If you were reading a magazine, how will you decide whether you should read an article or not? Undoubtedly, headline and images are two of the most important factors that catch the attention of the audience when it comes to content. However, once your readers are past the headline, it’s the quality on your content that is going to keep them from navigating away.
Here are 10 easy-to-follow ideas that can immediately make your content more readable, getting you results right away:
1. Show me the Results
Readers look for benefit when they are reading something. Make this benefit clear in the headline to let your readers know what they’ll learn from the post.
2. Make it a List Post or “How To”
Though they are extremely common and played out, headlines with “How to” and “List” are enjoyed by people. Make a list post; they are easier for users to skim the article. The audience can also digest the information quicker.
3. Drop Stats
If you have statistics proving the main point of your post, mention them in the headline. Don’t forget to provide a link to the source of the stats!
4. You are missing a Major Opportunity
Create a sense of urgency by telling readers that the information you are providing can only be used within a short time frame.
5. The Journalist “Hook”
Try to make people curious about your content by molding your headline into a question. Journalists call this a “Hook”.
Below are some great examples:
- “You don’t need to be Arnold to Lift”
- “10 Major Mistakes that are Killing Your Productivity and How to Fix Them”
- “Five Easy Steps to Social Media Glory”
- “Is it Time to Get a New Car?”
6. Don’t Get Overly Social
Don’t use too many social media icons on your site. Too many sites go overkill on social media button placement. Place share buttons at the top and bottom of every article. These are great call to action. Identify two or three social buttons for platforms that are more likely to have your relevant audience and include them through plug-ins like ShareThis.
7. Share on Your Own Social Media Account
Use your personal social media profile to also promote your published content. This makes it easier for people to follow you regularly and maximizes your exposure online. It also gives a nice boast to the article. Maybe a small one but any little bit helps!
8. Just Ask or You Could be Doomed
This is an obvious tactic but one that is always hardly ever used. Simple just ask people to share your content. As an example, Please RT this article on Twitter and Share this article on your Facebook profile.
If you want to get better results on Social Media with your article, simply go on Twitter and state “Please RT: [Article title] [link]”
9. Everyone Likes Getting Free Goodies
Running a contest can be good way to get the attention of the audience and become more visible to it. Let’s face it, everyone loves getting something free. Contests run by bloggers also have better odds for your users to win. Contests drive more traffic to your site (make sure to promote it) and the users stopping by can also read you other articles.
10. Pop Ups work!
When someone visits your blog, make sure a pop-up email subscription form is presented to them, offering some free content as an incentive. This will also help guide people towards coming back to your website. Pop-ups suck, we all hate them but if you’re a publisher – they get you results.
Though Matthew Woodward also found a few side effects. Overall, I would see the pros outweigh the cons.
With these content marketing ideas, you can see results right away as people become more receptive to your content.
Op-ed by Matt Goulart. Goulart is the founder of Ignite Digital, a Canadian Digital Marketing Agency. He has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Washington Times and several other publications. Through Ignite Digital, Matt works with Fortune 500 companies, advertising agencies from around the world and has helped in launching digital marketing initiatives for his clients.