talking about headlines that ‘sound’ legitimate, but which lead to a blog post that fails to deliver (sometimes completely) on the ‘promise’ of the title.

It’s a sort of a betrayal, and when readers realize they’ve been tricked into clicking through to a post that fails to deliver on that promise, not only can their disappointment lead to a swift bounce off the page, but it can seriously damage your credibility should they ever come across any of your posts again.
It’s better to write an accurate and honest title for your blog post even if it’s low on ‘wow factor’ than to exaggerate or mislead readers by jazzing it up too much, knowing that the content of the post doesn’t live up to the value that’s promised in the title.
2. Feature Image
Although blog posts are written in order to be read, humans are visual beings, and are far more likely to be drawn to a piece of content that pops up in their social feed, if it’s accompanied by a captivating image that inspires an emotional response, like empathy, outrage, surprise or even simply an “Ooh, looks interesting, I wonder what that’s about”.

These days, images are more than just visually pleasing diversions dispersed nonchalantly within copy-heavy blog posts. The feature image that you choose for your post – which is the one that’s also visible when you share the post on social media – is essentially part of an ad for your post, which is why sometimes it’s worth investing both time and a little money to source the perfect image to “sell” your post (because that’s basically what the feature image is doing).

Together with a killer headline, the appeal of the feature image (or lack of it) can be the difference between someone clicking through to read your post, or scrolling right past it and on to something that looks more inviting.

How to choose the perfect feature image for your blog post (+ How I chose the image for this post)
There are LOADS of resources online – both free and paid – for finding images for your blog. Some of my favourite go-to stock photography sites include Freepik, Unsplash, Pexels, Rawpixel (for free images), and Adobe Stock and Shutterstock (for premium images).

The main advantage of the free sites is – well, they’re free. But although they have a huge selection (and I have personally spent literally hours at a time just browsing through them like a kid in a candy store) – the fact that their search functionality is a little lacking is also what makes them somewhat less efficient than the paid sites, which have amazing search functionality.
Even though you might pay as much as $10 (or more) for a feature image from a paid stock photography site (that’s my average), the convenience of finding exactly what you want with pinpoint precision in a fraction of the time it would take you to find it in free stock photography sites – is worth the expense, especially when you’re on a tight deadline.
For example, to find the feature image I used for THIS post, I first decided on the concept I was going for, which was to NOT use an image of someone typing on a computer in ‘blog-post-writing mode’, because that’s the typical image you’d expect to see for this type of post. I wanted to try to do something different, by showing the facial expression of a reader (not the writer) – reading a ‘must-read blog post’. What would that facial expression look like? I imagine it would be one of immense awe and satisfaction (because they’re reading something they’re totally absorbed in).

So I hopped on to Adobe Stock and searched for “computer + woman + amazing” and “business + woman + laptop + excited”. The aim here is to get super-precise search results by using keywords that are as specific as possible. I then filtered by “file type” (I chose “photo” to eliminate all the illustrated options) and “horizontal” orientation (because that’s the layout I need for my horizontal blog headers) to eliminate all the vertical and square options in the filtered results – and I found a bunch of suitable images. In the end I went for a series of images featuring a variety of facial expressions by the same woman, so that I could turn it into an animated GIF (like the one below) depicting her interest in the post over the time it took her to read it.
If I wanted to, I could have also filtered my search by a variety of other criteria, like image size, price, how new it is, whether or not it should include people in it, etc. This sort of filtering precision is generally not available when you search in the free stock photography sites, so although there are amazing and sometimes more original photos to be found in the free sites, it can take way (and I mean way) longer to find the ‘perfect’ photo, so it’s really up to you as to how much time you’re willing to spend looking for it.
Best Practices to remember when using feature images:
  • Credit the source of the image, especially if the image license requires it (always make sure you understand the type of license associated with the images you choose). If the licence doesn’t require crediting the source, you can omit the credit, or add it anyway just to be nice.

  • Try to choose images that are not ‘obvious’, but which convey the emotion you’re hoping to inspire or the benefit you’re hoping to deliver. Thinking outside the box when it comes to image selection may take more time, and it’s not always easy, but it will make your post stand out from other similar posts whose feature images are rather ‘blah’, simply because their authors couldn’t be bothered going the extra mile, settling in the end for a predictable and forgettable option.
3. The Intro
Many people don’t even think about including an intro when they sit down to write a post, they just start yapping away about “talking point #1” in a series of several points they planned for the post, so the poor readers often have no idea whether the post is actually relevant to them until they have already wasted several moments reading a few context-less sentences.

