What makes a blog attractive to readers? What makes one blog attractive to readers while another bounces visitors at alarming rates? Is it content, layout, grammar, or images? The answer is yes.
What Makes a Blog Attractive to Readers?
Layout and structure are critical to readability. A well-written post with compelling content that isn’t laid out to fit the needs and expectations of readers will not, regardless of the quality of writing or how compelling the topic, capture and hold the reader’s attention.
For example, have you ever clicked open a post only to find a mass of words with no breaks? No subheads, paragraphs, images, or bullet points? Did you read the post? And if so, did the layout distract from the content?
A successful blog layout attracts and engages visitors. The key to creating a successful blog layout is twofold, understanding the medium and how readers consume blog posts.
I’m a proponent of casual-voiced business blogs; 90% of the time, a human voice, rather than some stylized robotic voice, will connect with a target audience better than corp speak.
However, I’m not talking about text talk, slang (for the most part), and poor grammar. A business blog is no place to use casual abbreviations and street talk.
The truth is you’ll make mistakes and bend the rules; I do daily. My point is to be aware of proper grammar. You should know the rules you’re breaking.
I can’t keep track of all the rules. So, I rely on online sources such as Grammar Girl when I’m at a loss or have a question.
I keep a copy of My Grammar and I…Or Should That Be Me? As well as a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creative Writing at my home office where I do most of my writing.
Many writers refer to Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, and still, others rely on style guides such as the AP Stylebook or the Chicago Manual of Style.
The more you study these sources, the more you’ll learn and retain, but you’ll still make mistakes, so have a plan to find and fix them.
What makes people want to read your content? Ask yourself this, what compels you to read a blog post? I’d wager your answer includes the following:
- Problem Solving – There may be no more engaging content than how to solve a problem.
- Humor – We all like to laugh, right?
- Appealing to a sense of larceny, which means gaining a benefit or avoiding a loss by consuming the content.
- Attractive Titles – And not only titles that pique our interests but posts that follow through on the promise of the title. The truth is appealing.
- How to – My last search was how to cut down smoke smell from a fireplace, what was yours?
- How much – We want to know what’s fair in love and pricing.
- Behind the scenes – Getting an inside look makes us feel like insiders.
My friend Carol Stephens, who is a master of using images in her posts, shares this advice, “If you’ve written something without any images, add an image or two. Or use a different featured image. Since we’re all visual creatures, sometimes the image is more important than the words, unfortunately. And a positive image can change the feel of a piece of content.” — How to Cure Writer’s Block: Ten Best Ways
Here’s an excellent guide for adding images to your blog post. Neil Patel — 11 Best Practices for Including Images in Your Blog Posts
Content Isn’t King
Content isn’t king. Useful, well-planned, easy to consume content is king. There’s more, but you get the idea. The bottom line is, write for your audience.
How Can I Help You?
So, if this post struck a nerve check out, How to Stay Ahead of Your Business Blog Forever. The book is full of action plans to create a blogging/writing system that works for you.
And please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to discuss this post.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like, How to Create Content When You Don’t Have Time.
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash