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9 Elements of the Perfect Post

This guest post is by Ginny Soskey of Shareaholic.

A perfect blog post is hard to come by. Sometimes the mistakes are small, like a grammatical error, and other times the mistakes are so glaring that you just can’t look away.

You spend so much time coming up with post ideas, optimizing, editing, and promoting that you should make sure your posts are near perfect so your efforts don’t go to waste.

To help you make sure you’ve covered all your blogging bases before you hit “post,” I’ve created a handy infographic outlining the perfect post with some key learnings below:

9 Elements of a Perfect Blog Post

1. Headline

It’s essential to start your post off with a great headline.

In Shareaholic’s publisher network, the most shared websites tend to optimize for keywords in their headlines, include headlines less than ten words, and stick to “list” and “how to” kinds of posts.

Think of your headline as a tweet—would you click through to the link if it showed up on your feed? Crafting a headline in the form of a tweet also ensures that your headline is short enough to be shared via Twitter.

2. Sub-header

People like to scan, and large blocks of text scare them off. Try to break up your copy with several sub-headers as it will make it easy for readers to digest your content. Having sub-headers will also help them to comprehend your post as the main points are brought immediately to their attention.

Numbers, bolded text or larger font size are all ways you can create sub-headings for your blog. If you have several authors for your blog, be sure to tell them how you want your sub-headers to be styled in your editorial guidelines.

3. Optimized copy

SEOmoz’s infographic of the perfectly optimized blog post will guide you to see where you should place your keywords throughout your post.

To identify your keywords in the first place, make sure to check your content analytics tool to see what organic keywords and topics are popular with your readers.

4. Multimedia

Having visual and interactive elements to your blog post is essential to engaging visitors on your blog. Find stock photos or Creative Commons Licensed material using Compfight or even create one of your own.

The best part about using visuals in your posts is that it’s easy to reuse them to promote your blog on Pinterest, which Shareaholic found to be the fifth largest traffic source in the world. Among our publisher network, we notice that websites with branded visuals get the most shares on Pinterest while along benefitting from the brand exposure of including their name in those shares.

5. Embedded CTAs

Ultimately, you want your readers to take some form of action from your blog. That could mean subscribing to your blog so they come back again, or maybe downloading an ebook or other offer from you.

Make it easy for them to do so by embedding a call to action (CTA) in your post. From what we see in our publisher network and on our own blog, CTAs above the fold do the best, as your readers don’t have to scroll to take action.

6. Sidebar

This is prime real estate on your blog, as it is displayed no matter which article your readers are viewing. Use this area to show off links to your social networks, subscriptions to your RSS feed and email list, and free downloads of white papers, infographics or badges.

One of my favorite plugins for the sidebar is Social Media Widget—it’s easy to customize and use for bloggers of any level. Having these buttons will help keep your readers connected with you long after they leave your article.

7. Social sharing tools

After you create content that people enjoy, you need to make sure it’s easy for them to share it through their social networks.

Make sure your social sharing tools are prominently displayed on each post. Also, you should choose social sharing buttons that your readers are likely to use—you can use content analytics to determine where people are sharing your content and then include those social networks in your sharing buttons.

8. Related content

It’s not always love at first “site”: it may take a few posts to convince your reader to share your content or subscribe to your blog.

A related content tool speeds up this process by engaging your current readers with suggested posts at the bottom of each article you publish. This is sure to increase your pageviews and improve your overall time on site.

9. Comments

As social media has gained popularity, commenting on a blog post has expanded from the real estate directly below the post to other networks like Facebook and Twitter. Commenting systems have evolved to accommodate to this change and one of my favorites is Livefyre—it works in realtime and integrates seamlessly with Facebook or Twitter.

Knowing how to optimize your layout for maximum pageviews and social shares is incredibly important to growing your blog. What are some of your favorite tools to help create a perfect blog post? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Ginny Soskey is a marketing manager at Shareaholic. Shareaholic creates social sharing, related content and content analytics tools for more than 200,000 websites, reaching 300 million people each month. You can keep up with Shareaholic on the Shareaholic blog to get more tips on blogging.

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Comments

  1. J. Delancy says:

    Thanks for the mechanics of the perfect post. I’m still trying to write a perfect post but I will use some of the techniques suggested here.

  2. Tarun Gehani says:

    Hi Ginny,

    Great post here. Many people forget to include media and relevant calls-to-actions throughout their posts (myself included).

    I also like how you track your links from this post (and I’m assuming other guest posts as well) back to your website. It’s always good to measure your marketing efforts – otherwise how will you know what works and what doesn’t!?

