I have read both great and sorry blog posts of all lengths, topics, layouts, and construction. There is no cut-and-dried perfect blog post template, but…

A Great Blog Post Format Anyone Can Use

If you are a new blogger, an inexperienced writer, or just stuck, you can follow this proven layout for your blog post and be assured of a decent result (assuming your writing is up to snuff; even a good format cannot survive crummy writing):

  1. A headline that is concise and grabs the reader’s interest.  Your headline should have one purpose:  to get people to feel “I want to read this and find out more.”  If you fail here, you’ll lose 95% of potential readers.  A few loyalists or bored readers might continue but most will quickly move on to something they deem worthy of their time.
  2. A good image works much like the headline. One photo can communicate paragraphs of hints and teases about your content. On the flip side, a poor or boring image will do what just what you would expect it to do: run people off (“sorry image, must be sorry writing too”).  A misleading image will cause people to question the integrity of your content. If you will lie to me by using an enticing image that has nothing to do with the content, what else will you lie to me about? For example, many blogs will use a photo of something trendy or sexy just to get the search-engine traffic and curious readers; even if that image, in reality, has nothing to do with the content.
  3. An opening paragraph that quickly tells people what they are about to read and why they should want to read more. If you can get them hooked with the headline and image, the first paragraph is the glue that will keep them stuck on your post. Remember, people have a LOT of choices when it comes to reading. If you make them work hard (read your entire post) before they figure out your point, then you are asking too much. Tell them what you are going to say up front (without giving away every juicy secret), and let them decide if they want to hear more.  That may seem counter-intuitive but it shows respect and consideration to your readers. You value them, treat them as such.
  4. Subheads give an “outline” for readers. This not only serves as a road map but helps them remember your content. Subheads are mini-headlines that entice people to continue reading your content; again, this shows the reader respect by allowing them to choose whether the next section is valuable to them.
  5. Concise writing is an art form. The actual content areas of your post need to be “to the point.” Do not ramble, and do not try to impress your readers with volumes of verbiage. Resist the urge to explain, preface, and defend every point you make (a common rookie writing mistake).  You cannot say all things that need to be said to every type of reader in every situation. So don’t try. You may miss an explanation to a few readers but you won’t run off ALL of your readers.
  6. Lists, callouts, and other images will help convey your message in a more memorable and digestible format.
  7. A closing summary wraps things up in a “to-go box” for the reader, like this:

There is no black and white “perfect” blog post template. However, what I have outlined above (and demonstrated by simply writing this post),has proven to be a great format that will put you light years ahead of most bloggers.  As you prove yourself and build a loyal readership, you can experiment with different formats that work for you.

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