The Anatomy of A Blog Post
By Lindsay Tredent
There are so many different elements that go into the art of writing the perfect post. It’s not just about a stream of consciousness writing session and then hitting publish. If you want your blog to be seen by others and have an opportunity to be found via search engines, then there are several important factors you must consider when writing the perfect post. And now I present to you the anatomy of a perfect blog post.
So you’ve picked a topic your want to write about. Before you even sit down to write your post, pick a keyword. Know what you are going to focus on by doing your homework and research keywords using tools like the Google Keyword Planner Tool (free) or paid tools like Long Tail Pro, Brainstorm Tools, or Market Samurai. Make sure your focus keyword is repeated throughout the post several times.
The title of your post should be catchy, contain your keyword, and it must be short! Aim to have a length of 70 characters in your title. Using techniques that grab your reader’s attention are important and entice them to click are good, but please don’t be inspired by sites like UpWorthy and create headlines like this: “This Girl Wrote A Guest Post on Blogging and You’ll Never Guess What Happened Next…” If you’ve seen these headlines, you know what I’m talking about.
Length is important. If you want to rank in search engines, then always make sure you write a minimum of 300 words per post. I always try to shoot for posts that are a minimum of 300 words and my sweet spot tends to be around 500 words. Aim to use your keyword several times throughout your post with an overall keyword density of 2-4%. If you don’t know how to measure this, you can download an SEO plugin for WordPress like SEO Yoast.
Make sure you write in short paragraphs. Break up your thoughts so it’s easier for people to read and understand at a glance. Use headers at the top of paragraphs (like the word ‘Content’ above) to break up the information.
Link to other content within your post – whether it’s to another page on your own site, an affiliate link (make sure you disclose per FTC rules), or a partner website.
And make sure your content is original and exclusive! DO NOT copy and paste information from other websites. If you do this, cite them. But don’t act like it’s your own. Search engines are smart and can spot duplicate content. Plus do you really want to be known as a copycat blogger?
Give your readers the opportunity to engage with your content. At the end of each blog post, pose a question to your readers about the topic to encourage interaction and get them involved in the conversation. Post a video or encourage them to post in the comments.
Each post you write should be accompanied by at least 1-2 images. Make sure you have rights to the images your use. If you don’t have images to use, try using a stock photography website like iStock or ShutterStock. Or you can go to Google, search Images, click “Search Tools” and under Usage click “Labeled for Reuse.” You can see more in the image below:
Once you upload images to your website, make sure you add alt text to all your images. This increases your ability to get found in search engines through your images alone.
So now what?
Once you’ve written the perfectly crafted post, its time to hit publish and celebrate. Not so fast. You’ve got to promote your post! Make sure you have a plan to broadcast your new post across social media platforms once it goes live. If you don’t have an email mailing list, consider building one so you can email your audience when you have new content. Post on your blog’s Facebook page as well as your personal one. Make sure you spread the word!
If you want to make sure your blog content is optimized for SEO, then it is highly recommended you follow these basic techniques. After all, you are blogging for others to read your work and be found so make sure you are drawing your readers the right navigation map so they can find you!
Lindsay Tredent is a Digital Marketing Consultant based out of Manhattan Beach, Ca. Her clients range from early stage start-ups to large scale companies with a focus on entertainment, sports, tech, small business, and e-commerce. She has over a decade of online experience with a focus on digital marketing strategy, product development, and social media and has worked for top brands such as MySpace, JustFab, Future US, and Transworld Media. You can catch her blogging about Health & Fitness at FitandAwesome.com.