    Take care,
    Tarun

    • Ginny Soskey says:

      Hey Tarun, thanks for the kind words. There’s so much that goes into writing a post, it’s easy to forget sometimes. Glad to hear you found this helpful! I agree on tracking links–it helps tremendously when you’re creating content because you can see which types of content are sending the most traffic to your blog or website. Appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  3. Thank you Ginny,

    You have covered all the bases here quite nicely. Love the infographic too. I love social sharing! It has been the backbone of my business.

    I thank you,
    Donna

  4. Rajesh says:

    Nice post Ginny, I like the image (infographic) which says a lot. Shared on Pinterest.

  5. Nice simple post, captures it all! Would be great if you could offer some plugins to help solve for some of these elements!

  6. Mayura says:

    Hi Ginny,

    Nice Infographic and simpler the better :) I’ve enjoyed reading your descriptions related to each elements. Well, if you don’t mind, I’ve got two questions for you :)

    i. Do you think scrolling share bar is effective than showing off sharing buttons below each post?

    ii. Instead of standard related posts links, is it better to use slider widget which pops up at the corner suggesting a related post or article?

    As you are from Shareholic, just curious of your answers.

    Thanks for your informative post :)

    Cheers…

  7. Alan James says:

    I don’t know if I can write the ‘perfect post’ but how can you not be close to the the mark by following these 9 points, Cheers

  8. rakesh says:

    really nice to read .i loved social sharing buttons…

  9. Tom says:

    Great post and Ginny, Very helpful information I will definitely try it out.
    Thank
    Tom

  10. That well explained infograph needs to be pinned. I have done from my side I hope others too do it.

  11. Social media plays a big role in boosting our blogs and so we need to make the most out of it. This tips are so good, the image we create says volumes about who we real are.

  12. Before reading anything we tend to look at the headline, you well pinned it there. The headline matters a lot and it is good to give your blogs a unique and attracting headline that looks simple but with complimented meaning.

    • Ginny Soskey says:

      I definitely agree with you, Carmen. Headlines are crucial to hooking readers, but it’s also important to follow up with great copy in the post as well. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. I have always wanted to be an ideal writer; I try my best to put up good posts whenever I make any, these methods you just suggested, are definitely going to be of great help.

  14. Aditi Datta says:

    Hello,
    I must say that while writing a post, some points need to keep in mind such as header, sub-header, content which also plays a vital role as guest posters are always in the urge of writing fresh and unique post.Apart from this, all other tips such as related content, social sharing tools, side bar are equally important. Thanks for the share!!

  15. Reed Nixon says:

    The strength of optimism in this post is so encouraging. It is so obvious that once a blogger, you should always look for the ways to improve your blog posts so that you can fascinate your readers. These tips are so nice. Thanks for putting them up.

  16. Shelby Roth says:

    Hi Ginny! What an inviting and cozy post! I thought writing a perfect post is that easy, it isn’t at all but with all your perfect elements, I got a reason to smile since I will definitely improve my writing skills! Everything needs an exercise to give out a special fascinating post! Thanks a lot for sharing, your site was enjoyed and inspiring indeed!

  17. Brad Dalton says:

    Good post Ginny.

    I’ve found the eBook is a great way to build subscribers.

    Another option is to produce a video series to build subscribers and replace that with the eBook location in the sidebar.

    Google seems to be favoring video’s in the search results at the moment

    • Ginny Soskey says:

      Thanks, Brad. eBooks and videos are definitely great ways to keep readers engaged–appreciate you stopping by to share your thoughts!

  18. Derek says:

    Hi Ginny,

    You should check out the infographic I made a few months back about the perfect blog post. It’s different from yours as yours focuses on new bloggers, but I think you’ll find the research I share intriguing.

    http://socialtriggers.com/perfect-blog-post/

    • Ginny Soskey says:

      Hey Derek–love your infographic! Just subscribed to your blog as I’m definitely interested in the intersection of psychology and marketing. Thanks for sharing the link. :)

  19. Gilbert Rono says:

    Really nice, a good summary and maybe i need to rectify 1 or two things to reap the best out of this guide. Thanks for the post Rowse.

  20. Marc Scott says:

    What a great resource. My writing improves daily, but this will help me out with some of the formatting and SEO. Thank you.

  21. Ehsan Ullah says:

    Great Ginny, Thanks for making it clear and sharing elements of a good blog post for newbies.

  22. Mohamed says:

    Thanks a lot, That made me change my mind a little bit before publishing my first Blog post, hehe i revised it according to your tips .. Thanks :)