This writing guide will show you how to draft each section of your post based on best practices.
This is what we use to write every article on this website. Plus, Brian Dean will approve.
Don’t worry; it’s not so difficult.
Just follow the steps, and you’re good to go.
How to write each section of your post
So basically, our blog post includes a title or heading, an opening paragraph, the body, and the conclusion.
We’ve broken it down in detail and added a short summary after each section.
So it’s easier to skim if you’re in a hurry. (I won’t advise you to do that because this content can change your writing game.)
How to write a killer post headline
Your headline should carry your target keyword. If possible, put it at the beginning of the title.
This post is about ‘writing guide.’
I can choose to write the title as:
“writing guide: your step-by-step guide to blog post writing.”
But, there are cases where the keyword shouldn’t start the headline.
Let’s use the same example above.
I can decide to write it as
“the ultimate writing guide for blog posts.”
It depends on the angle you’re writing from.
Just try to make it as interesting as possible.
Your title should carry a specific benefit
Why do you choose a post over another in searches?
Naturally, you’ll choose the post that relates more to your search, right?
So, when writing your headline, try to think of what’s going on in your reader’s mind. That’s what Google calls search intent.
Why would you search for a writing guide?
It’s probably because you want a straightforward outline to follow, right? And maybe you want to improve your writing format.
So, you can add the perceived benefit to the heading.
Something like this
“Write posts that readers will love when you follow this 7 step writing guide”
“The ultimate writing guide that will get you more readers.”
See, you don’t have to stress yourself about the perfect heading. You don’t even need to be over creative or think outside the box. Just write the benefit.
Include numbers (where possible)
So, most posts tend to have a list of items, right?
You can add the number of items you listed in the heading. If possible, start the heading with it.
Why is this important?
Simply put, your heading has to be as specific as possible. So, whoever wants to read your post already knows what to expect.
No dodgy games or click baits.
For instance, this post has about four (4) items, right?
I can use the headline
“5-step writing guide: how to write a post that readers will love.”
Your headline should include brackets or parenthesis
Parenthesis is basically a word or a phrase that provides more information about your topic. I’ll add examples that you can start with below.
HubSpot research showed that adding parenthesis in headlines improves the click rate. This means that more people are likely to open your post.
Examples of parenthesis you can use include:
- [X% Off]
- [New Research]
- (Case Study)
- (New Guide)
- (With Examples)
- (Trusted by X Clients)
- [Visual Guide]
- (No Fees)
You are not limited to these ones. You can use a parenthesis that sparks interest.
Basically, the brackets create a form of attraction, like a benefit or secret that is available to only you.
Add a timeframe
People love things that they can implement right away. So make sure your title carries a specific timeframe that shows how actionable your content is.
“5-step writing guide: start writing engaging blog posts in 10 minutes.”
Your title should carry your keyword, the benefit, include numbers, and add parenthesis. The first two are important, while the rest are optional but necessary. It depends on the search intent and posts content. But it must carry at least one of the optional three.
How to write an engaging introduction
Your introduction should be as short as possible.
People think they don’t have time. Therefore they skip introductions a lot.
So, you shouldn’t waste time writing long intros. Try to limit your introduction to 4-7 sentences, three short paragraphs max.
For example, this post has a short introduction, about six (6) lines or so.
Make sure your target keyword is also in the introduction (either the first or second sentence).
What to include in the introduction
You can write your introduction in two ways
Your first line should tell the reader exactly what to expect. It doesn’t have to be hard. For example, look at the post’s introduction.
This way, your reader will know they’re where they need to be.
You follow with proof. This section helps to show your expertise ( or at least, you know what you’re writing about)
You can show proof by:
- quoting research that supports the work (add external links)
- highlighting your personal results
Again, you can check this post’s introduction to see the example.
Finally, you follow up with a different preview. You can get specific about something from your article.
Here I told you in the beginning that the outline won’t be difficult (if it is, tell me in the comment section, I’ll be more than happy to simplify it further).
In this method, you start by identifying the problem. Just go straight to the point. There’s no need to play with words or make them fancy. Simply introduce the problem that your article is going to solve.
For example, I can say
“let’s face it, it’s difficult sticking with a writing style, especially when you don’t have a guide.”
After that, you follow up with the solution or benefit that your post will deliver.
For instance: I can say
“I’ve been there, and so have many other writers. That is why I’ve compiled this writing guide, to make your work easier.”
Make sure you empathize that your content can help them solve their issue. The clearer that is, the more likely they would want to keep reading.