The advantage of a well-crafted intro is that it introduces the subject of your post right at the outset, and sets some context for the readers as to what they can expect to read about in the next minute or two (or 20, if it’s a long-form post).
The intro is essentially an overview of the post itself, so it should be presented in a way that draws readers in and piques their interest enough to want to read on.
It’s also important because as I said earlier, in cases where the first 1-2 sentences are visible when you promote the post, a well-written intro can act as a ‘preview’ that gives potential readers the extra nudge they need to click on it in the first place.
Things to consider when writing your blog post’s intro:
Once your potential readers have arrived at your blog post, the challenge becomes engaging them beyond the first couple of lines, so that they actually read the damn thing.

Here are a few suggestions for creating an effective intro (and remember, it’s only effective if people continue reading past it):
  • As I mentioned in the intro to THIS post – get straight to the point and give readers some context by telling them what they can expect to get out of the rest of the post if they read on.

  • Use humor or wit, add a personal insight or experience (storytelling-style), or mention a super interesting statistic or fact that hints of what’s to come in the body of the post. If you can draw the readers in at the intro stage, the better the odds they’ll want to stick around for more.

  • Keep it as short as you can without compromising on substance.
If it’s a long-form blog post, consider listing the post’s sub-headlines immediately following the intro and linking each one to its relevant point in the post, so that people can jump directly to sections that interest them most. Alternatively, consider adding bullet points before the intro, that act as a ‘preview’ of what’s in store for the reader (i.e. how the post may benefit them) – to entice them to read on.
4. Content Paragraphs
This is the ‘meat’ of your blog post. It’s in this section – whether it‘s 3 paragraphs or 10 – that you elaborate on your main talking points. How many paragraphs should you include? As many as you need to get your message across, but always aim to be as concise as possible.
How to optimize content paragraphs for optimal reader-friendliness:
  • Generally, each paragraph in your post should deal with a single talking point in order to keep the paragraphs nice and short. If possible, highlight certain keywords or key phrases in bold text so that they stand out.

When we read blog posts online, the reality is that even if you’re a Pulitzer caliber writer, most people scan posts rather than read every single word, so by highlighting certain key sentences, you actually help get your point across even if the paragraph is only scanned.

  • Paragraphs should have a logical flow to help get your point across, so make sure that each paragraph actually has a purpose. If you find yourself rambling on for a whole paragraph without actually saying anything of value, it’s a sign you could probably do without it.

  • Use formatting elements to help ‘break down’ the post visually. Using things like sub-headlines, numbered or bulleted lists and breakout quotes – helps to make posts more reader-friendly and a lot less daunting than big, monotonous chunks of text. These little elements may seem trivial but they can make all the difference between a person deciding to go ahead and read your post, or not.

  • Speaking of visual engagement boosters – use images throughout your post. Obviously they have to be relevant, but they needn’t necessarily include just ‘visual aids’ like graphs and screenshots. They can also be images that help to reinforce certain talking points, provide comic relief, or present an opportunity to share a post ‘highlight’ on social media (for example via a custom-made meme or quote), which helps to boost awareness and hopefully draw traffic to your post.
SIDE NOTE: If you’re going to use animated GIFs – don’t over do it. Too much motion on a page can induce nausea or a headache (or both…) and turn people off from reading your post at all.

*** ADVANCED TIP ***

Earlier in this post I talked about dwell time and bounce rates, and about how Google ranks posts higher if it can see that people are spending a substantial amount of time (as opposed to just a few seconds) on the page – before they bounce (i.e. exit the site) after reading your post. The longer people ‘dwell’ on a page before leaving your site, the more likely it is that Google will deduce it’s because the page contains high-quality content. But here’s a hot tip:
If you can encourage readers to visit other areas of your site in the same session rather than bounce off the site after visiting just one page, then you’re on to next-level SEO which will help to improve your overall search ranking.
The way to do this is to interest your readers while they’re reading your post in other relevant content elsewhere in your site by linking to it from within and between your content paragraphs, so that they continue browsing back and forth between the original post and other relevant pages.

