Tips to make your blog posts capture and sustain readers’ interest
The digital era has changed the rules of writing. While the basics remain the same –that is, adhering to the ‘pyramid style’ of writing – there are a lot of newer aspects that need to be considered. Fundamentally, writing for the web is different than writing for printed newspapers or magazines. Web content is mostly short and crisp to retain the reader’s interest, while print leans towards long-form content. The tone of digital output is more friendly and engaging than print’s more formal approach, and its composition is also more suited to quick scanning. Lastly, digital content needs to be optimized for search engines. To help you master the art of writing for digital platforms and learn the skills needed to be a blogger, here are some tips that will make your readers click on your blog post and read it till the end. After all, you would want people to recognize your hard work, don’t you?
How to create a blockbuster blog
Wondering how to get your blog noticed and widely shared? Follow these seven golden rules.
1. Spark reader’s interest with exciting titles
When there is a sea of content, your title needs to stand out to catch the reader’s interest. There are many ways to go about it. Your title can be provocative, quirky, statistics-led, a question, listicle, etc. For example, ‘8 Reasons why you should invest in a term plan’ or ‘70% Indians still do not invest in a term plan. Here’s why you should do it now, or ‘Don’t have a term plan? You could be making a big mistake!’ Your title has to be compelling and engaging enough to persuade readers to act immediately and click on it.
2. Make the topic look easy and approachable
Many topics can seem intimidating. When writing a complex piece, your goal should be to make it as simple and approachable as possible. You can do this by breaking it down and using simple language. Offer readers bite-sized information in the form of short sentences and paragraphs to allow them to process it. You could also provide examples for better understanding. Topics such as mutual funds, investment advice, or taxation can gain from such an approach.
3. Create posts with a long shelf life
The effort that you put into a blog post should prove fruitful for months or even years. So, write on something that remains relevant over time. Of course, this does not work for time-critical topics, news, or changing rules and regulations. But when you do have an option, pick topics that will drive traffic to your site for a long time. For example, ‘Why you should invest in gold’ or ‘5 Benefits of health insurance, or ’10 Places to see in Italy’ or ‘Why drinking enough water is the best gift you can give your body’ are topics that are evergreen.
4. Break up your content with subheads
The span of the reader’s interest is getting shorter. Your subheads should make them stay on your page. Most readers quickly scan the headline and subheads to decide if they want to continue reading your article. So, write subheads that tell them the content of the article and stand out and grab their attention. Remember, an article that is divided into chunks enhances the reading experience, especially since most read it on their phones. Additionally, systematically breaking your piece into subheads will help you up the ante on your blog writing skills.
5. Highlight content strategically
The rule of the pyramid style of writing continues to hold true in the digital era. Give your most important news at the top and proceed in descending order. Don’t waste too much time building up the article in the intro, as your reader will lose interest. So, don’t expect them to read multiple paragraphs to reach the crux of the matter. Also, use blurbs, quotes, statistics, and bullet points as visual elements to make key aspects stand out.
6. Introduce a fresh perspective
This again is a tactic that forces readers to choose your blog over others. When there is a topic that everyone is talking about, you can give a different perspective to make it stand out. For example, with COVID-19 taking over our lives, there’s a lot of pandemic-related content that one can find online. Currently, the rising number of positive cases in Maharashtra is a big concern. Instead of writing another article that talks about the statistics, you can perhaps give a fresh outlook and draw comparisons on what makes the second wave different from the first.
7. Make your blog visually appealing
Content may be king, but you must also dress it up to look the part! The visual experience has to be appealing if you want your readers to stick around and finish reading the article – and come back for more. You can achieve this with colorful pictures, graphs, videos, GIFs, infographics, quotes, memes, screenshots, illustrations, etc. Pick what works best for your article and the overall brand. While you pepper your blog with visual aids, do not forget to optimize the layout so that it can be read easily on mobile devices.
Now that you have learned how to improve your blog get started. Happy writing!
Contributors: Minal, Sanchea and Swapnil