The key question that any business has to answer is why your customer should choose you. Engaging blog posts offer you a golden opportunity to showcase that answer, allowing your readers to get to know your brand.
Whether it’s B2B or B2C, any business decision comes down to whether two people want to do business together. A significant part of this is through engaging copy that works to build your audience’s trust.
It’s not easy to get there, but consistent, engaging, and informative content is the secret. Let’s look a little bit at what that means.
8 Ways to Write Engaging Blog Posts
Make it Your Own – There’s no shortage of regurgitated content across the web. It’s ok to read a competitor’s post, and realize you want to write the same kind of post for yourself. But here’s the distinction that should be made at this point: it needs to be adapted to your business. Take the idea and think hard about how the same issue has impacted your customers and your business.
It may be different than what you read. It should be different than what you read. Put a little personality into the topic. Tell the story of the customer that had this particular issue. What’d you do to fix it? Use your voice, convey your personality. Talk with the reader the same way you’d talk with them in person.
Don’t Worry So Much About the Length – Companies that blog are forever worried about the perfect length for a blog post. When I worked in the newspaper business, I had an editor who gave me the perfect bit of advice for my “How long should the story be?” question. He always told me to let the content determine the length. Every time.
If you’re writing about bubble gum, it may be different than the intricacies of a complex technological product. If SEO is a consideration, Google ranks content that is 300 words and longer. Search results on the front page of Google tend to hover around 1,890 words. But posts in that length range can be really good or horribly bad. Engaging blog posts are determined by their quality, not their length.
Format for Success – If you’re going to write engaging blog posts, they cannot look like academic dissertations. Short paragraphs of 3-5 sentences, broken up by photos and images will keep people engaged. Bullet points and subheads help break up the copy into scannable chunks as well.
Keeping your audience engaged means writing copy that’s easily readable.
Emphasize Storytelling – Humans crave stories. This has nothing to do with your audience. It’s how we’re wired as a species. Tell people how you began in business. Find and highlight customer success stories. But it goes beyond that as well.
When you write any content, learn how to do it in your voice. Write the way you would talk with your audience. Companies make the mistake of thinking they need to adopt an academic, inside baseball-type voice to communicate their product. That’s not true. A conversational style is what wins on the web.
You can also throw in some simple storytelling devices to help make every-day content more engaging. For example, start by acknowledging the problem that brought your customer to you in the first place. Tell them that you understand their pain, and that they’re not alone. You resolve conflict – that’s a big part of, you guessed it – storytelling. Here’s more on the art of storytelling for you to look at.
Laser Focus – People give any type of web content less than five seconds before they determine whether they are going to read or not. This means that you better get straight to the point. You better show them that you’re going to write about exactly what you promised.
Before you publish a blog post, comb through it and make sure that each sentence is necessary to help underscore your main topic. If not, cut it. If the writing is strong, you can recycle it somewhere else in a blog post about that specific topic. The job of each focus is to keep a distracted reader moving toward the next.
Engaging Headlines – As stated above, your reader is distracted and likely uncommitted to how much time they want to give your blog post. The headline is the most important part of the post for this reason. It’s what your reader will use to determine whether they want to move forward with your post or not.
Spend some time on perfecting that headline. Make it enticing. You can do this by making your reader a promise, or highlighting how you’ll help them solve their problem. Find out what it takes to write engaging headlines. It’s the best investment you can make in copywriting.
Invoke Emotion – As much as we fancy ourselves logical, the bulk of purchases are made with emotion in mind. We buy products and services that make us feel happy, safe, healthy, and fulfilled. When you learn how to paint your business in that light, you can truly write more engaging blog posts.
Think of it this way. Your customers aren’t buying your product. They’re buying how your product makes them feel. Humans are complex machines. It takes a little bit of emotion to convince someone to contact you, or reach in their back pocket and pull out their wallet.
Create a Powerful Call to Action – Don’t assume that your readers know what you want them to do after they read your content. You have to tell them. It’s the most effective way to close out almost any blog, web content, sales letter, or other marketing.
The call to action can be, but doesn’t have to be, a hard sell. It can also be a request to download, share or email. But before you even get to the request, let’s talk about some strategy. Find ways to gently remind them of their current state, and how you solve this problem.
Here are a few examples from three different industries:
You could go on with your computer that freezes multiple times a day, but we both know that’s no way to work.
Leaky pipes will inflate your water bill, slowly, one drip at a time.
Your website is great for customers, but it doesn’t hold the same functionality as a brand new mobile application.
You get the idea. Then, hit them with the request.
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The internet is a crowded marketplace. There are thousands of companies out there that do exactly what you do. Writing engaging blog posts can give you a significant leg up and help you create the kind of web presence that results in lead generation.
Blog posts, web content, and landing pages all play a significant role. When you learn how to tell your company’s story and solve customer problems, you create content your audience is more likely to read and engage with.
If you have questions about any of this or would like to discuss a writing project, contact me today!