what makes a high performing blog

What makes a high-performing article?

leonie waldron
Leonie Waldron
Head Strategist


  • The best articles do one simple thing: they answer the reader’s question
  • Longer articles are usually better but don’t ramble if the topic doesn’t justify a lengthy explanation
  • Don’t create a wall of text – break up your article with descriptive titles, subheadings, bullet points and lists
  • Use photos and videos to help get your message across

Did you know that 77% of internet users are regular blog readers? 

That’s a huge potential audience for your content, especially when building a digital marketing strategy from scratch.

But where do you begin? Writing interesting articles for your readers is always a creative challenge especially if you are new to blogging.

Here’s our guide outlining some good principles to start with when you want to format a blog that wins views, shares, and leads for your business.

4 Key elements of a high-performing blog post

Some of the most successful and high ranking blog posts meet four essential characteristics: word count, headlines, content structure, and the inclusion of visuals like photos and videos.

In general, longer articles attract more traffic than short ones, as do listicles and blog posts with at least one image.

Let’s take an in-depth look at each one of these below.

1. Word Count

With the deluge of content that we face every day, we may think that our readers would prefer short, to-the-point types of blogs.

But surprisingly, longer blog posts capture our attention much better. For example, an article with over 7,000 words, which takes about 23 minutes to read, performs better than short articles of 900 words or less.

The average blog post length for manufacturing and industrial companies is anywhere from 300 to 1200 words, so that’s a great target for blogging for beginners.

For comparison, this article is around 1000 words – but it hasn’t been written to hit a specific word count. Don’t get too caught up in the numbers and pad your information unnecessarily just to hit a specific number of words.

The right article length is actually simple to achieve: it should be however many words you need to get the information across to your reader.

2. Article Headlines

The headline of your blog post offers a quick glimpse into your content. Just from your headline, a reader decides whether to spend their precious time on your page or move on to a better sounding article.

So, it’s worth crafting a good title that captures the most interesting points of your subject matter. Aim to leave your reader wanting to know more and read further.

Although performance varies, some of the most successful headlines mention lists, comparisons, guides and how-to content. A ‘listicle’ heading contains a number, which immediately stands out from other types of content. It also shows that the structure of the article is based on a numbered or bulleted list which is often easier to read.

It’s a good rule of thumb to keep your article headline between 10 and 13 words. Shorter headlines are easier to skip over, but longer headlines summarise your article better. If you’re writing a case study or reviewing a project, try to pull out the key benefit in your headline, eg: ‘How Acme helped XYZ company reduce maintenance costs by 58%’.

This immediately piques the reader’s interest, encouraging them to read on.

3. Article Structure

When it comes to the body text, adding multiple subheadings will help your content perform much better than continuous blocks of text.

This explains why listicles are one of the most successful blog articles: their content is broken up into clearly numbered subheadings. (This article is a listicle, with 4 subheadings that are clearly numbered.)

If you’re wondering how to format a blog that’s not a list, it’s good practice to use the H2, H3 and H4 styles of formatting. This improves the article’s overall look and readability. Your readers can skim through it faster and retain more information from your blog post.

These formats are simply text styles that you apply when you upload the blog to your site, in the same way that you can add bold or italic text. Heading styles help both readers and Google to understand your information better.

Aim to break up your content with a subheading within every half page or so of plain text. This gives your reader a breather after every 1.5 to 2 minutes of reading.

4. Add Visual Content

Images and videos serve many functions in a successful blog article: they make the piece more appealing to the reader and encourage sharability on social platforms.

Of course, these visuals must be relevant to the text, so make sure that you create or source images that support your article.

Infographics are a great way to summarise your text content into image form, too. Video content works well to build on your content. Demonstrate a how-to article with a video, showcase customer testimonials, or introduce product features with a demo video.

Evergreen content (information that isn’t time-bound or related to specific events) can be repurposed too, to create more content: an existing video can be turned into a blog or vice versa; a blog can be deconstructed to create half a dozen social media posts.

If you’re going to the trouble of creating custom visual content, don’t just use it once: repurpose it in as many ways as you can!

Training and education content writer

Bonus tips for writing successful blog posts

The four elements above are at the core of every high performing blog article. However, there are many other things that go into formatting and publishing a great post.

  • Start with keyword research: Incorporate SEO keywords into your title, subheadings, images, videos and body text. This makes it easier for search engines to index and rank your content in search results.
  • Choose a compelling topic: Understand what your readers are looking for and why, and then target your blog article to match their needs.
  • Use questions as much as possible: Users search for information that answers their questions, regardless of the specific keywords they type into the search engine. Create a relatable, conversational question-and-answer style blog for great results.
  • Relevance over length: We mentioned word count earlier – but if your readers seek a short answer to a quick question, offer the relevant information in a short blog post. Don’t overwhelm them with a long-form article with too much unnecessary content just for the sake of word count.
  • Use a table of contents: If you’re writing a long article, include a table of contents for your reader to skip to the relevant subheadings.
  • Refresh old content: You don’t always have to write fresh material every single time, especially if you have a generous library of past blog posts. You can reformat, change the topic scope, or target a new audience to create evergreen blog articles.
  • Don’t forget your grammar: Good writing makes for good reading, so always check your blog articles for correct spelling, punctuation, and capitalisation. Use spellcheck and free tools like Grammarly or Hemmingway to sense-check your writing.
Copywriter writing content

High Performing Blog Ideas

Are you ready to crank out a fantastic blog post? Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. A “This vs That” article: This type of comparison blog post works great if you have expertise in a niche topic.

2. A “Best and Worst” article: This type of article gives objective advice to solve the reader’s problems. For example, demonstrate the pros and cons of a piece of software, appliance, or gadget that your reader should know before purchase.

3. A “Common Mistakes” article: This article is a troubleshooting guide for readers who have purchased or plan to purchase a new product.

4. An “Ultimate Guide” article: This comprehensive article covers multiple facets of the topic. It often includes tips, tricks and hacks for best outcomes.

5. A “Which is Best” article: This compares two products or solutions based on use cases. Understand your reader’s context to guide them to the right choice.


The best performing blog articles do one simple thing: they answer the reader’s question.

Satisfy your readers with well-structured content, including a clear title, subheadings, lists, images, and videos that add value to your article.

Finally, proofread your article before you hit the upload button to catch and correct any grammar and spelling mistakes. Use these tips as a guideline for virtually any topic for your blog.

Happy writing!

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