It all starts with the first blog post.
I know… I’ve been through that stage. You’ve got mixed feelings:
A bit of euphoria:
You picture yourself as a successful blogger. I’ve written and self-published a book – dang-it – how hard can writing a good blog post BE?
But as soon as you start writing your first blog post, your feelings change. You start feeling:
You feel stuck, and probably a bit frustrated.
I decided to write this blog post specifically for you.
To help you find your way and do only the things you need to do in order to achieve success.
Remember the IEEO Marketing Framework?
(O) Offer/Call To Action
If not, you can refresh your memory with my Lead Magnet here.
Though I'm sure you do … and you’ll be pleased to learn building FAST Know, Like, Trust blog post’s follow the IEEO framework!
So, if you know your audience and subject matter well – this blogging framework will be as easy as 1-2-3.
Two Clear Benefits of the FAST Know, Like, Trust Blogging Framework
1. It helps you optimise and standardise your blog writing effort
2. It sends a very clear message to your audience. After reading a few of your posts, they will quickly learn where to go to get a consistent value-laden read – and WANT to read your posts.
The key to the FAST Know, Like, Trust blogging framework? The word “fast”.
Being fast matters, informing the audience that “the average human only reads EFFECTIVELY for 19 minutes (or less)” a day.
That includes texts, emails, news sites and blog post articles.
They’re not necessarily going to read every word of your 2,000-word missive.
So, be quick.
Get to the point.
Don’t complicate things.
Don’t write a white paper when it’s supposed to be a blog post.
DO give them something memorable and actionable!
Follow the FAST Know, Like, Trust Blogging Framework Checklist
You are able to be a FAST Know, Like, Trust blogger once you get familiar with a list of what every effective blog post needs:
• A compelling headline/title that makes a promise to your audience
• An equally and relevant featured image
• A “strong+story” first sentence and paragraph
• A great (and highly relatable) first example
• A second and/or third example
• A list of action items
• A call to action
To create FAST Know, Like, Trust blogs, start at the top of the list and work your way down, checking things off as you go.
1. What’s the Big Idea?
2. What’s the Key Point/Disovery?
3. Understand what the end result must be:
- Who will be reading it?
- What are the keywords?
- What do you want your audience to take from it?
- Do you have specific research or data that you need to include?
- What kind of questions does that data beg to be answered?
- What call to action (CTA) will you be using?
4. Figure out what you DO know/List what you have to mention.
5. Figure out what you DON'T know.
For example, on a post about using outlines, I might have written:
- Who started blog outlines?
- What were they hoping to achieve?
- How many different outlining techniques are there?
- Are outlines effective or can they be limiting
- Are there glaring holes in a accepted theory that need to be challenged?
- How can I help my readers beleive me, as opposed to just telling them?
6. Organise your content in logical order.
Access the FREE One Page 'FAST Know, Like, Trust Blog Post Framework Wall Guide' as your guide.
7. Create sub-headlines based on your list.
Sub-headlines should tell your story + move your reader through to their destination.
8. Refine and curate your sub-headlines and content.
Reorder and cut, where necessary, to organise your content.
9. Start writing your draft
Bonus tip. Dismantle the curse of perfectionism! :)
I have a printout of these strategies on the wall and a printed blank copy of the framework and checklist on my desk to help me out. You can access it and print it yourself if you want.
Just like most lists, there are items on there that are prioritised.
A great title that is irresistible to your well-researched audience is mandatory.
In today’s world, the subject line makes or breaks whether the blog post is read … or not.
Your title or subject line is what gets read the most by your audience.
And if it doesn’t pull people in, convey the story you want to tell, and convince them to read, you’ve already failed.
Here’s seven strategies for creating blog intros and introductions that hook the reader and make them want to spend time with the post.
1. Hit with a controversial opening - “Contrary to popular belief...” or a thought-provoking question = “Have you sometimes wondered what people say about you when you’re not around?”
2. Lead with a relatable/success story – that your audience can relate to or aspire to achieve themselves
3. Minimalists rejoice. Less is more in some cases. Open short and direct - “5 tips that help you find 1 hour in every day - that don’t involve getting up early!”
4. Remember WIIFM: “What’s In It For Me?” – the reader - focus on benefits
5. Get readers nodding by making statements they can relate to
6. Help them realise what you are saying by using an analogy, metaphor, or simile
7. Cite an eye-opening, less-known or shocking statistic
But what comes after that?
How can you keep people on your blog once they’ve agreed to read it?
Intriguing, Short First Sentence
The first sentence of your blog post is just as important, if not more so, than your headline.
