One of the biggest, toughest challenges a blogger has is building a loyal audience. You have your website set up the way you want it and you have some great things to share and discuss. Unfortunately, as wonderful as that is, it is probably not enough to hold your reader’s attention. It takes more than words to keep them interested and engaged enough so they want to keep visiting your site.
There are many ways to hold a reader’s attention and all are designed to create some kind of emotion and action so she or he wants to stay on your site to learn more. Bear this in mind as you learn these seven clever ways to keep your reader’s attention in your blog posts, all proven to be successful in helping to build an audience.
Distinct Website Theme and Branding
When someone lands on your site, the first thing you want to do is catch their attention with the way your site looks, which is why the theme you choose (its colors, font, layout, and features) is so vital. Some themes are more popular than others, which means you will see the same style on many different sites. If you choose something uncommon and distinct, however, you will stand out much more easily.
Also, take the time to carefully craft your branding, which includes not only your logo, but also your website’s purpose, tone, flexibility to changing times, and even the images you use. Make sure all of it is consistent with your website’s main message or else you risk losing your audience’s loyalty.
Remember, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. If you think you need to go back to blogging basics, refresh your knowledge by reading this ultimate guide on how to start a blog.
Make It Visually Appealing
There is an adage that says a picture is worth a thousand words. Nothing draws in a reader like a good image. But not just any image will do. Choose ones that are relevant to the content of your post and helps tell a story. And don’t limit yourself to just photos. Videos are also proven to be highly effective.
Aside from your feature image, you should use at least one other in the body of the post, usually near the beginning. You can use more, but be careful not to overdo it. One great way to do this is to insert a link to a gallery on your site. There are many plugins that can help you with this depending on your skill level. If you are unfamiliar with creating galleries take a look at Enviragallery. It is one of the most popular plugins out there and it is super simple to set up.
The Four U’s of Headlines
Every good post needs a good headline. Aside from the look of your website, it is the first thing your reader will see, so it needs to be catchy. A common formula used in all professional writing is including the Four U’s when crafting a headline.
The headline should offer useful benefits so your reader will want to go deeper into your post. It should help them answer a question, offer a solution, relieve an issue, describe “how to,” etc. so that they want to keep reading. In other words, your headline should be helpful.
Your headline should also have a sense of urgency about it so your reader feels like they have to read it immediately. You can include a deadline, hint at relief from something stressful or a desperate need, or convey that you have the answers he or she needs right now. However you phrase it, it is all about getting your reader to respond.
Your headline should stand out from a crowd. It should catch attention by being shocking, unusual, or distinctive without sounding like a ploy. It should always try to convey that your post is one-of-a-kind and the reader will not find your information anywhere else.
Be specific in a headline. Provide a number, a specific detail or data, convey exclusiveness, or a special offer so the reader has a better understanding of your post’s topic.
Though many people find pop-ups annoying, they have proven to be a primary way to grab a reader’s attention and build a subscriber list. Pop-ups do not have to be anything fancy. Simple designs can be enough if the right colors and text are employed. For example, red is proven to draw attention and get a reader to act.
The right timing of pop-ups is also important. There are many options, but the more common ones occur either when a reader first lands on your site, when they are about to leave, when they have stayed on a page for a certain length of time, and when they have scrolled down to a particular point on the page. Each has proven to catch attention and draw the reader to go deeper into your site.
Exit popups are one of the more popular options, as they enable you to capture subscribers before they leave your website. These 40 hacks by OptinMonster will teach you everything you need to know on how to use exit popups to convert your visitors.
Make Your Writing Evergreen
Just as when describing a tree that never turns color, your writing should also be consistently relevant and valuable to your audience. Your content should convey information that is classic in nature so it transcends time, culture, and fashion.
Not every post you write has to be evergreen, but it is a good idea to regularly create them so you look like the go-to expert for the information your audience needs.
Never forget that your content is always the most important part of your post. There are a few basics you should never overlook in your writing.
- Your opening paragraph needs to be strong and engaging so your reader can’t help but read more.
- The style of your writing should lean toward being novel and different from other writers. Make it uniquely yours, but avoid being too formal or stuffy. Use a conversational tone so your reader can relate to you better.
- Include questions if they are pertinent. Make your reader stop and think.
- Edit, edit, edit. Always go back and double check for proper grammar, correct punctuation and spelling, and concise, well organized sentence structure. If you routinely skip editing, you will quickly lose credibility and seem unintelligent, which you’re not. Your reader will also be distracted and perhaps lose interest. If you can, ask a friend or peer to suggest edits for you too.
Remember that good content is king. Make it as compelling a read as you can.
Use Short Stories
If you blog about parenting, then you probably have a few stories to which your audience can relate. It is the same even in business blogging because everyone is trying to figure things out.
Incorporating a short story in your posts makes your audience feel like you are “one of them” and you truly understand their needs. However, make sure it ties into the main idea of your post or else you will sound like you only want to talk about yourself instead of providing helpful information. Remember the goal of your post should always be about providing value to your reader.
Catching a reader’s attention is crucial to developing a loyal audience. Include these seven clever ways in your overall blog strategy and watch how your traffic grows.
Three Girls Media was compensated to publish this guest post. It meets our editorial standards and provides value to our readers.
Special Offer:Sign up for a complimentary consultation during November and receive a Social Media Management Guide valued at $475! We offer a 30-minute phone consultation with our CEO, and can answer your questions and discuss your specific marketing needs - no strings attached. Call 408-218-2391 or contact us today to arrange your consultation!