STOP! This is the Blog Post Format You Should Follow
We all fear it. The fear of writing a horrible blog post format that ends up scaring potential readers away, leaving for no one to see it. We are then left wondering why. Has this happened to you? Have you ever felt this way?
I mean, it’s a legitimate concern. Us bloggers pour our hearts into our blog posts for them to be seen by the world. But what if that doesn’t happen? What can we do to make sure our solutions and recommendations are seen by the ones who need it?
Well, I have some tips and tricks that will help you structure your blog post format so that it keeps readers reading.
Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means I may receive a commission if clicked at no extra cost to you. Though the opinions remain my own
Before Writing Your Blog Post
Yay! You have some awesome and great ideas for your next blog post and can’t wait to start writing it.
But STOP! These are some things you should do before you start your blog post draft.
I mean after all, you are writing so that someone will actually read it right? No one wants to spend hours writing a blog post that will end up with zero pageviews.
So before we get into the blog post format itself, here are some steps you need to do before you even get to that point.
1) Research keywords and key phrases
Once you have a blog post idea pop into your head, the very first thing you should do before writing it is to do some keyword research.
This means to research relevant keywords and key phrases for your blog post. This helps ensure you select the appropriate words to use throughout your blog post so that you can gain organic traffic from search engines like Google.
I use Keysearch as it provides so much information regarding the keywords or phrases you are searching. It tells you how many people search for that keyword or phrases monthly, how competitive it is to rank on Google with those words and provides you with alternatives to use.
This step is extremely important because it will pretty much tell you if your blog post idea is even worth writing about.
Related Post: Increase Blog Traffic Using KeySearch
2) Create your post outline
Once you have done your keyword research and have confirmed that your blog post idea needs and wants to be read by the world, it’s time to put together an outline.
Something I learned from Stupid Simple SEO, is to study your competition on page one of Google to see what they included in their blog posts. Of course, don’t copy their content but you can definitely look to see what you should do to make yours better.
From there, create an outline with topics and subtopics you will cover in the post. Trust me, this will make it so much easier for you when it’s time to actually get to writing since you’ll already have the full outline ready.
Related Post: Christmas Blog Post Ideas to Boost Blog Traffic and Sales
3) Create your post layout
No this is not the same as your blog post outline. A blog post layout will help ensure your content flows nicely. This means adding the sections for paragraphs, potential heading and subheading titles along with where you will place the graphics or images.
Since you have your outline ready, you could go ahead and start actually naming your headings as well. But the point here is to create a plug-and-play type layout so you know exactly where to add what.
It helps you not feel so overwhelmed when writing as you have already built your skeleton. And don’t worry, we’ll cover the blog post format below so that you can use it as your guide when creating your blog post layout.
Nice! Now that the legwork before writing has been completed, it’s time to write the blog post. But don’t publish it just yet. The tips below will tell you what you need to include in your blog post format.
Key Elements of a Great Blog Post Format
Yay! Now that you have written your blog post, it’s almost time to publish it for the world to see! Follow these blog post format tips below to help your post get the most engagement.
1) Have appropriate headings
Headings are more than just text size. They actually help search engines better understand what your post is about and is such an important element to get correct in your blog post format.
But in addition to helping search engines, they also help the reader pick up key points in case they don’t have time to read the full article.
But like I said, they need to be used correctly. The only H1 heading should be the title. From there, label any major topics in H2 (think of it like chapters in a book). From there, you can add H3 and below to further break up your text and explain key points. Easy On-Page SEO is a great book that goes into much more detail for this topic and I highly recommend it.
2) Ensure affiliate disclaimers and links are visible
IF you have affiliate links or if it’s a sponsored post, you MUST ensure that the appropriate disclaimers and links are visible to the reader before they click on any links. This is very important to ensure you stay compliant with the law.
Keep in mind that affiliate disclaimers should be at the beginning of the post, before any affiliate links. A little trick I’ve done is to save my disclaimer paragraph as a “reusable block” in WordPress so I can easily plug it into each blog post without having to type it over and over.
You also want to make sure that all your links (affiliate or not) are visible to the reader. An easy way to do this is by bolding, italicizing, underlining or the most common – changing the font color. You don’t want to trick the reader into clicking a link they didn’t want to click and you also do want them to click on the links you want them to click on.
Yes you might have to read that line twice. 😅 It’s simple and easy but required so don’t miss these two steps!
