Your first paragraph should do three things:
- Introduce your topic
- Set the scene
- Raise the stakes.
First, introduce the topic and set the scene. Your knowledge of your audience is important here – ask yourself what they already know about this topic and why they’re looking for more information. Meet them there. Use statistics if you’re talking about a common topic (be sure to reference where they’re from).
Next, raise the stakes. If there’s no reason to act – and act now – you’ll struggle to get people reading through your blog.
Why do they need to do this? What happens if they don’t?
Be explicit about who you’re writing for. Go back to my introduction up top. You’ll notice that I said that these are tips that ‘any B2B blogging beginner can use’. I want my audience (people who work in B2B businesses who know they should be writing blogs but don’t know where to start) to feel comfortable reading this, and know that it’s going to give them some information they can actually use.
To finish off your introduction, explain to the reader in simple terms what they’re about to see and learn, focusing on the benefits (I’ve promised tips that will help you grab attention and build your audience).
Include your SEO keyword at least once in the introduction.
This is the main part of your article, and can be the most intimidating. Many people wondering how to write a blog post feel pressured to tell the ‘perfect’ story here. Leave that to the novelists and master the art of subheadings.
(If you’re looking for the easiest and most effective way to write a blog, this is it.)
Work through your points or arguments one at a time, using subheadings to define each separate thought (like I’ve done throughout this piece, with each section of your article under a different subheading).
You can add numbers to these subheadings to create a listicle, or leave them off to be more of a how-to guide (how I’ve styled this one).
Include your SEO keyword a few times throughout the body and in your subheadings if possible. Make sure it sounds natural – don’t just stuff them in for the sake of it.
One of the most common pieces of writing advice is “write first, edit later.” This might sound obvious, but what it’s trying to say is don’t get in your own way while you’re writing your first draft. It doesn’t have to read well or look pretty.
Write it first without engaging your editing brain (stay away from the backspace key), and look over the whole thing later when you’re in a different mindset. That’s when you can add in some structure and carve out a nice flowing piece.
End your post confidently. A neat writer’s trick is to call back something from your introduction for a satisfying conclusion. I told you that your business’ blog is one of your greatest untapped marketing resources – so I might say something like:
‘With these tips you’ll turn your greatest untapped marketing resource into a flood of new customers’.
End with a Call To Action (CTA). Basically you’re telling your reader what to do next. Don’t give them three options – give them one compelling click to make.
Here’s mine: Now that I’ve shown you how to write a blog post like a pro, you can move onto the rest of your marketing! There are more than 100 walkthroughs, step-by-step guides and templates available for unlimited use at the DIY Marketing Project. Head there and sign up today!
Once you’ve mastered the basic blog post you can move up to more comprehensive posts (the kind of thing we describe as ‘pillar’ content).
Here are a few things you can add to take your blog to the next level:
- Downloadable templates/documents (put them behind a form so you can collect email addresses)
- Audio interviews (e.g. podcast)
Happy writing! Don’t forget to visit the DIY Marketing Project to download all of the templates we use for our everyday work (including this basic blog structure guide in simplified PDF).
blog structure guide