Blogs have been around a long time, and for good reason. They’re effective channels to engage audiences through fresh, relevant content. The best way to engage audiences is by presenting the most captivating content in the most ideal way. It’s actually not as hard at it sounds as long as you follow this five-step checklist for blog perfection:
Start off with an opening hook
Why should people read your blog post? You’ll want to address that in the first paragraph in the most engaging way possible. A good way to approach this is by thinking of your audience and what problem it will solve or how the information will help the reader. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes and think about what would engage you in the first paragraph. Also, look at examples of blog posts on the Internet to get a feel for how others do it, especially your competition.
Write a short, creative headline
The headline is perhaps the most important part of your blog post. It is the first thing people see on search engine results, on social media and elsewhere. If you don’t have an eye-catching headline, the reader will just scroll past it or click away. A good rule of thumb is to get the point of your article across in a clear, direct and creative way. Shorter is also better: Research shows that shorter headlines receive far more clicks and engagement than those that are longer.
Incorporate high-quality visuals
A blog post can reach a lot more people and has the potential to become more viral if it has high-quality visuals. Studies show that readers will be more immersed in your content as well as more likely to share it if you include visuals. In fact, the most engaging posts on social media include an image and many of them come from blog posts. Along with increasing engagement, visuals allow your audience to see what your blog post is about rather than just read about it.
Break up your paragraphs with engaging information
The best blog posts consist of information that is easy to scan and digest. Keep each of your paragraphs short and add bulleted lists, statistics, graphs, pull quotes, block quotes, interesting facts, infographics, videos and anything else that is going to make your article pop. Information in these formats will provide more credibility and detail to your post, which can hook people in until the end.
Close with a clear call-to-action
What do you want your audience to do after reading your blog post? Make sure that your call-to-action is clear in your concluding paragraph, but also does not provide an annoying sales pitch. Rather than telling them to buy a product or service or visit a web page, encourage your readers to engage with you. Provide a question and ask your readers to leave comments. You could also present a link to a poll, quiz, or even direct people to a whitepaper or ebook for more information.
Now, we will close this blog post using the final tip as inspiration. Which of the five steps above have you incorporated in your blog posts? Is there anything else you do to engage readers?