Writing and creating content for your blog is the fun part, right? If you’re like me, you love coming up with new ideas, writing them down and creating images, videos and other content to share with people.
But creating the content isn’t enough to build a profitable blog – you have to get people to actually read it! Having content that is compelling and pulls visitors into your site is really the key to creating online success. You need to get people to your site, and then do what it takes to keep them there as long as possible – AND ensure that they’ll remember your blog as a source of great content so they keep coming back.
Here are five simple things you can do to get your blog posts read:
1. Attention grabbing headlines
Your headline (blog title) is the first thing that a potential reader is going to see. It’s got to grab their attention somehow; here are a few ways to do that:
- Make an emotional appeal – According to this post from CoSchedule, emotional headlines get shared more on social media. Depending on the topic of your post, you may appeal to anger, fear, energy, greed, trust – even lust! It’s just a plain truth that people are more likely to share – AND READ – your post when the headline makes them feel something.
- Make a promise – Your headline has to let the readers know they’re going to get something out of it. CopyBlogger says that headlines that make a promise hook readers in because they want to know how you’re going to do it! You can make a flat out promise “Lose 10 Pounds in 15 Days” or a more subtle promise “I Wiped Out My Student Loan Debt in 3 Years”, where the implication is a promise that if you did it, they can too.
- Offer a benefit or solution – This can overlap with the “make a promise” type headline. Let your potential reader see that they’re going to gain something by reading your post. Letting the reader know that the blog post is going to solve a problem for them gets mouses clicking on your link, and fast! Advertisers know that benefits sell – people want to know what’s in it for them.
- Incite curiosity – You should never give away the point of the article in your headline, it’s important to leave the reader guessing so they need to click and read.
This is why blog titles like “How One Simple Comment Got Me 5000 New Email Subscribers” work so well. Emotional appeal? Check – bloggers are greedy for new subscribers! It’s making a subtle promise to tell what that simple comment was, and it’s offering the benefit of new email subscribers – and of course, they’re going to be dying of curiosity to know what that comment was!
2. Focus on your page layout
When your headline does its job and convinces someone to click over your post, you’ve got about 3 seconds to impress the hell out of them. If you don’t, they’ll just hit the back button and move on to something more interesting. That means you want to make sure that your article’s layout makes them want to read.
Generally speaking, people don’t read much on the internet – they skim. So make it easy for them to do. Like I’ve done in this article, use short paragraphs with lots of white space. Other things you can do:
- Use bold text to draw attention and make things stand out.
- Use bullet points, numbering and headline tags
- Use images to break up big blocks of text.
Do everything you can to keep the eye moving down the page.
3. Start with an awesome introduction
Your introduction should be short and to the point, but it’s got to be compelling. It sets the stage for the rest of your article, and lets the reader know what to expect from the rest of the post.
In this post, my first sentence was a question designed to create a connection between the reader and me. It immediately draws the reader into the post and makes them feel like it’s about them.
The end of your intro should invite the reader to keep reading “…that’s why I’ve put together this list”, or “keep reading to find out how…”.
One other thing – see how I’ve got an image at the top of my post, and how it forces the text into a narrow section? That’s not by accident. Studies have shown that people prefer to read narrower paragraphs, generally around 50 characters in width. But that’s far too narrow for a blog post! That’s why I stick that image up there – it creates that more inviting width for the text in my intro, which gets the reader started – and getting them started reading is half the battle!
4. Graphics come next
People are more likely to keep reading your article if it has images. Any and all kinds of photos, graphics and illustrations will work. Part of it’s what I said above – it helps break up the text and makes it easier to read. But it’s also true that our eyes are just drawn to graphics. It helps us connect more, and as a writer, it helps you tell your story.
If you can find (or create) relevent images to add to your content, it will help get more people to read your blog post.
5. Speak With Your Own Voice
Always remember, you’re writing a blog. You’re writing for other people who are like you, you aren’t writing your Master’s thesis. You should write for people the same way you talk to people. Yes, you need to have grammar and spelling that makes sense, but quit worrying about being perfect. Write from your heart, like you’re writing to your best friend. That’s what’s going to really draw people in to your content and get your blog post read.
Creating your content is only half the job – getting people to read it is the other half. We all know that we need to market our blogs through social media and guest posting. But all that marketing adds up to squat if your headline doesn’t get the click. You headline doesn’t matter if they lose interest halfway through your intro. Your intro doesn’t matter if your writing style bores them to tears because it’s stiff and unnatural.
Follow these tips, get them reading, keep them reading and then throw in that call to action that gets them to sign up for your email list. And that’s how you take action.