How often do you read a blog post from beginning to end? If you’re reading the right blogs, the answer will be “most of the time.” That’s because top-shelf blogs are created by expert writers who know how to create content that sucks you in the way a hungry Venus Flytrap ensnares an unsuspecting insect.
Most blogs, it turns out, have plenty of growing room when it comes to bolstering engagement. Take a look at your blog—a good, hard, critical look. See if you can recognize these three characteristics, and be honest:
1. Novelty and Surprise
Are you telling your readers something they don’t already know? My New Roots, an award-winning food blog, brims with original recipes and expert nutritional know-how. It pops with photos of unexpected and drool-inducing dishes like Chakra Fruit Salad with Enlightened Tahini Sauce. It informs and inspires noob and pro cooks alike to bust through the familiar-ingredient barrier and soar to new heights of deliciousness. Does your blog inform, inspire and bust barriers the way My New Roots does?
2. Practical Takeaways
Are giving your audience valuable, applicable information? Ikea Hackers posts crowdsourced examples of hacked Ikea products that strut considerably more charm, sparkle and swagger than the originals. Each post demonstrates a simple, affordable way for the DIY crowd to personalize and funkify home and office décor on an off-the-shelf budget, and there are hundreds—if not thousands—of similarly tasty ideas easily findable via category links or Google site search. Do your blog posts offer up delectable ideas and examples that your readers can run with?
Are your posts so much fun to read that no one cares what they’re about anyway? According to SEOmoz, juicy content is not only interesting and practical, but also uses energizing language that taps into readers’ emotions—especially strong emotions like awe or even anger. It captivates by tapping into humor and surprise. If writing compelling posts turns out to be more challenging than anticipated, it’s time to take a good look at the type of content that reels you in and see if you can emulate its finer qualities. If you’re already facing an overwhelming to-do list, hiring a content writer to create boredom-proof blog posts may be your best bet. Together, you can concoct posts that make your readers laugh, scowl, like or tweet. Is it time to think about bringing on expert help?
Blogging is a commitment to your business, but also to your customers. As in any relationship, if you don’t meet your readers’ needs, they’re going to go elsewhere to get those needs met. Take time to look at your blog with an honest eye and invest the love that’s needed to get closer to your customers. You’ll likely find that you’ve gotten closer to your own goals as well.
Norene G is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.