If you are considering starting your own blog, then you might be wondering what elements are needed to make sure people enjoy reading it.
This article will go over exactly what you should do, and also what you should not do, to create a blog that will become both popular and profitable.
So, what are the elements of a good blog?
A good blog is made up of blog posts that contain the following elements:
- Clear Title
- Effective Lead-In and Hook
- Multiple Subheadings
- Clean Formatting
- Valuable Content
Now, let’s jump into explaining each of these elements in more detail and go over how you can optimize each.
Essential Elements of a Good Blog
While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you should be able to tell what a blog post is about from reading its title.
If the title of your blog post is misleading, you will frustrate readers and they will be unlikely to return for more. If the title is unclear, you will miss out on readership from those who decide based on the title that the content won’t help them.
Keep the title short, simple, and make sure it describes exactly what the content of the blog post is about.
Effective Lead-In and Hook
When a reader decides to click on your blog post, their attention immediately jumps to the first paragraph. Thus, it is essential to grab their interest right away.
After reading the first few sentences, the reader will automatically make several judgements about the blog post. These judgements will determine whether or not the reader continues reading, or if they click away.
Readers will be asking themselves these kinds of questions:
- Is this blog post casual/friendly/entertaining, or informative?
- Is this blog post helpful?
- Is the writer answering a question, telling a story, or sharing ideas?
- Is this content valuable, or is it full of fluff?
Depending on the style and theme of your blog, you want to make these questions simple for the reader to answer in their head. Once a reader determines that the blog post is a “match” for what they are looking for, they will continue reading.
No matter what kind of blog you have, every single blog post should contain multiple subheadings. Readers automatically scan content quickly to determine if a blog post has what they are looking for.
By creating multiple subheadings that are easy to spot, a reader can immediately jump to the subheading that is relevant to them, rather than having to skim through the entire blog post.
Subheadings also help to organize the content of a blog post into logical, easy to digest bits that make the reading experience that much better.
In addition to having multiple subheadings, the overall format of your blog is essential. Blog posts in a blog should always follow consistent formatting, so that there is flow and cohesiveness to the blog as a whole.
Pick a simple font (such as one of these) and use only that font. Also. bold-face text that is most essential, use bulleted lists, and don’t hesitate to add subheadings under subheadings to help organize content more.
One of the most important aspects of formatting is to always keep paragraphs short. Large chunks of text automatically create “brain pain” for the reader, so keep your paragraphs to about 2-4 sentences each.
At the end of the day, a reader will only return to your blog if your blog offers them value. A reader can derive value from your content in a number of different ways, such as:
- The reader is entertained from your content
- The reader learns from your content
- The reader can relate to the writer
- The reader can make a decision based on what was written
- The reader can take certain actionable steps based on what was written
While you can drive traffic to your blog, have clear titles, draw the reader in, and have great formatting, the only way to ensure someone returns to your blog for more is if your blog provides them with value.
As you write your blog posts, put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Ask yourself if what you are writing will add value to the reader’s life in any of the ways outlined above.
If you take the time to create a new blog, it is essential to attach an overall theme to the blog and to stay consistent with it.
By having a theme or niche attached to your blog, as you create and post more content on that blog, you are establishing yourself as credible in that particular niche.
For example, if I was looking for a blog post that discusses how to replace a flat tire, would I prefer to view a blog post from a blog with an overall theme of cars, or a blog with no theme that just decided one day to write about this topic?
While there are a countless number of possible themes you can build your blog around, here are some examples:
- Health & Fitness
- Making Money Online
- Educational Topics
Now, once you’ve picked a theme, the goal is to make each and every blog post you post relate to that theme in some way.
Consistency is key, as the more you post about a certain theme, the more people looking for content about that theme will be encouraged to read your blog.
Writing a Blog: Things to Avoid
“Fluff” content is defined as “filler words and language that do not provide the reader with any valuable information and may simply be used to fill a page.”
When someone clicks on a blog post, they are doing so for a specific reason, such as:
- To find an answer to a question they are having
- To learn more about a certain topic
- To be entertained
If your blog post is filled with “fluff” content, not only will the reader not get what they were looking for from your blog post, but they will also be far less likely to return for more.
This article from copypress.com discusses content fluff in depth and goes over how you can ensure you avoid it in your writing.
In today’s world of fast-paced technology, people clicking on a blog post are looking to receive the content they need quickly and efficiently.
It is essential to avoid having long paragraphs in your blog post so that readers don’t have to invest too much time and energy into finding an answer.
By breaking up a blog post into smaller paragraphs under subheadings, the content is neatly organized and the reader can easily skim for what they are looking for.
The hallmark of a good blog is that the content is easy for readers to consume. To do this, use shorter paragraphs.
Overwhelming the Reader
Similarly to how filling a blog post with useless “fluff” should be avoided, filling a blog post with too much information and too many ideas is also not a good idea.
Generally, each blog post should discuss one idea or topic, answer one question, or share one story. If your blog post contains too much information and jumps from idea to idea, readers will become overwhelmed and they will be less likely to return to your blog.
While different blogs will contain different tones, always try to write simply and keep the reader focused on one overarching idea or topic.
Use everyday language: avoid overly technical or elaborate jargon. Incorporating facts and statistics is always encouraged, but just be sure it is easy for the reader to digest. Remember, you are writing a blog post, not an academic research paper.