Writing is hard.
To write a blog post that people want to read is hard!
I know because every post I write goes through a dozen edits before I either hit the publish button, submit to clients or send it in as a guest post.
Even with the amount of time spent on polishing your post, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get people's attention. If you want your audience to pay attention, you need to position your cards right.
Here are four tips that I have cherry-picked to increase your chances of writing a post that people want to actually read. You should adhere to them if you really want to write a blog post people will read.
1. Craft Clickable Headlines
You only have eight seconds to capture your audience interest. If your headline cannot arouse enough curiosity for people to click-through, there is no way that they are going to read your content. You should know that on the average, people read less than 50% of a post. The secret to getting them to stick with your content starts with crafting eye-catching headlines that beg to be clicked.
To master the art of crafting clickable headlines, practice writing down at least five different headline ideas for every post you want to write. The more you practice writing headlines, the more you’ll get good at it.
Your headline should also appeal to your audience emotionally, intellectually or spiritually. To determine if your headline falls into any of the three categories, plug your headline in the emotional headline analyzer from the intelligent folks at Advanced Marketing Institute.
Take this post for example. The EMV (Emotional Marketing Value) of the headline of this post is 45.5% when I used the emotional headline analyzer, so I know it’s not that bad.
2. Write a Killer Blog Post Opening
Your headline is only the beginning with writing a post that people want to read. If readers click-through your headline only to find a boring opening, they will not stick long enough to read your content. This action, called high bounce rate, tells Google that readers are not finding high-value content on your site or that your headline is misleading and that might get your site flagged.
To prevent this from happening and increase engagement on your post, write killer blog openings that are interesting, intriguing and provocative.
Here are my best three post openings:
• Open with a statement of fact: I used this opening type with this post because opening with a statement of fact appeals to your audience emotions. When you engage with your audience emotion, they will be interested in what you have to say next.
Writing is hard.
Writing a post that people want to read is hard."
• Open with a quote: the best way to do this is to open with a quote that rings through all the major points you hope to cover in the post.
If I wanted to write a post about "high converting headlines" I could open with a quote from Advertising legend, David Ogilvy:
"On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar."
• Open with a question: the secret here is to let your creative juice flow instead of following a process. Don’t be discouraged if you come up short with questions to open your post. The more you practice openings with provocative questions, the more you get better at it.
Here are some of the questions I will come up with if I was opening this post with a question:
"Have you ever wondered why nobody reads your content?
Do you get jealous (yes, jealous) when you read a friends blog and discover that she has been pulling targeted traffic with her content?"
3. Use the Right Formatting
Readers will most likely skim your content, not read all of it—especially if you have long-form content on your blog. Ensure that all main headings are labeled with the h1, subheads with the h2 tag and sub-subheads with the h3 tag.
Use bullet points where appropriate and always remember that your words should flow. Don’t jump from one idea to the next without a proper flow.
When deciding the title for your subheads and sub-subheads, practice the same rule as coming up with your headline. If your subheads are boring, nobody wants to read them.
Cross off all common advice and change them into something that will sprout curiosity amongst your readers
4. Know Thy Audience
Ultimately, you are writing for your audience and when you know what your audience wants, it is way easier to get your post read.
While writing a lengthy post is good for keyword ranking on Google, what is the point if your audience will not read it? One way to see if readers prefer short or lengthy blog post is to see how much of your content gets read.
Now, it is over to you to put into action the tips presented in this post and you won’t have a problem writing a blog post that people want to read.
Do you have other tips to write a blog post that people want to read? Please share in the comments section.