How To Create Engaging And Digestible Blog Content | Lori Hil | Skillshare

How To Create Engaging And Digestible Blog Content

Lori Hil, Certified Content Marketing Specialist

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11 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Intro

      2:03
    • 2. Get A Purpose

      1:05
    • 3. Create Engaging Headlines

      3:29
    • 4. Formatting With Headings

      2:04
    • 5. Formatting With Bullet Points And Quotes

      1:10
    • 6. Hooks And Cliffhangers

      2:47
    • 7. Mix Up Your Post Types

      7:49
    • 8. Using Whitespace

      2:24
    • 9. Recap and Class Project

      0:47
    • 10. Class Project Example Using Skitch

      0:39
    • 11. Thank You

      0:49

About This Class

Two-tenths of a second.

According to a study by Missouri University of Science and Technology that is how long websites have to make a first impression. Attention spans are short online.

Blogging used to be new and exciting. Now we are so bombarded with articles and information that it is overwhelming. But all hope is not lost. Massive amounts of people are still turning to blogs to grab needed information. To become informed and entertained. To learn new skills.

But, you can no longer just throw some words on a blog page with run together paragraphs. People want the best information and they want it fast. Thanks Google.

So, how do keep readers on your content?

Creating an engaging and digestible blog post is a bit like creating a reduction in cooking.

“One of the simplest ways to add flavor—not to mention, a more impressive presentation—to your home cooking repertoire is to reduce braising liquid and pan drippings into lush, thick, spoon-coating sauces.” via Bon Appetit

In blogging, when you cut the fluff, reduce the excess, you are left with easy to digest content that readers can grab and implement making their lives better. And making them want to return to your content again and again.

Concentrated, powerful, flavorful content. This course shows you how.

This class is geared toward beginning bloggers or business owners who have just started blogs on their websites. Or those who have been blogging a while, but their posts are falling flat with little to no engagement.

The focus here is not on the technical side of blogging but on the actual content you write and share.

You will need a blog that is ready to go on your platform of choice and the technical know how to publish.

In this class we will discuss how to use formatting techniques like bullet points and headers, but also some copywriting engagement tricks like cliffhangers and hooks to keep those eyes on your content and make your readers excited to share.

