You may recall poring over dense anatomy textbooks, hefty tomes riddled with bone and muscle diagrams: distal, dorsal, proximal. The Latin tasting sour and ersatz - rote memorization a bore. Blogs, too, have an inherent internal structure, a nuanced skeletal blueprint.
If you are about to embark on a new journey of blog writing and would like assistance navigating the subtle complexities of introductions, body paragraphs, and outros then you’re in the right place.
Perhaps you’re wondering: how do you draft a compelling introduction? What primary points should the body address? How do you bid adieu to your captivated audience and turn eager leads into delighted customers?
Media Junction and I are here to help. I have authored over 100 articles that have hit the first page of Google and helped clients reach similar results by developing an engaging SEO blog strategy.
Blog writing is an art. Think digital poetry. Think highly choreographed verbiage. Think increased organic traffic turning into sales.
This article covers blog writing best practices for titles, captivating introductions, educational body paragraphs, and outros that convert leads into paying patrons.
Blog Anatomy Basics 101
Titles (Latin: title)
A blog title is a clear and descriptive preview of the article's heart: what exactly is the blog post about? For this reason, titles are not overtly cute or creative - they promise what is to come.
Are always an H1 Header (*Note - If your blog is housed in HubSpot, the title automatically populates as an H1 header)
Remain under 70 characters (between 50-60 characters is the sweet spot)
Include keywords (titles have SEO value)
Include numerical numbers for listicles
Are clear and descriptive
Are engaging without becoming click-baity (utilize strong verbs and adjectives)
- Be framed in the form of a question: What is Foundation Settlement?
- Utilize the current year to establish relevance (i.e., Best Xbox Controllers 2023)
- Be changed (after six months, if an article is underperforming, a blog post can be tweaked to help increase traffic)
Although listed first in our introduction to the anatomy of a blog post, Titles are generally written last. Title inspiration is often late to the party, but after the other pieces (intro, body, outro) fall into place - it’s organic.
To learn more about writing fantastic blog titles, read 8 Tips to Write Catchy Blog Post Titles that Get More Clicks.
The Introduction (Latin: intrōductiō)
“Hello, it’s me…” Todd Rundgren circa 1967.
An introduction, quite literally, introduces the reader to the subject matter and overarching theme of the blog post. Fantastic intros seize the reader by the collar with an enticing hook - possibly, this is the problem, issue, and dilemma this article will help you address.
Or, this blog post will explore [insert fantastically interesting topic here].
There are limitless possibilities when it comes to creating hard-hitting hooks. Common Hooks include:
- Ask a question or a handful of questions - do you toss and turn at night, wishing you could get a good night’s sleep?
- Stir the pot - throw out an “unpopular” opinion to catch people’s attention - diets don’t work (but this might be popular).
- Use a compelling statistic - 70% of all sleep disorders are potentially life-threatening.
- Stop me if you’ve heard this before
- Read their minds (tell their story) - you’re going through x and feeling y
- Share a relevant personal story - anecdotes add a personal touch.
- Bridge method - you’re over here right now, hating your life, but you want to be over there. Here’s how we get from here to there.
- Hijack a famous quote - It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a settling foundation must be in want of steel-pier underpinning.
After a rousing first sentence or two, a real ra-ra attention-grabbing affair, we suggest implementing the PEP method: Pain, Expertise, and Promise.
Misery loves company - but solutions even more. Every reader has a problem they want to solve - an aspirational identity they’d like to reach. If you speak to your reader’s pain points, you immediately cultivate an atmosphere of camaraderie. In other words, I feel your pain. You are not alone. Kumbaya.
Pain is the primary catalyst of change. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, coined the phrase, “People don’t change when they see the light. They change when they feel the heat.”
The unfortunate thing about pain is its propensity to expound and charge exorbitant interest. If you don’t get that cavity filled now, we’re looking at a root canal later kind of pain.
