Have you ever wanted to write blog posts that make your readers hungry for more?
What about posts that get more shares, links, engagement and traffic?
The truth is that a lot of it comes down to not just what you write but how you write it.
In this post I’ll share some super helpful tips that will keep your readers wanting more. They’ll also help get your creative juices flowing!
So are you ready to step up your game?
1 – Start with an awesome headline
One thing I’ve always found when crafting a blog post, is that having a great headline makes the whole process much smoother. With a headline that’s bold, attention grabbing and descriptive all at once, you’ll find that your blog post will write itself.
Coming up with a title that really sells your content though, isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes your mind will simply shut down at the mere thought of it, which isn’t great when you’ve got something important to say.
Try adding your main post topic into a headline generator like this one from portent, and mix it up with your own ideas for something more unique.
This should give you the perfect base to start from and allow you to get a better idea of what you’re writing about.
Note: you can find more tools to help you come up with headlines and improve them in this post.
2 – Plan your post before you start writing
Before you dive in and start getting the words on your page, take a few minutes to plan out how your blog post is going to look. Consider which sub-headings you’re going to include, what images you want to add and the sources you might wish to include.
Again, planning your content will make the process of writing easier and much quicker.
This will save you lots of time in the long run and make you a more efficient writer. It will also ensure that your post has a clear structure, preventing you from your writing going off onto a tangent.
3 – Leave your introduction and conclusion until last
This is a tip I picked up back in my college days and I still use it now. In your blog post plan you’ll no doubt have a section introducing your post and then one at the end summarizing it. The best advice I can give you is to leave these sections, until you finished writing the body of your post.
The reasoning behind this is that your introduction will summarize what you’re going to write about. While your conclusion will summarize what you have talked about.
How will you know what you’re going to or have written about, if it’s not on the page yet?
Leaving the introduction and conclusion until the end is the best way to make sure they make complete sense. Because let’s face it, nothing’s set in stone and you may just come up with a great brainwave during the writing process!
4 – Speak directly to your readers
When I say speak directly to the individual, I mean use words like “you” and “your” instead of writing in the generic “everyone” term. Reading through this post you’ll see that this is how I write. I talk to you and confide my tips to you directly as if I’m sat right in front of you.
This type of language creates a level of trust and intimacy with you and the person reading your content. You’re making them feel important, at home on your blog and most importantly valued, which is what they are!
The chances are if just one single individual leaves your blog feeling like they’ve been taken care of, nurtured in their learning and has generally had a good experience, they’ll most likely be back the next time round.
5 – Use personal experiences
Staying on the topic of connecting with your readers, there’s no greater way to earn that much needed trust, than opening up and sharing your own, personal experiences.
You could do this by including real life examples, a memory or a general everyday experience.
The point is, you’re showing your vulnerability not just as a writer but as a real human being. This is something your readers will come to respect, plus a personal story always makes for a much more interesting one.
6 – Break up your text
Whatever you do when crafting your blog posts, don’t make the mistake of presuming people have long attention spans. The truth is in the online world we’re constantly being distracted and tempted by other links, shorter posts and more consumable content.
Long, rambling blog posts with no clear direction or sections will make it difficult for a reader to skim your content. Consider adding:
- Bullet points for lists
- Numbered bullets for a series of tips
- Smaller images to highlight a point you’ve made
- A block quote to break up a long series of paragraphs
- Large headings to separate different topics and sections
This will help people to easily pick out the main points from your post. It’s also highly likely that if your post comes across as interesting, they’ll save it to read when they have more time to a tool such as Pocket or Instapaper.
7 – Create a stand-out featured image
There are many benefits to having a large featured image at the top of your blog post.
- They illustrate the post’s main topic
- They’re great to pin onto Pinterest
- They make it easier to share on Twitter, Facebook and Google+
- They provide a visual queue to people who absorb information better through imagery
Adam creates his own images, like this one for my last guest post:
There are plenty of free resources that will help you create an image from scratch, leaving you no reason to opt-out. Canva is perfect for its pre-built templates and layouts, while my personal favorite; Picmonkey is also a brilliant tool for image editing.
8 – Summarize your main points at the end
One thing that may very well happen when you have a particularly long post, is that your reader may forget some of the details and examples you’ve outlined in your text. A great way to combat this problem, is to summarize in your conclusion with the main key points from your post.
You might like to call these your “key takeaways” or something equally as fitting. The point is, it provides your reader with some short, snappy reminders of what they’ve read. This helps the information to be absorbed easier and remembered in the long-term.
9 – Include a content upgrade
If you haven’t heard of content upgrades before, here’s a brief summary. Essentially they’re like small freebies you give away to your readers at the end of a post.
They provide extra information they won’t receive in the average blog post and in return, they give you their email address.
This is a great way to grow your email list, while at the same time providing your readers with something valuable, for free. Your content upgrades don’t have to be anything epic – they could be checklists, a PDF of your post they can print or save, or even instructions for creating something.
Here is a content upgrade that Adam offers on his post, “37 Amazingly Effective List Building Tips You Can Use Today”. He starts by displaying a notification box near the top of the post.
Then, at the bottom of the post, he tells his readers how they can download the free checklist.
When the visitor clicks on this, they then get a popover that looks like this, where they enter their email address:
Everyone loves a freebie – more so if it’s highly targeted and provides great value for their time. Therefore utilizing this through software like LeadPages, you nurture your audience.
10 – Ask questions and engage your audience
The final piece of advice I can give you is probably the most valuable.
It may be tempting once you’ve finished a blog post and hit publish, to leave it at that. It’s a job done, you spent a long time creating it and now you want to move on to something different.
Sure, I get that. However you’d be missing out on something crucial if you did. You’d be forgetting the one thing that makes the success of your blog possible – your audience.
Once you’ve written your post, sign off with a question directed to your readers. Ask them what they think – did they like it, have they got anything they may want to add? What tips could they provide that you may have forgotten?
Invite conversation into your comments section, reply to new comments and show your readers that you have time for them. This will keep them coming back for more. These are the people who will end up being your most loyal community.
Although creating a blog post that inspires and delights your audience, isn’t always as easy as people make it out to be, there are ways you can ensure you put your best foot forward.
- Have an awesome headline and a solid plan in place for your post, while leaving your introduction and summary until you’ve finished the main text.
- Use words like you and you’ll that speak directly to your reader and include your own personal experiences to show your vulnerable side.
- Break up your text with bullet points, headlines and a large featured image to make your content more consumable.
- Consider using a content upgrade like a small freebie, to give your audience a little extra.
- Summarize your post and ask questions to your readers to open up conversation in the comments section.