What makes content compelling?
Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net polled his readers on what they considered “compelling content.” The top responses could be distilled into a few phrases: something that makes the reader want to change, share, try something new, or learn more. Darren boiled it down to this: “Compelling content inspires a reader to take action.”
That is the goal of most writers. Here are seven tactics good writers employ to accomplish this goal:
Although readers read to learn and obtain solutions, many read for the shear pleasure of luxuriating in language or to escape reality, if only for a few minutes. Be interesting, different, controversial, humorous, shocking, emotional, dramatic. Offering your information in more than a just-the-facts-ma’am style helps to set your site apart from the countless other blogs and websites out there.
Providing useful information is one of the best ways to attract readers. Go a step further by being unique in your teaching approach and your readership will grow. Be the first to report about new techniques or concepts in your niche. Bring fresh angles to common topics. Push past merely informing your readers — enlighten them.
Include a bit of drama in your writing. Go beyond reader expectations by evoking an emotional response. Use a unique voice and write about interesting situations and developments within your niche. Provide an opposing opinion to conventional wisdom. And instead of covering every angle and aspect of a topic, leave a little wiggle room in your articles. Make your readers think.
Sometimes people need a bit of prodding to proceed with their goals and dreams. Nudge them out of the nest with your words. Encourage your readers to take action and cheer them along the way.
An active community provides “social proof” to blog browsers. Sometimes all it takes to get readers to tweet posts or share their findings with others is a simple request from the writer. Ask readers questions they can answer in the comments area or forums. Make it easy for them to respond.
You wouldn’t go on a first date or “meet the parents” or attend any other important event without dressing to the occasion. Make sure your blog makes a great first impression, too. A catchy domain name, appealing design, easy navigation, and other elements will help those who are channel surfing the web stop and take notice. Include eye-catching images in your posts.
When regular blog readers are polled about why they return over and over to a particular blog, one of the top answers is that they like the blogger. Being yourself includes using your unique voice on the screen, getting personal when appropriate, letting the readers identify with you, branding yourself as an authority in your niche, and interacting with readers through comment areas, forums, and even email.
These are just a few tactics used by big-name bloggers to solicit readers to respond the way they want. To learn more about how to evoke your most desired response from readers, sign up for the FREE Creating Compelling Content mini-course.