Starting a blog is a fantastic way to add value to your website and provide useful information and advice to your readers. It also helps you attract new customers and build your relationships with existing ones. Companies who blog regularly attract up to 88% more leads each month compared to those who don’t, and a whopping 92% of companies who posted to their blog multiple times a day have landed a new customer through their blog.
But your blog is only as strong as its posts—after all, a blog that doesn’t catch or sustain reader interest is unlikely to add value to their time on your site. In order to keep readers involved and reading, you need to create killer blog posts, i.e., posts that are intriguing, informative, and imaginative.
The first, and perhaps most important, part of your blog post is the title. Given that 80% of readers will read the title, but only 20% will go on to read the article itself, the title of your post is your best shot at capturing sufficient interest to keep the reader’s eyes traveling down the page. In order to spark some interest, your title should be clear, clever, and concise.
These “three c’s” give your title enough information content to give the reader an idea of what the piece is about, while also ensuring their curiosity or interest in the topic is piqued. Keeping it short and snappy is especially important, since an estimated 38% of users bounce to another website within a second or two of landing on a given page.
Assuming you’ve drawn in the reader with your title, you can help keep them involved with your post providing content that’s well-sourced, actionable, and relevant. Some of the best ways to accomplish this is with content that creates a sense of urgency, asks questions of the reader, or provides easy-to-digest lists of tips the reader can use immediately (e.g., reviews, how-to, etc.).
Crafting a truly effective blog post doesn’t have to be a chore. By taking the time to write a snappy and compelling headline and focusing on quality content that’s both relevant and useful to your reader, you’ll be well on your way to blogging success.
Check out the rest of this series for more killer secrets!
Secrets of a Killer Blog Post: How to Write the Ultimate Headline
The most successful bloggers know that a critical component of their posts is not just the post idea, but how they execute it. What separates successful bloggers from the average ones is their ability to catch and hold the reader’s attention throughout a piece. Find out how you can improve your blogging skills to keep your audience coming back for more.
Catch Their Attention
Your readers cannot pay attention to everything – the mind is not wired that way. To get their attention, readers must be given a reason to focus on what you want, instead of paying attention to everything else.
Your Post Title Matters
The only part of a blog post your reader is guaranteed to see is the title, so make it stand out.
Use the title to give your readers an idea of what you will cover without giving too much away.
Keep it around eight words or 70 characters.
Make your point clear and be clever, not confusing.
Types of Titles
Here are eight of the many ways you can create a creative title that stands out:
Create a sense of urgency or importance
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Use How To’s (Or How Not To’s)
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Use Strong Language
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Lists and Rankings
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Ask A Question:
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Include a Verb
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Ways to Grab Your Readers’ Attention
Make them see what you see.
Tell a story
Use case studies
Use anything that will put the reader in the right position to see what you see.
Make it personal.
When something is personal, it is important. You’ll immediately grab attention.
Emotion brings clarity to your message and makes it personal.
Emotion gives people a reason to talk about your blog, and to share the content.
Emotion is far better than logic to trigger centers in the brain that control behavior and decisions.
Pull Your Readers In
After the title, the opening sentence is the second most important part of a blog post. Use the following to pull your readers in and get them to keep reading.
Ask a question
“What do you think about _____?”
Share a quote
Choose a quote related to your post topic.
For example, if you are writing a blog post about Facebook Advertising, consider including a quote from founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Use analogy, metaphor, or simile
“Your topic is like _______.”
Use a shocking statistic
“X% of ______ do _____.”
Communicate the benefit of reading the post
“When you’re done reading, you’ll know how to _____.”
Make a claim
Back up any claims with proof.
For example, if you’re reviewing a product that makes you money, show screenshots of your PayPal account that prove the product is working.
Go against the grain on a subject
Develop your statement (whether for or against the issue)
Provide logical support for your statement
Back it up with research, expert opinion, etc.
Good argument: If it rains, the ground gets wet. It is raining, so the ground is wet.
Bad argument: If it rains, the ground gets wet. The ground is wet, so it must be raining. (Lots of things can make the ground wet!)
Make sure you are geniune with your stance. Constantly seeking to be controversial could earn you a reputation as the “boy who cried wolf.”
You’ll lose all credibility and readership.
Keep Your Reader’s Attention
Grabbing your reader’s attention doesn’t matter if you don’t keep it. Even after that first sentence, there is always a chance your reader will leave your site.
Make information you offer valuable.
Don’t use a misleading title to grab attention, because you won’t keep it.
A lack of value will make it harder to capture a reader’s attention the second time around.
If you’re lucky enough to get a reader back again, he or she likely won’t take you as seriously.
Avoid using industry jargon and insider language, unless it’s appropriate for your audience.
It simply means to come together and brainstorm ideas.
When people see things they don’t understand, they’re more likely to search for a simpler explanation, than take the time to figure out what your jargon means.
Ask questions throughout
Questions spark curiousity and keep us searching for answers.
Example: What would you do if…?
Example: How would X make you feel?
Ask questions that get people thinking about what your products or services can do to solve their problems.
Example: if you could flip a switch and instantly have [insert painstaking task] done, how much would you pay for the switch?
This gets people thinking about the value of solving their problem.
Example: What would you do if I told you [product name] could solve your [specific] problem?
This gets people thinking about how much easier their lives would be if they had your product or service to address the problem.
Ask questions that explore insecurities
Example: Are you truly happy with where you are in life right now?
Example: Does your fear of [insert problem] hinder your success in life?
Use specific details – this will hold more attention than longer content providing a general overview of a concept.
Example: Find data and statistics around your topic.
X% of people who tried this technique found it improved their…
Example: Show how your product or service really benefits someone.
Instead of saying, “Jane used my marketing services to explode her business.” Say “After using my marketing services, Jane saw a 50% increase in her customer base, jumping from 50 to 100 customers a day.”