How to write a well-structured blog

How to write a well-structured blog
Written by Amias Burrows, Cracking coder
Posted on Thursday, 13 June, 2024

As many of you may know, here at Knapton Wright we build websites. On projects like these, after the site is live, we make sure to give the users all of the tools they need to run their website. For this we create a handover guide and book in a meeting with the client to run through everything which is on that document.

I have recently been going through a handover document and discovered a golden nugget of information. I thought this guide on how to write a blog post would fit on the website and you might enjoy learning about what's on it.

Blog Writing Guide

Why we write blogs: To attract, inform, entertain, convert, inspire, educate and establish authority.

Things to do before writing:

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  • Who you’re writing for. What problem are they looking to solve? Think about why they will click through from Google or social media to read this blog and make sure your writing fits their needs.
  • Pick a key phrase you’re hoping to target on Google. A key phrase is the search term (word/phrase someone types into Google) you want to appear on the first page of Google for. To find one, try:


1. Googling the topic or phrase and seeing what other sites who already have appeared on Page 1 of Google have written.
2. Type out the phrase and use Google Autocomplete for suggestions. Autocomplete is based on previous searches.
3. Ask a question related to your topic on Google and look at the “People Also Ask” suggestions - try to answer some of these in your blog.
4. Moz - sign up for a free Moz account, this gives you 10 free searches a month. Search for a topic or keyword, and Moz will give you suggestions based on how often people search for specific terms.
5. Answer the public - provides questions people often ask related to a certain topic.
6. Soovle - gives popular search terms on various platforms for your chosen topic.
7. Entity Explorer: Tells you what topics are related to a subject/keyword.

Finding a topic:

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Look at:

  • Current affairs/news
  • Trending topics on Twitter
  • What your competitors are writing about
  • Anecdotes you can share of your own experiences - this is what makes you unique
  • Try to react to current affairs and emerging news stories - providing they are relevant.

Title

  • Write up to 60 characters (any more will be cut off by Google).
  • Try to make it topical and interesting but always choose substance over style. Don’t try to be too clever - you need everyone who sees it to know immediately what to expect.
  • Think of the keywords (try to target a particular keyword/phrase you know people are searching for on Google).
  • This is the first (and sometimes only thing) people will see - make sure it entices people to click. Clickbait articles are good, e.g. “The one thing all successful leaders have in common…”

Writing

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  • There is 100% comprehension of sentences with eight words or fewer. This decreases the more you exceed that. Aim for simple, straightforward sentences.
  • Paragraphs don’t need to be any more than four sentences/four lines. Any longer than this, and the average web user will switch off and not bother reading.
  • Links: ensure at least one internal link to another area of your website is included. Try to include at least one or two external links to authoritative websites in the same industry too. FYI an external link is one that directs people to somewhere other than your website. An internal link is one that directs people to another part of your website, e.g. your services, another blog, contact page etc.
  • Blog length – anywhere from 400-2,500 words. Google does tend to prioritise lengthier content (around 1,300 words) when selecting which results appear on the first page, but shorter, easily-consumable content is also very helpful.
  • Subheadings should be used whenever possible: this not only helps divide the text and make it easier to read, but it also helps with SEO. Try to use key questions people ask about a particular topic as subheadings, then answer them underneath. A question/answer format tends to perform well with blogs. It’s also worth trying to include keywords/phrases in subheadings.

Blog Structure

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Blog Title

Subtitle (H1)

Intro - No more than 3 lines of text. Short, snappy sentence(s). Grip the reader and sway them to keep reading. Don’t include any links here, and make sure you include your keyword.

1st Subheader (H2)

The first subheader should be the most talked-about area/question related to your keyword/blog topic. Include as many paragraphs as necessary, but don’t have over more than 300 words before your next subheader.

2nd Subheader (H2)

Answer another key question or tackle another key subject. Similar structure and length as above.

3rd Subheader (H2)

Answer another key question or tackle another key subject. Similar structure and length as above. Try to answer/tackle at least 3 sub-sections/questions per blog.

Continue in this manner until you feel you’ve covered everything necessary. Blogs should be at least 400 words to have a chance of ranking on Google. Have an image at least for every 300 words. 

Checklist when uploading your blog post to a website:

  • Do you have a keyword?
  • Is that keyword in your page title, introduction, URL and meta description?
  • Do you have a meta description? Is it the right length (Yoast bar should be green). Aim for 150-160 characters.
  • Is your page title the right length (no more than 60 characters)? The Yoast bar should be green.
  • Is your URL slug short and succinct? Don’t have really long, convoluted URLs. In an ideal world, it should just be https://www.<yourwebsiteaddress>/insights-blog-title-goes-here
  • Do you have images?
  • Or are your images compressed using Squoosh? This reduces the file size of the image so that the page loads quicker. Do your images have alt tags? Are they named appropriately e.g. “Public speaking” Not “IMG8348392”.
  • Do you have a featured image? How does it appear on the blog preview? How does it appear when you publish? A featured image is what displays on the Insights page and when sharing on social media.
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