Add a transition
Push people to keep reading by adding a transition sentence.
Example (add a screenshot)
Write a short introduction of not more than seven ( 7) sentences. You can either write it following the PPP or PB method. Your introduction should carry your target keyword and a transition sentence.
How to write your main content
This section will show you how to write engaging content. We will cover everything from voice tone to the point of view. It’s super easy. If it isn’t, let me know where you find it difficult in the comment section.
General writing guidelines
Subheadings and lists
Subheadings make it easier for people to read your articles – especially if they’re very long. So try to break sections into subheadings and bullet points as much as possible. For example, I broke this writing guide into different subheadings and lists.
As usual, you should write short paragraphs. Your readers find it easier to read shorter sentences – and that’s a fact.
Each paragraph should not exceed four (4) sentences. Paragraph lengths should vary.
Each sentence must not exceed 20 words. They should also vary in length.
Text block (subheading) word count
Each block text (a couple of paragraphs) should not exceed 300 words before creating a new subheading. They should vary in length as well.
Use a friendly, conversational tone when you write. You shouldn’t be too formal.
Here are ways that you can sound more natural.
- Use active voice to reduce the formality. For example, use “he ran” instead of “he was running.” We have an article on active voice and passive voice. Read it here.
- Your sentence length should vary (long/short/medium)
- Use contractions (Don’t, You’re, Shouldn’t, I’m).
- Use transition words(essentially, basically, to start with, first of all, alternatively). We’ll write a full article on transition words.
You can bold or italicize key sentences in your article when necessary. This post has lots of them.
Don’t play with words. By play, I mean you shouldn’t use too many fancy words. Avoid the big grammar and always try to break them down into simpler forms. Use everyday words in your post.
Point of view (p.o.v)
Always try to use the second-person p.o.v. Avoid using the formal third person. For example:
Correct: “When you go to the store, you should use coupons to save money.”)
Wrong: “At the store, one should use coupons.”
You can also use the first person p.o.v where it’s appropriate. For example: “I once visited Abuja.”
You’re writing for humans and not Google. As such, you have to write as you talk.
It’s not easy.
But when you do, your reader will love your content.
So, here’s how to write as you talk.
- Write a paragraph and read it out loud.
- If it sounds weird or hard for you to understand, then remove it.
- Now, explain the same idea out loud as you would to someone.
- You’ll probably notice that the same sentence sounds better than the first time.
Add an FAQ section
Our post-focused writing guide comes with questions that other people are asking about the topic.
You can add some of them as separate subheadings in the post or use them to make an FAQ section.
These questions help provide more detailed answers that Google can pick as featured snippets.
Here is how to get questions for your own FAQ question
- Search for your target keyword on Google.
- Scroll down a little to see the ‘people also ask’ section.
- Take the relevant options that best fit your content.
- Then, scroll to the page bottom to the related searches section.
- Take the relevant options that relate to your content.
Include Original Visuals (where necessary)
If you’re writing a post that includes a step-by-step process, please add relevant screenshots. For example, I added screenshots in this post to give a better explanation.
So if you’re writing about how to use an app or a website, try to include screenshots of the whole process.
Always include relevant links
You should add links to relevant research that can make your content more authentic. When you quote people or topics, also add links to where people can validate that information.
Make your post body easy to read. Do this by using the right tone, point of view, paragraph length, more subheadings, visuals, and simple words.
Make sure you add an engaging conclusion
The final piece of your article is the conclusion.
This part is essential because we want people to comment on our posts.
To write your conclusion, you can follow Backlinko’s TAC (transition-ask-call to action) formula.
Here’s how it works.
Start the conclusion with a transition. The transition helps carry people from your content to the conclusion part.
How do you do that?
It’s simple; you can use sentences like “Now I’d like to hear from you.”
The next step is to ask specific questions. By that, I mean you shouldn’t ask questions like “let me know what you think.”
Instead, give your reader a simpler question to answer. For instance, you can ask, “Which section do you find most difficult to implement? Or maybe i missed one of your favorite writing tips.
Finally, you close with a call to action.
You can ask your reader to comment or share your content on social media.
You should use your conclusion to spark conversations by following the TAC formula.
So, I’d like to hear your views. Which section do you find most difficult to implement? Or maybe i missed one of your favorite writing tips.
Either way, let me know in the comment section below right now. I’ll be more than happy to provide more in-depth answers. Also, feel free to share this content on social media.