What we will cover
Why structure your posts at all?
This is a good question. Great writing often comes across as spontaneous and free-flowing but this is usually an illusion. You will often find that it follows the guidelines below and it is only because the post is easy to scan and understand that it appears to be unstructured.
In contrast, poorly structured writing often jars and confuses because the writer doesn’t know what they are trying to say and doesn’t give a thought to the reader experience.
Another reason to structure your blog posts is for the search engines. Even more than a human reader, a Google spider needs to be told what your post is about and which parts are most important.
The power of keyword research
When deciding how to structure a blog post, the best place to start is with a focus keyword or phrase. We’ve written a lot on keyword research in other articles.
Your focus keyword will help you to keep your post focused on the specific topic you are covering. You will also need to insert your keyword naturally into your headline, introduction, main content, headings and subheadings.
Your headline and introduction
Your headline or title has a simple task: to grab the attention of your target audience and to summarise what the article is about. Ideally, your title will be short (less than ten words) and very clear.
Your introduction is a longer summary of what the reader can expect from your article. Asking questions based around your audience’s pain points will help to increase engagement. Attention grabbing stats are also powerful elements you can use in an introduction.
The body of your blog
When writing the main body of your blog post, keep the goal of your piece in mind.
What problem are you solving for your reader? What is the main point you want to convey? What do you want your reader to do once they’ve got to the end of the article?
By regularly checking your writing aligns with these goals, you will be less likely to go off on a tangent. Your writing will be more concise and effective.
The best writers also understand how to structure a blog post using headings and subheadings. This serves two purposes. First, by breaking up the text into headed chunks, you make it easy for visitors to scan and find the information they are looking for.
Second, by using the WordPress ‘Heading’ blocks to style your headings and subheadings as H2 and H3 styles, you can add relevant keywords for the attention of search engines.
Note: Word processing software will often have the option to apply heading styles too. You can then copy and paste into WordPress and the styles should be translated over.
Keep your paragraphs and sentences short. This makes your post easier to digest and your visitors are likely to hang around for longer. Your post can be as long as it needs to be to get the information across. However, you should aim for 300 words minimum because the search engines are unlikely to value shorter pieces of content.
Before publishing your blog post, take a step back. Look at your blog as a visual piece of art. Is it congested with blocks of ugly text? Use photographs, sketches, charts and white space to break things up.
Conclusion & CTA
The conclusion of your blog post wraps up the points you’ve made and leads on to your call to action (CTA). A great conclusion will not add any new information but will be a neat recap to solidify learning.
Your CTA is an invitation for your reader to take action. Again, this should be a clear message so stick to just one CTA. This could be a landing page for a service or product. It could be a mailing list signup form. If the goal is just to impart information or raise brand awareness, invite the reader to leave a comment or share the post via social media.
Our final nugget of advice on how to structure a blog post is to plan everything in advance. Sketch an outline using headings to guide the logical flow of your discussion.
For more guidance on how to structure a blog post, consider hooking up with a Vu WordPress wizard on one of our Social Content Training Courses or if you are struggling with implementation, perhaps the WordPress Training Course may be relevant.
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