Creating Arresting Content – Art and Tips

by Ivan Bayross
Create Arresting Compelling Content

Every Blogger on this planet has had this experience, sometime in their Blogging life.

They’ve spent a ton of time creating arresting content.

Then they’ve taken a lot of care to flow the arresting content created into a beautifully formatted Blog post.   They are dead sure that this post will add huge value to their readers.

The post is full of Why’s, What’s and How To’s, all explained in simple, easy to understand, lay man’s terms.

After creating arresting content, which delivers a ton of valuable textual information, they’ve blended in images at appropriate places. Images that really support their creating arresting content.

Then they sat back with a satisfied smile. Wiped the sweat from their brows. Shrugged their shoulders multiple times to ease the stress of typing while sitting in the most uncomfortable chair for hours on end, creating arresting content, and start waiting for that deluge of delighted site visitors leaving 100’s of comments and . . .

Nothing happens, not a squeak. Nada. Pin drop silence. Zero engagement.

Ah! They say we’ve not announced this masterpiece of a Blog post, created with such arresting value add content, on our social channels that’s the reason.

They then execute a social media Blog post announcement strategy, send out Blog post announcement newsletters to their mailing list, and . . .

Nothing happens, not a squeak.  Nada. Pin drop silence. Zero engagement.

Okay, just step back a bit and think how often such content is shared on the Internet.  There are a staggering number posts on Facebook.  There are a staggering number of tweets broadcast on Twitter. In billions according to statistics I’ve read.

This translates into an enormous amount of content being delivered across your target audience which they’ve learned to interpret as – Noise.

The impact this has is that it takes a ton more effort to get engagement from your target audience today, than simply publishing value add content and doing some typical social media marketing efforts.

Something needs to be woven into your content that guarantees:

  • It stands out from the noise and clutter
  • It gets found
  • It gets noticed
  • It draws in your target market engagement almost magnetically
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Here are six tactics that power Bloggers use to creating arresting content.

These tactics help cut through the clutter and noise of the web. They help Post content get the maximum engagement. When these tactics are applied to your Blog posts hopefully no additional marketing effort should be needed.

1. Don’t try something new.

While this may come as bit of a shock, there is no need whatsoever for you to start from scratch each time that you create a Blog post.

What you need to do is to identify which of your Blog posts are getting the maximum engagement from your target audience.

They are sharing the post on their social streams, leaving terrific comments, commenters are replying to other commenters, in general awesome post engagement is happening or has happened.

Such information is always available by just checking the number of comments against a Blog post in your WordPress Admin Dashboard. Identify posts that are generating the most engagement. Create an XL spreadsheet with the Author’s name (if it’s a guest Blog post), Blog title, Headline,

Sub-headlines, subject matter synopsis.

With this as your back drop, load your Blog post editorial calendar, with similar or supportive topics to the posts that are generating the maximum engagement.  For example: The new posts being planned will add value, expand on the content of a previous post that has generated a great deal of engagement and so on.

This tactic ensures you are delivering new post content to you target audience, strictly based on content that your target audience is telling you they appreciate a ton.

2. Give post readers a jolt or a series of jolts

There is a very powerful connection between emotion and making your posts go viral.

This was discovered by the Warton Business School when they did a study to identify what factors made content explode vitally.

They discovered that content that went viral seemingly effortlessly strongly triggered one of the following six, key emotions: Surprise, Fear, Joy, Sadness, Anger or Disgust.

Okay, okay maybe you do not want anger or disgust being triggered by your content, BUT that’s really not the point here is it?  The tactic of triggering strong emotions within your readers using the written word and appropriate images is, isn’t it?

When a strong emotion is triggered within a reader it is what drives them to share that content with others so that they too can feel the same emotions. For example: If strong emotions are triggered by your Blog post title, you can be 100% sure a site visitor/post reader will click on the post title.

Do a careful review of the content you’ve created (or you’ve read) which triggered a strong emotion in you and note the action that this emotion provoked.  Then use this to create some more emotion provoking content.

Creative content formatting that arrest’s a reader’s attention.

See how font-family, font-size, color, and drop cap with a touch of color arrests a site visitors attention.

3. Write An Arresting Headline

Whenever, your post is shared on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other channels, there is a huge opportunity for the post content to be discovered by others.

As the post content author what must you do to make your reader click on your post and share it on their social media channels?

