The Best Way to Structure Your Blog Post

You know that a blog is essential to business success. As traditional forms of “buy this, buy that” marketing fall out of favor, blogs that offer edutainment—education and entertainment—have quickly become the go-to means for attracting a loyal audience.

 

By now you’ve settled on an idea and title, and might have even discovered hints of your voice.

 

Now what?

 

When I’m not typing away on my MacBook Pro, I lead group personal training sessions at a local fitness studio. While each session is different—I teach everything from Muay Thai kickboxing to strength-based dumbbell workouts—they all follow a very similar structure.

 

I start with a warm-up that includes dynamic, bodyweight movements as well as expectations and how to stay safe. Next comes the workout, which is comprised of three to four interval-style segments. Everything concludes with a gentle stretch/cool-down and a discussion of lifestyle choices to help clients make the most of the workout.

 

While the workouts are vastly different, they follow the same format every time.

 

I use a very similar structure to create blog posts.

 

* It starts with an introduction—or warm-up—that briefly describes what the reader can expect to learn from the post. This is where I present a problem as well as a promise to solve it.

 

* The body—or workout—follows, wherein I provide the solution or information promised to the reader in the intro. I believe in simplicity so I aim to keep things tight and to the point, much like a short-duration, high-intensity workout.

 

* Then comes the conclusion—or cool-down—which offers a concise recap of what was discussed and how to put the content into practice. This is where you will find the all-important call to action.

 

Let’s flesh things out a bit.

 

Introduction

One of the best ways to introduce a problem is to pose a question, like, “Have you ever . . . ?” Or, “Do you struggle with . . . ?” Asking a question immediately engages the reader because, as humans, we are conditioned to try to answer it.

 

Make sure to add variety to your intros. Starting every blog with a question will turn your reader off.

 

Another way to introduce your content is to set the scene for the story you are about to tell.  Try to include little details or descriptors to bring your story to life. You want your reader to be able to picture the person you’re talking about. But don’t get carried away with flowery, ornate language. This is a blog, not a Shakespearian sonnet.

 

Body

The body is where you fulfill your initial promise and solve the reader’s problem. However, don’t give up the goods too soon because you need her to stay with you until the conclusion.

Think of your post like the story Hansel & Gretel. Litter your post with breadcrumbs that lead the reader toward your remarkable solution.

Here are a few ways to frame this content.

 

* Lists are successful because they allow readers to get through the material quickly. For example, you might share five ways to develop radiant-looking skin.

 

* Stories work because, plain and simple, people enjoy them. Treat your post like a mini detective novel. Discuss the struggle and then—when it seems like our hero is going to fail—present the solution.

 

Reminder: Always keep things succinct. Imagine that your reader has the attention span of a 5-year-old.

 

Conclusion

If you’ve done your job, your reader has stuck with you through the entire post and has learned something remarkable that she can apply to her life.

 

But your work isn’t finished yet.

 

It’s now time to implement your call to action, or your challenge to the reader. This is where you engage her one last time to further solidify your relationship.

 

A call to action can be as simple as a request for a comment or question about your post. Or, if you’ve put together a list-based blog, ask the reader to add to it.

 

Find Your Format

Writing a great blog post is not as challenging as it may seem. If you follow a specific structure like I outlined here, the process will be much less painful. Most importantly, play with your format and share it with friends and family for feedback. As the saying goes, practice makes progress.

 

Now I want to hear from you. What questions do you have about how to structure a blog? Post your question(s) in the comments section below and Ill do my best to provide a solution.

 

See what I did there?

 

But, seriously, do post questions below. I’d love to help.

 

Happy creating!

 

Ryan

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