You know what I’m always thinking about?
Even when I sit down to write, I am thinking of my next meal. So I’ve found a way to combine meal planning with writing outlines. Today I’m going to teach you how to build a blog burger; a McBlog if you will.
Right now, with the distance between us, blogging is a great way to stay in touch with your audience. Blogs aren’t invasive unlike other types of marketing. They are persuasive, informative and if they are really good, entertaining. I’ve pooled together as much research and experience as I can to provide you with the recipe for a captivating, useful and gripping blog post.
1. The Bun – Your Topic
Your McBlog needs a bun. It’s what keeps the whole burger together. The topic doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it seems, it should be a subject that relates to your industry. Most importantly however, your topic needs to bookend your post. You need to be consistent with the information you are offering. Pose a question and offer a solution.
A good technique to figure out what your topic should be is to consult the sacred W’s and the one holy H.
Who am I writing this for?
What is the objective of this post?
Why is the reader going to continue reading?
How am I going to communicate this message or How can my audience implement this information?
When thinking about the ‘How’s’ of conveying your topic, you should also be thinking about how you can write your blog post for SEO. It’s useful at this point to start writing a list of possible keywords you would like to use. Your topic is likely to relate to the concept of your business. For example, if you have a Fintech startup and you are looking for information about competitors or innovations in your industry, your blog post could have a similar topic to this one by FinExtra Top 5 most influential Scandinavian fintech innovations that you need to hear about today.
The keyword in the title is ‘fintech’ as it is the most likely term that your audience would search. Which leads us to the second step in assembling your McBlog.
2. The Lettuce – A Working Title
Why work on your title before you have planned out your post? Keywords that’s why.
It’s important to consider the lettuce you are putting into your burger, you want something fresh, snappy and clean rather than something that’s wilting away. In my opinion, lettuce is an underestimated part of any burger just as the title can be, but not today!
When you are writing your title try to specify your post’s offering – what will your audience gain from reading the rest of your post. Some of the most popular styles of blog post include:
Top 20 Angel Groups Investing in London Startups. The ‘list’ blog attracts readers who want quick answers. The list blog must be digestible and to the point.
How To Guides
‘How to’ blogs require a touch more attention. These readers want exact information they can implement with maximum effect for example How to attract Millennials to your Startup.
Interview blogs can give your website more credibility. Interview an influencer, customer, or expert in your field for authentic and accurate information. Readers of interviews often want precise information, to learn something new or a second opinion on an experience or product.
Case Study blogs supply factual information on a range of topics. They can offer accurate explanations of how a product, service or technique works and how effective they might be. The case studies blog is also useful for comparing products, services or techniques to help determine which is best.
An infographic is a visual representation of information (normally data, statistics etc.) These are useful when you are creating a blog post that is data heavy, as the visual style of these posts avoids arduous reading times. The infographic post will hold the reader’s attention, with less impetus of writing and more on graphics. Think slide-show, not lecture.
Wow! You’re writing for a paper!
These posts focus on offering information on any given topic, but they tend to be more in depth. If I open a newspaper to read about a new company that says its product can increase my productivity by 50%, I don’t want bullet points. I want to know who’s making it, where they make it, how can I get it, how much it costs, and why are they making it. Essentially, I want a story!
3. The Tomato – Your Outline
Planning is fundamental!
Depending on the style of your blog and the topic you are tackling, blog posts can range between 300-3000 words long. However, the most important thing to remember when you are planning a blog post is that it doesn’t matter how much you write, but the quality and clarity of what you write.
“Why” I hear you ask “is the outline the tomato of the burger?”
The outline is the tomato because one slice is bite size, but undivided the tomato squashes the rest of the burger. When you create your outline, you are slicing the tomato (or blog post) into digestible chunks for your reader.
When you are planning the structure of your post, remember that you want to keep your reader gripped while also making the post ‘skimmable.’ Each section should provide one point on your desired topic. Each paragraph or section should contribute to your overall argument or goal without losing the curiosity of your reader.
Once you have a plan or an outline for your post, you should make use of subheadings. This signals the beginning of a new point to your reader (essential for skimmers) and keeps your writing focused. For example:
Writing your outline is about being tactical. You want your reader to be excited throughout your blog post, so give each subheading the tang of a tomato.
4. The Patty – Writing the Damn Thing
Now, this step is self-explanatory. What’s a blog post without text?
The patty of any burger, whether you are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or a full on carnivore – is the most important part of the burger.
So how can we cook it to perfection?
When you start your blog, you should consider what language your brand would use and how to appeal to your customer, audience, or reader. This tone should continue throughout all of the posts on your blog. You might also want to refer to the list of keywords you started earlier and pepper your patty with these for SEO.
If you choose to do this, when you add your ‘cheese’ you can reduce the number of times you’ve used these words or increase it.
5. The Cheese – SEO
Every burger is better with cheese (sorry vegans) – the same is true of SEO in a blog post.
Once you have the first draft of your post, you should go back over it and optimise for SEO. SEO is the process of determining which keywords surrounding the topic of your post are most frequently searched on the internet, and using these to increase the traffic on your website. These words will hopefully become obvious to you as you plan your post, but it’s always good to check your chosen words on google trends, semrush or ahrefs. These websites follow search engine algorithms to highlight which words are generating more traffic week to week.
Where should I include Keywords?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
The tricky part about SEO for blog post writing is that you shouldn’t overpower your post with keywords. More isn’t more in this instance, in fact, using your keywords too often can negatively impact the traffic on your site because search engines consider this keyword stuffing. However, there are 3 key areas of your blog post that should include a long-tail keyword.
Your title, your lettuce, your hook.
Your title is the first impression that both the reader and search engines get of your post. It is essential for them to determine the relevance of your post. Think of it as supply and demand. The demand is knowledge on your topic and the topic of your post is your product. You’ll want to give your post a title that describes why your post will supply the best information on that topic.
You should try and include your keyword in the first 60 characters of your title as this is where Google cuts off on the SERP.
Having a lengthy headline is OK. But make sure to fit this keyword in at the beginning. If we take this post as an example again. My keyword is ‘How to draft a Blog Post’ but my title is
How to draft a blog post; The McBlog
Search Engines will also look at your URL. Each post you write will live on its own exclusive URL and presents a great opportunity to fit in a few keywords. Here you should aim for 1-2 keywords. For example, say you have chosen to write a List based post.
Your title might be..
Your URL might be :
Your meta description is like the blurb of your post. It should be about two lines long and will appear underneath your title in search engine results.
Put your keywords here!
The blurb is a sneak peak at the content of your post, so make it clear to Google and your audience what content you’ve got on offer.
6. The Gherkin – The CTA
This part of your post isn’t necessary (like Gherkins) but better with. A Call To Action is asking for audience participation; ask them to try out your technique, to share their experience of [X], whether they thought the piece was useful or if they can give you any more information on your topic.
Of course, it’s an optional extra – not everyone likes gherkins.
In the hope of retaining interest, starting a dialogue with your audience can really help boost your blog’s exposure. It’s a classic technique that we can thank Dickens for – cliff hangers leave your audience wanting more, so try and leave your audience wanting to interact with you.
Well now I’ve given you the recipe for the McBlog you have all the ingredients for gastronomic success – all there is left to do is take a bite!
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