Let’s be honest, creating a compelling blog post that gets results is challenging in the digital age.
Why? Well, there’s just so much competition. Every serious business has a blog. Some influencers have a blog. And then there are the hobbyists who are also attracting attention.
How do you stand out so you can successfully sell your products or services to your target audience?
To put it simply, it’s not enough to publish mediocre blog posts. You need to create great blog posts that rival your competitors’ and earn you more clicks, more traffic and more conversions.
If you’re not sure how, not to worry. I’ve got you covered with these 7 blog elements.
What Are Blog Elements?
Firstly, what do I mean by “blog elements”?
Truth be told, I’m referring to parts of a blog post that make up the whole, from the headline to the conclusion.
Disclaimer: the perfect blog post doesn’t exist (just like the perfect anything doesn’t exist). That said, if we think of a blog post as a recipe, there are a few key ingredients that can make it even yummier for the consumers.
7 Essential Blog Elements for Every Post
Grab your chef hat and let’s go!
1. A Catchy Headline
Essential blog elements 101: a click-worthy headline that will make people stop scrolling through Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) or their social media feeds.
To put it plainly, your headline should be catchy enough to intrigue your target audience and encourage them to read more about the topic.
Having said that, try not to use anything too “clickbaity.” This is a term that refers to the practice of over-promising something in the title and under-delivering in the body of the post.
By doing this, you will get clicks and traffic, for sure. However, you’ll also end up losing trust with your target audience—and this is not good. After all, building trust with your target audience ultimately leads to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.
Some headline writing tips include:
- Using question words like “who,” “what,” “where,” “why” and “how” that your target audience will want to know the answer to
- Using power words that evoke emotion, such as “spectacular,” “secret,” “mistake,” “simple” and “foolproof”
- Making it 55 characters or less so it’s under the viewable limit on SERPs
Speaking of the latter, this is so that search engines will be able to see the full title without it being cut off, which increases the likelihood of your blog post what’s called “winning the click.” Awesome.
2. An Intro With a Hook
The introduction is perhaps the most important part of a blog post.
How come? Well, the intro determines whether your target audience carries on reading or bounces off your blog faster than Usain Bolt on a racetrack.
Fundamentally, it has to hook in the reader and capture their attention, just like a fisherman will use a shiny lure to get a fish on their hook.
Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Start with an interesting fact
- Use an anecdote
- Ask a worthwhile question
- Include a cliffhanger
Either way, try not to overcomplicate it, but put yourself in your readers’ shoes. What exactly do they need to know to keep them interested?
3. Related Keywords
Blogging can be an effective marketing tool for online business owners, if you know how to wield the power of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
This is the process of optimising a blog post so that it ranks highly on the pages of Google and other search engines. In essence, the higher a blog post ranks on SERPS, the more likely a search engine user will click on it.
How do you optimise a blog post for SEO? Well, there are a few ways to do it, including featuring related keywords throughout your blog post.
To break it down for you:
- Find a primary keyword and secondary keywords
- Insert them into your blog post as you’re writing it
- Google bots pick up these keywords and rank your content accordingly
The golden rule of SEO blog writing is to write for humans first and foremost. Cramming in as many keywords as possible or featuring them where it doesn’t sound natural will only put off your reader and stop them from ever returning to your blog.
And this is the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve!
If you need more help with SEO blog writing and/or keyword research, check out my Superstar Your Blog Post SEO eBook.
4. An SEO-Friendly Structure
As well as inserting keywords, you can optimise your blog post for search engines by using an SEO-friendly structure.
This is essentially a format that makes search engines and readers alike do a happy dance.
Let’s face it, the digital reader is busy. They’re short on time. They want to get the information they need as fast as possible.
If they come across a blog post with big walls of text, it’s going to make them take one look at it and bail.
Instead, use the following blog elements to break up these big walls of text and improve readability:
- Short paragraphs
- Short sentences
- Bullet points
It’s all about making your blog post easy to read and digest so that your reader sticks around for longer. This then leads to a lower bounce rate, which is another factor that search engines use to rank your content higher on their SERPs.
5. Copy Over 500 Words
There was a time back when blogging was in its infancy where you could publish 300-word blog posts and a couple of images and this would be enough to entice your target audience.
However, nowadays, 300-word blog posts just aren’t going to cut it.
Google, in particular, sees blog posts that have less than 300 words as “thin content” that offers little or no value. They prioritise ranking longer content because they assume it will contain more important information.
And at the end of the day, Google just wants to be as helpful as they can to their user. They want their user to be able to find what they’re looking for in the shortest possible time.
Because of this, I always tell my freelance writing clients to opt for blog posts over 500 words. 500-800 posts work well for stories. 800-1,500 words is the sweet spot for educational types of posts. And 2,000+ words is ideal for in-depth guides.
My number one tip is to write what you need to write to cover a topic in its entirety without adding unnecessary fluff. If you need any further help, just ask!
6. At Least One Image
One of the key blog elements of a post is the visuals. Above all, blog posts that just feature words won’t be as successful as blog posts that feature words and visuals.
Why? Well, humans are visual beings. Case studies show that our brains have evolved to absorb, manipulate and react to visual information in increasingly effective ways.
Having said that, don’t whack an image in your blog post just because. Use images and visuals to illustrate what you’re saying in your copy and break up the walls of text we were talking about earlier.
I’d recommend using one image or video per 500 words as a general guideline.
Be sure to select a feature image for your blog post too. By default, your feature image will be shown whenever you share the link to your blog post on social media. It will also be shown in the featured snippet on Google if your blog post manages to rank in the top spot for a particular keyword.
(Check you out!)
7. An Interesting Conclusion with a Call To Action
Last but not least of these blog elements, a conclusion is just as significant as an introduction.
You want your reader to leave your blog post with a good taste in their mouth so-to-speak. It’s your last chance to be memorable and inspire them to act, whether this is:
- A click through to your recent posts
- A click through to your social media channels
- Providing their email address to subscribe to your email list
- A purchase of your product or service
In fact, any kind of action that involves your online presence would be considered a result!
My advice would be to stick with a short, simple conclusion with a Call To Action (CTA) at the very end, such as:
- Comment and let me know your thoughts
- Use our social sharing buttons to share this post if you found it useful
- Grab 20% off my product or service now with the code X
Don’t bother recapping what’s in the body of the blog post because the reader knows — they’ve just read it! Instead, leave them with the key points.
Implementing Blog Elements That Beat the Competition
It’s important not to blog for the sake of blogging. If you really want to capitalise on content marketing for your online business, focus on the blog elements we’ve discussed.
Being consistent will eventually lead to the three Ts: trust, traffic and turnover.