Are your blog posts not getting read or shared? Discover 11 key ingredients of a compelling blog post that will get read and shared by your target audience.
So, You Want to Write a Persuasive Blog Post!
It seems we have become a world of bloggers! People are writing and posting new content all the time. But how much of that content gets read? The unfortunate truth is not many of them. You see, with all those posts, you need to work much harder to create a compelling blog post that rises above the digital noise! Only posting for the sake of posting will get you nowhere. If you want to write a compelling blog post, you must work at it.
Many people simply post something without giving it much thought. And that generally creates an unappetizing mess! Imagine you are planning a great meal. Something to really wow your friends, or impress that new date! Would you just grab anything left in the fridge and throw it together in a frying pan? Of course not! You would plan the entire meal carefully. Once you have the recipes, you would shop for the best elements. And you would slave over a hot stove, following your carefully selected method to the last detail.
The problem is that most people spend more time planning their Sunday dinner than their next blog post! And that is just not going to work! If you want to create a persuasive blog post, you need to plan. Just like preparing a gourmet meal requires a recipe, elements, prep, and cooking time, a compelling blog post needs planning. To help you get started, here are some essential elements of a compelling blog post. Think of them as your recipe for success!
11 Key Elements of a Compelling Blog Post
Being authentic is the most important thing you need to remember if you want to create compelling blog posts! It does not matter if you are a veteran blogger or just starting. You are not going to write persuasive copy if you are not authentic. Don’t mimic the style of another blogger simply because they have a lot of readers or subscribers. You will appear as a fake, and any chance of you creating a compelling blog post just went out the window. Let your passion take over and become your voice. It will make your content much more engaging, I promise! The easiest way to create a compelling blog post is to write it as you speak.
An Attention-Grabbing Headline
A strong headline is essential! Your headline is the first and perhaps only impression you will make on your readers. Therefore writing great headlines is vital to creating a compelling blog post. David Ogilvy, often considered the Father of Advertising, had this to say: “The headlines which work best are those that promise the reader a benefit.” What problem are you solving for your readers? What benefit does your post provide? Make sure to state that in your headline!
A Powerful Opening
You just grabbed your reader’s attention with a compelling headline. The last thing you want to do is to follow that with a lame opening. It is like inviting someone to visit you, and slam the door in their face as they approach. Wrong approach, folks! You want to capture your reader’s imagination and pull them deeper into your content, the meat of your blog post. To do that, you have to capture their imagination, not bore them to death! It pays to spend time on this part. Copywriting legend Eugene Schwartz would sometimes spend entire weeks on just the first 50 words!
Using Persuasive Words
You are most likely writing with a specific purpose in mind. After reading your blog post, you want your readers to take some sort of action. To make that happen, you need to use powerful and persuasive words! Certain ‘power words’ have a more significant influence on the decision-making process than others. To write a compelling blog post, you need to learn more about persuasive words and how to use them. You need to understand why these words are convincing and how to use them in a context that makes sense for your audience and your business.
Writing Effective Sentences
Unless your post is simply a short bullet list, it will consist of sentences. Everyone seems to be clear on that. After that, things get a bit muddled. Folks, this is not rocket science! Simply put, if you want to write a persuasive blog post, you need to write convincing sentences! That doesn’t mean that your sentences have to be lengthy or use long words. That can work against you! What it does mean is that your sentences have to say the right thing! Think about what you are going to say, and how you are going to say it, instead of just saying something.
Writing a compelling blog post means keeping your readers interested in it. Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? So why are so many readers abandoning posts after the first few lines? You lost their interest! Bullet points are a great way to keep people reading your blog post, articles, or other content. But don’t make them sound boring, too long, or have too many of them! Instead, you need to create bullet points that keep your blog post readable. That means keeping them simple by combining brevity with promised results.
Creating Headlines and Sub Headlines
Have you ever come across a post that was just endless text? Did you read all of it? Most likely, you didn’t! Large blocks of text are incredibly unfriendly to readers. You need to understand that most people don’t read a blog post; they scan it. If you want to keep your reader engaged to the end of your blog post, you need to break it up into smaller chunks. Bite-sized pieces work a lot better, trust me! To create a compelling blog post, you need to use subheadings or images to make long-form content more comfortable to read. Think of subtitles as mini-headlines that compel your reader to continue.
