You’re writing blog post after blog post, and your client’s website is getting traffic, but they just aren’t converting into leads. Blogging was supposed to generate lots of new leads for your clients, but it’s not producing the results you expected.
If this sounds like the situation you’re in, don’t fret. We have a plan that will help you make your blog posts more engaging so that you can generate more leads.
Keep reading to find four steps you should take to write better blog posts.
Step #1: Make Content Visual
Do you use visuals in your blogs? 43% of people admit to skimming blog posts, which means almost half the time a visitor lands on your website — they're not reading the text. It's time that you start using visuals.
Why Visual Content is Good
"A picture is worth a thousand words." It's such a perfect but straightforward concept. It's easier to show someone something than tell them about it. Words alone won't drive engagement.
Blogging is a science. There are so many tricks and tips you can learn to engage with your audience, such as mastering storytelling.
It is so necessary to learn how to incorporate visual elements into your blog posts to improve your content. But if you're not using visuals, it can seem intimidating.
How many visuals should I include? What visuals are acceptable? Where do you start? These are all logical questions that I can answer for you. Here's what you need to know.
How to Make Content Visual
There are so many simple but yet effective tricks that can be used to help make your blog more visual. Just adding a few of these will make your blog stand out.
- Stock photos - These are perfect for marketing and advertising, for promotional work, for personal or commercial creative projects, for publishing, for websites, blogs, and more.
- Using graphics - Graphics add visual/aesthetic appeal to the information on the web page and helps to maintain viewer interest and attention.
- Illustrations - Illustrations can influence, inform, and persuade your prospects and customers. They enhance your brand messaging and can help your business express emotion.
- Screenshots - Screenshots let you capture what you're seeing on your screen to share with others or reference later. With screenshots, you can show your readers exactly what you want them to see.
- Videos - Videos are popular among the average content consumer. It doesn’t matter the age group of your demographics or their social background or how much they earn. In 2019, 80% of all consumer internet traffic was video traffic.
- Infographics - Infographics can dissect a complex subject and sustain the reader's attention while doing so. They help to cover "heavy" topics enjoyably.
- Author’s Bio - By providing a bit of personal information and even a picture with your audience can help them make a connection with you. When readers see something that they have in common with you, it's like a bond, and it gives them even more of a reason to buy.
- Embedded Social Media Posts - Embedded social media posts can increase the time visitors spend on your website. By offering your consumers more content to engage with, you reduce the “bounce rate,” or how frequently visitors leave your site. A high bounce rate indicates unengaging content.
Examples of Visual Content
No one wants to stare at an article with no visuals. As you can see from this example, Content Ninjas uses an original video to sum up the key takeaways of the material that is in a visually engaging way right at the beginning. Right on the side, there is a table of contents that scrolls with you as you read it and highlights the section you’re on.
Sparkitive does a fantastic job when it comes to using visual content. Here, they visually demonstrate how to get started with Canva. They do this by including an image and the written instructions for every step. These visuals help show their clients what to click on and even show how to create projects on Canva.
As you can see from this example, HubSpot used infographics to make their article more visually appealing and help their readers better understand the content. You can also see how they embedded a social media post into the article as well.
Notice that all three of these examples have visuals to aid them in getting their information to their clients.
Step #2: Make Content Skimmable
Making a blog post skimmable means using formatting tools combined with visuals, as mentioned in Step #1, to give the reader the highlights and key takeaways as they skim the post. They can quickly scan the content and grasp the gist of what’s being said without having to read it word-for-word.
Why Skimmable Content is Good
The bulk of people find that they have limited time to read what interests them. They want to read high-level information during lunch breaks, in waiting rooms, or waiting in line somewhere.
While the readership of skimmed content is left with a weaker impression than the readership of in-depth content, the size of the skimmed content audience is becoming a majority of your readership, and it's growing.
This study by Nielsen found that readers typically read online content in an “F-shaped” pattern. Meaning readers will often skim the page, scanning headlines and the opening sentences, and summarize the paragraphs to reveal the essential pieces of information in a long-form article.
How to Make Content Skimmable
To improve the skim-ability of your content, keep these core practices in mind:
- Use headings (h1, h2, h3, and h4).
- Headlines should be informative and communicate what’s happening in that section.
- Use bulleted or numbered lists.
- Use bold, significant words, phrases, definitions, and calls to action.
- Make quotes visual by using stylized quote boxes and author photos.
- Have paragraphs that are 1 to 5 sentences at most.
- Vary your sentence length, and don’t be afraid to have lots of 1 and 2-sentence paragraphs — this has been dubbed the Neil Patel style of writing.
- Include photos or other visuals to help communicate the message.
- Use a table of contents with links to let people jump down to the part of the content they are interested in.
- If you can, make the table of contents sticky, so it stays with them while they scroll down and highlights the section they are currently reading.
