Creating a blog structure can be hard, but it needn’t be with this guide.
Most of you will agree that the act of writing is relatively simple once you get going.
It’s usually the initial phases that prevent us from moving forward::
- Where to start?
- How should I begin?
- Where should this go?
- How do I finish?
Fortunately, we have a solution for you. This blog will help you decide on how to plan a blog and provide a structuring process that will enable you to create exciting, well-structured blogs.
So here's our super quick guide to creating the perfect blog!
In order to establish the blog structuring phases, we’ve broken the topic down into three sections:
- Preparing to write
- Blog Structure
- After writing the blog (Post-writing additions)
In order to structure your blog posts effectively, you need some kind of plan to work from. How you absorb and integrate your plan into your work differs from person to person. We find that writing our plan down on a whiteboard enables us to mentally process each stage and home in on the focal points. In light of that, we’ve shared our process to planning a blog post below.
So let’s prepare our plan for our writing.
Preparing to write
- Have an idea (it doesn’t need to be revelatory)
No great piece of writing began without an idea and it doesn’t have to be the most revolutionary of them.
Chances are, your idea has already been dissected, burnt, deciphered and digested to the nth degree, but how you present your idea is what keeps it fresh and intriguing.
To do this, define exactly what it is you want to create and what it will solve and use that as your narrative framework. Keep originality in mind and opt to take a twist on a more generic approach.
Think outside the box with your style and try to be refreshing.
- Now you’ve got your ideas you need to plan
You remember in school exams where you’d be encouraged (or almost forced) to plan for ten, fifteen minutes?
That wasn’t the invigilator trying to get a few cheap laughs by wasting your time – it’s so you can gather your thoughts. Writing down a plan makes it so much easier to determine what you want your work to become.
So there’s our second tip. Have a plan. Your plan is by no means the be all and end all of your piece; it’s merely an ideas framework.
Your plan can be anything from a detailed, artistic and logical process to a rough draft of how you want to address a topic.
How you plan is down to you, but you must have one.
- Do your research and support your points with facts and statistics
The amount of information online is scary.
Depending on the subject area you want to discuss, there’s going to be information you want to cover and information you’d rather just leave out. If the subject area is one you’re not well versed in, it’s going to show in your material.
In order to avoid this, do your research and weave statistics and factual elements into your writing to support your points. Without statistics and facts, your thoughts exist in a vacuum – they’re simply uninformed opinion.
So do your research, the more the better.
But, how do you build something without a manual?
Now you’re armed with an idea, a plan, and extensive research, it’s time to prepare to write. You need a content framework, or structure to clearly indicate to your audience different segments of your piece. So we’ve constructed an outline for you:
- (1) Headline (This is where you lure visitors in and capture their attention)
- (2) Introduction (Have an image situated to the right of your post)
- (3) Sub-heading (Segment the different areas of your topic and define exactly what it is)
- (4) Main content (Where you address the principal problems and discuss solutions)
- (5) Call to action (CTA) – depending on the length of your article, you may have multiple CTAs at the end of your main content bodies or embedded within, providing additional information for your readers in the form of other relevant articles
- (6) Conclusion – dependent on blog or topic length
Depending on length, or topic density you may go further, moving the conclusion until later:
- Second main content
However, as the above is just a brief outline, we’ve discussed these individual components below:
1. Design an alluring headline
There’s a reason why everyone knows Nike’s slogan.
It needs to be memorable and powerful
You need your article to stand out and demand attention rather than ask for it – that’s what your headline is for. If your headline isn’t eye-catching or captivating, people won’t bother to read any further.
As mentioned previously, due to the amount of information available searchers will generally scan through content – on average, a user will only read 20% of your web-page, meaning that in order to capture their attention, you need an enticing headline.
But why do searchers scan?
As internet awareness and expertise grows, searchers are becoming increasingly more knowledgeable and concise with their search queries. They’re looking for a specific answer to a specific question. Therefore, in order to draw in the right audience, your blog title and meta description on Search Engine Results Pages, needs to show what your blog is about!
For example, need an entry-level how-to guide on building a computer? ‘Simple PC guide for beginners’.
Keep it short and sweet.
Also, there are distinct variants of headlines which appeal to us due to our psychological responses. As a result, there are a number of headline styles that you may have encountered before, some of which are (with examples):
Surprise headlines: I can’t believe THIS just happened:
Questioning headlines: How do you draft your blogs?
Headlines that pique curiosity: Have you heard about …?
Negative headlines: Writing can be a pain, sure, but fix it with these tips:
How-to headlines: How to cook in X simple steps
Top X tips/tricks headlines: Check out our top ten tips/tricks for (subject)
Audience referencing headlines: Hey you! This is unbelievable! Check this out!
