Shared your nth post today and still wondering where’s the engagement? Do you want to write an awesome blog to significantly increase the traffic on your website?
You are not alone.
Many writers, freshers as well as experienced, often feel discouraged by the inactivity on their blogs and the empty comment sections on their pages. You think you are doing everything right and not seeing any results. But this can change. Trust me, it is utterly achievable to propel the engagement on your blog through these simple steps . . .
- Plan your post
Your blog is neither your Facebook wall nor the place to incessantly tweet your thoughts. While the purpose of a blog is to share useful information, that may not include your likes, dislikes or rants. Unlike your personal social media accounts, your blog posts need to be planned out and mapped to your target audience.
To write what others would like to read:
Choose an interesting topic – Not only one that interests the readers, but one that interests you as well. While you may not be so lucky to always blog on terribly interesting topics, but choosing a niche that interests you will always lead to more passionate words being penned on paper (digital paper, well).
Prepare an outline – Having an outline before you start writing can actually make the entire process much faster, neater and crisper. Once you have the topic with you, research for latest information, look for stats and figures that may substantiate your story or maybe useful for the readers and prepare subheadings for a tidy and readable article.
Pro Tip: Subheadings make for easier reading. Long sentences may seem charming, but writing for the web entails simple language, short sentences and small paragraphs organised neatly under subheadings to help readers traverse effortlessly through the entire piece.
- The hook – A killer headline – Writing a catchy title that entices the readers to click is an art you can master with practice.
A headline tells the readers what to expect in the lines beyond. And to show your respect for the reader’s time and experience, it is important to set the expectations right.
- Start with a working title (for example, How to write an awesome blog is different from How to write an awesome blog following the content marketing trends for 2017)
- Once you have the working title, let on more to the readers. Let them know in the headline itself whether to expect some simple tips, an Infographic or a podcast or a handy list or a downloadable guide. (Exactly the reason I mentioned right at the onset you will find 6 steps to writing awesome blogs in this post)
- Use emotional words – While it is important the headline is accurate, use emotional words to make it impactful. An ‘awesome’ blog, a ‘useful’ guide, an ‘informative’ article – simple words can grab the attention of readers and prod them to read on.
Here is a helpful collection of power words by CoSchedule you can use in your headlines.
Pro Tip – Keeping the headline under 70 characters or 12 words may be your best bet.
- Save the best, not for the last. Write appealing post intros – To engage your readers, write a gripping intro that interests them enough to read through the entire article and hit that ‘share’ button at the bottom. If you can hold the readers through your opening paragraph, more chances are, you have their attention for the entire post, unless it is a badly written one.
Try using the tips below to compose a compelling intro:
- Make a connection by addressing the reader at the onset. A human is reading your post, after all.
- Identify a problem faced by your readers, so that they are hooked for the solution they know you are going to give.
- Touch those emotional chords. Give your readers hope and promise an actionable solution in the forthcoming lines to grab their attention.
Did you notice how I started the blog?
“Shared your nth post today and still wondering where’s the engagement? Do you want to write an awesome blog to significantly increase the traffic on your website?
You are not alone.
. . . trust me, it is utterly achievable to propel the engagement on your blog through these simple steps . . .”
- The juice – when you actually get writing – Everyone loves a good story; and if you can craft one for your audience each time you blog, they have a compelling reason to love, share, and follow your content.
Creating an engaging story is part art and part science. Deconstructing every good story, you’d find an intro or a problem statement that will build up to a climax and fade down to a resolution.
Make your story exciting, make it fun. Bring in data (for authentication), good guys (success stories), bad guys (failures), visionaries (leaders in the field), a conflict (what leads to the problem) and the resolution (an actionable solution for readers).
There you go, who wouldn’t love an exciting story that they can recreate in their life.
- Engage more senses – Writing good content is well and good, but in a highly competitive niche, it is your presentation that will set you apart. In fact, studies have proven that visual content works almost 4 times better than only text based content.
- For a more engaging post, intersperse content with relevant images mapped to your audience’s taste.
- 65% of the population are visual learners, relying on visual media to retain information. Leverage this fact to reach out to a wider audience by preparing tasteful graphics, informative and easy to read infographics and relevant images (avoid Stock Photography, if possible).
- Video blogs, podcasts, listicles all add to the fun – experiment with different content formats for better engagement.
- Edit and format – Content littered with typos and grammatical errors is surely going to take you down, I need not say more on that. Remember, no post is perfect but by reading it again and again, and reading it aloud to yourself, you can iron out a lot of creases and ensure better experience for readers.
But proofing is not enough. Killer content with awesome graphics may also fail to impress if not formatted properly. Short sentences and small paragraphs with adequate space setting them apart makes it easier for the reader to focus. Considering readers scan through online content most of the time, make it visually appealing using relevant images and proper spacing.
Reiterating once again, blogging is an indispensable marketing tool. Leveraged effectively, it will compound your SEO efforts, drive traffic to your website, increase conversions, and make your brand authoritative in your niche.
However, even after tens of blogs, I see several gifted writers despairing over the lack of engagement on their blog. Few days back, I had shared with you some ideas to spice up your B2B blog. As an afterthought, I wondered what it really takes to write an exciting blog which led me to formulate these 6 steps for an awesome blog.
If there is anything I did not cover or you think could help our fellow writers, please share your thoughts in the comments section. I will also be happy to answer any blog related questions you have.
Meanwhile, happy writing; there is nothing more joyous than creating words.