two drops of ink marilyn l davis

3 Content Strategies for Increasing Your Followers

By: Marilyn L. Davis

two drops of ink marilyn l davis content  3 Content Strategies for Increasing Your Followers

 

“If it’s all instruction, you get annoyed with it and bored, and you stop reading. If it’s all entertainment, you read it quite quickly, your heart going pitty-pat, pitty-pat. But when you finish, that’s it.” ~Margaret Atwood

Get Their Attention and Gain Their Trust

While most people know that you are ultimately selling something on your site, or trying to gain followers, they also expect you to provide content that:

  1. Educates
  2. Entertains
  3. Enchants

While each is a different style of writing; they all have one thing in common — your words engage the readers.

Engagement on your site means that your readers are interested, generating trust in one aspect of your site. They know that:

  1. Your writing isn’t boring.
  2. You are conversational, personal, and not preachy.
  3. There is respect for the readers; you don’t bog them down with unnecessary words.

Those three descriptors of your writing will translate into loyal followers. It also means, that if you’re writing in a topic niche, readers will come back each time you write about a particular category to learn more.

Sales, SEO, and Secret Admirers

According to the statistics collected from Kapost, “Website conversion rate is six times higher for those who’ve adopted content marketing strategy than those who haven’t. It is imperative for businesses of every size to consider implementing many of these vital content marketing tips as a major part of ‘Conversion Rate Optimization’ (also knowns as CRO). This, in essence, means converting website and blog traffic into sales, because traffic without lead generation and sales are pointless.”

The principles of conversion rates apply to followers as well.

Does your content read smoothly, yet, is informative so people will want to follow your writing and site? Lengthy posts are fine, as long as you understand how people read today.

A too lengthy post might just get by-passed in favor of the shorter version for online readers. And that means they may not make it to the end of the post to follow. Click To Tweet

Scanning: How We Read Today

Readers scan today, rather than read word for word. To help keep your readers interested and reading, try using relevant quotes or isolate pertinent sentences in bold and italic, and learn to use subheadings as focal points, or provide eye relief.

Subheadings help your readers quickly frame a concept. It is a different type of information gathering and people are usually drawn to bold, larger fonts. Click To Tweet

Subheadings serve as a visual reminder and provide:

  1. Markers for the information
  2. Visual breaks for the readers with white space
  3. Images that reinforce the content

These mini-headings respect the reader’s time, and most are appreciative of that. Whichever strategy you use for isolating informational points, make it relevant to your blog so it reinforces your message but is interesting enough to keep your reader engaged.

Creating Captivating Content

Captivating content keeps people on your site longer. When you combine stellar content with a visually pleasing site, you create an inviting environment, and people are more apt to view your products and services. Jeff Molander reinforces, “Content that creates leads is content that fosters confidence in buyers.”

However, it’s not just sales leads that should concern you as a blogger – it’s followers.

What keeps a reader coming back to your site? What keeps them interested in what you have to say about a topic? It’s strategies that persuade readers to become followers. What are some qualities that convert readers into followers?

  1. Credible
  2. Helpful
  3. Informative
  4. Knowledgeable
  5. Trustworthy
When and how you establish your worth to readers translates into loyal followers. Click To Tweet

Educate Your Readers

When you educate your readers, you demonstrate timely, relevant, and informative knowledge about the subject –not just a lot of fluff and keyword-stuffed blogs. Click To Tweet

Personal Branding Coach, Bernard Kelvin Clive, distinguishes the differences well: “You can’t build a strong personal brand by just posting status updates. People need more than that, they need valuable content, beyond updates and tweets.”

Think about how you feel when you have to wade through a site with hype about all the secret knowledge you can gain by clicking on the “Buy Now!” or hoping that next week’s blog gives you more information, so you click the  “Follow Us Now!” buttons.

Frankly, if you didn’t get one or two worthwhile ideas in the current content, what would lead you to believe the costly or weekly version is worth more?

Readers search; give them something each time that is worth their efforts.

Educating the reader about your topic or site’s offerings can’t get tedious, or they may leave before buying or following. Too light and entertaining and you run the risk of not being taken seriously and readers won’t buy or follow, either. So how do you achieve that balance? Think of engaging the reader by inviting them to participate.

