What is the Recipe for a Great Blog Post?

My goal is always to attract new visitors to my blog while also keeping my current readers happy.   I gauge responses and readership of my blog and try to create new content that is topical, timely and useful to what my readers may like to read.

From time to time, I chose to stick with having fun and being creative.  Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t.  I actually have the most fun putting together photo blogs of pictures I’ve taken.  I feel that because I have such a large audience it is good to switch it up occasionally and show something new about myself as a writer to the readers; this keeps things fresh and interesting.

I focus on the content and observe the comments left on the post while also trying to see how far a post travels.  It’s surprising to me when I think, ‘Wow, this is going to be a fantastic piece!’ only to find that the number of visitors who read that particular post doesn’t quite reflect what I thought would happen while writing the piece.

Then, there are times when the piece picks up momentum later.  I find this to be interesting because it is like the post got its second wind; a form of new life.

I decided to ask bloggers and readers what they feel the recipe of a successful blog post is.  I also asked what makes them revisit the same writer time and time again.  A special thank you goes to our contributors for the time they spent providing their answers.   Here are some interesting insights from them.

Of course, always feel free to share your thoughts on what you would like to see from me.

I’m not a blogger but… In the world of social media, I think it’s important to know your platform.  Your posts on social media sites like Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest etc. need to be formulated in a way that will make them successful on THAT site.
The traffic driven to your blog from these sites depends on enticing people to click your link.  That requires understanding what makes each site tick, and they are all different.  Having your posts from one site auto-post to another is not the best strategy, in my humble opinion.  There are “tweeks” that need to take place.  And one must consider whatever it is that drives traffic on a particular site.
What makes a blog successful (assuming success to be web traffic) is the capability to reach target audiences that are interested in what you’re writing about.  This is why social is a powerful tool particularly for “long tail” topics that have a niche appeal.
What differentiates great blog content for me is a strong point-of-view.  Not a strong ideological point-of-view, but content that presents something interesting in a unique light.  For example:  Samantha Bangayan shares a special perspective with her audience as a Canadian observing Peruvian culture.  Charlie Grosso brings a strong voice to her photography blog, which brings unique insight to her pictures.  These are the bloggers that I try to emulate when I write.
The following quote is by Sean Gardner, aka, @2morrowknight “Tweets are most effective when used to inspire, inform and empower”.  I believe the same is true of successful blog posts.  As a reader of a variety of posts, my recipe for a great blog post has four main ingredients:
  1. Title:  Catchy enough to peak my interest, yet stays true to the content of the post.
  2. First Paragraph:  Gives a brief explanation of what the post is about.
  3. Content:  Has a nice flow, making it easy to understand the message being conveyed.
  4. Length:  Can be read within two to three minutes.   (A little humor is also a nice touch if it adds to the ‘flavor’ of the post.)
Hook me in with a great title that will persuade me to click onto your link.  From there, tell me a story about your subject matter.  Decide upon the most relevant two or three points.  Stick to your topic and be concise, but informative.
As you wrap up the post, give me some take away ideas. If travel related, provide reasons to visit a destination.  For topics on personal growth and development, how will I benefit?   If your post is geared towards business, give an actionable piece of advice to utilize.
What would I consider the seasoning? Provide related links should I want further information about the topic.  From there you should be on your way to reeling in some great results.
“Developing killer blog posts day in and day out takes a lot of work and dedication.  It is not about how long your blog post is or how much time you have spent formatting it.  It’s about WITFYR (what’s in it for your readers). Will your readers be significantly better off in any way after reading your posts?  That’s the main question.
A killer blog post consists of great content, user-friendly formatting, and the right voice for your specific audience all combined with an effective promotion strategy behind it.  The content is still king but making the right connection with the right audience and having a well-planned content promotion strategy matter big time.”
In my opinion, in order to have a successful blog post, number one would be a strong, descriptive title to get the reader’s attention.  The writer also has to publicize their posts through multiple social media sources.
If I find a blogger that I really enjoy, I will frequent their writings.  I really like writers that have interesting and important or valuable information.
And blogs that are entertaining, provide inspiration, and well written are also beneficial.
Finally, I would say, keep it short, people are busy!
Riveting – The best blog post grabs attention and keeps it.
– Be unique. Think out of the box.  Like using lots of R words ツ in your headline.
– Be genuine but use excellence in SEO.  Using keywords phrases helps you get found on Google.
“Blog Post” is searched 550,000/mo on Google.  Use and repeat popular keywords in your headline and blog post.
Responsive – Engage and evoke response.  Ask what do you think questions.
– Use expert cooks like Marketing Guru Seth Godin ingredients for “how to write a blog post” that include:
” A useful topic to many readers, – Not too long, – Cause the reader to look at the world differently.”
So how can a Blog Post about writing a Blog Post make us look at the world differently?
There are 84,600 seconds in each day that we can use to touch lives and make a difference.  So we might ask how do we write an impactful blog post to evoke thought, inspire, help, and encourage other?

