Blog post template: The quick and dirty version - The Write Idea

Blog post template: The quick and dirty version

By Renae Gregoire

A simple blog post template for beginning bloggers

When I first started researching blog post types, I was dumbstruck at how many different types of blog post exist. 

In my upcoming card deck -- The Blog Post Inspiration Deck -- I cover 20 blog post types, from how-tos and listicles to success story posts. And I have another 40 types standing in wait for the deck's two expansion packs. 

That's 60 blog post types right there.

I tell you this because ... well ... it's kind of hard to create a blog post template that covers each and every blog post you'll ever write from now until the end of the universe.

But still, if you're a new blogger, you could probably use at least SOME guidance, right? Like:

  • How do I write a great headline?
  • Is there a formula for successful blog posts?
  • How do I choose images, and where do I get them from?

That's what this blog post is for--to answer those and perhaps a few other burning questions you may have about blogging.

Oh -- and it's also to give you a template of sorts to use as you create your first posts. 

Let's start at the start ... with the headline.

How to write a powerful blog post headline

The Internet is FLOODED with content. There's so much content, and so much content about content, that readers like you and me are drowning. 

If you want your posts to stand out like a life preserver in the sea of sameness, you first need a good blog post title, or headline.

Here are characteristics of (what are to me) good headlines, based upon more than 15 years of experience working online. Good headlines:

  • Front-load key search terms. Look at the title of this post; it starts with the words "Blog Post Template" so that you, the reader, know exactly what to expect if you click in. Those words also tell Google what your post is about so more readers can find you.
  • Are creative, different from the status quo. Almost everyone writes blog posts with titles like, "How to win more clients." Few write posts with titles like, "Waitlisted! How to win so much work from your ideal clients that you need a waitlist for your waitlist." There's just a little more pull in that approach; would you agree?
  • Use colorful language. "Crickey! The Super-Simple Blog Post Template You've Been Searching For."    
  • Keep it at about 60 characters, or between 8 and 14 words, or so says Hubspot. Hubspot also says that headlines ending [with clarifying brackets] perform 38% better than blog posts without such niceties. 

You don't have to cram all of those rules into a single headline though.

Could you imagine a headline like this?

  • The "Crickey! That's good!" Blog Post Template [Folks are gaga over it!] 

Hmmm. That's not actually half bad, although it is a tad over, at 73 characters and 12 words.

[Hint: I found the character and word count using this cool, online tool: Just copy and paste, and get your counts!]

Next, after the headline, comes the introduction, followed by the body of your post. For the body, I'll give you a simple formula to follow as much or as little as you want.

How to pull in readers with your blog post introduction

In your introduction, tell 'em what you're going to tell 'em, and why that information is crucial to their well-being, their business, their entire life!

Okay, I'm sure it's not that crucial, but you get the idea.

And, use short opening sentences.   

I don't always follow this rule, but I do like to write short introduction sentences that draw the reader right in.

Here's one example of a blog post opening from one of my posts called, "Is your long-form content killing readers?"

Draw readers into your blog post with short opening sentences.

Notice the short sentences? They make the piece easy to get into, with the hope being that once the reader is "in," she'll keep on reading.

Next, let's look at the body of your blog post.

The blog post template: The body of your blog post

For the body, I suggest this basic, starter formula:

  • Topic 1 headline

    • Why topic 1 matters to the reader
      • Support / evidence / examples / photos
      • Support / evidence / examples / photos
      • Support / evidence / examples / photos
    • Why topic 1 matters in terms of the big picture
  • Topic 2 headline

    • Why this matters to the reader
      • Support / evidence / examples / photos
      • Support / evidence / examples / photos
      • Support / evidence / examples / photos
    • Why this matters in terms of the big picture
  • Topic 3 headline

    • Why this matters to the reader
      • Support / evidence / examples / photos
      • Support / evidence / examples / photos
      • Support / evidence / examples / photos
    • Why this matters in terms of the big picture
  • Call to action

    • What do you want the reader to do now with this new information?
      • Why is this action crucial to the reader?
      • Can you offer them a lead magnet, an invitation to join your tribe, or something else?
  • Conclusion

    • Why and how everything you said here matters
      • To the reader
      • In terms of the bigger picture

As I mentioned at the outset of this post, there are soooo many types of blog posts, so whatever outline I provided here has to fit a good number of types. And I think that my outline here fits that bill.

Next up: Blog post essentials.

Blog post essentials: support, evidence, examples, photos

Support, evidence, examples, and photos are also crucial components of a blog post.

  • Support, in our context, is encouragement, tools, or resources the reader needs to be able to use, do, or understand to take advantage of the topic.  
  • Evidence is proof that what you have said about the topic is true. Are other authorities saying it? Quote them. Do you have client success stories related to the topic? Share them. How about basic facts and stats? Share them, too.
  • Examples are ... well ... examples! 'Nuff said.
  • Photos are also crucial to blog posts, as long as the photos are relevant; that is, as long as the photos support the topic in some way.

A photo illustrating support would fit nicely right about now.

Isn't that nice? 

The best blog posts provide extra support for readers

That photo comes from Unsplash, my favorite free photography site on the Internet.

Other good sites include:

  • Pixabay (I visit this site only if Unsplash doesn't have what I want)
  • Flickr Creative Commons (A good place to search for photos available with attribution rights, which just means that you can use the photo if you agree to credit to the photo's owner.)
  • Deposit Photos (not free, but the pictures on this site are good enough to make it worth trying to snag a credit package of 100 photos for $49 on AppSumo; if I can't find the right free photo, I always turn to Deposit Photos.)

[Note: I could and should write an entire post about using photos in blog posts, and, by golly, I think I will as part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.] 

The things you need to make your blog posts "go"

Pardon my nerd for a moment, but I'm a Star Trek fan. In one episode of The Next Generation, the Enterprise and her crew happen upon a ship inhabited by an intergalactic species called the Pakleds.

Captain Riker has a strange conversation with the Pakled leader once they've made contact. (I highlighted the relevant line in yellow.)

Make your blog go

The Pakled captain says that they're looking for things that make them go. 

Your readers need you to help them "go."

And that's what I hope this blog post has provided you: a few things to make your blog "go."

If you've found it helpful, join my tribe below for ongoing content goodness and more help with your blog, your content, your content marketing, and lots of other things small business.

P.S. This is post #1 in my 30 Day Blogging Challenge!

P.P.S. Curious? Join my tribe to learn more!

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I think we might be soul mates. And I'd love for you to join my tribe.

When you do, I'll alert you to new blog posts, new programs and products, and new ways for you to create excellent, frictionless, online experiences that lead more people to YES! I promise to be relevant and real, and to send only thoughtful content and advice.


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About the Author

Hi! I'm Renae Gregoire, a digital conversion expert improving the performance of digital marketing content, including websites, landing pages, sales pages, online courses, blogs, and email sequences. If you're a coach, consultant, or other expert having trouble getting people to click, sign up, subscribe, or buy, I can help. My work typically involves a blend of strategy, design guidance, and wordsmithing, with a heavy focus on how your materials look, sound, feel, and function—all from your reader's perspective. Contact me to see how I might be able to help improve your conversions.