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Five things every blog post should have

I have to admit, blogging is pretty damn fun.

It’s great to have a place to write about whatever you want without anyone editing your work or telling you that you can’t write about boys every day for a month. But in all that excitement, we sometimes forget the basics, and that makes our work hard to read and understand.

Here are five things you absolutely shouldn’t forget to include in your next blog post:

 

1. A clear headline. 

There’s no way I’m clicking on your blog post if I have no idea what it’s about (no matter how nice the featured image is.)

I need to know what I’m getting myself into. That means putting clarity over cuteness. It’s all fun and games having “popcorn and bubblegum” as a headline, until no one reads it. That post could be an outfit post, a restaurant review or a confectionery-inspired makeup tutorial, we just don’t know.

Examples of clear headlines include:

Seven things you should do before you open your online store

Review: Popcorn and Bubblegum bar in Soho

How to create a Kim Kardashian inspired make-up look in five easy steps

 

2. High resolution images.

There’s this weird idea going around that because something is being published online, the images don’t need to be of good quality. Not true.

You can shoot high quality photos on your smart phone, or ask the restaurant or beauty brand you’re reviewing for their images, you can also get great high res stock images online. My favourite sources of those are: stocksnap, picjumbo and pixabay.

All your images should also be the same width and height as each other – not just on mobile – but on desktop too, you can use an online photo editor like picmonkey to change the size of images.

 

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3. Thoroughly spell-checked copy.

Spelling mistakes are the easiest way to turn people off your content (after a dodgy headline and low res images.)

Everyone makes mistakes, but they can be avoided by getting a friend or family member to proofread your posts, or by re-reading your work at least five times with breaks in between.

Pro tip: read your blog post slowly out loud from start to finish, and you’ll soon spot any spelling and grammar errors.

 

4. In text links.

Do you know how frustrating it is to read an article about a new company, with absolutely no links to the company website? Like, what is the actual point?

Think about everything from your reader’s perspective, they shouldn’t have to google the products or places you mention, make it easy for them. Readers remember people who are useful, and will keep coming back to useful resources.

Pro tip: make sure your link opens in a new tab so they can come back to your site afterwards.

 

5. Structure. 

A blog is no place to ramble. Just because you can write 1000 words doesn’t mean you necessarily should.

Before you start writing plan out the beginning, middle and end of your post. I break up my reviews into different categories; smell, ingredients, effectiveness etc. so they are easy to read (and write) and I’ve found that listicals (like this one) are the easiest way to structure a blog post.

The reader should know what to expect from the post by taking a quick glance at the copy – use headings to help them navigate, especially if it’s a long post (over 600 words.)

 

What else do you think every blog post should have? Let me know in the comments or by tweeting me @PhoebeParke.

 

Bored of reading and want to listen to my voice instead? Check out the latest episode of my radio show, The Grimary School, below.

You can now sign up to my email list to receive my free workbook on how to market your content effectively on and offline: http://eepurl.com/b2rdHP

“In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” – Proverbs 14:23

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