Monday, May 10, 2021 | By: Amanda Barnes
Do you want to know how to make readers more agog to read what’s in your blog? If you want to reach beyond a niche audience, it’s important to make your specialist knowledge accessible to audiences without the time or in-depth expertise to digest complex details. But a lot of bloggers find it challenging to make their blogs appealing to readers who know little or nothing about the subject.
Experts who aspire to write impactful blogs tell us they want to know how to make their target audiences:
- open their blogs
- read them
- find them interesting and relevant
- understand their key messages
- understand how they can make use of the information contained in them
As a university researcher who had attended one of our blogging workshops at Queen’s University Belfast told us:
“Writing blogs is different to how I normally write so now I have more knowledge on how to tailor my style.”
Since the writing style for blogs isn’t the same as the style needed for learned journals or technical papers, here are our five top tips for making your blogs have more impact:
- Write a compelling headline. Your first task as a blogger is to attract readers to your blog and make them want to open it up and see what you have to say. Your blog headline is a bit like a shop window. It needs to be attention-grabbing enough to make people stop and look, and then to decide that this is something they want to read about. It doesn’t need to be complicated. A headline on the Freakanomics blog site succeeded in getting me to open a blog headlined: Unintended Consequences of Anti-Police Protests in New York, which was both topical and intriguing so I couldn’t resist opening it.
- Open with an enticing first paragraph. In our time-poor conditions a lot of people scroll through the digital content in their feed and just skim a few words before moving on. So it’s crucial to convince your reader to invest ten minutes of their life in reading the whole of your blog. You need to do this by writing an enticing opening to your blog that compels people to keep reading your words instead of skipping to something else. An academic blog about neoroscience by Tom Stafford started with the paragraph: “You feel somebody is looking at you, but you don’t know why. The explanation lies in some intriguing neuroscience and the study of a strange form of brain injury.”
- Get your reader interested. You can do this by making it clear that what you’re saying is relevant to the audiences likely to be reading it. Your audience will lose interest if they do not think your blog addresses anything of relevance to them.
- Make it easy to understand your core message. Make sure your blog makes it clear what core message it is trying to convey. Use vocabulary and sentence structures that are familiar to your reader. Structure your blog in a way that makes it easy to absorb the idea you want to communicate.
- Convince your readers there is something they can do or influence other people to do to put the information in your blog to some use. Can you encourage them to seek more information, share the information with others, change their mind about something, or adapt their behaviour in some way?
Our bite-sized blogging workshops help experts develop the skills to write blogs than non-experts can understand.