Anybody can learn to write better Posts with WordPress and improve the size of their blog’s audience by following a few simple guidelines before you hit that Publish button. In this article, we’ll break down the structure of a Post for beginner bloggers, and help you improve your blog posts.
Why writing better posts matters
The way we read read content is changing, today people have so many options for their content that it’s almost impossible for people to keep up with all the sources of valuable information being provided to them, gone are the days of quickly sipping coffee at the morning table with a broadsheet. Instead today, we receive a barrage of headlines and snippets with thousands of search results for even the complex queries.
Write better posts with WordPress
WordPress gives us all the tools we need to write better posts, but it’s up to us bloggers to take advantage of the tools we’ve been given. Here are a few tips to using WordPress to produce better posts:
Create and research stronger titles
A strong title can mean the difference between making your article a success or failure, so before you press Publish, take a few key moments and do a little research on the quality of your Post headline.
Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin will do a great job of telling you if your article meets your keyword goals, including reviewing your heading for SEO punch;
Use Google AdWord Keyword Tools to find out if you’re using the best keywords for your article by reviewing the the value, competitiveness, and similar keyword options;
Google Trends will help you decide if your post heading is on an upswing, or a downswing before you publish your article;
Remember your post title is the only thing most people will ever read, so take the time to make sure it’s catchy or they won’t take the time to read the rest of your post.
Embrace the power of the Excerpt
The WordPress Excerpt is sometimes an afterthought for writers or worse, completely ignored but this powerful snippet of text is often used by themes, search engines, and SEO plugins as the sample text for your search. Without focusing your Excerpt, you’re relying on the first 50 words of your post to effectively communicate the goals of your entire post, which is great if you’ve crafted it specifically for that purpose but can be devastating if it’s not.
ensure your Excerpt is 155 characters long (Google only accepts 155 characters for listings);
be sure that your keywords appear in your Excerpt, preferably near the beginning of the text;
don’t simply repeat the title, if people have read the title this is your chance to sell them;
Instead of treating an Excerpt as an afterthought, treat it as a vital part of your website strategy, add it to your checklist of things to approve before you push that Publish button.
Your your first paragraph is your key to success
Not all parts of your Post are created equally, the first few words that people read once they come to your blog are what will really make them invest the time to read the rest of your Post. Be sure that you’re taken the time to write a strong opening paragraph by looking at these points:
include your keywords in the first paragraph of your post, ideally at the very beginning;
identify what your Post is about, and how it will help the reader;
tell your audience who the Post is for, and any assumed knowledge;
create a goal for the article, let people know why they’re reading it;
The first paragraph of the Post is the moment a reader determines if they intend to read the rest of the article, or click away from your website. Be confident that you’ve given them a reason to stay are read the rest of your article.
Structure your content to be readable
Designing a post to be visually appealing can be a task all on it’s own so once you’re done writing a great piece, it’s time to format the structure of your Post to be as readable as possible for an audience. Before posting your article, review each Post to ensure that you’ve considered each of these elements:
link complex concepts to other articles on your website with more in depth explanations;
be sure acronyms are properly defined for your audience level;
use paragraph, lists, and headings appropriately to improve readability;
format text with <strong> and <em>phasis tags to maximize readability;
use images, tables, and graphics to display relevant information;
While you’re busy structuring your post, remember to focus your heading tags on your keywords for search engine optimization, and review each paragraph for opportunities to include those keywords within the text.
Finish your piece by letting people know what you want them to do
As your reader approaches the end of your article, it’s time to help them exit your Post with style. This could be as simple as asking them to comment on the article, buy a product, or simple wishing them a nice day. There are plenty of ways to wrap up an article, including these:
use a call to action, like a sales pitch for your objective;
summarize the article in an easy to digest format;
create a cliffhanger to entice the reader to come back for more;
The point of wrapping up an article is to ensure the reader “got what they came for”, and as such it’s often a good idea to write the ending of an article first, or to review it at the end to ensure it’s met the objectives you set out in the first paragraph.
I hope you’ve taken away a little bit from this article on structuring WordPress Posts for your readers, remember to focus your efforts on the opening and closing of a Post, while paying special attention to ensure your content is readable for your audience, and the Title, Excerpt, and headings are optimized to help search engines make the most of your content.
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