Blog Writing 101: The Anatomy of a Blog That Converts
Companies with blogs produce an average of 67% more monthly leads than companies that don’t blog.
In today’s landscape, blog writing is an essential part of any content marketing strategy for B2B brands. It increases your visibility, provides value to your audience, and establishes you as a credible thought leader in your industry.
In this article, we’ll cover the essential elements of a blog that converts, including:
- A relevant topic
- Useful subheadings
- Informative and engaging body copy
- Useful Hyperlinks
- Hooks and payoff
Let’s get into it.
A Relevant Topic
65% of consumers feel a brand is positive and trustworthy after reading their educational content. When you can make a great impression on a reader by anticipating and answering their questions, it’s likely they’ll consider you as a resource when they have other questions going forward. This all starts by choosing a relevant topic to write about.
Choosing a topic starts with a deep understanding of your audience. This can be achieved by creating buyer personas that represent different segments of your audience. Once you know who you’re writing for, it becomes a lot easier to anticipate what they’re typing into the search bar and the tone of voice that resonates with them. Ultimately, you’ll be able to provide the answers that fill a gap in your audience’s knowledge.
Keep in mind that the topic you choose to write about does not have to be comprehensive. Over 6 million blogs are published every day. The more you zero in on your topic, the higher chance you have of reaching someone who is asking a specific question regarding that topic. Over time, this will allow you to create pillar pages that serve as a comprehensive overview of broader topics—linking out to articles that cover more in-depth subtopics. Call it blogception.
73% of people admit to skimming blog posts. This means it’s crucial your subheadings tell the TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read) to your audience.
As we’ve already established, people come to your blog looking for specific answers to their questions. They’re going to jump around on the page and skim for those answers—your subheadings should make that skimming easier. But not so easy that they quickly bounce.
It’s best practice to avoid overly clever, vague, or cryptic subheadings. Creativity certainly has its place in blog writing, but your subheadings should be as straightforward as possible in guiding your readers to the answers they are looking for. For this reason, subheadings are often written in the form of a question.
Informative and Engaging Body Copy
As beautiful as your prose may be, you want to avoid including too much fluff in your body copy. This isn’t to say that your blog writing has to be devoid of any personality, but it should be economical. Each sentence should provide some sort of value or qualify a point you’re making.
Aside from the content of your article, your formatting also goes a long way in making your blog writing more digestible and engaging:
- If you need to list things out, consider bullet points to make it easier to read.
- If there’s a specific point or statistic you really want to drive home, try using bold text to make it stand out.
- You want to avoid long paragraphs in your blog writing. Consider adding a space whenever you’re introducing a new idea or have 2-3 consecutive sentences.
- When it makes sense, adding imagery is an effective way to break up text and make your blog more visually appealing.
As a general rule of thumb, try scrolling through your article and see how easy it is to pick out the main points you want to make. Is it telling the main story? Great! If not, you may need to revisit your outline.
Hyperlinks are your bread and butter for maintaining brevity in your blog writing. For any topic you choose to write about, you’re going to be referencing different terms and statistics to get your point across. Instead of having to explain every single reference in your writing, just use hyperlinks.
As you may have witnessed in this blog post, hyperlinks provide further reading for your audience whenever they reach a point where they’re curious or need to know more about something you’ve mentioned. You should have hyperlinks open in a new tab, as this keeps your audience on your article while still helping them find the additional context they need.
External links connect your website to other related websites, while internal links direct your audience to other relevant pages on your website. While both types of links have SEO benefits, you want the majority of your hyperlinks to be internal links since they ultimately keep your audience engaged with your website.
The Hook and Pay Off
Arguably the most important part of any blog is the hook (or really, hooks). The first hook is your title. It’s what gets your audience to actually click on the blog. You’ve probably seen all of these title formats at some point on the web:
- “How to ________”
- “A Simple Guide to _______”
- “10 Ways to ________”
- “_______. Here’s why”
- “________ (Infographic)”
The list goes on and on. Blog writing experts have latched on to these familiar title formats because they work. Here’s why:
- The title makes a promise. You know that if you click into the article, you’ll come away with knowledge about a certain subject. An article titled “10 steps to writing a blog article that converts” is promising that you’re guaranteed to learn how to write a blog that converts.
- The title is specific. This goes back to choosing a relevant topic. Great blog titles are specific enough to let the reader know exactly what they’ll be reading about.
- The title creates curiosity. While these titles may make promises about the knowledge you’ll find inside, they leave out enough to where you have to click into the article to find out what those “10 steps of writing a good blog article” might be.
If your title successfully hooked your audience to click into the article, you’re going to want to hit them with a hook in the first sentence of your intro. This could be a surprising statistic (see the top of this article), a provocative question, an anecdote, or a bold statement.
In different ways, these all pique the reader’s curiosity. The stat is a way to credibly emphasize the significance of the topic you’re writing about. A question forces the reader to consider answers to that question, and look for them in the rest of the content. A bold statement can challenge conventional thinking, and encourage your reader to find proof of your claim in the rest of the article. An anecdote helps the reader relate to the problem you’re solving within the post.
You should follow your hook with a thesis that lays out for the reader why the article matters and the payoff they’ll get from reading it. This thesis can be reiterated in the conclusion of your article so that readers feel the satisfaction of closing the gap in their curiosity. And if you’ve done this well, closing your article with a compelling call to action should convince your reader to engage with you further.