How do you structure a blog post that converts well?
What does it mean to write a structured blog post that converts well? Simply put, in every blog post you write, you want your audience to do at least two of a few things:
- get their questions answered
- stay on your page as long as possible by having a structured post that’s easily readable (especially for ad income)
- get more information than what they expected (through links leading to other blog posts of yours)
- become super-fans – sign up for your email list and follow you on social media
- buy one of your products or click on an affiliate link
Know your audience inside and out
Before you even think about hitting publish, it’s important that you know and understand who your audience is. From this understanding, you can begin to form and structure your blog post. After all, knowing who your audience is, is THE most important part of starting a successful blog.
What to do after you know your audience and before you hit publish
Hitting publish on a blog post can be nerve-wracking. After all, you’ve put your heart, soul, and SO MUCH TIME into making it the best you possibly could. What if people don’t read it? What if they don’t like it?
All of these questions can begin to infiltrate your mind, causing you to second guess the content of your post you just spent hours creating. That’s why I’ve come up with this helpful list, so when you hit “publish,” you can put your mind to ease, knowing you made it the best it could be.
How to Structure a Good Blog Post
1. Implement good SEO practices
If you’re like me, you sometimes have a hard time planning ahead. And if you know a thing or two about SEO, it’s that you NEED to plan ahead.
Implementing good SEO practices just means you’re setting your blog post up to do well in the Google algorithm, and mastering this game is no easy task.
And if you know NOTHING about SEO, check out these experts on the subject to learn everything there is to learn and then some!
The Blogging Millionaire Podcast
2. Add Applicable Affiliate Links
Affiliate marketing is a great way to add a little side cash in the pocket. But mastering the game is easier said than done.
So where should you start?
Basically, it’s important to understand when and where an affiliate link is appropriate or will convert to sales. Like any sales strategy, there needs to be a plan in place.
Let’s say your blog post is about baby shower gifts for the eco-friendly mama. You, of course, want your gift ideas to link to an affiliate.
Michelle Gardner has a great course about affiliate marketing.
3. Use Grammarly or an editor to spell and grammar check
Getting an editor is probably something you will want to do down the road when it makes sense to spend that money. But if you’re a newbie, Grammarly is a MUST. You won’t look professional if you have multiple spelling errors or your grammar is all over the place. Even the best of writers need software like this!
4. Write a title that will convert to clicks
For my lifestyle blog, I’ve realized that my titles are EVERYTHING. Think about it. What causes you to either click or not click on an article? The title.
Your title is the first impression of your blog post. It’s the secretary of the office. It’s what prompts someone to either commit to reading or keep scrolling. And possibly the second most important parts of your post are your subtitles and intro.
5. Optimize for a higher ad RPM ($ per 1000 clicks)
Whether you’ve implemented ads, or you’re not quite there, optimizing your posts for a higher RPM is a must. By optimizing your posts from the get-go, you won’t have to go back in later and make sure everything is ad-friendly. Also, an optimized post for RPM and SEO is usually more reader-friendly.
What does that mean?
It means you structure your post in an easy to read way, so you don’t frustrate people because they can’t quickly find what they are looking for. We live in a time where not a high percentage of people will read a post from start to finish — they skim. So it’s good to include subtitles and bullet points that are clear and organized.
Unless you’re a creative writer who has a niche like poetry, making things as straightforward as possible without compromising style is where it’s at.
6. Include these three things in your content (KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE)
- Relatability (could be a personal story relating to the post)
Depending on what kind of blog you have, it’s essential to put yourself in your audience’s shoes and give them what they want. As it’s good and necessary to include your own experience or personal story throughout the post, it’s just as important not to overdo it.
If you start going on about yourself in an egotistical way, people will feel like they are reading your personal life story, instead of getting answers to their questions. Again, this is also dependent on the style and purpose of your blog.
If you’re an influencer who gets most of their traffic from Instagram, then perhaps a detailed story about why you decided to get laser eye surgery is what your audience wants to read about! That’s why knowing your audience should be the number one priority of your blogging business.
- Information or stats
A good way to give your audience something valuable is to research the topic you’re writing about, so they don’t have to. You do this by including statistics, data research, or outside links pertaining to a specific area you don’t have expertise in.
This is not only good writing, but it’s also good marketing. If you do this well, there’s no limit to what you can include on a blog post that converts to sales or link clicks.
When you link to other blog posts you’ve written within a post that answer even more possible questions your audience might have, the better — it’s also good SEO practice — something that Google will credit you for!
- Helpful tips or bullet points to educate
If your article is written to help people solve a problem, then adding numbered tips or bullet points is a great way to make your post more reader-friendly, SEO friendly, and optimized for ads. I would suggest putting your main tips towards the end of your post, especially if you want to implement ads at some point. This can also help you structure your blog post when organizing your thoughts and outline.
7. Add a CLEAR call to action – social share and follow buttons
Adding in easy to see social share AND follow buttons are great if you want to build your social media following. Unfortunately, when I started my lifestyle blog, I didn’t do this until a few years after I started. I missed out on a TON of followers because of that. I’ve also found that placing a link to your social media account within the post sometimes converts better than a follow button. Like this – Follow me on Instagram for the latest in monetizing your blog and turning your great idea into your dream job! Buttons are so common, it’s easy for people to dismiss or graze over when scrolling through your content.
8. Add and optimize images
When I was doing extensive research on optimizing images within a post best, I couldn’t find a helpful answer. So I’ve made it my duty to make it as easy for you as possible in these few sentences.
If you’re using an actual photo, then convert it to a JPG, and bring the quality down as much as possible before it looks pixelated. If you include an illustration, infographic, or Pin, then download as a PNG, but bring the size down as much as possible. You don’t want your pictures to look blurry, but you also don’t want them to be too large, so they slow down your website. Find that balance. You will also want to add alt text to your images unless they are simply there for decoration. This can be as simple as describing the picture in a few words. If you have a recipe post on chocolate chip cookies and have an image with chocolate chip cookies, put it in your alt description. Simple as that!
9. Have one or more people other than yourself proofread
Whether it’s your spouse, your mom, your friend — having a few other eyes on your work is a must. There could be things that you or even your editing software misses!
How many images should I add to my post?
A good rule of thumb is to add three images for 800 – 1000 word posts, five images for 1000 – 1200 words, and then six images to anything over that.
10. Include an email opt-in
When I first started my blog, I found it overwhelming to come up with an email opt-in for my website. But after I took an incredible course on email opt-ins, I now have mine running on autopilot. I’m currently writing an ebook that will go over the strategies I’ve learned.
Another pro tip
If I wait for a day or two after writing a post before I hit publish, I’ve always found that it helps me weed out any unnecessary or repetitive things I’ve overstated. Sometimes it’s helpful to take a step back and look at it with fresh eyes. If you don’t have time for this, wait a few hours and then look at it again. You’d be surprised how time can reset your mind and give you a more unbiased perspective.