Want to know the secret ingredient for extra-spicy content?
Four words: a great blog structure.
To ensure the cohesiveness of a post, you need to have a clear idea of where your narrative is going.
Every word must be typed with purpose. And for that, you need a well-planned blog post structure that ensures a compelling and enlightening experience to your readers.
Let me show you how.
Table Of Contents
- 1. Why Does Blog Post Structure Matter?
- 2. The Simplest Blog Post Structure Ever
- 3. Preparing to Structure a Blog Post
- 3.1 Step 1: Start with a list of topics
- 3.2 Step 2: Group them up
- 3.3 Step 3: Arrange them logically
- 3.4 Step 4: Compile your list of resources
- 3.5 Step 5: Come up with cool headings and subheadings
- 3.6 Step 6: Plan the word count for each section
- 4. Blog Structure Template Examples
- 4.1 List post AKA “listicle”
- 4.2 Product review
- 4.3 Step-by-step tutorial
- 4.4 Expert roundup
- 4.5 The “Big Boy” guide
- 5. Additional Tips for Your Blog Post Structure
- 5.1 Use a “Table of Contents”
- 5.2 Add images every 300 words
- 5.3 Add tweetable quotes
- 5.4 Insert dividers before headings and subheadings
- 5.5 Know the right way to use lists
- 5.6 Use transition words and phrases
- 5.7 Use the Three Es when writing conclusions
- 6. Key Takeaways
- 7. Conclusion
Why Does Blog Post Structure Matter?
A blog post structure makes sure your content moves smoothly from point to point.
It allows bloggers can create powerful content that:
- Is easy to consume — A well-structured blog post maximizes readability by organizing information in a logical way. It also utilizes smart formatting, which involves elements like headings, subheadings, bulleted lists, and paragraph breaks.
- Is easy to write — Creating a solid outline for your blog post is also a great way to speed up the writing process. It will keep you plugged in on what to write next, how much to write, and where to research information.
- Maximizes engagement — Having “flow” in your content is essential if you want your audience’s eyes glued to your blog. A piece of content flows well if it’s crisp and doesn’t sound awkward or “choppy” when read.
- Gets more organic traffic — Blog structures make it easy to optimize for “rich snippets,” which will help you get more traffic from search engines. Rich snippets extract information from content with specific formats, like lists, tables, and steps.
- Improves monetization — Building structured content includes mentally preparing readers for your value propositions. It will help you determine the best times and places to introduce conversion-related elements like CTAs and opt-in links.
The Simplest Blog Post Structure Ever
Not sure how a blog post writing structure affects all that?
To better grasp the concept, let’s take a look at the most basic structure that most bloggers use.
It contains four crucial parts:
Parts of a basic blog structure
|Title||What is the post about?|
|Introduction||What should readers expect?|
|Main body||What do readers need to learn and how to do it?|
|Conclusion||How should readers move forward?|
As the first thing readers see, the title’s primary purpose is to grab attention.
Moreover, it must set the expectations of readers by describing what the post is about.
Will they learn a new skill? Will they learn how to solve a problem?
Whatever you promise readers, it’s your duty to see it fulfilled by the end of your post.
A great introduction will hook readers and increase their desire to consume the entire content.
It must answer the question: “why do your readers need to see your post?”
While it must give away important details about the post, an introduction must be written short.
Just set readers off in the right direction and let the main body do the work.
This leads us to the next part of a basic blog structure.
The main body
After capturing your readers’ full attention, it’s time to show them the good stuff.
The main body is where the fun begins. It’s where you lay out your points, share your ideas, provide actionable steps, and so on.
Other than that, the body should also gradually take readers closer to their goals until they finally accomplish them.
It sounds simple. But writing the main body that flows well actually takes a lot of planning and skill.
If done right, the main body will prepare readers to take action.
That’s where the conclusion steps in and gives readers that much-needed final push. It must motivate them to take action and put the knowledge they gained to good use.
