What do pretty girls and bloggers have in common?
Admittedly, not a whole lot, although there are plenty of smoking hot bloggers. But for those of us who are of average appearance, let’s consider this for a moment.
Go ahead. I’ll give you a minute to guess. No, it’s not a joke. It’s a serious question.
Have a guess? Okay. I’ll share my answer: Pretty girls and bloggers both attract people.
At least that’s the idea behind blogging, isn’t it? You want to drive traffic the same way pretty girls draw eyes. You want people to comment on your blog the same way pretty girls get hit on. You want to convert your readers into followers the same way pretty girls land dates.
There’s no doubt about it: You want to be popular. You want to be hot.
But pretty girls don’t just roll out of bed looking pretty. Well, some do, but most put a lot of work into looking good. In the same way, lazy writing isn’t going to cut it.
So do you want to be hot? Of course you do. But how do you take your content from “meh” to “sizzling hot?” Here are 21 ways to give your content a makeover and attract more eyeballs.
1. Back Up Claims With Statistics
You can make any claim you want on your blog, but backing that claim up will instill trust in your content and your brand.
Let’s say you’re writing for a health blog. Don’t say, “Obesity is a problem in the United States.”
Instead, say, “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69 percent of Americans are overweight or obese.”
Income Diary puts this tactic in their list of top 25 ways to build trust online. Use it both in your blog posts as well as across your site. For instance, don’t say, “We receive thousands of visitors every month” on your about page. Take a screen shot from your analytics account and give a solid number, like 50,000 unique visitors per month.
2. Give Concrete Examples
Just like how statistics help strengthen your claims, concrete examples can help drive points home, adding value to your content.
Let’s say you’re writing a blog post on social media mistakes. You could get away with simply listing and describing these mistakes, or you could include examples from past social media blunders. This Entrepreneur article by Jason DeMers of AudienceBloom, for instance, references American Apparel’s Fourth of July blunder to illustrate this very topic.
3. Use Analogies
An analogy is a tactic that compares one thing to another, usually to better explain or clarify a concept. As Glen Long points out on Boost Blog Traffic, “Analogies are powerful because they use established ideas to do the heavy lifting of introducing new ideas.”
So an analogy a scientist might use is that an atom is structured similarly to the solar system. As a blogger, you might use personal life stories and connect them to new ideas. Or, do as I’ve done here and connect two unlike things—blogging and beautiful women—to create intrigue.
4. Share Quotes from Experts
We all know that pretty girls tend to be popular, so if you’re to adopt a “popular” status, you need to hang around the right crowd. In the blogging world, that can mean anything from reading popular blogs to leveraging influencer marketing.
But what makes your readers see the connection is when you include it in your blog posts.
Interview popular bloggers in your niche, or pull small snippets from their previous posts (but make sure to attribute them!). Do so when the quote strengthens your argument or provides clarity and you’ll find that it adds value to your post overall.
5. Interview Interesting People
You can always pull small quotes from experts provided you follow copyright laws and cite your sources. However, you can add even more value by sharing original quotes—quotes you gathered from the original source in a personal interview.
You can piece these quotes together in your post, although some bloggers publish full transcribed interviews. Either way, your readers will get a fresh take on the topic while putting trust in your brand.
6. Create Tweetable Snippets
Quotes from experts give you the perfect opportunity to create tweetable snippets. Use a tool like Click to Tweet to create your custom Tweet, and then insert the link into your blog post.
But you don’t have to rely on expert quotes. When you say something clever, turn it into a Tweetable snippet, or make it easy for readers to Tweet stats you’ve shared.
Neil Patel says Tweetable quotes are one of the best ways to drive traffic to your blog. In one post, he generated 17,452 visits from Twitter alone by incorporating Click to Tweet links.
7. Link Smartly
In addition to Click to Tweet links, there are numerous other ways to add value to your content through links.
Using links to source your statistics builds trust with your readers. You can also use links to expand on a topic or make it easy for readers to visit apps or business websites.
If you strategically link back to your own articles, it will keep readers on your site, and when you link to high-authority sites, it’s typically good for SEO.
Check out this guide to using resource links for a more in-depth look on the topic.
8. Insert Screen Shots
When the subject calls for it, a good collection of screenshots can instantly boost the value of your content and make it more attractive. This is generally appropriate when you’re teaching on a technical subject or you’re writing a case study. Screen shots also add visual appeal when you’re talking about mobile apps and websites.
Just look at how it adds appeal and helps drive points home in this Content Marketing Institute post
Image via Content Marketing Institute
Your computer should already come with a screen shot function, such as the Snipping Tool on Windows.
9. Utilize Video Content
Though video content is not a must-have for every blog post, it can prove useful for many topics. For example, you might include a video when writing how-to content that is better taught through visual content, such as a blog post on wood working.
As a general rule, you should always embed videos that you reference, such as if you’re reporting on a viral video. Even including music videos when talking about the entertainment industry can improve the user experience since readers don’t have to leave the page to investigate the topic more.
Not sure how to put videos on your blog? Here’s a quick look at how to go from Youtube to WordPress, whether you’re embedding your own videos or someone else’s.