Transcripts

1. Intro : 2/10 of a second. That's how websites have to make a first impression. Attention spans are short online. I'm Laurie Feel Certified content marketing specialist. I hurt for sites like Forbes Sprout social, be funky, clear voice and more. That being said, I'm not some marketing goober sitting behind a big brand. I'm a freelance blogger in the trenches, writing Block Coast on almost a daily basis. I know what it feels like to put your time and heart in a block post and have no reader engagement. I also know what it was like to get your first comment and have someone tell you your content helped improve their lives. While blogging is a journey, I would take the ladder any day. The purpose of this class is to help you avoid the mistakes I have made and seem so many other bloggers make. You can have amazing knowledge to share, but is that knowledge is not executed and for men it properly for the online space, you may never reach your ideal audience here in this class. You will not be done into the technical aspects of blogging, but how to make use of some formatting white space and copy writing tricks to keep your readers engaged in on your content. For the class project, we will be analyzing some of your favorite blood post for popular ones to see what takings we learn in this class that they're implementing and how they're keeping their readers engaged. As you do this class start to look for these timings on your favorite blocks. Grab a glass of your favorite go to beverage that sweetie for this Southern out and let's get started. 2. Get A Purpose: reduction and cookie, great content gets down to the heart of your message. In this class, we're gonna be talking techniques to make your content more digestible, easier to free. But underneath it all, you still need great content. And that starts with your ideal reader and knowing your purpose. No, no, you won't. Reading your block what they like, where they hang out and what purpose you have for your content is your purpose to teach your reader to inform, to inspire or entertain. Keep your purpose in mind in your ideal reader as you write your block posts and they will be more engaging from the start. Now let's dive into the rest of the techniques in this class. 3. Create Engaging Headlines: create engaging concept requires great headline. Yeah, so does a good job of this, because every time we want to check my email and still sucked into those stories on the front page, news sites get great headlines. Did you? Marketer has a downloadable sweat. Both headlines, which I will link for you in the resource is co schedule also has a free tool that will analyze your headlines. They suggest you start with your headline type. Use the right bird balance, which is a combination of comment. Uncommon emotional and power words, then optimize for character. I had a musical schedule headline analyzing tool to get a feel for how to improve our headlines. Let's grab an example from the digital marketer Spot flow right Here are some game hit line tonight's that tell people what they're gonna gain by reading your post. So let's just take one right Here is a template. This one says, Give me 10 minutes and you'll be a master at tuning your guitar. Go over here. I am very going to paste this in, and then we're gonna change it a little bit to make it need our audience. Let's say give me seven minutes and you'll be a master at over the active T Sam writing a post on productivity for my readers are gonna do is we're gonna put that in here and we're gonna click Analyze now. And what this is going to do is analyze the results and give us a score. That's a score of 64 which is okay, not that great can go down here and we can see why we got that score so we can understand how we can prove it. The first thing is the word balance. And you can see we have a lot of common words, but we don't have any uncommon words. We do not have any emotional or power words. So to get a better headline score, we're definitely gonna wanna add some of those in. And if you're like me When I got started, I did not know what these kind of words meant. So right here, Close schedule has some links that you can read block post about this and this one had to master your headline word. Ballots will help. You know what kind of words you can put in your headline to meet all of these requirements and the next thing is gonna analyze is your lift. And you can see that our headline. It's too long. 12 words, usually the headlight analyzer like you to keep your headline at about 10 words because otherwise it just gets too lengthy. And then we can see the first and last worth of a headline. And then we have your keywords and your sentiment. And right now you can see that our headline is showing a neutral sentiment. So we're probably going to want to prove that to to get a better headlines for Then you have your Google search preview. So right here, this shows you what Your post is gonna look like with that headline showing up on Google. Then you haven't email subject line preview. This is really useful, too. If you're sending this as an email because it's gonna show you what words are gonna be cut off, this is just a great tool toe. Learn how to improve your headlights and I definitely go over and read those posts on what words to use and how to increase the emotional power and uncommon words in your headlines also work on the length. Just play around with this practice. This will be reading better headlines in no time 4. Formatting With Headings: getting nerdy. Google nerdy, but not too much. So don't worry. We're talking s CEO search engine optimization. I'm certainly no expert on Google secrets, but they may be using H tags to evaluate the value of the content in your block post. It helps the search engines know what your post is all about, but our focus for this course is not on the search engines. It's on your readers. So how can you make use of H tax or headings to draw your readers in and refocus them? Just using headers breaks up text to reduce their strain on reader's eyes, but they can also be super valuable to draw in skimmers. Those who are trying to pick out the most needed information from your post headings have a top down hierarchy, starting with H one, which is usually the title through H six. Getting smaller as they go. How do you know what headings to use and what they should say? You do not need to use all six headings for a typical block post of under 1000 words used H one for the title or main point and then h two text four years subheadings think of it as an outlet for those papers you had to write in high school. Make the heading text interesting but explanatory as love to please both search engines and readers. Let's have a look at a post that uses both tags and numbers to break up texts and keep readers engaged. See the large title text at the top, Then the sub headings are a bit smaller. This is hte tags and use those who want to just know what the 10 strategies are can easily scroll through and see them. If the strategies are intriguing enough, a reader may dive into the whole thing and read