To some, blogging might sound like one of the dark arts but writing a blog post is actually relatively straightforward. You may have written countless emails, presentations and web copy even, but perhaps the thought of how to structure a blog post leaves you feeling a little blank.
This post explores just a few helpful tips from us to help you get started. These ideas each use a different form or structure, which aim to aid you in writing a short and succinct piece that will engage. Although this brief guide aims to inspire, the rules for blogging are flexible. The more informative and original your piece is, the more likely it is to engage with your audience.
The three most important qualities of a blog post are: Make sure what you’re writing about is interesting, helpful or in some way unique; the tone is lively and engaging; and the structure is easy to follow.
What does a blog post look like?
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to write about, bear in mind that blogs are often around 500 words but can go up to 1,000 – as a guide, try not to exceed 800 words if possible. The main idea is to provide a really broad range of views, thoughts and ideas in your post and to have a space for a real leveling of experiences, opinions and views. No matter who you are, your voice is relevant and has something to say.
Remember to pitch your blog post using a conversational tone. Blog posts are not a formal means of communicating such as a report, so when you’re writing your piece, imagine that you’re telling a story or explaining something to a colleague you’ve worked alongside for some time: conversational, personable, professional and relaxed (remembering to be concise).
7 Ways to Structure your Blog Post
1) ‘How to’ blog posts
‘How to’ posts allow you to pick a subject or theme and explain to others how they can do something. A ‘how to’ post could be along the lines of: How to find a cheap last minute holiday online or how to entertain your children over the summer. You can spend the rest of your post, featuring advice and tips on ‘how to’
2) List blog posts
A list blog post is as it sounds – a list of things people can do to approach an issue or overcome something. For example: 10 Top Tips to Manage Your Weekly Shop or Top 7 Websites About Secondary Education, 5 Things to Do in Suffolk.
(You’ll have noticed that the format of this guide is in the style of a list post: 7 Ways to Structure Your Blog Post.)
3) Your views on a survey, media story or legislation
For inspiration, you may wish to select a recent survey, a story which featured in the media or a change in recent legislation. You can introduce your blog post by summarising the findings or article and then spend the rest of the post, reflecting, commenting and debating the angle. Alternatively, you might like to start with a famous inspirational quote or quote taken from the media.
4) Ask a Question
A simple and effective way to start a blog post is by posing a question at the beginning and then spending the rest of the post, answering and debating the question. Remember to end the piece by reflecting and summarising your personal thoughts and opinions on the matter.
How will Brexit impact the way we holiday in Europe?
5) Anecdotal Posts
Start the post with an anecdote, a personal experience or story that resonated with you, remembering confidentiality when recounting your story. This will set the scene. You can then make various related points to this anecdote throughout the piece. End by reflecting on the anecdote and what you think now compared to then? What’s changed since or how has it changed the way you think? What did you learn? What would you like to see happen in the future?
6) An Insider’s View
People like to see ‘behind the scenes’ and get a sneak preview into other people’s lives. Consider writing a blog about an event, a visit to a consumer or trade show or a conference you attended recently. Perhaps include some anecdotal aspects: How did you feel before the event? Who did you meet? Was it a notable day? Detail what you learned and share your findings and views on this.
7) Myth Busting
People like to read things that explore common myths. Select a myth or preconception many people might have about the field you’re in and explore this in your blog post.
Things to remember
- Tell the reader something new
- Back up any arguments with research, data or expert quotes
- Be topical and feature current trends or initiatives where possible
- Possibly one of the hardest things is keeping your blog post original. This means having a fresh perspective, challenging the expected or perhaps its how you deliver your piece. Be inventive where you can
- Be yourself. People will engage more on an emotional level.