Sticky Post: How To Catch Your Readers
I could use a sticky spider’s web as a metaphor to explain what it means to build the type of blog that people just can’t pull away from but frankly, I think spiders are creepy. The last thing I want to do is sit here and think about their eight hairy little legs and a sticky web. So ’nuff said about spiders and webs, let’s talk about your blog posts and your readers, OK?
Give Your Readers What They’re Looking For
Each blog post is bait to lure readers to your blog. While it’s important to have a lot of posts so you attract a lot of visitors, it’s more important that each post be tasty, so those visitors stay on your blog long enough to get stuck.
How do you get these visitors to your blog in the first place? With an attention-grabbing title!
Chances are a lot of your visitors are going to come to your blog the first time via an organic search, which means your post title will be one out of ten they receive in response to their search query. If you want them to choose your title you have to make it attractive:
- Use a keyword: Use keywords in your titles for SEO purposes
- Answer one question: Let the reader know what question you’re going to answer or what problem you’re going to solve
- Add Emotion: Use words like “Number One Reason”, “Top 10”, “You MUST”, “Best” and other superlatives to build excitement and create a sense of urgency.
But, Don’t Give It To Them All At Once
Too many bloggers make the mistake of putting everything they know about XYZ topic into one epic blog post. This is wrong for three reasons:
- Too Much Information: Your visitors are looking for the answer to one question and they’re in a hurry. Most are only going to scan your content, looking for that one juicy tidbit. You only have a few seconds to make that reader happy. If he has to scroll, scroll, scroll to find his answer, he’s going to give up and go somewhere else.
- Too Few URLs: If you put everything you know into one blog post then it’s all under one title – and one URL. That means searchers are only going to have one opportunity to find you on the index.
- What About Tomorrow: Everything you know about XYZ is now in one blog post. What are you going to blog about tomorrow? More important – why should your visitors come back? You’ve already told them everything you know!
Lay Down A Path Of Breadcrumbs
Use each blog post to lure your reader further into your blog. You don’t have to reveal all your secrets in one post. Think about the future.
Always answer that one question in your post – that’s important. But instead of dragging in all the little, minute details that your reader doesn’t really need right now, use the promise of more in-depth information to lure your reader back again in the future. This accomplishes four things:
- You’ve made the reader happy because you’ve answered his original question
- You’ve given your reader time to absorb and use your expert information
- You’re assuring your reader that he can learn at his own pace and when he’s ready, everything he needs is right there on your blog
- You’re building a strong internal linking structure, which the search engines love
Tell Your Visitors To Follow The Path
Of course, this works even better if you let your readers know what you’re doing. Give them the basic information they’re looking for and then include a call to action: “Come back next week and I’ll go into greater detail about…”
It’s easy to go overboard when you’re trying to “be the expert.” You want your readers to know that YOU know everything there is to know about your topic. (Whew!) But you want your readers to keep coming back to your blog, day after day after day. So don’t tell them everything you know in one single blog post. Serve your bait up one bite at a time.
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