My husband and I have been on a health kick recently, trying to lose a few pandemic pounds that have crept on over the last few months. One of the things I like to do is find new recipes at times like these. Because I love trying new dishes, but I have ZERO imagination when imagining up things to eat regularly. Anyone else feel that way? Anyway, much like a healthy new meal, blog posts also follow a recipe of sorts. It’s not a rigid formula, by any stretch of the imagination. But you can definitely get a pot on the boil and throw in a few of these ingredients for a perfect blog post mixture!
Headlines Are Life
Well, okay, not exactly life itself. I’m sure your existence doesn’t balance on the precipice of whether your headline is up to scratch or not. But… when it comes to blogging, headlines are pretty important.
There’s a whole host of stuff you should know about writing a headline. It’s an art in itself and I’ve got a whole blog post just about writing headlines you should totally read.
But if you’ve only got a minute, here’s one handy little snippet for you. Headlines should, ideally, be quite short. They need to capture the attention of your readers in as few words as possible. But in such a way as to encourage them to click through and read what the rest of your post is about. The general advice is that a headline of around six words is ideal. But, don’t be afraid to go longer if it warrants it. Long headlines seem to have quite a bit of success too!
Headings and Subheadings
Take a look at this post. Already you’ll see it has a headline and a couple of headings. Headings work in several ways. For one thing, they’re searchable content that Google likes (thinking about those keywords!). For another, they break your page up into easy to read chunks.
Humans are scanners by nature. They’ll quickly scan through a text to see if it covers what they want to read about. So, if you’ve got some handy headings dotted through your article, you’ll stand more chance of people taking the time to read the whole thing. Especially if those headings show them what they want to read about.
I’ll also use subheadings within each section if there are several points I want to make about a thing. Subheadings are smaller in size than headings (which are, in turn, smaller than the blog headline). Getting technical, your blog post should only have one H1 tag (the headline). This is then followed by your headings (H2) and subheadings (H3, H4 and so on). You can have as many of those as you like!
The only time a person won’t baulk at a wall of text is when they’re looking at an academic paper (and, to my mind, they’re only going to be looking at that if they have to – just thinking back to all my recent essays!). A wall of text is both imposing and a little bit scary, in all honesty! So, break that giant text wall down and insert images, lists, quotes and bullet points into your posts. Especially if they’re going to be long with a looooot of information you want your readers to get to the bottom of.
In an online world, time is of the essence. For that reason alone, sentences should be short. They should be quick. Punchy. Easy to read. They’ll hold people’s attention more than a long, winding sentence. And it’s easier to keep your grammar in check!
That being said, you should include a few medium and longer sentences in your copy too. If you keep it all short, it starts to get a bit boring. There’s a great example over in my post about what makes a blog post readable to show you exactly what I mean!
Remember, these are the ingredients for a blog post that you should try and use as much as possible. But, if you haven’t got sugar then I’m sure you’re going to substitute with something like honey, right? Same goes for this! You might find other methods and ideas that keep your posts looking awesome and inviting. In which case, go for it.
And if you’re still struggling to get those posts written, come and talk to me about a blog post subscription! I’ve got a bunch of tiers to cater for all budgets and availability coming up over the next few months for new clients. Hit me up for information!