Are your blog posts not converting as well as you’d like them to? Want to know the secrets of how to write a blog post that converts? In this article, we’ll share 6 tips that will help you write a blog post that converts. You see, most people that visit your blog post usually leave without reading it all the way through. And the worst part is that an even larger percentage of people who see your blog post whichever social media platforms you use never even click on it. You really only have 2–3 seconds to grab your user’s attention, convince them to click, and actually read your blog post. So how do you make sure that your content marketing efforts aren’t going to waste? Well, you follow these 6 tips, and we promise it’ll help you write blog posts that convert.
Before you start writing, it’s crucial that you know who your audience is, and what they are looking for.
Instead of guessing what your audience needs or wants, try to make data-driven decisions by doing industry research and competitor analysis.
Sounds complicated? It really isn’t.
There are tons of resources out there that you can use to make life easier. Below are some of our favorites:
KeywordTool.io: This is a free tool that you can use to see what are some of the most popular keywords searched by users in your industry.
Twitter Advanced Search: Simply type your keyword and select the filter “questions” and it will show you all the questions that folks in your industry are asking.
Quora: A great resource to find questions folks in your industry are asking.
SEMRush: Although it’s a paid tool, it works extremely well and allows you to spy on your competitors and steal their best ideas.
If you don’t have a compelling headline, then there’s a very good chance that your blog post will not be read or shared.
As humans, we’re shallow. We judge a book by its cover and a blog post by its title.
That’s why your blog post title is crucial for the success of that article.
We recommend that you run your headline through EMV headline analyzer to find the emotional marketing value of your headline.
You can also use IsItWP’s headline analyzer tool which also gives tips on how to improve your headline.
Formatting is super important for blog posts. There’s nothing worse than reading a blog post that’s just one giant paragraph.
Most of the time people skim through the content before they actually decide to read it, so we always recommend breaking up your article with subheadings.
Anything you can do to make it easy on the user’s eyes is going to help them read your blog post (and take the action that you want them to).
Another quick tip is to use shorter paragraphs to help your readers work their way through your post.
Notice how small the blocks of text are. Usually, we stick to 2–3 lines of text, maybe 4 if something really needs explanation.
We do this to help our readers absorb all the information coming their way in as short an amount of time as possible.
Remember, not all kinds of content are created equal. Sometimes you want to read a book, so a lot of block text is fine. But blog posts are different. They’re designed to give highly focused, quality information in a short amount of time.
In other words, we know our audience isn’t sitting down to read War and Peace. They want to know how to drive traffic, convert leads, and increase their revenue.
And they want all that information yesterday.
So, organize your ideas through subheadings and keep your paragraphs short to help your reader absorb more information in less time.
Sometimes you can even go a step further than short paragraphs, which brings us to our next tip…
6 Tips To Create Informative Blog Posts
1. Use Bullet Points
People tend to skim blog posts before they decide to read it. That means you need to make sure to highlight your best information. That way, they can quickly see that your post is worth their time.
Aside from subheadings, bullet lists are perfect because they’re very easy to skim through.
Here are some tips that we use to write bullet points that people will actually read:
- Express clear benefits. Think of bullets as mini-headlines.
- Keep your bullets symmetrical. 1-2 lines each.
- Avoid bullet clutter. Don’t write paragraphs in bullets.
- Remember bullets are not sentences. They’re just like headlines.
Again, people don’t come to blog posts for leisurely beach reading. They want specific information and don’t want to work to get it.
Bullet points are an excellent way to spoon-feed your audience in a way The human brain processes visual content a lot faster than text-based content. That’s why adding captivating images can help boost your engagement.
2. Ask These Questions Before Starting Your Blog Post
- Start with your goals. What are you hoping to achieve through your blogging?
- Do you want to be on the Google front page?
- Do you want to develop your brand?
- Do you want to educate the public about your industry?
- Do you want to increase your customer base?
Once you have your goals you can then create your content strategy around them.
3. Compile All The Answers and Get Going
Get started. Make a commitment and set a specific date with your computer (or pen & paper) and get your ideas down. Do not skip this date for any reason, except an absolute emergency.
Write your titles first. The titles will give you a simple, creative base from which you can structure the rest of your article.
List out bullet points. Once you have your primary ideas down in a bulleted list you can then create formal paragraphs around your key message.
Write in a human voice. You don’t have to be anyone else but you. There are a lot of impressive writers online which can be intimidating and make you want to mimic them. Writing in your own voice adds a human element and will go a long way towards developing trust.
Keep it simple. You don’t need fancy language or intricate grammar. One piece of handy advice I received is to write as if you are drafting an email. Also, I find that focusing on one specific item in my small business blog posts keeps it as simple as you can get.
Read your posts aloud. Before you publish your post, read it aloud. Does it make sense? Then go ahead and get it out on the Internet!
When writing for your small business blog, your post does not have to be perfect in order for it to be effective, but it most certainly does have to get published.
Option two is for those of you who refuse to write one word. Amazingly, you can still rank for keywords and appear on the front page of Google even if you never write a blog post. Although, you still have to be willing to do some work (sorry there’s no way around the work part).
Try speech recognition software. Do you like to talk about your business, your customers, or your amazing product? Speech recognition software allows you to speak into your computer and without ever typing a letter. The program will capture your words and create a text file that can be published on your blog. (Special bonus, there’s even a speech recognition iPhone option.)
Use photos. Have you ever done a Google search and noticed photos on the front page? If you refuse to write but love to take pictures, then photos are a great way to provide content for your small business blog. You can upload them to a site like FLICKR and then seamlessly add them to your blog.
Take Video. If photos are good; the video is great! With video, you can provide some really useful blog content in the form of tutorials or even customer interviews. Remember, people have limited attention spans so keep the videos short, about 1-2 minutes in length should be sufficient.