I believe that a really catchy title and a post with relevant content that is short, sweet and to the point is the best recipe for success.  If the post is exceptionally long I might skim through it to see what the main points are and then move on, however if it has gotten my attention from the first paragraph, and is not more than 300 to 500 words, I will take the time to read it from start to finish.
Another very important point is for the author’s personality to jump off the page; this brings excitement and a sure return visit to the blog!  A clean, clear and decent font size is also a winning formula!
A great blog post provides readers with real solutions to problems and issues they face; readers also love to learn new things that they can use in their personal and professional lives from blog posts. Offering one or more of these things makes your post relevant and meaningful to readers.
Speak directly to your readers, using active voice and your own personal style. Using your personal style and voice when speaking directly to your readers creates a bond between you and your audience, causing them to return time after time to connect and engage with you.
The best blogs start with 1 main ingredient…PASSION! We are all passionate about something.  The question is “How are you funneling your passion?”  Whether public or private, a blog is a great place to express and grow your passion.   We are innately drawn to those who express their ideas with intensity, humor and in rich detail.  We thrive on the electricity of words backed with emotion.
A public blog filled with equal parts passion and education electrifies readers.  Give your blog personality by adding the spice that is a creative expression of you.  The ingredients you include gives your blog character.  Include passion, education and conversation along with your personality and you will have readers, followers and fans.
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35 Replies to “What is the Recipe for a Great Blog Post?

  1. Definitely some great tips here. I have always found that I write my best blog posts in the morning, and my best work comes out when I am truly interested. I have a great desire in my niche so it is very easy to write some days. Other days, I have trouble, but I really have to enjoy the topic I am writing about.

  2. Very interesting post. It’s always good to get different viewpoints from people who’ve had success.
    Any thoughts on including a relevant image or two? Does that help to catch people’s attention and engage them on the topic?

  3. Hi Ann!

    I am a passionate blogger and I am into social media… and I know I have to agree with you!

    Thanks for sharing.


  4. Thanks for this, I love this post. I’d like to think I’m inspiring at least ONE person everyday – and this is enough for me. While I may not be getting the immense web traffic many bloggers (like you! :P) are getting, I am inspired to write week in and week out because of one or two people who send me a ‘good job’ and ‘nice read’ tweet every once in a while.

    These little things add up, and after a while, I just stop caring about traffic and just write on the things I like and love! In the end, THIS is what matters I think 🙂

  5. Lots of good information Ann thank you. Being passionate about what you’re writing about, I find is the magic ingredient that keeps your posts fresh, informative, and interesting. Add a little WILD and you have a killer combination.

  6. Nice post Ann!
    My goal is to always bring quality in my blog posts also.
    I believe if I create content that can help business owners, they will want to read and share it.
    Thanks for your insight 🙂

  7. I relate best to the insights shared by @Lukika and @RockChristopher but found all of the contributions by the various blog authors to be interesting. When I blog, I try to do so from the perspective of “How can I motivate somebody today?” or “How can I help somebody improve their life?” in a few paragraphs? Tell a story! Share an experience! Take a famous quote and build a story around it which an audience can relate to and grow by reading! Thanks for teaching me something today @AnnTran this is what I read blogs for! @BoldSuccess

  8. I love reading Russell Purkiss and Texascopywriters blogs. They both incorporate their dynamic personalities into their posts as well as great topics. I will have to read the others too.

  9. Samantha at MedTopicWriter lives what she preaches and personally engages with every reader and commenter. Her articles are not all about HER (so many bloggers focus on themselves!). She also lets people disagree with her freely – although I don’t know why anyone would want to!

  10. Thanks for this post from writers in the trenches! You selected an excellent assortment of bloggers–each with original & well-developed points of view–great takeaway value for readers and writers alike. Know that I learned something from each of them.

    Particularly pleased that you featured my friend & collaborator, Samantha Gluck, whose writing never fails to deliver a fresh perspective in an unexpected package.

    1. Hi Amy,

      I am very lucky to have such wonderful contributors to participate in this format. Thank you for your wonderful feedback. Yes, Samantha is an excellent writer. ツ


  11. Another fabulous piece.. Paula Deen would undoubtedly be jealous of this recipe. I’ve become increasingly fond of your format, I love the insights that your guests provide!

    1. Hi Tony,

      Your comment about Paula Deen is Too Funny! Glad you liked this post and the format. I am very lucky to have such wonderful collaborators.

      Thank you,

  12. I’m always looking for inspiring and timeless messages that never go out of date. Don’t worry about being original. Be more concerned about delivering a worthwhile message, even if it’s common or obvious. After all, common sense isn’t that common. Important reminders about the things that truly matter never hurt.

    1. Hi Gurpreet,

      This is a great collection from our friends from Twitter. I am glad that you found it easy and informative to follow. ツ


  13. Being new to the “blogosphere”, I am definitely saving this post in my Evernote to refer back to often. I appreciate the tips! Sometimes keeping up with my blogs & social networks can be overwhelming, so posts like yours really help me get focused & organized. Thanks Ann 🙂

    1. Hi Lisa,

      You may want to check out other articles I’ve written under blogging and social media. There are a few other evergreen posts that you may find useful.


  14. So if I understand correctly, what I need is: interesting, unique, useful, genuine content that is engaging and not too long; a catchy title; a great voice conveying passion. Got it. Great advice! I’ll try to remember that.

  15. Really handy article, Ann & friends. Very useful tips for any blogger. I have been blogging for few years and using some of these methods already and learned a few new ones here as well. It’s good to see you have published it up for people to learn from. Thank you so much.

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