What is it that makes readers click that “subscribe” button?
As writers, we’ve probably all wondered if there is some magical formula that makes a blog successful… maybe it’s humor, maybe it happens when readers learn something, or maybe you’re at the mercy of luck and chance.
Or maybe… just maybe… there is something you can do to write more magnetic copy that makes people come back for more.
Here are a few tricks that make your writing more readable:
Some writers put things in text that they’d never say out loud. Their writing style is formal and stiff (although technically correct), and readers have a hard time making it to the end.
When I read something, I actually hear the words in my head, or see a scene play out in my mind. When the prose is unnatural or complicated, I tend to stumble on words and phrases, which distract me from what’s being said. I find myself needing to read things again… or more often, skimming through it and moving on to something more relatable.
Especially in blogging, even business blogging, you should write as though you’re talking to your reader. A conversational tone can be achieved even when describing something serious or technical, and your reader will feel as though you’re speaking to him.
“My son ate dirt today. He made a funny face.”
“My littlest minion decided to try some yummy dirt for a snack this afternoon. The scrunched-up look on his face was priceless!”
See? The second example is infinitely more entertaining. As a reader, you’re more engaged with the second one, and would probably be more likely to continue reading. When your English teacher used to tell you to “paint a picture” with your writing, she was really on to something.
Make your readers see the story you’re telling. Be generous with those valuable adjectives!
You and I make a great blog post together.
In academic writing, you were probably drilled with the “rules” against using the word “I” more than any other word.
In academic writing, they’re right… in blogging of any kind, tell your own story. Give your opinions, and don’t be afraid of breaking the rules. Engaging and magnetic content is content that comes straight from you to your reader.
Don’t say “studies show,” and “one would find.” Instead, use “I’ve found,” and “you’ll see that.”
When blogging, try to stay away from the oh-so-boring passive voice. Whatever point you’re trying to make, sell it.
The more confident you sound about your topic, the more value it will have to the reader… your content will be more believable. Instead of asking your readers to subscribe, or giving a choice in whether or not to do something (“the subscribe button is on the right”), tell them to do it (“click on the button here to get more great tips each week”).
Try Real Numbers
“My readership increased a lot when I tried this great tip.”
“I gained 237 new subscribers when I tried this great tip.”
Using numbers is more convincing than giving an abstract concept. Also, when using numbers, try to use the actual characters, instead of spelling them out. It’s just easier to read, and more eye-catching.
“My business blog has 834 followers.”
Instead of this:
“My business blog has eight-hundred and thirty-four followers.”
Check over each blog post you write to make sure you remain consistent throughout. If you begin with a present-tense voice, maintain it through to the end. The same goes for using a first or third-person narrative.
Another place to watch for consistency in style is when you make lists or use bullet points. Try to stick to a uniform sentence style, format, and tense.
Here is a no-no:
- Writing consistently is important.
- Write with confidence.
Try this instead:
- Writing consistently is important.
- Writing with confidence is key.
- Using contractions is a good idea.