*Note - There is a fine line. Fear-mongering is not only a significant turnoff but morally reprehensible. Speak to legitimate pain points - this is not the time for hyperbole. Never underestimate the rhetoric of fear.
So, pain creates a sense of urgency - especially when complicated by the possibility of compounding consequences.
And, miracle of miracles, you swoop in with the solution - the epiphanic moment, the promise of alleviated pain. But what makes you qualified to speak to this pain point?
Strong blog introductions emphasize your expertise in a particular area. Answer the all-important question: why am I qualified to write about x? Or, from the audience's point of view, why should I trust you?
You have a gosh-darn degree in x, y, or z and the student loans to prove it. You’ve spent years in the industry; hell, you’ve stopped counting your laps around the block. You’re a marketing guru, a sales shaman, and a brilliant banker.
In a world full of voices, influencers, and brand hierarchy, you must prove you belong to be taken seriously. You’re not just some schmuck with a blog - you’re a qualified schmuck with a blog.
The three most common ways to solidify your ethos and expertise are to:
1. Highlight how many years you've invested in the industry
2. List how many people/companies you've helped with your products/services/expertise
3. Feature your title, degrees, certifications, awards, pertinent affiliations and relevant anecdotal personal history.
Showcase your competence and confidence. Like the Farmers Insurance slogan, “You know a thing or two because you’ve seen a thing or two.”
After acknowledging the reader’s existential agony and humbly sharing your genius accolades - wrap it up with a promise, a pledge, an oath: the information that follows in the body paragraphs speaks directly to pain points x, y, and z.
Solutions and/or next steps are imminent.
For example - by the end of this article, you will know how to x, y, and z. In short, after you devour this enlightened blog post, you will be changed, baptized, and brought to a higher plane of existence via knowledge and inspiration.
The reader will go along for the ride, even if there are some detours because they can see the desired outcome's final destination.
Promise = preview.
A preview provides a tight, brief outline of the main salient points of the blog post. For instance, in this article, you will learn the three best ways to steal cable from your neighbor.
*Note - I absolutely, without a doubt, do not condone splicing cable (and, more importantly, getting caught cough, cough).
Whatever creative hook you end up implementing, your keywords should appear within the first 150 characters of your introduction. This centers the article topic early in the reader’s minds and demonstrates to Google that, yes, this article is indeed about x.
The Body (Latin: Corpus)
The body of a blog post provides the answer - the meat and potatoes - to the query the reader searched for. This is where you build your case, present well-researched facts, statistics, arguments, logical progression, and solutions.
The word “body” has a physicality to it. Imagine walking the reader through a process, step by step. You want crystal clear logical progression - your words act as a kind of tour guide.
And, over here, we have a remarkably detailed explanation of x. Right, this way. Right, this way.
H2s and H3s act as the guideposts of this cyber tour. Headers provide context, priming the Google Traveler for what’s to come.
In short, headers serve as a digital table of contents for Google - a map, an outline - providing great SEO value.
New to the blogging game and want to learn how to optimize your headers? Check out the article: SEO Copywriting Basics: How to Use Headers in Your Blog Posts.
The body of an article is also a fantastic section to link to other relevant internal and external sources. External links alert Google that this particular article is a part of a larger, global conversation - lending your post highly coveted SEO juice.
*Pro blogging tip - When linking to external content, ensure the link opens in a brand new tab - that way, your reader doesn’t go squirrel and get lost in the great Google labyrinth without an anchor to return to.
Paragraphs & Bullet Points
Paragraphs are the most familiar form of written communication and prove an excellent modality to express information clearly.
Blog body paragraphs tend to be short, 2-3 sentences long, so the reader isn’t forced to wade through dense, convoluted blocks of text.
In addition, bullet points are the perfect vehicle for salient listicles and copy you wish to highlight:
- Bullet points create a more effortless reading experience by breaking up the page and often using short, punchy copy to emphasize lists.
