Have you ever been drawn to someone because they were uninspiring, boring or lacking imagination?
I think not.
It is extremely important that you start off your blog post off with a strong thought provoking question or statement.
Otherwise, why would I continue reading?
Don’t give away all the big secrets in the beginning or there wouldn’t be an incentive to finish reading.
Benefits of Sexier Content:
- Readers will spend more time on your post
- Readers will read more of your post
- Readers will find your content more exciting
- Readers will click more of your links
- You will personally gain more authority, trust, credibility and ultimately sales/revenue
Your Title Needs to be Hot
In a world where everything is competing for our attention, your post (or article) title needs to be red hot.
Face value for most people is (unfortunately) a big factor. Your title must get their attention and interest, or they certainly are not going to be taking any further action (clicking or reading.)
Your Blog Post is a Story
Even if you don’t think you have a story in the post, you actually do.
Blog posts just like books and movies have a beginning, middle and end. That’s a story. You are currently in the middle.
If you have a good flow to your story people will read much more of your content.
Another important part of any story is the tone in which you tell it.
You must decide early on what your post tone is. For example:
The easiest tone is one that works most naturally for you as a person. If you are super sarcastic and people love that about you, that might translate well into your writing. Then as you gain momentum, you can then start exploring other tones that aren’t as natural for you.
You can change your tone mid post to help you transition from beginning to middle or middle to end.
Dress Down Your Posts
The average American reads at a 7th or 8th-grade reading level. And that’s probably being generous.
Fortunately, the Influencive audience is sophisticated.
But, not everyone wants to read doctorate level blog posts all the time. It takes more time to read super dense material.
In fact, most people want to read content in it’s simplest form, rather than it’s most complex form. Simplify unless you have a specific reason not to.
A Mouth Watering Subtitle is like Foreplay
Think of your post’s subtitle like foreplay. You want to tease them enough so they want to check out more.
Common subtitle mistakes:
- Giving away the entire idea and/or conclusion in the subtitle. If you give away the entire idea they may not read the post.
- Simplifying the concept of the post into the subtitle. Why cheapen your material this way?
Subtitles are often what’s shown on social media as the body of the article, and should be thought of as “a good reason why you want to read this.”
Subtitles can be a benefit of reading the post. But don’t give away the farm.
It’s Not the Size of the Tool, It’s How You Use It
- Use at least a few Headings like the one above
- Use Underlines, Bold and Italics. Use these selectively and where appropriate to draw attention
- Use Lists (like this one)
- Use “Quotes” when you want to lend credibility to your post/article from an expert
Check the Mirror Before You Leave the House
You’ve made it this far, you’ve created a post with great content. Unfortunately, the look is just as important as the actual content.
If you just have a big block of text, no matter how good it is, people will read less on average. Newspapers are known for doing this. But what people don’t think of is that newspapers do it because it costs more money for more pages. Websites don’t have that problem as they scroll down forever. A blog post and a newspaper or magazine are entirely different format wise.
In other words, it must be scannable.
I can’t tell you how many online articles I’ve glazed over because they just look like a big block of text. It makes me think it’s going to take forever to read it. And more importantly, it’s not inspiring.
This is especially true online where there are 100’s of similar articles competing for our attention.
Articles that are formatted well, use various elements and are easily scannable, do way better.
Personal Hygiene is Vital
Apps and Software are your friends.
There are two apps that I use regularly when I’m creating blog content. If you aren’t using these, you should be.
Hemmingway – Hemingway helps me simplify my wording and makes posts more readable. I copy and paste into the app and it makes a variety of suggestions. When I use Hemmingway people read at least 20% more.
Grammarly – My, grammar, sucks. This app makes me (almost) a grammar expert.
Don’t Forget the Why
Why are your posts sexy? Above all else, the real reason is that you are providing value and you are writing authentically. You are the expert. Be the expert. Let your knowledge and authority shine through.
It’s ok to mention or imply the benefits too. People want to learn, be inspired, be entertained, etc. And the more that you can show them the benefits of what they are reading, and remind them along the way, the more they will read.
Images are important, especially the featured post image.
What kind of featured post image works best? Any image that grabs attention and creates interest. What I mean by this is that you want attention but not irrelevant attention.
The headline will then help close the deal to get them to take action and click.
Images inside your post can also be used. Especially when showing an example of something or highlighting a feature. A visual can help. I’ll also use them occasionally to emphasize a point, like below. That doesn’t mean that every post needs images in the body. Use images sparingly.
Remember that sex sells, so you might as well incorporate some of that sexiness into the formatting of your blog posts to make them more readable.
Don’t forget to mix it up every now and then. Every post shouldn’t use the same format.
The great part about blog writing is that it’s not a closed book test, in fact, you can use a cheat sheet. You can refer to this post at any time to remember the specifics or to get a refresher.
Brian is an Inc. 500 Entrepreneur, who built the 25th fastest growth marketing and advertising agency in America. Brian is an advisor to many startups and mentor to many entrepreneurs. He is a columnist at the world’s top publications. Brian is the Founder of Influencive and the Founder at BDE Ventures.