So many people ask me how to structure a blog post the right way when they start their blog. Blogging is a great thing when it’s done well. Yet, people often don’t feel confident in doing it right so they put off doing it.
Others can be a bit trigger-happy with the publish button. They fire out low-quality posts that don’t help their reputation or their website to rank.
There are certain factors that help the blog to rank better in search and be easier for people to read. Here, I aim to help you to structure your blog posts better and increase your blogging confidence.
In this article, I’ll describe the sections you need to add and what needs to be in each of them. What you fill the blanks with is up to you, but if you follow this guide then you should do okay.
So what should be in a typical blog post structure?
A beginning, middle, and an end
Sounds obvious, right? And while that’s true, what should go in the beginning, middle and the end?
In the beginning…
So you may have noticed that, at the beginning of this blog post, I’ve told you what to expect from this article. That’s to help you decide whether you want to bother reading the rest of it or not. People are short on time and they want to know whether the result they clicked was the right one.
Some people reading this post may find it useful, while others will find it far too basic. That’s fine – it’s a beginners’ guide so it’s going to be beneath the level of many experienced bloggers. But if you’ve never written a blog post before in your life, it’s exactly what you need.
The introduction should help to set the scene. You want to give the reader a good idea of what to expect, both in content and tone. It also helps to explain your reasons for writing it.
For example, in my introduction, I explained that a lot of people ask me about this. So it makes sense for me to write up the general answers into a blog post. That way, I can refer people to it and they have written answers to their questions that they can refer to. They then have a basic knowledge upon which we can flesh out some details in a one to one consultation.
The other reason to explain what’s coming in the post is explained by the F-shaped reading pattern. This is where people read the top paragraph of a post, then scan the rest of the article. It’s common user behaviour.
I’ll refer to the F-shaped reading pattern again in this post, as it explains a few other points as well.
The middle bit
This is the meat and potatoes of your post – the bit where you explain all the juicy info. It’s by far the longest section in the blog.
It’s important that you pepper the whole post, but this bit in particular, with headings. This is because, without them, it’s hard for people to pinpoint where they are within an article to refer to it later. Headings also help them remember where in the article they saw the part they wanted.
It’s also important to remember with headings to stick to a strict headings hierarchy. By that, I mean that you begin with a Heading 1 – which is always taken care of by your blog title anyway.
Then, as you divide up each section of the blog, the first heading you use within the post is a Heading 2. If there are further points within Heading 2, put those under a Heading 3. If there are sub-points within Heading 3, you move to Heading 4. This is so that Google can make sense of the post, but it is also a great visual reference for your readers too.
What goes down must come up
Remember to go back UP the headings hierarchy in a logical way as well! The heading here ‘What goes down must come up’ is a Heading 4 underneath a Heading 3 of ‘The middle bit.’ Once I’ve talked about the middle, I’ll go back to a Heading 3 for ‘This is the end’ (which ironically, won’t be the end!).
The other reason for the headings is that it helps people to scan the post, remembering the F-shaped reading pattern.
So the middle bit is where you go into all the detail and explain everything you want to say.
This is the end
The end is where you summarise what you’ve told your audience and it’s also your opportunity to ask them to do something. If they’ve stuck with you this long then you’ve done a good job!
So this is where you’ll put your Call to Action (You’ll have heard people refer to it as a CTA). A CTA is most probably not asking people to buy something – but it might be if you’re writing a landing page for a product or a course you’re selling.
Most times, for a blog post, you’ll be inviting people to share their views and comment on the post. Or you might offer them a freebie or ask them to sign up to your newsletter.
On average, your conclusion will be around the same length, give or take, as your introduction.
General structure pointers
As well as bearing all that in mind, when writing the post, you should remember the following points:
Write short sentences
Keep the majority of your sentences to below 20 words. There will be times when you need to write longer sentences, and that’s fine, just keep them to less than a quarter of the overall post.
Write short paragraphs
You’ll notice that this blog has pretty short paragraphs. This is much more noticeable on a desktop, because the line length is shorter on a mobile phone so the paragraphs don’t appear too short at all.
But imagine you are reading this on a mobile phone. If I wrote huge long paragraphs, the page you are reading would be one great long block of text! How impenetrable would that be?
And as the majority of readers are now using mobile devices, we need to keep a closer eye on their experience.
So keeping your paragraphs shorter helps desktop users to scan the post. But it also helps mobile users to keep track as you don’t end up with these huge blocks of text. They can be pretty difficult to read.
Think of the F-shape reading pattern again with regard to post scanning. Short paragraphs make scanning a much easier task.
So keep paragraphs to three sentences at the most, keeping your sentences quite short, too.
Make the blog post a decent length
The recommended length is anything upwards of 300 words. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you will eat through 300 words if you have something interesting to say and you do it in an engaging way. But don’t treat your blog like social media with short posts (I have seen this happen!). That’s what your Facebook or Twitter are for.
Use your blog to impart advice or talk about something, and you should have plenty to say about it. But don’t make it too long, either.
Some say that the longer a post is, the more engagement it gets, but there are also schools of thought that say that posts that are too long can bore the reader. I say take a balanced view on it.
I guess this all comes down to how engaging and well-written the blog post is at the end of the day.
For me, the ideal length of post for my attention span is around 1,000 – 1,500 words.
This bit really is the end!
So that’s a brief overview of the basics you need to incorporate when structuring a blog post. It may seem like a lot to a beginner, but after a few posts, the process becomes much easier.
The main thing is not to rush. Take your time and read it through a few times to make sure you’re happy with everything. But I’ll go through my full process for writing a blog post in a future post.
If you’re still not sure on blogging and have more questions, you can always schedule a FREE half hour discovery call with me.
And if you have any further wisdom you’d like to share on blog structure, please leave a comment below.
I hope you found this useful, and happy blogging!