Ever since you started blogging, you've been looking for the secret to the perfect blog post, right?
Here's the thing: That secret? You already know it. You've known it ever since your junior-high composition class.
Yes, that classic essay structure you learned from Mrs. Zaponowicz in the eighth grade — the one with the bizarre-looking "keyhole" diagram — is as relevant for blog writing today as it was for your theme on dramatic irony in Romeo and Juliet when you were 13.
There's a reason why this structure has been around for a while. It works. And here's how we rock it as grown up bloggers in 2015:
Part 1: The Introduction
If the blog post title is your storefront, the introduction is your entrance lobby, the spot where the reader decides whether the rest of your post is worth reading.
Start with a general statement that your reader can instantly relate to: a statistic, a question, or a commonly known fact or opinion.
Draw the reader further in by offering a twist: introduce a contradictory point or indicate that this fact only tells part of the story.
Narrow down to your main point, the one you'll spend the bulk of the post fleshing out.
Part 2: The Body
This is the "meat" of the post, where you'll flesh out your main point with specific proof points. If your post is titled "3 Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda — Now!" this is where those three points will live.
Offer at least three proof points. If the post needs to be short, just present each proof point as briefly as possible.
Stay on task and avoid meandering away from your main point, which can cause your reader to lose interest and wander away.
Part 3: The Closing
Okay, this is it: the final pep talk, the marching orders, the place where you sum up what you've just presented and give your reader something to walk away with.
Start by revisiting your main point in light of the proof points you've just presented.
Broaden out your perspective by showing how this main point fits into a larger picture: your health, your career, the environment, etc.
Close with a final call to action that lets your audience take what they've learned out into the world and use it.
If all this sounds academic and elusive, don't worry — chances are you're already doing something similar out of pure instinct. With a little awareness and practice, the classic essay structure will become second nature … and you'll knock it out of the park on every single blog post.