When it comes to creating content and writing blog posts, it’s important to engage your audience from the start. Why? Because attention spans can be as short as eight seconds.
But when done right, content can turn readers into loyal followers, position you as an expert in your niche, and even skyrocket the number of new people that visit your site.
If you’re anxious about finding the right techniques and strategies to help — don’t be! It’s easier than you might think.
What makes a blog post engaging?
Blog posts can do more than just provide information. They can also deliver an experience — the “ah-ha!” moment of learning something new, the thrill of a suspenseful tale, or the emotional ups and downs of an inspiring story.
Engaging content keeps the user in mind throughout the entire piece. Success might be achieved through images or graphics, interactive elements, or simply thoughtful language.
Six ways to make your writing more engaging
1. Choose a topic based on your audience
Before you start writing, it’s important that you nail down the topic and who you’re creating it for. Ask these questions:
- Who is the ideal reader of this blog post?
- What questions do they have around the topic I’m considering?
- What information would be the most helpful for them?
- Can I provide something that people will find interesting even if they don’t know me?
- Can I offer a new perspective or share knowledge that isn’t commonly known?
By getting into the head of your ideal reader, you’ll be more likely to grab attention and keep them engaged throughout the post.
2. Write compelling headlines
Whether your readers see your post on social media, a search engine, or an email newsletter, a good headline makes them click and read more. Think of your headline as an “elevator pitch” to gain their interest — you want it to be clear, enticing, and informative.
One common strategy is to include numbers: “Eight One-Pot Recipes for Busy Families.” People love numbers (you can find stats for almost anything) and they help fulfill all three of your objectives. They’re both clear and informative about what readers can expect and they’re enticing because people want to know what’s on the list!
In a post about nonprofit fundraising, WooCommerce suggests using specific or interesting numbers. They seem more legitimate and peak curiosity further. Certainly there can’t be exactly ten tips for everything, right?
Consider including action words like “Achieve,” “Discover,” “Break Through,” or “Experience.” This gives readers an idea of what they’ll gain from your post.
Look at your previous content to see what worked well in the past. Follow content creators with a similar audience and observe their tactics. Add your own unique flare and be open to experimentation.
3. Make content scannable
Online users typically only read about 20% of the text on a page. With that in mind, how can you grab attention, much less convey the main point of a blog post? By designing content that site visitors can skim to find what they’re looking for.
- Make sure your fonts are easy to read on both desktop and mobile. Consider font size, line height (the spacing between lines of text), and the font family that you choose.
- Break up content into lists and bullet points. This turns your content into easily-digestible pieces of important information that readers can scan and grab in seconds.
- Write smaller paragraphs. When readers see long paragraphs, they tend to skim over them. By breaking your content into smaller chunks, you make it more user friendly, especially on mobile devices.
- Don’t be afraid of white space. White space (blank space between text and images) gives users a chance to breathe and prevents information from being overwhelming.
4. Include visuals
We process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Because of this, visual content is more likely to grab and hold attention, as well as be remembered by your audience.
This is your chance to be creative. Add video tutorials to your blog posts. Design infographics that explain complicated ideas. Include interactive photo galleries or slideshows. Share fun GIFs. Showcase your work with before and after photos. The possibilities are endless!
Of course, images and videos can also slow down your website, so it’s important to implement them the right way. Jetpack offers a variety of features that take all the heavy lifting off of your website server so your posts load quickly:
- Site Accelerator: Include high-resolution photos without slowing down your site.
- Video CDN: Embed ad-free videos without affecting load time.
- Lazy Loading Images: Delay the loading of media on posts and pages until visitors scroll down to where they appear on the page.
5. Suggest related posts
One of the best ways to keep users engaged is by sending them to posts they’re likely to be interested in. If the post they landed on wasn’t quite what they wanted, you can increase the chances they do find what they’re looking for on your site.
As a bonus, increasing page views can have a helpful impact on your search engine rankings. More users finding more of what they’re looking for? It’s a win-win!
Jetpack’s related posts feature sets this all up for you! When you create new blog posts, Jetpack will synchronize, process, and index them automatically without slowing down your site.
6. Make it easy for site visitors to share content
By adding social media share buttons to your website, you increase the chances that your readers share your content with their friends and family, reaching an entirely new group of people with no additional work on your end.
Once you activate Jetpack’s sharing buttons, they’ll be automatically added to all of your blog posts. Readers can simply click a button to share your post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.
How can you tell if your blog post is engaging?
Jetpack Site Stats helps you understand your website traffic and learn which of your posts are most successful. You can access clear, concise data about your traffic throughout different time periods for your site as a whole, or for individual posts and pages. You can also gain key insights about popular times, geographic locations, and search terms — all right in the WordPress dashboard!
By looking at your numbers and data for specific blog posts, you’ll be able to see which ones are the most engaging to your readers. Then you can use those with the best performance to help you brainstorm future posts that best meet your readers’ needs.
Engage with your audience
The key to engaging content is keeping your audience at the center of every choice that you make. What will help them interact with your posts? What format fits their busy lifestyles? What would make reading your posts more fun for them? Answer these questions and you’re well on your way to creating an engaging experience for your readers.