To make this happen, bloggers can follow the “Three Es”: empower, enforce, and encourage.
You will learn more about these Es later.
Chances are, you’re already writing the majority of your blog posts with the structure above.
It should work just fine for a lot of blog post types.
But if you want a structure that improves the quality of specific posts, here are the steps you should take:
Preparing to Structure a Blog Post
Later on, I’ll show you some ready-to-use blog structure templates for specific content types.
But before any of that, let’s talk about the fundamentals of planning a basic blog structure.
Step 1: Start with a list of topics
At this point, you should already have a clear idea of what to write about.
If you’re still working out the details, I suggest reading this post.
The next order of business is to list down all the topics you want to cover in your post.
Look at the top 10 pages for your target keyword to scrape ideas.
For example, if you want to write a post about “organic skincare recipes,” start with the following Google search:
Removing irrelevant results
Here’s a quick tip.
For some search queries, Google may pull up results from websites like Pinterest and Amazon.
These results aren’t always useful if your goal is to create a blog post outline.
An easy fix is to use the minus operator to ignore pages from these websites. You can also enter “-book” so all results pertaining to a book will be omitted.
For the example above, this is what your query should look like:
Once you’re happy with the results, start looking at the top blog posts to “borrow” inspiration.
For instance, Formula Botanica published an interesting post about eight pointers you should know before trying organic skincare.
That entire article itself can be a topic for your blog post.
It also points to a bunch of other subtopics you can cover, like:
- Natural preservatives
- Choosing containers
- Measuring ingredients
- Measuring pH balance
- Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)
Now, I need you to repeat the steps on as many top-ranking pages as you can.
Consolidate all new ideas into a list and save it for later.
My advice would be to use Workflowy — a web-based outlining app that’s perfect for structuring your blog posts.
Workflowy allows you to create never-ending bulleted lists or “nodes.”
Each bullet in a single note can be opened as its own document. This is extremely useful for creating elaborate outlines for long, in-depth blog posts.
Step 2: Group them up
After building your list of topics, the next step is to group them together into categories.
You can’t split related topics and talk about them in different parts of your post. Doing so will only confuse your readers and ruin their experience.
Again, you can refer to the top pages for your keyword to know how they organize their talking points.
If some of the topics you listed are broad, search for potential subtopics by firing up Google one more time.
For example, “dark circles” is a broad topic as far as organic skincare is concerned.
On Google, enter “dark circles home remedies” to look for subtopics.
You should already know what to do next.
From top to bottom, look at the top 10 pages to collect ideas that are worth including in your post.
Keep doing this until you’re satisfied with the number of topics on your list.
Step 3: Arrange them logically
Great — you now have a list of talk points to discuss in your blog post.
It is, however, an unorganized list.
To create a blog structure that makes sense for your audience, you need to arrange the topics in a logical manner.
Ask yourself, what do readers need to know about first?
Are there any safety concerns they should worry about? Any last-minute tips that will help them succeed?
Think about these when arranging the topics.
As you can see, we already have a sizeable list of topics to talk about in our organic skincare post.
Your next task is to have a list of resources for the information you’ll write.
Step 4: Compile your list of resources
Ideally, you should be able to write about the topics you listed without consulting an external source.
That should prove you’re an expert in your blog niche.
Still, it never hurts to have a list of resources and references. This will make sure you have updated and accurate facts for your blog post.
If you obtained ideas from another blog, just copy the post’s URL and paste it into your list.
Step 5: Come up with cool headings and subheadings
Your outline should be looking pretty solid by now.
It is comprehensive, organized, and easy to understand.
The only thing missing now is the use of proper, catchy headings and subheadings for each section.
There are a few things you should remember for this:
Try to include target keywords
In case you didn’t know, subheadings and headings are the perfect places for your target keywords.
It should be too hard, especially if you racked up relevant topic ideas in your original list.
