- January 18, 2018
- Posted by: seo@bank
- Category: Blogs, Content Marketing
What’s the point of writing if people aren’t going to read it? Or share it? Here are 15 top tips that will get people to read through your content and want to share it, today…
1. Have a strong opening
This is the number one thing you can do to get people to read your content. If you don’t get their attention early on, why would they bother learning what else it is you have to say?
Use the tricks of the trade to get their attention. Make a bold statement, ask an active question. You can make promises, for example – this could be the most valuable 10 minutes you spend today!
This also works for your Title tags too! You can ensure you have a strong emotional title tag by using the #1 Headline Analyzer from Co-schedule. Its helps get more posts read and gets traffic to your blog.
You can even use repetition: transform your writing, transform your content – transform your business!
You can use exaggerated language – but don’t try to sell people snake oil. There’s no point building something up if there is no value. If you read the rest of this blog, you will see that the claims above are justified.
Oh, you can also challenge people to read on – that works too!
2. Have a lot of white space
Make sure there’s a lot of white space in your article. Some blogs actually have a policy of putting each sentence on a new line. That’s not necessary, but each bit of information should have its own space to be digested by the reader.
The benefit of making sure that you write in short paragraphs is that it breaks your ideas down into short, digestible chunks. People can often skim past large chunks of text – but will read pages and pages if they only have to tackle a little bit at a time.
People are also consuming more media on mobile devices. What might seem like a short paragraph compared to a book can take up the entire real estate of a smartphone.
By having white space, you are also making it more likely that people will read what you have written, no matter which device they are using it on. Here is a complete write up on how to create white space with CSS in your wordpress site.
3. Make use of lists
If you break your article down into a list, it’s another way of making it more approachable. It also gives the people reading it a clear indication of the purpose of each section.
Even if you are writing longer paragraphs, you still need to have a topic sentence and concluding sentence in each paragraph. Lists put that topic sentence in a very clear and readable way.
People also like lists. A top 10 list can contain just as much content as a long form article. Lists allow people to skim through the points and then look at the pieces that interest them.
4. Use bullet points
In the body of your writing, there are times when you will want to write a list. That can be in a post, in a blog, in an article and sometimes even in an advert. They tend to be long, run on sentences. Converting that list into bullet points makes the individual points easier to digest, and refer to. It also avoid confusing comma, colon and semicolon use (and misuse).
This means people will pay more attention to your content and you can use it in all forms of writing for:
|You can use box-outs, pictures and GIFs to break up the flow of the page and maintain interest.|
Like This One….
5. Should you ask questions?
Using active questions is a great way of engaging people. If people see a question, they will want to read on to find the answer. It’s also a good way of rephrasing the focus of that section, and making people take a step back to think.
So how do you write a good question?
It has to be something that people actually want an answer to. Making the heading of every section a question isn’t likely to get people’s attention and make them read on.
6. Talk directly to your audience
First person when you write as yourself, third person is when you write about someone else: he, she or they. For blogs, you should use direct address – second person, if you will. Direct address means that you use the word ‘you’ a lot. You are directly focusing on the audience, and your attention is on them – rather than yourself.
7. Be present
You should be using the present tense, right now! You shouldn’t have used the past tense. The past tense describes things that have happened, while the present tense describes things that are happening in the moment. The present tense is more engaging, more exciting and more direct.
8. Be active
Use the active rather than the passive voice. The active voice means that you are doing things – the passive voice means that things are being done to you:
- When you write, you will excite the reader by being active.
- The reader will not be as excited by your writing using the passive voice.
The first is active, the second is passive. There are places for each – but the pace is quicker using the active voice, and will make people read on more than the passive voice does.
9. Be informal
When you are writing, try and be friendly and approachable. You may know a lot more about the subject that people who are reading it (you may not). It doesn’t mean that you have to rub it in their faces.
The correct way to write in order to get the attention of your audience is something
that many people attempt but most get wrong. One needs to be professional while
still imparting the requisite knowledge that forms the intrinsic purpose of the writing.