the in between paragraphs or at least say the post to read later when they have more time. If not, they have still gained an overview of thes strategies. Aggerated blocks begin to notice how much easier this type of formatting iss on your eyes 5. Formatting With Bullet Points And Quotes: in this section, we will quickly speak to using bullet points in quotes to help break up texts and make content more engaging. This article by mashable how to optimize marketing copy for Mogul speaks to the effect of smartphones on content. After all, mobile devices have tiny screens that just do not fit a lot of contents. It's critical that marketers keep this in mind as they write. Copy what will fit onto a user screen without scrolling for quotes. You can use traditional quotation works, but actually using the quotation feature in your blogging platform will help the quote stand out even more. You're blogging. Platform should also have a bullet point option. This is great for list of items you won't to highlight. Just take a look at this example of paragraphs for my post via pro blogger. One section is not formatted. Then the same words formatted. Can you see the difference? Which one would you rather read 6. Hooks And Cliffhangers: Now it's time for some copyrighting fun cliff fingers in hooks. Not that I know that's a little dangerous. They hook a hook is a way for you to draw your readers and just like you would really in a fish, keep them wanting more. And there are different types of hooks in the movies. You often have teasers for writing. We typically used cliffhangers, so a cliffhanger is a type of hook used to pull your readers in and engage them. That holds something back from the reader or viewer. So they're left hanging, wanting to know more how to use this in your block post to keep your readers engaged in your content. Way to create a clip finger is with curiosity. You could ask a question like post here for Forbes. How content creators earn. Is the system broken? Well, it makes readers of that title they Maybe the system is broken. I don't know. I want to earn as a content creator, so they get curious. To read The post finger doesn't have to be a question. Take this classic from Edgar Allan Poe. The Ravens, once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary. Why? Why is he weak and weary? Why is he up so late? You're just drawn into this story because you're left hanging on the 1st 9 Or if we had over two nil. Tell us a block. A traffic generating genius. We can see that he uses clip fingers and some of hiss headlines for his podcast and block post. This one. Everything I taught you about CIA was wrong. What? You've been teach me the wrong thing. What? Let me go see what that's all about. You can use cliffhangers throughout your post. Spark your reader's curiosity. Dialogue from your head can make a great cliffhanger. There's a question. Make a promise. Intrigue. It can be a really simple line. Look at this example from Smart Blocker. How it starts. Admit it. You thought about writing any book. You see how short the sentences are, but they draw you in tow. Wanna know more? Those people who are curious about this post are gonna be like Well, yeah, I have thought about writing any book. Let me see what this post is all about. 7. Mix Up Your Post Types: well, consistency is important when it comes to your brandy. Always right in the same types of post can get boring for both you and your readers is standing things up. Let me get a reduction in cooking to get down to what's most important. Think of this technique is your spice town. It toe Slater things up. I brought people of their recipes. And while there's something to be said for stables and sometimes you just want some flavor and that's what your long readers they're crazy, too. So let that's him. Playing on to your post did. The first time we're gonna blood post type we're going to talk about is the how to coast you can see if you just type how to into Google. You get all kinds of results because people love the how to. So if we type in something like how to be more productive, we can see there are a lot of posts on that. Let's choose this one here by Life Act. And not only is it to be post, it's also a list post. You can see you have numbers here which people also look just like that clo post I showed you before people love that they couldn't get the main point here. And then they can dive in deeper and you can see we got new simple. It points to also this is just have to do something good. Show your blob readers how you did something that changed your life, how they can prove their mindset. Or you could do a more technical how to post like this one here by digital trends on how to take a screenshot. So you can see here how to take a screenshot on a Mac This go step by step with pictures. I'm showing you what buttons to hit on your keyboard somewhere technical, how to post. So there are many, many ways you could use this, but people love these kind of posts. I would definitely add the how to post and start thinking about how you can apply to that simple it to your law. The next best type we're gonna look at did remark and calls the content aggregator post. And what This is where you use other people's post and you link back to yours to create kind of an ultimate list or a list of things where people can get all these resource is and one block post. So we're going to look at an example of this here from the love, the foodie and the fix you can see here they have 21 day fix quicks dinners. But the thing about this is these are not all their dinners. So if we squirrel down, you can see the little introduction here. But then here we have leaks out toe other blocks. Confessions of a fit ButI carry l here and you can see as you scroll down they have the pictures. 1234 And then they have the next 1234 The recipes here They have just taken all these quick dinners from from their block and other bloggers and put them together in this one massive resource. Now, the important thing to remember when you're doing this is to give credit where credit is due and make sure you're putting a positive spin on this. But other than that, other bloggers will love you for doing this because you are getting as long as you credit down, you are giving them extra traffic to their block posts and sharing it with your audience, and this cuts down on the work you need to do massively because you need to take the time to go out and get these links. Yes, but you do not have to actually write the block Post justice aggregating all this content together, and your readers will love it because they don't have to go to all these different blobs. They could look through and find the ones that they want to visit, the ones that they want and you'll be helping other bloggers get blocked traffic while you also get blocked traffic. Let's quickly look at another example of an aggregator post. This one comes from Survival Life, which is additional marketer site, and they do these ultimate lists the ultimate bug out bag this for every survivor list. And if you scroll down this thing, you can see