You’d better sit down.
I want to tell you something, and you’re not going to like it.
Your dreary blog is putting me to sleep.
I just visited your site, gave it the requisite three seconds of my attention, and found myself in Dullsville.
Nothing grabbed my eye. No headline inspired me to read. No images drew me in.
And here’s the thing: I’m not a captive audience. It was remarkably easy for me to rid myself of your insipid prose, your bland blog. One quick click and I was gone.
It doesn’t have to be that way. A few tweaks here, a little more effort there, and your website will stop me in my tracks.
Try these four changes this week to market your blog more effectively.
1. Speak to me
If it’s me you’re trying to reach, let me know by tailoring your writing and design so it connects with me.
(I’m pretending to be your perfect customer here. Work with me.)
Discover what frustrates me, and write about how to fix my problems. Find out what I’m passionate about, and share everything you know about the topic.
Learn what keeps me up at night, and figure out how you can restore my slumber.
If you’ll do that, I won’t be able to resist reading. I’ll become a frequent visitor, and I’ll know you’re speaking directly to me when you write. And — most importantly — I’ll realize your products and services are exactly what I need.
2. Colorize to feed my eyes
Why’s everyone so afraid of color?
If we had to print our blogs instead of displaying them on screen, I could understand the hesitation. In print, every ink color you add makes your job cost more.
But this is the web. We have millions of colors available to choose from.
Why only two? Using two main colors (not including black or dark grey text) is a great way to visually brand a website.
It’s easier for visitors to register and remember two colors. That’s one reason sports teams use two colors.
Don’t be afraid to harness the power of color to establish your brand personality. Find two that will resonate with your target market. Use them consistently in everything you do.
3. Break down those walls of text
You may have a lot to say on your topic.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but please, please present it in a way that I can digest it.
It’s frustrating to arrive at a website only to be greeted by walls of text with no line breaks, no subheads, and a scrollbar that gets progressively smaller as the page loads. Reading sites like that feels like a chore.
The solution is easy. Stick to one idea per paragraph. Keep them short: three to four sentences at the most.
Spend time writing good subheads, too.
After your headline, many readers will scan your subheads to decide whether or not to invest time on your site. If the subheads are compelling and tell a story of their own, your post will look appealing rather than daunting.
4. I’m yours for the asking
You’ve drawn me in, you’ve held my interest, and I made it all the way to the end of your post. Now what should I do?
Time for you to get bossy.
Tell me what you’d like me to do next. Should I share your post? Do you want me to sign up for your updates? Would you like to hear from me in the comments?
Insert a call to action. I can’t read your mind.
Once I’m at the end of your post, my hand is poised to click away. So ask me to take a “next action.” Sell me on the idea. Make me spend an extra minute on your site.
I can hear some of you now. “I just want to write. I don’t want to market my blog.”
These marketing and design techniques don’t take a lot of effort.
The first one takes some thought.
The second is a one-time decision.
Numbers three and four are simple habits you can adopt.
You have something to say. With these easy tweaks, you’ll wake up your visitors, keep them engaged, and give your ideas the best chance of spreading.
Don’t think of it as marketing. Think of it as caffeine for your website.
About the Author: Want to learn more about formatting your pages to invite scanners to stop and read? Download this free (no opt in) report, “8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content: Illustrated,” based on Pamela Wilson’s popular post.