Are you struggling to attract readers to your blog or are you finding it difficult to get them to stick around when they do finally make it to your site? Then perhaps your content isn’t as attractive as you might think. Yeah, that is a drag. Fortunately, it’s not all bad news. There are some quick fixes that will make a huge difference to your posts and your audience.
Here we’re going to deal with a few easy fixes that will make an outsized difference to how readable your blog is. You ready? Then let’s get straight to it.
Have an Image
I know, I know, you’re trying to attract people with the quality of your written content. Nonetheless, if you don’t have any image then there is a good chance they’ll never even bother looking at what you’re writing.
That’s not just because we’re visual creatures (though we are) but also because in many social media platforms what people will see of your content is only your title and the picture associated with it. And as people click on links with pictures far more often than on ones without it, you really need an image.
The good news is that it’s not all that hard to get images. Yes, even without stepping all over copyrights and that kind of thing. For example, you can get tons of free images over at Pixabay which are free to use.
Similarly, Google Images has a function whereby you can search based on images that are free to use. After you’ve done a search, just click on ‘tools’, go to ‘usage rights’ and select your poison. Then you’ll have images which you can safely use.
Work on Your Hook
The hook of your text is basically what amounts to your first paragraph. Here you have the chance to hook the reader. If you don’t, then they’ll close your post and move on to other things. Yes, in the past you might have had more time. Unfortunately, we now have the attention span shorter than that of a goldfish. That means you need to get people early on. In other words, in the first few lines.
So how do you do that? There are many ways. You can ask a question that is relevant to the reader, like ‘do you want to lose weight?’ or ‘Are you struggling to attract readers to your blog?’ Another strategy is to use an outrageous statement like, ‘Every mother hates their children’ or ‘The universe lives behind your navel’. Then there is the emotional heart tug, like ‘I cried for days after he left me’ or ‘A life of fame and fortune can be yours’.
Of course, there are other strategies, but these will get you started. If you want to discover more, then just pay attention to how a writer starts any article which immediately pulls you in. If they can do that, then they’ve got a good hook. Analyze it and make it your own.
Note that you can find these kinds of hooks anywhere. They’re in books, magazine articles, research papers and even great Facebook posts. So always pay attention and always strive to use them.
Boost Your Readability
A problem a lot of beginning writers have is that they write texts that are far more complicated than they realize. And the moment people struggle to understand what you’re talking about, you’ve lost them. For that reason, you have to take steps to boost your readability. The first step down that road is to shorten. Shorten what? Well, everything. Shorten your words, your sentences, and your paragraphs, for example.
If a word goes into three syllables you really should start wondering if there isn’t some shorter alternative option you can use. If your sentence is longer than a line, then it might be time to cut into two. And the moment a paragraph is longer than about five lines, you’ll want to think about starting a new one.
A great tool to use to help you with your readability concerns is the Hemingway App. It’s free and though it’s not always on the money, it makes you think about things often enough that if you use it often enough you’ll become a better writer.
To The Point
Many writers spend too much time hemming and hawing. There are many ways they do so. They drift off topic. They use too many conditionals (‘maybe’, ‘perhaps’, or ‘occasionally’) or they don’t start a text with a clear goal of where it’s going. And then there’s the fluff. That’s all the words that don’t add character or to the point you’re making.
All these things are frustrating to readers as it reduces the punch of a piece. For that reason, don’t do them. Start writing a text with its conclusion. Reduce the conditionals to the absolute bare minimum (we know it’s your opinion – that’s why you haven’t included any references) and cut the fluff by cutting away excess words.
Edit it and Then Do it Again
The biggest difference between average writers and great writers is at what stage you’re allowed to see the texts they’re producing. Average writers will ram out a version and throw it up. Great writers will make sure their texts have been edited half a dozen times before you get to see.
That’s because when you edit, you find the little things that don’t work and eliminate them while turning a good turn of phrase into a great one. By going through a text, again and again, that means you’re making your text a little better every.
‘But I don’t like editing’ you mutter. Well, then, unfortunately, you’ll never be a great writer. I’m sorry to have to break it to you, but it’s true. Great writers are great editors. And sure, they might occasionally ram out a piece of text that’s immediately fantastic but that’s largely down to their innate understanding of the written word. And where did they get that? By spending countless hours fighting and struggling with their own sentences, that’s how.
So start editing. It’s the most surefire way to make yourself a better writer in the long run.
The good news is that you can become a great writer. Writing, after all, is something that you learn. It’s a skill that takes time to develop. And that means you can develop it. You just have to make sure that you get a little better every day.
To do that, keep writing, keep trying and keep working. It’s the only way to grow better until eventually, you’ll have them hanging from your lips (or should that be fingertips?).