Blog writing is just part of the equation. Keeping your readers on your blog long enough to engage, come back and share is the most difficult side of the equation. Ideally, you should be able to keep readers on your blog so they are encouraged to explore more, leave comments, share your content, subscribe and ultimately buy from you (if you’re selling). To do all of that, you need to keep your readers engaged.
Powerful Blog Writing Techniques That Will Lock In Your Readers
Keeping readers engaged involves more than just blog writing about what they want to read; it’s about going the extra mile for your readers and going a little outside of the box. There are plenty of blogs in your niche category, so you need to stand out among the rest. By looking for ways to step outside of the norm you can have the hippest blog on the block.
Adhere to the Three Principles
Those bloggers with naturally engaging topics have it easy — such as the guy who travels around the world or the woman who tests out products to see if they’re worth the hype. But, even if your material is inheritably interesting, you could find yourself in a mundane trap that turns readers off. To write a successful blog and keep readers engaged, you need to adhere to the three principles of blog writing:
- Create a style and tone that is appropriate for your material.
- Post often and be predictable.
- Invite reader interaction.
Defining Your Style and Tone
Your content ultimately drives the style and tone in your blog writing. If you’re a health insurance agency with a blog and you’re targeting elderly individuals, you shouldn’t use slang or youthful language — they won’t appreciate it. If you’re blogging for techies, you need technological speak in your blog. If you’re blogging about food, you need a fun, upbeat tone that speaks to your fellow foodies.
It doesn’t matter how flashy your website is, if you don’t have a solid style and tone, your blog is going to suffer. Always remember that a blog is more like a conversation. Sure, it can be informative, but approach that information like you’re sharing it with a friend — not a robot. If you can, read your blog entry out loud and ask yourself if it sounds conversational-like.
Try writing your blogs with a friend or family member in mind. This technique might help you approach the conversational tone a little easier.
Your audience should be your number one concern. You’ve addressed your audience while developing your content strategy (or at least you should have) so you know your target audience. Use your target audience to select your tone and style, because this is ultimately the person that will read your blog.
Post, Post, Post
Be a frequent, predictable poster — not a random poster. Not only will this help with search engine rankings, but it will entice readers to come back for more. Try to post three times per week or up to once a day if you can. When readers know there is more to come, they will keep coming back for more.
Play with Your Audience — Not literally
But, you need to engage your audience as if you’re physically in front of them hanging out. It doesn’t matter how boring the topic, there are ways to get your readers to interact with your blog posts, which ultimately encourages them to come back for more.
So how do you get your readers to play along?
- Ask Questions – You’ve shared your experience and case in your blog, so why not shoot it out to the readers and ask for their opinions. For example, you’ve posted about whether or not you should work from home. Now direct the question to your readers asking for their thoughts, experiences, etc. This encourages comments (always great for search rankings) and engages the audience instantly.
- Be Visual – Readers could use a break from text. So add a picture or video for them to enjoy along with your post.
- Insert a Poll – Readers love polls. They’re anonymous, fun, and it encourages the readers to come back later to see the results.
- Open Up a Debate – Pick a topic and put your opinion in there. Then direct it to the readers for debate. Debates can get heated though, so make sure you’re there to moderate.
Remember Don’t Be A Dull Dud
Your content strategy should lay out what you’re blogging about and when. Avoid writing about the same topics over and over. If you notice you’ve written on a similar topic a few times in a single month, it’s time to revisit your content strategy and change it up.
Use catching headlines. Readers love lists, such as “10 Tips for Writing a Killer Blog.” Make sure you have something compelling in your headline that makes a reader want to click and continue on.
Make your content scannable. Break it up with subheaders, use short paragraphs and keep your sentences tight. A wall of text can discourage readers from reading further — even if you added a few photographs to break it up.
Engaging your readers isn’t hard as long as you keep it conversational, fun and interesting. Take some time before you write your posts and never write just to rank a keyword. Have a friend or family member read a post before it goes live for an objective opinion. The more natural your writing is, the more engaged your readers will become.