Like a lot of people, I used to believe that blog posts needed to be long, boring, drawn-out affairs that nobody read.
Granted, blogs like that do exist.
But your blog does not have to be one of them!
In my few months of blogging, I have quickly learned that almost every blog post can be broken down into just 4 essential elements:
1. An attention-grabbing title
Blog titles are 90% of a blog post.
Or at least, that’s how much emphasis I put on them.
Without a good title, your blog post may not get read. That’s an opportunity lost that can easily be gained.
Good titles should inspire the reader to click and learn something that will help them improve an important facet of their life. For example:
Which blog post title would you click on first?
5 pizza recipes
5 sizzling summer pizza recipes
See the difference?
The first blog title tells you a bit of info (pizza recipes), but does it really spur you to click?
However, the second title, “5 sizzling summer pizza recipes” not only immediately grabs your attention with a detailed description, but it also narrows your focus to recipes for summer pizzas.
2. A Rock-SOLID opener
While the blog title is the bait, your opener is the steel jaws that will ensnare the reader and entrap them for the next 500 or so words.
Your blog post opener can be a sentence or a brief paragraph, but it must convey TWO key elements according to Marcus “The Sales Lion” Sheridan:
- Empathy – You inform your reader that you share the same problem or issue that is preventing the achievement of a goal.
- Expertise – You started a blog because you are an expert in a subject matter that you love and have an undying passion for. You need your opener to express this.
3. Supporting details and examples
Personally, I enjoy sharing my knowledge in lists.
Lists are quick, easy, efficient, and can be skimmed easily by the reader.
Remember, only 20% of Web content writing is read.
However, if your content is good and helpful, then 100% of it will be read by people who find your blog and are looking for help with the same issue you are writing about in your blog post.
There are plenty of blogs that rely on a narrative “just tell the story” style.
Seth Godin has a large following because he is a brilliant marketing mind who can express his ideas in short, daily blog posts.
4. A call to action
It is YOUR job as a good blogger to TELL the reader what you want them to do when they come to the end of your post.
End every post with an action item that compels the reader to do something, such as subscribing to your email newsletter, buy something, or simply leave a comment.
You wrote a blog post that is chock full of useful information…now is your chance to tell your readers what they can do with it!
Blog posts do not have to be complicated.
In fact, they can be quite simple and composed of just 4 essential elements:
- An attention-grabbing title
- An empathetic opener that conveys expertise
- Supporting details
- A clear call to action for the reader
The call to action in this blog post is:
Leave a Comment and share your thoughts and opinions on the 4 essential elements of every blog post!
James K. Kim
James "Jim" Kim is a commercial real estate agent with Cushman & Wakefield / Pyramid Brokerage Company in the Capital Region of New York, specializing in retail, office, and industrial tenant and landlord representation.