I’ve noticed some commonalities amongst some of the top sites that I write for from time to time.
(I’m talking about the Copyhackers, SumoMe, and Kissmetrics-type blogs.)
Know what it is?
They all format their content in similar ways.
And probably for good reason: It works.
So by looking at the formulas these sites use for structuring content, I’ve condensed some of the must-use formatting tips for home run content into a few easy pointers that you can implement for your own writing right away.
Here’s what you need to know.
Lead with a Compelling, Conversational Intro
One of the hallmarks of the top sites I write for is that they’re known for having interesting intros with a conversational tone that naturally lure the reader in.
This usually means the intro is a little snarky, it poses an important question (that it will later answer), and it lures the reader in through what reads as a very natural speaking voice.
Example: Your Page As A Mirror, Or The Reason People Buy Blocks Of Cheese Product
So, when you want to write an intro like Copyhackers or SumoMe, remember to do the following:
- Start with single sentences separated by spaces, not long paragraphs
- Incorporate some humor (gifs and memes work well)
- Build curiosity with a question or by previewing a “how-to”
- Write in a conversational tone and ditch the technical lingo
Make the Middle Meaty
Next, you’ll want to build out a meaty mid-section like these sites do.
This typically entails some intense research and example-hunting, so be prepared to invest some time here. I often spend 4-8 hours per article building out the bulk of the post for these sites.
Example: 9 Essential Ways to Use Scarcity to Increase Sales
What makes the posts we see on these types of sites so valuable is that theyteach. They don’t just offer some general tips and ideas, they’re all about actionable, example-driven tactics that can immediately be replicated for similar results.
As a rule of thumb, make sure your mid-section includes:
- Clear headers that lead the reader deeper into the post
- 5-8 case studies or real life examples, complete with screenshots and breakdowns of why said examples are relevant
- Complete, step-by-step walkthroughs of processes from start to finish
- Statistics and research that back up the points you’re making (link out to the data, too)
- Quotes from experts on the topic
- Additional elements of humor (again, gifs are an easy way to keep the tone light when you’re getting nerdy over process details)
This part of the formatting process is all about delivering value, educating, and making your content worth reading and sharing.
Remind ‘Em What You Said
In the conclusion portion of the post, you’re simply recapping the key bullet points of what you just taught and giving them another piece of content for further reading or a CTA for additional materials.
This is a great place for an opt-in if you have another relevant piece of content based on what you just wrote about (like a template for a rate sheet if you just wrote about pricing, for example.)
Formatting Like a Pro
If you can follow these formatting tips, you’ll be creating incredible content that gets noticed in no time at all--just like your favorite blogs.
Often times these types of content require quite a bit of work, concentration, and research, but they are much more memorable than short form, generalized posts that are quickly thrown together.
This article originally appeared in my newsletter, A Cup of Copy. Sign up and get these free tips sent right to your inbox every other Wednesday.