Welcome To Episode 004 of The Content Marketing Podcast
In this episode of The Content Marketing Podcast we look at how to structure a blog post so people will want to read and share it. There’s a structure that will help your readers become more engaged, and will entice those readers to want to investigate you content further. It’s not spammy tactics, it’s stuff that works. Check it out.
In This Episode
- Why you should be blogging (if you’re not already)
- Learn how to structure a blog post correctly
- What is the job of the headline and how to craft it
- What is the subhead and how you should use it
- How to build your introduction and what info it should contain
- How to break out your content so it becomes scannable and easily readable
- Finishing with your conclusion
- Offering a call to action and why every page should have one
Links From The Show
The Pink Haired Marketer with Sonia Simone (by Rainmaker.fm)
Notes From The Show
Why You Should Be Blogging (If You’re Not Already)
I believe all businesses who have a presence online should be blogging to some degree, and if you are not blogging already well you should be. Blogging is practically a free way to market your services, once you are willing to take the long term view. If you need a short term result then you’ll need to make Adwords an addition to your strategy.
- An Opportunity To Get To Know Your Customers. In order to write an article that your customers value, you’ll need to get into their heads. You need to understand who you are writing for and what their pains and desires are. Once you do this you can start marketing successfully.
- It Forces You To Come Out Of The Numbers Game Mindset. The numbers game says you’ll hit one in every ten. The more phone calls you make then the greater your results. Well, I can’t stand it, and I don’t recommend it, because it’s soul destroying. It does not give you the opportunity to engage with the core percentage of customers that love what you do. It’s a shotgun approach and it’s stupid and naive. Blogging is about speaking the language and delivering content that your core customers/readers want.
- It Gives You A Chance To Step Back. Taking 4 to 6 hours per week to write content specific to your customers needs, allows you a chance to take a wider view. Spending all your time in the trenches does not allow you deliver your customers what they need, and will lead you around in circles. Take time every week to find out what floats your customers’ boat and give it to them.
How To Structure A Blog Post So People Will Read It.
#1 The Headline
The Headline is the key call to action before anyone opens that link. It draws the reader in and asks them to open and read your article. If your headline is not compelling then you just won’t get those clicks!
Newspapers know it, magazines know it, the editors of these publications know it, and you must too. If your opinion has been tainted by some of the less desireable publications online or offline, then get over it.
Your article doesn’t have to be spammy and neither does your headline in order for it to work, but it does need to be compelling. If you’ve confused these two ideas then some work is required to refine your opinions.
Once you get over yourself, you can use this formula…
Quantity + Benefit + End Result
icon-coffee Here’s an example;
“21 Ways To + Create Great Photos + Like The Pros”
The Quantity + The Benefit + The End Result
The three elements don’t need to appear in the way I’ve shown them, they can be moved about in any sequence so long as the sentence makes sense and reads well.
Certain words generate emotion in the reader and are more inclined to cause them to click your headline. You need to use these words. Check out this article to find out more about good copywriting techniques.
Also check out CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer. It’s a great tool that I use to develop my headline before I publish a blog post or podcast. I make sure I get the green light on the headline before I begin to produce the content around the idea.
A green light is a score above 70 and I am good to go.
#2 The Subhead
The Subhead allows you to further elaborate on your headline and give your reader more information about the contents of your article.
Using the same headline as above, our subhead might read like this;
“In the post you can learn more about the tactics professional photographers use to get great results from their photos every time”
Amateurs admire professionals, they aspire to become professional or at the very least, want to produce results just like the professionals. When you afford them ways and means to do that then you get their attention.
They will want to engage with your content to find out how to do that, but you must present it in a way that coaxes them in. It’s kind of like this….
When you attend a restaurant you don’t get the entire meal together all at once, and if you did you’d probably get up and leave. You want to be tempted.
You get your appetiser first and it’s called an appetiser for a reason. It is a tested and accepted method that restaurants use to prime your appetite for more! Can you start to see how this is done?
The Introduction is the part of your post where you will go further into detail of how your reader can achieve the results your promised them in the headline and subhead.
The Introduction is broken into three elements as follows;
- The Problem. Here you will show empathy for your readers problem. Detail the problem in a few sentences but no more than that. Maybe use a story to show personal experience or that of a friend or someone you know. Make this a paragraph or two.
- The Solution. Next you will highlight the solution. Again, using your own experience or your friend’s, detail what you did to solve the problem and explain the relief you felt after you achieved it.
- The Promise. Next you will explain in about 1 sentence, that you will now break down the details of what you did and the steps you took to solve the problem.
The entire introduction should cover about three or four paragraphs.
#4 The Body Content
This is where you break down your content into bite sized digestible pieces that your readers can follow and implement. Breaking your content out like this allows your readers to take action at their own pace and, if necessary refer back to your article for further steps. This is where the value is.
- Use Bullet Points & Lists. Bullets and lists help break your content up and show each step one by one. They make your content easy to follow, just like what you’re reading here.
- Use Custom Images. Images help to make your content scannable and further digestible. They also help you reinforce key points that you want to make.
- Use Tweet This. Using a tool like Tweet This allows you make the key points from your article available to your reader to share with their network, affording you the opportunity to spread your content further. Like custom images, they also allow you to break up your content.
- Use Famous Quotes. I like using quotes, either my own or famous ones from experts. Quotations allow you to, again, break up your content so your readers can digest it.
After breaking out your content sufficiently, your final element of the body content is the conclusion. Finish up with a paragraph or so by explaining how you felt when you finished the tasks outlined above.
Try give some emotional explanation of what it feels like to finally move through the content and have the final result in your hands. Explain what it feels like to be in the ranks of the professionals.
Be honest about it, don’t over do it or it will lose its weight. Just keep to the facts of how it really feels to have completed the challenge.
#5 Insert a Call To Action
The Call To Action is where you wrap it all up. If someone has made it through your content then chances are they like what you’ve given them, so give them the opportunity to get more of the same.
Present a clear call to action at the foot of the post. That can be a signup form, a link to check out a product, a link to an enquiry form, a download or whatever.
Whatever it is make sure it adds value and is related to what you’ve just broken down in your post. This is how you go about building relationships with people who value your content.
This is how you go about building your list. Your list is your gold and to build a solid list is to build your business.
I’ve prepared a checklist of this article for you. Download The Checklist right here