We’ve all heard the cliché “Content is King”. And it’s true – the more quality content your site has, the more both the readers and the search engines will like you for it. However, good content only means something when it’s presented properly: you could have the best tips on how to make money to be found anywhere, but if the structure of the blog post isn’t right, then it’s just as if those killer tips weren’t even there.
Let’s start at the beginning: the crucial part of any blog post is the introductory paragraph. This should be no more than a couple of lines and should be short and snappy, summarizing the article. The purpose of the first couple of sentences is to inform the reader about the post to come, and entice him or her into reading the whole thing with promises of some juicy content.
Next comes the main content. Different points should always be separated by different paragraphs, possibly with their own sub-heading. Either these sub-headings or the first sentence of each new paragraph should be the “leader” sentence. This is somewhat akin to the introductory paragraph: it should summarize the lines to come and almost force the reader to carry on exploring the post. Like the first paragraph, the leader should be short and snappy, ideally containing a controversial phrase. Controversy sells best on the web, and a unique and intriguing leader sentence will lure your readers into continuing to read the paragraph. Example leader sentences could be: ‘I can make you rich, with little effort on your part, in seven days flat.’ or ‘For years people have wasted their money on expensive blogging platforms without realising there was a free alternative.’ The rest of the paragraph should solely be based around the leader sentence, and should embellish it until a new point needs to be made. Remember: new point, new paragraph.
In addition to all of this, you need to keep your reader interested. Break up paragraphs often to avoid big chunks of text. As the average time spent on a website is purely a matter of seconds, you need all the help you can get into persuading the reader that your blog post is worth reading. If you have lists, then always use numbers or bullet points. Never nestle or embed them, that is to say never put lists in an ordinary sentence using commas in the middle of a paragraph. In fact, always try and turn things into lists where possible. They’re easy to reference, read and find. “Top 20 Blogging Platforms” sounds much better than “An in-depth discussion of the pros and cons of several of the leading blogging platforms”. People always need to be able to easily access and digest information.
Don’t forget your summary paragraph: a short round-up of what you’ve been talking about, and if necessary a conclusion. Ideally, include RSS and further information to aid your readers. A cliff-hanger which subtly promotes your next post is another great idea.Good luck!
A guest post by Heebie.