Well, if not perfect; something as close as we can get to it!
When I first started blogging, I would spend hours trying to get my blog posts exactly right.
Writing and rewriting sentences, choosing and re-selecting words. I would then put my draft in sitting mode. Go back to it a couple of days later. And start the entire process all over again.
After running it through two free editorial tools and grammar checkers, I give it one more day for good measure.
On publishing day I would check it one final time, skimming through to ensure that all was right, and that Grammarly did not revert on the ignore once option, [this happens], once everything was exactly where I wanted it, the heading, the images, subheading in italics, etc., holding my breath I hit publish.
Needless to say, I published one blog post for each of my five months of blogging. That is five in total.
I JUST WANTED MY BLOG TO BE PERFECT
Hey! I am not perfect. What am I trying to do? Blow my mind.
So here I have compiled a list of components necessary to craft a comprehensive post.
Remember, you should write your post with your ideal reader in mind.
Optimizing for search engine results is important, but everyone else is already doing that. It’s already too late in the game and since they crowd all the top spots. It is best if we focus on our audience’s needs, help some people along the way, and have some fun doing it. Okay.
Gaining readership, and building lifelong relationships are what we are about, anyway.
And the money, please never forget the money.
Here is a list of the basic components.
3] Meta Description
Let us start with our Heading
The first thing that your potential reader will see in your post is the headline.
Therefore, each blog post must start with a headline that grabs the reader’s attention.
Many readers do not read past the headlines and as it’s usually the first thing they see, it determines if they will click on it or continue browsing.
The Headline immediately informs the reader of the content of your post. And adjusting your headline to facilitate the nature of the audience you are targeting is a great practice.
By writing a few working titles and adjusting the angle to cover a specific topic or question, you get yourself a workable headline.
More suitably, your headline should be able to address one question that your readers need answering.
For instance: How to start a Blog?
Let me answer that for you: – 7 essentials steps to starting a blog.
Your headline should depend on the format of your blog, though. Whether you are writing a how-to-guide or a list-article or product review.
Ensure that your headline is search engine optimization friendly [I am working on my next post about the enormous SEO giant, so stay tuned for that one]
Headlines are the main factor googles uses to rank your post on the search engine pages. And using tools like Google Keyword Planner can help you identify what people are searching for in your niche.
SEMRUSH is another search tool regularly mentioned in the blogging world by top bloggers I found a comprehensive and detailed guide here https://digitalready.co/blog/what-is-semrush-and-how-to-use-it, but I have never tried it as it comes with a subscription. There is also a free basic plan, if you want to try it. And there are others, of course.
By using any of these online tools, try to determine a headline that includes keywords that people are searching for and try to answer it for them.
Bloggers consider titles containing 8 to 10 words as the best performers. [this is something new to me and I will try this and will get back to you with the results.]
Let us try a working example, using marriage. Which is something I know a few things about. [Hopefully].
Some examples may include attention-grabbing headings such as;
- 97 ways to spice up your marriage.
- Why most marriages end in divorce, and how to safeguard yours.
- After ten years of marriage, this happened ….
- 41 of the best ways to keep your marriage intact.
- 7 well-kept secrets of a successful marriage.
- 7 hard lessons I learned in marriage and what I retained from them.
I can go up to 7 or 8 with this angle, and there are many other approaches on that topic alone. I hope you get the picture.
We have all seen these popping up on our WordPress site just between completing our post and publishing it. For those of you using the Yoast SEO plugin.
This description explains the content of our post and provides a preview of our content on search engine results pages.
This description is particularly important, as it helps to convince readers to click on your post.
Try to get something useful and enticing in there, ensuring to keep the length to a minimum of 150 characters.
The introduction is the first paragraph of your blog post and must captivate the interest of your readers. An interesting first paragraph can convince people to keep reading or to move on to someone else’s post.
This segment of the blog informs the readers of what to expect from the rest of your post and must be the driving factor that compels them to read to the end of the post.
Try to make this as attention-grabbing as possible. Ask your self will these words be able to grab my attention if I was the person searching. For a more accurate answer, you can always ask a peer.
Try to use your chosen keywords at least once in this paragraph.
Some blog post starts by asking a question, while some writers recount their personal experiences or their week.
I have seen Elna Cain do this in her blogs, and it is very engaging.
Whatever you do, draft your readers in by identifying with their problem and a promise to provide the solution.
At the end of the introduction is also a superb place to introduce your secondary choice of keywords.
I have seen other bloggers label this as sub-headers and sub-lines.
Subheadings are placed within the prime body of your content to break up the lengthy amount of prose and explains what each subsequent paragraph contains.
These also need optimum attention when choosing to ensure that they also are search engine optimized.
Many people usually scan long blog posts to determine its relevance to their interest, and subheadings usually inform the reader of what to expect in certain sections of the text. [it can make or break a reader’s decision to read your entire post].
They are also used to split sections of your blog post into consumable pieces and this makes for easier reading.
You can highlight these with a bold text for emphasis or separate them from the key text by using a different font size or color.
These can also carry various topic-related keywords.
THE BODY OF THE BLOG
Here is where you address the key focus of the blog title mentioned earlier.
If you promised me this post is about the best way to cook chicken, guess what?
