6 Elements of a Successful Blog Post: Are You Implementing Them?

I'm going to be honest here - As a blogger, I only consistently read a very small handful of blogs; the main reason being that I don't find inspiration or relevancy in what I'm reading, or the post loses me two sentences in.

In an industry as saturated as this one, new blogs are popping up every day. Sometimes I'll get curious and peruse a new blog to check it out and see what it's all about. And you know what? I consistently find the same thing: posts not tailored to readers.

We'd think it's pretty simple right? Catchy headline, valuable content, pretty pictures - why wouldn't people want to invest in our content? The point here is that those basic elements only scratch the surface, so today, I want to dig a little deeper.

Use this post as a checklist of sorts for your own blog and ask yourself - am I implementing all elements of a successful blog post every time I hit publish?

Also see: 6 Reasons Why No One is Reading Your Blog

1. Click-Bait Title

Obvious, right? Then how come I close out of 70% of blog posts I see based on their title? I touch on this in depth in my post, 6 Reasons Why No One is Reading Your Blog, but in short, titles are the first thing your readers see, and the only thing, if you don't do it right.

So often I see style content with titles like "Cozy Fall Sweater and Jeans" or "My Fall Makeup Routine" and I'm just going to say it - it's boring! it's not relevant! it's a great reason to exit.

You have to get creative, and you have to convince your readers that your content is worth investing in, before they even get to it. \

I stumbled upon these title tips on the Buffer blog a while back, and have used them ever since:

+ Surprise – “This Is Not a Perfect Post (But It Could’ve Been)”
+ Questions – “Do You Know How to Create the Perfect Post?”
+ Curiosity gap – “10 Ingredients in a Perfect Blog Post. Number 9 Is Impossible!”
+ Negatives – “Never Write a Boring Blog Post Again”
+ How to – “How to Create a Perfect Blog Post”
+ Numbers – “10 Tips to Creating a Perfect Blog Post”
+ Audience referencing – “For People on the Verge of Writing the Perfect Blog Post”
+ Specificity – “The 6-Part Process to Getting Twice the Traffic to Your Blog Post”

2. Introductory Hook

I'm laughing a little inside here because I used to drill this into my 3rd graders every time we launched a new writing unit. First impressions matter.

It's talked about all of the time - how in the age of the internet, our attention spans are infinitely diminishing. For this reason and this reason alone, you have to make your first paragraph count.

Your readers may have made it past your title, but you don't have this in the bag just yet. Now is the crucial time to say to yourself, "okay, you're curious enough about my content that you've gotten this far, but here's why you're going to hang around for another few minutes and actually invest in it."

I often see bloggers start their posts out with a recap of their week or upcoming weekend plans (definitely guilty here too), and while I do think there are times when that's an appropriate way to open a post, for the most part, many readers are going to skip right past it.

Here's how you can hook them instead:

+ Storytell. Share a personal story that will tie into your content or a moment of transparency
+ Ask a relevant question (ie: have you ever wondered how you can get more use out of your summer pieces in the Fall?)
+ Start with a bold statement relevant to the core content of your post
+ Bring in your humor or writing voice that your readers know and love

successful blog post

3. Visually Pleasing Paragraphs

Would you believe that people read only 28% of the words in a blog post? Talk about making what little chance you have for an impression count.

How often do you visit a post, see a huge paragraph that takes up the whole length of the page, and immediately skip over it, or skim for a few key words, and jump to the next? I do this ALL THE TIME, and as a result, I'm not really reading the content at all. Instead, I'm skimming, looking at the visual content, and leaving.

I mean, sure, there are times when you stumble upon a really compelling blog post that's content heavy and find yourself wrapped up, but really, most of the time we want to be in and out of a post in 5 minutes or less.

The fewer characters a person sees on a page, the easier the text is to comprehend and the less complex it seems, thus making your readers more apt to actually read it. 

+ Break up your text throughout your post and keep your paragraphs 1-3 sentences at most

+ Use bulleted lists, block quotes, bold or unique text

+ Seek out visual inspiration in blogs that you love and enjoy reading. What is your experience like and how can you recreate it for your readers? I often break up my posts in columns to make for an easier navigation with the PageBuilder widget, so my readers have a more visual experience (I try to think - text, image, text, image, rather than text text text, image)

successful blog post

successful blog post
successful blog post

4. CTA's (Call-to-Actions)

The good news about CTA's, is that most of us are already including them throughout our blog posts! Keep in mind though, that the more CTA's sprinkled throughout, the more likely our readers are to interact with them.

Some examples of CTA's:

+ Social share buttons
+ "Tell me below in the comments" closing
+ Embedded YouTube videos
+ Internal links
+ Subscribe pop-up

 

5. The Right Amount of Visuals

Often times, visuals are what carry our posts. They're what readers may look past a boring title to see, and what keep them scrolling throughout our posts.

