Sticky Articles: 7 Strategies to Write Unforgettable Blog Posts
It might surprise you to know that nobody wants to read your blog posts. Don’t believe me? Tomorrow morning when you go to your feed reader, pay attention to what you’re thinking. Chances are you’re thinking, “Man, I really hope nobody wrote anything I need to read this morning. I don’t have time for this today.” As you’re scanning the list you’re literally looking for reasons not to read those posts.
Your readers feel the same way. That’s why it’s so important that you use attention-grabbing titles, that’s why it’s so important that you tell your reader in your first paragraph what your post is about and how he’ll benefit by reading it, and that’s why it’s so important that you always deliver fresh, unique content.
If you want your reader to stick to your page and keep coming back to your blog, you have to give him a good reason because his first thought is, “I don’t want to read this today.”
OK, I’m done lecturing. These 7 simple tips will help you write sticky, memorable blog posts. The kind of posts that make your reader say, “Hey! I gotta read this!”
1- Let him know it’s relevant information
Use a title that’s relevant and easy to understand. A title that’s a play on words or a riddle or cutesy makes it that much easier for the reader to pass it by. Deliver a simple, direct message.
Strong titles attract readers and bring their eyes to your post. But your first paragraph is where they decide if they’re going to stick around. Tell you reader the main point of your article right away to keep him on the page.
2- Let him know it will be easy to read
Make it clear that your post is going to be easy to read, right from the very beginning. Keep your sentences short and concise. Use simple language that you’d use in an ordinary conversation, like contractions, maybe a little inoffensive slang, and short, simple words. Don’t talk down to your readers but don’t use words only a professor would understand, either.
3- Show him it’s engaging
Put some personality into your writing, especially in that opening paragraph. Let the reader see it’s written by a real human being. For example, in this article I used a few contractions and a quote to make it sound more human. A few paragraphs in I used, “Hey! I gotta read this!” to add some excitement and personality.
4- Tell him there’s more to come
Keep your reader engaged by pulling him further down the page. I like to do this by using language:
- And that’s not all…
- But here’s what’s really happening…
- And we all know what that means…
- And then, of course, you need to consider the reader.
Don’t use this trick too many times in one post. Once or twice and your reader doesn’t even notice. But if you use it at the end of every paragraph eventually they’ll see what you’re up to.
5- Show him where the good stuff is
In this post, I signaled the start of the good stuff by saying, “OK. I’m done lecturing. Let’s move one.” Since readers will only scan your content it’s important to point out where they really need to pay attention so they’ll get your message. You can do this with language, like I did, and you can use formatting, like sub-headings or bullet points or numbered lists.
6- Show him you’re an expert
While it’s important to keep you message simple and concise, it’s also important to let your reader know you’re an expert. Do use jargon and niche-specific phrases, but make sure they’re either explained by the context or you’ve linked to another post that offers a definition or description. Remember, some of your readers will be beginners.
7- Tell him when he can stop reading
Let the reader know when it’s OK to stop reading. If you usually use a conclusion to wrap up your post, use a sub-heading to set it apart from the real juicy stuff. This signals to the reader that it’s all over now and he can leave if he wants to. This might seem unimportant but you’re saving that reader some time, which means you’re providing a little extra value.
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