As a creative copywriter in an age where content is King (scratch that—where content is Queen), one of the things I’m most often hired to do is write blog posts for wedding pros, creatives, and budding brands. Blogging is something so many small business owners want to do, but don’t actually know how to do.
Today, then, I’m officially giving away all of the magician’s secrets (spoiler alert: the rabbit was never not in the hat) and letting you in on my top tips for how to write a good blog post. Read on for all you need to know to craft engaging, effective, conversion-focused content.
What problem are you solving for your audience with this post? What irritating thing are helping you them alleviate? What nagging question are you answering? When I write blog posts, I always start by engaging with an issue. If there isn’t one, your blog topic probably isn’t a good one. Make sure you choose topics that solve a problem, answer a question, or provide expert insight into an issue that affects your audience.
If I were writing a blog post on pro tips for removing pickle jar lids, I’d start my copy by stating the issue, like this: “Hate how hard it is to get the lid off the pickle jar? I do, too! Fortunately, I’ve spent years troubleshooting this pesky problem and have finally found the ultimate solution. Read on for my top tips for easy-peasy pickle-jar lid removal.”
Another way you can look at it is this: start every post by commiserating with your audience. In your intro paragraph, immediately state the thing that sucks (aka: the question you’re answering or the problem you’re solving). Then, tee up the fact that you’re going to provide the solution or answer to the problem in your body copy, encourage them to read on, and walk away the ultimate hero (hey, cool cape).
Starting your post by commiserating with your audience is your “hook”—it’s what gets your audience to think, Yeah, this person gets it…I think I’ll keep reading to see what solution they provide.
The purpose of your post may be to promote your services or product, but that should never be the topic of your post. In order to capture curious leads, you need your topic to be one that clearly adds value to their life by answering a question they have or serving up some insight they’re seeking. Some samples:
Use headers, sub-heads, paragraphs breaks, and/or bullet-point lists to visually break your content up into digestible pieces. If a reader gets to your post and sees nothing but dense text and page-long paragraphs with no headers to break up the content, they won’t read it. I promise you. Everyone hates long paragraphs. Your dog, your mailman (or mailwoman #USPSfeminism), your neighbor, Beyoncé—literally everyone.
Breaking your copy into sections also makes your job easier because you can use your predetermined sections to help guide you as you write.
PRO TIP: Readers love lists—3 Tips for Pickle-Jar Lid Removal, 5 Ways to Teach Your Grandma to Kiki, 6 Reasons Pink Highlighters are the Best Highlighters. Plus, lists make your job as the writer so much easier. Once you have your numbered points determined, you can simply flesh out a paragraph to go with each.
When it comes to how to write a good blog post, you need to focus on length in addition to the content itself. I recommend shooting for 500-1,200 words. Anything shorter won’t add enough value to your reader’s life—and anything longer can get a little daunting to read (which is where visually breaking up the content, like we spoke about in tip 3 above, becomes even more important).
If SEO is a major consideration for you, note that Google prefers longer posts to shorter ones. The latest stats for 2021 tell us that Google’s algorithms prefer a blog post length of 1,760-2,400 words.
Blogs are a great place to be a little playful. I’ve mentioned postal-service feminism and Beyoncé in this post already—that’s because I want to use my blog as a place to be authentic, to give my reader a feel for my everyday voice, and to ensure I don’t put them to sleep as they read. Some tips for freshening up your content:
Use literary devices like alliteration or imagery for added edge in your content.
Use parenthetical asides (ahem, like this one) to create the impression you’re talking directly to the reader. This helps keep your audience entertained and engaged.
If SEO (search engine optimization) is a key part of your blogging goals, you’ll need to make sure you optimize your post. So, how do you do so? I’ve got you:
If the purpose of your post is to capture and convert leads, you need to give them an action to take in order to make the whole “convert” part of that goal happen. You’ve spent at least 500 words giving them insight into your expertise and subtly convincing them as to why you’re a badass thought leader and extremely great at what you do—now harness the momentum you’ve created and get them to take action.
You can end your post with a CTA that asks readers to reach out to schedule a consultation, one that encourages them to view your portfolio, one that sends them to your shop page to start browsing your product, one that steers them to your services page to learn more about what you offer—the options are endless, but no good blog posts ends with radio silence. Your reader should get to the bottom of the post and have a clear idea of what action you want them to take next.