Blog posts should be more than just diaries or sales pitches. To truly engage an audience, they should be crafted with precision, always keeping the audience in mind. To help you clean up your blog and write more compelling stories, I’ve created this infographic with three ways to structure your posts. I didn’t invent these templates, they’re taken from the writing we encounter every day.
Print out the infographic, tape it to the wall and refer to it every time you begin a new blog post. Here’s why:
1. Readers are Busy
Without a framework that outlines the story you want to tell your blog posts will be sloppy and your points unclear. It’s easy to tell when a writer didn’t create a plan before writing. They go off topic, their work is filled with vague sentences that offer no value and you’re left thinking “what was that article about?”.
By choosing a solid template for your post, you’ll be forced to define in simple language the main point of your article. You’re writing for busy people, so get to the point and stick to it.
2. Readers Want Proof
These blog templates encourage the writer to consult an expert. This can involve something simple like including a quote you’ve come across in your research or involve a more in-depth interview. Either way, you’re gathering the thoughts and ideas of others for your readers, which gives you more credibility.
It will also help you avoid writing only your thoughts and feelings. Very rarely do readers want to know how you feel – they want to know what you know. They’ve come to your site to learn something, so teach them by including the most relevant and reliable information you can.
3. Readers Need Structure
Each piece of writing carves a path that we as readers follow, and over time well-established routes have evolved. While the individual paths may dip and dive and veer of course, they always stay close to the main route.
As readers, we’ve become accustomed to reading the road signs along these pathways. We can predict the ending of fairy tales or scan through news articles to find the most important information. We’re used to absorbing information in a certain way, and the structure helps us create meaning. In other words, the form matters as much as the content.
Sticking to a well-defined structure will make your posts easier to read and absorb. When reading is easier, it’s faster. And let’s face it, most online readers want to breeze through posts and extract only the most important points.