Convert Your Skimming Visitors to Addicted Blog Readers
Blog readers can be very fickle – with so many distractions around, why should they read your blog?
Do people even care about your blog posts?
You put in your heart and soul to create and publish a powerful piece but each time, it’s tantamount to shouting your words in an abyss.
One of the scariest parts of web analytics to look at is your site’s bounce rate, especially if it jumps to the moon often.
Oh, boy! Could it be that your writing just isn’t as engaging as it should?
After all, if the most successful writers like Steinbeck or Hemingway took several years to excel in their work, how on earth are you supposed to generate a moving piece of content out of thin air?
You get overwhelmed when the time comes to craft the next post because you fear the most probable response to your posts will be radio silence . . . over again.
Fortunately, you can use the following fool-proof techniques to change your blog readers from mere skimmers to addicted, loyal readers.
1. Use Powerful, Emotional Connecting Headlines
‘Thou shall write fantastic headlines’ is a commandment in the blogging world and blog readers love them!
In his copywriting book, Advertising Secrets of the Written Word, Joseph Sugarman asks what the purpose of a headline is, and while most people will say to grab attention, Sugarman says that a headline’s purpose is to get the audience to read the first sentence.
He also states that the main purpose of the first sentence is to get your audience to read the second sentence and so forth. Well, this doesn’t just apply to copywriting but to blog writing as well.
Therefore, the best way to suck out the readers’ eyes from their skulls and keep them reading to the end is to make your headlines sweet.
If people don’t find your headline interesting, they will obviously not bother about the rest of the content.
I checked on BuzzSumo to find out which posts had the most shares on popular blogs. After reading through literally hundreds of post headlines, I filtered out top 7 headline formulas that work like a charm.
For each headline formula, I checked out several examples and each of these examples:
=> Generated over 1000 shares on social media
=> Is among top 10 of the popular posts from the blog it was published
=> Demonstrates how to use the headline formula for tutorial-type of articles in any niche
=> Was posted in 2015; so these headlines are fresh from the kitchen and neither overused nor worn out.
So which article headline formulas will work for you in 2016 and beyond?
=> Classic how-to
=> Asking a burning question
=> Mistakes, errors, and goofs
=> The Guide
=> The Why
=> List posts
=> Reasons why
2. Blog Readers Love Storytelling
Since the start of mankind, we’ve been wired to respond to story telling.
The Wikipedia definition of storytelling is:
Storytelling is the conveying of events in words, sound and/or images, often by improvisation or embellishment. Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and instilling moral values.
It is the main reason you love watching TV or movies. The reason we narrate bedtime stories to our children. The reason you like exchanging your most recent personal adventures over that cup of coffee. And the reason you can’t wait to check out your Facebook feed for the latest updates from your friends.
We are story addicts because they are deeply tattooed on our brain cells. They are a powerful mode of communication. We use stories you live and relive moments.
Let me tell you a story about the incredible power of words.
Well, it’s the story of Scheherazade, a charming Persian girl who was to be executed the following morning in the King’s palace.
One day, the King had realized that his first wife wasn’t faithful, and so he decided to take in a new virgin each day and execute her every morning.
The King had killed 1000 such virgins by the time Scheherazade came to him.
Scheherazade had come to the King for a purpose: to marry him.
But Scheherazade was not just seriously gorgeous; she was amazingly smart, well read and bred. She had a plan to stop the King’s bloodthirsty frenzy. So what did she do?
She narrated an interesting story to the King each night, and when the story became more exciting, she could cut it short and request to finish it the following day. Thus, the King spared her life for an extra day so she could finish up the story.
The following night, Scheherazade could finish the story and start a new, more exciting story only to stop half way before dawn. This went on for the next 1001 nights when she told the King that she had no more tales for him.
She had narrated 1000 stories during this period and during the 1001 nights, the King had completely fallen in love with her that he decided to spare her life. Scheherazade became the King’s queen.
You can see the tremendous power that is infused in stories.
A study shows that a story is 22 times more unforgettable than a mere fact. Pack your ideas into a story when crafting sales pages, email newsletters, about pages, product reviews and blog posts.
So why should you use stories in your writing?
=> Stories increase credibility and clarity in the facts you write. That is the same purpose that testimonials achieve.
=> Stories make you bond with readers. This is because they involve emotions which make it hard to forget.
