Not all pieces of content are created equal. Some blog posts are easy to skip over while others are addictive. They keep us engaged and leave us craving for more.
By crafting addictive blog posts, visitors will spend more time on your blog, and the trust between you and your audience will grow as the minutes go by. Once people trust you, then they buy from you.
Addictive blog posts help you generate and build upon that trust. All addictive blog posts follow a similar structure.
An Addictive Headline
We’ve read many headlines in our lives. You need to be very creative with your headline to attract people to your content.
Understand now that the headline you use for each blog post wields more influence than anything else when it comes to engagement and getting people to stick around.
I have two favorite tactics for crafting an addictive headline. The first tactic is to see what everyone else is doing so you know what to steer away from.
While I still have much to learn, I am getting better at removing words like tactics, tips, and similar words from my headlines. Those words are too common in current headlines for information-based content.
I could have called this blog post “X Ways To Make Your Blog Posts More Addictive” but that uses a common style. Addictive headlines shake things up.
If you want inspiration on what to do, look at BuzzFeed. They get so much engagement from their site, and their headlines play a crucial part in that engagement.
The second tactic is to write 10 headlines for each new piece of content you create. The first few headlines will be very bad, but as you write more headlines, you’ll start coming across deeper headlines. You’ll force yourself to think beyond common headlines since you probably wrote those headlines first.
The winning headline is almost never the first one you think of.
Content To Back It Up
Now, what if I named this blog post “You Won’t Believe What Happened To This Iguana After It Touched A Porcupine”?
To take a quick time out, if someone has that headline and an actual video, I’m curious myself.
Headlines like this make us want to learn more. However, you need the content to back up the headline.
If you come to this blog post expecting a video of an iguana touching a porcupine, you were very disappointed. However, if a blog post by the same title existed, and the iguana didn’t touch the porcupine, you’d also be very disappointed.
Addictive headlines without substance behind the content are nothing more than clickbait. Sure, you’ll get visitors, but they won’t stick around. Some will very publicly denounce your content if you use clickbait.
I know that you’re far beyond using clickbait. But it needs to be said. Make sure your content backs up the headline.
To flip from a negative like clickbait to a positive, the more you back up the headline, the more addictive your blog post becomes. I could have written three sentences for this blog post.
If I did that, it wouldn’t have captured the same value that you’re getting now. Some things can be said in three sentences. This is something that can be said in three sentences but much better said with several sections and paragraphs.
Easy To Read
Notice how my paragraphs are very short? Technically, a paragraph needs to be at least four lines.
Did you see how I started one of my sentences with but when talking about clickbait? Grammatically, I should have made it a conjunction and turned those two sentences into one sentence. But that would result in a long sentence.
Long sentences and paragraphs are hard to read.
Most of your visitors will be skimmers. You need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to glean the highlights. If your blog post is really good, you might get some skimmers to slow down their pace.
You can also use bullet points and bold font. I don’t always utilize these features. But I aim to use them when I can.
To make up for that, I have clearly laid out sections in each blog post. If you don’t like a particular section (i.e. the one you’re reading now), you can just skip to the next one. Speaking about the next section…
Beyond The Written Word
Blogging is a writer’s dream. While writing content about a topic you enjoy is very fun, you need to incorporate multiple media formats into each blog post.
Most people only use the written word in their blog posts. Some people add a picture at the top of their blog posts and that’s about it.
That’s not enough. Nowhere near enough. At least, if you want an addictive blog post.
You need a new piece of media approximately every 300 words. That ensures your visitors aren’t just looking through a wall of text.
And notice how I said new piece of media and not just a new picture. There’s nothing wrong with including videos within your blog posts. If you include enough videos, you can turn each of your blog posts into mini training courses.
Depending on the videos you choose (engagement, total minutes, etc.), some of your videos may spend more than 20 minutes on a single blog post.
I also recommend choosing YouTube videos because YouTube is good at getting people to continue watching videos. They offer tailored suggestions which would then be offered on your blog.
Some of your visitors may watch more of the videos YouTube suggested all while on your blog. That’s a lot of time to spend on one place, and that’s how trust builds at a rapid pace.
Addictive blog posts are meant to keep people on your blog for as long as possible. The only way people will stick around is if you give them multiple reasons to do so. You can provide a legendary experience, massive value, and a stream of additional content.
We need to advance beyond creating valuable content. Valuable content is important, but we all know that creating valuable content is important. We need to think more about the experience and optimizing our content for minutes viewed.
Long form content is better optimized for a boost in minutes. But if you include engaging videos within your content, you’ll reach the next level in engagement.
What are your thoughts on the anatomy of addictive blog posts? Do you have any advice to share about making blog posts more addictive? Do you have a question for me? Sound off in the comments section below.
Jo Lynn Deal says
Excellent post. Headlines are toughest to master in my book. I follow a yoga instructor who is the queen of headlines. I read everything she posts because of her addictive headlines. And you guessed it, her content backs it up!
Marc Guberti says
The headline is the most important part. The best content with the worst headline gets no traction.