04.21.2011

Simple Ways to Increase the Value of Your Blog Content

Statistics tell us that 8 out of 10 visitors of your blog assess its value six seconds after the page loads. If it doesn’t grab their attention within that time, your Google Analytics might increase, but your content would have failed.

How to make your content more appealing

  1. Catch their eye early on. Those first six seconds are like a job interview – the impression you make then is next to impossible to change later. This is why you need to make sure that your readers’ attention is captured as soon as the page loads. The easiest way to do so is with a headline that stands out. Consider the content of the heading carefully. It has to be interesting enough to make the visitor want to read the rest of the article, yet not reveal all the contents of the post. Good, professional site design also plays a role in holding visitors’ interest.
  2. Tell them a story. Once you have their attention, you need to keep it throughout the post. To do that, you need to find your voice and tell them a story. A dry list of facts works in certain situations, but stories are far more engaging. One example of a story that can increase the value of your content is a case study. Case studies are relatable and illustrate your point more clearly than summaries of facts. Whatever post format you choose, it has to be memorable and make the reader want to come back to your blog. A story is the best way to retain – and sometimes even entertain – your readers.
  3. Stay relevant. However, it is quite easy to stray off your point when you’re writing a story. Your readers found your blog because they were looking for certain keywords and they expect the content to be related to those keywords, not mention them in passing. The purpose of your blog posts is to deliver a promised outcome. For example, they can be tutorials, analysis, step-by-step guides, or even infographics. Do tell a story, but don’t waste your time on flowery language and pointless descriptions. It’s a blog post, not a novel, after all.
  4. Consistency is key. Relevance often goes hand-in-hand with consistency. Working to a template can help your readers navigate your website easier and retain them as a result. Make sure not to stray too far from the template and/or framework to which your readers have grown accustomed. This consistency is a great step towards building your own brand which your audience can recognize and follow.
  5. Visual content. Images and videos are an excellent way to diversify your content, particularly if it is mainly text-based. Provided that the visual content is used as an addition to your text posts and is relevant, it does a very good job of attracting a greater audience. How-to videos, for example, are a good way to illustrate the expertise that you write about in your posts, and to give you more credibility with your readers. Photographs of your product are also much more preferable to lengthy descriptions. And the popularity of infographics shows no sign of slowing.
  6. User-friendly. No matter how well-written and well-illustrated your content is, it won’t matter if the layout is messy and the user experience is unsatisfactory. If you don’t have design experience, hiring a professional would be a great investment. People use the Internet in order to find information that can be easily accessed and read – a badly designed blog that’s poorly laid and frustrating to navigate not going to win you long-term fans.
  7. Freebies. People love free content and giveaways. If you are unable to host a giveaway of a physical product, you can make your how-to videos and infographics available for free download, or available for download after registration.

Takeaway points

  1. You are uniquely qualified to offer valuable content to your audience – you just need to make sure that you keep them interested long enough for them to appreciate it.
  2. Relevant content delivered in a consistent way is a simple, but effective solution to attracting and retaining readers.
  3. Layout is important and so are images and videos – but keep it relevant.

Action steps

  1. In your next post, try to incorporate at least three of the above points.
  2. Create one or two blog templates that you will use for every post you write. Feel free to use ours.
  3. Shoot a video or take some photos/create an infographic; brand it with your website address and logo, and make it downloadable.

Photo credit: amy via Flickr.com / CC BY-NC 2.0




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