  1. Create a survey
  2. Stimulate interest in an educational forum
  3. Generate an instant answer poll

People like to know that they matter to you before what you’re selling has importance to them or they come back to see if you took their suggestions into account.

Entertaining Content

Many content writers struggle with the balance between informative or entertaining and selling a product or service, or ending their posts with a follow-up call to action. However, when the mix is right, people tend to return to those sites the next time they need information.

Strive for takeaways in your content.   All of us will remember who gave us something useful. When we give readers something practical or helpful in an article, it means that they tend to view our products and services from a different perspective as well. They will return.

Enchanting Content

No, we’re not just talking fairies, puppies and kitty cats. Enchanting content is:

  1. Alluring
  2. Appealing
  3. Attractive
  4. Captivating
  5. Charismatic
  6. Charming
  7. Magnetic
  8. Seductive

I’m always impressed when a manufacturer of widgets can educate, entertain, and engage me with information about nuts and bolts, and frankly, if they can do that, you can too with your product.

Be creative in your descriptions; learn about powerful words and drop passive sentences or readers get bored.

Boring will translate to a higher bounce rate for your site, non-engagement, no followers, or fewer views. Click To Tweet

All-in-One: Content that Converts to Followers

 

two drops of ink marilyn l davis content 3 Content Strategies for Increasing Your FollowersYou can educate, entertain and enchant your readers and prospective followers by using:

  1. Quotes from reputable sources
  2. Bullet points for ease of reading
  3. Images, videos, charts, and graphs to replace some text
  4. Creative Sub-headings
  5. Fonts, colors, and highlights to capture their attention
See if these tips don't make your site a more rewarding experience for your readers and turn them into loyal followers. Click To Tweet

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9 comments

  1. Marilyn, I will disagree with you about people preferring shorter posts. I have performed quite a bit of research and in the last two years the trend has been for people to gravitate towards longer posts. People seek to read a post that educates them. A 37,000 word technical blog post had more than 50,000 readers in 24 hours and has now surpassed the 1 million readers. That post educates, which is why it is popular. That said I believe a blog post should be as long as necessary to get the point across and the writer must be efficient with their words.

    • Hi, Peter. I don’t disagree. If a post requires 37,000 words to explain, then that’s what it takes. I’m also not afraid of lengthy. My recovery curriculum comes in just under 400,000 words.

      In saying, “Lengthy posts are fine, as long as you understand how people read today. A too lengthy post might just get by-passed in favor of the shorter version. And that means they may not make it to the end of the post to follow.”

      I was cautioning people that if their information is simply wordy without meaning, people will go elsewhere. People scan today and getting their attention is necessary to get them to read and finish a post, regardless of length.

  2. I think the trustworthiness of the writer is number one on the list…even though I am not sure the readers always recognize that is what they are looking for. It doesn’t matter what kind of writing, if something doesn’t ring true or genuine they won’t read it. I also like what you said about dividing up the page for the eye…my favorite is bullet points. 😉

    • Hi, Ladycee. I’m not sure there is any one answer to your question. Some posts say everything, and say it well, in 500 words. For others, 5000 words are not enough. I think you can gauge the “correct” word count by views and comments, though. Other things factor as well. How are you ranking in Google or other search engines? Google likes posts around 1500 words if that helps.

      Thanks as always for commenting. I appreciate that.

      • And thank you Marilyn for getting back to me with this helpful information. Appreciated. Yes, I have read advice for both sides of the argument. In fact the conflicting information given can be very confusing to newbie bloggers. 🙁

  3. Hi, Caitlin. Thank you for commenting. I like the reference to balance. Great way to describe the end result – words, white space, subheadings, and images.

    When do you think you’re going to submit a guest post? We’d love to have one of your balanced pieces. She smiles.

  4. Another great post! Many times, we only think of what we say, not how we say it. Both are important. Sadly, if no one sticks around long enough to read your whole post (or at least get the intended message/information), it really doesn’t matter how great the writing might be. It requires a balance. Thank you for this reminder! I’m going to start applying more subtitles and eye-breaks in my blog posts.

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