The online world is full of valuable content (as well as some that’s less so), all vying for your audience’s attention. So, how do you create an effective blog post that captures your audience’s attention, engages them and then drives them to action? By utilising some time-tested techniques, you’ll be writing great blog posts in no time. Here’s how:
Know your audience
Before putting pen to paper – or finger to keyboard – you need to know who you’re speaking to. Pro tip: It isn’t “everyone.”
Having a clear picture of your target audience, as well as an understanding of what motivates them will help you connect with them more effectively. It will also impact how you speak to them i.e. the tone of voice (TOV) you use. For example, the TOV used to communicate to highly-educated university professors should be different to that used to speak to tradies. This stems back to knowing your audience. Consider your target audience’s:
- job and salary
- what they already know/think/feel about your business or industry
- their motivations for using your product or service
- how they might want to communicate with you.
Once you have at least a basic idea of these things, you’re ready to start writing.
Grab your reader’s attention
The average human attention span is now about eight seconds, which means you have less time than ever before to gain your reader’s attention. This starts with writing an engaging heading for your blog post.
Writing an engaging heading involves using emotive language to capture your audience’s attention. For example:
- 5 amazing beach holiday destinations
- guarantee content marketing success in 3 easy steps
- the controversial weight-loss technique sweeping Hollywood
- 20 tips for dramatically better blogs.
As with the above examples, your heading also needs to succinctly let your reader know what they can expect from reading the article.
Maintain your customer’s interest
Now you have their attention, it’s time to keep it. You can do this by letting them know what’s in it for them if they keep reading. Get their head nodding and make your reader identify with what you’re saying by introducing a problem or empathising with their hopes, fears or frustrations. (Pro tip: Use inclusive and reader-first language, such as you and you’re). For example:
“When you’re not confident in your writing, it can be hard to put pen to paper. In this article, we’ll give you the tools you need to create engaging, effective content.”
Develop their desire
This is where you start to unpack and discuss your ideas in the body of the article. The key to success is deepening the connection you’ve established and speaking to your audience’s desires, hopes or fears. You should express how your product or service can solve the problem that you established earlier – making sure to illustrate how no other product or service can solve their problem like yours can. Where possible, always back up your claims with proof – this gives what you’re saying more authenticity.
Structuring your blog post in this section is crucial – make sure you use sub-headings and bullet points to break up your content. Pro tip: Over 50% of web usage occurs via mobile devices, so make sure to break up larger chunks of text into smaller paragraphs as it’s easier to read on a smaller screen.
Drive your audience to act
You’ve grabbed your audience’s attention, maintained their interest and spoke to their desires, and explained how your product or service can help solve their problem. Now it’s time to tell them what they can do about it. Whether it’s telling them where they can go to find out more information, how they can get in touch with you or what they need to do to buy your product – having a strong call to action (CTA) is vital to ensuring they act. Pro tip: Effective CTAs should start with a verb to promote action. Some examples of common CTAs are:
- contact us today to see how we can help you
- sign up to our mailing list for regular updates
- discover more helpful ways to craft engaging blog content.
Utilise SEO to get your blog post in front of more people
Using search engine optimisation (SEO) best practices when writing blog content is vital to ensuring your article ranks well in the search engine results page (SERP), and in turn gets in front of more people. Some things to consider are:
- using focus keywords in your meta data i.e. your meta title and meta description
- having primary and secondary keywords in your introductory paragraph, headings and sub-headings
- interlinking to your content (with other blog articles)
- adding image alt attributes.
Does SEO leave you thinking OMG WTF? Check out this article on understanding SEO and why it’s important for your business.
Writing an effective blog post takes plenty of practise and there are a lot of different things to consider, which can be time-consuming. For effective blog articles that engage and convert, get in touch with the small business copywriting experts at Shuttle Rocket today.