The Blueprint for the Perfect Blog Post (Infographic)

I thoroughly enjoy participating in social media and love the open knowledge sharing that occurs among its active practitioners.  Out of all the various social media mediums, by far my favorite is blogging.  Over the past year, I have seen my personal blog, B2C Marketing Insider, transform into Business 2 Community and become a large community of bloggers (lessons learned here).   One of the things I enjoy about blogging is all of the factors that play into creating a successful post.  Today, I would like to share with you my blueprint for creating the “perfect” blog post based on my observations.

The Blueprint for the Perfect Blog Post (Infographic) image The Blueprint For the Perfect Blog Post 682x1024

(Click to enlarge)

Post Title: The title of your post is one of the most important aspects as it impacts both SEO and a reader’s decision to click on the post link.  The title should include a keyword or phrase that you believe your audience would use in order to find the post via search engines.  Ask yourself, “How would I describe this post in one word or phrase” and then use your answer in the title.   Tip: Create variations of your title, which you can test when sharing the post in various social media channels.

Social Share Icons: It is important to make it easy to share your post. To avoid using too many social share buttons, focus on the most common share icons used by your audience.

Recommended for YouWebcast: The Art of Growth Hacking: Gaining Early Traction by Doing Things that Don't Scale

Opening Paragraph: It should clearly layout the objectives of your post.  It is also important to ensure that you use your main keyword / phrase in the first and second sentences.  This is due to the fact that organic search results typically only include the one or two sentences so this provides an added boost to your SEO.  Tip: Be sure to use at least one keyword/phrase variation.

Image: When possible include an image in the upper left-hand corner of your post.  In addition to be visually appealing, search engines will index the image giving you another potential item to appear in the organic search results.  Tip: Always include a caption that includes your main keyword / phrase.

Body Copy: Emphasis should be on clearly stating your case. Include internal/external links, images, video, etc to help strengthen your position.  Tip: Naturally use your main keyword/phrase and variations throughout.

List: When possible include a list to strength your message.  Readers enjoy lists because it helps breakdown your posts into easily consumed “nuggets” of information. Tip: Use a <h2> tag and bold the title of your list to inform the reader and search engine crawlers of its importance.

Conclusion Copy: Emphasis on lessons learned and/or actionable insights. Tip: Ask your readers to share their thoughts on the topic.

Related Posts: Help keep readers on your blog by providing them with suggestions for other posts that they may enjoy.

Comment Section: It is important to make it easy for readers to comment. Tip: Help keep the conversation going by responding to all comments.

Top 6 Lessons Learned From My Personal Experience of Blogging

  1. Blogging requires commitment and hard work.  Bloggers like Mack Collier, Brian Clark, and Chris Brogan may make it look effortless but I can assure you that there are no shortcuts.
  2. Consistency matters!  A consistent blog posting schedule benefits you in two ways. First, your audience will become familiar with your posting habits and will know when to check back for new articles.  Second, search engine crawlers love frequently updated websites.
  3. Personality will help drive interactions.  People want to know the person behind the blog so don’t be afraid to let your personality come out in your writing – it is essential in finding your voice and growing your audience.
  4. Saying thank you never goes out of style.  Thanking and highlighting others in your posts is an extremely rewarding experience – do it often!
  5. Keeping an open mind and letting your audience help drive the conversation will result in greater learnings for all.  I mentioned before that there has been a conscious decision to keep this blog open to everyone that would like to contribute, as a result there have been numerous articles published that had a point of view that was drastically different then my own.  I learned a lot from those articles.  In some cases they helped change my perspective and in others they helped me build a stronger case for my opinion by understanding where the other side was coming from.  My stance has been that as long as the writer is respectful, does not use profanity and avoids being self-promotional that I should let it be up to the community to decide if there was value in their work.
  6. Keywords / Titles are important but reader experience matters most. While SEO is important for driving traffic, you should focus on your readers’ site experience.  A search engine optimized article that drives tons of traffic provides little value if readers abandon the site immediately because there is no “meat” to the article.

I hope that you enjoyed this post and found some value in it.  I would love to read your feedback and hear the lessons that you have learned from your personal experiences.  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Discuss This Article

Comments: 44

  • Ian Hopfe says:

    Great blog post! I think I may try to follow this method more often!

  • Brian,

    Great post, I particularly love the infographic, it’s a great way to sum up the do’s.

    In terms of your lessons, #1 rings so true to me, there is lot of blood, sweat and tears involved and you have to enjoy writing for the sake of organizing and sharing your thoughts, otherwise you will never maintain the momentum (esp. if you have a day job)

    Ted

    • Brian Rice says:

      Ted,

      Thanks a lot, I appreciate the feedback. Staying organized is key. I know that I typically have a couple of different posts that I work on from time to time until the are complete. It is hard to find time to just sit down and crank out a post in one sitting unless it is a rant :)

  • Anthony says:

    This is awesome, although there are no cookie-cutter (nor perfect) solutions, this visual captures important parts that should be considered in presenting a blog post. Well done.

