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It’s that time of the year when everyone’s energies are scattered – including your readers’. Keeping them involved in your business blog and coming back for more can be a challenge any time of year, but you face a special set of circumstances when it comes to the holiday season. Attention spans are at an all-time low – but your blog still needs traffic and you still need to create content that speaks to your audience.
In addition, your blog content will be on your website long term. Creating content with an eye for capturing attention can serve you well during this busy time of year, and help you develop assets that can pull in readers and leads for months to come.
From topic selection to formatting choices, here are five ways to create a business blog that will keep people hooked through the holidays and beyond.
1. Plan a series of posts.
Individual blog posts – like this one – can spark interest, but if you want to hook your readers in long term, try a series of blog posts. A monthly column on one subject or a four- to six-part series published over several weeks can help you hook your audience. It also gives you the opportunity to dive in-depth into a subject.
For example, if you’re a test-prep provider who works with schools to help prepare students for the SAT or ACT, you could put together a multi-post series on all aspects of the standardized tests. This would help hook your audience and give them important information that they need.
2. Concentrate on your title.
No matter whether you’re writing one article or a series of six, your title is the first exposure that most people will have to your post. Creating a compelling title will help you capture attention, get more click-throughs from social media and drive more interest from search engine results. If you change nothing else in the next six weeks, changing your titles can have a huge impact.
3. Get controversial.
It’s well known that ruffling a few feathers can get you some attention – and this time of year might be a good fit for that. Is there a hot-button issue or big controversy in your industry this year? Are there some trends on the horizon that you can take a stand on?
This is a good time of year to stake your claim on an important topic. Don’t be afraid to get controversial! It could be just what your brand needs to stand out from the competition.
4. Make your posts scannable.
Your topic is important for capturing attention, but if you deliver that topic in long paragraph, your audience is going to click away. Formatting is essential for keeping attention. Break your posts into actionable steps, numbered lists or concepts with subheads. This makes it easier for your audience to take a quick scan of your content and decide whether or not they want to dive in deeper for the entire article. You can also use bullets, bold and italicized formatting to add variety.
Look back at posts that have received the most comments on your blog in the past. How are they formatted? In most cases, you’ll probably see that the posts that get the most response are formatted in a scannable and interesting way.
5. Take a visual approach.
Using a visual format can capture attention and help you break out of the box. Writing is awesome – I love it. It’s what I do for a living. But you can’t deny the power of images. With images now more prominent in social media, it might be a good time of year to experiment with an infographic, create an image-based post or put together a presentation blog post.
Which techniques are you going to use to capture attention from readers this year – and into the next?
About the Author
Courtney Ramirez is the Director of Content Marketing Strategy for Endurance Marketing. She’s an SEO Copywriter and content marketing specialist who creates clickable content for clients in both B2B and B2C markets. As a proud graduate of the SuccessWorks SEO Copywriting Certification training program, she geeks out on algorithm updates and content marketing metrics. She’s always in the mood for a good cat-based meme. You can connect with Courtney on Google Plus, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Photo thanks to John Holm (fascination)
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