Publishing valuable, educational content is one of the keys to converting leads online. Web users search because they're looking for answers, for information.
But while the need for information may get visitors to your page, what will make them stay? return? convert? What's the trick to writing blog posts that your audience genuinely wants to read?
It takes more than facts and figures to gain a reader and ultimately a customer. In fact, studies show that 38% of those who land on a web page will instantly bounce from the page - they don’t interact with your page at all.
Only half of those left will read several hundred words into the story.
How do you get visitors to read and engage with your content? Remember you're in the process of attracting and converting prospects, so make your content remarkable.
If you're looking for some practical blog post writing tips you can use on your site today, then you'll LOVE this infographic.
Make Content More Appealing to Your Readers With These Blog Post Writing Tips
The infographic has 21 actionable tips to make your educational content more attractive, shareable, and ‘clickable.’ And will give the most stubborn of prospects a kick to take action.
Don’t let your high-quality content go unnoticed. (That's a tip in itself). Write high-quality blog posts. Get out of the mentality you have to publish every day. And write long-form quality content.
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1. If You Want the Sale - Keep it Simple
The best teachers explain complicated subjects in very simple terms. This doesn't remove complexity, but it makes content easier to understand and digest — one concept at a time. As Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
In such a fast-paced world, no one wants to waste valuable time sifting through poorly communicated concepts. Don't think of it as an elaborate essay- cut to the chase. Content marketing should be to the point. Simplicity is key.
In fact, brands that make it easy for consumers to gather and understand information are: 86% more likely to get a sale, 9% more likely to be repurchased, and 115% more likely to be recommended to others (Source: Harvard Business Review).
How to Explain Something Simply:
- Step 1: Review concepts using ideas and associations the audience already understands. Use familiar words. If a customer can relate to your content they are more likely to engage with it.
- Step 2: Break your topic down into steps and lists. This way you can lay out important information in a clear format for viewers to quickly read
- Step 3: Keep it general and know which details to leave out initially. Make it easy to scan over. Details are great but too much of it can drive customers away.
- Step 4: Encourage questions for more in-depth learning and deeper thinking. This way readers are able to digest the material reflect on the information they just received.
2. Add Humor - Bond With Your Readers
Why do marketers make such good wide receivers?
Because they always stay inbounds.
Hopefully, I got one person at least to crack a smile!
Nothing breaks up a presentation or a blog post like some relevant humor sprinkled in. It might seem difficult, however adding humor doesn't always mean memorizing jokes or being impersonal. When it comes to inserting humor into your content, make it natural. This takes practice, but it can be learned, even if you’re not naturally “funny.” When used correctly, humor can be a powerful tool in content writing.
Remember, there is a difference between comedy and humor. Comedy is written solely to produce laughs. Humor is used to deliver a message through lighthearted content. If you're able to balance professional business content that also has humorous entertaining materials you will be able to successfully reach and appeal to wider audiences.
Tips to Add Humor:
- Tip 1: Make humorous observations in real-time
- Tip 2: Make it natural
- Tip 3: Point out irony
- Tip 4: Make a funny, relevant reference to a current event.
It's time to give your content some personality!
3. Make Content Interactive and Fun
Digital marketing is inherently interactive — a prospect clicks, fills out a form, reads, replies, asks. All these actions are carried out through your inbound marketing strategy. But now that digital marketing is becoming the norm, these actions are expected by most online searchers.
How do you create interactive experiences outside of the expected?
- Step 1: Use graphics, animation, video, other visual content
- Step 2: Think quizzes, polls, comments, and rewards
- Step 3: Offer plenty of follow up material
Why should I use interactive content marketing?
Research from a March 2015 blog post published by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) by Julie Wingerter (@JWingerter) shows that interactive content averages a 50% click rate and a 40% percent conversion rate.
Robert Rose, the author of The Symphony of Connected Interactive Content Marketing, stated that "If you’re a small business, know that you can compete with some of your larger competitors. However, the only way you will succeed is by creating an interesting experience that could only come from you – not by copying someone else.”
The ultimate goal of content marketing is to increase consumer engagement and enhance their experience. By incorporating tools such as entertaining videos or quizzes you are inviting your consumers to actively take an interest in your company. In turn, you will receive feedback from your customers' responses and generate new leads.
4. Be Unpredictable - The Surprise Element Works Wonders
Remove the routine every once in a while. For example, if you’re known for a certain type of content or communication style, weave in something different occasionally. Scott Redick comments in an article published in Harvard Business Review that "the element of surprise is the most powerful marketing tool of all."
