In this post…
- Write captivating headlines
- Arouse emotions
- Define your purpose and stick to it—establish your niche
- Write in a scannable format
- Write evergreen content—useful, highest quality
- Perform robust social media sharing and encourage discussion
- Give case studies and inspire through personal stories
- Establish trust
- Long posts are better than short posts
- Create SEO-friendly content
Ever noticed that some blogs have mysterious ability to hook audiences and unendingly attract new fans and readers?
I haven’t met a single blogger who doesn’t want to create a sizzling hot, evergreen blog. The problem is that many of them don’t know what to do to achieve this. Many bloggers often ask me to teach them how to turn their blog from an unknown entity to a celebrity blog. But the question is, what is a celebrity blog?
A celebrity blog is a buzzing, hot, evergreen blog that people love to visit over and over. Evergreen blogs take the form of an ageless magnet that attracts readers for many years to come. Such blogs carry substance and a sense of reality. Their content never go out of fashion.
It requires hard work, consistency, and some planning to build a timeless blog. No one wakes up to suddenly find his or her blog trending in twittersphere and other social sites. In the world of blogging, there is no such thing as overnight success. Behind every blog, that we think is an overnight success, lies a vigilant, committed, unflinching and calculative blogger. Here are 10 blogging ideas that will make your blogging evergreen.
1. Write captivating headlines
Captivating headlines are the ones that stand out when your visitors want to make a decision whether to read your blog post. Great headlines aren’t afraid to go against the norm and seem a little bit weird. You want as many eyeballs piercing your headlines as possible; be it via social media or search engines.
Research shows that on average, 80% of people will read your headlines while only 20% will read the rest of the content. What does this mean? It means that simply creating a magnetic headline will boost your blog readership by up to 80%.
Experienced bloggers normally subject their headlines to A/B testing, that is, creating more than one headlines and testing them to find out which one performs better. I also suggest that you test your headlines using twitter and see which ones get the most retweets.
Generally, headlines with actionable words are more attractive than headlines with nouns—use adverbs and verbs. Avoid nouns.
Examples of words that people love include:
- Smart: who doesn’t want to be smart?
- Surprising: we all like reading surprising facts
- Shocking: we all like to delve in shocking revelation so that we can have something to talk about
- Scientific: it assures your audience that what they are about to read is based on facts, not rumors
- Hacks (hacking, hackers, etc): clever shortcuts? They are what they mostly need
- Huge/ big: again, we all want to hear surprises
- Critical: if they feel it is very important, then investing a fraction of their time reading your post is worth it.
- Urgent: people are chronic procrastinators. A sense of urgency might push them into reading your blog. Remember, they have myriad things to do. So why not insinuate that they need to take action as a matter of urgency…or else?
Other words include:Reasons
- Myths debunked
- How to
- The definitive guide (to whatever)
- Cheap ways… etc
2. Arouse emotions
Remember to create emotions: inspire and motivate or stir fear in your headlines.
If you have an uncanny ability to toy with your readers emotions, then you are going to be successful as a blogger. Using words, you can make your audience shake with excitement, burn with rage, develop goose pumps and bang the table. This is the hallmark of great writing, a proof that you have mastered the art of the written word. Taking your reader on an emotional
Taking your reader on an emotional rollercoaster is a sure way of influencing them to take an action. It is easy to mumble a few ideas, but to clad those ideas in the emotional dress is the most difficult task. The good news is that you too can learn to toy with your reader’s emotion by using power words and vivid descriptions of situations.
Do you wonder why you often get glued to your TV? It is because the TV presenters have mastered the art of using emotive words like scary, bloodbath, scathing attack, feared dead, embarrassing defeat, power hungry politicians, disastrous, tantalizing, scandalous, provocative, preposterous, sick and tired, backlash, obnoxious, extremists, terror, bargain, luxurious, off-limits and so on.
Do not be afraid to come across as a controversial blogger. I am not saying that should outright become a jerk, but I have seen a trend in some blogger that is quite interesting. I have found that opinionated, controversial and dogmatic blog posts often attract heated debates and become viral. In the same vain, witty and satirical posts are a magnet as well. However, if you are not good at it, forget it and stick to your ‘How To’ kind of blog before you make a fool of yourself.
3. Stick to your purpose
You should define the goal of your blog and stick to it. If you blog is about health, just focus on how to make people healthy.
When I was starting out, I had trouble sticking to one aim, one goal, one purpose, one direction. I was a scatterbrain, which agonizingly prolonged my blogging failure time.
There are many things you can blog about, but you just have to stick with one and pour your soul and heart into it. If you are a jack-of-all-trades, you may come across as a master of none. If you look at the most successful blogs, you will find that they have one definite goal. You can’t blog about traveling, cars, health, education, technology and entrepreneurship in one blog and expect to attract a dedicated following, for example. Choose a field that you are most comfortable in and specialize in it.
Remember, your hard-to-please audience would demand insightful posts and it gets harder by the day. Therefore, if you stick to just one purpose, your blog will attract many people who identify with your cause. Keep your identity even as you blog in the midst of noisy confusion of online world. Just keep your cool and Be true to the goals you set out for your blog.
4. Write in a scannable format and use visual content
Your content should be readable without your audience having to read the entire body text. Your readers should be able to get the gist of what you are saying even by going through the headings, subheadings, summaries, bulleted points or highlights. As much as you need to write detailed content, you should make it readable for those who don’t have the time to read every word of your text.
You can also integrate infographics, charts, side bar summaries and tips in your posts. Your visual content can be your secret weapon to increasing engagement and boosting social shares. Great blog posts are often those with eye-catching, fresh content that can easily be shared. That is why photos, videos, infographics and slideshows are becoming more common. People want blogs that make it easy to share information quicker and more intuitively. Needless to say, visual sustains visitors’ attention. According to hubspot, visual content can generate 94% more views for your blog.
