You’ve worked really hard to come up with a blog topic you’re passionate about, spent a lot of time doing research and crafting high quality content, only to discover that only 11 people read your post. What gives?
It’s one thing to write in-depth content to share your ideas and opinions about a topic, and a totally different thing to write a blog post that engages your readers and keeps them coming back for more.
Here are 7 steps to write a blog post that people will love reading:
1. Pick a topic your audience cares about
Originally, people used blogging as a platform to express their personal thoughts and opinions.
Today, if you want to attract readers, you need to write about topics that they care about, not only what you’re interested in.
The first step is to clearly understand your audience. Ask yourself:
- Who they are (gender, age, demographic, industry)
- What they do for a living
- What problems do they face?
If you’re having trouble finding out the above information, you can add a chat widget like Zopim or Olark on your blog and chat with visitors to know them better and understand what interests them the most.
Once you know your audience, you can easily come up with topics that engages them. It will enable you to write in-depth articles about specific topics that are important to your readers, instead of settling for generic stuff.
Position your blog as the solution to your readers’ problems.
2. Write a killer headline
Did you know that sites like Upworthy write 25 different headlines for each blog post, before deciding which one to publish.
Headlines are the most important aspect of your blog post. They appear as the page title as well H1 heading on your blog that make it easy for readers to understand the blog topic.
They also help Google understand what your post is about and rank it for many relevant keywords.
Headlines are also the most prominently visible part of your blog post. They appear as titles in search engine results as well as social media posts, and entice readers to click-through to your blog.
An interesting headline can drive tons of readers to your blog. So spend a lot of time writing a variety of headlines. You can also use blog title generators like Portent or one by Hubspot to generate post titles based on your blog topic.
Use a free tool like Google Analytics to monitor the traffic (from search, social media, email) to each blog post. This will help you quickly find out which headlines are click-worthy so you can create more such blog titles.
3. Nail the intro
Once you’ve attracted visitors to your blog, you need to make them stay and read your post. The first few lines of your article are essential in persuading people to read your post and get them interested. It should engage them immediately and make them curious to find out more.
Typically, what I do, is make the reader aware of the problem (like I’ve done in this post)
Here are some of the things you can do to create an interesting intro for your blog post:
- Start with a story that’s relevant to your post topic
- Provide a single ‘wow’ fact (e.g With 2 billion users, Facebook is the …). Don’t overwhelm your readers with too many numbers
- Describe the problem your readers face, one that your blog post solves
You can start with a simple intro that gets you going with the rest of the post. Once you finish writing, you can revisit and refine your intro to make it more engaging. You can also write your post first, and then write an introduction that suites your content.
Read your intro and ask yourself, “Will this compel my readers to go further?”
4. Find your voice
Every person has a unique writing style and that’s what creates a truly memorable reading experience. Discover your writing style. Do you like to write short and crisp posts or long-form in-depth articles? Do you like to write personal opinions or strictly fact-based articles? Do you like to use flowery sentences or prefer business language?
There’s no right answer here. The key is to be yourself. I like writing crisp articles with a conversational tone and pepper them with examples & personal experiences. Once, I tried writing like business leaders, with lots of stats and figures, and it became dull and boring, because it wasn’t natural.
Write your own way, one that feels easy and right, and you’ll watch the words flow. No matter how you write, here are some ways to make it more consumable:
- Use quotes in between paragraphs, to break the monotony and inspire readers
- Use bullet points. This makes it easy for your readers to take away actionable learnings from your post
- Use sub headings. No matter how compelling your content, most people won’t read your article completely. They’ll simply scan it and pick up a few key ideas before moving on, or sharing it.
Sub headings divide your text into easily digestible elements and make it easy for readers to scan the key points. They also work great for SEO, you can use relevant keywords in your subheadings so that your post ranks well for more search terms.
- Use short paragraphs of 2-3 sentences. They’re easy to read and understand.
5. Leave your readers wanting for more
Just like every great novel, make sure your blog posts leave your readers wanting more.
It’s not really helpful to flood your readers with all your knowledge about the topic. They are less likely to retain the information you provided and will have no reason to return to your blog.
You can cover a topic over a series of articles, and invite readers for the next week’s post. At the end of every post, you can also give a brief hint of what they can look forward to in your next article.
You can also provide links to related content throughout your posts. There are many WordPress plugins that you can use to automatically display related posts at the end of your articles.
Either way, ensure that you add a newsletter subscription form with a call-to-action, at the end of your articles, that invites readers to sign up for your latest blog posts. This will enable you to stay in touch with your readers and be on top of their minds.
With so many new blogs being launched everyday, it’s essential to make yours stand apart from the crowd, entice people to read your content and return for more. However, it’s not about writing in-depth content or having a fabulous writing style. The key is to package your blog posts in an easy-to-consume format that enable readers to quickly see the value in your content.