It's okay to switch things up every once in a while. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new for a change. If your business lacks an element of creativity, customers will lose interest. Below are a few pointers on how to shake things up.
Tips to be Unpredictable:
- Tip 1: Add emotion. If you're bored reading your own material then customers are too. Make it your goal to evoke an emotional response from your readers so they are motivated to take action.
- Tip 2: Add a branded video or an infographic for more visual engagement.
- Tip 3: Introduce a new color scheme or design to attract attention and new viewers. Of course, brand cohesion is important, but it wouldn't hurt to switch up your color palette every now and then.
5. Give Them Facts to Help Convert
In the end, your prospect wants and needs your information. Remember, the whole reason someone searches online is to learn something new, so keeping content educational is a necessity.
For B2B decision-makers, the task is still to find the best solution that will improve some aspect of their business. Entertaining content is great, but solution-based content leads to conversions.
Think about how your industry can educate viewers on a certain topic. Maybe confront certain misconceptions about elements in your business to establish credibility and why your company is unique.
If you have a lot of information and learning points make sure to break it up. Customers need to be in the right state of mind in order to comprehend a lot of facts being thrown at them, so remember not to overwhelm them with too much. It was proven that up to 50% of potential sales are lost due to inadequate information. (Source: IDC)
By presenting facts to indifferent customers, you might inspire some curiosity, hook them in, and provoke them to read further.
Appealing content educates and attracts! This is an effective content writing tip!
6. Become Better Storytellers
Although remembering exact facts and figures is important, the information doesn't always stick with readers.
So what does?
If you are trying to convert leads into buying customers, you need to build your relationships and nurture your audience. You need to ignite a feeling and emotion in your readers. Give your content a purpose. Create a story that will bring value and resonate with your targeted customers.
Telling stories will engage your readers and make your content much more relatable. A top professional blogger will master the art of storytelling.
Tips to Become Better Storytellers:
Photo by David Kennedy on Unsplash
- Tip 1: Know your audience. Do your research so you can properly prepare the tools you'll need to reach them.
- Tip 2: You need a hero (hint: your customer should be the hero). Once you show a resolution to their main conflict, they'll become more interested in your products and services.
- Tip 3: You need a goal and a conflict that goes with the goal. Just like a normal story, your content should have rising action, a climax/conflict, and a resolution in relation to your company.
- Tip 4: You need a moral (how your hero conquers conflict). Give it a grand finale.
7. Entice Your Visitors With Compelling Introductions
Leave a good first impression.
This is your first and only chance to grab your users' attention. You want them nodding their head in agreement and knowing exactly what lies in front of them, content-wise. Your goal for the intro is to hook the readers in and convince them that they need to keep reading. Transition your readers into the content you are about to share with them.
Tips to the World's Greatest Intro's:
- Tip 1: use the APP formula makes users (and Google) love your content
- Tip 2: use the APP formula makes users (and Google) love your content
- Tip 3: use the APP formula makes users (and Google) love your content
Get the point...
Here's the APP formula:
- Agree - start off with something your readers will agree with. Shows you care and understand their problem.
- Promise - give your reader a peek into a better world. There is an easier way for them.
- Preview - Tell your readers what you have in store for them.
Captivate your audience and leave them wanting more. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and surprise your audience with a memorable opening statement.
8. Create Crazy-Effective Calls to Action
A CTA is arguably one of the most important parts of a website. It is where you are able to measure your success and conversion rates.
Kick off your conversion process with an attention-grabbing CTA. Make it action-oriented with your keywords that are consistent with your article, offer, and landing page. Keep it straightforward, clear, and visible. You want your CTA to be just as effective as your content.
Tips to Strong Calls to Action:
- Tip 1: Influence your users to do something. Take that next step. "Learn more", "Try Our Free Trial", etc. Band the word "Submit" from your vocabulary.
- Tip 2: Use detailed and branded images. You can gain 67% more audience attention.
- Tip 3: Make it STAND out so your visitors see it and click it. The goal is to place your CTA where the user is going to "look" next. A natural progression.
- Tip 4: Use compelling copy.
CTAs have the ability to provide a finishing touch for your blog. If you get your Call-to-Action right, your conversions will naturally go up.
9. Stimulate Your Readers - Ask a Thought-Provoking Question
Photo by Emily Morter on Stocksnap.io
One of the most powerful assets on your keyboard is the question mark. Effective questioning can enhance your readers' ability to connect with your writing. By using questions to engage your audience, they will feel like they're in a real-life conversation, versus being "talked" to.