Specific headlines: Newbies’ Complete Guide to PC Components
2. A riveting introduction
Now you’ve started to build momentum, you need to maintain it.
The next task is to ensure that the visitors to your blog stay there - or at least stay a while and read. Hopefully you’ve captured their attention with your headline, but you need to make them invest in your article and take the time to read it.
You do this by:
- Providing a mesmerising introduction that compels the reader to continue onward
- Detailing a clear and concise outline of your blog’s purpose
- Conveying a series of solutions which can resolve their problems
Instead of bombarding your audience with long intros, you need to get into the meat of your topic. Consider these as a start:
- A powerful and intriguing quote
- A relevant, thought-provoking anecdote
- A question?
You need to think from their perspective. You wouldn’t read a lengthy, boring introduction with no mention of what you’re looking for now would you? People like their information fast and accessible.
Remember, your introduction serves as an insight into what your article is going to be about. Clearly state your aims and what your audience will receive.
Let’s recap though. A good introduction:
- Outlines the basis of what you’re writing and why
- Clearly states aims and objectives of the piece
- Conveys a series of solutions which can solve their problems
- No waffle - get to the meat of your article quickly
No one wants to look at a maze of text
Subheadings serve the noble purpose of breaking up your blog post into digestible chunks, or takeaways for those looking for specific information. Use accurate signposts to convey where one aspect of the topic in question ends and another begins.
Subheadings don’t just benefit your readers, they also benefit you as a structural element, enabling you to stick to a clear plan and agenda – and remove points when necessary
4. Main content
Your main content should be the medicine that alleviates their symptoms.
Firstly, you’ll want to inform your readers of your understanding of their problem in all its problematic detail, by doing this you develop a familiarity with your audience and demonstrate your expertise.
Secondly, deliver the solutions and thoughts you promised from your headline and introductory passage, as that’s exactly what your audience has been waiting for. Go into detail and enlighten your audience – provide them with quality solutions and become a trusted source.
5. Have CTAs after your main content bodies and at the end of your content
But what’s a CTA?
CTA stands for call to action; its purpose is to encourage your visitors and readers to take an action and engage with your website. Your CTA might redirect them to another article, or to a landing page where they can download a particular content asset. For a blog, you may want to use in-line, embedded, or anchor text CTAs, such as a short line at the end of your main body section.
To learn more about SEOing your blogs correctly, click here.
You shouldn’t ever underestimate the importance of your conclusion. It’s both the summarisation and reiteration of each of the main topics within your content, you want to stress the importance of your assertions one last time here. In doing so, you embed the points you’ve raised in your audiences minds as a final thought.
After writing the blog
Make it shareable
If you’re just starting out and trying to build domain authority or page authority, you rely on the impressions of your audience. If your readers have thoroughly enjoyed your blog or article, they may want to share it with others.
In order to do that, you need to have buttons in place that enable your audience to amplify and promote your content across the internet.
The more people that share your article, means the more potential visits you’ll generate. The more visits you generate means *potentially* a greater level of coverage on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPS. However, there are a number of elements which contribute to your site’s ranking on Google.
Add visual content
It’s no surprise that articles with images get 94% more total views it makes sense, right?
Our eyes are naturally inclined to value colours and imagery over dull black and white text. Vibrant and robust displays will continually attract attention, even if we’re not engaged yet.
It’s imperative that you include some kind of imagery that accurately represents your article in order to gain those elusive viewers.
Having an image in your blog naturally breaks up the chunk of text, allowing readers a chance to digest the messaging.
Presentation is key
If your article looks like a block of text which isn’t uniform or consistent, you’ll lose readers on the basis your blog looks ugly, unprepared and unrefined.
How your blog post appears on the page might seem like a trivial concern in comparison to writing the post itself. But, when you consider the fact aesthetic appeal accounts for a significant part of why people stop and observe things, it’s an absolute necessity if you want people to stay on your site.
Having white space, clear headings and subheadings and a consistent font, formatting and structural style prevents you from overwhelming your audience with a block of text.
Pose a question
If you’re not engaging with your audience, you’re missing out on potential followers.
This is your last opportunity to interact with your audience and ask something of them. Ask questions – encourage them to engage! Blogging is an interactive experience, interact!
Rejoice and enter the fray!
Now, with an understanding of each aspect required to construct the perfect blog, you should be able to wow your visitors and mesmerise your readers!
If you think we’ve missed out anything – do let us know what you would add!
In addition, are you looking for content support in your organisation? Get in touch and see how we can help create anything from blogs, to infographics and eBooks!