There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours on a piece of content that you hope shines after publication, only for its message to be overlooked by your readers. To optimize your reach and ensure that readers really connect with the messages you have to offer, your content has to be fresh and exciting to read.
Like a novel that’s hard to put down or an engaging piece published in a trendy magazine, your content should pull readers in so they want to follow through with their read to the end. Luckily, you don’t have to have any special training or experience in order to make your content exciting enough for your readers to stay engaged through the last word. Here are a few tips and tricks to consider implementing for maximized success:
1. Be conversational
Whether you are offering insight into a technical topic, providing your opinion about new software, explaining a how-to project or putting together an informational piece, it’s always best to structure the content in a conversational way so that it’s easy to absorb and retain for the average reader. Use everyday language that reads as if you were speaking to your audience in person.
Ask open ended questions of your readers that inspire them and encourage them to think outside the box. Pretend like you’re talking to a friend as you piece together your outline, and put yourself in the shoes of your audience to gain some insight into what follow-up questions might be asked so that you can address them in your initial piece.
2. Implement calls-to-action
An awesome way to create more engagement and make your content more exciting for readers is to implement calls-to-action once or twice within most of your pieces. A call-to-action doesn’t have to be treated as a sales tactic. In fact, your calls-to-action should spark thought and interest in your readers.
Asking your readers to try a specific technique at home, referring them to books they can check out at the library for extra information and offering invitations to sign up for free online seminars are all effective ways to encourage action and engagement among your audience. Don’t save your calls-to-action for the end of your content. Engage readers with actionable communication throughout to enrich the overall reading experience and ensure that those who start reading your content are enthralled enough to stay tuned and keep learning until the last word is read.
However, be sure to consider how often you steer your audience away from the basis of your content in order to find further information or complete a project, as this can actually drive potential customers away from your words. A good rule to follow is to use question-based calls-to-action throughout the heart of your content that don’t encourage readers to steer away from what they’re reading, and to use verbiage that requires taking action not associated with the article itself near the close.
3. Make use of visuals
Visuals are an extremely useful tool when it comes to making content more exciting for readers and ensuring that the whole story you’re trying to get across is thoroughly told and absorbed. Statistics say that roughly 40 percent of online users respond more positively to content with visuals as opposed to plain text, and posts with videos embedded in them receive about three times the inbound link exposure that posts without videos do.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to include at least one high quality photo in each piece of content you produce. Any videos you can find to correspond with your topic will really help to enrich the piece and establish yourself as a knowledgeable brand that knows where to find valuable information and doesn’t mind sharing it. You’ll find that you can significantly increase your profit margins by including review videos for products you are promoting within pieces too.
You should find that these techniques are easy to implement and won’t interfere too much with the fluidity or insight that you want to leave behind within each piece of content you create.
This article first appeared in www.entrepreneur.com