Download the Free Blog Template and find out why writing informative and engaging blog posts is about more than just the tasty words on your screen.
Unless you’re blogging for personal reasons, each blog post you write should be working to engage your audience in what you do. You can do this by connecting with your audience emotionally, using your expertise to provide tips and information, or by helping them get the most out of what you do.
These seven key ingredients are designed to promote engagement by making it super easy for people to:
a) Take action
b) Connect with you and
c) Share your post
And the best part about this template is that it can be used to create other types of direct response marketing such as website landing pages, advertorials, brochures, email campaigns and newsletters.
So, What Are The 7 Key Ingredients?
1. A Headline with the right balance of sweetness and a spicy kick unique to you
2. Sub-headline – A tasty sample morsel to keep your readers salivating
3. A Mouth-watering Image
4. Body Copy like a good beer with not too much head, enough body and a refreshing after-taste that makes you go… Aaaaaaah.
5. A tasty Testimonial; The icing on the cake
6. A Crunchy Call to Action as satisfying as the perfect potato chip, that keeps you coming back for one more mouthful
7. An Offer too good to refuse (like the last piece of cake with your name on it)
1. Headlines need to have the right balance of sweetness to entice people to read, but with your own flavoursome kick that makes them choose you over your competitors.
The first thing your potential customers read when they land on your blog is your headline. Which means your headline is critical to that first impression. In a world where we are bombarded with info from every angle, a compelling headline stops people from scrolling past your post. It buys more of those precious seconds from the reader.
An effective headline says: “Hey, I’m talking to you.” (The you is your target market)
TIP: Your headline should only be able to be applied to your product and your company.
Most people use headlines as a way of summarising the text on the page and, if I’m going to be frank, this is just yawn-worthy. Part of the attraction to read more, comes from phrasing the headline in a way that is unexpected.
If your prospects can guess what they will be reading next, they will just skim the page and click off within those first crucial seconds. But if you can appeal to someone quickly by grabbing their attention and speaking right to them, you’ve bought yourself some more time to communicate with them.
5 of the most effective headlines used today are:
1. Learn Why… ie. Learn why buying a house in December can guarantee the perfect house for the perfect price.
2. How to… ie. How to save an extra $600 a year on bank fees and charges without it affecting your lifestyle
3. Specific Question… ie. Are you tired of working 9 to 5? Find out if you have what it takes to be a freelancer.
4. The List… ie. 7 Mistakes to avoid when creating your marketing plan for the new year
5. Free offer… ie. Free eBook: ‘Breastfeeding with your Baby, by Dr Stansas,’ with every 3D pregnancy scan before January 31.
So how do you speak directly to your audience? Let’s look at this example. A small business selling job coaching to women have found their main target audience is women in their early–mid 30’s that haven’t quite figured out what they want to do yet. Their research shows these women share their lives with a husband and young kids.
Your headline could look something like this:
How to find your purpose beyond that mountain of washing
Or it could look something like this:
Discover how sexy your hubby and dirty washing can be, when I help you land your dream job.
You can see how adding a spin that appeals to that audience grabs their attention and spurs them to read on.
2. The Sub Headline Is Where You Get to Offer Another Taste to Hook Your Readers
You’ve stopped people from scrolling past your post with your tasty headline. Now your Sub Headline is the outstretched morsel on a toothpick for your readers to chew on. And if you’ve balanced the flavours just right, your audience will keep reading.
TIP: The flavours in your Sub Headline should be balanced with enough info to show what niche problem you are solving, and how you solve that exact problem for them.
3. A Mouth-Watering Image Can Do Wonders For Your Blog’s Shareability
A mouth-watering image can be just as powerful at grabbing your readers’ attention before they register any of the words on the page. Our brains are always looking to apply solutions to our own problems and images containing powerful emotions can be the bridge between your reader’s problem and your solution.
Therefore images of people exuding overwhelmingly positive emotions such as large smiles, hands in the air, dancing poses, groups of people laughing, have the ability to make people feel like your solution could make them that happy.
Another way images have a lasting impact, is by showing them something unexpected. You could do this by using a cartoon or simple infographic that appeals directly to your target audience. Stock images can be hard to find (and expensive), but the guys at Unsplash have made finding high quality, royalty free photographs a breeze. And if you haven’t used Canva, I suggest you head over and check out their delicious infographic and image building platform. Taaaaaaasty.
4. Write Your Blog Post Like You’re Writing To A Vegetarian: Don’t Just Point Out The Veggies, Show Why Having No Meat On Your Plate Is A Good Thing
Once you’ve convinced your readers that your post is worth their time, you’ll need to show your audience how your tips can be applied directly to their problems. In other words, you need to consider this reason when asking people to read what you have to say. The best test is the ‘So What? Test’. It forces us to answer whether our content is engaging from the reader’s perspective.
If you can ask, ‘So What?’ and your post gives genuine answers and shows how those answers benefit them, then you’re on the right track. If not, turn those questions into ways you can help them, and your copy is working for you.
5. Social Proof Is The Icing That Makes Your Cake Extra Delicious
Even if the blog you’ve written isn’t directly selling a product or service, a testimonial at the bottom of the post, is a great reminder to your reader of your credibility on the subject you’ve written about. They are genuine, unbiased comments and have a massive influence how people view you, your site, and ultimately makes your business more trustworthy and authentic.
The format in which bloggers are offering testimonials to readers is expanding (written was once the standard but audio and video have climbed in popularity) and it is up to you to decide which format is the best to present your credibility.
TIP: Be specific about who wrote your testimonial include their full name, company position and company name after the testimonial to make it feel more authentic. And, for some extra spice, get permission to include a photograph of the person (if you can).
“Alison’s mindful approach to questioning enabled me to express my views in a way that felt extremely valued. The finished article is a piece that is very impressive. Alison’s writing style is beautifully articulate and reflects a genuine understanding and respect for the person within their context. Alison’s approach was highly professional and very prompt, whilst keeping me involved during the process which was very much appreciated.”
6. A Call To Action (CTA) Is A Reminder To Share Your Recipes
At the end of your blog post, your call to action might simply be a well worded question that invites people to give feedback on the topic of your post, spur someone into joining your mailing list (giving you permission to keep contacting them with offers), or even buy the product in question that your just wrote about.
There are few simple things to keep in mind when writing your call to action:
a) Begin with a verb. For example: Download the Free Blog Post Template… Join My Mailing List… Share This Post, Comment With Feedback… Click, Discuss, Like, Tweet, Pin…
b) The action must be clear, concise and communicate value to the reader.
c) Creating a sense of urgency can spur instant action.
d) Display it where it will be seen (not buried in the footer or beneath the comments)
e) Make it bold so it stands out. Use a button with plenty of white space around it, to highlight the CTA.
Knowing your target audience is crucial to getting a CTA that works. If it isn’t working, revisit your research.
7. Get readers to commit by offering the dessert for free with the main course
Even super-doubtful, indecisive readers can be convinced with an offer that is tailored to suit them. They might not want icing on their cake because they don’t love the super-sweet flavour. If they’ve committed to reading this far through your post, then the offer is the perfect way to connect with someone.
TIP: Be specific. Tell your reader you value them by offering a reward for reading your post all the way to the end. Be specific about how much your readers will save. Knowing the value of your offer increases its impact.
Thanks for reading to the end of this post.
As a thank you, please enjoy the blog post template.
Over to you!
Have you done any blogging in the past? Did you use any of these elements? I’d love to know if you found the template helpful.