Every blogger dreams to write a post that tugs at their readers heart; a post that goes viral on social networks. But the sad reality of blogging is that even after writing stellar content it is challenging to gain a readership or worse still, to get noticed. Why?
One reason is that there is already so much content out there. In fact, statistics indicate that there are 6.7 million people who blog on blogging sites and 12 million of them do the same on social networks. Choices are numerous for readers and competition is high. But you can make the time and effort invested in blogging totally worth it, provided you do it right.
Before discussing how to write stellar blog posts, it is crucial to understand why blogging is essential.
Blogging Is Good For Your Business
It is important to understand that blogging is no longer an option for your business. It is mandatory for an effective marketing strategy. A Hubspot report finds that by incorporating blogging into mainstream marketing strategy, marketers are 13X more likely to enjoy a positive marketing ROI.
Blogging consistently helps you get found online. It not only helps you to reach out to your target audience(s) but also brings qualified leads.
Consider the following statistics to better understand the importance of business blogging:
- Blogs are the 5th most trusted source for digging information on the Internet . In fact, 61 percent of consumers in the U.S. have made a purchase decision based on a blog post recommendation.
These stats are more than enough to comprehend why blogging is important. Now, let us see some stats on when should you create a blog post and publish it. Reading and implementing them on your website is the key to entice your readers and evoke their interests.
Following are some interesting statistics that you should know to create a better blog.
Longer posts attract more backlinks . You should therefore target to write at least 1000-1500 words long posts.
- Your blog traffic increases by 53 percent once you accumulate 51 posts; it increases by 3 times after 100 blog posts and 4.5 times after 200 posts.
- Good design and quality content are key factors to add credibility to your blog.Blogs with more images attract a larger number of backlinks . Include quality photos, infographics, screenshots and graphs in your articles.Monday-mornings are known for generating the highest blog traffic . Publish posts on Monday mornings to increase your traffic.Posts that are published on Thursdays get most social shares . Make sure you publish at least one post every Thursday.
- Publishing guest posts is a good thing.70 percent of people discover a company from reading their articles instead of advertisements.
Now that you know when to post blogs to increase your visibility and what factors to include for enhancing its readability, it is time to consider how to write a blog post that enthrals your readers.
There are some posts we start reading and then lose all interest and there are those which engage us. But how to write a post that keeps your readers interested?
Here are 8 strategies to help you write posts that will keep your readers coming back to your website:
1. Address A Real Pain Point
Most bloggers pick blog topics based on things they want to read and on subjects they are interested in. They simply assume that this is what their readers want too. To write a captivating post, it is imperative to know and solve your readers pain points. These are the topics your readers want to read about.
Based on your business and your target audience you need to first brainstorm at least 5-10 topics that can solve your customers pain points. For example, if you are into skin care business it is understandable that you will be tempted to write about different constituents and their usage in great details. But readers might not be keen on any such information. What matters more to them is How to get rid of Angry Acne Scars? than the history of a particular skin care cream to treat acne scars.
2. Use Active Voice
Imagine you're speaking to your boss, convincing him that you will deliver a certain project on time. Would you say Don't worry, it shall be done or would you rather go with Don't worry, Ill do it? The second option, would be the winning choice. The reason for this is simple. The earlier passive voice version of the statement, somehow rings hollow and seems unconvincing. When you use active voice for the same sentence, you take ownership for the statement and lay a greater emphasis on the action.
Readers connect with material where the author is passionate about what he writes and takes ownership of what he preaches. To connect with readers at a visceral level, use personal pronouns. It brings them closer to you and draws them into the conversation. Another important thing to keep in mind is to keep sentences short. Any sentence that goes on for over three lines needs some serious edits.
3. Make It Personal
No, I'm not repeating myself here. To make an emotional connection with your readers, you need to make yourself a tad vulnerable too. Bring out your emotional side and share your real views of the topic at hand. Want to make it brag-worthy? Share an anecdote about someone real.
Even better share your own personal experiences. Nothing touches readers hearts like a true story. And if that story has a hidden lesson that readers can glean from it, so much the better. That's probably one reason why autobiographies of successful people are so widely read.
4. Focus On A Different Angle
As I mentioned before, the internet is inundated with content; mostly mediocre, but some of it is stunningly good. While the topics that you can talk about do get limited within specific industry niches, there is no dearth of angles from which you view a certain topic. For your blog to outshine the best content out there, don't write the same stuff over and over again.
Rise above what the average opinion is about a certain topic and see if there are new perspectives that you can bring to the topic. Illustrate your novel point of view with an example to solidify your position as one that is realistic and not fanciful ramblings of a bored blogger.
5. Be Controversial
Pulitzer prize winner Laurel Thatcher Ulrich once wrote Well-behaved women rarely make history -- a saying that is 100% true when it comes to a blog. A goody-goody blog that parrots popular opinion and lacks the guts to take a stand on crucial subjects runs the risk of being obsolete. Now, who would want to read what a dinosaur or dodo has to say?
Instead of blending into the crowd, have the courage to be a little controversial. However, when you embrace controversy, you also need to have airtight reasons and facts that support your cause. Rebels without a cause are called teenagers. You're obviously not one.
6. Use Technology To Become A Better Writer
You can thank technology for being able to create blogs that can take your voice and offer it on an interested audience around the globe. However, the role of technology does not end there. It can not just be used for fancy bells and whistles like video streaming or social sharing buttons on your blog.
Instead if you can just pick another one, pick the write apps for yourself. Stuck on a post idea? Head over to Portents idea generator to auto-suggest post ideas that you can explore. Want to ensure that your post gets as many eyeballs as possible? Edit your drafts using tools like the Hemingway App and the Grammarly app.
7. Let Your Personality Shine Through
Large swathes from the Millennial generation (myself included) get most of our news from a very unlikely source -- stand-up comic, Jon Stewart. Even though he discusses probably the same news content that cable news channels play round the clock, more people tune into Stewarts show than most other news channels put together. Stewards sarcastic remarks, razor sharp wit and incisive commentary on various topics of national importance are the hallmarks of a show that is a clear personality vehicle and keeps bringing users back to it for a second serving of outrageous.
8. Be Prolific In Your Writing
Habit is a tough mistress. Once you get your readers to taste one great post, don't rest on that laurel. Keep them hooked by keeping the mills churning at a steady pace. Publish your best work at regular intervals of time. You could even set a time when each post of yours is published every day and create a habit of appointment-reading.
Once readers are used to expecting a new post at a given time of day or week, they will actively seek it out at the designated hour, moving your blogging strategy from a push based one to a pull based strategy.
The key to creating captivating posts and mesmerizing your readers is portraying emotion in your writing. Desire and fear are your best tools to create emotion in your readers minds. For example, every marketer experiences a similar kind of emotions, dilemma, desires and fears in terms of the changing trends of the digital marketing world. They all have a pain point that evokes similar kinds of questions. Reading posts about the same nuances makes us feel attuned to the author and draws us in to dive deeper. If you can include these considerations in your posts, your readers will keep reading no matter what.
*Leader image adapted from Gerard Stolk