The anatomy of a great blog post

The point of blogging (for business)
is to have your content: found, read, LOVED and shared.

And so it seems worthwhile to dedicate 15 minutes of your time to learn how you create a great blog post that gets found, is worth reading, and moves someone to bother to share it.

That’s what we’re covering here.

We no longer live in a world where you can recycle and pump out blogging content that is “just as good as what already exists” and expect it to get ranked in search engines or get easily found.

That’s old-school thinking.

It comes across as formulaic and it turns your online presence into a watered-down version of all the amazing-ness that you have to offer the world!

These days you need to focus on creating unique and incredibly valuable content that allows you to rise above the noise and fodder to stand out. You need to ask yourself what your community is asking about. And then once you’ve narrowed in on your topics, you want to make you blog post 10 times better than any existing articles that carry a similar message so that it will be loved and shared as a resource.

Every time you create a blog post, you ask yourself a number of questions:

  • Does this solve a problem my audience has?
  • Does this teach my audience a new skill?
  • Would I share this with my peers?
  • Is this better than other resources that I’ve seen on the topic?
  • Is this better than the last thing I wrote? (or recorded, if it is video or audio content)

But valuable content is only 1/2 of the equation.

  • It must be formatted for a great user experience – this includes images, headings, insightful pull-quotes, and linked text. People have no patience to have to weed through volumes of dense paragraphs.
  • It must be laid out for simple scan-ability. This allows people to skip through to the parts that resonates with them. That is how people read things online. They skim around, looking for indicators of what’s important to them.
  • you must use special mark-up language, which is code that envelops the text. It is simple to implement and is mainly happening behind-the-scenes. But it allows search engines to see the value of your content.
  • And you must format the text to keep people engaged, and to get found by search engines.

Here are some of the key considerations for how you format a blog post to get found and read.

Define a keyword for your blog post.

The keyword that you use should be aligned with what your perfect customer is searching for and typing into Google.

What word (or words) do you think the user will type into the search engine to find your kind of content and the specific topic that you are writing about?

Do you even know?

Put yourself into their shoes. What are they searching for? It is good practice to create content that matches what people (your ideal customer) wants to read.

Try typing those words into Google to see what comes up. Read through those results. Are there some great resources that come up? Are those resources missing something important that people are wanting more information on? If they are missing critical information – that could be your angle for writing a valuable article.

Scan those search results a little further.

What is suggested as a new search query section called “People also ask”? Could you write an article dedicated to those search questions? It’s a good idea, because if people are asking, then there is an audience that exists that wants an article with an answer.

Scroll even further…

If you scroll to the bottom of the search results page – you’ll see the related searches around the same topic – and you can click around to get more blogging ideas.

Related searches at the bottom of the Google results page.

There are also great resources to see what people are searching for.

Here is an incredibly in-depth article that includes tools to help you understand your audience, so that you choose the best SEO keywords as your starting point.

A fun tool to see which terms people are searching for:

Answer the Public

Place your keyword into the website and see a myriad of post ideas that you might create. It can get your creative juices flowing, and then you also know that what you are creating is something that people are actually searching for.

Where do you use that keyword?

Once you know your keyword (or words), and then write your article using it within the text. And you should also use words that relate to that keyword as well. This is all for the Search Engines (Google) to be able to find your content and deliver it to people on the web. More on this on the next article, dedicated optimizing for SEO.

  • Use that keyword in the Headline/Title,
  • in the URL,
  • in the headings throughout,
  • and in the first 100 words.

But it must be very naturally written and authentic. And not just the keyword itself – but words that relate to it as well, so if you are writing about “The best Beaches in Southeast Asia” you will need to have relevant words. Words such as: sun, water, sand, sunset and vacation.

The Headline.

The blog headline, which is your Title, is at the top of the list. If the headline does not inspire a click – then no-one will ever read the great content that you’ve created.

These days people are scanning and evaluating titles very quickly to see if it answers their question or addresses their concern. It takes fantastic words, ones that are peak their attention and offer the promise of relevant content for them to even bother to click through.

And even further to this point we’re at a moment where people might not even read the whole title they might just scan the first 2 to 3 words to evaluate if they care to continue.

Showing where to add your keyword - into the title, first paragraph and sprinkled throughout the post.

Make your headline succinct and designed to capture someone’s attention.

There are many articles that you can scan through, speaking of the psychology and formulas for your headlines. And it’s good to understand what influences people – but always remember that you want to keep things fresh and stand out from the crowd, because people get tired if your content gets too formulaic.

A feature Image.

The feature image is that graphic image which usually shows up at the top of your blog post, but it can also end up showing up in various other locations…

The blog archive, to show how to make a great blog post.

It is the image that shows up on the blog ‘archive’ pages, which is the page that displays a snippet of all your posts for the users to browse through.

The featured image is also what will probably show up when your post is shared on social media. (but not always!) This why adding a featured image is so important.

Bite-sized content.

We live in a fast-paced world. People will not read volumes of text on the screen, so writing for the web does not follow standard literary rules. You do not want a paragraph to be more than three or maybe four sentences long.

You can allow a single sentence to sit as a standalone paragraph.

Even just a word.


Yes, Really.

By breaking up your content you make it much more scan-able and this lets people engage with it in an easier manner.