How much is the right amount? I casually asked one of my non-blogger friends what she thought about this and this was here response:

"I love seeing the pictures and it's often what I visit a blog post to look at, but I don't need to see 6 pictures of an almost-identical pose in the same outfit".

HA - she's right. You know she is.

+ Keep your visuals between 4-8, depending on the type of post
+ Narrow them down to the very best. For example, in a style post, instead of 3 full-body's that look the same, include a full body, a half body, and a detail shot
+ Take time to edit before they make it to the blog. We remember photos 6 times easier than we remember text.

6. Usable + Searchable Permalinks

According to Google, its best to use three to five words in the slug of your permalink.

Permalinks, believe it or not, are often used by our readers to revisit a post. If it's one that's easy to remember, they're more likely to be able to access it quicker.

In addition, permalinks are an important part of your SEO. For that reason, it's important to create permalinks that also might be keywords users are searching for on the web.

For example,

www.pineappleandprosecco.com/canva-secrets-revealed

is much easier to find & remember than something like,

www.pineappleandprosecco.com/how-to-create-marketing-graphics-for-your-blog-and-canva-secrets-revealed

successful blog post

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28 Comments

  1. ashley hargrove
    October 19, 2018 / 9:32 am

    I definitely needed this post!! I rarely have time to actually get blog posts up, but I feel like I Need to make them the best they can be!!

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 21, 2018 / 11:28 am

      Ah, I feel ya – I’ve been slacking on mine too lately!

  2. October 18, 2018 / 5:08 pm

    100% agree with this: ” I only consistently read a very small handful of blogs; the main reason being that I don’t find inspiration or relevancy in what I’m reading, or the post loses me two sentences in.”

    It’s really hard to stand out in such a saturated market and finding those who are relatable to you!

    Anyway, great post and tips!

    Zoey | http://www.zoeyolivia.com

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 21, 2018 / 11:27 am

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read, Zoey! Glad you found some helpful info. 🙂

  3. October 18, 2018 / 1:07 pm

    This is such a good and helpful post! So many great tips here!

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 21, 2018 / 11:26 am

      Thanks Greta!

  4. October 18, 2018 / 9:37 am

    Okay, now THIS is a blog post!! Loved reading this and saving to my Pinterest to look back on!

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 9:59 am

      Ah, that makes me so happy Morgan!

  5. Laura Leigh
    October 17, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    So good, so informative! Thank you so much for sharing – I really appreciate it lady!

    xo Laura Leigh
    http://www.louellareese.com

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 9:59 am

      Anytime babe! Glad you found it helpful 🙂

  6. Em
    October 17, 2018 / 11:42 am

    SO many great tips here! There are a few I need to be better about implementing (like the titles!)

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 9:51 am

      Yes!! They’re so, so important. Thanks for reading Em! xo

  7. October 17, 2018 / 12:46 am

    This is such an awesome post babe!! These are really great tips, SO helpful and I love that you shared this!!

    Kileen
    cute & little

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 9:50 am

      So glad to hear that Kileen! Thanks for reading 🙂

  8. Ruthie Ridley
    October 16, 2018 / 9:13 pm

    Awesome tips and you look fabulous per usual!!

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 9:50 am

      Thanks for stopping by Ruthie! xo

  9. October 16, 2018 / 8:42 pm

    These are such great tips! I totally agree about number 1!

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 9:49 am

      Thanks Dawn! Titles are SO important, aren’t they?

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 9:49 am

      I think so many of us have that in common, and ironically, it’s THE factor that will most often determine whether or not someone will click into your post!

  10. October 16, 2018 / 3:12 pm

    I love this so much. So many great points.

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 18, 2018 / 9:48 am

      Thanks for reading Megan!

  11. October 16, 2018 / 12:23 pm

    These are great tips. I always find the title the hardest thing to come up with! Loving your cozy sweater by the way, so soft and chic for fall!!

    XOXO
    Cathy

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 16, 2018 / 1:14 pm

      It can be so tricky sometimes and often the last thing you want to sit and brainstorm about! A good title really makes all the difference though 🙂

  12. October 15, 2018 / 3:32 pm

    These are all very important tips to create a powerful, meaningful, and well-rounded blog post.
    I’m also glad you mentioned breaking up large chunks of text, as I normally do that within my posts, too.
    Thank you for sharing, Danielle!
    XO Amanda
    Affordable by Amanda

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 8:12 pm

      So glad to hear that Amanda! and YES to the text break up. I’m waaaay more apt to read posts that are easy on the eye like that!

  13. October 15, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    I love this post! So guilty of all the don’t! This helps so much. Now I can’t wait to write my next blog post. 🙂

    • Danielle
      Author
      October 15, 2018 / 8:10 pm

      Oh yay! And girlfriend – we ALL are! It’s hard to get everything right all of the time but I’m glad these tips help! xo

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