Only about 20% of people who read your headline will take the time to actually visit your site and read your blog post. Your headline can be the making of breaking of your post, so it has to be eye-catching, or dramatic, or informative, or entertaining, or even a little bit of everything!
It is a good idea to play around with your headlines and test different styles out to see which type suits your particular niche and draws in the most views.
You can try out the ‘surprise’ approach where you seize your readers attention, and let curiosity lead them back to your blog. People are naturally curious, so you can lead them in with a promise to fill a gap in their knowledge. Your headline should make them feel like they would be missing out if they didn’t find out more.
Asking questions is a great way to raise curiosity, and if you ask a question that your reader can identify with, they will be drawn to your blog post to find out more. Also, by asking negative questions you can tap into people’s insecurities, so readers will be tempted in by a promise to solve their problem, or to make them feel better.
People like numbers and facts. This offers them a sense of order for their lives, and a certainty that they are doing the right thing. They also like to know how to do things in an ordered way. So by combining a ‘how to’ approach with figures or statistics, you are giving your readers reassurance that by following your guide, or using your product will achieve their goals. An example could be ‘How to make your leather work shoes last for years with our 3 simple tips – 17,000 men cannot be wrong’.
It is one thing winning the attention of prospective customers via social media using a killer headline, and then steering them back to your blog, but once there – how do you keep them interested, engaged and wanting to stay on your page?
Writing a blog post is a little more involved than writing a social media post for Facebook or Twitter. Having a good structure to your blog posts will play a major part in retaining readers, and encourage them to return for more.
There really is no secret formula to creating a winning blog post. If there were then everyone would be doing it, and every single blog post would look and read exactly the same. Having said that, there is a very simple structure that you can apply to your blog posts that will work well to keep your readers engaged.
Firstly, it is important to create a quality post introduction. You need to hook your readers interest with your introduction, so you should look at this as the sales pitch for the rest of your blog post. An attention grabbing headline is great for getting reader to click through from social media sites, but your introduction needs to be compelling, and lets the reader know what they can expect to learn from your post.
The main body of your post is where you deliver your information. What you write here must be useful content relevant to the headline and introduction. Misleading your readers with snappy headlines that bear no relation to the information you want to impart will certainly not guarantee your readers will continue reading until the end, and will not compel them to click through to your sales link at the end to buy your product or service. Once your readers realise this is not what they thought it was going to be, they will switch off and leave your site – probably for good.
The information you provide in the main body of your blog post must keep the reader engaged. You could pose questions within your text that makes your readers think about what you are saying, or ponder a problem that they may not have thought about that you can solve with your product or service.
While you are busy crafting your blog post, keep an eye on the word count. People who regularly use social media platforms and read blogs like to absorb information in small, concise pieces. If they are interested in a particular subject, they will be happy to click through a link to read more about it, but they don’t want to be faced with your complete magnum opus. Keep it short and relevant, and deliver just enough to inform your reader without overwhelming them with too much information in one sitting.
Summarise your blog post with what they have just read. Highlight the important points you have written about and what value you have just passed on to them. Bullet point some information if that helps to get your message across.
The end of your blog post should include your call to action – after all, this is the whole reason for writing blog posts. You want your readers to go from prospective customers to real ones, so tell them what to do next. This could be to follow you on Twitter, sign up for your email newsletter, telephone for a quote, or to actually buy the product or service they have just read about.
Blog writing is a craft that needs honing, so constantly trying out new themes and approaches will pay off in the long run when your most popular style will just drop into place. Then you can be confident that your can write consistently good posts to engage and retain your regular readers.