You’ve written a blog post and are about to hit the “publish” button. You secretly fantasise that it will become the next viral sensation. Wait! Before you publish, think.
Can you jazz it up and give it a better chance of getting huge viewing figures?
Of course, you can!
Review this list before you publish a blog post. This will help change your article into the most captivating content possible.
These small changes can make a massive difference to its popularity. Check out these top nine tips.
1. Create a Captivating Headline
Without a doubt, your headline is the most important part of your article. It’s what grabs attention.
Without a great headline, no one will read your article, no matter how good it is. A headline can start your article with a “bang” or a “whimper.”
There are two main ways of writing a captivating headline:
• Explain the gain — Tell your reader what they will gain. People are naturally self-serving and want to know, “What’s in it for me.” Tell them what they can gain by reading your article.
The headline “Double your website traffic with these top tips” is better than “Do you get enough website traffic?” Don’t hint at what they can gain; tell them straight!
• Intrigue — Another way of writing a captivating headline is to create intrigue. You must find a way to make people curious to find out more. “How I doubled my website traffic with this unusual tactic” is one example.
It’s worth spending your time crafting a great headline, even if it takes you an hour. Think honestly about what would draw you in. Write 5-10 different headlines, then pick the best one.
An attention-grabbing picture can help jazz up your article and make it more pleasing to the eye. Find something that illustrates what you’re writing about and captures the imagination.
Try to take your own pictures, since unique content increases your rank with search engines. If you can’t take your own pictures, Pexels and Pixabay offer royalty-free pictures.
When your article gets shared in places like Facebook and Twitter, your picture is also displayed. Research shows that eye-grabbing pictures significantly raise your click-through rate.
3. First Few Sentences
Your first few sentences are crucial. If people aren’t immediately hooked, they will quickly leave.
Blogging isn’t like writing a book that someone has paid for. On the internet, people have millions of places they could be, so you’ve got to grab em quick. Be bold and exciting from the beginning.
Make your readers want to read the rest. Tell them what they will gain by reading your article.
A good tactic that often works is deleting your first sentence. This helps create a bigger impact from the start. See if the beginning of your article is punchier without the first sentence.
4. Put your best stuff at the beginning
If you are writing a “10 top tips” type of post, put your best and most creative points at the beginning. If your readers see old rehashed tips at the beginning, they won’t stick around to see your good stuff.
If they learn something new and exciting at the beginning, they’re sure to read the rest to see if there are any more nuggets.
This works with other types of posts too. Put your good stuff at the beginning and grab their interest. If you save your best till last, they might never get there to see it.
5. Paint a Picture
Use language to add colour to your article. Instead of writing, “I decided to buy the book straight away,” you could write “Quick as a flash, I leaped into my car and zoomed to the shop and grabbed the book.”
This helps paint a picture in the mind of your reader. It makes your post more interesting and more memorable.
Use words that stimulate the imagination. Look out for words such as “went” and “got.” Swap them with more descriptive words such as “zoomed” and grabbed.”
6. Add Emotion
A few emotive words can help draw in a reader. The previous example could read “Trembling with excitement I leapt into my car and zoomed to the book shop and grabbed the book.”
Another tactic is to relay an emotional experience your readers have had before.
An example could be, “You know that feeling when excitement builds up inside, and you’re fit to burst? The thought’s gnawing away inside your head? I couldn’t wait to buy that book!”
If you can, try to feel the emotion when you are writing. You will naturally express this emotion through your choice of words, your rhythm, and your sentence structure.
This is writing with passion, and people can tell.
7. Ask Questions
Asking questions helps your reader feel more involved. It makes them feel like you’re talking directly to them. Don’t you like it when you’re asked questions?
Most people do because it makes them read more actively. It makes the words bounce off the page. This stops your reader’s nodding off and gets them actively involved.
So make sure you have a question or two somewhere in your article.
8. Make Your Article Flow
Articles should have a natural flow. This makes it easier to read and keeps people reading.
The best way to do this is to read it out loud. Any bits that are uncomfortable to read out loud are lacking in flow. Change them until it reads smoothly.
Imagine that you’re reading to a packed audience. Would you be happy to read it to so many people? If not, then something is wrong, and you should change it.
9. Get Rid of Unnecessary Words
If a word doesn’t need to be there, then get rid of it. Unnecessary words make your readers do unnecessary work. People naturally don’t want to do any more work than they have to.
Compare these two sentences:
1. “I simply had to buy that book. I knew that a book like this one would make such a big difference to my life”.
2. “I had to buy that book. I knew that a book like this would make a big difference.”
The first sentence has 24 words, whereas the second has 18. That’s six words saved that your reader doesn’t have to plough through.
This might not sound much, but if you do this all the way through, it can make a big difference. This would turn an 800-word article into 600 words.
When you finish writing, spend time going through this checklist and make the necessary changes. Small changes can make a massive difference to your post, especially the headline.
These changes help entice and connect with readers. It’s worth spending the time to give your article the edge over the rest. It’s often the little things that count.