How to write a blog post. You don’t. You make a video. No, I’m just kidding. If you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, or even a brick-and-mortar or traditional writer looking to do more content development online, you might be staring at a blank piece of paper, a blank screen, saying, “How the heck do I write a blog post?”
Well, what if I told you that there was a super Ninja six-step template you can use no matter what you’re going to be writing about, no matter what the subject matter, to bang out blog posts super quickly. That’s what I’m going to reveal right here are the six elements of a perfect blog post.
Number one is a headline. You need an attention-grabbing headline that provokes the reader, that jumps out, has to stand out and really grab their attention. This goes back to the newspaper days. Any form of advertising, direct mail, offline, online you need that compelling headline or nothing else happens. Joe Sugarman calls that the slippery slide or the slippery slope, slide. So if they don’t read the headline, it doesn’t matter how good the content is.
Well, how do you do that? You want to ask questions. You want to use fear, and you want to use bulleted or numbered lists. The first thing I mean by questions is, is your website missing the top three conversion elements? I’m going to read that because I want to know. You can also leverage the psychology of fear, saying, “The five ways to know if your competitors are eating your lunch online,” or, “Six signs that reveal whether or not your spouse is cheating on you.” That leverages fear and invokes a question. That’s an important and powerful psychological trigger.
You could also use bulleted lists. People love bulleted lists. If you’re in the marketing world, you might think, God, this is getting so stale. We’re so over numbered lists. When are they going to go away? But people love it. You want to see the top five foods to lose ten pounds in summer, or the five elements of a perfect landing page, or the six elements of a perfect blog post template. Hello. So people want bulleted lists. They don’t want huge bulleted lists. Yeah, you can get away with the top 100 blogs of 2012 or something, but generally you want short lists. People online have the attention span of a gnat on Red Bull. So you want to say three things you can do, not the 72 best recipes using gluten-free pasta. That would be bad. So attention grabbing headline.
Number two is an introduction. Instead of just digging right into your content or your blog, put a good introduction in place. You want to do that by stating the problem. Again, it’s psychology. If the reader isn’t clear that they have a major problem, you want to state a problem and then reveal the promise that you’re going to solve it. So say this blog post was about teaching a kid how to ride a bike, right. You might have an introduction stating a problem, saying, “Most working parent families who have limited time, they want nothing more than to help Johnny ride a bicycle, but after many attempts, you’re not successful. Research shows that not learning how to ride a bike or failure leads to psychological issues and social issues,” or whatever, right. “In this blog post, we’re going to reveal 5 simple steps to teach your kid how to ride a bike in 72 hours.” So you’re just framing the piece. If I saw that, I would read it. My daughter’s getting ready to ride a bike, and I would definitely read it because she can’t ride one now. So you want to have a quick introduction. So attention grabbing headline, quick introduction.
Number three, the main body. This is where you’re going to reveal the topics. The reveal is simple. This is like Writing 101 from English 101 in college. You tell them what you’re going to tell them, you tell them, and then in the conclusion you tell them what you’ve told them. It’s really simple and repetitive, and it works. So in the main body section, what you want to do is just reveal the answer in a very organized format. Don’t try to go for a high word count. Don’t try to impress anybody with your English skills. Just dig into it. Use bulleted lists, short paragraphs. You don’t use the type of writing that would work in a college essay. It’s online. You have complete poetic license to use one-sentence paragraphs, right. It’s more conversational. Be yourself. That’s a different topic. But reveal the solution using bulleted lists, numbered lists in a very concise way. People scan content. If I look at a blog post and say, “Oh, there’s the three ways,” boom. No one is going to read run-on sentences and long paragraphs, which is also true for videos.
So I better go onto number four – a supporting graphic. Guy Kawasaki does something genius. He believes that everything he publishes online should have a graphic associated with it. So even if you take your iPhone and take a picture of yourself going like this, or take a picture of your house if you’re blogging about homes, use a picture every time. The supporting graphic needs to get folks’ attention, it needs to be relevant to your story, and this is another psychological thing. The click-through rates are much higher if you use people, animals, cute things. Hate to say it, it really works. Just go with what works. Both when you publish a blog post, use a relevant video, or blog, use a photo, and then that way when you syndicate that content to Facebook and social media channels, you’re going to have that relevant photo that’s going to grab people.
After the supporting graphic, the fifth element of a perfect blog post is the summary. So instead of just leaving people hanging after you list your five things or three steps for riding a bike, you want to use a summary. You want to sum up the content and say, “I hope that this was very useful. As you can see, if you use training wheels first, if you have your child wear a neck brace to stay upright, and if you use elbow pads to remove fear, they’ll be on the bike in no time.” I’m totally making that up. And then in your summary you also want to leverage your authority and social proofs. You want to say, “Through teaching 250 kids how to ride bikes with a 1% failure rate, I know that these systems work. I’ve taught over 200 parents how to ride bikes.” And then the last element of your summary, you want to list some additional resources. So, “For additional bicycle training resources, go to TeachMyKidToBike.com, The American Training Wheels Association,” or whatever. So you want to list those resources.
The last piece, the sixth element of a perfect blog post template is the call to action. So let’s review really quickly. You have an attention grabbing headline that kicks you know what with bulleted lists, using fear and invoking questions. You have an introduction that states the problem and then reveals the promise that you’re going to solve that problem. You have a body section and clear paragraphs or bulleted lists. You used a supporting graphic in your blog. You’ve got a summary that not only summarized the content, but positioned you as an expert. Now you go to a call to action, where you’re going to say, “If you want to master kids’ bike riding, click here to download this book called ‘Teaching Your Kid to Bike in 72 Hours.’ Share this on Facebook if you want to help other parents teach their kids.” So you want a call to action that asks them to do something with an offer.
So one, two, three, four, five, six. You’ll be blogging every day and every week. Use this to be much quicker. I promise this stuff works. If you want a free video that reveals each of these steps in more detail and our free online marketing crash course, go to GetMyFreeCourse.com and opt in, and for additional online marketing answers, go to GeekFree.net/answers. We’ll see you there. Take care and get to blogging.
Do you have a burning online marketing question that needs answerin’ somethin’ fierce? CLICK HERE to ask an online marketing question. We might even feature your business on Geek-Free Answers! And, of course, please share the love and share this article on your favorite social media sites. Pay it forward.