Tips to Asking Your Questions:
- Tip 1: Give your readers the chance to have their own input.
- Tip 2: Ask a question at the beginning to get them fired up and ready to engage in your article.
- Tip 3: Ask a question at the end of the post to entice them to leave a comment or ask another question.
Questions are important because they stimulate discussion and critical thinking. A question can be helpful when reinforcing a specific idea or concept. They emphasize what is important, keep your readers on track, and promote a deeper understanding of the material being discussed.
This will make your content more appealing because you included the reader. ProBlogger goes over the top 7 questions you can ask for more reader engagement.
- What Do You Think?
- How Do You Feel?
- What Will You Do?
- What is Your Opinion?
- What is Your Story?
- What is Your Experience or Example?
- What Have you Been Working On?
Try it out. Ask questions and connect with your future prospects in a more meaningful way.
10. Add Images to Boost Your Content Performance
Draw in your audience with a captivating image.
According to a study conducted by Skyword, embedding relevant images in content attracts attention to your content and meaningfully improves content performance. Including images will help engage your audience because it adds a visual element to your work.
On average, total views increased by 94 percent if a published article contained a relevant photograph or infographic when compared to articles without an image in the same category.
Tips to Using Images on Your Site:
- Tip 1: Always use an image in your content to break up the text.
- Tip 2: Use images that will make your content more appealing, relatable, and relevant for your user.
- Tip 3: Inserting the right image at the right place will enhance the value of your content.
Images are a very helpful tool that strategic blog writers should incorporate in their content writing. When paired with strong text it can lead to a very informative and successful end product.
Bonus: Are you creating shareable images on your major blog posts?
Want to use easy Infographic Template Tools to create stunning infographics… but don’t know where to start?
Below are 4 Infographic Template Tools for creating infographics easily and quickly, shared by Donna Moritz at Socially Sorted...even if you are not a designer.
- Canva: Templates are shorter in length which attracts people and makes sharing easier.
- Easil: Infographics are used on Pinterest with unique graphics.
- Piktochart: Have a wide range of templates to choose from.
- Easel.Ly: Allows you to re-use other templates or build your own infographic.
11. Establish a Tone for Your Blog To Keep it Real
It's not what you say, it's how you say it.
Why is tone of voice important?
"It's an expression of the people behind the brand". This means that the tone of voice you choose for your blog post writing should represent and embody your company's goals. It can be a key part of persuading customers to read more and follow through with what you are presenting.
The quote by Philip Kotler, Professor at the Kellogg School of Management sums it up...
"The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand you are a commodity. Then price is everything and the low cost producer is the only winner.”
The quote points out it’s not just what a company does, but who it is that makes it a brand. It's about presenting a product or service that will improve their quality of life in a sympathetic way to show you genuinely care about meeting the needs of your customers.
"A tone of voice both embodies and expresses the brand’s personality and set of values. It’s about the people that make up the brand – the things that drive them, their loves and hates, and what they want to share with the world."
Tips to Creating Your Tone:
- Tip 1: Be unique and be you. Tone should come naturally.
- Tip 2: "People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
- Tip 3: Make it memorable.
"Through the use of tone you will turn a faceless company into a group of people with their own special way of working or, in other words, a brand."
If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty of language and finding your brand's voice, Hariett Cummings writes an amazing article on Distilled doing just that.
12. Stick to a Modern Website Design
They say you should never judge a book by its cover...but if the book looks outdated, messy, and tarnished you might be inclined to find an updated book.
First impressions are important.
It is crucial to have a professional-looking website that is both modern and visually appealing to keep your readers engaged.
What Makes a Good Website Visually Appealing?
At the most basic level, in terms of design and theory, there are six elements that need to be considered when designing a website to be visually appealing.
Tips to Designing Your Visually Appealing Website:
- Tip 1: Color - The site’s color should match your brand and present consistency throughout the site. Make sure you have a good balance because too much color can be distracting and not enough color can make your brand look lifeless and boring.
- Tip 2: Font - The site’s font doesn’t necessarily have to match the brand or logo. Making sure that the font is legible is the most important goal. Remember to consider whether your website is formal or informal and how it will pair with the color scheme.
- Tip 3: Imagery - Pictures will give your website the look and feel that will set your website apart from competitors. Use images that will link the ideas being communicated in your content.
- Tip 4: Simplicity - The simpler the better. Keeping design simple allows for the “clean” look that people are looking for. You don't want your customers leaving your page because they feel overwhelmed.
