How to Write a Blog Post
That Will Hook Your Audience

See also: Writing Marketing Copy

Blogging can be one of the best ways to engage, entertain and inspire your audience. Popular brands (that you probably know very well) like Cisco, Adobe, Accenture, Microsoft and Skype use this strategy to nurture their customers. For example, IKEA, the Swedish furniture company, runs a blog that revolves around home decor, offering creative solutions and practical tips, whereas Salesforce, the American software company, uses their blog to talk about cloud computing, marketing automation and other technical topics.

Large brands however, are not the only ones that benefit from blogging. If you're a freelancer or small business owner, you can start a blog to educate customers, establish your expertise and build trust. A compelling blog post can also drive massive traffic, leading to increased exposure and revenue.

The challenge lies in creating content that sparks engagement and keeps readers coming back for more. You also want people to interact with your posts, share them with others and take specific actions such as buying your products or joining your list. Achieving this level of engagement is even more difficult for businesses in competitive niches like fitness, E-commerce or marketing.

Like with most things, it’s all about quality over quantity. An in-depth blog post offering a fresh perspective or expert insights, will drive better results than a bunch of low-value posts. The key is to be consistent, think outside the box and write with your audience in mind.

Why Blog Engagement Matters

If you're like most bloggers, you probably want to reach as many readers as possible. The problem is that traffic alone doesn't translate into higher conversions, more bookings or increased profits. Your blog could have thousands of visitors per month and still look like a ghost town.

A better approach is to focus on driving engagement rather than traffic. Simply put, your content should entice readers to ask questions, leave comments, engage in debates or take some sort of action. That's what blog engagement is all about.

Engaged readers are more likely to become repeat visitors and loyal fans. They trust your opinion and perceive you as an industry expert. They'll therefore, interact with your brand, buy your products and spread the word about them.

Blog engagement can also improve your search engine rankings, leading to higher visibility and traffic. For example, Google factors in the comments left by readers when ranking websites and blogs. The same goes for social media mentions, shares and likes, which show Google that your blog content is valuable and relevant to readers.

There's no one-size-fits-all solution to boost blog engagement but some strategies work better than others. Keeping that in mind, attempt to follow these practices to create more impactful content.

Write for Your Audience

First things first, put yourself in your readers’ shoes: What kind of content would you expect to find on a blog in your niche? What would draw your attention and keep you coming back for more? Are there any particular issues you'd want to be addressed?

Browse Facebook groups, chat rooms, forums and other blogs for inspiration. Millions of people use websites like Quora and Reddit to share ideas, ask questions and discuss the problems they face. Join these platforms to engage with your target customers and learn more about their pain points.

Next, create an audience engagement strategy and build your blog around it. Make sure each post has a clear purpose, whether it's introducing a product or sharing actionable insights. Most importantly, don't try to be everything to everyone. Instead, narrow down your focus and create relevant, compelling content that caters to your audience's interests.

Be Original and Authentic

Even the most prolific writers run out of ideas and feel like everything has already been said. For example, there are millions of websites and blogs covering the gig economy. Some were written by successful entrepreneurs and influential figures with decades of experience. That being said, you can still share unique insights and bring value to the table.

The thing is, no one expects you to reinvent the wheel. What matters most is finding your own voice and taking a different stance on the topics you cover. Don't be afraid to be (a bit) controversial and speak your mind.

First, visit other blogs in your niche and check out their best-performing posts. Ask yourself the following:

  • What did they say well?
  • What else could you add?
  • What are readers saying about it?
  • Are there any personal experiences you could share in that regard?
  • What's your opinion on that matter?

Don't just regurgitate what others have said. Instead, write from a fresh perspective and add a touch of personality to your posts.

Diversify Your Content Strategy

The best-performing blog posts should be around 2000 words, but great content comes in many forms. Plus, the ideal word count varies based on the type of post and its intended purpose. For example, it doesn't make sense to write a 2,000-word how-to blog post if you can get your point across in 800 words. Sure, you could give more background information, but you might end up confusing your audience.

Julia McCoy, a published author and content strategist, suggests using a mix of short- and long-form content, such as:

  • Authority content (e.g., pillar posts and guides)
  • Editorial content (e.g., opinion pieces)
  • Case studies and original research
  • Trending content (e.g., industry news)
  • Video content
  • eBooks and white papers

The more you diversify your content strategy, the wider your reach. Videos and other forms of content are particularly effective at driving engagement and could go viral within hours. Free blog sites like Wix for example, support most media formats, making it easier to mix up your content.

Leverage User-Generated Content

Blogging can easily turn into a full-time job, leaving little room for other business activities. One way to free up your time and get better results is to leverage user-generated content (UGC).

Through this approach, you'll capitalize on the content created by customers, readers and other third parties. Think about customer reviews, testimonials, blog comments and social media content, such as tweets about your blog.

For example, Doritos launched a website where customers can create pictures and videos revolving around the brand. The company shares the best creations on social media to drive engagement.

Customers perceive UGC as being more authentic than branded content, says Hootsuite. User-generated content also allows you to get your readers involved and connect with them on a personal level. The result? Increased brand awareness, higher engagement, and lower costs.

Encourage Readers to Interact with Your Blog

Sometimes people need to be told what's expected of them, thus, if you want them to leave a comment or ask further questions, just tell them to do so. Let them know you're more than happy to help them out and address their concerns.

Wix and other free blog sites allow users to enable comments for their posts. Tick this option, and then decide what action you want your readers to take.

If, say, you expect them to leave a comment, end your blog posts with a couple of sentences saying, "What's your take on [...]," "Now it's your turn! How do you feel about [...]? Share your thoughts below,” or something along those lines. Use the same approach to drive engagement on social media.

Another option is to mention other bloggers or industry experts in your posts. For example, a roundup or listicle could include quotes or actionable tips from third parties. Let them know you've mentioned them, and they might return the favor or share your post with their audience.

Craft Content That Drives Results

As you can see, there's a lot that goes into building an audience engagement strategy. You can't just publish a couple of posts and expect readers to interact with your blog. Ask for and respond to engagement, provide value at every touch point, and put your audience first.

Last but not least, stick to a consistent blogging schedule. Aim for at least two posts per week, including short- and long-form content. Add visuals, case studies, and original research and most importantly, write from a fresh perspective, even if that means stirring up a little controversy.