As we’ve launched a new year, one marketing concept remains the same: blogging is crucial. Blogs continue to be one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your targeted audience, build your brand and increase conversions. Blogging is also one of the simplest methods to improve your overall online presence and position yourself as an authority in your industry.
You may know the basics of good blogging, one of which is the essential nature of inbound links. Another blogging concept which hasn’t changed in recent years is the importance of continuity. Regular blogging is one of the best, if not the best tactics to get more links and traffic to your site.
While all these facts hold true, there is a challenge faced by marketers, bloggers and content marketing specialists. Blog readers are becoming increasingly discerning as they’re confronted with a constant flow of content, so how do you create posts that are not just going to appeal to them in the sense they’ll click on them, but that will drive them to actually take action? While blog posts are, by nature, informative, in most instances writers also need them to be actionable.
Here are 8 methods to create blog posts that don’t just drive traffic, but also influence decision-making among readers:
- Envision Yourself As Your Target Audience
One of the biggest obstacles to creating actionable content is a lack of empathy or real understanding of your targeted audience. Look beyond the analytics you collect and the data which lets you know the numbers of your audience. Instead, take the time to envision what it is that not only appeals to them in terms of choosing to click on a blog but also what is really going to serve as a motivator to have them go beyond reading and increase your conversion rates.
- Focus on Strategy
Every blog you post should have a purpose, and that purpose should strategically link to your overall business goals. Before deciding on even a targeted audience or a topic concept, first define what your purpose will be, and how this links to greater business objectives. If you can’t identify what it is you hope to achieve, how can you expect your readers to be able to make the connection?
- Work to Keep Your Reader’s Attention
The idea of creating an actionable blog post is that your reader will go through your post and then at the end determine the next thing to do is take an action, whether that’s signing up to receive email newsletters or making a purchase. If your reader loses interest after the first paragraph, they’re not going to even know what you’re asking them to do. Create to-the-point, easily digestible content that’s highly relevant to your intended audience and isn’t going to quickly lose their attention. When planning your posts, you should go beyond just creating an attention-grabbing headline and instead strive for compelling content throughout.
- Write in a Way That’s Conducive to Skimmers
This tip builds a bit on the one above but is important to highlight on its own as well. Your readers are more than likely going to be skimmers—appeal to this with your writing. Lay out salient points as subheaders, use bullets whenever possible, and assume readers are going to breeze right over the majority of the details included in your post. Using this idea can help you to write posts that will naturally guide the reader toward the necessary steps you want them to take, even if they’re not reading every word of the blog.
- Infuse the Idea of a Limited Amount of Time or Availability
Understanding human psychology, at least the basics, can be a good way to build a blog. Humans are wired to take action more quickly when they feel as if they’re up against a “limited time offer.” Of course, don’t use terms like “limited time offer,” because they can seem gimmicky, but include things in posts that indicate visitors have only a short period to take advantage of something. It puts a sense of pressure on them, increasing the likelihood they’ll go from reader to action-taker.
- Strengthen Content with Examples
If your aim with posting is to encourage action, back up your statements with examples. Perhaps you’re giving people a piece of advice on a topic within your industry. Don’t just let the input exist in a vacuum—instead, reinforce it up with several pieces of action they can take to follow this advice.
- Rely on the Power of Visuals
Visuals are important to include in blog posts to capture readers’ attention and give them a different representation of the ideas you’re presenting, but they can also be useful drivers of action. If you’re asking readers to visit your website at the end of a guest post, use an image or a graphic telling them to do so. Visuals can eliminate any confusion on the part of your reader and let them know exactly what you want them to do and how to do it.
- Provide the How, Along with the Why
What even seasoned content marketers often don’t understand is that readers may not be compelled to take action because they simply don’t know what to do. Spell it out for readers. In today’s digital world where we’re all constantly inundated with information, we want to know not just the why’s of what we should do, but how to do it. Keep it as simple as you can manage when highlighting actionable instructions.
The Push For Conversions
Along with being informative and authoritative, blog posts can be an important driver of conversions and even revenue. Research shows 61% of consumers have made a purchase because of something they have read in a blog. Create smartly crafted, simple, reader-friendly content that’s going to drive readers to follow your action goals and your business is likely to thrive as a result.