5 tips to create engaging content

5 tips to create engaging content

Most bloggers want to write engaging content. They see it as one of the main reasons for writing a blog – which, of course, is absolutely true!

You want to not only attract readers to your blog, but to engage with them as well. You need to write the kind of content that they would feel compelled to respond to, either in the comments or on social media.

Now of course you know I would prefer to receive blog comments, but any response is worth it. It shows that my readers appreciate what I have written, and have taken the trouble to let me know what they think.

Important part of marketing

You may think that digital marketing is all about getting the attention of the search engines, finding and using suitable keywords, enticing readers to sign up to your mailing list, etc. Well, yes, but one factor that is missing here is engaging content.

And this requires you to really understand both your subject you are writing about, and the readers who will be reading this wonderful engaging content.

And another important element is relevance. Whatever you write in your blog, you need to make sure your readers will always get quality and engaging content that means something to them and they can relate to it.

So below are five factors to consider whether your content is engaging enough on your blog, and what you can do about it.

Compelling headlines

You all know the first thing your readers see is your post’s headline. It needs to stand out, because your readers may not originally see it on your blog. Write it so it captures the attention of passing readers wherever they come across it: social media, blog readers or whatever. And make sure it is suitably compelling and informatively correct.

Let’s look at an example. You might want to write a post called ‘Understanding Your Cat’. Now this title might also be used by many other blogs that cover a similar subject, so would easily get lost in all the blogosphere noise.

So you need to make a difference. You need to look at it from another angle. Suppose you care for a particular kind of cat. Then you could write a headline such as ‘How My Feral Cat Changed My Life’. This would not only be more interesting, but would attract readers who might be intrigued and will want to know more.

Let’s get visual

Imagine coming across a post that is nothing but text. Not only does it appear to be instantly boring (even when it might not be), but also more difficult to read. A wall of just text can be very off-putting and certainly not engaging.

That is because readers react better to posts that contain images. Pictures provide a visual impact that explain the subject better, break up text and help time-poor readers to scan and decide whether a post is worth reading or not.

Try adding in other forms of media. This could be videos, podcasts, screenshots, slideshares, graphs, infographics, click to tweets, etc, which could boost the interest factor.

Feral catIf you are active on Facebook, you may have already noticed that updates with pictures get far more shares and comments than those with only words, or even with a generated link image.

So think carefully about which kind of images will provoke an appropriate reaction from your readers, and combine it with suitable engaging content to get the best effect.

Keep it short

Most readers cannot be bothered to read long posts, unless they are packed full of incredibly interesting information that is carefully laid out for quick and easy scanning with bullet points and subheadings.

But that’s only one answer. Another is to write in a conversational style that flows easily and swiftly. Use the kind of words your readers would also use, so that they will find it easier to relate to what you write about.

Another answer is to use short sentences inside shorter paragraphs. Ideally each paragraph should take up no more than four lines of text. This provides white space on the page that helps the reader’s eye flow down the page.

And focus your engaging content around a call to action, usually relating to a question. If your readers know they can answer it, they will be more likely to respond appropriately.

Getting comments

The main focus of engaging content is to stimulate a suitable response from your readers. The easiest form of reaction is usually based on emotion and how your readers relate to your subject. Another is whether they agree or disagree with what you have written and feel compelled to let you know about it.

To provoke these kinds of responses, imagine how your readers will react when they read your engaging content. What can you say that will entice them to add more information to your post? Have you offered a question they feel compelled to answer? Have you actually asked for their opinion?

If you really understand you readers, you will find it much easier to write the sort of engaging content they would like to read and comment on. They need to feel you are either on their side, or that their contribution will make all the difference to your blog.

Do a little bit more

If you haven’t taken the trouble to really understand your subject, your readers will see right through you and vote with their feet. It certainly won’t do you any harm to research further so you can provide more relevant information in your post.

Readers who feel they have got value for money when reading your engaging content are more likely to respond either on your blog or on social media. Give them something worthwhile to comment about, and they will happily do so.

And it’s very important to focus on good spelling and grammar with proper sentence construction. This will make your post much easier to read. Badly written content that is difficult to understand will certainly not be engaging, however it good the subject may be.

What do you think?

If you can think of any more tips for creating engaging content, let us know in the comment box below. That way we will be educated a bit more and be all the better for it.

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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.
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