It’s simple really, just ask yourself what drives you to click on a link in a post and share it on your social channels?   99% of the time your answer will be – The post’s arresting headline.

An arresting, meaningful, headline, catches your attention and earns its click through to your social media channels.  A great headline therefore always helps your content spread further.

That brings us to the question:  What make a Headline great?

NOTE: The rules are almost identical to creating an arresting email subject line in email marketing.

A headline is considered arresting when it is:

  • Useful: It describes why reading the post will add value to the reader?
  • Ultra-specific: It describes what one can expect to learn from the blog post?
  • Unique: Explains why the post content is compelling and unique?
  • Urgent: Drives a site visitor to ‘Click the headline and read the post NOW?

When you create such headlines for your Blog posts, your readers will feel compelled to share your post content across their social media channels.

They’ll be driven to do this to ensure that their friends and followers also feel the same emotional kick they felt when they read your arresting headline the first time.

10 tried and tested tips, guaranteed to help You write, arresting, attention grabbing, eye ball popping, Blog post headlines.

4. Your words are not exciting your images are

Pinterest is the fourth largest source of referral traffic for Bloggers. Apparently, today Pinterest exceeds Yahoo! Organic traffic and Google’s organic referrals.

Recent HubSpot statistics show posts which have photos/images in them on Facebook generate 53% more likes when compared to a plain, text based post.

Latest content data statistics show that from October 2012, Pinterest became the fourth leading source of traffic to publisher websites, even exceeding Yahoo! organic traffic and Google referrals.

The best Shareaholic content publishers always pay very careful attention to the visuals they use within their content.

Ensuring that you have an attractive featured image in your Blog post, helps a ton. Whenever anyone shares your Blog post on Facebook, its featured image will make the Facebook post visually a lot more arresting.  The same thing happens when the post is shared on LinkedIn or Google+

5.     Create your Blog so that it helps market your content.

When you execute a social media marketing strategy, an increasing number of new site visitors will start hitting your site for the first time.

These site visitors don’t know you yet.  You have to capture their interest and earn their respect before they become your Blog post content evangelists.

Make sure your Blog site is set up such that it assists in marketing your content.

At the end of every Blog post, display links, and thumbnail images, to related, supportive posts. This encourages readers to stay engaged on your site as long as possible. There are several free and premium WordPress plugins that do this job very effectively.

Right at the start of every Blog post, somewhere in the middle and at the very end of a Blog post ensure that the reader has a simple (one click) method of sharing your post content on any of their social media channels.

Make it absolutely simple for any site visitor to subscribe to your site when they want to.  Display the subscribe form prominently.  Ensure that site visitors can locate your site subscribe form swiftly and easily.

Test the subscribe form on your site regularly, (at least one a week) to make sure that its working exactly as you need it to.

If your Blog site is built on WordPress then you can deliver an RSS feed directly via the WordPress core itself. The RSS data stream is built-in and always on unless you manually switch it off.

Hence, site visitors that want to engage with your Blog site and stay up to date on your Blog posts can do so without actually subscribing but by using your site’s RSS data stream.

Any site visitor that is connected to your site’s RSS data stream will get access to your new Blog post as soon as your hit Publish.  Data syndication is a really simple way of staying connected to site visitors.

6.     Oh Yes! Search Engine Optimization is important

Each new Blog post published creates a new page.  Each new page on your website is indexed by Google and other search engines. When your Blog posts rank well in the Google’s search engine result pages, Google is actually marketing your content for you.

Hence, paying attention to and applying standard Search Engine Optimization processes to your Blog post content to get them to rank well in search engine result pages is important.

When creating Blog post content you must do proper keyword research which applies to your content. Then blend these keywords naturally and strategically into your post content.  This will optimize your Blog post content and get it to rank well in search engine result pages.

Optimizing your Blog post content to rank well in search engine result pages, really works in driving traffic to your site month on month on month.

New traffic, especially focused site visitors convert easily to subscribers, and once some trust has been built to paying customers.

All of this happens magically because you, decided on a Blog post topic, created an arresting Headline, did some sensible keyword research and took the trouble to run appropriate Search Engine Optimization processes on your Blog post. Trust me, this tactic is a real win:win for you.

Okay we’ve looked at simple, but effective Blog post content creation tactics.   Let’s focus on other content creation tactics which empower Bloggers to deliver content that their site visitors will come back again and again to consume.

