One measure of effective writing is how engaged your traffic is. If readers aren’t engaged, they won’t share your content either through social media or through their own blog (linking to your article).
Not only is this not good for SEO (social sharing is valued in the eyes of Google), but it also means you’re wasting your time writing posts that nobody wants to read.
So how do you write the ‘perfect’ blog post.
Well, here are some quick and easy tips to get your readership more engaged.
1. Write at least 500 words
This really depends on the niche of your blog, but writing at least and preferably more than 500 words is important for two reasons.
For starters, if you are worried about SEO then the more the merrier. Google and the other search engines love longer posts, the more you write the better your odds are for ranking highly for whatever your keywords are. In fact, the top ten search results on Google all have at least 2000 words or more (on average).
But for reader engagement, longer more detailed posts will earn you more social sharing. They are also much more likely to get some juicy backlinks to your blog as well.
2. No long sentences
Long, flashy sentences shouldn’t be your goal when writing a blog post.
Stick to a middle school reading level and trim those sentences. To get an idea of a great example article head over to one of your competitors websites/blogs and see how they write their posts. Do they use long sentences, or do they try to keep things as simple as possible?
Also a must, use paragraph breaks.
3. Use lists
Simple but effective. Lists are a great way to make your information easier to read and digest. These are especially useful for longer posts where you are sharing more information. And bonus, they make your content look better.
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4. Try to get rid of the bland
You have probably noticed that a lot of the bigger blogging websites such as Moz, bloggingtips and socialmediaexaminer, all usually spruce up their website with either a nice looking sidebar of widgets, different color background, or different color text.
Adding some color and a decent sidebar can do wonders for how your blog posts look to your visitors. Add a widget or two to your sidebar, use different colors if possible and maybe even add your own custom background.
5. Use headings
Most people, myself included, don’t read everything they find online. Instead the scan pages, making headings (instead of a wall of black text) important if you want to keep a reader engaged.
If you have a wall of text instead of an easily scanable page, your reader might click that x button on your tab and go elsewhere to find a more scanable post.
Headings and sub-headings will make your post have some structure and look far more organized.
6. Read related blogs
Reading related blogs in your niche regularly helps you find out what’s hot, how readers react to certain content and helps you stay informed in your niche.
It might also give you some ideas of how to display your content to your readers. Do some research on related blogs and see how they display their posts.
7. Pace yourself
Taking a break to clear your head when writing can do a lot of good in helping you write longer blog posts. Mental energy is important after all, so take some small breaks in-between writing.
Take a short walk, go swimming, even watch TV. Walking is my personal favorite way of getting some mental energy back, it’s also a great way to think up new content for your blog. I even bring a handy notepad with me when I walk.
8. Create click worthy titles
Nothing screams don’t read me like a bland title for your blog post. Do some research and put some effort into creating that golden title for your article. People seem to love lists and guides. Top ten lists seem to do really well and how many times have you seen “The Definitive Guide to X” type posts? Titles are everything, just don’t forget to include your important keywords in them.
Keywords will help your post live in the search results after it’s 15 minutes of fame on your front page. Just be sure to not only write for search engines but for your audience as well. Creating great, link worthy content is one of the only ways (in the era of constant Google Algorithm updates) to get backlinks pointing to your blog.
9. Use images
I don’t care what kind of post I am writing, I always use images. Images are important for a number of reasons. They make your post look better (thus increasing the likelihood that someone will want to share it), are great for capturing reader attention, can show up in the Google Image search results and can help better your traffic through Pinterest.
10. No copied or spun content
Don’t take an article someone else has written, “spin” it and then pass it off as your own. Spun content won’t get you far and may even get you penalized by Google.
Bottom line, if you need to spin content then you probably shouldn’t be writing about that topic/subject. But if you really want to have a certain article topic on your website, but don’t know how to write about it yourself then just outsource the job. Fiverr and iWriter are two sources I have used in the past for article writing gigs.
Try these quick tips out next time you are typing up your blog post. If you are still not getting any social sharing then consider looking at your overall website. I have noticed that free WordPress themes are not all that fancy, and even bland, which may be turning off readers. If you are using a free theme, consider switching over to something more advanced (premium theme) and see if that helps.