Coming up with topics to cover on your blog is one thing. Navigating the waters of blog post structures is quite another. Just because you’ve figured out what to talk about doesn’t mean you know how to talk about it.
Fortunately, there are many tried and true methods bloggers use to craft quality content for their readers. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
In this post, I’ll talk about some general tips you can use to create top-notch articles for your site. Then I’ll share six popular blog post structures for delivering key information to your readers. Let’s get started!
Tips for Writing Across Blog Post Structures
Before you start working on specific forms for your blog posts, it’s important to nail down a few structural elements that apply across all of them. No matter what type of content you’re working on it, it should include:
- An introduction. Instead of diving right into the meat of your post, it’s helpful if you first give readers a heads up as to what you’ll be covering. The section immediately above this one is an example. It explains the subject of this article, why that topic matters, and a few specifics of what the rest of the post will discuss.
- Headings. Breaking your content up into smaller sections makes it easier to read. It’s also helpful for visitors who are looking for highly specific information.
- Lists. Like this one, lists highlight key points in digestible bits. Reading a bullet point is generally easier than reading a paragraph.
- Images. When it makes sense, incorporate images into your posts. This helps break up the text, keeps things interesting, and can sometimes convey information that’s hard to get across in writing.
- A conclusion. At the end, make sure to recap what you just covered. Mention any points readers might have missed, but there’s no need to wax poetic here. Wrapping up your article neatly makes your content appear more professional, too.
- A Call to Action (CTA). This is some kind of key step you want readers to take so that they become regular visitors to your site. Point out your email list subscription widget, link to social media accounts, or highlight products you’re selling or promoting as an affiliate.
You can work any or all of these features into each of the structures I’ve covered below.
6 Blog Post Structures for Quality Content
In truth, there are almost as many ways to structure blog posts as there are blogs. Writing style, subject matter, and your audience will all play a role in shaping your content. However, there are some popular forms that work in just about every blogging niche. I’ve explored six of them below.
One of the most notorious blog post structures is the listicle. For better or worse, this is a super popular format for bloggers, as well as magazine writers.
As the name suggests, a listicle is an article that formats its main points as a list. The post you’re reading now is one! They often include numbers in their headlines to indicate how many ideas readers can expect to see when they click through.
Another prime source for examples of listicles is Buzzfeed.
The definition of a “roundup” post varies depending on your sources. Some people consider them synonymous with listicles, while others say the two forms are slightly different for a variety of reasons.
In my opinion, a roundup is a type of listicle that shares tangible items, rather than ideas or concepts. That doesn’t necessarily mean a roundup has to include physical products, but each point should be something readers can consume in some way. Here are some examples:
It’s not an exact science, but hopefully you get the idea.
Roundups can be highly valuable to readers because they’re actionable by nature. They’re also usually fairly easy to write, although you should always do your research and make sure you’re providing accurate information about each product, service, or publication you feature.
This type of blog post is a little more straightforward. A tutorial, or “how-to” article, teachers readers how to accomplish a specific end goal by outlining actionable steps.
One of the nice things about the tutorial blog post structure is that it’s applicable to pretty much every blog niche. These guides are also highly valuable to readers, as they provide key information that can help people achieve their goals.
Earlier in this post I mentioned the importance of using images where applicable to enhance your content. This is especially true for tutorials, as it’s sometimes easier for readers to understand how to accomplish a step when they can see an example of what they’re supposed to be doing.
My very first post on this site was a tutorial on how to start a blog.
Reviews are a much more diverse blog post structure than you might realize. Like tutorials, they’re also high-value content because they can help readers make decisions about how to spend their money and/or time.
What you should include in your post will depend on what you’re reviewing. However, a few general guidelines include:
- Explain what you’re reviewing. If it’s a book, give a plot overview (no spoilers!). If you’re reviewing a product, demonstrate what it does and why it’s useful.
- Talk about the positives first. Obviously, if the thing you’re reviewing was really low-quality, you may not have anything positive to say. However, when you do, even if it’s a very small point, lead with the elements you liked instead of with the bad stuff.
- State a clear recommendation. It’s helpful to readers if you make a definitive statement on whether or not you recommend the thing you’re reviewing. If you’re torn because it has positive and negative qualities that weigh somewhat equally, describe the ideal end user. For example, if you’re reviewing a historical biography and you thought it was well written but aren’t much of a history buff, mention that you think enthusiasts of the time period the book takes place in will enjoy it, although others may find it boring.
You can think of a comparison post as a mashup between a review and a roundup. They go more in-depth than a typical listicle, but examine multiple products or services to inform readers about their features, pricing, and more.
Many comparisons use “vs.” in the title (as in Scrivener vs. Evernote). Tables can also be useful in this type of blog post, especially if you’re reviewing more than two products or services.
Lots of people use search engines to find answers to specific questions. If you have those answers in a blog post, you may be able to capture their attention.
An FAQ-style post might provide answers to questions that start with:
- What is…
- When to…
- Why does…
While listicles and tutorials may also answer questions, these forms aren’t ideal for every situation. My post “Why You Need a Daily Routine” is one example.
Structuring your blog posts requires careful thought and consideration. How you frame your subject matter influences whether readers will be able to follow your train of thought and derive value from your content.
The good news is that there are plenty of formats you can apply to just about any topic, including:
- Listicles. Lists of tips, tricks, and other intangibles.
- Roundups. A listicle of products, publications, or services.
- Tutorials. How-to guides with actionable steps readers can replicate.
- Reviews. Detailed examinations of specific products or services.
- Comparisons. Similar to a review, but they weigh the pros and cons of two or more options within a niche.
- FAQs. Explanatory posts that typically answer what or why questions.
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Featured Image Credit: Unsplash.