Now that you know what to tell your readers, you’re wishing you knew exactly how to say it for maximum effect.
Well, today I’ll reveal some simple content strategies proven effective in engaging natural health and self-help enthusiasts. Now, you can maximize your relationship-building efforts online to effortlessly pre-sell your readers using quality content.
Last time I shared with you part one of how to write blog posts. And we looked at proven formatting tips to use with your blog if you were starting out fresh. However, that advice would also benefit seasoned marketers who may not be up-to-date on the latest best practices for engaging their audience of loyal subscribers.
With that, here are 10 content tips you can use to immediately increase your credibility, in Part Two of…
How to Write Blog Posts That Get Found and Get Read
1. Write about one single big idea. One mistake I see some bloggers make is to cover too broad a topic in a single blog post. This confuses your overall message, and is a turn-off to online readers. Consuming information in small chunks makes it easier to digest, put to memory, and take action on. Readers inherently know this. Accommodate them and you’ll gain their loyalty.
2. Your headline must clearly tell the reader what your content is about. If your reader doesn’t know what your content is about in 2 or 3 seconds, they will bolt…never to return. After all, they have problems that need solving or desires that need satisfying. They’re in a hurry. And constantly scan content for relevance. Also, be sure the first few words of every link, subheading, paragraph, or list reveals enough to engage and grab their attention as they make their way through your content.
3. Create content to target an audience, not a blog length. Seriously, the ranges for word count given by experts are quite varied. Some say write to 1,500 words. That longer content gives your readers more detailed information to ensure more complete solutions to their problems. Others say no more than 500 words. That shorter posts equal tighter focus, allowing you to keep your reader’s attention longer.
Clearly, they both work…but require you get to know your readers. Duh! Truth be told, this is one principle that Google will NEVER change with each new algorithm update. Heather Lloyd-Martin explains it well here when she discusses the future of SEO copywriting. Always, always write original, high-quality content that offers value to your readers. That’s the core reason Google and other search engines exist.
4. Use action verbs, rather than passive. Active sentences excite your reader. Stir their emotions more powerfully, so they feel more strongly engaged—and motivated—by your content. This advice applies to any writing.
Find it tough to “spot” sentences that violate this rule? Use Microsoft’s readability statistics or Google similar tools for your word processing software of choice to measure your content for passive sentences. Shoot for less than or equal to 3% passive sentences in your content or copy.
5. Write shorter sentences. Or more accurately, break up longer sentences with shorter ones. This minimizes the strain of reading large blocks of content. Again, you can measure this in MS-Word readability statistics. Shoot for a Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of 7.0 or lower. And a Flesch Reading Ease score of 60.0 or higher.
6. Write shorter paragraphs. Similar to short sentences, writing smaller blocks of text make it easier on your readers’ eyes. Readers who “get lost” in your content get frustrated and leave. You can keep them there longer by limiting that insane “wall of content” to a minimum.
7. Use subheadings. Subheadings are bolded text placed periodically throughout your content. The purpose of subheadings is two-fold. They’re used to highlight the big idea of the sections of your content and capture attention similar to your title or headline. More and more online marketers use these to break up long blocks of text and make their sales copy read easier and faster. This can apply to content writing as well.
Plus, subheadings are especially important for “skimmers”. They tend to pull them back into your content or copy. Because they also break up larger blocks of text, your readers will appreciate that your blog posts “feel” easy to consume.
8. Write succinctly. Always, always express yourself as briefly and clearly as possible. With online content—as in sales copy—you are not out to win literary awards. Only to provide useful information that helps your prospects solve their problems…and helps you build a relationship with them.
9. Use lists. Lists are a great tool for building a relationship with your readers. How’s that? Because readers are either in a hurry or inherently lazy. When you give them lists to read, you’ve removed the sense of “clutter” most online writing portrays. Lists effectively “summarize” your proposed action steps or concepts for them. And, make your content easier to digest.
Also, most readers scan content. So you have again made it easy for them to consume your content by giving them a reason to rejoin the conversation. Because of their popularity, lists make it much more likely other bloggers will link to your content. But don’t overdo it. As Muhammad Saleem points out in this Copyblogger post, there IS a limit to how often you should use lists in your blog.
But give lists a try in your next article. Your audience will appreciate the clarity of your message…better understand what it is you have discussed…and consider you more credible because you provided solutions that felt “easy” to access.
10. Keep the conversation going. What’s the purpose of your blog? Exactly…to build a relationship with your readers or prospects. Blogs are considered a social media platform. And what good is starting a conversation, if you don’t follow it up with more conversation. As we indicated previously, your call-to-action is already encouraging readers to weigh in on your blog post. So keeping engaging those readers that do comment. This back-and-forth conversation is what creates excitement and a larger following.
There you have it…10 quality content strategies anyone can learn in how to write blog posts that get found and get read. This is not an exhaustive list by any means. But starting here will go a long way to growing a steady base of online followers who will see you as a credible source for useful, actionable information. And, who will quickly become ready to buy when you make your first irresistible offer.
Please, take a moment to tell me in the comments section below if you found this article helpful? If you have additional blog content tips you’d like to share with us for relationship-building, we’re happy to hear them? I look forward to your feedback and insights.
About Jerry Bures
Jerry Bures is a direct-response web copywriter and marketing consultant. Since 2010, he has helped natural health, self-help and business opportunity clients—as well as local small businesses—become more visible, credible and profitable online.