Related Post: How To Add Affiliate Links & Disclaimers to Blog Post
3) Add graphics or images throughout post
This will be fairly easy since you should have already created your blog post layout to show you exactly where images should go. But if you didn’t include this in your layout, go ahead and do it now.
For me, I try to add some sort of graphic or image between every 2-3 sections to not overwhelm the reader with paragraphs. However, in my travel posts, I typically include many more pictures than any of my other niches.
So you see, there is not a universal number of images or graphics that should be included in your post. As you saw, the number of graphics and images depends on a couple of things including: what your niche is, how many words the post has, how many sections it has and etc.
And personally, I love using styled stock images to give my posts a nicer look and vibe to them. This again, varies by niche on whether you use your own images or stock photos. The main thing here is that it’s important to add graphics and images to every blog post.
Related Post: Best Stock Photo Sites for Successful Bloggers
4) Add social media sharing buttons
This one is especially important because once you publish your blog post, you want it to be shared.
And especially if you are participating in bloggers sharing threads on Facebook, it’s very important you have social media sharing buttons available on all of your blog posts. This allows readers to share your post via all the different social media platforms for more people to see.
I’ve tested a few different social media plugins and up until recently, my favorite one had been Shareholic. It’s a free plugin that allows you to customize the wording and colors so you can match it to your brand. You even get to choose the placement of the buttons. Personally, I have chosen mine to appear at the beginning and end of each post.
However, I’ve recently learned that this plugin tends to slow down your site. Therefore, I have switched over my main site to Social Pro by Grow which has very similar features at a low cost.
Regardless of who you choose to go with, still have visible share buttons available so that your readers can help spread the word of your awesome blog post.
Related Post: Maximize Engagement on Blogger’s Sharing Threads
5) Create and add 1-2 pins
Did you know Pinterest is one of the most common search engines that brings bloggers the most traffic?
So it can be quite annoying when someone goes to your blog post, loves it and wants to save it to their board to reference later – BUT HAS NO PIN IMAGE. Whenever this happens to me, I just get irritated and leave the post immediately.
So create at least two pins before publishing and add them to your post. This gives the reader two visible options to select when wanting to share or save the pin. However, this doesn’t mean that you should only create two pins for each blog post. Not even close.
Once your blog post is live, you will need to continuously create fresh pins for each post to drive traffic back to your blog. Pinterest is an animal and there is always so much to learn.
Thankfully, the course that really helped me get stared was Pinterest with Ell. It’s an extremely affordable eCourse that shares step-by-step instructions and incredibly useful tips. So if you’re wanting to master the ins and outs of Pinterest and learn strategies to boost your blog traffic, this is the course for you.
Related Post: How To Make Pinterest Pins & Blog Graphics Within Minutes
6) Include related posts interlinks where relevant
Isn’t one of your blogging goals to attract new readers and keep them coming back for more? Well, one way to do this is by adding related post links throughout your post. This way, if they are enjoying your blog post and see you have others that are related, they will want to click over to it once they are done with the current one.
Wouldn’t that be freakin awesome? To have a reader so entertained or find your post so informative that they spend their time reading your blog posts?? I think so.
But of course, to interlink, you need to have a bunch of other related posts that intrigues their interest. Writing one post can be hard but two, three and four related posts??
Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it seems. After you re-read your post a few times, you should be able to see where you can extend the information. If you have different headers and section, more than likely these can each be turned into their own posts. For example, this one post has the potential to be turned into 8-10+ different ones overtime! 🤯
So grab a piece of paper and get your creative juices flowing. Brainstorm engaging add-on topics to keep your readers coming back for more and then sprinkle these related links to your posts.
7) Create and add newsletter subscribe embedded form
But how do you keep your readers coming back for more if they don’t know when you have more? By getting them to subscribe to your email newsletter, that’s how! So make sure you include at least one subscribe form into your blog post by promoting your free lead magnet.
And the perfect email marketing service to help you with this is MailerLite because they are completely free for up to 1,000 subscribers and include pop-forms, embedded forms, landing pages and more. You can sign up to Mailerlite for free here.
However, I do not recommend that you place your embedded form in the beginning. But why not? Because why would the reader subscribe to your newsletter if they don’t even know if they’re going to like your post? Makes sense right? So I recommend including an embedded form in your blog post either in the middle or towards the end.
But keep in mind that once they subscribe to your email list, email marketing is a whole other story. Don’t forget to create an automation welcome email for new subscribers and send them juicy exclusives throughout the month.
