Following a blog post template when creating each piece of content can mean the difference between average content, and content that keeps readers hooked and coming back to devour more.
There are over 2 million blog posts being published every single day. Your audience are being pulled in multiple directions. What makes yours stand out?
Your posts can be dripping with value and still not be read. If you’re serious about standing out in such a crowded wired world, your content must disrupt their attention, draw them in by empathizing, and compel them to opt-in to your email list to continue where the blog post has ended.
The problem typically lies in the way you’ve structured your blog post.
I’m going to walk you through 8 critical components that you need in order to stand out and be noticed. Following these components ensures that your readers are hooked on your content and continue reading each piece until the end.
Blog Post Template: 8 Critical Elements to Deploy
- The Headline
The headline sells the entire blog post. It determines whether readers click through from social media and search engines or not. You have mere seconds to capture a potential readers attention and it all begins with the headline.
- Be clear first, clever second. Your headline needs to convey ONE clear idea in order for your reader to be clear within seconds what they will achieve by reading further.
EX: How You Can (desired result) Almost Instantly
Increase Your (desired result) In (time period)
- Be specific in your headline. Include specific numbers, minutes, days, percentages, etc., to communicate and accentuate the promise of the post.
Ex: How I got 147 subscribers in 13 days
- Address a specific emotion. People read and buy based on emotions. Target their emotions with fear of loss, wanting to achieve happiness, fear of failure, wanting to be liked or loved, and wanting results.
EX: 19 Shocking Mistakes Killing Your (blank)
(blank) May Be Causing You to Lose Out on (desired result)
- Ensure Your Headline is Searchable. There’s no point of writing killer content if it’s never found. Include your main target keyword in your headline. Is your headline something that your potential readers would type into Google?
- The Introduction.
Does your introduction include a hook that makes them want to stop and read more? A hook is a compelling statement or paragraph within the introduction. It grabs the reader’s attention and urges them to continue reading.
Examples of hooks:
- Ask them a direct question: “What if you had 3 extra hours per day? How would that benefit you? Would you spend more time with family enjoying the things you love to do?”
- Showcase a shocking benefit or end result: “Imagine having 250,000 daily page views. Imagine being able to click send and watching the sales pour in.”
- Include a shocking statistic: “Did you know that once you accumulate 52 blog posts, your traffic increases by 54%?”
- Include a cliffhanger: “Here’s 6 little words that can help you achieve anything in life. Here’s why…. Yes, just 6 little words can help you achieve anything. I’ll explain….”
- The Content Body.
- Do your subheadings pique reader’s interest? The subheadings are what pulls the reader through the entire length of your content. Do they include curiosity, surprise, emotion, and/or personality?
- Do you use “YOU” instead of “I” or “We” in your content? ‘You’ is one of the most powerful words you can use in your writing. It focuses on the reader and allows them to feel as if you are speaking directly to them. When you do this, it gives them a reason to say with you and read all the way through. And it shows the reader that you care about their needs.
- Have you included trigger words in your content? Here are 17 trigger words that work like cheat codes for getting your content read:
Yes, You, Their name, Because, Win, Stop, How, Instantly, Today, Everyone, Want, Easy, Discover, If, Worse, PS.
Place them in your headlines and lead your blog posts with them.
- Use contractions. Don’t worry about grammar rules when writing content. Write the way people naturally speak. Contractions keep your writing conversational and makes it more engaging.
- Did you ask questions? Questions keep the reader engaged. When you ask the right questions, the reader nods and agrees with you.
- Format Your Post for Scanners.
Most readers stick around for 10-20 seconds before clicking away from your site because of the thick blocks of text. People rarely read your content word by word. They tend to scan the page looking at individual sentences and words that jump out at them.
- Include subheadings ever 3-4 sentences.
- Keep paragraphs no longer than 3-4 sentences.
- Be generous with bullet points.
- Interlink older posts that are relevant to the topic at hand.
- The Conclusion.
The conclusion of your content needs to inspire readers to take action. If you’ve written a long, technical ‘How To’ type post, then your readers will end up feeling overwhelmed and intimidated by what to do next.
- Remind them of the first step they can take.
- Give them confidence to implement 2 or 3 of your tips at a time.
- Gently nudge them to your content upgrade if that would make it easier for them to implement the steps.
- Show them how liberating the end result can be.
- Make the last few sentences memorable. Memorable sentences rhyme and use the power of 3. The human brain processes, understands, and remembers things better in 3’s. Past, Present, Future. Appeal to their wishes, desires, and dreams.
- Include a CTA (Call-to-Action). What is the end goal of your content? What action do you want your readers to take? Share your article? Comment? Download your program?
Make sure they understand what you want them to do with a clear call to action.
- Keep your conclusion to 200 words or less. The conclusion inspires and closes the loop. Keep it to about 200 words.
- Is your image synchronous with your brand? Is it aligned with the attributes that you previously defined for your brand voice? When people share your images across social media, are they able to pick out which ones come from your brand?
- Make your images SEO friendly. All of your pictures should include your primary keyword in the filename, title, ad alt tag.
- Assets that Stick.
In order for your readers to share your content across their social media accounts, you need to make it easy for them to do so. Add 3-7 ‘click to tweet’ within your post.
Don’t forget also to add related posts within your main post. You want to give people a reason to stick around. The more time they spend on your site, the more likely they are to sign up to your list, or to recommend you to others.
Add related posts to the bottom of your posts to give them more relevant content to digest.
- Optimize the Post for Search Engines.
If you want to rank higher in the search engines to drive more organic traffic, first you need to stop listening to everyone else and do what actually works. Hint: on-page and off-page optimization is only a part of it. And no, it’s not about backlinks either.
Remind me to tell you the real secret sauce later…
- Don’t try to focus on multiple keywords. Find ONE long-tail, low to medium competition keyword with at least 20,000 searches to target.
- Put your primary keyword in your Blog Post Title near the beginning.
- Change your post URL to just the primary keyword. Google wants to see how everything is synonymous throughout the page. It doesn’t want to see long titles that aren’t relevant to the keyword you’re targeting.
- Use your primary keyword in the first paragraph of your post.
- Make the H1 tag of your post your primary keyword. Make your H2 tag a longer version of your primary keyword. EX: If your primary keyword is “how to rank on Google”, then your H1 tag would be how to rank on Google. Your H2 tag would be something like, Learn how to rank on Google in these 5 steps.
People make the mistake of using multiple header tags. Google and all search engines only care about the first 2. 😉
- Add a tag to your post that is your exact match primary keyword.
- Write your seo title and meta description. You have 130 characters here to really nail it. You’re using this space to accomplish 2 things: First, use a CTA to give readers a reason to click through and read; and second, to satisfy the search engines.
You want to use your target keyword twice in the meta description. Once at the beginning of the description, and once towards the end. I’ll guarantee no one has told you that before. (And no, it’s not part of that secret sauce I was talking about.)There you have it. The 8 elements of the blog post template that keeps readers hooked and coming back for more. If you really want to know the ‘secret sauce’ that is keeping your business and content from being ranked almost instantly…. Literally…. Then let’s talk.