There’s nothing worse than getting all excited to blog, writing a whole bunch of posts, feeling like a pro hitting publish week after week, and then . . . silence.
Not a share or a comment in sight. Ugh.
Here’s the thing – people take action (like sharing and commenting) when they feel something. Maybe they feel excited or entertained, maybe after reading your post they’re totally pissed off. Either way, your post needs to elicit some type of emotion to get them to take the next step in connecting with you and sharing your content.
If your blog posts aren’t generating a swell of enthusiasm every time you hit publish, it could be that your topics need tweaking or maybe your posts just need a little more pep in their step.
If the latter is true, here are 4 tips to help revive your awesome content, stand out from the crowd, and start seeing your social media shares and blog comments climb. (If the former is true, Dare to Blog will help.)
Start with a list
This is my go-to because it’s what I appreciate in reading blog posts from other people. I like to scan through their content and see what I’m getting into before I invest time in reading the entire thing, and your readers will likely be looking for that option as well.
Starting with a list not only makes it easier for readers (and search engines) to get a quick overview of your post, but a list makes it easier for you to write as well. Think of it as filling in the blanks. Pick out the main points of your post (for this one it’s 4 action items) and then use those as section headings (h2 or h3).
Starting with headings ensures that every point you cover helps readers accomplish a specific goal.
Start with a story
This post, which details my productivity habits, starts with a story and has been my top post for over a year with almost 100,000 (yep, 100 THOUSAND) shares. (It also happens to get the most rude comments.) But whether your story gets people interested and excited or pisses them off, it definitely helps to add more YOU into your posts.
Remember, you’re not writing a textbook. Your opinions and experiences are worth reading. Share the things that worked well and those that were a complete failure. Share the story that led up to a learning experience or why you made a certain decision.
Starting with a story has double the impact of allowing readers to get to know you better and at the same time giving them something interesting to share with their own audience.
(Also, it doesn’t always have to be your own story. If you’re selling services or courses, share a story of a client or student success. With their permission, of course!)
Read your blog posts out loud
Have you heard blogging experts say things like “be authentic” and “find your voice” and thought…WTF does that even mean?? For most of us that’s not a very helpful direction, so try this instead . . . If you’re struggling to sound like yourself online, speak the sentences before you type or read your posts aloud as you edit.
After reading so many blog posts it can start to feel like you have to write in a certain voice in order to gain popularity. But this isn’t true at all. Bloggers who have the largest audiences are those who have stamped out the fear of fitting into a mold and taken the time to develop their own style of writing.
When I read a blog I like to get a sense of who someone is in real life, and frankly, when someone tries to blog in that generic friendly yet authoritative voice, it’s kind of creepy.
The way you write, how you share tips and tricks, and the examples you include are what helps draw in the people who will connect most with your content, services, or products.
Get to the point
Lastly, what is the one thing you want readers to walk away with? We talked about this a few weeks ago, but since it’s something that can make or break a post, it needs to be said again. Readers must know what they’re going to get out of your post BEFORE they start reading.
This means your post has to have a specific purpose, your title needs to blatantly state the purpose or allude to it in an intriguing way, and your post must be easy to summarize in 140 characters or less (to make it easy to share). I’ve read many a post that covers lots of information or tells a story, but doesn’t ever come to a conclusion.
Before writing any post it’s important to ask yourself why you want to share this info and what your readers should come away with. If you can’t figure it out, then step back and re-adjust your post topic before you spend time on a post that won’t really benefit your blog.
The best and most actionable posts are easy to scan, share stories and examples that your readers can identify with (or at least be entertained by), sound like an actual person wrote them, and have an end goal that is easy to identify.
If you’re not getting as many comments or shares as you’d like, I encourage you to go back through your most recent 5-10 posts and make sure they’re checking all those boxes. And remember, aside from starting your post with a list, these things do take some time to get good at. My stories weren’t that interesting in the beginning, and my posts definitely didn’t have a point or a purpose. Writing better blog posts happens one edit at a time – stick with it!