Related Post: How To Create Landing Pages for Free Using MailerLite
8) Write your snippet and add featured photo
Remember earlier when we briefly talked about the importance of SEO? Another key component to SEO and to keep in mind when creating your blog post format is to write a snippet and include a featured photo. This can easily be done using the free plugin, Yoast SEO.
The snippet is what your readers will see when your post appears in the search results. It’s a brief description explaining your blog post and should also include your keywords or phrases.
Your featured photo is the image that will appear in your snippet. It is also the very first image the reader will see when opening your post so make it a good and relevant one.
9) Optimize Your Post for SEO
Keywords and phrases are just one portion of optimizing your blog post to help it get seen by Google users. There is so much more to SEO, more than I can cover in a single blog post. So it’s definitely a good idea to become familiar with how to best SEO optimize your post and site overall.
Like did you know to check your permalink to only include keywords in your slug? Or that the color scores in the Yoast SEO plugin don’t really determine your true SEO score?
The Easy On-Page SEO eBook is an extremely affordable eBook to help with this. It’ll teach you exactly which steps you need to do to improve your SEO for improved blog growth. Because keep in mind, the more optimized your blog post is, the higher the chances of your blog post ranking on page one of Google!
In addition, you can grab the On-Page SEO and Easy Backlinks Bundle to save $20. Both are critcal to SEO success.
Related Post: Easy SEO Tips for Beginners to Thrive at Blogging
10) Read through out loud and make edits
Okay so this one doesn’t have much to do with your blog post format but when done, it could actually help improve it.
This one seems like an easy one but after you’ve been working on your blog post for so long, your brain starts to play tricks on you. So don’t do this as soon as you’re done with your post. Take some time doing other tasks and then come back to it to make sure it gets done appropriately.
I highly recommend you read your blog posts out loud so you can hear if there are any errors. One of my beginner blogger mistakes was not reading my posts out loud and rely on the red line beneath the words to tell me if there were any misspelled words.
This was only until a fellow blogging friend told me about all my word errors that the red line wasn’t catching…how embarrassingggg! So don’t let the same thing happen to you and read your blog posts out loud.
Related Post: Genius Blogger’s Toolkit – One Stop Shop for Bloggers
And you’re done, congrats! Now you’re ready to publish your post with an amazing blog post format that will actually help your readers stay on.
Now Go Write That Blog Post!
Yup, there’s so much to blogging but it all starts with our blog posts – otherwise, we wouldn’t be bloggers now would we?
So it’s time to create that awesome blog post and actually have it seen by the world!
Are there any steps from this list you have been missing? Which tip did you find most helpful? Please share below as I would love to hear from you!
And remember, there is always something to be happy for… Cheers to blogging! What are you cheering to today?Lucy
Awesome! As a new blogger, I have learned a lot of useful things and hopefully, all these suggestions will work for me.
Thank you for these great tips, Lucy! Question: should I include an embedded form to invite people to subscribe to my newsletter under every blog post? Thanks!
Hi Valerie! I highly recommend you do add it to every post (either in the middle or at the end). The majority of people are reading blog posts through their mobile device so just having it on the sidebar won’t be enough as this doesn’t display on mobile until the very very end. So by adding it to your blog posts, it will ensure more people see the option to subscribe.
Hope that helps 🙂
I love that I can use this post as a checklist! And with your descriptions, it helps us learn exactly what we need to do for each step. It’s easy to forget something whether you’re a new or experienced blogger so I love that you created this. Thank you!
I definitely agree that you should always read a post out loud. I disagree with grammarly regularly! And I like the idea of creating related posts from post headings – I had never thought of it like that before.
This is a great list I am trying to follow. Maybe I should start with an outline but somehow I just write and have the outline in my head. Probably would save some time as it takes me hours to finish a blog post. Thank you
Lots of great info here and loads of resources to get additional information. Well done!
This is so helpful!
I don’t do a set post outline but as I go through I leave myself little notes such as ‘PIN’ or ‘PHOTO’ so I know that is where it is going to go.
I usually use Keysearch before I even start the article as well. I also totally agree that two pins is key; there is nothing more frustrating than when you want to share someone else’s awesome article and there is no pin!!
This is overall a great guide for all bloggers!
I love this list of tips. I have to work on adding more graphics to my posts to break up the content.
