A while back I sent a link to a blog post to a colleague because it was filled with useful information related to our business. My colleague read the title, scrolled to the bottom, and clicked the little x to close the blog. My heart sank because it was a blog post that may have helped us solve issues we were dealing with at the moment.
But who has time to read with Facebook, tik-tok, notifications, and a hundred other distractions on and off the internet?
A blog post can do a lot for both businesses that write them and people that read them. But if a tree falls down in the forest and no one is around to hear it, did it make a sound? You know where I’n going here…
To make sure people read your blog post, do these things. If your blog is about business, marketing, a niche product or service, (or anything besides celebrity gossip) then pay special attention to the structure and tone to get people to read it from start to finish.
Start by telling a story
A wise man once said “a story is a gift”. When your tipsy uncle breaks out into a story during a holiday gathering, the table stops and listens. A story can take us away to a faraway place and time. It’s a chance to escape for a minute. Whether you’re blogging about software or trekking in the jungle, use the first paragraph to tell a story that’s relevant to your topic. Anything can become a story. Stand up comics are famous for being able to rant about anything. Summon your inner Seinfeld and tell a story that brings the reader into your next paragraphs.
But stories have rules that we need to follow. They roughly look like this:
- Introduce the hero
- Present a problem
- Tell how the hero solves the problem
- State the new new norm
With these simple rules, you can engage a reader with your story and tie it into your blog post. Don’t spend too much time on the story. Condense it to about one to two paragraphs.
Check if your topic is in the news
Chances are you can tie your blog post to a news story to give it more relevance. If the topic is making headlines it gives your reader a reason to lean in and keep reading. Go to Google and do a Google News search on your keyword. You’ll see somewhere in the world where your story was reported on. Link to this story and tie it into your blog post to give the topic a sense of urgency. It wouldn’t be unimportant if it weren’t on the news.
Introduce your product or service
Now is the time to tie in your product or solution. First connect it to the story in the introduction. Then tie into the international news story. For example if your blogging about your SaaS solution, you can talk about how it solved your client’s problem and then how hundreds or thousands of other people all over the world had a similar problem and need your solution.
Propose a brighter future with your solution
Now that the context has gone from micro (your personal story) to macro ( the news story), you can end the post on an optimistic note and propose a world where everyone has solved this problem (likely with your solution). Include a call to action for a demo or a link with a discount to give people a path towards this brighter future.
With this simple structure, your colleague should take the moment to read to the end of the blog post and learn about the possibility of a brighter future. If you implement the structure and he’s still distracted, then no optimized structure will work and it’s time for a digital detox.