The Essential Elements of a Successful Blog Post
Included in this training:
So you’ve had an on again off again relationship with blogging that has been more off than on lately, or ever.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, you could probably walk out of your office and drive in any direction to the next closest insurance agency and find someone to drown your sorrows with.
The reason your relationship cools off faster than (insert your own marriage joke) is because a lot can go wrong in 800 words.
Well, with any luck that excuse will be no more and you’ll be able to craft effective blog posts that not only get found in search rankings but also make people want to do business with you.
I’ve read thousands of insurance blog posts and written hundreds myself and the ones that work all do the same thing.
Let’s get started breaking down each important line in your insurance blog post.
The success or failure of your blog post will live or die with the quality of the headline.
Mess this up and you’re better off printing out the post and lighting it on fire, or you can just do the digital equivalent and delete it. That’s how important the headline is.
Let’s quickly break down the four key elements you’re going to need to make sure every headline you write doesn’t suck.
This is going to describe what type of post it is.
- Best of
This is traditionally going to be your targeted area of service. If you only sell insurance in Florida, you’re going to want to make sure it’s in the headline.
Otherwise, you’ll have people from all over the country calling up your agency and you won’t have a policy to sell them.
This is going to be the type of insurance the post is about. Home Insurance, Boat Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Life Insurance. Whatever it is, make sure it’s in there.
You might think this is impossible to screw up…
I promise there are a couple hundred “5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter” blog posts out there that will prove you wrong.
This is really where the money is.
Hopefully, your agency has dedicated itself to a couple of niche industry or buyer personas to really allow your blog post to reach it’s maximum potential.
For example, this could include things like first time home buyers, contractors, mortgage brokers, nonprofits and farmers.
Now, all you have to do is put them together in the order that makes the most sense for the post you’re writing.
Here’s a great example from my friend Matt Simon at Hill and Hamilton Insurance.
This is without a doubt the most abused and desecrated section in every below average blog post.
This is your first and maybe only chance to really show the reader how much you understand their pain and struggle.
Take the first line in this blog post for example.
“So you’ve had an on again, off again relationship with blogging that has been more off than on lately, or ever.”
I know you’ve been trying to blog. The reason it’s off and on is you haven’t gotten the results you want. If you had, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t stop.
Once you’ve planted your empathy flag front and center, the second line is all about making them not feel stupid for having this problem.
“Don’t worry, you’re not alone. In fact, you could probably walk out of your office and drive in any direction to the next closest insurance agency and find someone to drown your sorrows with.”
You’ll also get bonus points if you can throw in a joke here.
From there it’s your chance to hint at your expertise while sounding like you don’t want to talk about your expertise. Play hard to get, the blog post is still young.
At this point, it wouldn’t hurt to mention the line of business you’re going to be talking about and sneak in a tidbit displaying your extensive knowledge.
You can round out your opening section with a few more sentences elaborating on any of the parts listed above.
Maximize Your Subheader Effectiveness
I know, it’s extremely hard to resist the urge to be cute and funny here. If you can you’ll dramatically increase your blog’s effectiveness.
Double bonus points if you can do both.
If you treat your subheader like a secondary headline, you’ll be able to sneak in additional keywords you weren’t able to in the headline.
This is going to give your article a better chance to rank for longtail keyword phrases people might be searching for closely related to the post.
A few effective words you can slip in here are problems and price.
Rinse and Repeat For Insurance Blogging Success
Now you just need to keep rising and repeating these steps through the entire post.
- Show empathy any chance you get.
- Own your expertise without flaunting it.
- Slip in keyword rich phrases when they make sense.
You do this for a bare minimum of 600-800 words, or more honestly for 800-1,000 and your post is on the fast track to becoming best friends with Google.
The Big Finish
If both you (the writer) and your reader have made it this far, let’s not waste the opportunity to wrap everything up and walk the lead right up to the front door.
Come up with your own signature closing subheader.
You can also consider phrases like:
- The Bottom Line
- The Verdict
- The Home Stretch
- In Closing
I’m pretty sure you get the idea.
In this section you’re going to want to capture the main thesis of the entire article in just a few short paragraphs.
I know, it doesn’t seem fair that 800 words had to come before, but everyone involved will thank you later.
This makes sure someone who read the entire article is left with the most important message at the very end. You want to make sure there is no confusion about the point you were trying to get across.
It also helps all the lazy people, who cheated off you in high school, skip to the end and still walk away with C average understanding the material.
Slam the Door Closed With a Strong Call-to-Action
You have to tell them what to do next. If you don’t, someone else will.
This is your chance to lead them further down the sales process and offer more custom and detailed information.
This information is normally referred to as a “lead magnet” or “content offer.” It can appear in the form of a guide, ebook or my personal favorite, a video course.
Now is not the time to play coy, use strong and direct language to ensure the highest conversion. They don’t want a homework assignment, they want to be done dealing with their insurance decision.
Think of this like inviting a prospect into your office for a one-on-one meeting. They should have the opportunity to get to know you better while sliding closer to the sale.
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of subtle nuances that go into assembling an effective blog post that not only gets found but also creates business.
You cannot take your readers attention for granted and every sentence should endear them more to you than the last.
You have to find the perfect balance of utility and relatability.
It’s that charm covered substance that causes them to fall head over heels for you and your agency and can’t possibly imagine having another agent in their life.