Are you having trouble enticing new readers to your blog?
Do you feel swamped by the blogosphere competition?
Are those once-happy statistics waning and showing sad, ugly numbers?
The first question you should be asking is, “what am I doing wrong?”
Certainly, no one in their right mind would want their blog or website to lose traffic, but that also means that you need to ensure your blog is worth following.
As we all should know when it comes to building an audience, “content is king”. However, with the mass-production of online content and Google’s latest algorithms, quality content should be the main focus of all content contributors.
Quality content is content that manages to be error-free and engaging. While having error-free content is only a matter of having a good command over the English language, and ensuring that your content gets proofread by a qualified editors (if necessary), creating “engaging” content opens up a whole new chapter.
The purpose of this article is to help you create high quality content more often.
Here are 10 secrets on how to create engaging content that should keep your readers hooked and coming back for more.
1. Diversify your content
One of the easiest ways to create engaging content is to avoid sticking to one type of medium to communicate with your subscribers. This means that if you’re used to writing text-based blogs, you need to start varying it with things such as images, graphics, infographics, quotes, videos, etc. Think of it as adding “spice” to your content every once in a while.
Hubspot is a perfect example of a blog that uses content diversification. They also make sure to mention the type of content the post will contain in the heading like so:
2. Use subheadings
The number one rule to having content that is easy to follow is to create content that is readable. Unlike print material, online web typography needs to be organized in a clear hierarchy so that it’s easy to read through. Since online readers prefer “scannable” content; headings, subheadings, lists, and bullet points must be present to ensure that your reader stays on the page.
3. Embrace brevity
Okay, okay, we know that Google favors quantity as well as quality, but that doesn’t mean you bore your readers with run-on sentences and extraneous details. Remember, you’re writing for your readers, not search engine spiders. Keep each heading or paragraph short and sweet.
Seth Godin, owner of one of the most popular marketing blogs (ranked 1 out of 976 by AdAge Power), writes every day. Minimal, short, and sweet is his motto.
4. Don’t overlook keywords
We don’t just use keywords for the sake of search engine optimization. Keywords also ensure that your readers stay on track and continue reading. Clearly, the reason why the reader chose to “engage” with the content, a blog title, is because they were interested in knowing more about the topic. In other words, stay true to your title, topic, and keywords!
5. Have a voice
Whether you realize it or not every content creator has a distinctive voice or style to their writing. And those who don’t – simply haven’t discovered it yet. The most engaging type of content is content that is unique and follows a specific delivery technique.
One of the easiest ways to add that “unique” quality to your content is to align your writing (or content) with your thinking and speaking habits. It also adds to your blogs and content if you try to offer your own opinions and perspectives which may be different from those of others. Aside from the fact that readers appreciate fresh perspectives to stale content, new ways of thinking also add to the quality of your blog.
6. Come up with interesting titles
Sorry to break to you, but your readers probably will judge your content by the cover. The “cover” may be the image you attach with your blog post, and of course, the title.
Familyshare could have used something that sounded boring and overused such as, “3 Signs You’re in a Bad Relationship”. But they probably knew that that’s not going to get as much traffic as something that sounds much more dramatic and catchy like, “3 Ways Your Relationship Could be Killing You”.
7. Make it shareable
If you haven’t already added those social media widgets, you’re missing out! If readers like your blog, there’s a high chance they’ll want to share it. Don’t make that hard for them. Use social media widgets and icons to make your content shareable with merely a click of a button. Remember, by sharing they’re doing more for you than for themselves.
8. Write stories
Apart from varying your content with different mediums, another easy way to make your content highly engaging is by sharing stories. Stories that are interesting and suspenseful have a way of keeping readers hooked. Go ahead and engage your readers with personal stories or experiences, and enlighten your readers with something they may have never known.
9. Provide facts and links
News, research, scientific evidence, and factual sources not only give your content credibility, but also intrigue readers. Also, the more “proof” you have of claims in your content, the higher the chance of convincing your readers to act (see tip #10 for more on this). Try to incorporate links to credible sources. Plus, if you manage to build a rapport with your sources, they may even return the favor someday.
Forbes makes sure it gives plenty of links to credible sources. This may be done to give credit, improve ranking, drive traffic, or support a claim with a fact.
10. Have a call to action
Can a call to action be engaging??
According to Andrew Gough and his case study, “Call to Actions are deceptively powerful yet often overlooked”.
With a call to action, your readers know exactly what to do next. This makes your content logical and also doubles your chances of return on leads.
Finally, I’d like to add that the best way to make your content engaging is to create it with passion. When you’re passionate about a topic, it’s easy to let that fervor shine through your content and have readers empathize with it.
However, make sure that in the process, you aren’t forgetting about your audience. You should be aware of your audiences needs, wants, passions, and pain points so that you can give them the kind of content they are looking for. Remember, your audience always knows what they want. And you as a blogger and marketer simply need to find out what that is and give it to them.
Guest Author: Christina is a content strategist at Groovy Essays. She specializes in devising and employing effective content marketing plan that empowers her to drive quality traffic, generate lead and make loyal customers. When she isn’t employing content marketing strategies, she enjoys sipping cappuccino while reading her favorite novels.