=> Stories are entertaining. People fancy entertainment. So share something fun, fascinating and outrageous.
=> Stories win the attention of your readers. Use them in your opening and you’ll draw their attention to the entire post.
=> Stories will inspire readers to take action. If you use a vivid story in your post that readers find interesting, they will hit the share button in no time. The same applies to a sales page where you want them to sign up for an offer or buy something.
According to Carmine Gallo your story should be emotional, Novel and above all memorable…
“A person can have the greatest idea in the world—completely different and novel—but if that person can’t convince enough other people, it doesn’t matter.”
Gregory Burns ~ Neuroscience professor at Emory University
3. Use more White Space
If you use huge blocks of 10 long sentences per paragraph, people will rarely read through. So, break your post into small paragraphs; even one-sentence paragraphs are acceptable.
When you write a short, engaging and value-packed paragraph, you’ll get more eyeballs on that paragraph and on the next one, till the end.
Create subheads to partition your content and tell your story. Also, play around with text size, fonts and bullet points.
Highlight some of the important words to ensure that your message stands out to grab the readers’ attention.
4. Use Visuals
Statistics show that visitors spend 100 percent more time on a page that has videos. Posts containing videos can attract 3 times more inbound links compared to posts with plain text.
Visual content contributes to 90 percent of all information transmitted to the human brain and the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
So as you can see, use of visuals such as videos, infographics and images tend to do much better than plain text, and this currently is one of the major blogging trends.
So which visual media should you use to draw the attention of your readers?
Use videos on your site to announce new products, their features and to explain the products’ use. This is what successful companies do.
Videos are amazingly useful when it comes to revealing common problems that your customers face and how your product can solve such problems.
Whereas there are cheaper options for visual media available, a great video makes your campaign more outstanding as it reflects high quality. According to a study, using a video on a website’s landing page saw a growth in conversions by 86 percent.
You can use different types of videos to enhance your business. These include how-to videos, customer testimonials, demonstrations or animated explainer videos. Whatever you choose, ensure that the videos resonate well with your brand’s ethos and overall style.
Don’t have your own video? Well of course there is always YouTube. Here is an awesome video to go with this post…
… Notice how engaging the speaker is and also what Warren Buffett had to say…
Use of infographics is a brilliant way to break down your complex data into a simple and digestible form. Infographics are memorable, creative and have a higher perceived value and this makes readers to not only want to see what is in them but also to share them.
To appeal to the audience, incorporate the right shapes, colors and fonts to communicate important information. Ensure that the information included in your infographics is contextually relevant and accurate.
Infographic Example – The Rule Of Three
This Infographic has been shared many times – can you imagine why?
Want to know more about the Rule Of Three and how it helps you communicate better – Check This Out
Including high-quality and contextually relevant images in your posts will make your readers more likely to read the post to the end. According to Jeff Bullas, who’s a social media expert and content marketing superstar, articles containing images attract 94 percent more views.
Attractive and high-quality images can be costly to buy and can take a long time to create. Luckily, with resources like Canva, you simply need to drag and drop images and create unique and captivating photos for your posts.
Use of memes is an incredibly unique way to evoke your blog readers’ positive emotions and look unique from the competition. First off, you should establish if the memes will work well with your niche and whether they’ll spark any engagement with the audience.
Does your brand resonate well with a younger audience? Then this may work for you. Most importantly, memes allow you to add in some in-jokes, and this is a fantastic way to excite your audience and create a lively community for your brand.
5. Provide freebies
Blog Readers love FREE STUFF!
By giving away amazing helpful content for free, you will improve your credibility and position yourself as an expert. It is also the No 1 way to build a substantial email list.
So gift your blog readers a checklist, training video, 7 day e-course, infographics, recipes, cheat sheets, useful tips or anything else that resonates well with your niche and audience.
Your freebies will also entice readers to go back to your site and read more content. It will also encourage the blog reader to share your website and content with friends and colleagues.
It is possible to ensure that your blog readers don’t just skim through your posts.
Just follow the Golden Rules of all great Blog Posts!
=> Write awesome, engaging headlines.
=> Incorporate relevant stories.
=> Format your content to make it scannable
=> Use visuals. (better still if the visual can be easily shared)
=> Give something valuable away for free.
Kevinson Libama Bio:
Kevinson is a blog writer, content marketer and content consultant. He is the founder of Your Freelance Tips.