How To Write a Product Blog Post [Content, Structure & Everything You Need To Know]
Updated: Nov 25, 2019
“According to a Microsoft report, our attention span has markedly decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8.25 seconds in 2015. In fact, scientists reckon we now have shorter attention spans than a goldfish… which has an average attention span of 9 seconds.”
The human attention span is getting shorter. Myth or not, the reality is that we are bombarded with more and more information every day. That fact forces us to become pickier when deciding what to read and whatnot.
In fact, most of your visitors don’t read your blog posts. They'd rather just scroll and scan them to decide whether it’s worth their time doing that. So what would make the difference between them closing your blog and reading it?
There are many factors like design, topic, content, headline, timing but they are all dependent on ONE thing - Structure.
In this blog article, you’ll learn how to structure your product blog posts beyond the traditional introduction, content, and conclusion structure so they get actually read. Here's what we'll cover.
1. An Introduction containing:
2. Content presenting:
using the Why, How, What Principle
3. A Conclusion that converts by having:
Next Actions (CTAs)
Also, practical writing tips and examples are included for each part of the blog structure. For example, did you know that the Introduction is always written last and why?
The goal of this article is to give you the tools you need and to teach you how to write product blog posts that attract customers, get read and convert. If you've read carefully this blog post and applied the process presented you'd be able to produce quality blog articles, fast and efficiently.
So let’s not waste more time and dive straight into the blog post writing structure!
The purpose of the Introduction part is to grab our attention and help us decide whether to read the content by setting clear expectations of what will be covered and how would we benefit from that.
The Hook grabs the reader's attention by presenting them interesting information (statistics, quote, image, short story, question) and opens a knowledge gap linked with their problem, fear or opportunity for potential gain.
Note: When setting Hooks for your content must always keep them relevant to the topic and the reader, otherwise they can backfire by pissing off the more analytical part of your audience.
To open effective knowledge gaps you must know with whom you are communicating and understand them. To do that read later this article on how to define and target your audience.
Knowledge Gap Examples: "So what would make the difference between them closing your blog and reading it?", "96% of consumers are not ready to buy the first time they visit your website. How do you stop missing out 96 out of 100 customers?"
Hook Examples: The Goldfish attention span in this article, Why Your Business Will Die [The Symptom 90% of Startups Have]
The agenda tells the reader exactly what to expect in the article and what they’ll learn. It can be done with a one-sentence paragraph or listing the points of the blog post in a numbered list.
Tip: The agenda should describe exactly what’ll be covered in the article. That’s why the Introduction part is written last after the Content is ready.
Agenda Examples: A long-form article on Project Management I wrote for my friends at Ora, How To Network Effectively by HubSpot, Scrumban: What is Scrumban? [The Agile Development Guide In 2019] by Ora
Note: The agenda can be skipped for short blog posts containing only one point in their content structure.
The Goal section of the Introduction is to promise the reader how would they benefit after consuming your content. It answers their questions “What’s in for me?” and “What I’ll gain if I invest time reading this content?”
"The goal of this article is to give you the tools you need and to teach you how to write product blog posts that attract customers, get read and convert. If you've read carefully this blog post and applied the process presented you'd be able to produce quality blog articles, fast and efficiently." (from this blog post)
The Content part of your article contains your ideas, thoughts, stories, and information you want to present. To communicate them effectively to others you need to structure and group them in points logically so they are easy to follow and understand.
A Point is a group of thoughts and ideas on a specific topic. For simplicity, a point is every different thing in which you want to persuade your readers.
To make your points more persuasive you need to apply the Why, How, What Principle. To do so answer the following three questions for your point in the following order.
1. Why? - Their Motivation (Emotion)
The Why tells your reader why the point you are about to make is worth reading or listening to. Give them the benefit they'd have if they invest the time to hear you out.
To uncover the Why ask "why?" yourself two times in a row:
“Why X would benefit my reader?“
"Why this benefit is a benefit for my reader?”
Note: Using the “Why? Why?” technique allows you to find the benefit behind the benefit so you can move your readers emotionally.
2. How? - Their Trust (Logic)
The How explains your reader logically how it's possible for them to get the benefit described in the Why section. Instead of telling them directly about your point (feature/service) try explaining to them how it works in a simple way. The How section is for presenting the use-case but not the feature/service itself (the what).
Questions that will help you find the How:
“How my point (feature/service) works?”
“Why my point (feature/service) will bring my reader the benefit?”
Dictionary: A use-case is a specific situation in which a product or service could potentially be used.
3. What? - Your Point (Feature / Service)
The What presents in detail your point and provide specific action steps your readers can take to ultimately receive the benefit from the Why. The What section is usually the longest and it's the place where to talk about your product features or services.
Questions to find the What:
“What's my point? In what I want to persuade my reader?"
“What product features or services I want to present?”
For a blog post using the Why, How, What principle example check-out my article on how the Buyer Personas and the Buyer’s journey work.
