One of the first things I tell my clients and students is that there is a big difference between putting up a blog post and publishing a successful, engaging and consistent blog.
The blogosphere is a saturated market and there is zero point in (and no excuse for) publishing lazy, boring, inconsistent and/or uninformative content.
Today, I want to share a few ways to up your blogging game and build a responsive, loyal and engaged following.
1. | Think about your headlines
Your headlines attract both readers and Google crawlers so make sure you think about what you put into them. Clever is fine as long as you’re clear. What is the piece about? Is there a solid keyword? Lists work very well and odd numbers have been shown to result in more clicks than even ones. In fact, the more random the odd number (21, for example), the more clicks you’ll get on average. Additionally, powerful words like “bold” and “strong” do well as do words that suggest immediacy such as, well, “immediately” and “now”.
2. | Have an emotional hook
Your reader should have an emotional reaction to your first few sentences, known as the lede. Think of them nodding their head in agreement or having a “no way!’ moment. Are they leaning in to learn more? You want to suck them in and not just with low level, mundane drama served up to shock (Gasp! Can you believe that Kim Kardashian posting another nude is NOT that important!) Think intelligent, engaging and informative, not more sensationalized nonsense.
3. | Make it easy on the reader
Mid-sized (500-800 words) and long-form content (1,000-2,000 words) typically do better in terms of sharing and engagement. That doesn’t mean that a great 300-word piece won’t be shared or that long-winded op-ed won’t end up boring a reader to tears. It means that most people enjoy reading quality content. If you can make it clear and short, do so. If you want to make a proper analysis and can do so in a way that pulls the reader in, don’t feel bad posting a 1,200-word post. That said, there a few ways to make it easier on the reader, whatever the length.
First, do a grammar and spelling check and do the best you can to put up clean, clear and correct content.
Next, add a few links to relevant content on your site to help readers find more information (and also keep them on your site).
Finally, put in some graphs and images (just make sure you own them, have written permission to use them and/or pay for rights to post.
Photo by @TheGreenEyedGirl_