When potential readers stumble upon your blog how does it draw them in?
Do your readers fall down a rabbit hole, getting pulled into a world where they delightedly spending hours wandering through your trail of content. Or are they greeted with a cacophony of messages each seeking a different goal?
I am mulling over starting a separate blog, for a project I am working on. Knowing, the second time around, how much commitment, discipline and dedication it takes to support a blog, I am spending a lot more time considering what value it can bring and how to create a space that draws readers in once they stumble across my blog.
So I started by looking around at what is already out there that I like and soon enough noticed a pattern. There are 3 traits that separate the blogs that draw me in and keep me coming back, from those that don’t. Looking at what I read from day-to-day, I believe It is the same for any industry whether your focus is on a product or service, or just building your personal brand.
After reading this list, look at some of your favorite blogs and see if they predominantly have any one of these traits.
1. The Escape
Your blog cab be a destination. A place where people go for renewal, inspiration or to see things in a different light. For example this can be fashion blogs showcasing fresh outfits, beautiful homes or breathtaking adventures.
Creating an escape allows your reader to see things in green colored shades as opposed to maybe their pink or purple colored ones.
It gives them courage to try something different in their own lives. People love to escape for entertainment as well (just look at how many hours not just on blogs but browsing Pinterest; watching TV shows, or movies; or engrossed in a good story) so being funny, eloquent and having an original point of view on things can create an escape from their minds which is valuable and memorable.
The allure of the escape is often seen in highly visual blogs. When I was considering starting a style blog one of the pieces of feedback I received was sometimes the respondent didn’t even like when the blogger wrote a post, “Just show me the pictures!” My guess is because without words, readers are free to make up their own narratives on what they see, making it a more personal escape.
If you are in a field that is traditionally seen as unexciting, find ways to share stories or images centered around your topic that get you fired up, that motivate and encourage you. For business-to-business blogs this can be in the form of case studies that allow other people to see how companies in their respective industry tackle a similar problem. I use case studies because it allows story telling as well, which s essential to creating an escape.
2. Sharing knowledge
If there is a topic there is an authority figure; someone who has done the research and the work, or is up to the minute on latest information around a topic.
Sharing knowledge is not just for showing people how to do X, it can also be through providing resources, sharing handy lists or providing analysis. Some part of your day is spent absorbing knowledge whether its learning what is going on in your locale or industry, tackling a problem, or learning a new skill.
Your readers are looking to for guidance, and an authority in the subject to tell them what to think.
3. Offering empathy
We are wired to connect. Places that give us comfort and make us feel like we are in good company with someone who we can trust will always stand out. Successful blogs focused around creating a community are written in a way that is direct and personal. After all you can’t create a connection with your reader if you are guarded and they do not know much about you. Being open is key. Sharing and trusting your readers creates a stronger connection than any free limited time offer ever could.
Think I’m missing something? Add to this conversation by sharing your thoughts or examples of blogs you think are remarkable.
Image credit Samantha Marx