Content writing is one of the best ways to get long-term marketing results online, however, not all content is created equal. The structure and visual appeal of your content plays a huge role in maximising the shares, search engine hits and reach that your content can get.
Fortunately, there is a winning formula you can follow to put your content in the best place to achieve lasting results.
Most business owners are not writers, graphic designers or marketers for that matter so it can be difficult to know what to write and how to format your content. It can be difficult to come up with what to write in the first place!
Current advice points to producing lots of blog articles, but not all content is created equal. The blog title, images and heading structure all play a significant role in how well that post will perform.
Consider writing for your audience online as if they were walking quickly past a giant newspaper. What is going to grab their attention? What will make sure they stay and read all the juicy content?
Now, what I want you to do is stop for a minute, think about your industry and your customers and ask yourself these questions:
- What are the biggest problems in your industry?
- What are their most frequent questions your customers ask?
- How can you genuinely provide useful information to your customers?
Solving these problems and answering common questions via blog posts positions you as an authority, builds a library or content you can share and improves your results in search engines.
Blog Title Formula
The headline of your blog post is very important as it’s your one chance to pull your audience in to your content. If you’ve ever been on Buzzfeed (or anywhere on the internet, really) you would have seen articles with titles such as:
- ’17 Cosy Melbourne Bars That Will Keep You Warm Until Summer Comes’
- ‘Top 11 Unbelievably Cute Kittens’
- ’22 Simple Reasons Sydney Is Way More “Liveable” Than Melbourne’
Do you see the pattern here? It seems a little ridiculous but there is a reason this formula is everywhere – it works!
Here’s the blog post title formula broken down into a template you can use:
How to achieve [main benefit] so you can [ have desired outcome]
X ways [main benefit] so you can [have desired outcome]
Try come up with 3 – 5 blog post titles using this formula to some inspiration for your next blog post.
Blog title examples:
- 7 Healthy & Delicious Aloe Vera Recipes
- How to Improve Gut Health with Aloe Vera
- 3 Ways to Improve Gut Health with Aloe Vera
Bonus: Blog Topic Generator
Online marketing gurus Hubspot have created a fantastic tool to help generate blog topic ideas. Just visit the generator, add in a few nouns that your customers would want to read about and it will create article ideas and blog titles that you can use for inspiration.
Blog Content Formula
With an excellent blog post title you’ve managed to get the click and someone is reading your content – great! Now how can we take it to the next level with high engagement, comments and social shares?
Here’s the structure to help you build out your content, plus some examples to help you along (the examples are not facts – I have just made these up to illustrate the points).
You don’t have to follow this formula perfectly, of course. We don’t always; sometimes our structure is different. This is, however, an excellent structure of the basic ingredients that readers are looking for. A blog post like this is one that is easy to read and its structure is understood.
Describe the promise – why read your blog post? What will the reader get out of this?
Example: We look into why Aloe Vera is one of the most naturally healthy foods available and how you can start using it in a great tasting meal to get the benefits today.
Describe the problem that your reader is facing that your blog post is helping them solve.
Example: Most people have heard of the benefits of using Aloe Vera but they don’t know how to get the most out of it or use it in a way that doesn’t taste too much like, well, Aloe Vera.
Bust a Myth
If most people say X but you know otherwise, tell your readers about it! This is a great way to position yourself as an expert and truly put forward your point of difference. This will also help start the conversation too to drive engagement on your blog and social media.
Example: Many dietitians recommend having aloe vera on it’s own, however when it’s combined with the right foods it compliments the growth of natural bacteria in the gut and breaks down the important nutrients found in the Aloe Vera plant.
Teach the Takeaways
You’ve definitely got the reader’s attention, now it’s time to get into the meat of the content and give them something they can use. To really drive the impact of your content, create something that your audience would be proud to share to their network. A good way to think about this is by creating content that if your audience shared to their audience it would make them look good.
Examples: Aloe Vera Recipes; Inforgraphic on how to improve gut health; video showing how to prepare Aloe Vera for maximum benefit.
Include Dos and Don’ts
Here’s your change to list the rookie mistakes and pro tips. How can your reader avoid the common mistake most people make?
Finish with a call to action
At the end of the article is the ideal time to call your readers to action. What do you want them to do? What would help them get a result from this content? Here are some examples:
To increase learning:
Let them know none of this means anyting if they don’t take action, then outline the smallest step they can take and a result they can get.
To attract blog comments:
End with a question or idea that prompts the reader to comment.
To increase email sign ups:
Finish with a content upgrade such as a PDF download in exchange for an email address.
To increase social shares:
End with a statement such as “Know someone who would benefit from reading this? Share it with the links below!
Before you publish, format your content
Writing engaging content for the web is much different to writing a letter, book or an email.
The key to readable content is to break it up into short, tight parahgraphs with a variety of headings, sub headings, lists, images and indentations to keep content simple and easy.
Breaking your content down into headings not only helps with human readability but it let’s Google know what your content is all about, which can help improve your search engine rankings and traffic.
Writing blog content doesn’t have to be difficult and following this structure can help to speed up your writing time and improve the results you are getting from your content.
What do you find is the most difficult part of writing a blog post?