Your audience is your lifeblood. Without them, you have no content to post and no reason to write in the first place. In order to keep writing posts that will resonate with your readers, it's important to establish a connection with them from the get-go.

Remember: When communicating with your audience, you're not just talking at them––you're talking with them. Here are a few ways in which you can build a strong relationship with your readers through conversation:

• Use their name(s). Calling someone by their name is one of the most powerful ways of showing interest in what they have to say. Using names even once or twice per paragraph can make a big difference in how people feel about your blog. Think of it like this: If you're hanging out with someone and they keep referring to you as "you" or by your last name, how engaged do you think the conversation would be? It's no different online; using names shows that people are engaging on a personal level with their readers, which is exactly what makes them want to come back for more.

•  Ask questions. Unprompted advice is one of the most valuable things an expert can receive––it means that serious thought has gone into making actionable suggestions. Posting questions in your writing is a great way to encourage feedback while also encouraging your readers to put some thought into their response before hitting send. Sending down the right path while still giving your readers some room to think of their own answers is essential for making them feel like you are speaking with them.

•  Use images. It may seem counterintuitive, but this piece of advice is actually more likely to improve the flow of your writing––not distract from it. Images are one of the best ways to keep a new post on top of people's minds, especially if they can relate to what you're saying. If you use an image that reflects the topic at hand, it gives your text another avenue for discussion and feedback––making your audience want to engage even further.

The most important thing to remember about building a connection with your audience is that it's not something you can fake or force. Establishing a genuine relationship requires time and effort, but the payoff––having an engaged readership––is more than worth it.

So why even use images? Don't I want people to keep reading my post instead of clicking on the image/link?

Yes and no---yes, we want them to read our blog entry, but having thumbnails like these will make them more likely to click: 

Also Check: How Small Business Can Grow With the Help of Email Marketing

Here are some tips:

When choosing an image for your blog post, be sure to always pick one that has something to do with what you're writing about. For example, if your post is about hair loss, find an image of a couple holding hands or something showing love and intimacy. If your post is about cooking chocolate chip cookies, use an image of the finished product or someone using the ingredients to make them (for example 1/2 cup melted butter and 2 1/4 cups flour for this article).

Your images should always communicate what you're saying, so it's best not to use stock photos unless they are directly relevant to your topic. And remember that people decide within 7 seconds whether or not they want to keep reading––a great image will keep them wanting more.

I know I didn't do all of these things, but this is so useful and such an easy checklist to go through before you post. Plus, it's nice to inject some humanity into online communication. The author did a fantastic job with this article and provided great examples that improve readability and encourage readers to stick around!

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