Creating Blog Posts to Increase Engagement

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By Devon Higgins

Blog posts are great! And search engines love them. Blogs add interesting content to your website, help leads connect with your brand/business, not to mention help your SEO, making your business more visible on Google search results!

But to make people read them, those posts need to be interesting. Here are 5 useful tips on how to draw your readers to read your articles.

Learn Quick Techniques to Draw Your Readers to Your Blog


1. Compose a title that grabs attention

According to The Moz Blog, eight out of ten people read the title of an article, but only two out of ten will continue reading the article. Because the title is the very first set of words that readers encounter, it is very important to use the right words that can catch and retain attention. Check out these techniques to create a great title.

  • Keep Titles Under 65 Characters – To avoid truncation, character count should be a maximum of 65 characters including spaces. For example, the title “10 Easy Ways to Capture Captivating Sunsets” contains only 43 characters, which is well within the 65-character limit.
  • 10 Word Titles – More or less ten words is believed to be the ideal length for a title. “Starting Your Own Photography Business” is a good title; it’s direct to the point and falls within the 10-word limit.
  • Using “You” and “Your” – Headlines that give reference to the reader are effective. So use “you” and “your” in your titles. An Example Would Be example, “Should You Choose a Photography Niche?”
  • Use Adjectives – Use interesting and appropriate adjectives and adverbs. “Creative Ideas to Effectively Boost Your Social Media Engagement” is a captivating title because it describes what kind of ideas are expected in the blog (creative). It also uses the adverb “effectively” to describe the tips in the blog will improve social media engagement.
  • Negative Words can be Good – Negative wording such as “don’t,” “never,” “no,” and the like tend to lead to more views and shares. “Don’t Do These Things When Meeting a Prospect” strikes interest due to negative words.
  • Use Numbers – Numbers in the title tend to effectively attract readers. Use figures instead of text when expressing numbers such a “12 Must-Have Features in Your Website.”
  • Match Title to Content – It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised. Always make sure your title matches the article being written.
  • Use Specific Titles – “Things to Know About Photography” is vague. Readers will most likely pass this for a more specific article such as “10 Ideal DSLRs for Amateur Photographers.”
  • Use the Title Formula – Use the following proven formula when creating your titles: number or trigger word + adjective + keyword + promise. For example, instead of “How to Sell Your Camera,” you can use“10 Quick Ways to Sell Your Old Camera in No Time,” which is more interesting.

2. Add a good introduction photo

Humans are drawn to visual cues. Thus, include a nice, high-quality photo along with your post. Put the photo right below the title and before the first sentence of the blog post so it will be immediately visible to the readers.

An example would be this blog post from Colleen Dolan.

A good image is equal to a thousand words, so make sure your photo relates to the blog.

3. Start with a compelling first sentence

You only have a few seconds to capture the audience’s attention. Thus, make sure the very first sentence of your blog post reels them in. For many people, this is the most difficult part of the writing process, so here are a few examples that could help you out:

  • A thought-provoking interrogative sentence – “Do you know that your photos can actually affect someone’s mood?”
  • A quote – “The magic of photography, per se, is that you can capture an instant of a second that couldn’t exist before and couldn’t exist after,” says professional photographer Mario Testino.
  • A statistic – “According to Team PicBackMan, there are over 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook every day.”
  • A story – “Yesterday, I discovered an innovative shooting technique purely by accident.”
  • An analogy – “Photography is like a lemon, pleasant to others but sour to some.”

4. Use your audience’s language

Use simple, clear, and concise words as well as industry jargon that your audience can relate to. Make it sound as if you are talking to them instead of at them.

Writing with your audience in mind will not only help you gain trust, but will also identify you as a thought leader in your field. Also, since your audience is most likely to use photography jargon when they search for articles, you will benefit from an SEO perspective (i.e. your posts will appear more when photographers are searching for this type of content).

5. Take advantage of common references.

Readers are more inclined to read your article and maintain their interest in it if it has a familiar text content, image, or idea that they can relate to. These elements are called common references.

For example, if you are writing about technological advances in real estate virtual tours, you may mention that the stunning holographs featured in Star Wars movies will become ubiquitous in the virtual tours of the future. Star Wars is a famous movie franchise that feature items made of futuristic technology. Thus, the Star Wars reference helps link audiences to the theme of high-tech virtual tours in your article.

6. Use images to break up text paragraphs or explain steps.

Have you ever read an article whose entirety is made of text? It really strains the eye and it becomes quite boring, doesn’t it? Add photos that relate to your blog’s subject every now and then between paragraphs to break up the monotony of long lines of texts.

Images are quite effective when it comes to tutorial-style articles. Readers can understand the steps and procedures better when the text is accompanied by photos of the process.

Grabbing your reader’s attention is a vital part in maintaining a successful and useful blog. With these tips, you will surely draw in your readers to “hear” the voice and thoughts of the real person (you!) behind the website.

Sources

http://www.problogger.net/how-to-write-great-blog-content/

http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/02/09/how-to-write-a-blog-post

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140602121530-3161863-20-quick-tips-on-writing-great-blog-posts

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/writing-engaging-blog-posts/

http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/12-types-of-blog-posts/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/09/23/the-6-main-types-of-blog-posts-and-how-to-use-them/#21924daf216d

http://www.doz.com/media/4-tips-blog-post-more-attractive

Devon Higgins

Devon came to FolioWebsites with a background in digital marketing and communications. With a BA in Marketing from Michigan State University and previous experience working with both big business and non-profits, Devon brings a well-rounded perspective to the team. Outside of FolioWebsites, you can find Devon coaching and playing soccer, socializing in downtown Grand Rapids, or going on adventures throughout the great state of Michigan.

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