OK, so the example above isn’t wrong – but it’s not the easiest thing to read. A more conversational tone with more accessible vocabulary means that more people will be able to access and understand your ideas.
You’re not dumbing down, you’re ‘accessing up’!
10. Have a clear purpose
In everything you write, you need to make it clear what it is you are trying to accomplish. In this blog, it has hopefully been clear from the title, and the list subheadings what the purpose of the entire article and each of the different sections is.
If people can see what your writing is for, then there’s a greater chance that they will read it.
11. Outline a clear benefit
It should be clear what the benefit of your writing is to the people reading it. If you’re writing an advert, then you make it clear what the audience will get out of buying your product or service.
Create Clear Call to Actions
If you’re writing a blog, then you need to make it clear from the start what the benefit will be to people who invest their time in reading the whole article. At the top of this article, it said ‘Read these tips and you will instantly be able to make your content more readable.’ That was a great call to action – but it also happens to be true.
Even if people know all these points already – taking time out to make sure they are still covering all the bases will help their writing. If some people have never really considered tense, person or voice before – then their online writing will improve.
State a benefit that’s a bold claim, but also one that can be backed up. People don’t like being tricked by clickbait, so make sure you have something of value to back up that click.
12. Front load your message
If you are writing an advert on Facebook – you should pay attention to the first 90 characters or so.
On a mobile feed, that represents the top two lines of writing. Two lines is short enough that people will read it without thinking – go onto a third line and they may skip past. Also, if you use something like Facebook’s audience network, the first 90 characters are all that people will see in an in-app add or interstitial.
Even if you’re not writing on Facebook, or Twitter – you should hook your audience in with an interesting first sentence that will make them read on. You should also rear load your message – and finish with a strong ‘hook’ that people will remember if they keep reading.
If you hook your audience, your business will be stuck in their head long after they’ve read your content.
13. Be quotable
Another way for people to share your content is to make it easy for them to share and post to social sites and other web 2.0 sites. Making quotes that are easy to share is a great way to get your content seen.
Here is an example…Learn 15 Pro Tips to Be a Better Content Marketer @SEOBANK.ca Click To Tweet
If you’re writing well, then there should be lots of opportunities for quotable content with the topic sentence at the beginning of every section, and also the concluding sentence. Look at the beginning and end of each of the sections and you’ll see what I mean.
Except for this one – this isn’t a good sentence to quote on Twitter 😉
14. Make it easy to share
If you want people to share your writing, then you should make is so they can do it without much effort. You should have links to social media when you are writing a blog – ideally in a bar that’s present wherever they are in an article.
If you want what you write to be shared,
make it easy for people to share it.
That can mean doing things like:
- Making it bigger
- Change the formatting
- Put it in bold or italics
- Add a plugin that means you can post the quote directly to a social media platform
We use a LOT of social media tools to help us gain victory over search and social, but one of my all time favorites is Social Warfare, which is providing the share buttons on the left hand side of this blog (Feel Free to Share this article Now, Thanks!) and the “Click to Tweet” button above.
Also, you can share things about yourself to make the points that you are making even more relevant. I have written millions of words that have been published on blogs and on social media, and it’s all about making a genuine connection.
I am not a robot, I am a person…
I find that people sometimes forget that there’s someone sitting at the computer, typing these words with a rapidly cooling cup of coffee in front of them – that they can contact and talk to if they have questions. I’m happy to help. Remember, when you write for shares you need to share something of yourself too. Give of yourself.
15. Check your work
There’s nothing that can stop people reading quicker than bad writing.
This sentence look its not reallty bad but i think people find hard it to read
then they stop and if its ever going to end they wonder.
See What we Mean?
Thank you for making it through that deliberately badly written sentence. It wasn’t that much fun, was it? Use something like Grammarly or Hemingway to check your writing. Read through what you’ve written before you post it – and get a fresh set of eyes to look over it if you can. You don’t want people to miss out on things that could really help them because of bad spelling or grammar.
Using these tips will help you to get more people to read what you have to say – and make it easier for them to share it. When it’s easier for people to read what you have to say, it’s easier for them to make a genuine connection with you.