This post is based on episode 78 of the ProBlogger podcast.
The dictionary defines “compelling” as “demanding attention or interest”.
Imagine if people thought your blog was compelling. Imagine if they read one of your posts and then immediately subscribed because they didn’t want to risk missing any more of them?
Well, there are things you can do to make both your posts and your blog more compelling to your readers. And here are 11 tips to get you started.
1. Be useful
Never forget why you started a blog in the first place. Chances are you did it to change people’s lives, whether to inform, inspire, educate or entertain them. So if your post isn’t doing any of those things, don’t publish it.
2. Share your opinion
If you post a bunch of facts about something (especially if the information came from a press release) then your post won’t be all that different from every other post it. But when you share your opinion, you instantly differentiate your post from every other post out there. So try to bring your thoughts and opinions into your posts as often as you can.
3. Cut out the fluff
Before you hit publish, go through your post with a critical eye and remove anything that doesn’t add value. A post should be only as long as it needs to be. As Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said, “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
4. Visualize your reader
When you sit down to write a post, forget that it could potentially be read by thousands of people. Instead, imagine it being read by someone you know well.
And then write for that person.
Writing with a particular reader in mind lets you personalise your content. And chances are most of your readers will think, “Wow. It’s as if they wrote that especially for me”.
5. Make your posts scannable
As much as you’d like to think people will read your post from beginning to end, chances are only a small percentage will do that. Most people scan your content, stopping at the bits of interest to them and then moving on again.
So make it easy for them. Use subheadings, bullet points and other formatting techniques to make your content easy to scan. They may not read every word you write, but chances are they’ll make sure they read every post you write.
6. Work and rework your headlines
How often have you decided to read a post based solely on the content. A great headline can make your post stand out from the crowd and draw readers in. On the other hand, a poorly written headline can have your post blend into the background and be ignored.
Just make sure your headline is related to the content. This is no place for clickbait.
7. Write with passion
If you want your readers to care about your topic and what you’re saying about it then you need to care about it too. There’s nothing worse than reading a post where the author seems more interested in getting it written than what they’re actually talking about.
So show your readers that you’re passionate about the topic. And chances are some that passion will rub off on them.
8. Give your readers something to do next
You’ve written a post full of passion on a particular topic, and now your readers are just as passionate about it. But unless you have a way for them to channel that energy and passion in some way, then it will quickly disappear.
This is the perfect opportunity to ask them to take action and do something. It could be to read other posts you’ve written on the topic. It could be to share their thought in the comments section. It could be to share your posts on their social networks. Or could be to actually take action by buying a product, donating to a cause, or writing a letter to their local politician.
9. Tell stories
Telling stories is an incredible way to connect with your readers. Not only can it make you more relatable (especially if you talk about things you did wrong, and what you learned from them), they will also help your readers remember the information you’re sharing.
10. Give your posts some visual appeal
Gone are the days when readers would put up with slabs of text on the screen. Including an image or two will immediately make your post seem more inviting. And a well-designed infographic will improve the chances of your post being shared.
Writing is like any other activity. The more you practice, the better you’ll become. So keep writing, and look back on posts you’ve written in the past to see how much you’ve improved.
And make sure you read as well, as the two activities are closely linked. As Stephen King says, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot”.
Did I miss anything?
Is there anything you do to make your blog and your posts more compelling for your readers? Let us know in the comments.
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash