Blogs fulfil two major roles for online businesses and e-commerce sites. The first, and arguably most important, is that they promote the site in question in search engine page rankings; the more specific content that’s out there, the higher the specific site is going to appear in the search results. Visibility is crucial in the online market. If you’re not being seen, you’re going to be lost in the swamp of similar sites and might just find yourself floundering. The second role that blogs fulfil is to entertain and enlighten their readers. It’s all very well to get people clicking on your links, but what’s the point if they don’t stick around, or even better, share the posts on their social media accounts?
Blogs aren’t just about word counts or SEO optimisation. Ultimately, you’re conversing with people, and people want to be engaged. Writing entertaining, informative, well-constructed posts will go a long way towards making your brand appear professional, relatable and accessible. With that in mind, here are eight tips you can utilise to keep your blog engaging and keep those readers coming back for more!
Keep Your Posts Concise
Try and keep your posts as concise as possible. You’ve got something to say, so say it and get out of there. Don’t get obsessively caught up in your word count. That’s all there is to point number one. Keep it concise.
Vary Your Sentence Length
If all your sentences are the same length then the writing will become stale pretty quickly. Here’s an example of sentences that are the same duration, using the same comma placement. No doubt that as you’re reading this, you’ll become unconsciously bored. Because the rhythms and patterns start to feel repetitive, with little variation or excitement in the sentences. Now. Let’s switch it up a little. We can use different patterns, different rhythms. The writing starts to feel much more alive. Engaging. Brings you in, moves you along, keeps you interested. You don’t have to be Hemingway to hook your reader, just use a few simple fundamentals and you’ll get them onside. Following? Good. Let’s move on to number three.
Don’t Be Too Complex
Keep it simple if you can. It doesn’t pay to use ornate language or intellectual phrases too often; your message will become convoluted and confused. Not to mention that you’ll come off looking like a bit of a prat AND appear as if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Einstein once said that the true mark of genius was the ability to explain complex ideas in simple terms. And there’s a man who should know.
Use Metaphors & Analogies
Greek genius Aristotle also had something to say about genius; he claimed that the mark of intellect was the ability to speak in metaphors. So, if you can manage that in your blog posts, not only will you appear relatable and intuitive, you will also (apparently) be a genius. Blogs are windows into the soul of the author or company and as such should be treated with linguistic reverence. See, metaphors aren’t that hard.
Flood Your Posts with Visuals
People love pictures, and don’t really care to look at large chunks of words; it scares and intimidates them. If your posts are word-heavy, make sure you spend some time looking for some awesome visual accompaniments. This applies if you’re doing data posts too; seek out some infographics and charts to liven up your dull old post (not that it’s inherently dull, you understand – it might just appear that way to the untrained eye. And then you’re in trouble, because you’ve lost their interest and they’re long gone. So get some pictures up there and reel ’em in with the pretty colours).
Keep it Current
Like ASAP Rocky’s recent collaborations with Lana Del Rey, pop culture references in a blog post might seem like an odd fit at first, but they actually mix together pretty damn well. References such as the above (see what I did there) go a long way with audiences. ‘Yes’, they think. ‘YES’. This person is current. They’re relatable. They’re hip to the hop, down with kids. They ‘GET ME’. And so on and so forth. Pop culture references keep your blog fresh and funny, while showing that you and your business are still in touch with the big bad world. Keep tabs on your target audience too; don’t go referencing Jagger and Richards if your readers are going to be more concerned with Stormzy and Charli XCX.
Keep it Funny
If you can’t extort a full-on laugh, try and keep your readers grinning, or at least attempt to extort a wry smile. Humour is extremely endearing; we generally like people who are funny, and that can easily translate to blogs too. It doesn’t have to be laugh-a-minute stuff; but you’re a person, you have a unique sense of humour: let’s see some of it shine through!
Let Your Personality Shine Through
Speaking of unique, nothing will kill a blog faster than bestowing the writing a tedious, uninspired voice. Any writer worth their salt will tell you that a unique voice is one of the most, if not THE most, important elements your work can have. It doesn’t matter what you’re writing; people will come (and stay) for your distinctive voice. Everyone has one, and it doesn’t necessarily rely on what grade you got in English. A unique voice is distinct from writing skills. Ideally you’ll have both, but one of them you can’t (and don’t need) to teach. Let your personality shine through, and I guarantee you’ll engage your readers, and keep them coming back for more.