The online world is getting crowded. Anyone with a computer and Internet access can now create a blog and start making content that competes with your content.
See, you are already thinking this is a boring start and, if I am not wrong, ready to move on to some other content.
How do you keep your readers coming back to your blog and keep them on the page. And if you are really talented make them click some other blog posts.
I don’t know if you write an entertainment blog, a lifestyle blog, or a business blog. But I am sure some or all of the tips in this list will help you make your blog posts more interesting and engage your blog readers.
1. Cite numbers and stats where required
Don’t skimp on your research. Nobody likes to get wrong or incomplete information. After all, that is why the reader has come to you – to get information. Look for authentic data sources. Quote relevant data that will help your readers make a decision.
Some of the web sites where you can get accurate number include: Pew Research, Statistia, and Nielsen. These web sites share facts and figures on a range of social preferences and consumer patterns that can help you make your arguments believable.
2. Summarize important facts in a Infographic
You may be a wizard of words, but our readers are no longer interested in reading long posts all the time. For these readers in the fast lane, summarize your post with the help of a Infographic or other visual aids.
3. Add a relevant slide share or video on the topic
What you say is good, but additional relevant information from an expert can add value for your readers. Adding a slide deck or video also helps you add alternative media formats for your readers.
4. Show examples to stress ‘what works’ message
Text is good to explain the complete concept and intricate details of how things work or what is the ideal way to do something. But actually showing a finished product helps your readers clearly understand what you are trying to say.
For example, if you are comparing different blog layouts, include final images of the designs to point out the benefits of one over the other.
5. Follow the Plain Language principles
Always remember you are writing for an average reader, and most probably for an international audience. Your audience will have readers from a range of educational background and many of them will have English as their second language.
Try to use small sentences. Whenever possible, focus on one thing in one sentence. Avoid using clauses. And use simple words.
6. Give it a personal story/twist
What you are writing may not be unique. But your angle on the whole thing is unique. Integrate your views on the subject in your blog content. This is what will separate what you write from other blogs and help you build an audience that is loyal to you.
Always remember, you are not a news reporter. You are a columnist. Your personal views and assessment of the topic is why your readers will want to read your blog.
7. Add Quotes
Quotes are inspirational. Everyone likes to read quotes that can help them stay upbeat. Write some great words from great men to reinforce your words. This will not only help you add support to your argument, but also keep the readers entertained.
“There’s a lot of information out there for free, so you’ve got to figure out what makes your information different.”
~ Matt Wolfe
8. Include images
Just like a Infographic, relevant images provide the additional information your readers need to make sense of what you are saying. You could be a travel blogger talking about the amazing piece of art at an old fort or going ga ga over the sunset view. Adding an image will hook your readers and help you communicate the wonder in a visual language.
9. Title, of course
I know this horse has been beaten to death. But all the same, any list that talks about making readers interested in your blog post is incomplete without talking about the importance of a strong title.
Your title is the gateway to your post. It has to be alluring enough to make the reader click and open the post. Try to address your readers’ pain points in the title. Alternatively, create a title that will make it interesting enough for them.
10. Add Twitter quotes
Twitter is an amazing communication platform where you can follow interesting conversations related to your topic with the right hashtag. Scourge your Twitter timeline and hashtag stream to find relevant updates from experts and leaders on your topic.
— #Dorsethour (@Dorset_Hour) August 31, 2015
Embed these and you not only provide readers a useful resource, but also build your network.
11. Talk to the reader
One of the best and simple ways to engage your reader in conversation is to talk to them. Use ‘You . . .’ instead of ‘one can . . .’ or ‘blogger can . . . ‘
12. Weave in current events
Another common method of engaging readers is to weave in a current event of interest in your blog post. Use this in your introductory text to make your post more current and inviting to the readers.
13. A little Humor Goes a long way
Humor is one of the most engaging devices a writer can use to keep a blog post engaging. Try to crack a joke relevant to your reader and appropriate to your blog subject and audience every once in a while.
14. Add cartoons and illustration to communicate
Humor may be desirable, but it is not easy to to crack a joke for everyone. There are other ways you can make your audience laugh. Search for an illustration or a cartoon around the topic of your post and add it your blog post.
Here are a couple of web sites where you can create your own comic strips:
15. More than three things to say? Use Lists
I can’t reiterate enough how our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. And if your blog targets professionals and talks about ‘How To’ kind of posts that are useful at workplace, you need to get the information out quickly.
Long winded prose can put readers off. Use lists where you have more than a couple of things to share. Lists help readers scan the document and quickly spot what they are looking for.
16. Finish with a question
One of the most important objectives of writing a blog is to engage the readers in conversation. You might entice them through social media channels and other methods, but the goal is to get them talking.
One way you can engage the reader is ask a question and hope to kick-start a conversation.
While you don’t have to do all these things in every post, create a mix of the various tactics discussed here and keep your blog posts interesting. What have you observed so far? What devices have worked most for you?