For example, “different skin types” is already a potential target keyword.
What’s tricky is naturally inserting your focus keywords into headings.
Suppose you did some keyword research and found “organic skincare products” as a potential keyword.
With a little creativity, you can weave this keyword into a heading like:
- How to make organic skincare products
- Basic tips for your own organic skincare products
- Organic skincare products: X things to remember
Describe what the section will do for your readers
To make your article more scannable, you need concise headings that effectively describe the section.
Don’t use vague or straight-up irrelevant headings. Just keep it simple and, if you have to, stick to the keywords you already have on your list.
“Dark Circles,” in particular, requires some work.
We can improve it by being more specific with what that section entails.
Use parallel structures when writing subheadings for lists
Here’s one thing a lot of bloggers tend to overlook.
When writing consecutive subheadings under one section, you need to use the same verb forms. This will make your blog outline look cleaner and more engaging to read.
For example, our outline has a section for the basic tips for creating organic skincare products.
Unfortunately, they’re nowhere near consistent when it comes to word forms.
As you can see, three of the subheadings start with a verb in their present participle forms:
- Choosing containers
- Measuring ingredients
- Measuring pH balance
The other two, however, are just plain terms.
We can modify both to make the entire section more consistent.
You can make these subheadings even more organized and cohesive by numbering them.
If you’re enumerating steps, add something like “Step 1,” “Step 2,” and so forth to make the section more readable.
Step 6: Plan the word count for each section
This next step is completely optional, but I find it to be incredibly helpful for a number of reasons.
By adding an estimated word count for each heading and subheading, you can set a realistic deadline for the post.
Setting word count limits will also encourage you to avoid writing fluff.
Of course, the number of words you should allot depends on the complexity of each section.
Here are some word count suggestions for each section of your blog structure:
- Introduction — Introductions are best written crisp with a word count of anywhere between 50 and 100. Just get straight to the point to reassure readers they’ve found the right article.
- Long section headings — When introducing a long section, like a step-by-step tutorial, it’s better to make a short introduction and move on. Cap this off at around 20 to 70 words as you jump straight to the section’s meat.
- Explanations and definitions — For sections that explain or define a concept, start with a 60-word summary — fewer words if possible. This is a great way to optimize that section for the “definition box” rich snippet in search engine results.
- Subheading sections — Subheading sections can be as long as you need to get your point across. Be sure to add a subheading every 300 words to preserve readability.
- Conclusion — Just like the introduction, the conclusion should be short and sweet — about 50 words tops. Try not to introduce new concepts in the conclusion and just focus on what’s already said in the article.
Lastly, be sure to avoid having walls of text that have more than 300 words long.
That goes for all content sections in your article’s main body.
Blog Structure Template Examples
Nice, you already know how to craft a basic blog structure for your content.
I have a present for you.
Below is a collection of pre-made blog structure templates you can use for your next post.
1. List post AKA “listicle”
A listicle is a popular form of blog content, and it’s not hard to see why.
Not only does it provide a smooth reading experience to readers, listicles are also relatively easy to write.
Listicle blog structure cheat sheet
For each blog structure template, I will include a cheat sheet that will help you write the content’s essential parts.
Take note that you don’t have to write everything when using a blog post structure. By creating your list of topics, you should be able to tell which parts to use in your article.
|(P) Introduction||First of all, tell your audience what this listicle is about.|
|(H2) List item||Quickly introduce each list item. Keep the description short and build up to its main features or highlights — or both.|
|(H3) Pros||If you’re listing products, don’t forget to mention its advantages over the competition.|
|(H3) Cons||To make your listicle more authentic and compelling, don’t forget to mention some cons for each list item.|
|(H3) Pricing *if applicable||You can end each list item with a short summary of their pricing information.|
Examples of listicles
- Top 47 Blogging Tools to Make You a Smart Blogger (2020)
- 138 Travel Blog Post Ideas You Need to Cover in Your Blog
2. Product review
Product reviews are in-depth articles that explore a specific product or service.
