According to HubSpot, the average marketer spends between 1-2 hours writing a 500-word blog post. That’s a lot of time spent on a single blog post—and it all goes to waste if you write a blog that no one is interested in reading. Before dedicating two hours to writing a blog, review these tips to ensure the content you’re working on is something that people will want to read:
Everyone knows not to judge a book by its cover, but unfortunately, many people judge a blog post by its format. Before reading a word of your blog, the reader will scan it to look at the formatting. Make it more visually appealing by using sub-headers to break up the blog into smaller chunks of text. For example, if you’re writing a blog on the “Top 10 Things to Do in Paris,” each of the 10 items on the list should have a sub-header.
Each paragraph that you write should be around 5-6 lines—longer paragraphs are perceived as more difficult to read, so the reader may not even give your blog a chance. Follow this format to ensure readers don’t immediately leave your website after landing on a improperly formatted blog post.
Before you begin writing, think about who your audience is and what they want to read about. For example, if you are writing for a money management blog, you should learn about the demographics and lifestyle of your audience. Older adults may want to know about saving for retirement, but Millennials may be more interested in learning about strategies to pay off student loans. Once you find a topic, begin writing as if you are speaking directly to your audience instead of just rattling off different facts and ideas. Use “you” and “I” to make the blog feel more like a conversation than a long-winded article.
Start Off Strong
You wouldn’t sit through a movie that doesn’t interest you in the first 15-20 minutes, so why would you continue to read a blog post that doesn’t appeal to you after the first few sentences? Pay close attention to the first two to three sentences that you write. Your intro should draw in the readers and introduce them to the topic in a way that leaves them wanting to learn more. Be careful not to overwhelm readers by bombarding them with facts and statistics in the beginning. As you write, focus on gently easing your readers into the topic instead of cramming as much information as you possibly can in the introduction.
To some readers, the conclusion is just as important as the introduction. Why? Some readers may scroll down to the bottom of the page and read the conclusion before reading the rest of the content. This way, they can read a brief summary of your article and decide whether they want to read the rest of it or leave your page. Keep these readers on your page by finishing strong with a well-written conclusion. If you have other content on your website that is similar to the article you’re writing, link to it after the conclusion and direct readers to visit the links if they want to learn more about the topic. Once a reader is hooked on something, he will want to learn as much as possible about it. Show him where he can go on your website to learn more so he doesn’t leave and visit another source.
No matter how subtle you are, readers will be able to tell when you are promoting yourself or your business in the content of the article. It’s fine to include a call to action at the end of the page that directs readers to fill out a contact form or sign up for your mailing list, but that’s the only type of self-promotion that you should include within the blog. People don’t want to read a sales pitch disguised as a blog—they want information.
Incorporate visuals into your content to break up the text and make it more interesting for the reader. A visual doesn’t necessarily have to be an picture of something—you can also include charts, graphs, or infographics that are relevant to what you’re writing about. This will not only improve the visual appearance of your blog, but it may also help your readers retain the information better. Research has found that people who only hear information only remember 10% of it three days later. However, people who read information that is paired with a relevant image can retain around 65% of it three days later.
Blogs are supposed to be written in a conversational tone that makes the topic easier for readers to understand. A great way to make a blog more relatable and conversational is incorporating examples to illustrate the points you are making. For instance, let’s say you are writing a blog on the basic rules of SEO. One tip that you offer readers may be about using keywords that are relevant to their business. However, your readers may not understand what you mean by “relevant keywords.” Instead of just directing readers to use relevant keywords, give them an example. Explain that an auto mechanic in Chicago would use keywords such as “car repair Chicago,” or “oil change Chicago” to target people who are in need of his services. Using examples helps readers establish a deeper understanding of the topic. As a result, they may continue to come back to your website to read more of your work.
If you follow these tips, you can quickly establish yourself as a thought leader and reliable source within your industry. For more advice related to content creation and digital marketing, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.