How to create the Perfect Value-Filled Blog Post
I'm going to take a wild guess and say if you're reading this you probably have a blog and you want said blog to be better. If that's the case, I'm hoping this post will help you out. If that's not the case you either A) need a blog, in which case, click here or B) have the perfect blog and you're just reading this to see if this post is hypocritical, in which case, bring it on.
We're going to go through all those things you need to do to give your readers the extra "oomph" they're looking for.
01. Blog Less - Give More
I did a whole podcast about this exact topic just a few months ago. If you're one of those bloggers who post 5 times a week and your posts are under 500 words, you need to hear this. It might make you angry, but I promise it's coming from a place of love. Plus it's just my advice, take it or leave it.
Once you figure out a posting schedule that works best for your needs, it's time to change your writing habits. You can't just smoosh together a few posts and have a perfect piece of content. The way you write and deliver your topics need to evolve too.
Shameless plug: if you found that podcast helpful, there's a link to all my other episodes at the bottom of this post.
02. Write Better Content - Use Visuals
How much of your blog post is text? If you just said 95-100% we need to change that. Let me ask you this, how often do you go to a blog and read 1000+ words without images, videos or something to break up the stream of text? I'm going to guess it's pretty rare.
You don't need to make an infographic, video or audio recording with every post (although that wouldn't hurt) but you do need to figure out how to break up your paragraphs a little better. Below are some examples and ideas for you.
- Use headings and titles (like my little numbering system you see in this post).
- Use bullets or numbered lists to break up the visuals
- Make it skimmable. I'm guessing you're not reading every word of this post, most people don't. Make your content easy to consume and skim.
- Add images, infographics, video, audio or downloadable content. People love consuming content in more than one way, give them some choices!
- Use short paragraphs. Sometimes mine are just one or two sentences. When you finish an idea start a new line. It makes it easier to digest the content.
Not only will these help people actually read your content to the end, but they also make your post look more valuable and interesting. You could write the greatest post in the world, but if it's all just one block of text, most people won't read it.
03. Offer Next Steps
By the time you get to the end of a blog post you're usually pretty happy with the content, otherwise, you probably wouldn't have gotten to the end. If that's the case, offer your readers some next steps for them to follow. It doesn't have to be anything complicated, here's some ideas:
- Add 3-4 of your post popular or recent blog posts for them to click through. Bonus points if those posts are related to the one they just read.
- Give them a download to use. A worksheet, ebook, anything. This is also a great way to collect emails and build your list. More about list building here.
- Leave questions for your audience to think about or leave answers in the comments. This is a great place to put the words "Action Step" or "Discussion Questions".
- Leave a link, signup form or button for your audience to do something. Make it clear what they should do after they finish reading. (The end of this post is an example of this).
04. Get the right Tools
Writing the blog post is hard enough. Making graphics, editing and adding in extra goodies doesn't need to take you hours. Below are all the tools I use EVERY SINGLE TIME I write a blog post. You might use some of them already (or maybe use similar alternatives), but hopefully, a few of these will be new and helpful for you.
- Evernote for drafts, sharing with my editor and backup
- Grammarly for all the terrible spellers out there (this one is a life saver)
- Canva for all your photos and infographics (and your downloadable worksheets too if you want a cheap option)
- CoSchedule for scheduling all those pesky social media messages (Buffer is an amazing option as well)
Here are the takeaways from this post:
Publish fewer blog posts and spend more time on writing
Use visual breaks to make your content easier to scan
Give your audience "next steps" to take after finishing the post
Use tools to help you work smarter and faster