Note: If you are writing a non-persuasive content with the primary goal to teach readers who want to learn, the Why section should be minimized or skipped.
Note: The How section can be skipped in cases where the points are self-explanatory. For example like the fact that an article needs Introduction, Content, and Conclusion.
Why, How, What Principle Example
Imagine your product is a multifunctional drill machine.
The pictures you can hang up on the wall, the dream renovation of your dream house, the money you can make offering a construction service
Drilling holes through different surfaces fast and easy by using drill-cooling technology, extended battery life, and power-drilling.
A drill that reaches 2500rpm, supports drilling in concrete, bricks, and wood and is affordable for the middle-class family.
Some of the Points you make might be longer or broader. In that case, it is recommended to split these points into relevant subpoints (subtopics) and filter-out any information that doesn’t add value directly to the point/topic.
Subpoints are the same as Points and must also apply The Why, How What Principle. The only differences are that subpoints are much shorter and they can’t have child points.
Tip: If you need to nest points inside subpoints the suggestion is to group those subpoints into another article and use it as a reference in your main points. That’s called PIllar pages and for more info read this article on Pillar Pages by HubSpot.
Examples of blog posts with Subpoints: How To Target Your Audience [Buyer Personas, Buyer’s Journey and More...], Kanban vs Scrum vs Scrumban: What Are The Differences? by Ora, The Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post by HubSpot
The purpose of the Conclusion part is to wrap up the article, recap the key points made and to provide the next actions your reader can take to learn more or benefit from your product/service.
The Wrap-up section is used as a soft and short transition between the last point made and the conclusion of the article.
To wrap it up ________
To recap ________
We’ve discussed to X, Y, Z. To make sure we haven’t missed any key points ________
In the Recap section, list the key points made in the article and provide value to your reader by telling them again the takeaways they can use from each point.
Examples: The Final Thoughts part at the bottom of this article, 3 Marketing Mistakes That Are Eating Your Ad Budget [And How To Fix Them]
Next Actions (CTAs)
The Next Actions section is the most crucial for your conversion and so far the most skipped or half-assed by most marketers. The purpose of the Next Actions section is to provide the reader with the relevant actions he/she can take to continue his/her journey from reader to your loyal paying customer.
This section in your article is specifically intended for Lead Generation although it shouldn’t be the only place where you try to convert your readers. A good practice for the Next Actions’ CTAs is to put a combination of both direct and indirect ones.
Direct CTA meaning that your readers should register or provide personal information(name, email, phone number) to complete the action. Indirect CTAs are the opposite of the direct ones - the reader can complete the action without giving anything.
These CTAs can be implemented by listing implementation steps or assignments, linking other articles building up on the topic, giving downloadable guides, offering a free consultation or access to free webinar/training.
Blog posts examples of Next Actions section: How To Target Your Audience [Buyer Personas, Buyer’s Journey and More...], HubSpot on 13 Types of Blog Headlines That'll Get You More Traffic [+ Examples]
Fewer people read your blog posts than you think. More people just scroll and scan them than you think, too.
The question is how do you get people to read your article instead of just scrolling it?
The answer lays in the structure and the formatting of your blog post. The structure of a good blog article should consist of three parts - Introduction, Content, and Conclusion. To recap.
Grabs the reader’s attention and opens the article.
Hook - grab the reader’s attention
Agenda - tells the reader exactly what the article is about
Goal - make a promise to the reader how would they benefit if they read the article
Tip: The Introduction is written last. (after the Content part is done)
The Content part consists of points and subpoints following the Why, How, What Principle:
Why (Emotion) - the benefit the reader will get from the What
How (Logic) - why and how the What will bring the benefit
What - the feature, services or point itself
Tip: The Content is written first even before the Introduction.
Closes the article and provides the next actions the reader can take.
Wrap-up (optional) - a soft transition from the last point made to the conclusion
Recap - recaps the key points and takeaways
Next Actions (CTAs) - prompt the reader with the actions he/she can take to continue their journey
Blog Article Writing Process:
Step 1. Set a goal for the article.
Step 2. Choose a topic based on that goal.
Step 3. Brainstorm the points you want to make.
Step 4. List the points that add value directly to the topic.
Step 5. Pick a working headline for the article.
Step 6. Write the Content of the article.
Step 7. Write the Conclusion of the article.
Step 8. Write the Introduction of the article.
Step 9. Edit, optimize for SEO and publish.
To receive first the complete guide on “How to write product blog posts in 2019” subscribe to my blog from the box at the bottom of the page.
Important: The blog post writing guide is expected to be ready by the end of September 2019. If you've subscribed and haven't received it, please message me in the chat.
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P.S. Thanks for reading! It was Iliyan and would be a pleasure for me to hear your opinion, get to know you or help you in terms of Growth Hacking, Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing, Blog Post Writing or Sales.
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