Search online for the best business blogging practices and you will inevitably find a plethora of articles that will get you down one of two paths. Either you’ll get tips on how to choose and write on a topic that’s relevant to your audience, or pointers on how to blog in a way that increases traffic to your website and posts.
Both of these avenues are undoubtedly important in developing a great business blog. In fact, we’ve written a lot on how to choose your topics and get your posts seen by your target audience. Yet, these are just two pieces of the puzzle that make up a successful business blog. Most blogs include some type of call to action at the end, but increased attention or interesting topics are not worth much if your audience doesn’t read far enough in the blog to even consider taking that step.
This is why you should pay close attention to the way you create your blog post, both in terms of layout and writing. So, without further ado, here are 4 crucial business blogging tips that will ensure your audience will read the full post.
1) Open hard
Ask any reporter and they’ll tell you the importance of a solid lead. Your introductory sentences or paragraph should capture your reader’s attention to the point where they will be delighted to know more. At the same time, that can’t say too much – you wouldn’t want your audience to close that browser window because they feel like they’ve learned everything they need to know after reading your opening paragraph. .
Finding this balance is difficult, but crucial. There are many ways to write your opening burst, and just as many online articles describing how you can be successful here. The problem is, most of them don’t focus specifically on blogging openings, so here are some of your options:
- Start with a relevant question. This will make your audience want to know the answer you provide – later in the blog post.
- Start with a funny or unusual anecdote. Nothing works better than an unexpected story to get your audience to stop and be curious about where that post can go.
- Describe a problem. Similar to the first example, this will appeal to readers who have encountered the same issue in the past. Now you can spend the rest of your blog post telling your readers about the solution.
- Share a unexpected fact. This will imply for your readers that more of these facts are to come.
Of course, these are just a few examples of strong blogging openings. Whichever one you choose, it will be an invaluable start to getting your readers to keep reading.
2) break it
No one likes a wall of text. Our average attention span is now 8 seconds, which is shorter than that of a goldfish (wouldn’t that have been a good opening). A solid lede can be a good start, but it can’t be your only effort to keep reading readers.
Instead, divide your paragraphs. Don’t write your blog post like a journal article, school essay, or even a white paper. Instead, keep it short, succinct, with plenty of numbered and bulleted lists to make it easier to read and allow the most impatient readers among us to peruse the text while understanding the most important takeaways.
Of course, you can also divide your text with visuals – if you do them correctly.
3) Use visuals to support, not to replace
No matter where you look, the expert will highlight the importance of visuals in digital marketing. And they are certainly not wrong; everyone now knows that in addition to competing with goldfish in terms of attention span, we are also becoming a an increasingly visual culture. This means that in order to be read, your blog post must absolutely include visuals. Except:
Never let your visuals become redundant in relation to your text.
The beauty of visuals is that they can enhance your blog post by adding a new element to it that keeps readers on their toes and entertained. A visual that simply says exactly what the text does, on the other hand, will either be ignored or – worse – preferred to text. So instead of trying to find images that just represent your blog post in a different style, find a few that add something really unique to the blog post and gently push your audience to keep on. read.
4) reward the reader
“What’s in it for me?” We can almost guarantee that the majority of your audience will ask this exact question (consciously or unconsciously) when they start reading your blog post. As much as we would all like that, they don’t visit your site and read your content out of the goodness of their hearts; instead, they’re looking for something of value, usually information relevant to their personal and professional lives.
To write a successful blog post that engages readers, you need to understand exactly what “something of value” is to your primary readership. Then you need to focus your entire message on achieving the value proposition suggested by your title.
Take this blog post as an example. You started reading because you want to know how to improve your own posts, and every sentence has been written specifically to help you do that. Ultimately, providing the reward that your leaders are looking for throughout your blog post will make the difference between an audience that bounces after reading the opening paragraph and one that stays interested until the end.
So there you go, by following these four guidelines, you make sure that your audience doesn’t leave your post until they’ve read everything and at least thought about your call to action. Now all you need to do is implement the other best practices in corporate blogging, and your blog becomes a powerful marketing tool.