How to Have a Blog People Actually Want to Read
The great thing about blogging is that anyone can do it, but not everyone knows how to create blog content that people actually want to read. Only a small percentage of bloggers have mastered the art of crafting engaging content that attracts visitors and keeps them coming back for more. So how can you ensure that your blog won’t double as a cure for insomnia? Read on to discover six key principles for creating a blog your visitors will look forward to reading.
1. Pay attention to tone.
The tone of your blog should be appropriate for the type of topics you plan to cover. If your company is in the entertainment industry, for example, most people will expect a relaxed and informal tone in your posts. On the other hand, if you’re blogging for a law firm or a non-profit charity, you’ll need to adopt a tone that best reflects the culture of that brand or organization.
2. The post title must grab readers’ attention.
The quality of your blog title can make all the difference in terms of whether people decide to click on your blog post, or move on to something else. The content may be outstanding, but if the post has a bland, generic title, your hard work was for nothing.
So make your titles stand out by asking a question or offering a thought-provoking statement, and include related keywords if possible (without sounding unnatural) for the sake of attracting attention from search engines. Keep in mind that while an attention-grabbing title can definitely pique a reader’s curiosity, you don’t want to go so far that it ends up coming across as gimmicky click-bait or overly hyped.
3. Avoid long, uninterrupted blocks of text.
Countless eye scan studies have proven that online readers typically skim an article first before they settle in to read it all the way through. If your blog post consists of massive blocks of text, it can be intimidating to read, and may even make your blog post look longer than it actually is.
Above all, readers are looking to extract value in the quickest manner possible, so break your text up into bite-sized pieces to make it easier for them to absorb your post. Provide visual breaks for readers by way of subheadings, bullet points, numbered lists, images, etc.
4. Your posts should lead the reader to a main idea of some kind.
Take it back to 4th grade: What main idea do you intend to bring across with your blog post? What’s the point you want to drive home to your audience? Reading a blog post that wanders aimlessly to no ultimate conclusion can really feel like a waste of time, and that’s the last thing you would want your readers to feel.
Instead, when you write your blog posts, have a destination in mind that you want to take your audience to, and reinforce that main idea with every major element of your post.
5. Take advantage of the use of story.
People love stories, but not just fiction; you can deliver regular information in an engaging story-like format, which will make your posts more entertaining and memorable. It might even be helpful to dig into your high school memory bank and pull out the dramatic pyramid (a.k.a. the Freytag Pyramid or dramatic arc) to add a storytelling flow to your posts. The basic gist of the dramatic pyramid is this:
- Introduction: Introduce your topic along with related basic background information.
- Rising Action: Now build your case and flesh out more details of your main point. Feel free to use charts, links, images, videos, etc.
- Climax: This is the apex of your idea, theory or argument. Drive the main point of your idea home.
- Falling Action: In this section, include follow-up points and begin closing out your idea, theory or argument.
- Resolution: This is the wrap-up phase, where you offer your conclusion and/or final thoughts. This section often includes a call-to-action.
6. Avoid excessive self-promotion.
Always remember that readers are coming to your blog to derive some sort of benefit for themselves; that’s just the way it is. Your focus should be to serve their needs first, instead of simply advertising your products and services. If you focus on providing helpful and valuable content with each post, it will be difficult for your blog to suffer from a lack of readership.