5 Elements of a “Perfect” Blog Post
We recently talked about how long your blog posts should be. Today, let’s talk about writing a blog post that helps you accomplish your goals as a writer.
A Writer’s Guide to Blogging
Sure, there are marketing tips and tricks you can use to grow your blog and get more readers, but the reality is that unless you’re writing good blog posts, no one is going to want to read your blog, no matter how many creative ways you market it.
Here’s the hard truth: the single best way to accomplish your writing goals with a blog is to write better blog posts. (Share that on Twitter?)
So how do you write better blog posts, especially if you normally write fiction and aren’t necessarily comfortable writing non-fiction blog posts?
It starts with finding your perfect blogging template.
5 Steps to a “Perfect” Blog Post
Every time I start writing a blog post, I already have a template, a structure, in mind before I even start writing, and this template is founded on the three “acts” I mentioned above.
Keeping that three-step structure in mind, here’s a “perfect” blog post template:
1. The Lead
Also known as lede for journalism geeks, this term describes the first paragraph, the hook of your story where your job is to grab the attention of the reader, preferably by presenting a problem that your reader desperately wants solved. (Another way to describe a lead is your premise.)
Length: one to three paragraphs.
2. The Aggravator
Remember what “act two” was above? The next step is to make the problem worse, and that’s what the aggravator is for.
Here you want to identify with the reader, telling them what makes solving their problem so difficult. You’re also setting up your solution, which we’ll get to next. This is a great place to tell a story or use an example.
Length: three or four paragraphs.
3. The Core Points
This is where you finally explain the solution to your readers’ problem.
Take note that in this template, you don’t get into the solution, the core points of your post, until you’re halfway through the article. Most people start their post here. However, that’s a huge mistake. Skipping to the solution before you’ve fully explained the problem is like passing on foreplay, and if you do, you might find that your post comes out flat.
Length: three paragraphs or more, depending on your post length.
4. The Connector
This is where you connect your core points to how they will actually solve the problem that you presented in the lead.
Another word for this is the “conclusion,” and surprisingly, many people skip the conclusion (myself included, shame on me!). However, it’s the single best place to connect the dots and show how your solution actually solves your readers’ problem.
Length: one to three paragraphs.
5. The Question
What makes blogging different than print newspapers or magazines? Blogging is interactive. That’s why a blog post is never finished until you’ve added a question to stimulate discussion. Scan to the end of a few blog posts from top bloggers (like Michael Hyatt or Jeff Goins). You’ll find that they always include a question to their readers. Give it a try!
Length: one or two sentences.
What Is Your Perfect Blog Post Template?
It took me a long time to discover a template that worked for me. Along the way I experimented with several different templates, many of which I still use (like my writing prompt template). I’ve found that this one, which I’ve explained here, works best for me in most situations, but that doesn’t mean I’m trapped into using it all the time.
You need to find your perfect template, too, and the only way you can do that is through practice (we’re fond of that around here).
So don’t take my word for it. Go try out this template and others and figure out what works best for you. (And don’t forget to have fun while you do it!)
How about you? Do you have a blog post template that you use regularly? Or even several templates?
Give the “perfect” blog post template a try. First, pick a problem that you know how to solve, and then write a blog post sharing the solution. If you post it on your blog, share the link in the comments section for the community to see how you did!
And as always, don’t forget to have fun!