The following post originally appeared on sotospeak8.com and has been reposted with permission by the author.
Whether you’re a blogger, a company looking to partner with bloggers, or a reader, there are key markers to any blog post that you can expect–there’s a method to the madness! 8 key blog post components are outlined and discussed below so that you can 1) appropriately present yourself as a blogger, 2) expect certain deliverables from the blogger as a company, and 3) know what to expect as a reader. Follow along!
1. Headline Image
Every blog post needs to have an image, as humans process images 60,000 faster than they process words. Here’s a link to a list of over 53 image sources, and you can design your image to fit your blog post by adding your blog’s title and other design attributes by using Canva.
2. Headline + Link Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Your blog post headline should be keyword-inclusive and average 65 characters. You can find best keywords using the WordPress SEO Plug-in by Yoast, which helps to optimize your post and title with SEO keyword(s) (assuming the blog is hosted on WordPress.org), or by searching for best keywords using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. When creating the blog post link, usually with keywords from the headline, use dashes between each word so that it’s SEO optimized.
Wrong: www.yourdomain.com/blog_post_wrong has underscores and isn’t optimized for search engines.
Right: www.yourdomain.com/blog-post-right used dashes, and the search engine recognizes each term (blog, post, and right) individually.
For a free SEO analysis of your website, visit SEO Site Checkup.
3. FTC disclosure (if applicable)
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) outlines how to appropriately disclose partnerships between digital influencers and brands. If you as the blogger are sponsored to write the blog post (both monetarily or just with product samples), include an FTC-abiding disclosure at the top by notifying readers the company you’ve partnered with to do so.
Bloggers usually state that they’ve been sponsored by x company, but all opinions are the bloggers’ own, all in a single sentence. Each blog theme varies, and some (like this one) have an option to incorporate an info box. It aesthetically differentiates the disclosure (or other information) from the post itself.
4. Body: Bottom line, always tell a story, but there are wye to make it an engaging story, regardless of content.
a. Consider Typography for Easy Readability
You should differentiate the font size, font of the letters (uniformly, of course), and spacing (throwing out grade-school rules about paragraph length may be advantageous) in order to ease the readability for the reader. If your paragraph starts to run a little long, even if it’s all associated content-wise, space out the sentences and break it up into different sections/paragraphs. That’s why “listicles” like this one are popular; they break down the topics in an easy to follow format for the reader. Visit Type Genius for font pairings that fit your website’s persona.
b. Word Length
Word length is one of the reasons why you should vary typography. To optimize your blog post for SEO, your post should statistically be over 1,500 words (among other considerations). This runs the risk of appearing wordy and, thus, losing reader attention, but with varied typography, it’s more digestible and doesn’t seem like so much. It’s important to note, however, if you’re writing a product review, the blog post will inevitably be shorter (300-500 words). In this case, the company will likely provide a list of keywords and/or phrases to incorporate within the post.
c. Images (optional, recommended)
Having additional images embedded within the post makes it infinitely easier for the reader to get to the bottom of the page, which is what you as a blogger and company want. Make sure, however, that the images are relevant to the post. Having unrelated photos within the post detracts from its readability. Some posts include advertisements within the post, but I prefer not to do so within the post to reduce clutter. If I include images within the post, they’re directly related to the content and assist with telling the story or showcase a different aspect of the product if it’s a product review. Also, use the images sparingly or specify image heights and widths, or else they can add to the time it takes for the page to load.
d. Click to Tweet from CoSchedule
Most blog posts will have sharing buttons at the bottom/top/side/somewhere of the page, but the Click to Tweet button from CoSchedule easily allows a reader to directly tweet a specific sentence from the post. The Click to Tweet button will not only tweet a statement from within the blog post (as chosen by the blogger), but it will also include the blog post link. The blogger can include as many Click to Tweet buttons as they like, but should use it sparingly—think of readability. It may be useful to include a hashtag so that the tweet doesn’t just reach the reader’s followers but the community associated with a given hashtag, as well. Tagging the blogger in the tweet also helps, that way they are aware of the tweet and can retweet it!
5. Giveaway (if applicable)
If the blogger hosts a giveaway through PromoSimple.com, Rafflecopter.com, or some other method, instructions and the platform will usually be at the bottom of the post. Oftentimes, there will be a plethora of ways to enter—following the blogger and/or company on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), tweeting to share the post/giveaway, and leaving a comment being the most common.
It’s important to check the rules, as some giveaways allow a certain number of entries per day, allocate a different number of points (and, thus, entries) depending on the entry, or require a specific entry to unlock additional entries. Each giveaway platform discloses different information, as well, where PromoSimple only shows you how many entries you have but Rafflecopter will show total entries for the giveaway from all prize hopefuls.
Hosted and promoted for a few days to a week, giveaways are great ways for companies and blogs to gain exposure and build an audience, as the blog and company reach the reader’s followers when they share a post. Further, giveaway winners often post their winnings on social media—who wouldn’t be excited to win a free prize? It’s to the company’s advantage to provide giveaway item(s). Companies should expect to ship the prize to the winner, as randomly selected by the blogger (either through the giveaway platform or other website, like random.org).
6. Conclusion: Call-to-Action
At the end of each blog post, you as a blogger want to encourage engagement from the reader. Ask a question for the reader to respond to in the comment box below the post.
Readers, commenting on blog posts is encouraged!
Even if you’re the first to comment, comment anyway! Contributing to the blog’s discussion ecosystem always helps.
7. Social Share Buttons
Share buttons allow readers to share the blog post on various social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Reddit, StumbleUpon—and even allow readers to e-mail and/or print the blog post. You’ll usually see social media icons at the bottom of the post with some sort of directive like “Share this” so that you can share the post on your own social media platform.
If you were engaged enough to reached the bottom of the post, share it with someone!
Twitter is the easiest platform to share posts, as it’s expected for tweets to be continuous and for conversations and are not seen as spamming or cluttering someone’s feed. That’s what Twitter’s there for—sharing information!
8. Follow-up: Always respond to comments
A good blogger will always respond to comments. If the blogger is at a point where s/he’s received hundreds of comments, s/he gets a free pass, as it then becomes nearly impossible to keep up, but when a blogger’s building readership and learning more about a specific blog’s community of readers, it’s essential to engage with them. The readers are the ones who make or break the blog, so getting to know them is a must!
Readers, the bloggers want to know you, and a great way is by contributing to the discussion through the comments. Did I leave anything out? What else would you consider in the anatomy of a blog post? Comment below!
While this may outline the anatomy of a blog post, at the end of the day, content is key. Your content will dictate how well your blog post will perform, so make sure to focus first and foremost on delivering quality content.
Once you’ve crafted a quality blog, share it on all your social media platforms. How else will anyone know about the awesome content you delivered if you don’t actually deliver it?!
Just for kicks: Word count of this blog post? 1,538. Stay tuned for how to make sure you get the most out of each blog post component! Happy SEO-ing!
Did I leave anything out? What else would you consider in the anatomy of a blog post? Comment below!