One of the toughest hurdles to master while creating content for your blog is to capture readers and keeping them engaged.
This hurdle gets harder the more words you publish.
Publishing articles of 500 words or less hurts your chances of ranking in the search engines. Where as, writing longer more explanatory articles reduces the chances of having readers engage with them to the end of the article.
So how do you combat this?
You need to stop looking at publishing content on your blog as this checklist that you have to do. Whether every day or weekly or even monthly.
While writing have a preview of your reader in mind:
What are you selling them on?
Are you entertaining them?
Are you educating them?
Don’t believe the lie that people have shorter and shorter attention spans. Technically, people are still binge watching Netflix for hours on end. Harry Potter and Game of Throne books are still selling like hotcakes.
You too can have a bounce rate of less than 40% as well as triple the average amount of time people spend on your site.
In this article I am going to show you the key elements you need to do just that:
The number one source of traffic a blog should actually aim to achieve is organic traffic. Organic traffic is the best form of free traffic that there is available today.
Because when someone is searching for something on Google, they are looking for a solution. And if your article, is the best solution there is available then you increase the chances of more websites linking to your content. The more clicks your article gets and the more time they spend on the site; the higher you rank on search engines.
So how do you captivate readers to click on your solution?
Coming up with a catchy headline. A headline that pinpoints directly to their pain. You can do this by simply searching for the solution on Google and seeing the types of headlines that are currently ranking in the top ten positions.
You can also do this by searching for the same keyword on BuzzSumo. Over here you can see the number of shares each of the catchy headlines receives.
As you can see, a catchy headline increases your chances readers clicking on your article both on search engine ranks as well as when shared on social.
Descriptive Meta Description
A catchy headline works hand in hand with a well written meta description. A good meta descriptions emphasizes on the pain point and highlights on the solution the article will give.
Combined they increase your click through rate.
Your meta description should tap on an emotion for the reader. Make them curious to want to know more.
What is the end of the story? How can I make this solution work for me?
Once a reader clicks on your article, you now have to deliver the knock out punch. You not only want them to read this article in its entirety but also keep browsing on your website. Until your image or brand is imprinted in their brains as the go to solution for this particular pain.
The best way to do this, is to keep a conversational tone through out your writing.
Writing with a conversational tone makes it personal with your reader. It is like being invited at your neighbor’s patio for an evening cup of coffee. Rather than sounding like reading a text book. In short, nobody likes being talked at. We all want to be part of the conversation even if we do not have the solution.
Bucket Brigade is an old school copy-writing strategy that was designed to keep people reading a sales letter. With the use of a colon
They simply increase on creating a conversation on your writing. By breaking up paragraphs size to two or three sentences. And maintaining short sentences.
Making your paragraphs shorter caters to the people who skim your article and aids in reading of the article. Place a bucket brigade at any point you think your reader is likely to hit the back button.
Spruce it across the article. Sparingly.
At the beginning, middle and end of the article. So that if they skimmed past a certain point. Their brain sorts of forces them to scroll back up and read what led to a particular conclusion.
Sub-headings help in breaking your content.
Look at your content as a course you are teaching.
For a smooth flowing class, your ideas should not be scattered all over the place. You break it down point by point. Each point can either build on a previous point or be a standalone point.
An article is not complete unless it has some images in it. Even if it is just the featured images.
Images help in breaking the monotony of a long article and direct attention to key subjects.
You can have images of quotes or processes.
Also, a great use of images is to highlight your call to action for that particular article:
Would you like the reader to download a cheat sheet
Or watch a follow up video to the article
Or better yet, introduce a paid service or product that is complimentary to the article
These are all good ways to make sure you keep your reader glued to your website.
Every writing class you have ever attended teaches you about having the header, body and conclusion.
Your blog article is not an exemption to the rule. Conclusions will allow you to have a final say on the ideas you have shared in the article. It is also an opportunity to make a good final impression.
Remember how we mentioned the use of a conversational tone in your articles is like being invited for a cup of coffee at your neighbor’s patio. You would not just up and leave abruptly in mid conversation with your friendly neighbor. So why abruptly end a conversation with your readers without preparing them for it.
Conclusion also caters to skimmers. If they scrolled all the way to the end before reading a single word of the article then they gain further insight on what your ideas and why they are important.
To keep the conversation going and to gain insight on your readers:
Ask questions through out your article. And more importantly at the end of the article. This will increase the likelihood of engagement on your comment section.
Yes or No type of questions are good but to gain further insight keep your questions open ended.
Because I had already used the word conclusion for this article:
What is the sweet spot for your blog when it comes to number of words used?
Is it the:
750 – 1000 words
1000 – 1500 words
1500 – 2000 words
Over 2000 words