However, don’t be overdramatic on this as it can also result in negative perception. For instance, don’t use dramatic fonts and colors as these are the tools most beloved by scam or low quality websites. Moderation is the key.
5. Evergreen content
Blogging, at its core, is about offering something of value to your audience. It is about solving their problems, entertaining them, opening their eyes to greater possibilities, inspiring them to take action, giving them insights, offering alternatives, helping them to become better human beings or activating their potential.
Blogging is not about promoting yourself; it is about building lasting relationships with your audience. It should be audience-centric if we may call it so, not self-centered. People want content that raises their eyebrows and makes them feel they are reading substance.
Blog posts must be useful without being time sensitive. For instance, an article today should be just as useful in the next couple of years. In other words, evergreens are written to stand the test of time. While you can still write on topical issues, it is your timeless content that is going to drive your page views for years to come.
To illustrate the case for evergreen content, Darren Rowse of Problogger measured the performance of two posts he had written. One was a news article and the other was an evergreen content. While the news content experienced a burst of traffic as soon as it was published, it is his evergreen content that continues to attract views more than 8 years since it was published. The traffic of his news article eventually died within one month after publication.
If that is the case, why should you invest your time and money on content that will no longer be useful in about a month’s time?
6. Perform robust social media sharing and encourage participation
You can write a masterpiece, you can be the Einstein of blogging, but if you don’t encourage your readers to share your posts, it is not likely to go viral. Integrate social media shares in your blog. It is recommended that you include your social media share icons immediately before your blog posts (if it is a long post) or immediately after the blog posts (if it is a short post). You can also place it on the right side of the post. In short, it should be conspicuous and easy to use.
Did you know that people are likely to remember you if you engage them in a constructive dialogue? For whatever reason, please don’t disable the comment section. I read some blogs with brilliant content, which pushes me to want to comment. Unfortunately, I often get disappointed when I discover there is no comment section. I also get a little bit disappointed when the blogger or whoever posted the article does not reply to my comments or questions.
Remember, you are not talking to your audience, you are engaging with them. The ability to engage with your audience will give your blog an evergreen characteristic.
7. Inspire through case studies and personal stories
Case study stories, personal success stories and discoveries have immense educative power and are just plain fun to deal with. They are more influential than drab theoretical lectures. They have the amazing ability to arouse motivation and inspiration your audience. They have the power to enchant, teach, touch, motivate, recall and challenge your audience.
Telling a personal story can make a whole difference. Stories provide a fertile ground to plant emotional connection with your audience.one characteristic of human beings, especially the current generation, which you cant run away from is that they easily get bored. Just imagine sitting through the umpteenth PowerPoint bullet points or blocks of text.
Telling a story or giving a case study is a refreshing way to attracting the attention of your audience. I remember using this approach when I was a teacher. Whenever I sensed that students are getting bored and I am at the risk of teaching a snoring class, I would chip in with an interesting story. The response? Simply Amazing! Students could suddenly sit upright, get more attentive and ask more questions. The same methodology works with blogging. As a blogger, you are no different from a teacher.
8. Establish trust
Would you read a blog or buy a newspaper with questionable credibility? Or better still, would you waste your time listening to story from a person you know very well is struggling with credibility issues? The same thing applies to your blog.
You sure want your audience to trust you, but how do you do it? Trust doesn’t come easy. It comes as a result of hard work and commitment and consistency. Most importantly, trust starts with you. For your blog to grow, you must first be credible and trustworthy. Would you buy a book that says, “Make $1 million in 30 days” from someone who is obviously far from being worth a few thousands?. The first step towards establishing trust with your audience is by becoming an expert in your niche. As much as you are engaging with the audience, they must at least have a sense of feeling that know a lot more than anyone in that field.
You must also send congruent messages. In other words, if you are teaching others to become better parents, you must be a good if not a great parent yourself. So don’t write a post about establishing an emotional connection in marriage yet you fight with your spouse on a weekly basis.
If you fail the credibility test your audience will run for their dear lives lest they get swindled. Your readers’ trust and confidence is your most potent weapon as a blogger.
Always remember, people suffer from ‘Back Button Syndrome’; When they stumble on a site that they feel has “low credibility rating,” they slam their back button without a second thought.
Here are quick tips to establish trust:
- Be true to yourself in your writing—your tone, your voice, your interests and honest assessment of your ability. If you are a newbie, just say so. There are many people who would love to walk with you on that amateur path.
- Cite your sources—people might think you are making up figures if you don’t at least mention the source of your information. Oh, one more thing…make sure sources are credible as well.
- Give balanced objective assessment—whether you are writing a review or making a report, it is good to mention both the negative and positive. Many bloggers make the mistake of only writing the positives of a product they are selling. Many people will buy from you if they know for sure you gave them a true picture of the product.
- Don’t censure comments—worse than blocking comments, censoring comments and moderating comments is another trust killer. Really, what is the worst-case scenario? The worst-case scenario is someone leaving a negative comment and the blogger politely replying.
9. Long posts are better than short posts
The paradox of blogging is that people have short attention spans, but prefer longer posts. It is better to publish two comprehensive, long posts per week than publish several short and shallow post per day. Long posts in the range of 800 words to 5000 words are preferable. To prove my point, let me keep this point short 🙂
10. Create a SEO friendly content
The best way to keep generating traffic to your blog is through organic search. Google is not about to stop ranking sites, so you shouldn’t stop practicing SEO either. We will talk about SEO friendly content later.