With the thousands of blog posts written each day, we need an edge to get readers to notice. Here are 10 ways to make your blog post stand out.
Numbers are a great way to grab readers’ attention like 10 Choices…7 Mistakes…3 Funny…5 Ways to Avoid… Use phrases that make readers curious: What Every Writer Needs to Know, Lessons My Babysitter Never Told Me, How to Not Be Her, etc.
Pictures grab attention. A good picture will make you curious, laugh, or at least trust the author. It can add to the story, complete the story, or compel people to read your post. If you include a description in the Alt Text box, it can enhance the discoverability of your post through image searches. Whenever possible, use your own pictures or purchase the license for the photo through stock photography sites like Canstockphoto, iStockphoto, or Shutterstock. Many images found on the web belong to someone and using them can be problematic.
3. Numbers or bullets
Using numbers and/or bullets make reading easier and breaks down our ideas into bite sized chunks. In our ADD world, lists make a post easy to read and digest.
Headings serve a similar purpose by allowing readers to scan your post for the most valuable info then read a deeper explanation, if desired. Instead of just using bold for the heading, use the Heading tags for greater impact.
5. Links to other resources
You can’t tell the whole story in one blog post. If readers are passionate about the topic, give them more! You can link to other posts on your site or send them to another blog or website. Readers reward bloggers who give valuable information and are a trusted resource. You don’t need to know everything. If you know someone who can elaborate, link to their site. Check the box to open in a new window so your reader can easily get back to your post.
Readers respond better when they are asked a question. Ask if they experienced your topic, had problems with X, have a better way to do Y, or how they feel about Z. Encourage feedback and join the conversation when they do. Thank them for their comments and ask more questions to keep the conversation going, if it seems appropriate. It’s a great opportunity to check out the blogs of your readers and consider following them.
Like questions, polls give your readers a reason to get involved. Use polls for research, for engagement, or just for fun. You can use yes or no questions like “Would you ever…” or multiple choice questions like “Chocolate or Vanilla.” Click on the link for more information about using WordPress polls.
Like a tree falling in the forest with no one around, a blog with no tags is hard to discover. Use tags and categories starting with general topic then list details in the post. To find out what readers are looking for, check out the Topics page and make sure one of your tags or categories include one of these main headings. Check out more information about WordPress categories and tags. ManageWP maybe says it best, “if categories are the table of contents for your blog, tags represent the index.”
Examples put the words into context. “Use a catchy title” has little meaning to someone learning how to create one. Read your blog post, or better yet, let someone else read your post and see if they understand what you are explaining. Use pictures, screen shots, or written examples to get your point across. If readers don’t understand what you are saying or how to ultimately do what you are teaching, they won’t come back for more.
10. Original Content
With all of the information on the internet, you might ask if it’s even possible to have something original to say. Fortunately, you have your own perspective on things. Even though people have written about blogging before, no one sits at your desk, looks out your window, and watches that one squirrel interact with that other squirrel. Your perspective on how to motivate people, inspire people, or entertain people is different. Turn a topic on its head and view it from a different angle. Be authentic. Care about the readers who take the time to read your posts and those readers will reward you with likes, follows, and shares.
Look at your most popular posts. What made them more popular? Was it the topic, how you delivered the content, or how it was tagged? I would love to hear from you!