You have put forth the painstaking time and effort to design the perfect blog. You practice your writing skills daily. You’re finally confident in your style and ability. You add interesting, valuable content on a regular basis, and you check the traffic to your blog every day… only to find that there has been no measurable increase. With all of these positives going for you, where are all the readers? Where is the problem – how do you create content that people will actually read? Chances are, your problems lie with your promotional methods – or lack thereof.
You may have the best content on the Internet, but it isn’t doing anyone any good if no one is reading it. So, how do you make people actually read your content? Many will argue that the key to increasing traffic is in the use of keywords and search engine optimization. It is true that these tactics will likely get your blog ranked higher in major search engine results. However, keywords and SEO alone won’t keep readers coming back to your blog. The best ways to build a large fan base are to utilize eye-catching design elements, clever and catchy writing, and smart content promotion.
In our busy lives, we often don’t have a great deal of time to read content word for word. In fact, although content marketing has been primarily text-based in the past, readers have begun to respond better to visual content. The reasoning behind this change is the fact that readers today prefer to skim over information, rather than reading it in its entirety. Therefore, it is crucial to quickly grab a reader’s attention with infographics, relevant images, videos, and other types of visual content.
By our very nature, we are far more likely to search for and invest our time in information that is of particular interest to us. If we scan a blog post and it isn’t about a topic we’re interested in, we aren’t likely to devote any more time to reading it. Not only should content be relevant to the current season, holiday, current events, etc., but you also need to consider your blog’s target audience. Keep your target audience in mind when creating content, and always consider what would be most enjoyable for them. By creating consistently intriguing and relevant content, you will steadily build a loyal following and increase your own professional reputation within your niche.
Organizing your content in a way that flows logically for the reader will increase the likelihood that people will stay on your blog and actually read what you’ve written. The most basic tool in your blogging arsenal is your headline. A concise, pertinent headline will quickly tell a reader if the content is something they will be interested in or not. Next, a subhead that provides a quick summary of your post’s content will give readers a better idea of whether or not they want to invest the time to read further. If, by this time, you still have the reader’s attention, strategic formatting (such as bolding or italicizing key points), and/or numbered lists, can help readers quickly navigate your post and glean the basic information therein, even if they don’t read it in its entirety.
People also love to have a choice, in virtually any situation. Make sure to provide readers with enough options to suit their diverse tastes. Even though, as stated above, many people prefer visual content that they can quickly take in as opposed to overly verbose content, other readers may enjoy reading posts word for word, regardless of length (within reason). Publishing blog content in different formats, such as text, infographics, photos, and videos, allows readers to browse through your blog for the type of content that works best for them. It is also imperative to ensure that, regardless of format, everything you publish works well and looks great on any device.
Getting people to actually read your blog content can be a difficult process, but it isn’t rocket science either. By following the above tips, posting regularly, utilizing social media channels as an avenue for readers to share your content, and interacting with readers via comments and social discussions, you will steadily build your audience. And remember to always put some personality into your writing. It will make readers feel more connected to you as a blogger, and, let’s face it, no one wants to struggle through trying to read a blog that has less personality than stereo instructions.
Do you have your own tried and true blogging strategies that keep readers coming back for more? Let us know!