There’s no point having a blog if it fails to inspire, lead and create growth.
How many times do you read a blog post with the personality of a parking fine? There’s no story or intrigue, the language so formal it could have been written by the Queen’s butler?
Here’s the thing.
Readers today have the attention span of gnats; they’re stingier with their time than they are with their money. If you want them to give up their most prized possession for your blog content, it has to be remarkable.
Ditch the monotone
Your readers are human. And if you want to connect with them, they need to know that you’re human. They’re far more likely to engage if you inject some personality into your writing so it doesn’t sound robotic and dull.
- Use contractions to create a sense of informality – you’ll instead of you will and can’t instead of cannot.
- Start the odd sentence with and or but to sound conversational.
- Use a mixture of short and long sentences to create rhythm and flow.
- Include the odd interjection like, um… um, for example.
- Add humour. Everyone loves humour.
Readers aren’t going to respond to content that could have been written by your legal team.
Inject some you
How will readers bond with you or your business if you don’t show them who you are and what you have to offer?
- Use personal experiences to convey your learnings.
- Reveal your own insights so that they can see your expertise and the value you offer.
- Find your own style, tone and voice.
- Inspire your readers with your visions and dreams.
- Don’t try to fool them. They don’t like your hype and they care even less for your spin.
Content is most effective when it has a personal touch.
It’s a two way street
Ever attended an event where the guest speaker barely acknowledged your existence? An entire evening of all about me is enough to send anyone off to sleep.
You can’t engage an audience if you don’t include them. This is where questions come into play.
With questions, you’re adding intrigue and making your readers think. It’s about arousing their curiosity then delivering answers that make them want to follow you to the end of the earth.
You’re relevant when you make yourself irrelevant
I know, you’re fantastic at what you do. Problem is, nobody cares.
You have to find the right people and make them care. Who are your products and services relevant to? What are their interests, likes, grievances? Where do they hang out?
Get to know them and you can:
- Develop a language they’ll relate to. There’s no point addressing a bunch of senior citizens with, ‘Yo dudes, wassup?’
- Find an angle that grabs their attention and resonates.
- Become the answer to their prayers by addressing their needs and problems.
Without purpose, there’s no meaning
Clients all the time come to me claiming they need a blog. When I ask why, they frown, stammer then reply something like, ‘Because every business has one…’
If you want to connect with your readers you need goals and direction.
- What are you trying to achieve?
- How do you want your readers to feel and react?
If you don’t know what response you’re driving, how on earth will they know? Identify your purpose for having a blog and you’ll develop a stronger voice and sense of authority. Readers will then be more likely to follow.
Why it isn’t a long and winding journey…
As fascinating as you probably are, readers don’t have time for your elaborations. Skip the detour. Every word in your blog post must count towards strengthening and progressing your message. You might have written the world’s more hilarious joke, but is it really contributing?
If not, scrap it.
It’s about conveying your point in the shortest, most fascinating way possible.
Tell me something I don’t already know
As tempting as it is, don’t go trolling the Internet to rehash information that’s already been rehashed by 10 million others. If you want your content to be respected, it needs to be fresh.
Use your expertise, insight and learnings to deliver information that’s unique and thought-provoking and you’ll rank better with Google and develop an appreciative audience.
Take it easy
Ever notice how a long clump of text makes you cringe? It just seems all too hard, right?
Readers need variation. A chance to breathe. It’s about making your content less daunting and more appealing.
- Break the text into shorter paragraphs. If a sentence is of particular importance, put it on its own to strengthen the message and make it stand out.
- Use subtitles that intrigue and keep your audience reading.
- Highlight and explain information using images and infographics.
The Internet is already bloated with blog content, but most of it’s generic and dull. A lot of it, rehashed. So make it your mission to create content that’s remarkable and you’ll create a community of willing followers.
Questions? Plop them in the comments section.