I am here because I want to learn about cooking chicken.
Get the picture.
This is the delivery to the promise made through your title headline and introduction.
This content must satisfy the reader in every angle possible. And sometimes answer a question or two that they did not ask but was meaning too.
Ask yourself, what did you want to learn when you were in this position of your learning journey.
For example, for this post, I try to answer.
. What makes a great blog post?
. What post length is most recommended?
. What makes a post SEO friendly?
. What is the best headline to use?
. What is the best font size?
Try to come up with as many questions as possible, then narrow the list down to the most relevant ones. Use as much as necessary, according to the length of your post.
Sometimes it may include all your points, if not you can always save the rest of the list for a future post.
If your post does not deliver on the promise of your headline, you run a chance of your readers leaving your website unsatisfied and not subscribing to receive future posts. Remember, the key reason for your blog is to teach your readers something new or to help them solve a problem.
As you write the first draft for your blog post, you must identify early on the lesson you want your audience to take away from it.
Arrange your content in a manner that allows the points to flow freely into each other. This may take some rearranging of your chosen points, but that is okay, you can experiment as much as you want.
This is your blog, after all, just try not to spend too much time with this, or any other step that does not directly affect the blog’s productivity.
Length of blog post
It’s recommended that your blog post range from 100 to 2,000 plus words, according to Sam of themegrill.com. Some bloggers even suggested a higher figure of 3,000 or more words. While a few also suggested that more is less and advised that new bloggers stick to a minimum of 1,000 words post on average.
I guess a little experimenting is advisable here.
For now, I just type whatever I have pre-written and I stop when I am done.
You can also test your post through the google analytics tool to determine which one of your posts gets the most traction from your targeted audience.
Also, you can try writing an outline and determine how many lines you are writing on each topic to obtain maximum word count and readability.
Research, Facts, and Links
If you are using researched data in your post, ensure to mention this or place a [Research] tab to your headline.
Where applicable, add links to the original source of your information.
Get emotional about your topic.
Blog posts that display a lot of emotions from the writer, and can trigger an emotional response from the audience, are known to be the most favorable among blog readers.
Don’t fake it. Readers will know when you are genuinely moved by an issue.
Unless you are Tom Hanks, well then, go for it.
[I will not be applying this one, lol].
Images, Media, Font Size and Style
Multi-media components are used to supplement blog content.
Using video clips, podcasts, and audio recordings break up long content and can also illustrate otherwise hard to explain content.
Changing the format of delivery within the body of the text can cause lasting engagement and helps to optimize your post.
Images also work in the same manner as the other multi-media elements.
Just remember that some images must be resize before you upload them onto our site.
Getting to the smallest file size possible will ensure that inserted images do not slow down your site.
Well-chosen images do a lot to enhance a blog post.
Blog.snappa.com suggested using 1200 x 628 px for WordPress blogs while most bloggers’ recommended much lower, on average 400 x 300 px.
When using numbers within a post, it is recommended that you write them as numerals; for example  instead of the words, [twelve].
Numerals are known to attract the attention of most online readers that are searching for ways to fix their problems.
Readers love number posts as they are easy to read and gives them a step-by-step program to follow.
Just ensure though that your entire post is not saturated with them.
[Size] Ensure that you use fonts which are easy to read.
Choosing the correct font size may seem irrelevant, but it is important that your readers feel comfortable reading your work.
Medium to large fonts sizes ranging from 14 to16 px is preferable for online reading. Readers with poor eyesight or have trouble reading [which is more common these days, due to the time people spend on their computer, smart devices or watching television], will most likely move away from a text that is difficult to read.
For that reason, it’s best to stick to the basic font size, especially for the prime body of the text.
Keep it clean and simple. Your readers will thank you for it.
You can also use italics and bold text for emphasis, but it is best to keep your content legible to all groups of readers.
Arial style is highly recommended for blogging, as it is simple and very legible.
[I usually use the Calibri style, but I will change that after this post lol]. I type my blogs in Word Doc for the sake of safe-keeping my files and I just upload them onto my site in the same format.
Try to avoid fonts that are difficult to read.
Readers are typically looking for answers to their problems, not an opportunity to decipher a message. So, to grasp their attention and keep it for the duration of the post, give them something nice and clear to read.
The conclusion is usually a paragraph at the end of your content that summarizes the fundamental points of your post.
You should round this off with a call to action [CTA] that is closely related to the content.
Encourage your readers to read more on the topic by providing a link to another related post on your blog or ask them a question about what they have learned in your post. Inspire them to leave a comment below the post or contact you for additional help. This aspect of the blog leads the way for further interaction or communication between you and your readers.
Ensure to include social media buttons. And subscription forms [these I will discuss in more detail on a subsequent post.
It is not necessary to include all the elements on this list in your blog post, but many experienced writers use them, and as they lead by example, I suggest that we newbies follow suit.
Thanks again for spending time with me on my blog. I appreciate your company.
Please share this post with your friends on social media.
And if you have questions, leave a comment below or contact me at my email address. It’s on the site. I will get back to you.
Well, that is all for this post. This has been my longest blog thus far, and the most fun I have had writing one.
That goes to say.
Until next time.