In a previous article we discussed the importance of having a blog that fits into your PR strategy, and why you should write with clarity about a range of topics which provide genuine value to your readership. However, having a great blog is not the same thing as having well-written content (although the two usually coincide). Blog posts that are structured for maximum impact are far more likely to convince users to stop their web surfing and see what you’ve got to say. Whereas blogs that are not properly structured may have the best writing in the world, but because the fundamentals have been ignored, no one sits down to read them.
Your post’s headline is the first thing that potential readers will see, so make sure that it creates an immediate impact. There are a multitude of different headline styles to choose from; you could write your headline as a call to action, or structure it succinctly in a way that entices readers to click by offering a reward. Even a humorous approach can work provided it’s in line with your company’s brand. Whatever you decide to do, ask yourself whether or not the headline is good enough to stop people in their tracks and wake them out of their browser-induced haze. If your headline doesn’t have an immediate impact then you might as well forget about writing blog content altogether, because you won’t have anyone to read it.
Generating a title that accurately conveys the type of content within the article while also creating an emotional response can be difficult, so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t think of something right away. In fact, some of the best copywriters advocate going by the 50/50 rule, which suggests you spend the same amount of time writing the title as you do the article itself!
Well-written meta descriptions
While the post’s headline should create an immediate impact, the meta description provides you with the opportunity to write something slightly more comprehensive (160 characters) in order to entice readers to click into your blog. The meta description comes up in search engines right underneath the title, so if you’ve chosen to go for a headline that has a visceral effect, you may wish to use the meta description to provide a more logical summary of the article’s content. Also, don’t just copy some text from the content of the article, your meta description needs to be unique in order to achieve the full SEO benefits.
Most people have a pretty short attention span, and this is especially true when they are surfing the internet. When a new user clicks into your article, you don’t want to present them with a page of boring, lifeless prose. Instead, break down the article into digestible chunks by using subtitles. Thinking that people read internet content sequentially from start to finish is a fallacy. In truth, they are much more likely to scan a page for value before they commit to reading it in full. This is why you should separate your points with compelling subtitles in order to give users an immediate indicator of the kind of content on offer. If you’ve taken the time to write great content, you should also make the time to present it in a way that’s attractive instead of off-putting. For this reason, images are also recommended in order to break up the text and make a good first impression.
Generating excellent content, conducting research to find out the kind of topics that people want to read about and sharing your posts via social media are all important factors when it comes to making the most out of your blog. However, by structuring your blog posts in a way that compels people to react emotionally and factors in our short attention spans, you’re sure to dramatically increase the traffic to your blog. You can spend all the time you want with a thesaurus in hand cultivating your writing skills, but without the right structure to your blog posts, all your great content will go to waste – and you surely wouldn’t want that, would you?