Copywriting, Video

What are the elements of a successful blog?

Go from blank page to compelling blog post — even if you have “no time”

If you’re starting an online business while working a full-time job, it can be difficult to find time to create content. It’s easy to look at popular blogs cranking out posts on a weekly basis and think, “If only I had the time.”

But guess what? Those bloggers are busy, too. The difference is that, when they sit down to write, they have a strategy. That’s why they can get more done is less time.

To help you out, I want to share these strategies with you. Just enter your name and email below for instant access to my guide.

How to go from blank page to compelling blog post every time you sit down to write

I’ve got a question here:

“What are some elements of a successful blog post?”

I’m glad someone is asking this. A lot of people write blog posts. They get zero comments, zero readers, and they wonder why. Yet they do the same thing over and over again. They never get to the root cause.

Now, I’ve been blogging every week for almost 12 years. Some of my posts have thousands of comments. I went back and looked at these posts and tried to identify some elements. I’d like to share some of those today.

Write what nobody else is talking about

First, focus on what your audience wants to hear, not what you want to talk about.

The classic example in personal finance is everybody was writing about savings rates and Roth IRAs. But what people really wanted to hear about was, “Hey, I’ve got a cheap friend who never tips when we go out. What am I supposed to do about him?”

That was the elephant in the room. Everyone knows someone like that, but it’s hard to say anything because it’s your friend.

Write and meet your audience where they are, not always where you want them to be.

Solve problems with actionable advice

If you’ve struggled with a problem and found a unique way to solve it, that’s infinitely helpful.

One of our most popular examples was the Briefcase Technique. This is something that I created years and years ago when I would go to interviews and I would theatrically pull out something from my bag.

I would tell the interviewer, “I actually created this presentation for you.”

I would pull it out and hand it over. Every time, they were like, “Oh my god. You got the job.”

So I refined it. I tested it. And I created a video on it. I gave it away for free and it turned out to be one of the most popular things we have ever done.

It was a unique spin. You might have a unique spin in your own area. Think about how to name it, package it, and then deliver it to people. It will spread.

Avoid corporate jargon

People write things like, “Today in our era of interesting internet corporate communication, it’s very important to be cognizant…”

What?!?!

Write like you would send an email to a friend. Better yet, write like you would talk to a friend at a bar.

What I want to hear is a friend saying, “Look, dude. I totally get it. I went out last night. I had this crazy thing happen. I woke up in the morning, I was hungover, and then the first thing I thought was, ‘I’m going to be late to work again.’ How can I afford to be late to work?”

That’s completely different and relatable. I’m telling a story. Go look at the old magazine called Reader’s Digest. Every single article starts with a great, relatable story. This is how you want to talk. This is how you want to write. If you can do that, you will stand out from everybody else.

Tell your readers what to do next

Ask your readers to weigh in with their thoughts. Ask them to write you back, comment, and then showcase their answers. Make it a two-way communication. Don’t just be blasting people all the time.

This is something I do even to this day. We have hundreds of thousands of people on our email list, and at the bottom of lots of emails I write, “Hey, write me back. Tell me what you think.”

This gets me a flood of responses.

People think, “Oh, my god. You’re overwhelmed.”

Well, I actually love getting those emails. I love building a relationship with my readers.

If you can do this, it’ll set you apart from everybody else. You can also take the comments you get and work them into future material. That’s completely different than somebody who sends out email blasts every week.

Add a unique perspective

Don’t just rehash the same old recycled tactics that everyone else is saying. Be different.

For example, I talked about personal finance in terms of psychology. I actually made fun of frugality zealots who said, “You can’t spend money on lattes or anything.”

I had a totally different approach. If you don’t have something new to add to the conversation, then what are you doing? All of us have something new to add to the conversation.

It could be an extreme level of practicality like, “I went through and tested 25 cookbooks. This is what I learned.”

Or it could be someone new going through the process of a new skill. For example, are you learning how to swim? Take people through what you do every day.

There’s a million different ways to do it. But if it’s just rehashing the same old stuff, millions of others have already done it.

How to craft these elements into a compelling blog post

It’s one thing to know about these things I just went over — it’s completely different putting them into practice.

How many times have you sat down to write, excited to try some new tactic, and can’t get the words to come out? It used to happen to me all the time. But as I got busier and busier, I had to learn how to be more productive.

I’ve compiled my best strategies for doing this. Just enter your name and email below for instant access to them.

How to go from blank page to compelling blog post every time you sit down to write