Love these tips! Especially #4! I always, always go back and read through out loud! Makes such a difference, too!
Thank you! I had never heard of the Secret Sauce Ebook, sounds like a great resource!
Number 5 is so important! I published a post this week and completely forgot to include my affiliate link disclaimer, so I had to go back and edit my post. I’m glad I caught that error before I started promoting it.
Your articles are always so informative!
Aw thank you!
Thanks for sharing – I had no idea how to add links to social media within my blog. Will definitely be adding that to my “to do” list 🙂
Yes it’ll really help you gain additional exposure!
These tips are so helpful and a good reminder. I always forget to do a keyword search for my posts, as it somewhat confuses me on if they are talking about just the title, or different keywords sprinkled throughout the whole post. Either way, I really need to start doing keyword searches to help rank better and be found! Thank you for the tips!
Yes keyword search is actually one of the most critical components to SEO. Plus it helps let you know how many people are actually looking for that topic so you focus on highly searched options.
Glad to know this helped 🙂
Amazing tips – thank you!
No problem! 🙂
Lucy I am new to blogging world I have done good research on how to start writing a blog but after reading your post I understand I missed bits and pieces in my old posts.
Your post was very helpful for me keep writing good articles like this.
Cheers…..you are awesome……
Good Luck with your wedding to happen
This is so useful! I’m going to condense it down into a checklist and use it ongoing. Thank you!
Yay! Sounds like a great idea – I’m in the process of creating a checklist to complement this post as well ♥
Helpful tips and a great idea to make a checklist of this to use before posting a blog. Thanks for sharing.
Oh course, no problem! Happy to help 🙂
Thank you very much for this blog post. It reminded me of the things I keep overlooking every time I publish a blog post.
Yay! So happy it served as a great reminder 🙂
Hey Lucy…wanted to say “awesome article”! Having a guideline to go by with specific steps provided really helps new bloggers, like myself, to stay focused and more organized. We get so lost, on occasion, as there is so much to learn and not enough hours in the day to learn it all. Appreciate the reminders and new information. Hope you have a blessed day!
No problem Deborah, I’m glad this post helped give you little reminders you may have been missing out on!
Hi Lucy! How do I do the reusable block for my affiliate link? I LEARNED SO MUCH in this one post. You’re amazing! Thanks for sharing. Lol i also learned about saving the fb sharing threads in another one of your posts. You’re my hero!
Aww haha! I’m so happy my posts are helping you out!
Are you attempting to use a reusable block for your affiliate disclaimer or affiliate links? (I’ll also reach out to you in my Facebook group just in case you don’t see this lol)
Fantastic information and tips! Thanks! (I have pinned this for checking in again and again)
These are such good and accurate tips. Also it’s so real that your head definitely starts playing tricks on you the longer you write.
haha yup. Even after reading it a few times, I still miss little things here and there from time to time. Well, we’re only humans
Thank you for this!! I’m definitely going to keep the creating 2 pins in mind as I don’t have this!!!
Whoa! This made me realize that I’m missing a few components to my posts. Definitely using this as a guide now.
so glad I was able to help and best of luck to you! 🙂
Yes to all of this! Love the point about Pinterest especially.
thank you, glad you enjoyed and agree haha
Thanks for this very comprehensive list, Lucy. When I just started blogging, I thought you wrote a blog post and that was it when in reality, a lot of time and deliberation go into a post before publishing it. This is a very good guide for new bloggers to follow.
LOL girl tell me about it! I had NO IDEA how much work it took to blog but I learned that real quick haha and thank you!
Great post! Love your ideas and creativity. Lmk when the toolkit is avail.
thank you! hope you enjoy your toolkit 😉
Excellent article! You hit all the key points and have provided SO MANY great resources. Thank you for this!
of course, happy to help 🙂
Great article! Thanks for the read! Will definitely try them out!
Great content here. I good reminder even if you are a blogger for a while.
Awesome list of tips here! I’m still working on creating sufficient pins for each post :-D!
What an incredibly comprehensive post of helpful tips and resources for bloggers. I’m one of those creating content with no one seeing it so I’ll be using these tips for sure.
Great read! I love the tips and I really love the colors! your website is very positive and inviting and I enjoy reading your articles!
Aw thank you! ♥
You provide AWESOME resources and recommendations…many, of which, I def plan on using myself! Thanks so much. Loving my new group of friends on Newbie & Experts Bloggers Unite!