There are multiple things that make a blog post great. For example:
- Good research (perhaps an interview or two)
- A great title
- Link building and search engine optimisation
- What the lede looks like
- What the kicker looks like
But, while these factors are incredibly important, a blog post’s purpose is to be informative and educational. We write blog posts to build awareness. We want our audience to engage with what we have to say and for an online community to begin to take shape.
The only thing that matters when writing a blog post, then, is to provide value to the reader.
Writing for the reader
Creative writing is self-discovery through the written word. It’s words on a page that you’ve, under most circumstances, written only for yourself.
Creative writing is art. Blog post writing is not.
Writing a blog post requires you to first understand the reader. You can’t write a good blog post without knowing who you’re writing for, what information you need to provide and how that person engages with content online.
By telling you what I believe to be the most important factor in good blog post writing, I provide value to you. With any luck, I’ve helped you understand what you need to focus on when writing in a certain style.
Why do we read blog posts?
We read blog posts because we want an answer to something. We come to the internet with a query or a problem that we want solving. We type this problem into Google or another search engine. We find content that helps us understand what our problem might be and how to solve it.
If I want to buy a used car, I might type into Google ‘used cars for sale in London’. I might then see a list of websites that sell used cars. But I’m not sure on the type of car I want to purchase, so I might scroll down the page and see a few blog posts, perhaps titled ’10 best used cars to purchase under £1000', or ’5 best commuter cars to buy on a budget’.
I click on a link and read a blog post. Let’s say this blog post was published on Autotrader. I read to the end of the blog post and see that I can search for used cars on this website. So I do.
If Autotrader had written something without any value to me, I may never have used their service. They had to give something up for me to walk through the door, like free samples outside of a chocolate shop.
The question is: How good are your free samples?