- Be mindful of white space and font sizes. According to this article by Martin Pielot, fonts should be between 18 and 22px.
Examples of Skimmable Content
Thrive Themes provides conversion-focused WordPress plugins and themes, with tools ranging from page builders and scarcity marketing timers to landing page templates and A/B testing tools.
This example from Thrive Themes shows how they make their content skimmable by using a table of contents at the top of the article, their use of proper heading tags, and the structure of the blog is exceptionally well.
This example from Content Ninjas shows the table of contents that scrolls with you as you read it and highlights the section you’re on. It is structured in an easy to follow step-by-step format. Content Ninjas also adds quick notes.
Neil Patel does a great job of making content skimmable by adding tons of examples organized into sections. You will notice that they even provide a clickable jump list of topics at the beginning of the article.
Step #3: Lead the Reader to the Next Step
The best advice I can share with you, is to add a direct call to action to your blog or website.
It is a blatant yet straightforward invitation for prospects to do business with us. It seems simplistic, but it’s shocking how hard it can sometimes be to find the “BUY NOW” button on a website.
Whether it is to buy, register, signup, schedule an appointment, order, or call, we want to give customers an obvious path toward purchasing to help them solve their problem.
Why You Need a CTA
You might be thinking to yourself, why do I even need a call-to-action (CTA). A compelling CTA will do miracles to help you draw your visitors’ attention, pique their interest, and guide them through the signup process.
People have become so accustomed to how the online world works that they expect to see a call-to-action right on the front landing page. However, just because they find it doesn’t mean they’re prepared to accept your invitation and convert. Creating an effective CTA is an art in itself, but can be mastered if you follow the proven techniques.
How to Include a CTA
An enticing CTA is a sum of various elements. To get it right, you need to take a step-by-step approach and ensure every one of them is working as it should be.
- Attention-grabbing design. CTAs NEED to stand out and make an impact. Following the standard design rules when you’re creating a CTA button or image is a huge no. Creating a profoundly different design is the key to an eye-catching call-to-action.
- Action-focused copy. Find the right balance between simple, explicit instruction and enticing, jargon-free text that utilizes action words. Look at leading brand websites to see what kind of actionable copy words they’re using and let your inner copywriter emerge.
- A sense of urgency. Only a few items left in stock? Is the promotion expiring soon? Is it a limited offer? Let your customers know it's time to act now rather than put it off for later.
- A clear promise. Everyone hates being deceived or tricked into clicking onto something that has no value to them. Ensure that your CTAs are informative, and make sure the copy tells your customers what they should expect for their clicks.
- Plan your path to conversion. A logical path to conversion ensures a smooth and consistent flow that will make your CTAs more effective. It’s crucial to align your CTAs with specific stages in the sales cycle to make your offers relevant. CTAs that focus on later-stage conversions will benefit highly from a dedicated landing page that keeps distractions to a minimum, increasing the chances of conversions.
Examples of CTAs
This example from Content Ninjas works because it includes a written CTA followed by a graphical CTA that gets the reader's attention. Content Ninjas are also building their email list by offering a free incentive.
When looking for a solution to problems, people want a good deal (free), fast (instant), and effortless. Sparktive does just that by offering all of its content free.
Sparkitive includes a written CTA as well as visual CTAs in the sidebar that follows you down the page and at the bottom of the article.
Thrive Themes uses a transitional CTA for non-Thrive members and a direct CTA for Thrive members.
When non-Thrive members click the link, they are prompted to a new page where their call to action outlines what benefits they will receive if they join. When members click the link, they are sent to a page that reminds them what their membership includes and encourages them to take advantage of all the great benefits.
Step #4: Plan Your Posts in Advance
Do you want to write better blog posts connected to your clients' overall marketing strategy? Then you NEED to plan your posts in advance.
Why You Need to Plan Your Posts in Advance
When you take time to plan out several articles in advance, it gives you the chance to think about what content upgrades or lead magnets that you want to include. It also allows you to plan out social media and newsletter blasts to promote the posts.
How to Plan Your Posts in Advance
We took the time to create a workbook that helps you plan out each topic (Silo) that your client needs to be blogging about. When you download your free copy of our Silo Planning Workbook, you’ll have everything you need to plan out the following for each Silo you need to create:
- 10 blog articles
- 2 conversion offers
- 30 social media posts
- 16 newsletter blasts
Download your free copy of our Silo Planning Workbook now to help you generate leads for your clients.
Content Funnel eCourse
Plan a Full Content Funnel from Article to Sales-Ready Lead
This 29-page eCourse and workbook will help you plan all of the content you need for a full Content Funnel — including Silos/Pillars, Blogs, Conversion Offers, Nurture Emails, Social Posts, and Email Blasts.
One Planning Session = 56 Content Pieces
When you're done with the workbook, you'll have: