What is the right blog writing format? How do you write a high-converting article?
Writing a blog post is like driving, you can study the highway code for months, but nothing can prepare you for the real thing like getting behind the wheel and hitting the road.
You know you need to start blogging to grow your business, but you don’t know how or where to start. In this post, I’ll show you how to write a great blog post that people will want to read.
Table of Contents
How to format a Blog post in 8 simple steps
Step 1. Choose a topic of your interest
If you are not enjoying writing your blogs then the high chances are your readers are not enjoying reading them too. Therefore be sure to pick a topic of your interest.
I know you might be writing content for clients in some less-than-thrilling industries such as financial regulatory compliance and corporate housing but as a professional blogger, you should have the ability to write well about any topic.
You also need to understand that not every post is going to attract readers. Some posts feel like a task, but having editorial control over what you write enables you to choose topics you would want to read. The more excited you can be about your topic, the more excited your readers will be too.
Step 2. Do keyword research
What allows professional bloggers to write authoritatively about subject areas that are new to them is knowing how to properly research a blog post.
Relying only on Wikipedia as a primary source is almost a bad idea. Wikipedia has thousands of excellently researched articles but not infallible and erroneous facts do make their way into articles without site editors noticing.
When relying on third-party information to write your blog post, choose authoritative sources. Good examples are government websites, heavily cited research papers, and official associations.
Nobody is always right, so approach every source with the practiced skepticism of a journalist and question everything you are sure your information is solid.
Step 3. Write a great headline
Some people say you should be as specific as possible to avoid misleading your readers and manage their expectations, while others recommend taking a more abstract approach.
However, there are two main approaches you can use to write blog post headlines. You can either decide on your headline before you write the rest of your post and then use your headline to structure your outline, or you can write your blog post with a working title and see what fits when you are done writing.
You do not have to adhere to a rigid strategy, you can come up with a strong headline from the outset and stick with it.
Your approach to the headline should also vary depending on your audience. Below are examples of super-specific headlines
- How my website generated $1000 in 30 days
- 5 strategies used by professional bloggers to earn over $50,000 per year
- 5 Things we did in 2021 to grow our advertising company by 1039%
Another common approach is posing a question in your headline. If done well, this can be extraordinarily effective. The following are examples of this approach:
- Can I make money blogging about my life?
- Is it a good idea to study full time as well as work full time?
- Do I need web hosting and website builder?
Writing headlines for blog posts is requires a little bit of creativity. But I would advise you to experiment with what works for your audience. If your audience wants hyper-specific case studies on how to do stuff, let them have it. Do not do something just because someone else is, especially if it’s not resonating with your audience.
Step 4. Write your outline
Great blog posts do not just happen. Even professional bloggers need a rough idea to keep them on track. This is where your outline comes in.
An outline doesn’t have to be lengthy, or detailed, it’s just a rough guide that makes it easier when writing.
For example, this is the outline I used for this post
Step 1 – Select a topic of your interest
Step 2 – Do keyword research
Step 3 – Write a great headline
Step 4 – Write your outline
Step 5 – Check facts
Step 6 – Write your blog post
Step 7 – Use images effectively
Step 8 – Edit and Publish your blog
The purpose of the outline is to make sure you know what you are planning to cover, in what order you want various sections to appear, and bare-bones details of what each section will include.
Outlines stop you from indulging in poorly thought-out metaphors about driving and keep you focused on the overall structure of your post.
Whether you write your outline in your word processor, on a piece of paper, or even scribbled on a bar napkin, do what will work best for you.
Step 5. Check Facts.
One poorly researched article can directly impact another. Think of you researching a topic and you land on a poorly researched article and you end up borrowing ideas from it. Both you as a writer and the author of the other article will have failed to do your due diligence(check facts).
Everyone makes mistakes, but it’s crucial to avoid mistakes like this. If you’re just starting, your credibility and authority will take a major hit if you publish inaccurate information. You may have a blog with millions of loyal readers but your regulars will be all too eager to jump all over your mistake.
If you ever fall prey to a well-executed hoax, repeat widely circulated misinformation, or simply make a mistake, own up to it right away and be transparent about your edits. Just be honest, be accountable, and fix it as fast as you can.
Step 6: Write your blog post
Just like headlines, there are two main approaches to writing a blog post. You can either sit down and write an entire draft at once, or you can chip away at it gradually over time. There is no right or wrong answer here just do whatever works for you.
However, I would recommend working on one session at a time. This makes it easier to stay focused on your topic and minimizes the chance that you’ll forget crucial points.
Even if you work more effectively in short sessions, try to maximize the amount of writing you get done in those sessions.
The more times you have to revisit your draft, the more tempting it is to add a little here, and there, which can make you go off-topic. Get as much as you can be done in a single sitting even if you prefer to draft a blog post over three or four writing sessions.
Like most skills, writing becomes easier and more natural the more you write.
When you first start, you might find that it takes days or a week to write a post, but with practice, you will write great posts in hours. But you must be willing to invest your time for you to enjoy the benefits.
A lot of people struggle with writing introductions, so you can as well choose to write it last.
Step 7: Use images effectively
People don’t have the time, will, or ability to focus on lengthy blog posts without some visual stimulation. Even a well-formatted blog post consisting solely of text is likely to get your reader bored within a few minutes on your blog.
One of the most important reasons to include images in a blog post is to break up the text. Many people scan blog posts rather than read them. Interspersing images throughout the blog will make your post seem less intimidating and more visually appealing to your readers.
A well-chosen image can help lighten the tone of your posts and inject some humor into a piece. This can be particularly effective if you’re writing about a dry topic.
Sometimes, digital marketing and hundreds of other niche topics are not the most accessible subject to newcomers.
That’s why images are an essential part of your blogging toolkit if you want to grow as a blogger. Diagrams, charts, infographics, and tables can help your readers understand complex topics and grasp the points you’re trying to make.
Step 8: Edit and publish your post
Many people assume that editing is all about striking through sentences that don’t work or fixing grammatical errors. Editing is about seeing the piece as a whole and being willing to sacrifice words and the hours it took you to write, for the sake of cohesion.
I will not tell you to check your spelling and grammar because you should be doing that anyway. I will, however, offer some self-editing tips and suggestions on how to tighten up your writing so that it keeps your readers scrolling.
Once you are done with the first draft of your blog post, read through it and check for words that can be replaced to avoid repeating yourself.
Every writer has a “crutch” word or phrase. This is a word that, no matter how carefully you might try, you simply cannot help yourself from including in your work. Identify what your crutch word is, be vigilant, and make sure it doesn’t appear more often than it should.
Read your post out loud to check the flow
If a post reads awkwardly out loud, it will probably read awkwardly in your reader’s mind. It might seem weird, but force yourself to read your post aloud to check for wordy bottlenecks or contrived sentences. If you find yourself struggling with the flow of a sentence? Rework it until it rolls off your tongue.
Let someone else go through your work
Ask someone with editing experience to go through your work. Make sure they understand you are not looking for help identifying grammatical errors but that you want to hear their thoughts on the flow of the piece and whether it makes sense structurally.
Do your points come out well? Is your position on a contentious topic very clear? Does your work prompt the reader to think or challenge an existing belief? Is the advice you are offering worth taking? These are all questions that having another person read your work can help answer.
Keep your sentences short and paragraphs shorter
This is a common mistake among inexperienced bloggers. Your sentences should be as short as possible. Short sentences are easier to read, making your audience’s job easier. They also reduce the likelihood of going off on tangents.
Paragraphs should also be short and engaging. The shorter the paragraph, the more likely your readers are going to keep reading.
There is no such thing as a perfect post, but I’m not advocating for publishing sloppy work. Just make every post as good as it can be, learn from the experience and move on.
Blogging is one of those jobs that may seem easy until you have to do it. Fortunately, it does get easier with time and practice then you will be blogging like a pro in no time.