The most frustrating thing with new blogs is logging onto Google Analytics only to find high bounce rates. You ask yourself why readers aren’t staying around. They click through to your site, then leave, resulting in zero minutes and seconds spent. Another lost reader. But what if you new a few simple ways to hook your reader so they remain on your blog and hopefully buy what you’re promoting.
This is especially true for authors who might post snippets of their work to their blog, or even when selling their own products.
Think about it, Amazon’s ‘Look Inside’ feature is meant to hook new readers to your work. If a reader isn’t hooked, they’re not buying.
Plain and simple.
And I’ve long said the best way to accrue new readers is via a blog—if we’re talking cost-effective methodology.
So, how should you go about keeping readers on your blog enough to either purchase products you’re promoting or even buying your own work?
You have to hook them early. Grab them by the throat and never let go—I mean that in a metaphoric way, as literally doing this might lead to consequences down the road.
Use Quantities or Trigger Words in Your Title
Note my title begins with ‘Five Ways.’
I did this for a reason.
It’s going to show the reader who’s searching Google looking to solve a problem that instead of scouring the search engines for different methods, your article is going to show them multiple methods.
You can use five, ten, twenty, or even one-hundred methods in your title and the more, the better, if it provides value.
Remember, your readers have an issue they want to be solved, so do your part and help them solve their problem. They might end up buying what you’re promoting if you show them repeated value.
Or, you can use a trigger word that will entice a click-through. For instance, I wrote an article a while back on m Lord of Columbia Series blog entitled ‘Ten Plot-Altering Characters in Northern Knights.’
Obviously, plot-altering is the trigger word. Or, phrases like ‘Shocking!’ can trigger a click through. One word or phrase in the title that will just tell readers to read your article.
You can even use something like ‘What Motivates Me to Get Up and Write 3,000 Words a Day.’ Again, ‘What Motivates Me’ is going to trigger emotion, and emotional triggers will always entice click-throughs.
I follow one professional YouTuber who likes to use the phrase ‘What Pisses Me Off About (subject matter).’
Again, you can see the trigger here.
Use Popular Keywords
I always hit hard on the importance of SEO and the primary reason is that some search terms are better than others.
An effective keyword research tool like Jaaxy is a perfect product to consider when looking for popular search terms.
For instance, if you uncover a term that generates 400 monthly searches and 50 click throughs if your article is indexed on the first page of the search engines, it’s likely you’re going to find traffic that stays.
Remember, Google and other search engines rank content high if they deem it helpful. If not, they’ll rank it lower. If they find it exceptionally helpful, they’ll put it on the first page of their search engine.
The First Line is Everything
While you need to fit your keyword somewhere in the first paragraph, the first line needs to hit people hard. Notice my first line: The most frustrating thing….
If the first line can relate with the reader’s issue, it’s highly likely they’re going to give your blog more time to prove itself.
What if I started with this: Today, I’m going to teach you five methods that will hook your reader.
It might work, but it’s boring.
It sounds like I’m a teacher about to lecture a class and the reader might be in for a droning article.
Only try to sound scholarly if you’re submitting to a website telling you to sound like it. If not, be yourself and be conversational. Again, if you can relate to your reader they’re going to stick around and perhaps view more of your content. The more you sound like a real person, the easier they can relate to you.
This is really just an add-on to the above tip, but the more human you sound the more readers will relate.
Yeah, I’m repeating myself a bit, but imagine if I tried to write this article as if I were writing a term paper for a high school or college class.
Once upon a time, I did this. I wrote everything in essay form and did everything my English teachers would’ve told me.
It may’ve gotten me an ‘A’ in English, but it wouldn’t win over many readers.
All great writers have something called ‘voice,’ and it’s something our lovely schools tend to squash out of us unless you have a teacher who veered off the curriculum, where a hallowed few of mine did.
Use that voice and don’t ignore it.
What is voice?
It’s really your natural flow of writing.
The key to finding your voice is to ignore most grammar rules.
For instance, you can ask ‘Where is my phone at?’
Whereas the proper method for the same question is ‘Where is my phone?’
Keep your voice, because readers are going to be much more inclined to blogs and books who have an established voice.
Don’t try to perfect everything. Write in a natural way that doesn’t require thinking and you’ll be shocked as to how many readers flock to you.
Write with Readers in Mind
A lot of us forget that real people are reading our work, so they tend to write in a way that works for them.
But we’re looking to help others to show our value and integrity in hopes they’ll buy our products and maybe even services.
So, when you write an article and are proofreading it you have to ask, ‘Will readers find this article helpful?’
If you don’t believe the article is helpful enough they won’t stick around. In fact, if you don’t find the article helpful, they definitely won’t find the article helpful.
If you find any kind of shortcoming in your work, your readers will find it and you just lost your chance at a good first impression. They won’t return to your site and will scoff if they find it popping up in Google’s, Bings, or Yahoo’s search engines.
And it’ll eventually lead to a loss in rankings and lost traffic.
So, write your article and re-read it. You’ll find a few spots that can be improved, and for good reason.
Don’t even think about publishing the article unless you know your reader will find it helpful.
So, to reiterate, you might want to add a quantity or at least a trigger word in your title. In fact, I’d try to do this with every article.
Using popular keyword phrases that also rank high in the search engines shows Google that your blog has the potential to be helpful. The more popular the keyword search term, the better the chances of readers clicking through and reading your content. While this strategy requires research, it’s definitely worth taking the time to ensure your content is going to help readers.
Nothing will hook a reader better than the first line of an article. If your first line is monotonous, readers have zero reason to keep reading. If your first line doesn’t sound helpful, readers again won’t have an incentive to keep reading the next line. Just as in books, each page should motivate the reader to turn to the next, in an article, each line should motivate a reader to keep reading the next line. Nail your first line and you just earned yourself a good first impression.
Next, be human. Don’t be a droning teacher reminiscent of Ben Stein. Do you think that’ll win readers over? Instead, write like you talk, which is ‘voice.’ So many writers think finding one’s voice requires some insane formula. It doesn’t. Just write in the same manner you speak.
And finally, write for your readers, not for your own reading pleasure. Make sure the article is helpful and it will motivate readers to continue to engage in other articles on your blog and perhaps even buy something you promote. If you’re having a tough time deciphering what you just wrote, so will your readers. If you find the content helpful, your readers definitely will.