Creating online content can be a more difficult task than you might think. You must engage the audience and find compelling topics, as well as consistently provide high-quality information. To truly reach maximum results, you must publish material on a regular basis. And to gain the maximum amount of readers you will need to follow some industry rules.
There are plenty of tools and online resources that offer assistance. And many of them can increase your productivity and save you plenty of time. However, you need to be able to handle the bulk of the work and full understand the process yourself, before you can begin creating top-notch content.
Why You Want to Create Engaging Content
- Because Google will appreciate it. Search engines are able to spot good, original content which will translate into indexing and ranking your content more efficiently.
- Because engaging content will get more shares on social media. Google takes into consideration social signals in order to determine your website’s ranking, so don’t neglect the power of a quality article.
- Because your website will have more returning visitors. Engaging, quality content is appreciated, and if someone who randomly found one of your articles discovered something very useful in it, that person will most likely return for more valuable information.
1. Tell a story
Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways you can engage your audience. You probably tell stories everyday to your friends, family, and your colleagues. So why not use this technique to be closer to your audience?
Stories are known for prompting emotion in order to relate to the audience. There are certain descriptive words you can use. Verbs and adjectives, when used effectively, trigger senses and emotions that make the readers feel like they’re living the story.
You don’t need to make up stories. Every little thing that happened to you (maybe even the morning you start working on an article), you can use as a starter for your storytelling journey. Or something from your past. No matter what story you decide to tell, you have to tell in such a manner that your audience truly connects.
2. Provide solutions for your audience
Your time is valuable. With so many distractions around you and so many tasks to do before the end of the day, the last thing you want is to waste your time reading pieces of content that teach you absolutely nothing.
Treat your audience the way you’d want to be treated. If they click on your article, it means that they hope to find a solution to one of their problems and your headline suggested that you have the answer.
Make sure you come up with solutions to what they’re concerned about and don’t evade the subject.
3. Keep it short and simple
People reading online have shorter attention spans than say a class reading a novel. People want information and they want it fast. So be sure to keep your content short enough to maintain attention, and long enough to provoke thought and intrigue.
Statistic Brain reports that on average only 28% percent out of 593 words are read on any web page. This means majority of the time people do not read every single word included in your content. So make your words count and make your paragraphs within 3-4 sentences.
4. Do your research
Never publish content that has not been fully researched. In today’s digital world, there is plenty of information circulation the Internet. It’s easier than it used to be to complete adequate research, so make the time and the effort and get it done. Or you chance not being seen as professional by your viewers.
5. Be honest and transparent
By being honest and transparent through the content you produce, you will also reveal some of your secrets, which if done strategically, is a major advantage. People love insights that they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to find out.
Being open about how you do, what you do will bring your audience closer to you.
Of course, you don’t have to reveal all of your secrets, but for sure there are some tricks you use that you can share with your readers.
6. Use visual content
If you have a long form article, whether it has more than 1000 or more than 2000 words, images are going to make it easier to read.
If someone clicks on your article and all they can see are endless rows of words, this will overwhelm them and leave them thinking that it’s too much to read.
What you can do:
- Insert images. This will make your article much more readable, because the images will act like a breath of fresh air, and at the same time they won’t feel overwhelmed by the length of the content.
- Make an infographic. Think of a creative way to make an infographic out of one of your blog posts ideas. Because it’s visual, a infographic is much easier to follow, and you also provide your reader less information to read. At the same time, infographics are easily embeddable on social media or on other websites.
- Using presentations. SlideShare is a very popular platform where you can create and upload your presentations. If you don’t have the time, or the resources to create a video, you can combine written content with visual content and create a presentation.
7. Make your articles easy to read
When you have a long form article, it’s important to edit it so that it’s not in bulk. Long paragraphs are hard to read because it requires more focus and extra effort. Since many readers have a short attention span, you will lose them if you don’t format your article so that it’s easy for everyone to scan it and find the most important takeaways.
Here are some of the most used techniques you can use:
- Use bullet points. Or numbers. Or any kind of sign you want when you have a list, or some tips that you want to emphasize. This will make it much easier for the reader to follow what you’re saying (well, writing).
- Bold important keywords. If you want to draw attention to certain key points in your article (and I know you do), then bold those words. That way, when someone reads your article, it will be easy for him to find the most important topics from your post.
- Short phrases. Sometimes, you want to say so many things in one phrase that you get lost, and all of a sudden your phrase has lost its meaning. To avoid these kinds of situations, it’s best to expand one idea at a time. Clear, short, and concise sentences are what everyone wants to read.
- Spaces between paragraphs. It’s best to have 2-3 sentences in one paragraph. Or you can even have one sentence. Spaces make your article easy to scan and the reader won’t feel overwhelmed.
- Use sub-headings. Headings are great to use when you want to section your article into several different parts. This way, your readers will know where to go if they want to read only a certain section of the article. Also, they can be powerful teasers if used correctly to keep the reader’s attention so they read the next section.
8. Calls To Action
Last, but not least, what will engage the most with your readers is the Call To Action.
In the Call To Action (whether you insert it at the end of the article, or in the middle), you need to convince your audience take action. Perhaps you want them to comment on your article, like it, share it, subscribe to your newsletter, or buy one of your products.
If you manage to get your readers to take action, then you’ve successfully engaged them, and by doing that, you have also provided them value, which has become a rare thing these days.
Analytics will be your friend
If you want to know what works for your articles and what doesn’t, tracking your analytics is the way to go. By analyzing the information you have there, you will be able to tell which articles were the most successful and why.
Now that you know how you can write more engaging content, go ahead and apply these tips, and let us know how it went for you.