In the past few years, creating content for the web has become more than just writing. Most bloggers are now trying to bring diverse elements into the equation in order to produce engaging content that makes people spend more time on their sites.
Writing skills should remain your main focus but sometimes you just need a little extra “something” to get people’s attention. There’s nothing wrong with that, though. The internet is full of content, so you need to set yourself apart somehow.
If you read this post, you’ll learn how to spice things up on your blog and publish more engaging content. Check out the following seven writing tricks to make your content a whole lot more engaging.
What is engaging content, and why do you need it?
But first, let’s see why you should care about engaging content.
Engaging content is the idea of combining text with various other elements that get readers hooked and increase their willingness to read through the whole article. It can also include a way of structuring your content so that it looks more appealing to potential readers.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you chose an article over another even though they were both covering the same topic? Maybe you didn’t even notice or ask yourself why, but something about the content of the first one looked more inviting to you. Maybe it was the design or the writing style… or a GIF.
Such small details can often make a difference. But let’s hear why the experts think engaging content matters:
Engaging content generates twice as many conversions as simple content.
It also generates five times more page views.
88% of marketers admit that engaging content is what makes them stand out from the competition.
The truth is, the amount of available web content is overwhelming. No one has the patience and time to read what you have to say unless you say something helpful, offer an interactive presentation, or involve the readers with your content (make them feel like they’re playing a part in your content creation process).
How to create engaging content
What exactly can you do to write engaging content for your followers? We propose seven tactics:
If you publish short-form content, then you don’t really need to rely on visuals. But if you go with a long-form content format (i.e. that has more than 1,000 words), you should keep your readers’ attention alive by including something visual every 200-300 words.
Present the content with an appealing layout
After your text is ready, don’t just publish it as it is. Think of an intuitive layout that could capitalize your post and make your message easier to understand.
As a layout strategy, you can play with many variants of presentations until you find one that fits your type of content.
You can use color backgrounds, columns, borders, buttons, separators between sections, a unique font typeface, underlined words, text-and-image blocks, and whatever else your creativity has in store.
Just do not publish a plain-text blog post. Unless it’s short-form, which would be explainable.
Break text down into short paragraphs and headings
When they see a long article with huge chunks of text, most people feel discouraged to read further. Some of them would look for another article that presents the information they need in a friendlier and more intuitive way.
When you stumble upon an article that uses headings and short paragraphs, you usually find it more readable and, hence, you’re keener to give it a chance.
Even though the overall number of words is the same in both articles, the short paragraphs kind of invite you to read another one, and another one because they give you a feeling of “doable”. Funny, but this is how the human brain works.
The same happens when you read a book. When you see a page full of description versus a page that contains dialogue (or combines the two), your brain kind of prefers the latter because the structure looks more approachable and easier to manage.
Speak in a friendly, informal tone
When you write for the web, the reader wants to identify with you so, unless you’re writing for a scientific magazine or the government’s official website, try to address your readers as if you’re addressing a friend.
Impersonal text tends to be tedious and won’t stick around for long when there’s so much content that speaks directly to the reader. When you’re documenting a story (e.g. a traveling experience), adding a personal touch to it will also gain the user’s sympathy.
It goes without saying that specialized terms that nobody understands won’t do. Be plain, friendly, and informative. That doesn’t exclude supporting your claims with links to the original studies, sources, or statistics posts every time you state a fact.
Add a call to action
Through calls to action (CTA), you’re inviting people to do something you want them to do.
It’s basically copywriting that you can include in your article in order to urge people to share your post, subscribe to your email list, download your eBook, buy a product via your affiliate link, comment on your post, take part in a campaign/challenge, etc.
So feel free to add social sharing buttons, widgets, embeds, and other elements that you want people to notice. Anything that people can react to or interact with counts as engaging content.
Include engaging forms
This trick takes more time on your end because it requires you to create the engaging forms beforehand. So you need to put together some extra work.
By engaging forms, you can think of polls, surveys, quizzes, chatbots, built-in courses, checklists, flip cards, registration forms, payment forms, or just small things that your readers can actively interact with.
These interactive forms will improve your readers’ experiences with your content and will keep them longer on your blog. Let alone the fact that they might be coming back and turn into constant followers of your content if they enjoy it.
Diversify your content
Even though you might have a content pattern in place or favorite content types, you should think about diversifying your strategy. No matter how great your content is, people get bored easily. They always want something fresh.
So you can try to post all sorts of content types on your blog and see which ones work best for your audience.
The most popular blog post types are: lists, how-to guides, cheat sheets/checklists, infographics, interviews, personal stories, and news posts.
Try to mix it up and diversify your editorial schedule with new post types because you can both delight existing readers and bring new ones on board. You can also get valuable statistics from every type of content.
Create more engaging content today
We need to accept that the era we’re living in is all about visual and interactive content. The podcasts, vlogs, and immersive experiences are at their peaks, so written content needs to embrace the changes and keep up with the times.
Creating engaging content is the answer. It can be entertaining for the authors too, not only for the readers. Here’s how to do it, in short:
- Use visuals
- Present the content with an appealing layout
- Break text down into headings and short paragraphs
- Write in a friendly, informal tone
- Add call to action elements
- Include engaging forms
- Diversify your content
What else do you do to create engaging content for your website? Let us know via the comments section below.