And you should also consider other ways to break up the text by:

  • Including a bullet list (like this one)
  • adding a gallery (do not make it superfluous)
  • draw out an important concept as a “pull-quote” (just like I did at the top of this post)
  • pull out another key concept and create a sharable graphic or info-graphic, so that people can share it on social to bring traffic back to your article

Headings throughout the post.

Look at your paragraphs and see if there is a catchy heading that you could pull from the text or place in front of it – something that really draws in the reader! Not just words like “introduction” or “conclusion”.

The reason who you want your content to include headings rather than simple paragraphs, is because it is coded with ‘markup language’ that tells the search engine about the most important concepts exist within your article.

Include links.

It is really important to include links within your text. This is mainly because search engines such as Google will deem your content of value if you include other valuable links that help the user continue on their exploration of the topic.

You want these links to appear as naturally as possible on the page. So do not place a full-length URLs on the page:

Do you see how I linked the relevant and valuable words within the sentence? This is a much better user experience for your reader.

Internal links

It is good practice to include at least one internal link to another page or blog post on your own website. Typically, this is at the end of a blog post, but these links can also be applied to words throughout your post as well. The goal is to keep people engaged with your content for as long as possible.

You might link to another blog post that you’ve previously written that helps the user explorer a concept further. Or you might simply add a contact us link that goes to your contact page. (although that is a bit generic and doesn’t hold as much value for the user)

Regardless by including internal links you are telling search engines that you have more content that continues to be of value for the readers, and that is a detail that makes search engines like your content.

Quick tip: try adding a couple of buttons throughout the posts, when you have added an important link. A button will stand out for the user in a greater way than simple text.

External links

Just like with internal links, by including external links you are telling search engines that you are providing valuable resources that help the user gain the knowledge they are seeking.

Keep these links very naturally placed throughout the text.

And refrain from allowing external links to be too high up in the blog post content, because you don’t want to send people away too early, before they’ve read your content.

Quick tip: when you add external links, be sure they open up in a ‘New Tab’. This ensures that when someone clicks on that link and goes on a little search tangent, that your website will still be open once they are done.

Add images.

Search engines give you extra points (algorithmically-speaking) for supporting your text with images. 

Relevant and engaging images can make your article more interesting which will increase how long someone stays on your site. 

Add Alt-text to your images.

Alt-text means alternative text that would replace the image if someone is visually impaired.

The reader of your blog post won’t see it – but by providing content that is ‘Accessible’ the search engines will boost your ranking.

Alt-text should be relevant and descriptive of the picture.

Another reason to add alt text is that this information is what will bring up  your images in a Google Image Search. So as a business if you want your images to show up when people do a Google Image Search, you’ll want to add ALT-text to make sure that your content shows up.

Embed a video or other dynamic content.

Just like with adding images, when you add a video or other dynamic content like a map or a slide deck you are taking steps to keep the reader on the page for longer.

And when a reader stays on your blog post that is an indication to Google that it is valuable to people. And as a result your post will start to rank better in search engines.

Assign it to a category, or two.

Categories are used to classify all your blog posts, to bring a structure to your website. They are over-arching topics, sort of like a table of contents at the front of the book.

By assigning your blog posts to a category it lets your user find related content and it lets them dig deeper into your full blog and other posts that they might like.

Refrain from adding categories on the fly. It’s good-practice to decide what the main themes are for your blog articles, and allow those themes to be your main categories. You can always revisit this decision every few months. But this decision will allow your site to make sense to people. I like to start a brand new site with five categories, and then grow from there.

Add tags.

Think of tags as keywords used for more detailed topics discussed in a particular post. Unlike categories tags are not overarching topics. They are the nitty-gritty details within the article.

For example, you may have a blog post about a cooking class that is offered at a hotel in Hawaii. And you’ll add tags like pineapple, open-fire grill, barbecue, fried rice etc…

There are no limits as to how many tags that you add. And they will help search engines know what your blog post is about. This helps people find your content.

Shorten the URL.

When you create a blog post in WordPress, it automatically creates the URL from all the words in your headline title. But many headlines have a lot of words in them and that makes for a very lengthy URL.


A better URL would be:

It is good practice to take a look at shortening the URL so that you are creating something “friendly” and easy to remember.

Ensure your blog post has a decent amount of words.

Search engines such as Google will only link to content that is above a certain length. If it is too short, they will not send people to your post. They will decide  it could not be of much value to people.

Right now, Google seems happy with 300 to 500 words, and that is a minimum. This word-count is always changing though. These days there is a new trend for longer content that goes into more depth. It is not uncommon to have a blog post that is up to 2000 words. And Google will reward you for that.

Evergreen Content.

Evergreen content means content that is just as relevant three years from now as it is today.

This means being mindful that you’re not speaking about current events or things that might change very quickly.

The point of blogging for business is to start to have a library of articles that people can access and click through to an continue to find meaning in. When you have this library of articles, it starts to show you as an authority within your industry. It builds trust with the people who are deciding if they want to do business with you.

To sum it up:

These are only a few key considerations to get your blog articles formatted so that they are a bit more engaging. If you take these few tips your blog posts will be easier to scan through, and easier to share. But there are many more considerations when it comes to blogging. If you’d like to learn more and get more content like this – please sign-up for the newsletter to stay informed.

This article is part of a series that is dedicated to creating a great blog post and effectively blogging for your business.

Check out the other posts to get a full sense of creating a full blog strategy to build yourself an an authority within your industry, and to truly create a community and business that revolves around your offering and expertise.