I’ve had a number of readers ask for advice on how to write an engaging blog post. After being asked this a handful of times, I thought it made sense to actually compile some tips into, you guessed it, an engaging blog post. Whether you have your own blog, you’re being interviewed by someone online, or you’re writing guest pieces for other websites, here are 7 tips you can implement to make your blog posts more engaging.
First and foremost, your post must be well written. If it’s not, go back and rewrite it. None of these later tips matter if your writing isn’t engaging. This doesn’t mean it has to be a well polished manuscript fit for print publication, but it should be thoughtful, well constructed, and free of obvious errors.
There are a number of long-form websites that I love. If that’s what you’re going for, great, ignore this tip entirely. Just make sure that you’re consciously creating a long-form article rather than accidentally doing so because you’re just going on and on and on. Human attention span has been decreasing rapidly, mainly due to mobile phones and the barrage of electronic social stimuli we receiving every minute. As shown in the chart below from a Microsoft Consumer Study, the average human now has a shorter attention span than a goldfish.
If you don’t have a long-form site, your posts should range typically between 500-1,500 words. But again, your first concern should be about creating a well written post that provides your readers with content they want read. That should be the focus before you consider the length of your post.
Humans now have a shorter average attention span than goldfish! SMH.Click To Tweet
This one is easy conceptually, but more difficult in practice. It takes time and thought to include meaningful images in your post, but how much more engaging was the last tip above with the image of the average attention span image than if I were just to explain the study to you? It’s cliche, but a picture is worth a thousand words.
The benefit is clear for the reader, but there’s also a benefit to you as the writer of the blog post. Thinking about and finding the right image forces you to further think about the goal of your post. It causes you to make sure your blog post has a purpose and has meaning. This will positively impact your writing. It sounds obvious to make sure your post has purpose, but 90% of what’s out there on the internet seems to be meaningless.
You can find rights-free images on sites like Pixbay. If you can’t find an image that really communicates what you’d like, you may need to consider creating it yourself. This will take more time and thought, but sometimes it can be just the thing to bring your post to the next level of engagement for the reader. I typically like to use Canva to create custom designs.
Make sure your content is mobile friendly! The number of users consuming mobile content surpassed the number of users consuming content on a traditional desktop computer in late 2013. The gap between the two has grown significantly ever since, with mobile totaling nearly 80% of internet consumption. Most blogging platforms now offer mobile-optimized themes, (if they don’t you should consider switching to a new platform!), but make sure you view your blog post on different devices to see how the content appears.
I separated this from “Include Images” intentionally. Including images in your blog post is nearly a must, but including video should be considered with additional discernment. Think about the type of reader you’re aiming for and how/where they’re going to read your post. If most of your readers are consuming your blog post while at the office, maybe including a video actually deters from their experience because they’re unable to to watch in that environment. If a video fits your post, however, it can supercharge the engagement of your post. (Yes, I realize the irony that I don’t actually have a video included in this post. I just don’t have the right video that makes sense, and being selective on videos is important in my opinion.)
A video can be the perfect way to supercharge reader engagement with your blog post.Click To Tweet
Click-worthy Blog Post Titles
I’m terrible at creating strong headlines for my posts, so I’m probably not the best person to be providing you with this advice. I can’t stand click-bait headlines or anything that even closely resembles click-bait, so I often err on the side toned down titles. I also am just bad at writing headlines. I do know, though, that if you want your readers to be engaged, you need to engage them right off the bat, and that starts with the title of your post.
Be Open and Get Personal
Let’s end with a similar theme to the first tip. One of the best ways to ensure that you have strong, engaging content is to personalize it. Readers want to know you a little more. Use your blog post as an opportunity for your readers to get to know you better. This could be by sharing a personal anecdote or it could simply be letting your personality shine through in your writing-style.
If you have other tips you like to use in your writing, share them with us in the comments or send them my way!
Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.