A seasoned copywriter will make this mistake at least once.
As they stuck to a good workflow, they found shortcuts and general routines that helped them to produce blogs at an industrial scale. All seemed well, they were posting blogs of reasonable quality for the short time exchanged for it.
Until one day, they saw how their loyal readers had slowly begun to unsubscribe. Their weekly newsletter had lost a human touch. It is not worth reading anymore.
If you’re facing this problem right now, you are not alone.
Don’t forget: You are writing to storytellers
In the hectic attempt to catch deadlines, you might forget that people are captivated by stories, because people are storytellers themselves. People are nosy; they want to hear about someone’s struggles to end their troubles. People are also drawn to a certain storytelling style -- one that is concise, humorous, emotional, and easy on the eyes.
Of course, you do have a specific message to deliver, without which your blog has no substance. But dull flavorless information without the storytelling spice, is not worth digesting. As a writer, it is your job to find the right balance.
Use a few lines of story as a hook
A good length is 3 to 4 very short, 2-sentence paragraphs. See the intro as an example.
The first half paints a picture of the status quo, which is the stable world you thought you were living in. The second half paints the brewing conflict, and a personal call to the reader (“If you’re facing this problem..”) launches them straight to the substance.
Headings are more than just for organizing
Use headings to summarize your blog. We’ve all been there -- we read the intro, it’s fine, but we ask ourselves, “This blog is going to be long, isn’t it?”
In the Age of Distraction, it’s good service to give our prospective readers a bit of an idea of what kind of substance the blog offers.
Break some rules for flow’s sake
When people read in silence, they read out loud in their minds. And when a piece of writing is filled with long sentences and run-ons, it feels like reading with a hiccup. There’s so much information in that sentence that a re-reading is necessary. That’s terrible for the flow of ideas. Okay, run-ons are grammatical errors. But it’s okay to break some grammatical rules if it means better flow.
Use fragments. Like this one. It’s to put an emphasis and let the idea sink in during the short pause. I personally enjoy using hyphens. I have to be honest, though -- I don’t exactly know how to use them properly, because I use intuition to know when it’s needed.
White spaces and better words
Single sentence paragraphs are fine too.
The above paragraph is visually pleasing. It provides white spaces to give your readers’ eyes a break. As that single sentence stood out among the white space, it gets fairly good attention, so use it wisely.
Likewise, use a variety of words, vivid imagery, and sensory phrases. But do not unleash difficult utterances embezzled from the Thesaurus rex -- it will bite you back.
Make promises… and deliver!
Storytelling is flavor to the otherwise dull substance. But too much storytelling can distract the reader from accessing the information that they came for in the first place. Is that possible?
I can think of misleading blogs that promise a solution, that describe the reader’s problems with emotional passion, but do not deliver the promised information -- at least until I unlock the paywall. I’m not saying all promotional blogs or long infographics with conversion buttons at the very bottom are bad, but some bloggers abuse storytelling as a cheap trick for this sort of purpose.
They get you excited with anticipation, but destroy your trust when they offer nothing of value for free.
A blog is not just a copywriting space. It’s a relationship between the writer and the reader.
After all, writing blogs is free marketing. It’s an SEO strategy that costs nothing but time. And to reward readers with the time that they give you by reading the blog, writers should offer at least valuable knowledge for free, that is worth the reader’s time.
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