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Post Synopsis: Anyone can create content. Fewer can create useful content. Yet, most content do not go viral. That’s because the challenge lies in creating content that is not just useful but is also engaging. This post explores seven proven tips to create engaging blog posts. Blogs have come a long way. Back when I first started “blogging,” it was no more than an informal digital diary for most bloggers. After all, “blog” is a truncated version of the term, “web log.” Some people, like me, shifted gears from personal diary-keeping to creative content creation on their blogs. So, instead of writing “dear diary” kind of posts, we started writing and publishing short stories, poems, etc. Barring a few, most “bloggers” had a tiny following–nothing close to the numbers some bloggers enjoy these days. Anyone remembers That was way back in 2000-01. Then came the lot of people who wrote opinion pieces on current topics. News websites started mushrooming. Next came the tech review and beauty/makeup blogs. Most big, current bloggers are from this phase. What has kept them ticking for so many years? An engaged audience. Web Hosting Today, blogs are not even close to what they started off being. Instead, they have grown to become complementary and supplementary (sometimes even primary) digital marketing content for brands–big, small, and personal. But one thing remains constant. A successful blog runs on an engaged audience.

How to create blog posts your audience LOVES to read

Write to empower, educate, or entertain

People visit online channels–be it video-based, text-based, or audio-based–for information, inspiration, and entertainment. What is the purpose of your blog? Do you want to use your knowledge and skills to educate/inform your students? Or perhaps you want to inspire/empower them. In some cases, and depending on your niche, your objective may be to entertain you audience. When you know the purpose of your blog, creating appropriate blog posts come easily to you. In return, you will get a steady stream of traffic comprising of your ideal reader avatar. Write for a super-specific audience You have heard it before–get a niche. Well, that isn’t enough. A niche comprises of several types of audience. Determine whether you want to write for them all or do you want to target a specific type of audience in your chosen niche. This is your target audience group. Now, with your chosen target audience group, get really specific. Explore every detail about about the group and use these details to create a persona you will create every blog post for thereon. That’s right–every post you write should be for that super-super-specific audience…your ideal reader avatar. When you write for a reader avatar, it is much easier to customize your content to their needs. That’s because you will have a lot more anecdotes and examples to share with them. Needless to say, the closer the content is to your audience’s needs, the more relatable and relevant they will find your posts. Next station: engaged followers. For example, let’s say you are a business coach. You want to start a blog and offer some courses and services to your audience. Now, as a business coach, you can pretty much target anyone who is either an aspiring or an established business owner. You could also target any industry and any vertical within that industry. You could write to solopreneurs, small business owners, or multinational companies… …classic example of the world being your oyster. But the problem is you’ve cast your net too wide. As a result, your blog posts are too generic for anyone to benefit from. The examples or personal stories that you include in your posts may not resonate with everyone in your audience. This is why it’s important to spend quality time figuring out your ideal reader avatar and go after them. Why do you blog? As discussed before, it could be to entertain, educate, or empower your readers. And what’s the best way to do this? By delivering content that is consistent with the learning style of your audience. What’s a learning style, you say? In simple words, everyone learns differently. While visual and aural mediums help retain more information over a long period of time, printed mediums don’t score too high. Now, you may think this goes against the principle of writing for a super-specific audience (as discussed earlier). But here’s the thing: your super-specific audience is alike in their demographics, likes and dislikes, etc. But they are NOT alike in their learning style. Each of them has a preferred medium they learn best from. Now, as a content creator, it may seem difficult to cater to every learning style but it isn’t impossible. Here’s a post that explains the seven learning styles and how to customize your content for each type. Related post: How to improve the retention effectiveness of your instructional content

Master the headline

Not enough can be said about the importance of mastering the skill of writing compelling headlines. Headlines are very much like a book title and/or book cover. Imagine you are at a bookstore. You browse for a few minutes and randomly pick a book off the shelf. Unless you went into the store looking for that book, you most likely picked the book based on its title and/or cover art. The headline of your blog post does the same for your readers. Get this: you may work very hard on getting your posts ranked high on a search engine. But, not everyone who comes across your post in their search result page will click through to your post unless prodded. In fact, renowned copywriter, David Ogilvy states in his book, Confessions of an Advertising Man’: Granted the man and his books focused on copywriting, i.e. writing for marketing and sales. But remember, your blog posts are nothing but marketing material too. It is, therefore, pertinent that you get the headlines right. Here are a couple of posts I have written on mastering the art of writing compelling headlines for your blog posts.

Begin with the post synopsis

Somewhat unconventional but this is a two-pronged approach. The synopsis will help communicate to your readers what the end result will be…even before they begin. This helps the brain to form the neural pathways to nudge the reader towards the end goal. For example, if your post explains how to paint a picture using watercolors, you need to first show your audience what the end result will be so they can decide whether:
  • What you are teaching is relevant to them
  • They want to learn what you are teaching
This is true for both skill- and behavior-based content. Telling the learners what to expect even before they start learning helps facilitate the learning. But here’s a third advantage: in the synopsis, you get an opportunity to include your keyword in the opening paragraph without needing to forcefit it. That’s an SEO win. Sure, the full-wide image can be pretty big. But sometimes the image is worth it. Web Hosting

Employ the progressive reveal writing technique

A known “secret” of copywriting is to use the progressive reveal technique. What this means is that every sentence and paragraph you write should intrigue the reader enough to read the next piece of content. For example, if your blog post is about essential oils, you can begin with a hard-hitting opening paragraph based on a fact or an anecdote. Your opening story could be about how essential oil XYZ helped cure your ABC health issue. Then, you go into the backstory of your illness and how nothing else worked. Next, you could talk about the time you were introduced to the XYZ product and what ran through your mind. As you already know, building anticipation is one of the best storytelling tools. The progressive reveal technique also helps build anticipation and keeps the readers interested in what you have to say. A word of caution: progressive reveal does NOT mean adding meaningless fluff to your content.

Related post: How to grab your reader’s attention

Include a compelling call-to-action (CTA)

A well-defined call-to-action is a sureshot way to increase engagement. As the saying goes: ask, and you shall receive. It’s true for you and your audience too! The best way to engage your audience is to ask them to do something for you. What that “something” is depends on the purpose of your course. Perhaps you want your readers to share your post or answer a question you have posed in your post. Or maybe you want your readers to sign up for that ah-mazing lead magnet you have created for them. The wants could be endless…it’s entirely up to you. But what makes a compelling call-to-action? Here’s a post I wrote earlier explaining the features of a high-converting call-to-action (CTA).

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So, there you have it–seven proven tips to create engaging blog posts your readers will love to read. What is your #1 audience engagement tip? Share in the comment section.

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