So You Want To Blog - Part 2 - Making it Engaging


Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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Welcome to our second installment of "So You Want to Blog"! Hopefully you've already checked out our first entry on this subject about getting started and on track with your blog. If so, read on if you're ready to find out what makes an engaging blog:

Makings of an Engaging Blog:

A blog is not a news article, editorial column, or magazine feature. Moreover, a blog is transcendent of these things in that its mechanical function is increased exponentially over these more traditional writing outlets. A blog can effortlessly integrate multi-media sources such as photo, video, and audio, and trust us when we say that readers will expect your blog to do so.

People learn and digest new information in vastly different and nuanced ways. The beautiful thing about a blog is that it allows you to cater to each, every, and any of these learning types. You want to convey step-by-step instructions for DIY item restoration in your blog? Step-by-step instructions are great for some, but others will skip over the words entirely if there isn't a series of pictures to follow along with. Multi-media incorporation into blogs is essential because you can easily make your blog just as effective for visual, aural, or verbal learners.

A blog can even appeal to those who require a kinesthetic learning experience. Physical learners acquire new information and retain it when they are given an opportunity to physically interact with the learning materials in front of them. While it may seem difficult to, for example, provide an experiential example of paintbrush technique through writing, that doesn’t mean a blog can’t demand some level of interactivity with the subject being discussed.

Blogs share real estate with a massive amount of information available to the public. By including hyperlinks to reputable sources of education, readers can take themselves on a self-directed journey of discovery. Beyond this, remember that your blog can make certain requests of the reader. You can pose questions that are bound to illicit a response. You can prompt actions or movements, either through written direction or visual/auditory cues, that compel the reader to exercise a physical effort related to what your talking about in the blog post.

Again, using the painting example, a simple diagram showing paintbrush technique can cue a reader to imitate the motion themselves, getting them to engage on a deeper level while also catering to the reader’s specific needs.

Remember that readers today expect an almost immersive experience from nearly everything that attempts to entertain, inform, or distract them. When someone clicks on a link to a blog, they are thinking about the before, during, and after. In other words:

  • What was I doing before that I’m allowing this blog to distract me from?

  • What experience will this blog provide me with as I read it?

  • After I’m done reading, will I have been provided with something worth holding onto?
Grabbing Your Readers' Attention

What we’ve talked about so far should help with the “during” and “after” portions of a reader’s engagement, but how do you get them to take that ever-so-important first step of actually visiting the blog in the first place? The answer is in the headlines… or rather, the titles of your blog post.

It might be helpful to think about headlines from traditional newspapers when trying to title your blog. Print journalism has always been dependent on the availability of black-and-white real estate, and as a result, newspapers need headlines that suck readers in without taking up too much space on the page. Fortunately, with a blog, you don’t need to worry too much about taking up space with your words, but the principle of “short and sweet” still applies. Blog titles should be:

  • Quick to comprehend
  • Memorable
  • Able to convey a clear message about the blog in 160 characters or less
Remember, social is everything. If your blog post can’t grab readers in the form of a Facebook post or tweet, it’s unlikely to grab readers at all.

So here’s your handy checklist for crafting an engaging blog post:

  • Always include visuals and links to additional information where appropriate

  • Provide learning content, soliciting interaction
    and/or encouraging supplemental questions
  • Make your blog titles short, sweet and tweetable
Even if you end up with the most engaging blog ever, that’s not going to be enough to spread your word. A good blog strategy includes a good promotional effort, as well. Check out the third installment of this series to find out how to promote your blog.

And contact us at Flowerpot if you’re ready to recruit help!




 

About Abigail Diskin, Content Manager

With a B.A. in Journalism and a strong background in both communications and creative writing, Abby is the lead writer at Flowerpot. Her passion for words comes through wholeheartedly, as she researches and crafts high-quality content for client websites, blogs, and email campaigns across a variety of industries. In her spare time, you can find her getting her hiking boots muddy in the Columbia River Gorge, blues dancing at the Bossanova Ballroom, or taming imaginary dragons with her niece and nephew.

About Arthur Lapies, Co-Founder

With over 15 years of experience in behavioral science and consumer marketing, Arthur has applied his education and skills to technology, sales operations and project management teams in multiple Fortune 100 organizations. His ability to tap into the consumer mindset and translate behavior into meaningful marketing actions for business owners makes him a key asset to Flowerpot clients. As Flowerpot’s Data Scientist, Arthur leads all aspects of technology, development and analytics. A Pacific Northwest native, Arthur now enjoys the company of the Bay Area’s Karl the Fog and arduous SF city hill climbs with his Great Dane.

About Laura Bakken, CEO & Co-Founder

With over 20 years of enterprise-level leadership in the high-tech industry, Laura’s knowledge of business optimization, sales excellence, change management and marketing savvy greatly benefits small and mid-size business owners navigating their path to success. As Flowerpot’s Chief Marketing Strategist, Laura leads all aspects of client consulting, content strategy and business development. Outside of the office, Laura enjoys gardening with her husband and their chocolate lab, menu hopping through Portland’s foodie scene, and traveling to sunny locales with friends to get a break from the rainy days of the Pacific Northwest.

Tags: Business / SEO / Blog / Blogging / Writing / Messaging



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