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Thursday, March 3, 2016
Yes, YOU CAN Write a BETTER BLOG! Here's how...
Hey are you writing or thinking of writing a BLOG? (BTW-This works for ANY KIND of Blog)
(Got this GREAT #BLOG How To from my friend Simon Sanders at SVT Media...thank you!)
If the answer is “hec yeah“, then I’ve got some great tips for you.
When you are writing a piece of content, it needs to trigger the right emotions and persuade the reader to continue to read your content and not hit the “back button”.
Sometimes, this is difficult to accomplish.
In this article, I will show you some proven copywriting techniques which will help you to become a better writer, boost your conversion rates, increase search traffic, sales and turn fleeting visitors into fans.
Let’s get started!
1. Write Epic Content
If you want to build a passionate audience, it begins with writing epic content. Period.
If you are writing something to inspire people, to stir emotions, you need to provide value and most importantly, you need to blow them away with your words.
Even with all the promotion in the world, if your content is average, your site content will never become popular.
Have you heard of Ramit Sethi?
He receives over 300,000 visitors every month, but the truth, which no one really talks about, is the amount of time he spends writing his blog posts. Every single blog post takes him 12 to 18 hours to write, and this is why he has grown 99.9% of blogs out there because his content is epic.
Are you spending that much time on your content?
You may already know there are thousands of sites and blogs who rewrite the same content repeatedly. Believe me, it’s difficult to stand out when using these tactics.
On the other hand, if you have great content, you have a huge advantage and can push your site to a whole new level and stand out from the crowd.
2. You have 15 seconds
According to a study, you only have 15 seconds to grab your audience’s attention. If within 15 seconds you are able to convince them that they need something badly, they will continue to read.
Make your audience desire your product, service, article or other in 15 seconds, that is all the time you have.
3. Find your quiet place
Sounds like a strange piece of advice, right?
This is one of the best pieces of advice you will ever receive as a writer. I always stress out when I have to write every day. I even do this thing whereby I set myself a limit of writing 500 words a day. I can’t remember how many times I have started and never actually followed through and completed it.
Instead of worrying about the daily word count or page count, concentrate by going to your quiet place and focusing for one hour on your writing without distractions. Don’t set any goals for yourself. No word counts, no pages. Just one hour of writing; good or bad.
By continuing this simple habit, your writing will improve more than you can imagine.
4. Kill Fear with accountability
When I started off, I was always terrified of what people thought of my writing. What if my writing is bad? What if people judge me? Some days I just couldn’t write and I postponed the writing until “tomorrow”. You know the feeling, right?
One of the ways you can overcome this fear is to find an accountability partner. It could be your spouse, friend, coworker, anyone – simply anyone who is willing to help you for 30 seconds a day. Every day, report to your partner via email, and include a) how long the writing process lasted. b) What you wrote about c) How it made you feel?
Try this technique. The benefits are great and your fear will disappear.
5. Make your text skimmable
The majority of people who come to a website, leave within 10 to 20 seconds and that’s why you need to quickly grab their attention.
Here is an image of two different posts:
You can probably tell already that you would press the “back” button if you saw a post similar to what were on the right side.
One of the ways to do this is to format your text in such a way that people can quickly understand the message you’re trying to convey. You can use few different methods to make your content digestible with few glances.
Break up long paragraphs into shorter ones
When using a subheading, describe a benefit
Use bulleted and numbered lists
When writing important sentences and facts, make sure to bold them
Use images to bring clarity to your message
Remove any elements from the webpage, which may distract the reader
6. Bucket Brigades
As with the last point, the attention span of people is short and that’s why we need to keep the reader engaged from the beginning.
Bucket Brigades are words and phrases that keep people on your page.
Backlinkto author, Brian Dean, uses this technique often and almost every piece of content he writes starts with a short bucket brigade followed by a colon.
Here’s an example:
It can be used to keep the reader on your site even when the content is long (1500+ words). It’s a technique, which was originally used to keep the target audience reading a sales letter.
It works well, and the average time spent on a page will drastically increase after implementing this technique.
You can simply use Budget brigades at the beginning of your blog posts or even in the middle. The most effective way to find where to place it is to consider at what point in the text your reader might hit the browser’s “back” button.
Here are some effective Bucket brigade classics:
Here’s the deal:
This is crazy:
What’s the bottom line?
You might be wondering:
It gets better/worse:
But here’s the kicker:
Want to know the best part?
Just pick a few and add them to your blog post. I’m confident that the average time people spend reading your content will increase.
7. Make amazing headlines
You probably spend many hours writing your content, but how much time do you spend crafting your headlines? Probably not enough.
A headline is important because 8 out of 10 people will read your headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will continue to read.
ViralNova and Buzzfeed are most famous for their “clickbait” headlines, but even though they receive a lot of hate, their meteoric growth speaks for itself.
You have probably seen these headlines:
Obviously, some headlines are too much and slightly over the top, but they catch the attention of readers.
Here are some examples to draw inspiration from.
15 ___ That Will Change The Way You ___
This ___ Makes ___ 3x Better
Use These 3 Simple Hacks For More ____. #2 Is Awesome
When You Learn About ___ You’ll Never ____ Again
Here Are 6 ___ That ____. And They’re Backed By Science
I Tried ___. And Even I Was Surprised About What Happened Next
When you have crafted your headline, you may want to test it with Headline Analyzer. It’s really simple and accurate.
8. Use the word “you”
You should get rid of every line of copy that begins with “we”. Whether it is on your website or in an email newsletter.
Instead, begin with “you”.
People don’t want to hear about others, they want to hear about themselves. They have enough problems and questions on their own and they are looking for answers.
If you want to start conversions and write copy, which gets results then you need to start thinking of the word “we” as a word to never use.
9. Write conversationally
The act of writing is a conversation between the author and the reader. We have so much information from all mediums that if we don’t feel connected with the content, we will search for something else and click away to better content.
If you want to get your message across, then keep your copy as conversational as possible. Try using words and phrases that you use in everyday conversations and try writing in the same way, as you would talk to a friend. If you can do that, your copy won’t end up being dull and uninteresting.
10. Use power words to trigger emotions
You have definitely read articles or books from writers who have written with a magical ability to toy with your emotions. This kind of writing takes us on an emotional roller coaster ride, making us feel a certain way about that information.
You might want to consider doing the same thing. The easiest way is to use power words. The 20 most influential words, via David Ogilvy.
You can try using these words in your headlines, bullet points and subject lines. Of course, it takes time to get used to using “new” words, but try adding a few to your existing posts right now.
11. Use simple language
If you went to college, you were probably taught how to write using complex sentence structures and a use of vocabulary that a 7th grader couldn’t understand.