Your blog structure is really important. Why? Because if it’s off, people are going to leave your page within seconds.
That’s right. It’s not just about what you say. It’s also about how what you say looks on the page.
Here’s a great example of a terrible blog structure. In school, I was taught that a “proper” paragraph should be at least five sentences. So, my paragraphs always looked like this.
Who wants to read that? No one. If my content looked like that these days, I’d still have only two blog visitors (me and my mom).
You want to keep people on your page as long as possible. Don’t turn them off with an unattractive blog structure! Let’s go through how you can knock this out of the park.
6 Tips for Killer Blog Structure
1. Write Shorter Paragraphs
For the love of God, please ignore what all of my teachers told me.
You see how some of my paragraphs are just three sentences? Hell, some are only one. That’s because it’s easier to read.
You don’t want readers to feel like they’re moving slowly through your content. People are impatient and busy, and they get bored quickly.
Instead, you want them to feel like they’re reading quickly — even if they’re not moving any faster than they would with giant blocks of text. It’s about what’s aesthetically pleasing.
So, you want to find ways to break up your content. Writing shorter paragraphs is one of the simplest ways to do that. Here are a few other suggestions:
- Break up the text with images and videos.
- Use bullet point/numbered lists (like I’m doing right here!).
- Include headings. More on this later.
2. Get to the Point Early On
We know we don’t have much time to capture readers’ attention. This means you shouldn’t make them wait to confirm that they’re in the right place for the information they’re looking for.
Tell them upfront!
“But don’t we want to keep them guessing? Play hard to get?” you might be asking. Meh. Kind of, but also, not really.
You don’t have to try to summarize the blog and squeeze all that information in the first paragraph. That’s not what I mean. Rather, you need to make it very clear from the get-go that your readers are going to learn what they want to learn.
Scroll back to the beginning of this blog — better yet, here’s a screenshot.
I’m immediately writing about blog structure. Not how my day is going or how cute my dog is (even though he is). As soon as you started reading, you knew this blog was going to be about blog structure.
That’s what I mean when I say that you need to get to the point early on.
Let’s go through an example of what not to do — something that personally makes me want to rip my eyeballs out.
You ever Google a recipe and click through to someone’s food blog, and a good majority of the blog post is that person talking about how much her kids and husband love the recipe and OMG it’s raining so hard right now and “My house is such a mess LOLZ!” and on and on AND ON?
And you have to scroll for-ev-er to get to the actual recipe and ingredients?
That makes me cringe.
If I Google “apple pie recipe,” then that’s exactly what I want. Just give it to me, damnit. I don’t care about your husband OR the rain.
You see that? Don’t do that with your blog structure.
3. Use Headings to Communicate Your Main Points
Write this down: Most people skim. They don’t read.
You might not even be reading this sentence right now! I’m not mad. We already know that people are (a) busy, (b) impatient, and (c) get bored easily.
In other words, you need people to be able to skim your blog and still learn something. That’s why headings are so important.
Look at the headings of this blog post. I’m talking about the numbered points of the list. If you were to merely skim those and skip the rest of the blog, you’d still walk away with the main points.
Of course, you’d miss out on a ton of other relevant information, but the headings are enough to at least plant the seed. The next time you went to write your own blog post, you’d be thinking about writing shorter paragraphs, getting to the point early on, writing good headings, and so on.
Headings should be specific and actionable. (Read: You can act on them.) Let me give you an example.
If I’m writing a blog with tips for how to write blogs that get more traffic, here’s a horrible heading for my list:
“Step 1: Write Good Content”
WTF does that mean? Nothing. It means nothing. It tells the reader nothing and teaches the reader nothing. It’s a bullshit heading. This heading is too vague and lazy to accomplish anything.
Here are some better alternatives.
“Insert Images Everything 300 Words or So”
“Opt for a Long-Tail Keyword Over a Short-Tail Keyword”
See the difference? As opposed to the first option I came up with, these three are specific and actionable.
4. Use Casual, Everyday Language (If Possible)
I say “if possible” because if you’re writing in a field like medicine or law, your circumstances might change. But for the rest of us, don’t try to sound like Einstein, because in the process, you’re going to lose readers. Guaranteed.
You’ve probably read before that most people read at a third-grade or fifth-grade level, or something along those lines. I did a little homework and couldn’t find a conclusive answer this, so I won’t pretend to have one. (However, this article on Contently is pretty darn interesting.)
The point is this. I know we all want to sound smart with our writing, but you need to do it without totally going over your readers’ heads. Aim to be relatable, conversational, casual, and easy-to-digest with your content.
Someone shared this in my private Facebook group (you can join here!) and I think it illustrates this point nicely.
Stick with, “I changed a lightbulb.”
5. Ditch Any Sentences That Aren’t Vital to the Blog
Remember how I told you earlier on to get to the point in the beginning? That should kind of be your mindset for the entire blog. “Get to the point.”
If you’re yapping on and on about something that doesn’t relate to the main topic and isn’t providing any real value to the reader, delete it!
To be clear, this doesn’t mean that you can’t do things like share personal anecdotes. However, if they don’t ultimately provide value to the reader, they don’t belong in that piece of content.
I could tell you about all of the adorable things my dog does, but I won’t, even though I really want to.
But I won’t.
It’s easy to go off on a tangent, particularly when we’re talking about ourselves. Why? Simple. We love to talk about ourselves!
There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but there’s a time and a place.
6. End With a Call-to-Action
No flawless blog structure would be completely with a call-to-action (CTA).
Your CTA will depend on the content itself and what you’re trying to accomplish. It should fit seamlessly into the post. For example, it wouldn’t make much sense for my CTA in this blog to be promoting my free guide to landing high-paying clients on LinkedIn. That doesn’t have much to do with this topic. (*Ahem*, but it’s here if you want it.)
There are countless CTAs you can use, including:
- Like me on [social media platform]!
- Sign up for my newsletter.
- Download my free guide.
Just be sure it flows with the rest of that content. Otherwise, readers will feel like you’re just trying to take advantage of them as opposed to continue giving them value.
Full transparency: You can absolutely put a CTA in the middle of your content. I did when I invited you to join my private Facebook group. But! I do think it’s important to, at the minimum, have one at the end, so that your readers don’t just drop off when the blog is done and then forget about you completely.
If you want to keep learning, I have a free course where you can learn the foundation of excellent blogging. Enroll here!