Watch the video:
10. Publish Accompanying Infographics
You won’t need infographics for every post, but they can be useful tools to drive engagement and add visual appeal. It generally makes sense to include an infographic when you’re writing statistic-heavy content. That way, your visitors get all that information in an easy-to-digest format.
While you can embed infographics made by other people (provided they’re licensed for reuse), you may find more value in creating an original infographic. As an added bonus, you can let others share it with a link back to your site, which is good for traffic and SEO.
You can work with a designer or use an infographic tool like Piktochart to get started.
11. Tell Real-Life Stories
When applicable to the topic at hand, real-life stories are a big hit because they give the reader something unique while demonstrating why the topic is a real problem or how it can be solved in the real world. Better yet, it creates an emotional connection with your readers.
Demian Farnworth demonstrates the power of a real-life story by gripping readers with his high school experience in a CopyBlogger post.
Image via Copyblogger
12. Dig into Case Studies
Speaking of telling real-life stories, case studies are another way to grow your popularity and gain social shares. They’re a type of real-life story, but they often get more in-depth, and instead of recounting an event that happened to you, you’re generally taking a look at the hard statistics. Case-studies can be worked into your posts under a single subhead, or you can build entire series out of a single case study.
Let’s take for example Brian Dean’s BackLinkO article “21 Actionable SEO Techniques You Can Use Right Now.” He covers 21 tips, but at point 12 when he talks about long-tail keywords, he shows screen shots and lessons learned from his own experiences.
Image via BackLinkO
13. Explain Your Topic With Comics
When you’re looking to get a good laugh out of your audience, you can spice up your content by using comics. Not only does it lighten the mood, but it can help drive important points home.
Here’s just one example from blogger Lauren Tharp who uses comic illustrations to build visual appeal.
Image via Little Zotz
14. Create Downloadable/Printable Material
Depending on the subject matter, creating downloadable material can add a wealth of value for your readers. Examples include:
- A checklist on a step-by-step blog post
- A Cheat Sheet
- A marketing template on a marketing blog
- An editorial calendar on a content marketing blog
- A set of images licensed for reuse on a photographer’s blog
15. Get Animated
If you’re looking to add a bit of personality to your blog posts, animated options like GIFs can help set the tone for your post while drawing in the readers’ eyes.
You can find GIFs on sites like Giphy.com and then embed them into your own blog posts.
16. Get Interactive
Want to boost the user experience quality on your site? Don’t just get readers to readyour content. Encourage them to interact with it. Examples include interactive infographics, quizzes, and games. Take a look at FootPrintNetwork.org’s ecological footprint calculator for an example of interactive content.
17. Be Confident
If you want readers to put confidence in your blog posts, then you have to do so first. Confidence is considered by some to be one of the most attractive qualities, and that’s not just in romantic relationships; it applies to business relationships and those like blogging as well.
Avoid phrases like, “I think” or “I’m not sure, but…” in your writing. Show that you’re confident in what you’re saying, and it will keep more people hanging around.
18. Be Honest
Being confident does not mean you have to lie to your readers. You may actually not know the answer to something, but that doesn’t mean you have to claim to know the answer.
Like confidence, honesty is an attractive quality as well. Telling real stories, opening up about issues your readers deserve to know about (such as those related to your business), and even admitting when you’re in the wrong can instill trust in your brand.
19. Leverage Trending Topics…
You’ll find many attractive people following current trends, and it may just be that those current trends contribute to their attractiveness. You can leverage this same concept on your blog. Examples include:
- Connecting your blog posts to hip topics in pop culture
- Reporting on current news in your industry
- Sharing your views on trending topics (whether you agree or disagree with the main argument)
In this article from DM News, they talk marketing by tying the concept into the uber-popular Avengers movies. And they published the post at the most opportune time, too—a week before the 2015 movie released.
20. But Be Prepared to Take Risks
While you can attract a lot of eyes by playing off what’s trending, you can also garner respect and followers by taking the road less traveled. Consider ideas that haven’t done before or new ways to illustrate old concepts. You can also take risks by discussing controversial topics or new theories in your niche. Though you might see some backlash from commenters, these types of blog posts can quickly go viral.
21. Be Responsive to Your Audience
Finally, you can’t reach that “popular” status you’re longing for without building real connections with your audience. Be attentive to their needs when writing your blog posts by knowing what kind of content they’re looking for, but also be responsive to them after that blog post goes live.
Respond to blog post comments. Thank them for sharing your content on social media. Share their content. Answer emails respectfully and honestly.
All of this will keep your readers coming back for more.
Neil Patel of Quicksprout, for instance, responds to all the comments on his blog, and he’s gained a huge following—with 169K Twitter followers alone!
Are You Ready to Give Your Content a Makeover?
You could be like one of those girls who rolls out of bed, ties her hair up in a quick bun, and smears some mascara on her lashes. You might be naturally beautiful, and that’s okay.
But imagine the type of attention you’d attract if you put meticulous planning and effort into your routine. It’s the same way with blogging.
Each tip above adds an extra layer of value to your content, and that’s what’s going to attract more people to your blog posts.
So will you be a hot blogger, or not?
The choice is yours.