Three seconds. That’s all you have to hold captive the attention of your readers. You might have noticed this when you last stumbled across a blog that made you instantly glaze over and click away. It’s not just you, and it’s a real problem for content publishers all over the internet.
Producing blog content for your websites is one of the most persevering marketing channel strategies available to you. From the minute you’ve published a new article, you’ve instantly created a new, digestible and shareable page on your website you can use to empower your social media and email subscribers.
The benefits don’t end there. Once produced, an intelligently crafted article will continue to be linked back to and referred by other web sources, and can ultimately become an evergreen landing page. That is, a page that can convert new leads for you, months or even years down the track.
So what does it take to write a blog post that draws a reader in and keeps them there until the last word? Read on for five of the best-tried and tested strategies.
Make it visual.
Humans are highly visual creatures, so we need to feed the need for digestible imagery. By investing time to sourcing the best image for your blog post, you’re creating a better opportunity to attract more eyeballs to your post, especially when that article is shared on social networks. This becomes even more important when you consider the popularity of visual social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram, which expands your capacity to be shared and found.
Sourcing imagery doesn’t have to be an ordeal. There are plenty of stock imagery sites out there, but the critical things to remember with images are:
Ensure the image isn’t overused everywhere on the internet. If you’ve seen it before, chances are others have too.
Where possible, use an image of a person. Adding a human element to the image increases relatability.
Source the image in high resolution and scale down to the size you need.
Get creative by adding borders or placing text on top of the image.
Experiment with filters and other image enhancements for a more unique feel.
Consider your headlines.
Equally as important as the image, is the headline. This is the one place you’ll be able to attract readers to your post as they glance through all the new content available to them. It’s normal to spend a lot of time thinking about this as it is the core element to getting clicks through to your content in the first place.
For the most effective headlines, try using the following four ingredients when formulating one for your article:
Numbers: Using a number at the beginning of your blog post is one of the most effective methods of drawing people to your headline. For example this article uses the number ‘5’.
Adjectives: Injecting an adjective into your headline works much the same way as the number, and adds appeal. Words such as ‘amazing’, ‘free’ and ‘easy’ are very effective.
Triggers: Using ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ makes it easily relatable and very persuasive.
Length: Try to be as succinct as possible, while still making the headline attractive. General rule of thumb is 40 to 100 characters, which translates to easily shareable headlines for the majority of social networks.
Sections for flow.
Regardless of the length of your blog post, it’s important to break it up into manageable chunks. For most readers, seeing a long block of text is off-putting. To circumvent this, create subheadings to decrease the resistance when reading through the whole article.
This type of content production assists in keeping your content organised and easy to scan, and helps readers navigate through much easier to get to the information they want to see. It’s also much more visually appealing.
Leverage your lists.
Of all the different types of way to write a blog post, list articles seem to be the most popular. Often referred to as ‘listicles’, this type of content helps to increase the usefulness of your blog. They can assist in curating fragmented data you research for your blog, allowing you to publish a be-all and end-all resource.
Lists also help readers take in data in a much more digestible fashion, and places an emphasis in the information presented in the list over and above the rest of the article. Another side benefit to creating a list in your article, is that it allows you to remain impartial, simply listing facts, or elements of the point you’re making within your article.
Get some action.
If you’ve worked hard to research a great headline, coupled with an excellent image and crafted your article to its full potential, it makes sense to leverage it to grow your audience or make a sale. An important element of any blog page is the call-to-action (CTA). A CTA can be any action you wish a reader to take once they’ve read your blog. These can be:
Lead generation: using a form for readers to request information from you
Information capture: using a form for readers to hand you their details (usually in return for a free downloadable guide or whitepaper)
Social sharing: clearly listing sharing options for readers to post your blog on their own social networks
Subscription: allowing users to enter their email address to subscribe to your posts or newsletters
What tips do you have for better converting blog posts? Leave a comment below!