Sometimes, reviews can mention a few alternatives for readers who aren’t interested in the product. They can also include a mini-tutorial to help readers understand the product’s key features.
Product review blog structure cheat sheet
|(P) Introduction||Tell readers a little bit about the product and how you came across it. If this is a sponsored post, it’s also a good idea to mention it now.|
|(H2) Why you need this product||You can get your audience excited about the product by discussing the reasons why they should buy it. Keep this section short and try to focus on the reader’s pain points to get their attention.|
|(H2) Product features||This is typically the longest section of a product review, but it’s also often the easiest to write. As clearly and concisely as you can, describe the main selling points of the product you’re reviewing.|
|(H2) Pros||The pros are perhaps the most important elements of a product review, especially if you’re an affiliate. Avoid going overboard and exaggerating features just for the sake of generating more sales.|
|(H2) Cons||Even if you’re reviewing an affiliate product, you should at least try to mention some of its cons. You can make them sound less significant by sharing some workarounds and potential fixes to issues.|
|(H2) Pricing||Just like with listicles, the pricing section of a review must be short. Create a pricing table for a chance to appear via a table rich snippet in search engine results.|
|(H2) Alternatives||Feel free to avoid writing this section if you’re reviewing an affiliate product. But if you’re not, showing alternatives can maximize the post’s value to your readers.|
Examples of product reviews
- Food Blogger Pro Review: Is it the Best Food Blogging Course?
- ConvertBox Review and Detailed Tutorial (2020 Edition)
3. Step-by-step tutorial
A step-by-step tutorial or “how to” guide is undeniably my favorite type of content to write.
It’s the content type to use if your goal is to help readers accomplish a specific task.
Basically, you need to share detailed instructions while discussing every step of the process. This works better if you use visuals to make instructions clearer, like screenshots, diagrams, or video clips.
Step-by-step tutorial blog structure cheat sheet
|(P) Introduction||Start by introducing what readers will gain after finishing the tutorial.|
|(H2) Definition of terms||To help readers get results, write a short section that defines all the terms they’ll encounter. This is only necessary if you’re covering an advanced topic.|
|(H2) Step||When writing about a step, it’s important to use crisp and clear sentences. Use simple words to help readers understand the instructions.|
|(H3) What tool to use||Recommending a tool to use will maximize reader engagement and motivation to take action. Just share a few tips or perhaps a mini-tutorial to position them for success.|
|(H2) Additional tips||After laying down the essential steps, give your audience additional tips and reminders before they get going. Talk about the mistakes to avoid, best practices to follow, and tips for problems they may encounter.|
Examples of step-by-step tutorials
- How to Start a Lifestyle Blog and Monetize it (2020)
- The Ultimate Guide to Google Analytics to Scale Your Blog
4. Expert roundup
There is one thing that makes expert roundups different from other blog post types.
Rather than having a single author, roundups take in ideas from multiple “experts” — hence, the name.
Expert roundup blog structure cheat sheet
|(P) Introduction||Before you start the roundup, provide some context for your readers. Tell them about the topic or the question you asked the experts.|
|(H2) Expert Input||After briefly explaining the roundup, it’s best to jump straight to the experts’ contributions.|
|(H3) Background||You can add a short paragraph that tells readers more about the expert. If you want, include links to each expert’s website in case readers want to learn more.|
Examples of expert roundups
- 25 E-Commerce Experts Share Their Best Tips for Driving Repeat Sales Online
- Three growth marketing experts share their best tools and strategies for 2020
5. The “Big Boy” guide
This is an original template exclusively for Master Bloggers.
I call it the “Big Boy” guide — created for masterpieces that will showcase all your skills as a blogger.
A Big Boy guide is a piece of comprehensive content that covers everything there is to know about a topic. That means you may utilize a combination of lists, tutorials, product recommendations, and snippets of text from other experts.