Always remember, if you skip a week, two weeks or even a month don’t give in to the temptation to quit altogether. Just get back at it, don’t apologize, and get back to posting your content.
4. Blog On Your Passion
Blogging can be a chore unless you are passionate about the topic. So, first and foremost, pick a topic you are passionate about.
Don’t just pick a topic that you “think” you are passionate about. Pick one that you definitely know you’ll love. It has to be a topic that you love so much that you want to constantly learn more about it.
Do you remember writing term papers in high school or college? If you don’t, lucky you! If you do, writing blog posts is going to be a difficult task for you. You have to ignore all the things your professors taught you about writing.
You aren’t here to write a term paper—you are here to create a conversation!
If my blog posts sounded as if I was talking to you instead of to you, wouldn’t you get bored and irritated with me? Make sure you do the same: talk to your readers—not at them.
Know What You Want To Write About
Before you start writing the first word, you have to know what the last word is going to be. I don’t mean this in a literal sense, but you have to know how you are going to start off your blog post, the points you are going to convey, and how you are going to wrap everything up.
If you are one of those people who like to be spontaneous, that’s great. As one of those people, I have realized it doesn’t work well with blogging. It will only cause you to spend more time writing than you need to.
Plus, I am pretty sure you are already strapped for time. Right? So why waste more of it?
5. Find Popular Topics To Blog About
Find a topic that you are passionate about and create a list of all the popular blogs in that space. You can easily do this by searching Google. If there are not many popular blogs in your space, list all the blogs that are somewhat in your space and are popular.
Now that you have a list of all the popular blogs, make sure you browse them once a week. When browsing them, look for social buttons on each post that shows how many people either tweeted or liked the post. The higher the number, the better.
Take the posts that have over 50 or 100 social shares and list them in a spreadsheet as new ideas for future use. This can be your go to list for when you need a new topic to write about.
Until you can come up with an awesome title, you shouldn’t start writing your blog post. You could have the greatest content, but if your title sucks, most people won’t read it.
Let’s say that we were targeting the keyword, cake baking tips. Now, from an SEO standpoint, you obviously want this keyword to appear in the title and somewhere early on in the title and from a blogging perspective. You need to make sure that the words surrounding your keyword are enticing enough for people to click through. I found that numbers tend to work really well for blog posts.
Instead of just saying cake baking tips, you’d want to put something like 25 incredible cake baking tips. Okay? So, that’s something that’ll entice people to click through because they’re curious about the specific number of 25 and the word incredible also makes them a little more curious. That is what I would call an awesome title that should get some clicks!
6. Hook Your Readers
You have only a few seconds to grab people’s attention. If you can’t grab someone’s attention within the first few sentences you write, you have lost them.
Also, from a search engine optimization standpoint, you want your keyword to appear high up in the content preferably in the first or second or third sentence of your post.
Here is an example of how I might write a couple of sentences within a blog post intro that would hook most readers into reading more:
How hard could it be to write a blog post? If a teenager can do it, you can too, right? Well, writing a blog post isn’t hard at all, but writing a great blog post is very difficult.
If you look at the paragraph above, you’ll notice I have done a few things:
I created a conversation with you.
I showed you anyone could write a blog post, which makes you feel you can do it too (which you can).
I enticed you to read further by alluding to the fact that not everyone writes great blog posts.
In the second paragraph, I use social proof to demonstrate I am not just an average Joe who is giving advice. If you are new to this blog, you might need that proof.
Over the past few years, I have started two blogs. Although my first blog was a Technorati 100 blog, the content was crap. Readers didn’t care to read the content or engage in the conversation (comment on the blog).
Seeing I was a top 100 blogger helps you take my advice a bit more seriously. At the same time, telling you I screwed up shows you I am not perfect and that you can always improve.
Everyone has different writing styles, so I don’t expect your introductory paragraphs to be like mine, and that’s fine. As long as you use some of the elements I used, your readers will be engaged.
Have you noticed that I use the words “you” and “I” a lot within my blog posts? I do this because I am trying to create a conversation with you. The last thing I want you to feel is that you are reading an essay because that would be boring. I know that because it would be boring for me.
I’ve been writing blog posts – trying to make them as personable and relatable as possible – for years, which is why I get so many comments on each of my blog posts.
I’ve never A/B-tested essay-style vs conversation-style posts because I would never want to publish a blog post that was written like an essay.
Even without the test, there is one thing I’m confident about when it comes to using a conversational style in blog posts: it helps with readability.
By creating a conversation, you will see that your blog posts are read more and people are more likely to comment.
Just think of it this way: if you read a blog post that you loved and the author of the post asked you a question at the end… what would you do?
There is a good chance you would respond with a comment, right? I know I would.
By asking your readers a question, you will encourage more of them to leave comments. This will cause people to stay on your blog longer as it takes more than a few seconds to leave a comment. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to respond to the comments and get your readers to come back to your blog.
When you read a blog, how much do you really know about the person behind the blog? Very little, right?
If you are lucky, the blogger may have a bio and a photo of yourself in the sidebar… but that’s pretty much it.
You can’t expect your audience to connect with you if you don’t open up. You can accomplish this through an About page. Not one that is about your blog or your company, but about you… the person behind the blog. If you have a corporate blog, you can create an About page for each author on your blog.
To create an effective about us page, you should consider doing the following:
Tell your complete story – from birth to today, give details of your life.
Don’t hold back – from the moments you are ashamed of to the moments you are proud of, share them all. It will allow people to get to know all sides of you.
Include a picture – people won’t be able to connect with you unless they can see you. You can place a photograph of yourself on your About page.
Talk about your goals – just like you are helping your readers with your content, they too can help you. Discuss your future plans and goals within your About page.