I have been blogging for over eight years now. And post visits are high; best social media campaigns engagement ideas are not in my humble opinion. Imagine writing a tutorial-style blog post.
You explain a series of important steps. You edit until you instructions sound dynamic. You tighten your text.
But you’re still worried. Because your post isn’t exactly sparkling. It’s just a simple how-to.
How can you make a description of 5 or 12 different steps engaging and fun? How can you stop people from yawning when they get to step 3?
Turning solid information into engaging content may feel like a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be so hard.
You need to know a few simple tricks to keep your readers engaged and interested.
Let’s explore some post engagement techniques that should help …
Best Social Media Campaigns … ask Why
The first trick to making boring tutorials sizzle is to tell your reader why he’ll benefit from reading your post.
In your opening paragraph, you sketch a pain-free or sunny destination. Tell your reader that by following your advice he can learn a skill he desperately wants to master. Or tell him how he’ll become happier, richer, or more relaxed by reading your post.
In my post about guest blogging, for instance, I promised to teach you a technique for driving traffic to your blog; and in this tutorial about sales copy, I tell you that your web pages can become as seductive as Apple’s website.
A dry subject becomes easier to digest when you know why it’s good for you.
Best Social Media Campaigns Ever … ask questions
One of the simplest ways to draw your readers in is to ask them a question within your introduction. You don’t have to do this within the first sentence of your blog post, but you should try to do it within your first paragraph.
Let your personality shine
No one wants to be part of a dry conversation. By adding in some humor or emotions, you will keep the conversation entertaining. Just sprinkle a few of these elements throughout your post.
Learning how things work in theory can be dull.
Seeing how something works in practice is far more interesting.
Last week, I shared snippets about my guest blogging experience. In my post about seductive web copy, I entice you with mouth watering examples of Apple’s copy.
The secret to making your examples fascinating is to keep them ultra-short. Only share the details that are critical to illustrating your tutorial.
Keep your pace high and move to the next step.
Social media campaign ideas … create a story
Do you remember how your kindergarten and elementary school teachers used to engage with you? They used to tell you stories to get your attention and keep it. If you can mix in story telling within your introductory paragraph, you’ll get more people to read your blog post.
Social media engagement strategy … use metaphors
Metaphors are your secret seduction technique.
A fresh metaphor can make a dull topic engaging.
Help readers visualize an abstract concept by relating it something concrete, something they know. In my post about guest blogging, for instance, I referred to the idea of launching a cycling magazine several times.
To use metaphors in your how-to blog post, think about a topic you’re passionate about, such as sports, cooking, or parenting. Pick one theme and look for connections.
Be careful. Switching themes in one post confuse your readers. So pick one theme, e.g. cooking, and make brief comparisons with it throughout your post.
Related post: 11 Updates to Starbuck’s Creativity and Innovation
Use the words “you” and “I”
Those two words may seem simple, but they are powerful. Without them, it’s hard to create the illusion of a conversation. Just think about it.
I don’t know your name, so how can I create a conversation with you if I don’t use the words “you” and “I” while talking to you? It’s nearly impossible.
When you paint a rose-tinted picture of your how-to, you might still lull your readers slowly to sleep.
You can wake them up by including a few problems.
Problems are like speed bumps – they slow your reader down. They start paying attention again because everyone is keen to avoid glitches, hassle, and mistakes.
Explain what you’ve done wrong or which step you found scary. When you describe the problems, you’ve encountered, and how you’ve overcome them, your tutorial immediately becomes more useful and engaging.
Which are the most common mistakes you’d like to warn your readers for? And help them avoid?
Keep your paragraphs short
Don’t you hate it when you’re having a conversation with someone, and they don’t let you get a word in? It’s like you’re not even having a conversation… By making your paragraphs 1 to 6 sentences long, you will create an illusion of a conversation. Just look at the introduction in this blog post – the paragraphs are really short.
An image is worth 1000 words
Liven up your text with images. Images are a great way to help encourage a conversation, especially an image you use at the beginning of your post. I know when I’ve used funny pictures like this in the past, I got tons of emails from you and saw a higher time on-page.
As a writer, I feel my words should be sufficient to explain my thoughts and ideas. But simple pictures can make a stronger connection. I recently discovered this:
Darwin first explored the idea of natural selection by drawing a tree. Jack Kerouac wrote his first novel by drawing his concept out as a mandala. J.R.R. Tolkien couldn’t write without first drawing maps and portraits of his characters. Even J.K. Rowling just said that the first thing she did when she started to write her latest novel was to draw a map of the town in which it took place. ~ Dan Roam
And Kevin Cheng suggests in his book See What I Mean:
So long as you can draw a stick figure, you’re well on your way to being able to create simple stories that explain your ideas better than any well-crafted words could.
Are we, as writers, too focused on the power of words?
You’ll probably cover multiple subtopics within your blog post, just like you would in a regular conversation. Make sure the transitions are smooth. Using headings isn’t enough. You need to use sentences to create transitions.
Keep learning: Visual Marketing … 15 Remarkable Content Examples
The truth about boring how-to posts
There are no dull products, only dull writers. ~ David Ogilvy
No topic is dull.
No tutorial should be drab.
Learning new things is exciting. Acquiring new skills is invigorating.
Think about your reader and inspire him with your post. Share your knowledge. Entertain him with your humor.
Make him smile and ignite his enthusiasm.
The bottom line
Blogging is a conversation between you and your readers. If you can’t converse with them, you are just talking at them. And as you already know, people prefer conversations…
The next time you write a blog post, consider creating a conversation. Don’t do it just within your introduction, but continue it through your whole post, just like I have done with this one.
How else can you increase the number of people who read your blog posts?
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he writes about topics to help improve the performance of small business. Find him on G+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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