For example, I touched on certain subjects throughout this post that I know I have expanded on in some of my other posts, so when I mentioned those subjects, I linked to those other posts. I also added little ‘side notes’ or what looks like little ‘promotions’ for other content that may interest you between paragraphs as well. None of this was to ‘trick’ you into clicking through to other areas of my website. Rather, when I came up with my talking points for this post, I thought about what other topics I have already written about that would be relevant as ‘companion’ posts should you want to dig deeper into any of them, and made sure that I linked to them so that you could access them easily.

If you do the same in your posts, it’s actually a win-win for both you and your readers: They get to read more of your wonderful content about topics that interest them, and you achieve the objective of generating more than a single pageview per session for each of those readers. Happy days!
5. The Conclusion
Since the reality is that many people won’t read your entire blog post from start to finish (sad, but true) but merely scan it for nuggets of useful information, the concluding paragraph plays an important role, because logically people expect that it will include a summary of the post and a mention of the main takeaway/s you want to leave them with. And that’s exactly why a conclusion is such an important element to include:
Even if the only bits of your post that are actually read are the title, the beginning, and the end – if you recap the post’s main takeaways and messages within your concluding paragraph, the reader will still have benefited from your post despite skipping over most of the middle.
The conclusion is also the perfect place to engage readers by asking them to take some sort of action (if relevant), presuming you haven’t already inserted a CTA earlier in the post, like inviting them to comment, download a relevant lead magnet, subscribe to your newsletter, read another related post, etc.
The 5 essential elements of a blog post: Why they’re important + How to nail them like a pro
If you’ve read up to this point, you’re probably just REARING to get started on writing your next blog post, right? Well good for you! But just in case you’d still feel more confident if someone ‘held your hand’ through it (so to speak), I have prepared a guide – or formula, if you will – to help simplify the process.

I’ll start by listing the seven steps, and then expand on each step below. Follow the formula, and you’ll be churning out loads of well-crafted, must-read blog posts in no time!
MY 7 STEP BLOG WRITING FORMULA:
1. First – come up with an idea for a blog post. Make sure your purpose for writing it is clear.
2. Once you’ve come up with an idea, start crafting the post’s title, to give yourself more direction.
3. Jot down some talking points that you can later expand into paragraphs.
4. Once you have a vision in mind for the finished post, write a compelling intro to draw readers in.
5. Expand your talking points into reader-friendly content paragraphs.
6. Wrap it up with a memorable or thought-provoking conclusion.
7. Review the whole thing, edit, optimize and publish!
1. First – Come up with an idea for a blog post.
Perhaps you’ve had a ‘light bulb moment’ and an idea just came to you out of thin air. Lucky you! If only it were always that easy…

But if you need to work a little harder to come up with a good idea, put your audience first: If they’re looking to YOU as an expert in your field, or to learn something about whatever it is you’re already passionate about, what could you write about that would interest them? Start there, and use the tips I mentioned earlier in this post to get your creative juices flowing. Jot down a bunch of ideas and settle on the one that ‘speaks to you’ most so you can focus on it fully (and save the others for another potential blog post).
2. Now that you’ve come up with an idea, start crafting the post’s title, to give you more direction.
Settled on something to write about? Excellent! Now think about why your audience would want to read about it and distill the main message you want to share with them into a single sentence. Feel free to come up with as many versions of this sentence as you can. Play around with it as though you’re moulding a blob of Play-Doh, until it takes shape to your satisfaction. As you craft your title, you’re actually confirming (to yourself) what you want to write about and why you want to write about it. Don’t worry if you feel it still needs tweaking, you can always come back to it later.
3. Jot down some talking points that you can later expand into paragraphs.
Once you know what you want to write about and have distilled the main message into a sentence that will form the basis of your title/headline – it’s time to start thinking about what you can say about the topic to help get that main message across.

Whether you want to argue a point, or teach something, or tell a story – think about:
  • what you could say to give some context to your topic,
  • explain why it’s important or demonstrate why it’s interesting
  • back it up with research (e.g. facts and statistics, if relevant) or anecdotes of your own, add your own thoughts about it, and
  • think about something you could share that might be interesting or valuable to your readers.
You can come up with your talking points in any order. The main thing is to jot down all the things you might want to mention in the post, even if it looks like a big mess to begin with. When you’re done, review the talking points and decide which ones are worth keeping (you might decide that some are not relevant or interesting enough) and rearrange them into a logical flow. Just by doing this, you’re once again providing direction for yourself on how to expand the talking points into paragraphs that actually say whatever it is you want to say – from start to finish.
4. Once you have a vision in mind of the finished post, write an intro that will act as a compelling preview for the readers.
You’ve come up with an idea, crafted a potential title that summarizes it, and jotted down some talking points that will become the basis of your blog post. Now think: If YOU came across this post online, what would it take to get you to read it beyond the first few lines? Think of a compelling way to introduce the subject of your post to draw your readers in and set their expectations.
5. Expand your talking points into paragraphs.
Whether you realize it or not, if you’ve followed steps 1-4, you’re well on your way to writing your post, because you’ve already thought about what you want to say, what inspired or compelled you to write about it, and what is the main message you want to convey to your readers.