The “Big Boy” guide blog structure cheat sheet
|(P) Introduction||A quick definition of the focus subject will tell readers that you have exactly what they need. If possible, try to mention a few examples to prove that you know your stuff.|
|(H2) Why should you do it?||An alternative question would be, “why do you need it?” Write this section to convince readers to finish the whole content.|
|(H2) Main tutorial||Waiting too long to get to the point may cause your audience to lose interest. That’s why it’s important to roll out the main tutorial part of the Big Boy guide.|
|(H3) Main tutorial step||Refer to the step-by-step tutorial cheat sheet to know how to write this part.|
|(H3) Additional tips||Share some tips to help readers perform the steps the right way.|
|(H2) Best tools||The goal of a Big Boy guide is to help readers take action as soon as they finish the content. You can encourage them by talking about the tools they can use in their journey.|
|(H2) Bonus tips||Still have a few more tips to share? Write all about them in a simple “bonus tips” section.|
|(H2) Frequently Asked Questions||Depending on the topic, you may need to write a FAQ section to address common concerns around it. Try to write only two sentences for answers to optimize your blog post structure for SEO.|
Examples of “Big Boy” guides
- Affiliate Marketing: Complete Guide for Beginners (2020)
- How to Start a Food Blog and Make Money (2020 Edition)
Additional Tips for Your Blog Post Structure
Found a blog structure template you like to use?
You can make the most out of it by following these tips:
1. Use a “Table of Contents”
A TOC is something I always include in my blog posts.
It dramatically improves user experience by allowing readers to skip ahead to the section they need.
If you use WordPress, you can easily add a TOC to your post using a plugin like LuckyWP Table of Contents.
It can make your content SEO and reader-friendly by generating a clickable outline of your entire post.
2. Add images every 300 words
As I mentioned before, dividing your content into 300-word chunks will significantly improve readability.
However, it’s not always easy to cap a section to 300 words max.
If you think a section needs to be longer than 300 words, you can chop it instead with an image.
It can be a screenshot, animated GIF, meme, video, or photo.
Remember, the goal here is to avoid producing long, intimidating walls of text.
Adding headings, subheadings, or images after every 300 words is sure to help you create visually appealing content.
3. Add tweetable quotes
Don’t have an image you can use to break up long walls of text?
A good alternative would be to create tweetable quotes that users can easily share on Twitter.
I personally use Social Snap to insert tweetable quotes into my blog posts.
But if you prefer to use something free, you can use a plugin called Better Click to Tweet.
This can be used using a simple shortcode or the built-in Gutenberg block, which will be accessible upon installation.
4. Insert dividers before headings and subheadings
In case you haven’t noticed, I usually insert a divider before a heading or subheading in my blog posts.
It’s a simple trick that will make headings and subheadings more visible.
That, in turn, drastically improves the readability and scannability of your post.
There’s no need to use some sort of WordPress plugin to insert dividers.
Just look for the built-in “separator” block when using the Gutenberg editor.
5. Know the right way to use lists
When enumerating a list of points, you should know when’s the right time to use bullets and numbers.
To keep things simple, numbered lists should be used if you’re trying to present organized information. These are lists that are either ranked or must be followed in a certain order.
How to build a WordPress website
- Register a domain
- Host your domain
- Install WordPress via the cPanel
- Choose a theme
- Build content
Bullets, on the other hand, can be used for unorganized lists. A good example would be if you’re listing down the benefits or features of something.
Here’s an example:
The benefits of WordPress
- Easy to use
- Lots of plugins
- Tons of themes
- Loads of learning resources
6. Use transition words and phrases
Transition words and phrases are like the glue that holds your sentences together.
They prevent your article from being choppy and fragmented, which may cause readers to snap out of focus.
For example, rather than writing this paragraph:
“WordPress can be used to create and publish a blog. It can be used to build an online store.”
