…Sticky as in Honey to a Fly!
What is a Sticky Blog Post?
Blogging has become ubiquitous. There are 440 million blogs in the world. Wow! I can’t find any data on the number of real estate blogs, but NAR states that 16% of Realtor members have a blog. Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, and many other marketing companies have blogs. There is no shortage of blogs explaining all aspects of real estate. So, how do you get your blog to stand out in the crowd? And when it does stand out, how do get people to click and stay engaged? and daresay, come back? Here are 10 steps to a sticky blog post:
Surefire ways to make your blog more memorable and meaningful:
1. The Title or Headline
The title (Title – H1) of a blog post is the number one thing that’s going to grab the eyeballs of online searchers. Your headline must have some emotional appeal, either humor, wit, shock value, or entertainment value. It must peak curiosity enough to cause an someone to click on it. It must signal to the searcher that you have the answers to their query.
One of the best tools I know of is a Headline Analyzer. The following three are good ones. They grade your title and give you tips to write a better one.
3 headline analyzers:
Title Generators are another super tool that I have become fond of. Some times you just need a little extra help in the creativity department. Each of these is a little different so you’re sure to find one you like:
3 Title Generators:
2. Meta Description.
The #1 thing to get traffic from search results is your meta description. The meta description can be up to 320 Characters. (recently increased from 155-160) It is located right under the url in search results. The importance of the meta description is not so much about SEO as it is about enticing people to click to your article. Use your marketing prowess to its fullest. But do include your focus keyword. It should be actionable, and unique for each page. (To learn more, just google “how to write a good meta description”)
3. The First Sentence or Two.
Get to the point. Let people know what you are talking about. Use keywords. Send the right signal from the start. You have 11 seconds to connect with a reader before they pop off somewhere else.
When you don’t have the meta description set in your blog post, Google will choose the description. They will often, but not always choose the first 320 characters of your post, which is usually the first one or two sentences. So make them count.
4. White space.
Internet readers don’t read, they scan. Make your blog post scannable, with short sentences, short paragraphs, and lots of white space in-between. Bold words and headings help break it up. Remember, as well, that many more people are reading your posts on mobile devices. Make sure to look up your own post on your phone and make adjustments if you don’t like the way it looks.
As you write, there are two ways to draw people in and down through your post:
They are the eye-candy. Here are some stats to illustrate:
- 65% of all people are visual learners,
- images are processed 65,000 faster than words, our brains are wired for images,
- we retain about 20% of what we read and hear, but 80% when it’s accompanied by a relevant image.
Images help you tell your story.
Numerous studies show that the more images your content has, the more social shares it gets.
Images = more engagement and more traffic.
Images that are currently hot and get social shares: simple images with text over them. The text can be quotes, inspirational sayings, entertaining quips and quotes, highlight quotes from your blog post.
How often to insert an image? Recommended word count varies…from 70, 100 or 200. It’s more about the scroll. Don’t let people scroll too long without seeing an image or a portion of an image.
6. Bullet Points and Numbered Lists
Bullet points down in the middle of the post, where people are getting fatigued, are a great way to capture their attention. It’s a great place to put the meat of your content.
Numbered lists work just as well. You could also make the entire post a numbered list. People love numbered lists. They will often scroll down and scan your numbered list before the start reading.
People don’t want the same old ho-hum they read everywhere else. They want your take on it. You Be You. Whether that means you’re witty or funny, shocking or irreverent, or opinionated and provoking, or you could be as sweet as honey. People want to work with people, not walking dictionaries.
The next two tips are nuanced, and they take thought and practice, but they make a big difference:
8. Add a Loop.
A loop is a copywriting trick that I recently learned. It’s a sentence that stands alone that links one paragraph or section to the next. A good placement for a loop is where people will need to scroll…you want to entice them to scroll…
Here’s an Example – you just told a story about a home inspection that revealed some surprises. Here’s your loop: to the next part of your blog post:
“If you think that’s crazy, wait ‘til you hear this one…”
(But you have to deliver!)
9. Easter Egg.
Something that is slightly hidden but is a delight when people find it. (think of how Disney movies have little jokes that only parents understand). It can be a witty title tag on an image, so that when people hover over it they can read it. It can be in a loop mentioned above. It can be the image itself, like a meme. (Here’s a meme…take…use it! And write a post about Zillow and Zestimates…it’s a hot topic and will get traffic to your blog!)
10. A Strong Close!
Signal to your reader that it’s the end. Every post needs a call to action. You have to tell people what you want them to do.
The End. Here’s to being sticky and memorable in your blogging! 10 Steps to A Sticky Blog Post was written by Karen Highland, lover of all things digital!