You can read the full article on Visually Appealing Websites and learn the other two elements.
13. Be the First to Write on Latest Industry News
Nowadays everyone wants to be in the know.
With media at the tips of our fingertips it's easy to stay updated on breaking corporate news. Writing on latest industry news will help your company build credibility and trust with clients, spread brand awareness, boost traffic to your website, and increase conversion rates.
Images and news pack a powerful punch.
In order to position yourself as a thought leader and report the latest industry news before any of your competitors, SEO expert Steven MacDonald recommends marketers subscribe to the following resources:
Tips to Reporting on Breaking News:
- Tip 1: A great way to find current news is using databases like Google to stay updated on top trending searches. By checking the search engines you will have insight as to what your audience needs information on.
- Tip 2: Check out your social media feeds to find out what is on top of your industry's mind. Connect with other professionals in your field to share ideas and hear their strategies for publishing breaking news.
- Tip 3: Be a good listener. Respond to what your audience wants to increase satisfaction so they are more likely to rely on your company for information.
Producing content like this will keep you ahead of the game and put you in a position to see significant audience growth.
14. Mix Up Your Content Formats
"Variety is the spice of life".
Getting your audience to read, consume, and engage in your content is no easy task day after day. Don't be predictable. Try something new and creative with your content.
Create or repurpose your existing content with a new look with some of the "content frameworks." By changing up your content formats you will attract a diverse variety of customers.
Tips to New Content "Frameworks":
- Tip 1: Infographics - Turn your boring data-driven content into a visually appealing infographic. Infographics are useful because they attract attention, have viral potential, great for social media sites, and attract SEO linkbacks. For more guidance check out 12 Insights for Visual Content Success with Infographics.
- Tip 2: Try out an Expanded List Post with detailed "How To's" that will fascinate your reader. Give them a step-by-step plan. Consumers will thank you for giving them all the detail.
- Tip 3: Create a "Best of List." Consumers have a higher chance of clicking on an article with "Top 21" in the title because they are looking for straightforward, easy-to-follow information.
15. Make Your Content Skimmable
Did you know that most consumers only spend about 15 seconds on a page?
No one wants to sit down and read an article word for word anymore. Most readers just glance over about half of your information. It's all about retaining material as fast as possible. If you want to impress your audience, it's important to make your content skimmable and concise.
Tips that Show You Exactly How to Focus Your Content to “Reflect the Reading or Skimming Habits of Your Audience”:
- Tip 1: Use easy, digestible bullet points to make your content stand out. This way consumers can see the main idea and weed through other unnecessary information that they don't need.
- Tip 2: Use whitespace to focus your visitors on your content not clutter. Think of it as "breathing room" between paragraphs. This will make your content seem condensed and cleaner.
- Tip 3: Use Bold and Italics to get your point across and make your message obvious.
Although keeping your audience engaged for longer than 15 seconds seems challenging, following these tips will make it much easier for readers to digest your material.
16. Get Creative With Your Images
You've heard the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words".
Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash
In tip 10, we explained how effective the images can be to your content. It's important to find the right visuals to match your information. The images you use with your blog content does matter. Most social platforms pull in those images with the URL that people ideally share.
Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder/Chief Marketing Officer of Orbit Media, says it best...
"A blog post without an image is like a postcard without a stamp."
Have some fun with them...
Tips to Get Creative With Your Images :
- Tip 1: Add humor to your images. Try using humorous images like internet memes to grab attention and motivate your consumers to share your post.
- Tip 2: Create custom images specifically to use on social media platforms. There are many apps available to help you make unique, high-quality images for your blog post.
- Tip 3: Convey an emotion by adding an image. The right image can evoke an emotional reaction that might resonate with viewers.
17. Stop Trying to Sound Smart
You don't want to come off pretentious.
What's more important: sounding smart or being smart?
Marcus Sheridan, aka "The Sales Lion" explains, Why the Goal of Blogging and Marketing is NOT to Sound Intelligent.
Remember... you're writing marketing content not a dissertation. Your main goal should be to entertain and bring awareness to your company or product, not confuse your readers. The most important part is that your reader “knows what the heck you’re talking about.” For most companies, that means writing simply, and removing any “five dollar words.”
Syed Balkhi, co-founder of WPBeginner and OptinMonster, said it best,
"One of the biggest mistakes most businesses make when crafting content for B2B marketing strategies is attempting to be overly professional in their content. Another mistake: using technical writing styles in blog posts and filling them up with unnecessarily complicated vocabulary, hoping to come across as "professional" to their audience."