When most Bloggers start they usually give in to the temptation of creating a single block of content, which they place under multiple categories in their Blog site.  This results in their Blog site having multiple categories but very few Blog posts under each category.

Since they are paying attention to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) processes and they have a Social Media Marketing (SMM) strategy in place they are organically driving site visitors to their site.

When these site visitors hit their site however, they discover multiple categories but just a few posts under each category. When site visitors identify skimpy content on a site, return visits dry up.  Fewer and fewer site visitors hit the site. Search engines lose interest.  This process can (and often does) kill site visitor engagement.

Here is how to change this.

When you start your Blog spend time deciding on what your Blog is focused on. Pick a single core topic.  We chose digital marketing to focus on in our Blog.

Digital marketing has multiple supportive marketing processes underneath it, such as SEO, SEM, SMM, SMA, Content Marketing and more.

Obviously, each supportive marketing processes must translate to a category on our Blog site.  When site visitors hit our site, and take a look at the categories in our Blog section, they feel good because all digital marketing, supportive processes are listed there as categories.

Initially we choose no more than 4 specific categories that we were most intimate with in digital marketing and began to create content quickly under these categories.

We used three tried and tested techniques content creation techniques successfully. This grew our Blog post content organically but quickly.

  1. Some post content we created ourselves
  2. Other post content was gratefully accepted from Guest Bloggers who submitted quality content
  3. Some post content we carefully curated and published from authority Bloggers. We ensured that we acknowledged them fully

We did our very best to ensure that the content offered to site visitors on our Blog site, struck the right balance between being informative (i.e. information that is immediately useable) and entertaining, while making sure that the content strongly supported our digital marketing, business services.

Once we had about 30 to 40 blog posts of the highest quality on our Blog site under each of the four categories we chose, we opened up another 4 categories and repeated the process.

We’ve decided that we are only going to have:

  • 8 categories on our Blog site
  • We are going to follow the post content creation process we’ve described above
  • When adding Blog post content under all of our 8 categories.

Our Blog site is growing really well. We have several subscribers.  New people subscribe every day. We have a lot of regular/repeat visitors.  Today we convert about 25% subscribers/repeat visitors into paying customers fairly consistently.

Ensuring site visitors return regularly

We decided we would have a specific content delivery strategy which encouraged registrants and site visitors to return again and again to our website.  This is the strategy we used.

We sat down and defined the purpose of each post we published.  A lot of Bloggers decide they will inform and entertain.

Unfortunately, you must be clear about information having a priority over entertainment or vice versa with respect to your content.  If you do not have such clarity, there is a very high probability the content published will fail on both counts.

Here are some ways that would help you define the purpose of post content effectively.

  • To inform (deliver concept building information, i.e. what, where, when, why)
  • To teach (how to knowledge)
  • To inspire
  • To entertain
  • To persuade
  • To start a conversation
  • To spark a controversy
  • To express an opinion
  • To share industry knowledge or resources

Once we are crystal clear about our purpose for posting content, we sat down and defined how this content will be presented to our site visitors and subscribers.

Typical post content presentation methods we use

Some common presentation methods we use include:

  • Blog post articles
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Cartoon drawings
  • Animations
  • Tutorials
  • Podcasts
  • Power point presentations

We decide on what is an effective monthly, content publication mix that drives engagement.  Then we schedule content delivery on our Blogsite using these different presentation tactics, in our content publishing calendar.

We strongly believe this is why our site visitors/registrants keep coming back to our Blog site for more.

Here are two pictures that describe both of the above processes.

When we deliver posts with a specific purpose.
When we deliver posts in a specific format.

Always test and evaluate what is working (and what is not) with your site audience.

All first guesses of what post content to deliver your target audience can be improved upon, please believe this.

Look for ways to understand what resonates well with your site visitors/registrants.

Figure out how they are responding to the content you publish, to the format your content is published in.  Judge this by how they engage with your content.  Gain as deep an insight into this as possible, them make small adjustments.

This is what we do to create arresting, compelling, Blog post content on our Blog site. What do you do to achieve the same on your Blog?   Please share you approach to creating the most engaging Blog posts in the comments below.  My readers and I will be most grateful if you do.

Please Leave Your Comments They Are A Huge Help

If you liked this Blog post, I’d love to read your comments. If you thought that this Blog post was not up to your expectations, I’d love to read your comments.

It’s your comments that helps me get better each day. Please pass on your bouquets or brickbats in the comments section right below.

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