Blogs are not about you. They are about your readers. You may be a masterful writer – someone who got A’s on all of your essays and papers in college. You pride yourself on your great composition, vocabulary and style. And now you’ve started to blog – either for your own business or for others. And very little is happening. There’s no point in breaking it to you gently – your content probably sucks.
You have not yet achieved the full understanding that to get loyal followers, you have to write a piece that they find useful or entertaining, not you. Here are some quick and easy fixes to create the content your readers will actually read and then share.
1.) Write Out A Detailed Persona Of A Typical Reader:
According to Neil Patel, you should give your reader a name and personalize him/her as much as possible. How old is this reader? What might be hobbies or interests of this person? What is your reader’s schooling level? What might a typical job be for your reader? Of what generation is s/he? What is his/her socio-economic status? What are his/her beliefs and values? Where does your reader hang out online? Once you have your persona, write every single post for him/her.
2.) Grab Attention Within The First Few Seconds:
You do this with a great headline, and a short engaging first sentence. That headline and/or first sentence should be your teaser on all of your social media platforms too. As yourself these things:
- Does the title have an emotional appeal? Does is promise to solve a problem? Can you use a little humor in it?
- Have you started with something shocking, amazing, a short anecdote.
- Can your reader scan the page quickly and see exactly what is in this post?
3.) Use Media – A Lot:
The format of your college essays and papers will not work. If you can say the same thing with an infographic, some images, or a video, choose that route always. And there are so many great tools now, you can create your own media with just a little practice. Use free image sites or join a photo provider for a small fee. The more unique your media is, the better.
4.) Keep Your Writing Style And Language Simple:
One of the most important ways to improve your content and boost your traffic is to write at about the 7th-8th grade level. People are in a hurry, and they crave simplicity. There are tools like Grammarly, ProWritingAid and Read-able.com that will analyze what have written and give you a reading level. Always check before you publish. No one will ever complain that your writing is too simple.
Simplicity does not mean poor grammar and punctuation, however. It must be perfect. A couple of the tools just mention will fix your grammar errors – use them if you have any concerns about your grammar.
5.) Decide On length Based Upon Your Purpose:
There are only 3 purposes for blog posts – to educate and solve problems, to entertain, or to inspire. If you are entertaining, your post might be relative short, get a laugh and then get shared. If you are inspiring, it may be shorter too. Telling a great story is good way to inspire. And one that features the business is even better. If you are educating or solving a problem, though, you have to cover the topic completely like the expert you are. These posts will be longer and full of great information and suggestions/advice.
6.) You Want Conversations:
The best way to show that you want to establish a trusting relationship with your readers is to encourage comments and conversations at the bottom of the post. Ask questions and invite your readers to comment. Great discussions make your readers remember your blog and come back for more. And you must respond to every comment too.
7.) Interactive Media Is A Big Draw:
If you can create an infographic, a video, a survey, a poll, or a quiz that involves audience participation, you will get more readership and more shares. You already know this probably, because you know you take those quizzes and surveys on Facebook yourself. But you may not know that you can create them very easily with some great tools – some of them for free. Snapapp, Wheeldo, Typeform (very creative), and Survey Monkey are just a few.
8.) Use Analytics Smartly:
Of course you want to track traffic and see how many unique visitors have come and read. You want to know if they stayed for a while. But you can use analytics to improve your content too:
- Which posts were the most popular and the most shared? Review them and identify what the common elements were, so that future posts will have those elements too.
- Take those popular posts and re-fashion the content. If they were primarily text and pictures, turn them into infographics or videos. Create a webinar or a podcast.
Use this as your cheat sheet for all of your posts, and your content will “pop.” Once that happens, your audience enlarges and that audience all shares its audiences – the ripple effect you want.
There may be other great tips for improving content. If you have some, add them here!