Step 6:Writing Blogs in 2016 that People Love to Read, Respond & Retweet
Now that you own a website that’s ready to shake up the internet, let’s focus on picking up some quick and powerful tips on writing blogs that grab attention and get results.
Just Blog It
Until then, enjoy this handy A to Z guide on creating a blog post, from start to finish, that people notice and share.
Just blog it. Don’t let perfectionism, the fear of making a mistake, or fears of ridicule keep you from writing blogs.
Here’s What You’ll Learn Here
For starters, let’s say you want to come up with a seductive headline people will find irresistible—just scan down to the headline writing section for help (#2.)
Or if you are having trouble creating an opening paragraph that grabs people by the arm and pulls them in, just review 3. Crafting the Opener section here.
Each section is concise and easy for your eyes to scan over. I’ve intentionally laid this out using lots of bullet points and short paragraphs.
Oh, and don’t forget to start writing after you’re done. 😉
Writing Blogs in 2016 That Get You Noticed
1. Identify Your Content Target
Before anything else, decide what topic you will write about. Before you jump in, consider these three questions. Make sure you answer “yes” to all three:
- Will the information I share somehow benefit my audience? (Your article should have a useful takeaway for the reader.)
- Do I have something new to say about this topic? (“new” can be simply your own experience. Tell a story that you went through. Be real.)
- Do I have a clear idea who my readers are? (Keep the profile of your audience in mind. Write as if you are speaking to just one of them.)
2. Write a Magnetic Headline
How do you get people to start reading an article?
Pull them into it by the shirt collar with a powerful headline.
The headline is where the slippery slope begins. Your goal is to get the reader to slide all the way down your article to the bottom like a greased pig down a coal chute covered in baby oil.
Remember that your blog post headline is the first impression of your post. Your title is the first hook people see in various places online, like…
- Your blog archives
- Social media
- Search Engine Results
- RSS feeds
- Emails passed around
A seductive headline works in any location where online readers find them. Just remember they have to be seductive, not suck. So take your time when you write a headline.
There are some different approaches you can make with a headline. You won’t use all of these with every headline. Sometimes only one technique is needed to craft a beauty of title for your article.
Here are the ABCs of headline writing techniques…
Add a Benefit in the headline
When someone stumbles upon your headline through a site like, well, StumbleUpon, if they notice some sort of benefit to them in your wording, there’s a good chance they will click on your link to find out more (make sure your articles back up what your headlines say.)
Bloggers are going to click headlines like “8 Blog Tips and 2 Tools for Faster Audience Growth” if they want to increase their readers quickly. Faster audience growth is a benefit. Another headline on this blog is Feeding Google: How to Use YouTube and Google+ to Outrank Your Competition—since there are a lot of people out there who want to stay ahead of or beat their competition, this blog post gets many clicks.
Bring a Question Directly to the Reader
Using a question like “Should You Use Fiverr?” sparks curiosity and does a great job of pulling people in because of the way the human brain works. Questions are even more powerful when they are written as if talking to one individual. I’m a big proponent of using the word “you” in my web copy. Writing in the first-person contributes to the conversational tone you want to project. “How a Chainsaw Juggler Can Build Your Blog Business” is much more effective than “..Can Build a Blog Business.”
Choose Potent Words
There are certain words that have been used to grab people’s attention for centuries. Julian Sivulka wrote in her book Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes that in the colonial days of America, “One theme runs through all the promotions aimed at attracting investors and settlers to the New World—the promise of free land.” Free is definitely still an effective word to include in a headline because getting something for nothing trips an automatic response in most people.
Here are a few other potent words to help crank up your headline magnetism…
Secrets –these are always alluring to humans. We want to know what others don’t know.
Easy – Humans are naturally drawn to the path of least resistance. “4 Easy Steps” draws readers’ in. “4 Difficult Steps” makes people run away.
Discover – I use this word a lot, because who doesn’t like to “discover” something? Whether it’s a buried treasure or a new ability you didn’t know you had, this word works.
These power words can create an element of controversy or debate, which is actually a good thing for you because controversy pulls in readers. You may not believe this at first, but those who try to please everyone end up with less readers. When you think about it, successful bloggers are mostly those who take a strong stance on something and then effectively prove their point in their blogging, despite ruffling some feathers. So don’t shy away from these types of “lightning rod” words as long as you can back up your claims and prove your points with facts.
One last note on headlines: Although we’re starting at the top of the article and working our way down, you can wait to write your headline until after the article is finished. I do that a lot because it can be helpful to see how your article comes together before writing the headline. Or you can write it first, whichever you choose.
Let’s move on now to the next part of your blog article…
3. Crafting the Opener
Okay, let’s suppose your headline was good enough to get a reader to move down to the first sentence (always a good thing), so your blog visitor starts reading the first line.
There are several techniques you can choose to apply to this next crucial step.
One is to again write a compelling question….same approach as using a question in your headline. Just don’t use this one if you already have a question in the headline. That feels redundant.
Sales professionals, both in-person reps and copywriters, have been using a technique known as “Getting your prospect into a yes frame of mind” for decades. What I mean by a yes question is asking the reader something that pretty much guarantees the reader will say yes—“Do you want to make more money next month?” or “Are you ready to find the success you deserve?” These are two examples.
Yes questions increase the slipperiness of your article, encouraging readers to continue.
If you plant several yes questions through your copy, the reader will be much more receptive to your CTA (Call to Action) that you placed at the end of the article.
Another approach to kicking off your article is by springing a surprise on them—say something unusual or share a story about a topic you don’t discuss much—“I met my wife on a reality television show” grabs the reader with a personal story. As long as your opener relates to the topic of the article, you have a winner.