that they have all these leaks going out. This is other people's content, and they're just expanding on it. In these paragraphs, you can see here is the link to the original. I always give credit to the original author here, but they do this. They put in the links and they expand on it in their own words, and they aggregate all this content together to create these really engaging post for their readers. You can also use other people's expertise, like I've done here on the immensely social blogged with this post. How to craft an epic social media buyer for your profiles. And what I've done here is I started with an example of my own. But then I went, and I grab some quotes from other articles and went through teaching people how to craft a bio, but with quotes from others and examples from other people's Twitter profiles, and this again is helping promote them. It's giving some back leans. It's making the post easier to write. But it's also really engaging to viewers because you have all this different kind of content that draws them in with different examples. You can see even included Ryan Reynolds here talking about adding humors are people conflict on these leagues that go over Twitter? They can check out the post from these quotes, and this creates a really engaging post that people want to interact with. The final post type that I want to talk to you about is the behind the scenes post. So guy ECOWAS sake did this here with behind scenes. How I post on social media, you can see goes through what resource is he uses to get his social media feeds full with lots of links and resource is for people. So this is a type of behind the scenes post that's also kind of a how to, because the reader gets lots of resource is and ideas about how they, too, can their social media game, just like guides. Here is another example from Zappos, and this one is showing a behind the scenes picture of their cause that I go into their customer loyalty ta no and how they work in their offices while also promoting their brand . They creative collective does behind the scenes type post with their income reports. So they show you how much they made per month, and then how they made that income, what their expenses were. And this just gives people an idea of how their businesses run and gives encouragement about how they could run their own businesses. One of my favorite APS be funky did this recently. They just revenge. There be funky photo editing app And so they did this post a whole new be funky. That's smarter than ever. And they kind of go into the behind the scenes at their headquarters how they've been working on this for 10 years, what the new designs are like in all the new features. So they're promoting their AB in a beautiful way, while also kind of giving a behind the scenes look of how they improved and made the app even better. While I've shared with you three great post types don't stop now. There are many more different post types that you can include on your block. I'll leave some resource is with you, but I hope this gets your creative juices flowing to get started. 8. Using Whitespace : Well, this is not a class on Web design. Sometimes there's just too much going on for your readers to engage with your content. So in the section, we're gonna talk just a little bit about using whitespace to leave some breathing room for readers. We've kind of talked about cutting the fluff in your riding in what to add in to engage your readers. But you want to leave some white space and not overload your blood page for readers. Has an example Are chose to show you Station seven had just have beautiful, minimalistic designs. So I wanted to show you from their website that you can see all this white space here and here. You have more and you can see all the space just kind of make sure I drawn in tow. What's important and just see from the design all the space that's left. That just kind of gives your reader breathing room where they feel like they're not overwhelmed with content because it's just a beautiful design. And I'm not encouraging to go up by a new theme if you already have one or anything, but just cut your block and look at your website and make sure you're not overwhelming your viewers with too many things. You want to keep your navigation simple on your menu. Simple. But in this class we're mostly talking about actual blood post. So let's go over and see one of stations block post. This is their blawg. And here is one of their block post and you can see they've left space separating for paragraph. Save less space in between. Here, they've used headings and you can see all the white space that creates Over here, they've used plus signs for their bullet points. Right here again, this creates a lot of white space. It just kind of gives your eyes of break. It makes you feel more like rating without being overwhelmed. So I just want to show you this website with how much white space some of the techniques we've been talking about create AIDS. This is just additional thing to think about when you're writing your block post and you're using. Now, the techniques we've been learning is toe leave some white space around by separating your paragraphs. Maybe putting some space is around your images like this. Clean design people are so in audit dated with information these days online. When you have something like this that's refreshing, your readers will be a lot more engaged and wanna dive in and read what you have to say. 9. Recap and Class Project: This is where you learn that you need a purpose. Some good formatting for your post whitespace cliffhangers and variety. Now it is time for your class project. Find one of your favorite block posts online and analyze it. Or a popular one. You could use a total like bus sumo to find popular block posts in whatever nature you like . Been list three tightenings that you learned in this class that the block post employs and why it works to keep you re dictionary screenshot of a section that uses one or two of the tips. So we get all learn from it bonus points. If you share comment, what tip was your favorites and how you're gonna implement it on your own block? I can't wait to see your grass projects. 10. Class Project Example Using Skitch: you're amusing. A desktop app called Skitch to complete the class project. So here this is the example we were talking about from the station, 7th 1 of their blood post. And they are using headings. They're using bullet points and white space. So I am just gonna quickly put in text and arrows showing all three of the techniques that they're accusing. 11. Thank You : in virtual hiding by to you. You completed this class. Thank you so much for taking this class at me. The love Roman may seem over saturated, but nobody has your voice, our gifts to share. So be sure to implement these tips creates amazing engaging content and go out there and spread your message. You should come back in this class and communicate with other students and share your block post. You could blow to see what your blood and my for for future classes, and I'll see you in the blogosphere.