Is your website bounce rate too high?
Are you struggling to engage readers on your blog?
Well, you’re not alone.
According to a study done by Jacob Nielsen, the average website visitor is likely to only read about 20 percent of the text on a web page or a blog post.
Most of us get bombarded with content everywhere we go. We’re no strangers to click-bait blog posts with useless information. That’s why we make snap decisions and decide within 15 seconds if a website is valuable to us.
Luckily, there’s a way you can engage readers and get them to keep coming back for more of your content. It’s simple. All you have to do is to create blog posts that are better than your competitors.
Here’s how you can do it.
Step 1: Engage readers with a catchy headline
Did you know that 80 percent of your followers and readers never make it past your blog post headlines?
Well, that’s why your headline is the most important text in your entire blog post.
It’s crucial that you keep your headlines short and sweet. Don’t give away too much. The job of your blog post headline is to get people to visit the page, not to summarize the entire blog post.
You can use a tool like CoSchedule Headline Analyzer to craft effective and powerful titles, and also run A/B split tests on your blog post titles to figure out which headlines work the best. You can get that job done with the Title Experiments Free plugin.
Step 2: Hook your readers with a killer first paragraph
Believe it or not, humans have an even shorter attention span than goldfish.
As you can imagine, the first few seconds a reader spends on your blog post play an important role. It’s that first paragraph of your article that will help readers decide whether or not they should keep reading or move on.
The key to getting your readers hooked is to write a great opening sentence that both arouses their curiosity and excites them to read more. You can do this by asking a question (like the opening line of this post) or promising a solution to a problem.
Step 3: Follow the three-sentence rule
The three-sentence rule is more of a writing guideline than a rule. You don’t have to follow it, but in order to improve readability you should give it a try.
The point of this practice is to keep your paragraphs no longer than three sentences. This helps improve readability and allows you to avoid clutter in your blog posts.
If you were to visit a successful blog, such as Copyblogger, you’ll notice this practice in action. It’s all about providing a great user experience.
Step 4: Use lots of images and graphs
When in doubt, add more images.
As it turns out, images add more than a bit of color and style to your articles. Studies show that blog posts with lots of images tend to get 94 percent more views than plain text blog posts.
Don’t hold back when it comes to images. There are plenty of great websites where you can find high-quality stock photos for free. Use them. You can also create unique infographics and charts using free tools such as Infogram as well.
Step 5: Keep things short and precise
Keep your writing concise. Avoid filler words and paragraphs.
While you write jargon-free short sentences, it’s also important that you use simple words that precisely deliver your point without dragging your readers along the entire blog post.
You should typically use a conversational writing style in your blog posts. Avoid using fancy dictionary words. You’re not writing an essay for a college exam.
Write like you’re speaking to your best friend. It’s the best way to connect with your readers on a more personal level.
Step 6: Don’t be afraid to write opinionated posts
A common mistake most bloggers make is trying to write blog posts without offending anyone. If you try to please everyone, it won’t get you too far.
Instead, express your opinions freely. Take a side. Stand by your beliefs.
Writing opinionated articles will show the world what you stand for and it will allow you to create a loyal following for your blog with like-minded people. These followers will always come back to your blog for more of your valuable content.
Over to you
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert blogger, you should always try to have fun blogging.
Don’t get paralyzed by trying to be a perfectionist. Experiment with different content, writing styles, and layouts to find the sweet spot that engages readers and drives your blog toward success. Just keep on blogging!
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About the Author:
Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site. With over 10+ years of experience, he’s the leading WordPress expert in the industry.
Syed is also the founder of several popular software companies such as OptinMonster, WPForms, MonsterInsights, and others that help small businesses grow & compete with the big guys. His software runs on over 3 million websites serving billions of impressions every month. You can learn about his suite of companies at the Awesome Motive website.