So if you already know all of this – don’t stare at your screen/notebook like a deer in headlights, start writing! Use your list of talking points as the outline of your blog post and expand each taking point into a paragraph that explains it properly.

REMEMBER:
  • Don’t ramble unnecessarily, keep it concise.
  • Use language and a style you’re comfortable with, and if you feel inspired to use humor, or source an existing reference to help make your point – go for it!
  • When referencing someone else, make sure you link the relevant phrase/sentence to the original article, or mention the original writer/publication by name (both methods work, use your judgement to decide what’s best in context).
  • If there’s an important sentence you want to highlight in a paragraph, make it bold.
  • If you’re making a series of points, consider listing them as a numbered or bulleted list (it’s more reader-friendly).
  • If you can see that the post is getting long, consider breaking it up into sections and adding sub-headlines for each one. That way the reader can see in advance (by scanning the ‘scarily-long’ post before reading it) the flow you intended for the different things you want to talk about, and the ‘subconscious comfort’ of realizing there’s a logical structure to the post will make it less daunting for the reader to commit to (even if it’s long).
6. Wrap it up with a memorable or thought-provoking conclusion
Just as you provided an intro to draw your readers in, it’s good practice to summarize your post in a way that ties it all together, and leaves them with a final thought or even just a sense of satisfaction (for having read the post at all) that will linger even after they’ve moved on to something else.

An interesting concluding paragraph also hints to readers who merely scanned or skimmed your post and skipped to the end, the gist of what the post is all about. If it’s written well, it may even interest them enough to go back and read the post itself, just as the intro was designed to do. In other words, if they managed to slip past your intro, at least you’ll hook and lure them into reading the post before they leave the page completely and move on.
7. Review the whole thing, edit, optimize and publish!
Once you’ve finished writing a blog post, it may not always feel like a masterpiece at first (although sometimes it really does – which is awesome!), but it’s nevertheless an achievement, because before it was a blog post, it was merely a collection of thoughts that existed only in your head, and now it’s in a format you can share with the world.

But don’t get ahead of yourself: Just as a delectable piece of recently-cooked meat must be rested before it’s carved up (for maximum deliciousness), so must a blog post be reviewed, tweaked and optimized before hitting the ‘Publish’ button (including the title and intro, which need to be nothing short of kick-ass).

Learn to ‘show yourself some tough love’ when it comes to editing your own work. The idea is to end up with the best possible version of what you want to say, and this might mean ditching something you thought was super witty when you first wrote it, but which upon a second read sounds like a total fail. Make sure that every talking point is expressed clearly and that you’ve backed up everything you need to with relevant anecdotes, stats and references.
And… that’s a wrap!
If you’ve read this far, I truly hope you’ve picked up a useful tip or two on how to write a must-read blog post in the Age of Content Overload, or that at the very least – it was an enjoyable read.
Too busy to read? Watch the video!
If you’ve skipped to the end hoping to find a video version of this post, you’re in luck! The post will always be here for you to refer back to whenever you like 😉
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Other posts you might like

Noya Lizor - I'm all about creating standout content that helps businesses grow

Hey, I'm Noya

I’m a marketer and copywriter based in Sydney, Australia. I’m all about creating standout content that helps businesses grow.

Want to hear more from me?

Join my mailing list to receive updates about new content & freebies, and the occasional rant about whatever’s irking or inspiring me enough to want to share it with the world.
** Wondering why I’m asking for your favourite colour? **
It’s because after you subscribe, you’ll be receiving my free, 7-part E-course on “how to add ‘oomph’ to your marketing emails” (you’re welcome!) and the ‘favourite colour’ thing will make sense in email #6 ;-)
Note: By signing up you are agreeing to my Privacy Policy.

I'm on YouTube!

Recent Posts

Categories

Scroll to Top
cookie-monster-head-200x150

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience and to help it run effectively. For more info check out the Privacy policy.