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10 Things (almost) Every Blog Post Needs

Written by Anne McAuley Lopez on . Posted in Blogging for Business Owners

every blog post needsMobile devices have made it easy for us to read content while we’re on the go. What happens if the blog post includes killer content but isn’t easy to read? Most of us abandon the site in favor of one that is more pleasing to the eye.

Bold, headlines, numbering, and graphics are just a few of the things (almost) every blog post needs.

  1. A killer headline to grab readers’ attention. We have short attention spans and need you to grab us from the start or we’ll scroll to the next post.
  2. Engaging opening so they continue reading. Try writing the opening after you’ve written the rest of the post. For me this process works well from a creative perspective; I’ve dumped all the ideas out of my head and see where the blog post is going.
  3. Numbering. I am a writer for a good reason; I am not good with numbers. Please don’t make me count. If your post is called 10 Things, number the things.
  4. Bold and headers make the post visibly appealing. More than 25% of websites are searched via mobile device. If your post is too long and doesn’t catch our attention, we’re going to stop reading or not read it at all, no matter how good the content is.
  5. Mobile-friendly website. When I see a killer headline, I click the link. I am 40+ years old with reading glasses and somewhat tech challenged. If I can’t easily read the article, I will go to the next one. The website probably isn’t mobile-friendly. If you’re not sure about your website, look at it on your cell phone or tablet. If you don’t like what you see, it’s time for a new template.
  6. No more white font on black. This is especially true if your ideal readers are of an age where they need reading glasses like me. I can’t see white on black or gray print easily and will leave your site quickly. It’s not worth the risk of headache.
  7. Craft a killer closing. Summarize the points made in the post and then ask readers a question. Would you like to learn more? Then add a call to action.
  8. Call to Action. I’ve had clients who refuse to add a call to action to their blog posts for fear that they sound too sales-y. These clients don’t last long because they don’t understand the point of blogging for your business website is to drive interest in your brand and prompt readers to contact you. Include a call to action like call us, email, or download our ebook.
  9. Photo or graphic. Sites like Canva and Pexels make it easy for bloggers like me, who aren’t designers, to add photos and graphics to blog posts and social media. These sites are free or low cost. Add the blog post keyword to the image settings for an extra SEO boost.
  10. Spellcheck. Before hitting publish, put your post aside for a few minutes and do something away from your computer. Call a friend. Walk your dog. Take a shower. Forget the post. Run spellcheck and grammar check and read your post with fresh eyes. If you’re satisfied with what you see, hit publish. If you’re not sure about your editing skills, hire a professional proofreader or editor.

Bottom line is that your blog posts have to be visually appealing in addition to having killer content or readers will opt for another source. That’s a tough pill for those of us who love words and not graphics but that’s what readers want so we must deliver.

Not sure where to start? Join the Blogging Badass Facebook Group to learn more about what every blog post needs and what to do after you hit publish.

Anne McAuley Lopez

Anne McAuley, founder of McAuley Freelance Writing, is a freelance writer specializing in websites, blogging and content marketing strategy.

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