You've developed the blog of your dreams, adding the best plugins to optimize it effectively.
You regularly update it with valuable content, but readers still don't come. No comments, few shares and tweets, and that's all. What went wrong? What's the cause of this failure?
Think you need to spend several months or so perfecting your writing skills? It's not about the way you write (though your writing skills also play a significant role); it's all about the way you promote your content and how people read your content. Today we'll concentrate on how to get people to actually read your content.
True Content: Not Marketing Material
The primary goal of any blog is serving readers, not bombarding them with marketing material. If you think that stuffing your posts with keywords and optimizing them for search engines would draw armies of followers to your resource, it is quite a mistake. The content might rank higher in search results but will it be so catchy and easy-to-read that people will keep on coming back to your blog? I really doubt it.
The way people perceive your blog posts should be your highest concern. Combine catchy writing with some basic ways of promoting content and success will follow.
Written Vs Visual Content
There is a general misconception that people do not read online content. They DO read it if you draw them in. Users prefer skimming to reading and in order to make them actually read your post, there should be something to grab their attention (like a relevant image, video, infographic, etc.). Statistics shows that blog posts featuring at least one image are more popular among web users, which results in more shares.
Readers scan your posts to decide whether the content is relevant to them. When they come to points that look relevant to them, they will likely stay and read the entire post word-by-word.
How to organize content in such a way that users will easily find exactly what they need? Here's are several good points to consider:
- Effective headlines are the first thing people will pay attention to when reaching your post. The more relevant and to the point they sound, the more likely readers will stay. (See: The Psychology Behind A Great Blog Title And 3 Ways To Harness It)
- Subheads help in giving users a quick overview of the things you discuss in the post. Once again, if they find these relevant, chances are they will read till the end. (See: How Should I Structure My Heading Tags?)
- Text formatting helps to highlight the content you want to draw skimmers eye to. Remember that highlighting too much content in bold or italics will equal highlighting nothing. Put emphasis on the key points so that users will quickly pick them out.
- If skimmers find your headlines and subheads relevant, they will move to bullet points and numbered lists that will help them with decision-making.
No good content can go without internal and external links. This not only helps in displaying the reliability of the things you're talking about but also expands your readers understanding and adds value to your posts. What is more, adding internal links you can keep on promoting other articles from your archives, which will keep people on your site and make them read your best material.
- Learn the 12 internal linking best practices (Alexander Zagoumenov)
Let People Choose
Readers' tastes differ, so if you want them to keep returning to your blog, you should provide them with several forms of content to choose from.
Try to publish different forms of content through multiple channels and see what works best. Diversify your content marketing with images, videos, and infographics to let people choose what they want.
Publishing content on a regular basis will make people come back. Though it requires significant and sustained effort, this is a proven way to build up a following. Whether you are posting 10 articles a day, three posts a week or simply update your blog with something new once a month, doing this consistently will increasing traffic to your blog.
- Active Business Blogging Draws in 6.9 Times More Organic Search Traffic (Lily Zhu, Hubspot)
Communication always matters. Your readers put an effort into leaving their feedback on your post as a comment or a social post; don't miss an opportunity to show how much you value this. Communicating with people on your blog, leaving comments on other web resources, as well as participating in discussions on social media platforms — all this shows how much you care.
When it comes to content market, the rule of thumb you should always keep in mind is writing with personality. Sharing interesting posts on regular basis and starting a debate online will only engage more readers in. Keep the writing short and sweet, and never forget to refresh it with some relevant photo or video content.
Are you an experienced blogger or just plan to start your web resource? Which of the aforementioned techniques do your find effective? Maybe you know some other proven ways of how to blog effectively. Share with us in the comments below. We will appreciate your feedback.