Theodore Nwangene is a Freelance Writer and on a journey to help bloggers and entrepreneurs build a better and profitable blog, increase visibility and boost their online authority. He is currently writing a Kindle book titled: 21 Writing Hacks: A Cheat Sheet for Writing Compelling Articles That Will Open Doors and Land You Clients.
Who doesn't want to write a blog post that will attract more than a thousand shares?
The thought that the last post you published got no attention is enough to drag you to the mud and compel you to delete your blog because it seems some guys have bought all the social shares and attentions on the internet.
But before you throw your laptop in the trash out of frustration, allow me to tell you something you will find interesting.
Just come closer!
You see those guys whose blog posts consistently receive lots of shares and attention in the blogosphere?
They do not have any special secrets; they only understood that certain ingredients make up a share-worthy blog post, and they always make it a point of duty to embed those elements on their blog posts.
Interestingly, these things are not difficult to implement I mean, they do not require any specialized skill-set, you just have to be aware of them, see their importance, and always use them while writing blog posts you want to attract social shares.
Now, I'm not going to bore you with a long introduction because I understand we all are busy Bees; therefore, I think it's better I get to the main point faster before you finally sink your laptop.
Believe it or not, the headline you use for your posts is more important than the post itself when it comes to attention grabbing.
Over time, the advice about always using a magnetic headline has become a clichÃ© on the internet yet; people are still neglecting this.
Your headline alone is what will bring people to your blog posts, while your introductory paragraph is what will determine if they will stay or not.
I bet if there's any favorite blog you'll visit right now and will not see a post about why you should always optimize your headlines, that tells you how important your headlines is and the kind of role it plays in bringing people to your article.
Research carried out by Copy Blogger found that '80% of readers of readers never make it past the headline of blog posts.'
This means that among ten people that visited your website, only about 4 of them will eventually make it past the headline.
Similarly, Koechley did a research and discovered that 'traffic to contents at Upworthy can vary by as much as 500% simply because of the headline'.
Your headline is the only chance you have to reach a lot of people who have a lot of other things that's bordering them, and who didn't wake up in the morning wanting to care about feminism or climate change, or the policy details of the election," stated Moz.
Now, no matter what you do, always apportion more time for your headline as this will make or break your blog posts.
There are lots of articles being published on the internet on a daily basis with each of them struggling to garner people's attention, therefore; you have to ensure you're not giving your prospective readers a free ticket to go check out your competitor's sites instead of yours.
Obviously, coming up with a headline that sells your blog posts is not easy, it's something that can take up a significant chunk of your time if you've not mastered it, that's why they're lots of helpful tools out there that can simplify the whole process for you.
Once you want to brainstorm for a headline, start by adding the topic you want to write about into this headline tool by portent and then, mix things up with your ideas to further generate a unique headline.
One other tool I cannot do without is the 'Advanced Marketing Institute's Headline Analyzer.' What this tool will do for you is to simply analyze the headline you want to use to determine its Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) score.
For instance, below is the EMV score of the headline of this post you're reading right now:
According to this headline analyzer, anything above 30% is fantastic.
You can start using this tool right now to make crafting compelling headlines much easier for you.
There are particular types of headlines which have proven to work for most popular sites on the internet such as:
Moz recently carried out a search in their quest to determine which type of headline performs better on the internet. They discovered that people prefer number headlines to the other types of headlines.
The screenshot below speaks volume:
Now, a mere check on Buzzfeed homepage will further tell you how good number headlines is. Look at the screenshot below:
Bottom Line: This goes to show us how effective number headlines is in boosting a page's click-through-rate (CTR) I'll, therefore, advise that you try and start using it while thinking of what headlines to use for your next blog post.
The point is to ensure you're not turning your readers off with your headlines. Make it magnetic and inviting enough and they will always stick around.
To create a truly exceptional and epic post, you'll be spending most of your time in this step. Planning your blog posts before writing will also make the writing much easier for you because you will no longer have to think of what to include in the post as everything is already planned out accordingly.
You might decide to skip this and instead, start writing immediately but, the consequence is that you're bound to go often off track and confused.
How do you plan your post?
That's a good question. Now, a good scenario might start with the following:
These and more are the things that go into planning for a blog post and, you need to pay attention to all of them as getting them right actually will make every other thing much easier for you.
At this juncture, it is assumed that you've decided on a magnetic headline for your blog posts and also, planned on how you're going to write it including developed your outline.
Now, the next thing is to write the post itself.
So many things go into creating epic blog posts and, if you did your planning properly, it would help you a lot if not, you will find it difficult at this state. A lot of writers often get overwhelmed and confused at this stage which is why the planning and outlining is highly necessary.
But does it have to be that way? Of cause not.
You just need to follow the things you listed during your planning stage. Answer your reader's questions just as you will like yours answered. It is assumed you already know what problems they're facing and what questions they're asking.
According to Henneke, 'you need to sneak into the minds of your readers. Know exactly what they're struggling with. Understand their feelings of frustration, worry, and despair'.
Your job now is to attend to them in such a way that they'll feel happy, satisfied and rescued after reading your post.
