Make your blog post stand out in the noise with these 3 simple steps

blogging inbound marketing online marketing running a business service based business Dec 18, 2023
Make your blog post stand out in the noise with these 3 simple steps

Creating a captivating, high-converting blog post doesn't have to be πŸš€ rocket science. A few key elements are all you need to strive for success.

(this is a long one, TL:DR at the bottom πŸ˜‰)

Great blog posts are an essential part of a solid inbound marketing plan. In this post I'll share 3 easy ways to make YOUR blog posts stand out and shine like the goldmines of information they truly are (or, at least, they SHOULD be).

*This post may contain affiliate links

1. Start with a Sticky Lead Sentence

I cannot stress this point enough.  You need to grab your reader’s attention if he or she is actually going to bother to read your blog post.  Sure, fancy graphics and titles that lure are also important parts of this equation, but that first sentence – the hook – is what gets them.  It’s called a “hook” for a reason — it lures them in just like a fishing line.

One of my fave books on the topic is the book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath.  They go into great detail about how you can best get your readers to remember what you’ve said (and, in some instances, persuade them to see your perspective).

To sum it up quickly a “sticky” lead sentence (as Chip and Dan call it) is one that grabs the reader’s attention by shocking them with some sort of fact or promise that draws them in.  It’s all about presentation.



Let's look at an example of an effective sticky lead sentence: "Sitting is the new smoking."

We've all heard that one by now, right? Something that we all do every damn day has been compared to something we've been told is VERY unhealthy. We're hooked. We gotta know more. HOW is sitting the new smoking? WHAT can I do about it? 😲



2 – Organize According to Reader Habits

Studies have repeatedly shown that most people do not read entire articles.  Most drop off after the initial lead sentence if it doesn’t grab their attention or proves that the headline was misleading.  After that, people slowly drop off because, well, we just have shitty attention spans these days.

A lot of people say you should front-load your post to avoid this problem. Put an opt in toward the top and add a TL:DR. Other people like to throw something at the beginning to push people to a summary at the bottom where they'll naturally find the email opt in. I like to experiment with a mixture of the two approaches. I try to go back and forth between them and, tbh, I also like to just write a typical, old school blog post now and then too!


Why even both blogging? Isn't blogging dead?
πŸ‘‰ See my thoughts on THAT by watching this video.


Chunk Info According to Topic and Sub-Topic

Headings and subheadings are your friends! Use them.

If you know that people just read mostly the headings and subheadings, looking for the breakdown of important info, use that to your advantage. You can easily see that I’ve done that here in this post.

You can get a general picture of what I’m saying just by reading the headings and then choose which topics you want to learn more about and read the paragraphs for each of those topics.

If I wrote this blog post like a traditional newspaper or magazine article you would likely get bored reading about things you already know while waiting to find the golden nuggets of new information hidden inside.


Keep Your Paragraphs Short(ish)

Knowing that people have poor attention spans should tell you that they don’t really like to read long paragraphs.  Splitting up long paragraphs into shorter ones makes them easier for people to navigate and will keep them engaged longer because the post doesn’t look as overwhelming.  It also allows them to opt-out of reading any short paragraphs that start with information they don’t think they need, further catering to the skimming tendencies most people now have.

I tend to stick with anywhere from 3 to 5 sentences per paragraph.  “AHH! This goes against everything I learned in college!”  Yes.  Me too.  But you’re not writing an academic paper or a dissertation on the effects of film on literature.  You are writing an informative blog post for a very particular audience with a short attention span.

3 – Use SEO Best Practices

Some people say SEO is dead.

To that, I say...

SEO is not dead. It's still one of the foundations of any solid inbound marketing plan. It may, however, be expanding and growing. It may be time to start dropping some hashtags in your blog post description as search engines will likely start using them as part of their keyword searches (also because some people still don’t seem to understand how hashtags work and will probably start using them in their searches). *NOTE - This is an experiment, though. I have seen nothing that says you NEED to start doing this.

I am a die-hard fan of solid SEO.  From using keywords in my standardized headings and subheadings, to using long-tailed keywords in my blog titles I make the most of every post’s content.  I also use SEO on every page and behind the scenes in my blog posts and I add alt text ripe with keywords to every image on every page. I encourage you to do the same.

TL:DR / Recap

  1. Start with a Sticky Lead Sentence:

    • The opening sentence is your hook, and it needs to grab your reader's attention like a well-crafted fishing line. Think of it as a "sticky" lead sentence that shocks or promises, luring them in for more.
  2. Organize According to Reader Habits:

    • Recognize that people often skim articles rather than reading them in entirety. Structure your post to accommodate this behavior. You can experiment with different approaches, such as front-loading or adding a TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read) summary at the bottom.
  3. Chunk Info According to Topic and Sub-Topic:

    • Utilize headings and subheadings to break down information into digestible chunks. Readers often focus on these elements to quickly grasp the main points. It keeps the content organized and accessible.
  4. Keep Your Paragraphs Short(ish):

    • Acknowledge the reality of short attention spans. Shorter paragraphs are easier to navigate, preventing readers from feeling overwhelmed. Aim for 3 to 5 sentences per paragraph, catering to the skimming tendencies prevalent in today's audience.
  5. Use SEO Best Practices:

    • Despite some claims, SEO is very much alive. Embrace SEO practices by incorporating relevant keywords into headings, subheadings, and titles. Optimize your content for search engines, including the use of alt text for images. Consider experimenting with hashtags in blog post descriptions, as search engines might incorporate them into keyword searches.

Remember, the art of creating an engaging blog post lies in understanding your audience's behaviors and delivering content that aligns with their preferences. Now, who said blogging couldn't be a breeze? πŸ˜‰

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