How to write a blog post

Blogging regularly can help you connect with your audience, demonstrate what you’re good at, and position you as a leader in your field. But where to start? Follow these tips to write a great post every time.

Decide on a topic

You can blog about anything to do with your area of expertise — from the big picture to the detail, from the personal to the technical. The possibilities are endless, but coming up with regular fresh ideas can be challenging. Here’s just a few to get you started.

  • Insights into your organisation — why you love what you do
  • Insights about your wider industry — what’s hot and what’s not
  • Tips or ‘how to’ posts
  • Your thoughts on relevant trending media topics
  • Details of special events or deals you’re running
  • Stories or case studies about your customers
  • Results of relevant research, polls, or surveys
  • Search ‘blog post ideas’ online for more inspiration.

Whenever you think of a good idea for a blog post, write it down. Keep a list of blog topics so you’ve always got material for your next post.

Find your voice

Your blog is an opportunity to accentuate your brand, so write with that in mind. What’s your organisation all about? Is it educational, entertaining, informative? Should your posts be serious, fun, or motivational? Browse other blogs for examples — how do others in your industry communicate?

If your organisation has branding guidelines, they may set out what your writing voice should sound like. Otherwise, you’ll need to work this out for yourself. The more you blog, the more you’ll hone your style.

Write a compelling headline

A good headline is essential for every blog post — it’s what hooks your readers’ interest and draws them in. Make sure each headline:

  • includes keywords (words that indicate your topic)
  • is specific, not vague or confusing
  • is descriptive but concise (about 4–10 words long)
  • invites curiosity, but doesn’t satisfy it
  • avoids jargon, abbreviations, and unfamiliar words.

Put yourself in your readers’ shoes — if you were searching online for the information in your blog post, what words would you use? Can you use some of those words in your headline?

Try these tools:

Revisit your headline once you’ve drafted the rest of your blog post. Does it still summarise the topic well? Will it spark your reader’s interest? If not, change it. It’s your one chance to get read, so it’s worth getting right.

Plan your structure

Don’t just start writing. Jot down your key messages as bullet points or on sticky notes, then organise them into a sensible order. Having a clear structure keeps you on track and makes writing easier.

Start well

Like your headline, your first paragraph should draw your reader in and make them want more. Appeal to your reader on an emotional level — ask them questions, or use humour, personality, or intrigue to capture their attention. Blogging is a bit like storytelling — you want people to keep reading, so don’t give away your punchline in the first paragraph.

Use frequent headings

Break up your text using descriptive headings that summarise your main messages. This lets readers scan your blog post if they want to. Of course, you want them to read more deeply — but even if they don’t, they can still take away the key things you want them to know.

Put a heading every two to four paragraphs to break your text into easy-to-read chunks.

Use good web-writing principles

Value your reader’s time by writing as concisely as you can.

  • Keep paragraphs short (an average of 45 words).
  • Keep sentences short (9–12 words).
  • Use familiar words and avoid jargon.
  • Use bullet lists or numbered lists where you can.
  • Connect with your reader using ‘you’ and ‘we’.
  • Write links that clearly describe their destination (not ‘click here’).

Add a call to action

What do you want people to do when they finish reading your post? Contact you? Learn more about your products or services? Sign up to your blog or newsletter? Buy something?

Whatever the next logical step is, guide your readers with suggestions and links.

Choose compelling images

Images illustrate what you want to say and help to make your posts more memorable. Like headings, images also help to break up your text into bite-sized chunks.

The internet is full of professional images you can use on your blog. But you can’t just use any image you find. Legally, you can only use images if the creator allows it.

You can use images that:

  • you create yourself
  • you pay to use, such as paid stock photos
  • have the right type of Creative Commons licence
  • come from websites specifically designed to help you choose and use free images.

Pexels, Unsplash, and Pixabay all have a huge range of professional photos that are free to use for any purpose. You can edit them in any way you like. You don’t even have to attribute them to the people who created them, but it’s always nice to show your appreciation.

Maximise each post

Once your post is published, put it to work. Share it on all your social media channels, respond to any comments promptly, and take note of how much activity it generates.

Once you’ve been blogging for a while, you’ll notice that some posts work better than others. Check your blog stats regularly to see which posts do best. Can you spot any patterns? Try writing more on similar themes or in a similar style to keep your blog humming.

Need help? Get in touch.

If you have any questions or need advice, you can get in touch with the Digital Journey team at hello@digitaljourney.org.

By Amy Wilkinson