    • Brian Rice says:

      Hi Anthony

      Thanks for the positive feedback. There is definitely no cookie-cutter method for blogging but hopefully some of these tips will help. The one thing that I couldn’t capture in the infographic is the importance of being authentic.

  • I’d add in some outbound links in your body copy. I always try to link to other thought leaders, innovators or just writers with interesting views. This shows the wider context for your blog post and also helps build connection/relationships with others you respect.

    • Brian Rice says:

      Hi Gavin

      Thanks for the feedback. I agree, outbound links are important – when I talked about external links, I was referring to outbound links. Oh, and yes – next on the list is trying to figure out how to capture SEO lessons learned into an infographic – are you volunteering to help :)

  • Oh, and are you going to do one that explains why some of these things are also important from an SEO point of view?

  • Thanks for the post, I’ve only been haphazardly blogging for the past two years and agree with all of your points. As a photographer and videographer however, I tend to place higher value on the inclusion of images or embedded video players. Gavin’s suggestion re: outbound links is a good one too.

  • Brian

    Great post with a fantastic image! Pays the article off so well. I would add:

    1.Images. I would add to alt tag the photo so that the crawlers can see it and identify it and not stop a the image.

    2. Images. I would also consider adding images to certain paragraphs to the opposite side of the other image. Direct the readers eyes to where you want them to go and emphasize the important articles with photos so they spend more time on that section.

    Stay on focus with your niche by not being afraid of pulling in your interests and relating them to the blog. I use an example of: divorce atty who blogs about NFL lock out, their angle is how it could affect child support. Interesting to think about but very easy for the atty to use an interest of football but tie it into their area of practice.

    Excellent advice as always Brian. Never do we walk away empty handed from your articles!

    • Brian Rice says:

      Hi Suzanne

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Excellent points about the use of alt tags for the images. Also, I love your example – bloggers should never be afraid to pull in their other interests and tie it back to their blog’s niche.

  • Brian,

    I think this is an excellent blueprint and something I would recommend to companies and to new bloggers. I do think it’s ok, once you’ve established yourself a bit, to write the posts a little bit differently to project your own style.

    For example, I have some posts where including a “top x tips” section just wouldn’t make sense, and many where this is critical. The point being, it’s ok to diverge a bit, but the core of the blueprint must be present.

    Also love your Top 6 Lessons Learned!

    Thank you for sharing this, Brian – very well done!
    Lisa Petrilli

    • Brian Rice says:

      Hi Lisa

      Thanks so much for the feedback. I agree 100% that you should only include lists when appropriate and by no means was this meant to be the end all on blogging. Many times, I have had posts that were total rants take off because it struck a nerve with others that felt the same way. It is always important to consider your audience before hitting publish.

  • Brian,

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts. My favorite point was that there are no shortcuts.

    I am often asked by new business owners how often they need to blog, Tweet, post updates on Facebook, etc. before they will see results. In their voices I hear, “How long do I have to do this social media thing before I’ll be raking in the dough?”

    My response is that social media is not a one-off investment of time. Blogging and every other form of social media outreach requires sustained, focused effort. And, it’s NOT free! Yes, all it really costs to do these things is time. But, time is often the most precious resource a new business has (well, besides money). And, if the business owner is not talented in this area, then the work must be performed by someone else – and that is most certainly not free.

    One tip I would add for a perfect blog post is proofreading. It is such a simple thing, and yet, it can mean the difference between someone being impressed by your post or thinking you don’t care about delivering quality work. As a former proofreader and copy editor, I am likely a bit more focused on this than most, but once I spot a typo, I am no longer reading the content for its valuable information. Nope, I am looking for more mistakes.

    I suggest the writer proof his/her own copy first, then ask someone who has not yet read it to proof it. You might be amazed at what a fresh set of eyes will spot, even after you have read the copy multiple times.

    Remember, we often get only one opportunity to make a good impression. Don’t let typos distract the reader from the value of your content.

  • Hope you don’t mind if I hang that graphic by my monitor. All great tips but unfortunately I have to admit I don’t follow many of them. Not because I don’t believe but I just forget in the rush to get something online finally.

    Perhaps your graphic will help me remember what’s important!

    • Brian Rice says:

      Traci,

      Thanks so much. I hope that it gives you some friendly reminders, though your writing is already awesome.

  • Alison says:

    Brian, nice visual overview that helps break down the structure of a blog post. An effective combo with your article. Like Traci suggested, will hang by my monitor.

    Just wonder what you think about testing headlines before posting (seems to be common wisdom) and also the value of subheads in SEO and simply to guide the reader.

    Frankly, I resist testing headlines …

    • Brian Rice says:

      Hi Allison

      Thanks so much. Subheading are a great idea. As for testing headlines, I usually have a variety of ones that I will use to tweet out the post to see which grabs more attention but I never post the same thing twice on the blog with different titles.