- Bullet points are easy to scan and digest (providing accessibility).
- Bullet points bring special attention to the following copy.
One of the primary features of a well-written blog post is its ability to convey pertinent information in bitesize, easy-to-absorb segments.
This not only relates to the visual structure but to the level of diction used in a blog post. Blogs written between a 6th and 9th-grade reading level are easy to understand and sophisticated enough to convey complex ideas.
If a blog hits the 10th-grade reading level and beyond, readers often lose interest due to the over complexity of the text.
Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Remember: the goal of a blog post is to communicate information in straightforward, easily digestible terms - not charm the reader with the enormity of a limitless lexicon.
*Note - technically, this point regarding accessible diction applies to every aspect of a blog - title, meta description, intro, body, and outro.
To learn how to cultivate your own unique blog voice, read our article: How to Develop Your Blogging Voice in 3 Simple Steps.
We’ve all heard that age-old cliche - an image is worth a thousand words. So, how much is an alt-texted image combined with a thousand words? If you’re a mathematician, get back to me.
Visual aids lend immediacy and personality to a blog post. Standard blog images feature products, services, charts, graphs, team members, etc.
GIFs can also add some light-hearted levity to an article.
Blog Body images and Gifs should be -
- Less than 100 KB (this will help you avoid cumulative layout shift errors when images are taking too long to load)
- Fitted with appropriate alt-text (great for image packs)
- Aesthetically fit into the body of the article.
Title images should be Under 150 KB (a maximum of 250 KB).
- Be mindful of file size (smaller than 10mb in file size when hosted on site)
- Don't jar visitors with automatically playing audio
- Consider embedding externally hosted videos
- Due utilize closed captions
- Do not put vital information in video format without featuring it elsewhere (copy, image, etc.)
What Doesn’t Belong
If you want to track conversion rates to prove blog ROI cleanly - it’s best not to include your email and/or phone number within the body of the article. Why? You could miss out on a possible organic conversion - CTA to landing page to offer.
Give credit where credit is due.
The Outro (Latin: finis)
The end, the grand finale, the conclusion is the most critical part of a blog post. This is where the rubber meets the road - particularly if you’re a business blogger.
Blog outros convert leads by offering next steps that propel readers down the sales funnel. Or, if the blogger isn’t peddling anything, it’s the perfect opportunity for a call to action to subscribe to the blog, become an acolyte.
There are always more articles to read, forms to download, products and services to purchase, consultations to book, aspirational identities to reach, and so on.
You want to keep the reader learning, keep them engaged. You’re cutting a path through the jungle and asking them to follow, to trust you know what’s next.
- Sum Up Main Points (i.e., in this article, you learned about Ashwagandha's five major health benefits and safe dosage).
- Reaffirm Expertise ( i.e., we’ve worked in holistic medicine since 2008 and have helped thousands of people overcome stress through natural herbs and tonics).
- Provide a Call to Action (i.e., if you’re ready to reclaim your life and overcome stress and anxiety naturally, click the link below to order our Ashwagandha gummies).
Up your Business Blogging Game with Media Junction
In this article, you learned the basic anatomical principles of a blog post - from titles, intros, and body paragraphs to conclusions. You can now dissect blogs on your own, outside of the MJ lab, so to speak.
You are henceforth knighted as a blogging pro. Okay, well…if you’re new to blogging, even after reading this article, you’re still definitely green. There’s much to learn about the great blogosphere. Think leads. ROI. And green pastures of organic traffic.
Media Junction enables marketing teams across the globe to pump out ever-green, well-researched, well-executed, voice-driven blog articles that get results. We’ll partner with you to devise an SEO-driven plan - reinforcing your current marketing team or acting as your very own outsourced marketing team.
If you’re ready to buy now, check Media Junction’s price page.
To continue improving your digital marketing efforts, check out the offer below to get The Content Writer's Toolkit: a collection of templates to help you organize and fine-tune your content.