Increasing the number of visitors to your blog and having a post go viral isn’t all about luck. In fact, writing a strong blog entry can be downright formulaic. There are certain essential building blocks. If you have those in place, you will be well on your way to creating an interesting and engaging post that will not only get readers to click on your site, but encourage them to share your work.
1. Start at the Beginning
Every good blog post needs a good headline. You want something that is attention grabbing and will make the reader want to know more. Don’t give away too much in your headline or there won’t be any point for the reader to look at the entire article. You want to pose a question or create a sort of cliffhanger. Here are some example of strong headlines and why they work:
How Did the FBI Coverup a UFO Siting?
Can $25 and a Computer Change your Life?
One common title writing technique is to simply pose an intriguing question that acts as a teaser. Readers will have to look at your post if they want answers to satiate their curiosity!
Some other popular techniques include, issuing a warning. These are the kinds of headlines news programs use in their commercials to ensure that you are tuning in at 10pm to see “Which Common Kitchen Item Could be Killing You?” Usually, the truth isn’t as scintillating as the teaser, but is enough to get viewers to tune in and readers to visit your blog.
2. Remember that People Love to Skim
Yes, you want to create the best content possible and you want your audience to devour every word, but the truth is that the majority of people are going to skim through your article, even if it is a literary masterpiece. You want to cater to these types of readers. Include headlines and organize your work into clear chunks that are easy to digest.
3. Use More Numbers
Blogs are all about the words, but don’t be afraid to play the numbers game. David Letterman might be to blame, but we love a good list. Embrace the top ten list or even the top 5 list. The number really isn’t all that important, but creating a list is an easy way to organize your work by headlines. Create sections within your articles and keep in mind that making a list usually translates perfectly to a good headline:
4. Identify Your Audience
This is one of the basic rules of writing and certainly applies to blogs as well. Try to identify exactly who you want to reach and cater your work to that audience. For instance, let’s say you are writing a review of a new tablet that has hit the market. Are you writing to tech industry leaders who are familiar with technical jargon? Maybe you are more interested in reaching those who just love gadgets and are always looking for the next hot item. Another potential audience is the layman who may be clueless when it comes to technology, but knows he or she will be in trouble if there isn’t a new tablet under the Christmas tree this year.
The language you use and the type of information you include will depend entirely on the type of audience you are trying to reach.
5. Have a Clear Goal in Mind
Another basic tenant of good writing is that it has to have a clear purpose. What are you trying to achieve through your blog post? Are you trying to explain an opinion? Convey a certain feeling? Create a call to action for your readers? If you begin writing with a clear purpose in mind, you will be less likely to stray off topic as you draft your post.
6. Create Strong Content
Content is king. No blog will be successful without excellent content. Avoid putting together fluff pieces. Create articles of substance that have a clear value.
Read this article from Three Deep Marketing for advice on finding relevant writing subjects, structuring your content, SEO, posting frequency and more.
And if you get a case of writer’s block and can’t think of a decent topic to write about, consult this article for ideas:
7. Include Links
Part of being a successful blogger is sharing the wealth. Not only to you want to properly attribute any information you borrowed from other sources, but it never hurts to acknowledge the work of other authors just because. Include links to other relevant articles in you work and let those authors know that you have referenced their work. Chances are, they will then share your post on their social media channels and all the sudden you have tripled your audience.
8. Include a Comment Box
This might seem like a-no brainer, but if you are new to WordPress, you want to make sure that if your theme doesn’t already include a comment section for each individual post that you add a plugin that will allow for commenting. Here are some great programs that are commonly used by bloggers:
9. Include Social Media Icons
The easier you make it to share your posts, the more likely they are to go viral and increase visitors to your site. Be sure to prominently display social media icons on each individual posts. Some beginning bloggers make the mistake of only including icons that share a link the site and its homepage. You want readers to be able to share each post.
10. Keep Your Readers Thinking
In high school, your English teacher probably told you to never end a paper with a question. In formal writing it can be a heavy handed, cliché way to end things, but it is a different story when it comes to blogging. Hopefully, the content you created is though provoking enough that readers can’t help to weigh in with their thoughts, but a little encouragement never hurts. Use your conclusion to pose a question or to your audience for their opinion. A strong ending will leave your audience thinking about your post well after they have finished reading.