Is there anything worse than a typical recipe blog post?
Imagine: you’re browsing the web on your mobile phone for that perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe to wow everyone at your family’s annual Memorial Day cookout. The top Google results look promising, and you click into the second search result entry with its enticing, ooey-gooey thumbnail: Mary’s Ultimate Soft-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies (with a Secret Ingredient). Oh, yeah! You’re so ready to break out the flour and sugar and whip up a batch. Your relatives will have nothing but nice things to say if you can reproduce this delightful recipe. Even Aunt Karen with the chip on her shoulder (haha) can’t say no to a great chocolate chip cookie.
You start scrolling through the recipe post’s introduction. Oh, nice – Mary developed these cookies herself from scratch over years and years of testing. Well, that’s cool. I wonder what kind of chips she recommends using. Ah, here we go, an overview of the types of chocolate chips available and the differences between them. And their origins and popularity levels throughout the globe. Well, I don’t know if I really need that much detail, let’s just skip that paragraph…
Ok, the secret ingredient is oat flour. I can either purchase pre-ground oat flour, or make my own from the oatmeal in my cupboard. That’s helpful. Oh, but now she’s talking about how she started using oat flour due to her son’s gluten allergy…for the next nine paragraphs. Hmmm, it’s almost like she’s just writing to write, or worse, just writing for SEO.
Oh no, here we go. She mentioned ingredients you can add for a “twist,” and of course one of them is lavender. Whenever food bloggers mention lavender, you know they’re going to talk about- yep, there it is, Mary’s 14-day journal of her culinary exploration in the French countryside. OF COURSE. You’re nearly pulling your hair out as you hiss:
JUST GET TO THE RECIPE, MARY.
Now, Mary is welcome to write about whatever she likes on her own damn blog. We’re not here to debate that. But Mary, would it have been too much extra effort to add a link at the top for those of us who just want to make your chocolate chip cookies in the next century? I wonder how many readers clicked away from the 20-mile-long recipe post in favor of a simpler (and briefer) offering.
Your readers are busy, and you want them to get what they need out of your blog posts. Keep in mind the tips below when creating content, in order to whip up a successful and engaging blog post. If you don’t have the time (or desire) to write original content, share quality content to your WordPress, HubSpot, or other blog or website from your PartnerOn account.
Keep it short
When possible, keep your blog posts abbreviated and focused on a single topic. Ultimately, your readers are looking for a specific piece of advice or information that will help them learn more about your solution and make a purchasing decision. Recipe posts like Mary’s cause many readers to disengage as she jumps from topic to unrelated topic. Scrolling through 14 pages of content before getting to the recipe card is extra frustrating on a mobile device, where a thumb swiping in even slightly the wrong way can open unwanted ads or even bring the reader back to the top of the page to start all over again.
Front-load important information
In your own posts, always offer an option to “Skip to the Recipe.” If your piece culminates in a prompt to join an upcoming webinar, include the registration information at the beginning of the post, as well as at the end. If your post is part of a series, link to Parts I and II at the top so that readers know what to expect, and put them back at square one if that’s where they need to be. The easier you make it for readers to find the information you need, the more likely they are to return to you as a reliable source of knowledge.
Guide them to their next step
For readers who do want to read more, include links to your other articles within the blog article itself or at the bottom of the page. This is a great chance for you to be strategic about your reader’s next step towards becoming a customer.
Do you want them to read a related article that digs more deeply into a solution or that presents a use case?
Do you want them to attend an upcoming virtual event that you’re offering for decision-makers?
Would you rather just invite them to contact you?
These are all fantastic options to feature under your “Read More” or “Watch Next” subheadings. Just make sure that any links you include are set to open in a new tab, so readers can easily navigate back to your blog article.