If your headline grabs a readers’ attention, the first sentence is what keeps them there.
Done right, the first sentence of your blog post stirs up enough intrigue, interest, and promises that your reader simply can’t turn away.
Think of it as a tasty morsel at a cocktail party — your reader has had a taste, and now they want more.
The first sentence of your blog post should:
1. Stir up intrigue
2. Peak interest
3. Make a promise
So, what constitutes an intriguing first sentence?
Here are some suggestions to hook your readers and push them further into your content:
- Incorporate a well-known saying or phrase - adapt it to interrupt the readers pattern thinking e.g. “Build it and they’ll come!” they said .. How beleiving this mantra ruined my business - and I what I did to fix it!
- Make a bold claim — ensure your content backs it up
- Pose a question your reader is asking – or should be asking
- Address a need you know your readers have
- Reflect on your own experience
Say it out loud, share it with others, pick it apart like your English teacher did back in high school.
It’s that important.
“You can’t write your blog like it’s a murder mystery and reveal the butler did it on the last page. Get the story into the first paragraph.”
- Chris Brogan. NYT Bestselling author/business advisor. Creator of the StoryLeader™ system.
Brevity Is Your Friend
It’s up for debate, but it is widely accepted that people only read EFFECTIVELY, an average of 19 minutes each day.
They don’t have the time to read a long, run-on sentence or a paragraph that refuses to end.
Once you’ve finished your blog post, go back and see where you can make it simpler and get to the point faster. Your audience will appreciate the time you’re saving them in the long-run.
This doesn’t mean long-form content is out.
It means be concise, deliberate, and intentional with your language. If there’s a sentence that isn’t needed, cut it.
Connect on a Human Level
When it comes to the writing your blog post, let go of your stuffy corporate identity and be human.
Don’t be the brand. Be the person that represents the brand.
Show your audience that you have feelings, opinions, humor, and value driven insights and perspective.
Be a Guide
Your blog post need to provide value (answers to important questions) that your audience are concerned with.
They need to solve real problems, and you need to provide real information that helps them solve them, challenge their beliefs, educate them and guide their decisions.
And one of the best ways to do that is to be a guide for your audience, helping them avoid disaster and reach their destination.
It’s easy to get lost in the nitty-gritty of the content — to be reading a section of the post and forget why it’s important to you in the first place.
I mean, do you even remember the main focus of this post after diving deeper into a specific point?
That’s what your conclusion/Takeawy does.
Think of it as your “if you only remember one thing, remember this” statement.
It’s one last chance to get the information to your reader and entice them to take further action.
Leave them with at least ONE actionable nugget or actionable item they can implement right away.
It could be as simple as inviting them to comment on the post and share what they’ve learnt.
Every Blog Post Should Include a Call to Action
Remember: always include a call to action.
It gets your reader accustomed to expecting a next step and it helps turn your blog into a conversion machine.
A call to action can be anything from a newsletter subscription to an ebook download to a question that facilitates further discussion either on your blog or in your gated communities.
It gives your reader a logical next step to take.
Here are some call to action ideas:
• Free/Introductory trial/Demo
• Discovery Call (awareness level dependent)
• Pay to access more detailed/valuable content on the topic
• Free actionable/goodwill download that requires opt-in/signup
e.g. Are you struggling with content marketing for your company? Check out our 3 day crash course for $5 a day, and start turning blog readers into paying customers.
Blog Like You Like to be Blogged to
Content is everywhere—and so is our attention.
We need to strive to create blog post that people actually want to read. Enjoy to read.
This means strategically getting to the point early on to hook readers, then delivering on your promise (suggested by the headline) in an intentional way.
Your job is not to fill a web page.
Your job is to give your reader’s information they truly care about – and ideally, is actionable, taking them closer to their destination.
It Takes Practice
The above methodology has served many successful bloggers and marketers well since the dawn of blogging, and it might prove useful to your efforts.
As with any good framework, there is room for creativity and personality within the framework itself – once you master the basics?
How do you know when you’ve achieved this?
Simple. Your traffic/readership increases, along with your readers taking you up on your call to actions. You may want to include getting a few shares on social.
I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did writing it for you.
Use the blog post framework above on every post you write.
It not only helps write great content, it also makes sure that content is easy-to-read, enticing and supports your conversion metrics and readership.
Following the framework has two clear benefits.
1. It helps you standardise and optimise your blog writing effort - saving your valuable time and providing predictability
2. It sends a very clear message to your audience that they will get a consistent value-laden read – where they'll WANT to read your posts and come back for more.