Five Tips to Make Your Content Engaging

So you think you’re an expert? You probably are. Still, when it comes to sharing content with people by blogging, many experts stumble out of the gate. In fact, author and blogger Gary Vaynerchuk once said that “99.5 percent of the people that walk around and say they are a social media experts or gurus are clowns.”

There are a few reasons.

One, you may know things too well. Case in point: vlogger Hank Green, who uploads videos online with his brother John Green (who happens to be a successful young adult author), recently went to Twitter to note that when he talks to reporters, he’s apt to share more knowledge than necessary that is entirely off-topic (that is to say, he rambles).

Granted, this is when he’s talking to reporters. But many bloggers can suffer from a similar lack of focus. I’ve done this myself. You want to demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about, so you just keep adding superfluous facts and arguments that don’t relate to your thesis.  You think you’re being smart, but you’re only filling space.

Two, you don’t your audience. You may assume readers already know who you are and what you’re trying to say. But in most cases visitors to your blog have know idea who you are. They’re suckered in with a snappy title and then quickly lose interest because what you’re actually writing doesn’t apply to them.

Three, you’re boring. Cue tumbleweeds.

However, there are a few ways to punch up your blog with a little zip and pizzazz.

Focus Your Writing

If you have a tendency to ramble-on or share too much knowledge at once, visitors are going to lose interest. You only have a few seconds to get people hooked on your content and as much as I hate to say it, there are more interesting things on the internet for people to waste their time on. Don’t make visitors work at figuring out what your point is.

A good strategy is to write an outline for what you want to say in your blog posts before actually blogging. This will help to focus your thoughts and cut down on the verbal diarrhea.

Show Who You Are

You need to show people exactly who you are. Write content that matches your business “voice.” It doesn’t even have to be your real voice. Create one that you use for your business. Just make sure that whatever “voice” you’re using is consistent and aligns with your brand. Keep it consistent and keep it engaging.

One way to do this is write as though you’re talking to people face to face. Prospective clients want to hear what a real human being has to say, not something that they can find in an instruction manual.

Post Great Pictures and Videos

Human beings are visual learners. According to Positionly, roughly 46 percent of people say design is the No. 1 criterion for evaluating trustworthiness and 40 percent respond better to visual content over plain text. Content with videos bring three times more links than blogs with plain text.

You don’t need to blow your budget, either. Obviously, you’ll want to be professional, but even the simplest videos and photos can improve your credibility. Plus, adding photos and video is a good way to break up your content and get away from paragraphs of plain ol’ fashioned (and sometimes boring) text.

And, as they say, a picture is worth 1,000 words.

Build Relationships

Writing good content is half the fight. You need to keep your audience’s interest by commenting on other blogs, and engaging  through your social media channels. People tend to react more positively when they feel they are being listened to. So if  you include them in the discussion they will then be more likely to listen to you.

Be sure to share your content often. I like to say Reduce, Reuse and Recycle it. And don’t forget to include calls to action at the bottom of your posts.

Stop Selling

It is better to position yourself as a thought leader than someone who is pushing something on someone. People get turned off by sales pitches. Instead, focus on bringing value to your audience and giving them something worthwhile through your content.

If you’re an expert, stop being boring. Ditch the promo copy and connect with your prospects.

 

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