You have a good idea for a blog post, but getting people to keep coming back and reading day after day takes more than a good idea. You have to execute that idea in an appealing way.
Ever wonder why so many commercials we see on TV revolve around sexual appeal? Because sex is appealing. At least when it's packaged properly. Commercials using fat, bear-bellied men or "average" looking women are few and far between. Everyone is nicely toned, handsome or strikingly beautiful.
Blogging is no different. The best titled "pickup line" in the world is only going to get you so far. To get anywhere you have to prove that you've got the goods that go with it.
While I won't provide a step-by-step tutorial on on how to write great content here, I will provide a few points will make what you have to say more appealing and more readable. The key is to draw your readers in and give them a way to enjoy the content, whether they are reading every word or performing a quick scan of your blog post.
Each blog post must start with a compelling premise or something of interest. Not every post will be compelling to every person, but each post should be interesting to at least a portion or segment of your audience.
Speak the language
One of the reasons why it is so important to know your audience is so you are able to write using the words that appeal most to your audience. There are two parts to this. The first is using the keywords that your audience is searching for. We addressed that back in step 2.
The second is to write for the education level of your audience. You want to find the right balance so as not to speak over the heads of your lesser educated readers while also not talking down to those who are more knowledgeable.
If your blog targets a very knowledgeable audience then you want to keep the "basics" down to a minimum. If you are always explaining basic concepts your educated readers will feel that you're talking to a lower-level audience. At the same time you can't assume that your audience knows as much as you do. If they did you wouldn't need to be blogging. If you assume your audience knows too much then they won't be able to follow what you are saying because they are missing key components of information that have not been shared.
If you know your audience and their knowledge level on your blog topic, you'll be able to write in a language that they understand and appreciate. Speaking to them, not above or below them, is essential to keeping them engaged in your content.
Not everybody reads word for word and most people will at least scan the content before they commit to investing the time to read. Making your content scannable is crucial to keeping your audience engaged.
Scanability is all in the visual appeal of the content. Visually, your audience needs to be able to look at the post and see the important concepts and main takeaways . If they find those appealing then they may go back and read the content word for word. If they don't have time for that then you've given them some valuable information just at a glance.
Bullet points: If possible you should break out pieces of your content into bullet points. This doesn't work for every post but you should do it where and when you can. Bullets catch they eye and provide a nice list format that the brain can more easily remember.
Bolds and italics: Make key concepts stand out using bold and italics. This isn't something you have to plan out, but once a post is completed you can look for things that you think should stand out. Anything that's important enough that you want your readers to see without having to read every word can be either bolded or italicized. Don't just use this strategy for keywords, look for key concepts instead.
Using bolded paragraph headings (or hx tags) also helps with the optimization of your posts, provided that there are some keywords being called out. Your first priority in your blog is to your readers so make sure anything you do with keywords is relevant and non-intrusive.
Presenting your content in a way that appeals to the reader both visually and intellectually will help you establish yourself as a knowledgeable author on your topic. With enough time, and the continued production of quality content you'll earn a reputation as an authority. Your readers will trust that your headlines won't just be good pickup lines, but they'll be just the taste of what will likely be a body of content they want to devour.
Other posts in the "Go Blog Yourself" series
* Introduction: Writing Your Blog Post with Pen in Hand and SEO in Mind
* Step 1: Know Who's Looking
* Step 2: Know What They Want to See
* Step 3: Have a Good Pick-Up Line
* Step 4: Reveal the Goods
* Step 5: Be Easy On The Eyes
* Step 6: Keep Them Interested
* Step 7: Give Them More Than They Came For
* Step 8: Do It Right and Do It Again
Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.
If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.
Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.
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