Someone found your article in the search results and clicked through to your website. Awesome! But how can you make sure they stay? What can you do to grab their attention and keep them on your page long enough to read your blog post to the end?
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
1. Use high quality, optimized images
The first thing your visitors will see when they arrive on your page is usually the featured image of your post. If they see a blurry image, or if it takes forever to load, they probably won’t stick around much longer. So, make sure that image is high-quality! Use tools like jpeg.io or Sqoosh to compress your file sizes without comprising on the quality of your image. And above all, make sure the image is relevant; it should communicate or illustrate something you’ll discuss in the body of your post.
You should also include images in the body of your post. But make sure whatever images you include serve a purpose. If you just have images there for decoration, you’re doing it wrong!
2. Write upside down
When you write a blog post, you want to write “upside-down”. Instead of having your main message at the end of your article, you should place it at the beginning in your introduction. Then, you can use your remaining paragraphs to elaborate and expand on that main message, which you can summarize at the end.
But why should you write like this? Because your first paragraph is your one and only chance at a good first impression for your post. Remember that reading online is different than reading an article in a newspaper or magazine. If you don’t rope in your reader within those first 20-30 seconds, that’s it – they’re gone.
Keep Reading: How To Create Quality Content
3. Focus on one topic
It’s important for your blog post to have focus. Talking about too many topics could confuse your audience. Ask yourself what you want the main message of your post to be? What do you want your readers to know or do once they finish reading? If there are multiple things you want your audience to know or do, write separate posts to address each of those things instead of trying to address them all in one article.
Read On: How Long Should My Blog Posts Be?
4. Make your posts easy to read
Reading from a screen can be difficult, especially from a mobile device. So don’t make it any more difficult for your audience! Here are some things you can do to make your posts easy to read:
- Use at least 14px for your body text (16px is most preferred)
- Include white space (between 1.5-2em depending on your font size)
- Keep lines limited to 50-75 characters
- Use contrasting colors for your text and background (black and white are the best combination)
- Add headings and subheadings to divide your text into easy-to-read chunks
- Write short, on-topic paragraphs and clear, concise sentences.
5. Limit the length of your post
People tend to stop reading (or don’t even start) if an article is too long, so you should limit the length of your posts. If you followed Tip 3 above, this should be easy to do. Our recommendations is anywhere between 300-800 words for regular posts (like this one), and between 600-1,100 words for your cornerstone articles. In general, the longer the post, the higher its chances of ranking in the search engine. But don’t just write more words to please Google. Remember: your goal is to please your audience, not the search engines. The only thing you need to do to please Google is make sure you have a minimum of 300 words in your post, otherwise the bots won’t be able to understand what your post is about.
Planning and writing blogs is hard work and requires genuine effort. After spending all that time on your post, you want people to stick around and actually read it! Find great images, put your main message front and center, keep your topic focused, and make your posts as easy to read as possible. This way, you can make your readers stick around and read your post, and hopefully come back again to read another one in the future!
Keep Reading: How To Optimize Your Blog Post For Search Engines