I expect you already know the basic structure of a blog post: introduction, main body, and conclusion.
With these three key elements in place, you’ve got the bare bones of a well-structured piece, whether it’s a short news article, an in-depth essay, or a breezy “top tips” post.
Sometimes, though, you want to do something a little different on your blog. Perhaps you’ve written a lot of “10 Ways to …” posts recently and you’d like to mix things up a bit.
A great way to deepen your understanding of structure—and to write posts that your readers will love—is to study a blog post that you enjoyed reading. Perhaps it’s a post that helped you think in a new way about something, or even a post you re-read, again and again.
Do you have a stash of old writing?
Perhaps it’s a partial novel manuscript in a bottom desk drawer, or a handful of short stories in a folder on your computer, or a tatty pile of school magazines that published your earliest poems.
It might not bother you at all. Those old pieces may not weigh on your mind, and they may not feel like clutter, just a part of your writerly history, which is fine!
But if you occasionally think about that half-finished project from five years ago, or those stories you never managed to sell, or that excruciatingly bad fanfiction you wrote when you were 15 (or is that just me?), then you might want to think through your options.
I spend most of my workday at the computer (and a fair amount of my leisure time on a tablet or phone). I expect the same might be true for you, too.
It hasn’t always been this way. As a young teen, I wrote a lot by hand. All my schoolwork was done in exercise books or on paper, with an occasional typed-up assignment. But gradually, I started writing more and more straight onto the computer.
These days, far more of my words are typed than handwritten. But when I put pen to paper, there’s something different about my writing and even my thinking. I’m able to take risks and be more vulnerable—because I know I won’t be publishing the words as written. I also find that I can focus more deeply, without all the distractions of the web a single click away.
You’ve finished your blog post—finally. You type the final few words, breathe a sigh of relief, and hit “publish.”
You might be making a big mistake.
I know how tempting it can be to hurry blog posts out into the world—especially when you’re busy and just getting the post written at all is a huge achievement.
Don’t worry: I’m not going to suggest that you spend hours trying to perfect your post (I’m a firm believer in “published is better than perfect”).
Instead, I have seven quick tweaks that could make all the difference to your post—and to the results you’ll get.