The Three “E” Strategies for Writing Great Content

By: Marilyn L. Davis


The Three “E”s” of Great Content


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 type of writing, they all have one thing in common — your words engage the readers, and when readers are engaged, they are more likely to follow your site.

However, we’d all do well to heed the words of Margaret Atwood, “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.” 

Don’t just get a few readers – get loyal followers. So how can your content create repeat readers? Engagement on your site means that they will often read other posts on the website. You can verify the number of posts they read in WordPress statistics to see if they stayed to read other posts. 

Now you’ve got a potential follower. 

When you succeed in writing compelling posts, that translates 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. Businesses of every size must consider implementing many of these vital content marketing tips as a major part of ‘Conversion Rate Optimization (also knowns as CRO), which, 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 gaining followers as well. Does your content read smoothly yet informative so people will want to follow your writing and site? Click To Tweet


Scanning: How We Read Today


Lengthy posts are excellent, as long as you understand how people read today. Most 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, use subheadings as focal points, or provide eye relief with images and white space.

A too lengthy post might get bypassed 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. However, lengthy posts have their place; you have to balance the reader’s interests and attention span with how many words it takes to make your post engaging, informative, and correct. 


Subheadings: Use Them to Alert the Reader


Subheadings serve as a visual reminder and provide:

  • Markers for the information
  • Visual breaks for the readers 
  • Good placement for 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 to reinforce your message but is interesting enough to keep your reader engaged.

Subheadings help your readers quickly frame a concept. It is a different type of information gathering, and people quickly notice bold or larger fonts, and isolated boxes of information. Click To Tweet


Creating Captivating Content


Captivating content keeps people on your site longer. Combining stellar content with a visually pleasing site creates an inviting environment, and people are more apt to view your posts, products, or 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? 
  • Why do some readers utilize the related post function and read more than one post at your site? 

It’s strategies that persuade readers to become followers. What are some qualities that convert readers into followers?

  • Credible
  • Helpful
  • Informative
  • Knowledgeable
  • Trustworthy

When and how you establish your worth to readers translates into loyal followers. 


1. 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. 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 expensive or weekly version is worth more?

Readers spend time researching and searching – give them something each time that is worth their efforts.


Education Must Also Be Interesting


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.

  • Create a survey
  • Stimulate interest in an educational forum
  • 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.


2. Entertain Your Readers 


Many content writers struggle with entertainment. It’s not about trying to be funny; entertaining is, by definition, keeping the mind engaged. That’s what you want to do with your readers; provide them with words that stay with them because they found it:

  • Useful
  • Informative
  • Well-written

It’s a balance between informative without appearing preachy. 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 valuable. When we give readers something practical or helpful in an article, they tend to view our posts or services differently. 

They will return.


3. Enchant Your Readers


Fairies, puppies, and kitty cats are enchanting, but it’s more than just those fluffy topics; enchanting content is:

  • Alluring
  • Appealing
  • Attractive
  • Captivating
  • Charismatic
  • Charming
  • Magnetic

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 posts or products.

Be creative in your descriptions; learn about powerful words, and drop passive sentences, or readers get bored, leave and increase your bounce rate. 


All-in-One: Compelling Content 


You can educate, entertain, and enchant your readers and prospective followers by using:


What Content Strategies Do You Use to Gain Followers? 


We all know the ‘How I Do Everything Better Than You and Let Me Sell that Knowledge to You” books, sites, and gurus.

We also know that our readers have wonderful suggestions on any given topic.

So, what have you done to improve your content? If you will, give us your advice in a comment. Thanks.


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Marilyn L. Davis is the Editor-in-Chief at Two Drops of Ink and From Addict 2 Advocate. She is also the author of Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate and Memories into Memoir: The Mindsets and Mechanics Workbook, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indie Books, and Books A Million.

She is also offering her editing services to other writers. If you are interested in having a 1,000-word document critiqued and edited for free, contact her at 






  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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