Some of the things to keep in mind while writing your blog post include:
[Part 1] Make it conversational: A lot has been written about this on the internet and, that shows how important it is. The best way to write a perfect blog post is to write as if you're talking to your readers directly. Make use of 'You' and 'your' instead of writing in generic terms.
[Part 2] Add your personality to the post: You don't want your readers to feel 'Oh, same old story' once they go through your first few paragraphs. You need to add your voice to the post, add some human touch to it and make it your own. Let your personality flow throughout the post. You don't have to become someone else before you can write a top-notch content.
[Part 3] Pay adequate attention to your introduction: Your introductory paragraph will either keep your readers reading or make them bounce off upon arriving at your site, therefore, make it interesting and engaging enough.
In one of her recent articles titled: How to Captivate Your Readers: 3 Ways to Craft Irresistible Opening Lines, where Henneke stated that 'writing a good opening means persuading a reader that your post is for him'”you understand him, and you'll share your best advice to help him, guide him, and comfort him'.
Take a look at the screenshot below also to see more views from her:
Bottom line: Your opening lines should be inviting, captivating, enticing and breathtaking, this way, you will be able to hold your readers by the throat and have them consume the entire post without even looking elsewhere.
[Part 4] Punctuation is important: Who have the time to think of punctuation?
Writing alone is daunting in itself. You've not finished thinking about the right words to use, how to structure the post and how to make use of proper sentences let alone, thinking about silly punctuation.
Now, that's where you got it all wrong. Like Lynne Truss rightly said, 'Proper punctuation is both the sign and the cause of clear thinking.'
You need to always be mindful of punctuation marks while writing because; it has a way of influencing your writing voice.
[Part 5] Always close stylishly: Just like your opening line, your closing line equally matters a lot. Your opening line serves as a magnet and aphrodisiac to keep readers engrossed while reading your post, while your closing line will help to energize them and give them good reasons why they should get to work immediately.
Here, you will need to encourage them, make it easy for them to take actions towards what you just taught them. Make them see that it's not a rocket science, that they can do it after all.
If you're able to compel your readers to feel good about themselves after reading your post and also induce them to take action then, you're already a winner, and you should buy yourself a chilled bottle of beer.
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This book will teach you the basic steps needed to become a good writer in no time, I poured my soul into it and, I'm sure you will find it very helpful. As an awesome reader of this blog, I'm giving you this book free of charge. All you have to do is click here!
This is one of the most important aspects of any writing, be it blog posts, an article, a press release or even a book. Editing is one step you should give all you've got yet; a lot of people ignore it.
It's assumed you're done writing your blog post at this point but, don't hit the publish button yet.
A lot of things can go wrong while writing and no matter how talented you are at it, you will make mistakes from time to time.
No one is immune from making mistakes remember, not even you and I.
Therefore, once you're done writing anything, you need to go back and read it to ensure everything is in order. One of the best ways to spot errors is to read the content out Loud to your hearing.
Notice the flow of your voice, do you sound like a boss? If so, you need to change it and instead, be more polite. Your readers do not have time to be bossed around by anybody.
Also, ensure you do not sound like an English Professor, if your readers will have to reach for their dictionary to understand certain words in your blog post then, it's not sufficient.
You need to save them from such stress by distilling your words down to simple English, such that even someone in elementary school will be able to understand.
If you're bad at editing your work then, it will be best to get an editor to do the job for you. You can reach out to Reginald as that's his job.
So we're almost done and, I know you're keen to hit that publish button now but please wait first.
Before you publish, you need to make your post more beautiful, stunning and appealing in the eye.
How do you do that?
Add relevant images and other graphics to your post. Except you leave in a cave, I'm sure you've heard the clichÃ© that 'A picture speaks a thousand word.' Now, don't think that that is just a funny joke, it's not.
Personally, I can't relax and read a blog post without lovely images and graphics. I don't know about you but, it usually looks very awkward and disturbing in my eyes.
Therefore, always endeavor to prettify your blog posts with good images and ensure your formatting is also good enough.
If you've done all these then congratulations, you're now free to release the horse. Go ahead and publish the masterpiece. You've worked so hard for it.
Remember, no matter how stunning and well-written your post is, if no one knows about it, all your efforts will be in vain.
I'm sure you're not writing a post that will only be read by you, your mother and perhaps... Bingo (your Dog).
If you truly desire for people to visit, read, share and also link to that post you worked your ass off for then, you must find a way to take it to them.
There are so many different ways through which you can promote your blog post; you just need to perform a little search on Google about 'Blog post promotion techniques' and, you will be inundated with lots of tips.
However, to make it easier for you, check out the posts below:
One thing I will like you to know is that 'No one is ever born a writer' All the great and talented writers you admire today developed the skill via consistent practice.
You can do anything you want in life if you put enough time and dedication to it. You already have a skilled writer inside of you; you just have to release him, and you will be marveled at what you can do.
It's up to you to decide whether you want to become a professional writer such that your name will always be remembered as that of Steven King or, whether you want to remain a mediocre writer always fighting for attention.
Whichever one you want to be is entirely up to you. Therefore, make an informed decision, start honing your writing skills and soon, you will also become an exceptional writer.