You could also start with a benefit that your reader will jump on. Finding the right benefit requires a deep understanding of your blog audience. Take your time here and have patience, as gaining perspective on your audience can take a while. The more you research your target audience, the quicker you will know their needs.
At some point you will want to test opening your article with a statistic or two. If I started out a blog post with “3 out of 4 Bloggers Succeed Using this Little Known Tool,” you would likely want to read more.
Of course, there’s a reason why most blogs include a eye-catching image at the beginning…photos and illustrations grab attention. If you find a mind blowing photo that says what your keyboard can’t express about the topic, you just raised the potency bar tenfold.
The Close: Keep the Suspense Going Till You Reach the End
Getting your article off to a great start is important….and so is how you finish.
Hooking your reader into a post and then losing them half way is like snagging a big fish only to feel your fishing line suddenly become easy to reel after the fish got away. You end up with nothing.
Here are some quick tips on closing out your blog post with a bang.
1. Know Your Article Purpose
Do you know what you want to achieve before you start writing? This really helps your writing process if you begin with the end in mind. Now if your goal changes during the writing process, that’s okay. Don’t feel bad about that. It happens to all of us sometimes and usually turns out better.
Ask yourself these questions to help pinpoint the goal of the article:
- What’s the main point to communicate?
- What do you want the reader to do after they finish reading?
- What emotions do you want the reader to feel?
- What’s the take away your reader gains from this post?
2. Cut. Cut. And cut some more.
Even the most talented writers’ trim the fat off their rough draft. This is because they know having too much copy can take away from the purpose they want to achieve. You may love a certain paragraph or section of the article, but honestly ask if it supports the purpose of the post and if not, go ahead and delete it.
I wrote a screenplay several years ago that ended up being 190 pages. But the screenplay industry standard is 120 pages, especially for a newbie trying to break into the industry. No producer will read a screenplay by an unknown writer if it’s longer than 120 pages…so that meant I had to cut 70 pages of my “darling.” It was painful and took some time, but I knew I had to do it to succeed.
3. Close with a Call to Action
Nobody likes to feel pushed into something.
We do appreciate friendly reminders and helpful encouragements, though.
Many new bloggers don’t understand how a call to action works and how to put them into their blog article without feeling awkward about it.
Many are skittish starting out. New bloggers don’t want to offend their readers by asking them to do something. But isn’t that how relationships are built?
When the blogger masters the skill of treating readers with respect and friendliness, they discover many of their readers are happy to respond to their requests…
- Want to get some comments on your blog post? Ask readers to comment.
- Taking an informal survey about something blog related? Ask readers to participate in the survey.
- Desiring more email subscribers? Encourage folks to opt-in.
- Hoping to sell something? Share with them the benefit to buying now. Include a deadline to create urgency or make a special offer of some kind to get more interest.
You will be surprised at the level of response you get when you build trust and nurture a long term relationship with your readers. As long as your call-to-action has these traits:
- Stays on target with your blog post (Somehow relates to the content.)
- Doesn’t go overboard—in other words, you don’t have too many calls to action. One, maybe two is good per article.
- Remain simple. A complicated call to action gets few results.
- Stand out. Make your CTA have a larger font. Even bold it. Whatever it takes to prevent it from blending into the copy. Treat it like a subhead of headline.
- Spontaneity. What I mean is your CTA is not always in the same spot of the page. Yes, many times the call to action works well at the end. Just occasionally surprise your reader and place it in the middle or even up front so it doesn’t become predictable and easily ignored.
Once your CTA is finished and then you have edited and proofed your article to satisfaction—
It’s the thrill of the blog post.
Now is the Time to Release Your Inner Blogger
Blogging can actually be quite the adrenaline rush…and it’s much safer than skydiving. J
But there’s one final thing you need to do after you “jump out of the plane.”
Pull Your Parachute Chord
To ensure a soft and successful “landing” so to speak, you need to apply a few simple measures…many of these are things you already do.
To help your blog post gain more readers, do these things:
1. Email your growing subscriber list
Here’s an example of a quick and easy email I send out to my readers whenever my blog posts a new article.
Hey, I just wanted to share with you the latest Build Your Own Blog post. Let me know what you think.
Why Smart Bloggers Build Their Own Email List–Here’s How to Get Started http://www.buildyourownblog.net/blog/build-email-list/?utmx=emailmar7
Consider how many websites ask you for your email address….how else would they stay in touch with you? Postcard?
Sometimes we need to remember how email is still free and saves bloggers’ a lot of time and money.
Email deserves more love.
You will only get her respect in return once you put email into action, though. So don’t let this incredible, free tool go to waste. See how it’s done…
[click to continue] http://www.buildyourownblog.net/blog/build-email-list/
If someone took the time to subscribe to your email list, they will normally appreciate your emails as long as they are done well, are not too frequent and avoid spam-like traits.
2. Take time to LISTEN to comments and provide thoughtful responses.
This is not something you can just do in five minutes. Giving back to your readers requires some thoughtful engagement on your part. Don’t just say “Thanks for dropping by.” You want to really encourage deep, satisfying dialogue between you and your readers.
3. Use Social Media to Spread the Article to More People
Chances are you already use Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, even Google Plus or Reddit. These along with LinkedIn and other platforms provide FREE advertising for your blog post.
Now Go Crazy Writing Blogs!
You have just reached the bottom of this slippery slide. Time to put these blog writing tips into motion.
Go get ’em, Tiger!
If you want some feedback on your first post (or 35th), email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’ll reply back with some thoughts.Next Step