When you get to the end of a blog post and you are just about to hit the submit button — think again. Your work isn’t done yet.
Before you cross the finish line, consider if you can elevate the quality of your post by simply using an added element. An added element is the cherry on top. It is the extra feature or formatting or bit of information that can take a blog from mediocre to great.
Bolding words is the easiest element to add because you don’t need to add anything to the content. You only neeed to sprinkle in some formatting.
As you know online readers like to scan through content, so by bolding words or phrases that include key takeaways, you are taking your post up a notch and making it more reader-friendly.
I did this in a recent post, “CopyPress Community Is Turning Creatives Into Media Making Entreprenuers.” When I finished the post, I realized that a lot of my major takeaways were hidden at the end of the post wedged between other text. So I bolded the most important phrases of the bullet points.
This way, readers will get the picture even if they don’t view the whole gallery.
When writing a post that uses quotes or information from other sources, highlight those statements using block quotes.
As with bolding, this helps highlight the important message of the blog for readers interested in just scanning the article.
Don’t think that by making your blog post scannable, you are telling the reader it’s okay not to read the rest of your words. Instead, think of it as a lure to pull the reader into the body of your post. Highlighting a strong quote, especially when delivered by an authority or thought leader, is giving readers a little nibble of content to draw them in.
Be a Freelance Writer did this in a recent post, “Here’s What Real Blog Editors Look For in Your Pitches.” They used block quotes to highlight specific inforamtion tied back to the subheading and title. This made it easy for readers to get all of the information without needing to read every word.
(This post had a double added element — it includes bolding in the quotes too.)
When including tips (or main takeaways) in a post that has a lot of supporting information, make sure that tip is straightforward, blunt, and easy to find. You can do this by featuring the tip:
- in a bulleted list
- with numbers
- with bold introductory phrases
- in subheadings
The body of a post may be lengthy in order to explain a concept to a reader who doesn’t fully understand the topic. But consider the reader who doesn’t need an explanation, the reader who just wants the solution. Make it easy for the reader to find what they are looking for by adding the extra element of the highlighted tip.
Copyblogger did this in a recent post. The post “9 Persuasion Lessons from a 4-Year-Old” used anecdotes in the body of the content to explain the topic, then provided bolded, numbered tips that made it easy to grab the main point.
There is a theme to every piece of content, so look for a way to pull that theme out and bring it to the forefront.
This works best for posts that have many sections or is in a list format. Look through your information and identify ways to show the relationship of each section or concept in a larger way. You could do this by ranking and categorizing information in an interesting way.
This post, “Six Rules of Dating You Can Apply to Customer Service” on the CopyPressed blog, uses a theme that shows a dating rule up against a client rule for each section. This added element makes the post more interesting by adding a unique hook and noticeable takeaway.
Subheading Supporting Information
If you are at the end of a blog post and find that you used vague or short subheadings, go back and see how you can better support those subheading. You can do that by adding:
- Superlatives (that show the best attribute of the element)
- Specific Supporting Information (for example, in “The Highest Grossing Apps of All Time,” the subheadings should include the amount earned by the app)
- Cues that Tie the Subheadings Together (numbers for steps, years for timelines, descriptions for phrases, reason why the element is in the list, etc.)
In this CopyPressed post “Your Email Subject Line Will Save Your from Zombies,” Andrea does a great job at adding an extra value to the subheading by immediately listing an example right after the subheading.
What’s even better about this is that she pulls together a unifying theme as the message in the examples flow from top down so it feel like we are reading the messages from an actual email about a zombie appocalype.
Examples, Screenshots, and Strong Visuals
The added element of this post is the examples and screenshots that I used to show each point.
This post could have existed without them. I could have created a complete message by simply explaining what I meant in each section. But the examples and screenshots of each article made this article better.
Don’t believe me? View this article without the examples and screenshots and tell me if you think I’m wrong.
Added elements can be the difference between a post that falls flat and a blog post that creates a lasting impact, so don’t waste your work by failing to add that push at the finish line. It’s worth it.
What other ways to you add elements to your blot posts to kick them up a notch? Tell us in the comments below?