Posted On 21 Nov 2019
Marama Carmichael

Are good blog posts like drugs? Well, we’ve all experienced this before:

An interesting headline will catch our eye, and we can’t help but click. The content immediately hooks us in and keeps us there for the whole journey. And when it’s over, we see another post on the sidebar with a great headline – and the whole thing starts over again.

5 hours go by in a snap. And after the ride, we’re left thinking: “How in the heck did they just do that to me?”

Some businesses have mastered the art of the “addicting” blog post. No matter what the content is about, no matter how long, we can’t help but read the entire thing through twice. We’re hooked — they’re like the drug dealers of killer content.

But how do they do it?

Are they just “writing wizards”? Is there some black magic spell they cast on every post before hitting “publish”? Yes.

But the good news is: you don’t have to wear a pointed hat or recite any ancient scrolls to apply the same effects to your own content. All you have to do is follow a few simple rules.

1. Give special attention to the first sentence

Before you get your readers addicted, you have to get their attention.

According to Tribute Media, the average website visitor spends only seven seconds on a website page before they decide to continue scrolling or press the back button. That’s about the length of a sneeze — it’s pretty short.

That’s why it’s extremely important to keep your readers interested from the very first words they read. There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • Keep it short

Short sentences are easy to read. And when you make things easy for your readers, they appreciate it and keep reading in return.

  • Surprise your readers

One of the best ways to establish curiosity in writing is to catch your readers by surprise. So say something unexpected!

  • Speak to the needs of your audience

Your readers strive for connection. And if you open your piece up with something they recognize, they’re going to feel a hell of a lot more comfortable continuing on.

2. Make use of every sentence

Great articles rely on more than just the first sentence

In fact, as legendary copywriter Joe Sugarman said in his book, The Adweek Copywriter’s Handbook, there’s only one purpose of the first sentence of your article:

“To get the reader to read the second sentence. And the purpose of the second sentence? To get your reader to read the third sentence. And the third sentence? Well, I’m sure you can guess.”

If you want to write addicting articles, your words must put your readers on a slippery slope. As they begin read your sentences, they’re drawn more and more into the article, and by the end, they’re blown away by how effortless it was.

Of course, this is no easy task.

It takes years of practice to master the art of the slope, and it truly is an art form. But there are a few simple tricks you can use to speed up the process:

  • Establish an open loop

An open loop is an old writing technique used to establish a question in your reader’s mind. Then delay answering it to keep them reading and searching for the answer.

Did you notice? I used this technique in the post you’re currently reading!

From the start of my article, I mention how blog posts are like drugs. Then I just stopped talking about it. Of course, you want to know how I came up with that connection, so you keep reading.

And once I satisfy that question later in the intro, you’re hooked.

  • Answer potential questions as they arise

Your readers are going to have questions while reading your articles. It’s inevitable.

But if you acknowledge those questions as soon as they arise, and give helpful answers to them, you’re going to establish a special connection with your readers. They’re going to feel like you’re reading their mind but in a good way.

3. Be human

Humans strive for personal connection. It’s in our DNA.

When someone reads your content, they want to feel the presence of another human. One that cares about them, understands their problems, and wants to help them get where they want to be.

How can you accomplish this, you ask?

  • Write to your readers like you’d talk to them

Nobody wants to read the words of a cyborg. Instead, your readers want to feel as though another human being is speaking to them with their own thoughts, ideas, and emotions.

That’s what makes writing interesting.

  • Picture one reader in your head as you write

Most writers make the mistake of writing like they’re giving a speech to a group of people. But that’s where they go wrong:

No one’s ever going to read your article with a group of people. That’d be weird.

So when you write, think of one specific person that you’d like to write to. Structure your article as if you’re writing a letter to them personally. It doesn’t matter if they’re real or not — just get as close as you can to your ideal buyer and let your reader’s minds do the rest.

  • Re-read your articles out loud

When you speak the words that you’ve written, it becomes extremely easy to spot those places where you aren’t writing conversationally.

If your words don’t sound like they’d come from your mouth as you read aloud, it’s best to refine them until they do.

And now you’re set.

You have the knowledge to write addicting articles. And pretty soon, you’re going to have more readers and leads, too. There’s only one thing left to do:

Find a place to keep track of them all.

That’s where we come in. Oracle Tree is a top-of-the-line digital marketing strategy agency that specialises in untangling your marketing growth strategy and actually driving results to your business.

Want to learn more about how we can tailor our services to better suit your business? Click here to contact us today!

Filed Under: Blogging, Marketing, Websites

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