You’ve put in hours of blood, sweat and tears writing that next new blog post for your site. It’s a perfectly crafted piece of content. It’s something your target audience will lap up. You feel like you’re giving the fans exactly what they want. Then it goes live and… nada. There’s no traction at all. Where are the visitors? What have you done wrong? How do you get more readers to your content?
Blog posts take a lot of time and effort to write, and it can be incredibly exhausting to sink hours into a post that goes virtually nowhere. Believe us, every content writer has been there at one point or another.
But there are some really simple solutions! Getting new visitors to read your blog doesn’t take as much legwork as you’d expect. A few small tweaks and changes will get your readership up in no time. Heed our helpful advice and bigger audiences will be coming your way before you know it!
The Queen is Dead: Headlines Count
Let’s start from the top – literally. You need to capture your audience from the word “go”. Or the word “how”. Or whatever word your title starts with, really. That headline title is the first impression, the preview, the bait to get them hooked. It’s no good having ten paragraphs of top quality writing when the title is bland AF – no one will see the rest!
Make it fun, make it funny, make it intriguing, and above all, make it factual. Clickbait can be great (here’s a rundown on all you need to know re: the Buzzfeed special) but when that’s all you’ve got, it’s as good as having an enticing window display and nowt special in the shop.
A couple of starting points for a good, attractive headline: sum up what you plan to achieve in the post in a short, punchy format. Ask the question you plan to answer or give us a call to action. “How to do *insert thing here*” is a great one, as is “X ways to do *thing*” – which you can probably tell from the title of this post. There’s something about knowing what’s to come, especially when it’s a set number of subparagraphs, that the audience will feel enthusiastic about consuming.
Get it on The Goog: Make it SEO-friendly
Allow us to get a *teeny* bit technical now. If you don’t know what SEO is, don’t fret. It’s not a scary term, even if it does conjure up ideas of high-tech social media-savvy knowledge.
SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and it basically means how well your post can do on search engines like Google and… do people use other search engines these days? Bing? Ask Jeeves?
For example, if the aim of your post is “get more readers to your content”, you’ll probably want to include that line at least two or three times in the body of your blog, like we’ve done just there. When someone searches that term in their search engine of choice (cough*google*cough), it’ll be more likely to appear higher up in search results if the SEO title is mentioned several times.
What will also increase the post’s visibility is related words – in our case, generic words like “audience”, “blog post”, and “writing” are important ones we would want to hone in on. There are plenty of tools out there that can help you when it comes to the wonderful world of SEO – our choice is currently “Surfer SEO”. Be mindful, though, as these tools are not the absolute bible for what you need to write. Jamming your post full of keywords with little regard to making sense may damage your readability, and could even negatively impact your SEO score.
The takeaway of this is to watch out: Miss SEO is a petty little beast, and she can both help and hinder you.
Keep it Real: Readability Matters
It’s not just about what’s on the outside, of course. Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to judge a book by its cover?
Once you get your audience onto the post with an attractive title and spot-on search engine targeting, the next step is to make the content something they want to read!
If you’ve relied too heavily on appeasing the SEO gods, you’ll end up losing your readers in trails of buzzwords and jargon.
Readability is so important, although you might not think it is given our current climate of maximising clicks. We’re all about informality in our tone of voice, and we’d recommend keeping yours as human as possible, too. Read more about the benefits of a human TOV in our related blog, here.
Get 👏 to 👏 the 👏 Point: Conciseness is Key
If you want to take the readability to the next level, the best way is to consider turning your article into a list. Bullet-pointed or numbered lists attract casual readers who want to get as much out of the post as possible in a limited time. Popularised by Buzzfeed, the idea of a “listicle” blog post got really big a couple of years ago, and while it has fallen into oversaturation, we do think there are lessons to be learned within the format.
Think about your own reading habits! If you’re searching for an answer online, odds are you’re not going to pause your day to read through an essay to find it. This is why we all hate the life stories provided at the beginning of every online recipe.
There are other benefits to bullet-pointing, too. If you’re lucky, Google might snap it up and spotlight it as a featured snippet.
In summary (and to prove our point):
- Bullet points are good
- They create an easily scannable list to quickly convey ideas
- You can easily feed bite-sized chunks to your audience
- You’re more likely to get the article linked as a featured snippet on Google.
Bring it to the Socials: Post it Across Social Media
Once you’ve got the article at its absolute best, it’s time to maximise your views and show it off across your socials. While it sounds simple, making sure you promote your blog in the right ways pertaining to each social media platform can see a huge uptake in readers, or the opposite if handled incorrectly. Focus on tailoring your posts to each platform:
- Facebook – can be a little heavier on text, feature a series of images and a link. Maybe include a question to incite discussion among followers, and follow through by liking and commenting on responses. This can be a great way to get dedicated readers and followers to your site!
- Instagram – image-based, so make the pic a big deal! Light on text, plenty of hashtags in the first comment (not in the post itself) and put the link in the bio – it won’t work in the body of the post!
- Twitter – light on text (280 characters, remember!) and can include links. Up to four images can be included and are recommended – anything to make it stand out on the ever-changing timeline.
- LinkedIn – can be similar to Facebook, but remember that the TOV here tends to be a little more formal. It’s full of working folk. It’s kind of the web’s business district; if the internet was London, LinkedIn would be Canary Wharf.
Amongst everything else, just persevere. Long-form writing can be exhausting, time consuming and a pain to get around to when you have many tasks on your plate (just ask the author of this post). In the long run, it *is* worth it! It’s incredibly important to have content on your site, no matter what type of page, brand or company you’re running. Once you’ve got a wealth of content online, you can start to reap the rewards when traffic is being generated to your site with minimal day-to-day effort on your behalf. You’ll truly feel the payoff when you get a horde of new readers to your blog, and in creating a community of blog readers, you can improve loyalty to your company, brand or site!