The Anatomy of a Good Blog Post
“Good” is subjective. A good blog post even more so. Only one part of what makes a post work isn’t about subject matter or word choice but how the information is presented so that it can easily be read.
You can craft the “perfect” blog post (based on the steps below) and if it’s not interesting, entertaining, or helpful, it won’t matter. And you can write words that move people and speak to them on a deep level filled with errors or presented as a wall of text on the screen. This is purely subjective, but if you’re looking for small tweaks to make, give some or all of these suggestions a try.
Try Short Paragraphs
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a ranty, rambling kind of blogger. I’ve been known to have a sentence keep going for 30 or more words. Put three or four of those together in a single paragraph, and I create an unreadable block of text without even trying. Short paragraphs break up the text so the eye follows it better.
One sentence can be a paragraph, if it makes a point.
Too much text creates this overwhelming feeling for some readers. They can’t always follow the thread of what you’re saying. Everything seems to run together for them. If they click over from a Google search or a random tweet and don’t know you, they will click away if your post looks unreadable.
Don’t be afraid of white space between your paragraphs.
Give (Sub) Head or Not
Not every blog post needs subheadings. They’re great for informational posts to make your content easier to digest and skim. In a story — fiction or nonfiction — skip the headings unless you really want them and know why you’re using them.
I’ve used subheadings in erotica because I liked the stylistic difference in the text — it helps make a spanking I wrote about more visually impactful for readers. And I use them here so that you can easily see the points I’m trying to make. Subheadings aren’t required but they can be useful.
Vary Sentence Length
Other writers (uhhh, myself included) will cram a long, complex thought between the capital letter at the beginning and the period at the end. Like I said before, easily 30 words or more. Getting comfortable writing shorter declarative sentences took time and practice.
Varying your sentences helps the content move and flow. A lot can be said in a few words. And sometimes, it’s better to put a complex thought together in one place, so it can be taken in and digested as a single entity. Just like an entire paragraph can be a single sentence, a single sentence can be one word.
Proofread, Proofread, Proofread
Punctuation is difficult – I’m a notorious user of too many damn commas. When I try to correct myself, I overcompensate, and then have too few commas. For other people, it’s run-on sentences, misspellings, or some other grammar error.
There are a lot of reasons this can happen. English may not be your first language. Grammar wasn’t your best subject as a kid. Or maybe you never imagined one day you’d decide to write the story in your head, and here you are – few technical skills but plenty of heart. Grammar skills don’t make you a writer, but they do help you get read.
Work with programs like Grammarly or ask someone you trust to read over your work. Do your best to eliminate as many errors as you can. I won’t lie and say some don’t slip past in my blog posts. None of us are perfect – and no one expects you to be. Most readers will overlook one or two mistakes, but too many errors make it hard to see through to the story you’re trying to tell.
Tell the Story in Whatever Length It Takes
If you’ve read a few blog posts around here, you know I tend to be verbose. Some posts strain against 1200 or 1500 words. Others, I’ve broken up into two parts because they ran so long.
On my personal blog, one post can be 100 or 200 words.
There is no perfect blog post length as a general rule, only what’s perfect for the story or information you want to share. Some bloggers publish 3000 word posts while others publish 30 words. The amount of words you need is whatever it takes to get your point across.
Here’s the best way to know if your blog posts are “good” or not: are they being read? Are people staying on your website for more than a second? (You can find this out in Google Analytics – more on that another day.) Are they engaging with your content on your website or social media? Do your numbers increase month over month or year over year? If the answer to ANY of that is yes, then you’re doing fine. Try not to stress too much.
Are there any suggestions that you feel I left out? Feel free to share in the comments below!