You can slide in the transition phrase “in addition” to turn it into:
“WordPress can be used to create and publish a blog. In addition, it can be used to build an online store.”
See how two words can make a difference when it comes to your writing flow?
To help you get used to transition words, let’s go over some examples:
|Type||Transition Words and Phrases|
|Similarity / Addition||Again, moreover, also, and, as well as, additionally, not to mention, together with, as a matter of fact, identically, equally, in the same way as, in addition, like, too, as, in fact, of course|
|Conditions||In case, given that, if, in view of, whenever, while, even if, if for some reason, as long as, consequently|
|Summary / Restatement||To summarize, therefore, in short, in summary, based on that, after all, as can be seen, all things considered, in essence, to sump up, to recap, to cap it off|
|Contradiction||However, conversely, on the other hand, rather, otherwise, notwithstanding, regardless, nevertheless, nonetheless, as much as, even though, despite, t the same time, in reality, regardless|
|Example / Emphasis||In other words, for example, to demonstrate, as an example, notably, particularly, in particular, to emphasize, to explain, including, like|
|Consequence / Result||Consequently, as a result, in turn, thereupon, in which case, for this reason, in that case, if that’s the case, under those circumstances, hence, in effect|
7. Use the Three Es when writing conclusions
If you ask me, the conclusion is just as important as the intro and main body of your post.
Conclusions give you the opportunity to give readers the extra push they need to take action.
But in order for them to feel compelled enough to do something, you need to do three things:
You can empower readers and build their confidence by reaffirming what they learned from your post.
I usually do this with just one line, which may read like this:
Repeating the benefits your readers gained from your article should be enough to make them eager to take action.
You can also get the job done by highlighting the challenge that your content will help readers with. Do so in a way that makes the task seem easier to do.
To enforce readers, I mean giving readers a clear course of action.
Enforcement can be done by simply mentioning what “the next step” is for your audience.
Remember, there are no strict rules here.
You can write your conclusion in any way you want. What’s important is, readers will feel a sense of direction by the time they finish your post.
If you’re feeling a little creative, you can write a conclusion with a paragraph similar to this:
Finally, I like to end my blog posts by encouraging them to do something easy.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may already know what I’m talking about.
Yes — I always encourage readers to leave a comment if they have a question, suggestion, or general feedback.
You can do this in a manner that fits your publishing platforms.
For example, if you’re growing a YouTube channel, you can also ask readers to subscribe and click the “bell” icon.
As long as it’s easy, your audience should be willing to heed your encouragement.
Remember the following key takeaways when preparing your blog post structure:
- The title’s purpose is to grab attention, so keep it short and describe your post
- Write a short introduction that tells why your readers need to see your content
- Listicles discuss a number of related subjects that can be mentioned in any order
- Product reviews need sections that discuss pros, cons, tips, and possible alternatives
- Step-by-step tutorials should enable readers to accomplish a task by the end of the post
- When writing expert roundups, add a short introduction of each expert
- Write a FAQ section to address the most common concerns about an advanced topic
- Use a Table of Contents to allow readers to jump ahead to the section they need
- Add images or tweetable quotes every 300 words
- Try using dividers to make headings and subheadings more visible
- Bullet points are for unorganized lists, while numbers are for ordered lists
- Use transition words and phrases to improve your content’s flow
- In the conclusion, empower by restating the benefits they gained from your article
- Provide and enforce clear instructions in the conclusion
- Encourage readers to do easy tasks, like leaving a comment or sharing your post
So, you made it to the end of this guide.
You now possess the skills and templates needed to create the perfect blog post.
It’s now time for you to prepare the article structure of your next blog entry.
Take your pick from one of the blog structure templates listed above. With the right template and enough research, nothing can stop you from producing epic content.
If you have questions or suggestions, don’t forget to leave a comment below. Also, check out the links below for more tips on building a great blog post structure.