Using Striking Images
Humans are hardwired to follow visual clues. Therefore images are a great way to break up your blog post into smaller chunks. But not just any image! Little, blurry photos are not going to do any good. The web has become high-resolution, so your images need to be as well. Choose the best possible high-quality photos that illustrate the point you are making in your post. You should use at least one image per post, but more images are better than fewer images. Be sure to use one image as your featured image as well as your primary or title image. If you are unable to take your pictures, consider using stock images, or engage the services of a professional photographer.
Telling a Seductive Story
Everyone loves a good story! Humans communicate in patterns that we call storytelling. Any great book or movie begins with a character facing a situation. That situation becomes more urgent until the main character takes action to resolve it, which hopefully leads to a happy ending. If you want to write a compelling blog post, you need to follow the same approach. Think of your blog post as your marketing story. You will need the main character, a goal or obstacle to overcome, a happy ending, and a moral to tie it all together. Need more ideas? Head to your local library and check out a few books!
Keeping Your Readers Engaged
Does this sound familiar, you are watching a movie, and suddenly an unexpected event has you at the edge of your seat? This method is called a ‘cliffhanger’ and is a common practice to tie a story together by using emotions. A persuasive blog post connects with the reader on an emotional level. It is what keeps your reader interested in your blog post or story. Some bloggers think of cliffhangers as a means of seducing the reader to keep them engaged. And keeping your readers engaged is one of the main reasons you want to write a compelling blog post, isn’t it?
Have a Strong Ending
The goal of writing a compelling blog post is to take your reader on a journey. You want to provide an enjoyable and informative trip from beginning to end. But many blog posts simply end, almost as they ran out of things to say. And that is hardly a strong ending. The key to writing a persuasive blog post is a successful ending. To do that, you need to understand precisely where you are going to take your reader before you write a single word!
Creating Your First Compelling Blog Post!
OK, now that you know the essential elements of a compelling blog post, you can start implementing and adding them to your posts. I outlined the necessary steps you need to follow. Simply adjust them to your blog or business.
One of the great things about business blogging is that you most likely already have much content; you simply have to create a compelling blog post out of it. One way of doing that is to use a conversation about your product or service. Record the conversation and use it as a blueprint for a blog post.
Take Advantage of Unexpected Opportunities!
Keep your eyes open for unexpected blog topic opportunities. I decided to write this post after having several clients ask me about how to write a persuasive blog post. I thought about what I would tell them and then wrote that down. A bit of editing and voila, a compelling blog post!
So what will it take for you to start writing a persuasive blog post? Maybe you are already keeping an active blog. In that case, you may only need to make a few minor tweaks based on our essential elements. Think of it as adding your touch to a great recipe.
If You Are Just Starting Out
If you are just beginning to write a blog for your business, it may take you a bit longer. But don’t be scared; writing a persuasive blog post is not that scary, and it can be fun. Start with our essential elements. What appeals to you most? Start there, and build on that. Nobody said you had to master this overnight; next Monday will be just fine!
Of course, some of you would prefer to fall off a roof before writing a single word! I am not making this up; we did have a client like that. I like to write, but many folks don’t. Don’t worry; you can still get all of the benefits of a compelling blog post. You just have to hire a copywriter or blogger to do it for you.
I also recommend that you hire a professional content strategist to get you started. Have them help you create an editorial calendar, a few categories, and topics that are beneficial to your audience, and perhaps even write the first few posts. Once you have a strategy and editorial calendar, it will be easier for a copywriter or guest blogger to keep blogging for you.
Are You Creating Effective Blog Posts?
Are you blogging for your business or product brand? How is that going for you? What obstacles are you facing, and how do you overcome them? Do you have anything to add to our essential elements of a compelling blog post? Please leave your comments below so our audience can benefit as well, and grab our feed, so you don’t miss our next post! And help your audience become better bloggers themselves by sharing these essential elements of a persuasive blog post with them!
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