Let’s face it, blogging is very popular. It’s something almost everyone does, and you most likely have a blog as well.
I know, it’s not easy.
Even 5 or 10 years ago so few people had blogs that it was easy to keep up with all of the content. Today, people don’t have the time to keep up, so they will only read posts that are very interesting.
Around 80% of people will read your headline and then just move on. Only 20% will actually bother to click through and read the rest. People are overwhelmed with content and couldn’t read all of it even if they really wanted to.
You can make sure that people want to read your content, though.
So, if you want to create content that people are enthusiastic about reading, then there are a few things that you should know.
1. Use a Conversational Tone
Use “you” and “I” frequently. These words help people to feel like they are taking part in a conversation. You want people to pick up a conversational vibe instead of feeling like they are being lectured. If people think it’s a lecture then they’re more likely to leave.
When you build that conversational tone people are more likely to want to engage with your content, read it, and respond. Your content will be received far better.
2. Use a Strong Headline
Eight out of ten prospective readers will read your headline, but only the remaining two will actually click through to read the post.
Your headline has to be eye-catching otherwise you won’t get a chance to win people over with your posts.
You need to make sure that your headline is noteworthy so that people would think that the content will also be amazing.
How to make sure that your headline is strong enough?
Take a look at BuzzSumo, and enter your keywords. This will show you what is popular headlines in your niche, so you can get insight for what works and what doesn’t.
BuzzSumo aggregates numerous networks, though, so they do all the work for you and give you insights very quickly.
Otherwise, take a look at feeds on Twitter and subs on Reddit to get an idea of what generates buzz.
3. Keep Your Paragraphs Short
Paragraphs that are more than five or six lines long can quickly become sucks. So try to keep it short.
Remember that people don’t want to wade through text. If you look at the posts I tend to make, they use very short paragraphs.
I even have some paragraphs that are only one line long.
4. Always Use Subheadings
Use subheadings to break your blog post into sections. This makes it easier for people to skim it.
A lot of people skim posts before deciding whether to read them properly. With subheadings, you can entice those people to stick around for long enough to read the post.
Use subheadings to let people read through the section of the blog post that they want to read. They will hopefully keep scrolling and finish the post.
5. Write a Conclusion
Get into the habit of having a section titled “conclusion” on every post.
This gives people the chance to read the conclusion before delving deep into the article.
It helps people decide whether they want to scroll up and read the whole thing.
As strange as it sounds, scrolling down then back up is an incredibly common readers habit.
6. Cite Your Sources
Back up any claims you make by citing your sources. This stops people dismissing you as making things up.
Everyone reads to learn. You might learn something while you are researching your sources.
Aim to be the ‘dumbest person in your social circle’ so you can always be learning.
Get used to making a note of where you found certain information while you’re researching your posts, and then providing links to that content when you make the post.
Citations give people credit for the work they have done, make you more reputable, and show that you did your homework.
If you don’t know something for sure, research the answer, and provide a link. You could even turn the learning process into a blog post.
7. Make it Visuals
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.
Use images to make the message you are trying to convey in your post that little bit clearer. This will encourage people to stick around.
According to Quicksprout, content which contains lots of images or video is, well, more likely to go viral. Image-rich content gets more views than content which is text-only, by around 94%.
Using proper images makes your content much more engaging.
The type of image isn’t too important, you just need to include good images and lots of them.
We are visual creatures. Visualization helps us to process information tens of thousands of times more quickly than text and it helps us retain the information too.
Posts that are full of graphics are more interesting and will provide your readers with better learning tools.
We learn most efficiently and enjoy learning more when it is backed up with images.
There are free tools that you can use to make infographics of your own. There are huge libraries of free stock photos online as well.
8. Thorough and Practical Content
You want to make people think that they have learned something useful from your post.
If you promise to teach something, then make sure that the user actually learns what you promised. Do not mislead your readers.
If someone feels misled then they will not want to come back to your site ever again.
Provide misleading content is a fast way to lose readers. You need to be honest, clear and provide actionable information in your articles.
According to Social Triggers, extremely practical content has a very high chance of going viral.
9. Publish More List Posts
People love list posts. People will click on list posts and read them.
There is a lot of data that backs this up.
BuzzSumo studied the popularity of a million articles to see what content works best. They found that list posts are far, far more popular than other content formats.
List posts get 6x the shares of how-to posts, and they get shared 40x more often than infographics.
You will have likely noticed something similar in your online career. List posts generate lots of traffic.
If you have a blog, look at how much traffic your list posts get compared to other posts type. I have noticed that I get more shares and comments on my list posts, while some other posts that I put a similar amount of work into languishing un-noticed.
10. Create Long-Form Content
Another thing that BuzzSumo found was that content that is longer (around 3,000 words) will get more than 200% the shares of short articles.
Long content is highly shareable and is incredibly popular.
Long-form posts, especially if they are free from filler/fluff words and highly informative, are much better than short ‘fluff’ articles.
Not every subject is worthy of the novella treatment, but if you have a lot of useful information to share then turn your post into a long article that is easy to scan, with a good headline.
Content is one of your website’s best assets. It makes sense to invest time in creating high-quality content. One piece of high-quality content is worth a lot more than several pieces of lower quality content.
Google puts a lot of value on content that is well written and informative. The best content will catapult to the top of the search results.
Your visitors will self-curate as well and will be more likely to share good content.
If you use the strategies that are listed above then you will build up a database of content that people are genuinely interested in.
Think about what content you want to write and what topics your readers care about.
Put the effort into making some posts that your readers will love and want to share with their friends. It will pay off with better search rankings for your blog.