  • Hey Brian,

    Wow, what a tremendous post. I very much enjoyed the infographic. I agree with some of the commenters, too i.e. Lisa Petrilli re: not using lists if they don’t fit with what you’re writing about and also Gavin’s re: including links but absolutely overall love, LOVE your article and will absolutely use it as a reference.

    Thanks for sharing it!
    Steve O

    • Brian Rice says:

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks so much. I agree – Lisa Petrilli and Gavin Heaton have never steered me wrong, great advice from both of them.

  • Brian –
    Fantastic visual for pulling together a blog post! We Savvy Sisters at Savvy B2B Marketing have pulled together guest post guidelines and I’m thinking we need to include a link to your infographic so folks get a clear sense of how all the elements come together. Thanks for sharing!

    Best,
    Stephanie

    • Brian Rice says:

      Stephanie,

      Thanks so much. I would be honored if you included a link back to this post. I really admire the work that you do.

  • Great Post Brian! The thing I am seeing is that a lot of social consultants don’t have a clue about SEO, and it is so important to understand the principles of how search engines read the source code on websites and blogs. Excellent link bait!

    • Brian Rice says:

      Nick,

      Thanks for the positive feedback. I agree, SEO is commonly overlooked and while the main focus should always be the reader it is important to take into consideration some basic SEO tactics.

  • Chip Rodgers says:

    Great post Brian! I especially like the “Top 6 Lessons Learned”. Really good points for keeping things interesting, engaging, and bringing people back the next time. Well done!

  • Sima Dahl says:

    This was the kick in the pants I needed to get back in the saddle and start blogging again Brian – thank you!

  • I wish I’d seen this when I started out!!!

    Fantastic, I’d love to say that I do this already, but I’d be lying. I’ve favourited this page so I can keep it as a visual reference.

    Thanks Brian.

  • Elaine says:

    Great post! I love the visual in addition to the article. It’s clear and to the point and exactly what I needed. Thank you!

  • Rob says:

    Thanks for the advice on a good blog. I am running a soccer blog, but i never thought too much about a “perfect” blog post. I only thought about the content, now I will add your views about the layout.

  • Really good sumup of the main points to consider when writing a blog. Nice infographic as well. Congrats!

  • Janine says:

    I’ve found this post really interesting. My blog is just a small hobby type of journal about sewing but I’ve bookmarked this page and I’m going to see if I can apply some of your points my posts. Thank you.

  • I love infograph & when its about blogging..I feel I’m in heaven.Thanks for it.

  • Hi Brian,
    Great post. I am a sucker for info-graphics that give such a clear breakdown. I spend a lot of time teaching about Search Optimization and always going to include “make great content and links will follow.”
    I was wondering if I could get a copy of your graphic that I can use for those presentations. I have no problem giving you and your team the credit for it.
    Thanks
    Jeff

  • Ryn Miake-Lye says:

    Clear simple blueprints like this one are so helpful! Thank you, Brian. Alice Stein (President-elect of the Boston chapter of the American Marketing Association) was kind enough to point me to your blueprint when she invited me to write my first blog post a couple of months ago (Google the two words “Early Ownership” and it comes up fairly high, I think). Just thought a micro-success story might be of use to you.
    I’m going to use it again right now for a different purpose: A one-pager on Therapy Decision Support at the Point of Care. Wish me luck. . .

    • Brian Rice says:

      Hi Ryn

      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your success story. I am glad that you found the blueprint helpful.

      Brian

  • Learning is everyday. The blue print brings out the missing points in my postings since I started my blog newzindices.blogspot.com with seven postings to my credits.

  • Theron says:

    Thank you for a great article. Very easy to follow, holds the attention of the reader, and some great tips. Never thought about putting the “share” links at the top, and have always placed them at the bottom. Look forward to more. Theron

  • Michael Aschenbach says:

    Excellent article! Clarity of communication saves time and helps everyone manage complexity. Thank you for an unusually valuable post.

  • Nice infographic we like it. Have a rgeat day on purpose…

  • Renate says:

    Two years later your blueprint is still valid :-) Thanks for sharing your insights. I used your Infographic in a dutch version of this article (with reference to your blogpost of course).

  • Ricardo Troutmn says:

    Thanks for sharing this information! Now I need to get organized, focused and start a blog…I´m thinking in connecting expats, and foreigners in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!

  • Lynie says:

    For marketers, blogging is very important to their jobs — nevertheless it isn’t simple. You need to come up that has a subject, publish something engaging, optimize it for SEO, doing SEO Copywriting, and consider a ton of other steps to be certain we are writing the top probable post that stands out from other similar subjects online. SEO copywriting could be the very hard task involve in SEO yet very worth it.

Add a New Comment

Thank you for adding to the conversation!

Our comments are moderated. Your comment may not appear immediately.