You’re publishing the content, but for some reason it’s not translating into real concrete engagement. There’s got to be something you’re missing, some trick you’ve overlooked that if you just find will turn the tables in your favour, right?
There’s so much information out there on blog writing and copywriting that we often fall for the idea that one piece of advice or free ebook will solve all our problems. The reality is, though, that sometimes we just need to go back to the drawing board and revisit the simple but absolutely essential blog writing basics.
1. Forget the frosting, clarity is key
To expand on that point, there are a lot of blog writing tips and tricks for maximising results and improving your content quickly. But as this insightful post from CopyBlogger points out, for most content, they can be a lot like adding a great-tasting frosting to a poorly made cake.
Before doing any of that, things need to make sense. Your content needs to be simple and clear enough to be able to be digested. You need to know who the ideal reader is, what promises you’re making them, and what key information you need to get across to deliver on those promise.
You can do all of this by spending less time actually writing and more time planning your content. Using the questions above, create a basic structure that helps you better understand your audience and makes your content more aligned to their preferences and needs.
2. The power of asking questions
We ask and answer questions all day long. But how many of them are actually thought provoking enough to force you to stop, tilt your head to the side, and say, ‘hmm, I don’t know?’
As you can see, that was an example of question that is a little bit different. First, it’s not a closed question that has a single yes or no answer. And second, it doesn’t presuppose that I know the answer but rather takes a good hunch and common experience and politely inquires about it.
These types of questions inspire our innate curiosity about the world, opening a sense of wonder or doubt that we need to satisfy in what’s called in psychology as the Zeigarnik or open loop effect. Such questions also often get us to think about ourselves and our experiences — something we all love to do.
3. Spend more time on the headline
No matter how good your idea or how epically enthralling the content, if the headline of a post doesn’t inspire people to act, then it might as well remain with all the other drafts and never be published.
Everyone knows a good headline is blog writing basics 101, but this can lead to people falling into the trap of making their headline sound so generic and ‘click-baity’ that it ends up appealing to no one. Keep your headline grounded but also enticing by asking yourself, for every piece of content: who will benefit from it, how does it help them, and what makes it so special.