Do your research and put it into your own words. Don't overcomplicate to the point where your readers need a dictionary to figure out what you're saying.
Tips to Creative Writing:
- Tip 1: Write for your audience to understand.
- Tip 2: Your message should be clear and simple.
- Tip 3: One main goal—action through understanding.
18. Have a Clear End Result in Mind
Don't write to just hit the publish button. It's a BIG waste of time, not to mention a complete turnoff.
Begin with the end in mind.
If you know, how you want your blog to end, it will be easier to fully develop your ideas and guide your content in the right direction. Creating a strategic plan for your content will only improve the ideas that you generate.
Think of it as a conclusion. You need to connect your ideas and leave a lasting impression.
Tips to Help You Get to Your End Result :
- Tip 1: Research your topic. Back it up with stats and organize them correctly so all the pieces fall into place making it easier to create your end result.
- Tip 2: Have an end goal to your post. What do you want your readers to get out of it and what is their next step?
- Tip 3: Write for the human on the other side of the screen. Put yourself in their shoes. This will help you fully develop your ideas and make your content more appealing.
19. Boost the Value of Your Content - Use "Benefit-Driven" Headlines
Your readers want to know the WIIFM Factor, WIIFM = “What’s in it for me?”
WIIFM is the stuff that shows how or why what you have to sell or say matters to those who you are trying to sell or say it too. It’s the value proposition, the thing that makes them realize that what you’re offering is worth their money or their time.
When you include a benefit in your subheadings, you'll boost the "perceived" value of your content.
Tips to Create Benefit Driven Headlines:
- Tip 1: Make a promise and make it specific. You don't want to give your viewers false hope with misleading headlines.
- Tip 2: Use power words when describing your benefit. Incorporating these action-packed words can instantly make your blog seem more intriguing.
- Tip 3: Check the emotional value of your headline. Our go-to Headline Analyzer gives you a percentage score of the emotional value. (the higher, the better). Have fun with it.
The WIIFM should stick out like a sore thumb in your headline. You need to give your potential viewers a reason to keep reading. Draw potential customers in with a promising headline then wow them with your outstanding content.
20. Use "Bucket Brigades" to Segue Your Readers
Thanks to Brian Dean at Backlinko, I learned this powerful SEO Copywriting Secret.
What the heck is a Bucket Brigade?
Well, an actual bucket brigade is a human chain method for transporting items where items are passed from one stationary person to the next. Similarly, a bucket brigade used in content marketing is an old-school copywriting tactic that was originally designed to keep people reading sales letters.
It helps transition readers from idea to idea to keep them engaged and break up content to keep the flow or "chain" of thoughts moving.
Here are a few tried-and-true bucket brigade classics Brian shares on his post:
- Here’s the deal:
- What’s the bottom line?
- You might be wondering:
- This is crazy:
- It gets better/worse:
- But here’s the kicker:
- Want to know the best part?
Whenever you have a section where someone may get bored and leave, add a bucket brigade. (It will keep them on your site longer too!)
Tips to Keep Your Readers Engaged With Adding a "Bucket Brigade":
- Tip 1: Use a bucket brigade in the beginning, middle, and end of your content. Sprinkle any place you see fit.
- Tip 2: Be witty. Think of it as a form of comic relief that strengthens your content.
- Tip 3: Save your visitors from getting bored. Make it conversational like a narrator providing commentary as they read your blog.
21. Cut Out the Sales Message
97% of the respondents in DemandGen’s study agreed that marketers should “curb the sales messages" to improve their content, ultimately driving home the message that content should be about the buyer, not the company.
One of Hubspot's key takeaways from their State of Inbound:
"For long-term growth and development, sales and marketing need to work in tandem."
Tips to Plan the Perfect Inbound Strategy and Curb the Sales Message:
- Tip 1: Smarketing - Align your sales and marketing teams. Get them on the same page with the same goals.
- Tip 2: Communication between teams will boost your ROI and ultimately improve the way you speak to your buyers.
- Tip 3: Educate your buyer.
Sales staff state that prospecting becomes increasingly harder if a lead is poorly educated on the sales topic. 36% of sales staff say prospecting is difficult when a lead is ‘not at all knowledgeable’ vs. ‘very knowledgeable’ (26%)" - State of Inbound 2016
Back to You...
Start refining your blog post writing.
Using these 21 "secrets", you'll begin to look at content creation in a new way.
Which tip do you find most helpful?
Are you going to use benefit-driven headlines or bucket brigades?
Let us know in the comments below!