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Put the AH into your BLAH content – 5 ways to engage your blog reader

Are your readers finding your blog rather ho-hum?  How often are your posts shared or commented on? It’s time to do some writerly analysis and start writing to engage your reader. Instead of boring him into leaving your blog.

1. Write to ONE person

Don’t write to an amorphous audience “out there”.  Write one-on-one as if you were talking to a friend.  What would interest him or her?

2. Provide fascinating facts

Readers are always searching for nuggets of information on the internet.

Doing an article on “excavations”?  Pop in an intriguing quote:

A new type of human ancestor, Homo naledi,  with human and ape-like features, walks upright and may have used tools.  Just reconstructed  from amazing  fossil finds in Rising Star cave near Johannesburg  in Africa”

Captivating facts about things your readers are interested in will catch their attention.  You can present them in the form of bulleted lists, block quotes or pull quotes, footnotes, or slides.

Whether it is in the realm of holidays and tourism, health, work, sports,   child care or elder care, or social media or Google, you’ll find some amazing facts to support your story.

Did you know that Google was originally called Backrub? Here are some more facts on the world’s most popular search engine, in the form of slides.

3. Captivate with infographics

Infographics and data visualization are a great way to present information visually. Pictures speak louder than words because they can capture emotion, movement, contrast, vibrancy and color.   The internet has made the world more visual than ever before.  Infographics take the best of both worlds and put information, graphics, and data together to deliver a message effectively.  You’ll notice that the infographics below provide  useful nuggets of information in a creative and visually attractive way.

info part 1Infographic: Anatomy of the Games – this spread explains the Beach Games in Oman in 2010, and got an award in SND 32 | Marcelo Duhalde, Adonis Durado, Lucille Umali,
Winie Ariany  Source    earthday-infographicInfographic: Protecting Our Planet Starts with You
Ten simple choices for a healthier planet.  source

4.Tell a real story with a case study

Case studies are a great way to showcase your company’s skills and strengths in a customer-friendly way. Address a specific customer pain point while you’re at it and you’re on your way to making your next sale!  Content that addresses a customer’s felt need and provides a solution is content that’s more likely to be read and shared.

The web is an online medium, unlike face-to-face sales where the salesman asks a few questions and finds out what the customer is looking for, and in the process, gets to know what he or she likes and doesn’t want.   Getting to know your customer online may take a little longer, (especially if your customer is in another country) but you can win her trust by asking some questions, providing examples of your work, asking for samples of the kind of work she expects from you, confirming if you understood her right, and so on. Being professional and knowledgeable, yet approachable and friendly, can get you closer to understanding what your customer’s pain point is, and addressing it in order to provide the best solution.

Entheos Case Study – New York Woodwork  Responsive Website Customization and Custom Content Writing

nywoodworkEntheos had customized a Flash website template for our client New York Woodwork some years ago. NewYork Woodwork had won a reputation for making fine custom cabinetry.  Our client being a man of few words, did not talk too much about his company, but his excellent work was reflected in the glowing reports of his customers. We built on his customers’ testimonials to create custom content for his site. He was happy with our work and came back to us for a custom-designed brochure, an emailer and a flyer, which also used personalized content from customer testimonials.

Our client came to us once again because the Flash website that he was so pleased with some years ago had become slow on today’s technology and wasn’t accessible on mobile devices.  We understood his needs and suggested that he update his site to a responsive website design for ease of access on all devices including mobile.  We wrote fresh content for his website, giving reasons to choose New York Woodwork, then customized a responsive template for him, added new images to the  gallery and project pages. The site is now more user-friendly and Services are promoted with industry badges from Houzz and LandlordStation that lend authenticity. We also introduced a new tagline that built on the company’s strengths – ‘Fine custom cabinetry since 1995’.

NYWoodwork_trifold_brochure

Entheos then created a custom brochure for New York Woodwork to promote their services to to discerning customers who appreciated fine custom cabinetry despite the availability of less expensive off-the-shelf options in the market. The brochure dealt with a customer pain point – that people expect remodeling to be stressful, and are pleasantly surprised when it isn’t. This brochure is aimed at such people with a simple promise – ‘remodeling made surprisingly simple, stress-free and efficient.’

5. Create presentation pizzazz

    • Photo collages
    • Quotable quotes
    • Posters
    • Facebook covers
    • Slideshows
    • Banners
    • Desktop wallpapers
    • Video
    • Audio

party2POSTERh_photo2DESKTOP WALLPAPERcircular-photo-collage-in-PhotoshopPHOTO COLLAGEfacebook-timeline-coverFACEBOOK TIMELINE COVER

Make your own designs – add visual appeal to your content!

Visually, you can do so much with media using photographs, illustrations and a combination of the same with text, speech bubbles and graphics. Choose a font that suits the subject of your text – for instance, a poetic line can be placed in an elegant hand-written font.  Less is more – a beautifully shot photograph with a visual focal point will center the viewer’s attention on the object being focused on, and the text can be placed above or below it,  in a size and font  that does not distract.

Collages can make a number of photographs look visually appealing if they are selected carefully for color harmony or contrast. Bold headlines catch the eye and subheads provide supplementary information, for example in a poster for a dance class, the main visual can focus on the trainer and his prowess, while supplementary visuals can show the types of dance taught.

The Web has opened the doors to great scope for creativity and innovation in presentation, and there’s no reason why you can’t spice up your blog with it!  There’s lots of user-friendly software out there to make your social media posts engaging.  Here are a few:

Canva
https://www.canva.com/
Canva lets anyone be a designer. Create presentations, posters, Facebook covers, blog graphics and much more!  Includes a gallery, drag-and-drop editing, banners, grids and speech bubbles.

PicMonkey
www.picmonkey.com
PicMonkey is No: 2  among the top ten photo editing tools in the Free Online Photo Editors’ Review. Edit your photo or group of photos, create a collage and create effects, overlays and touch-up options from the many free ones provided.  Frames, borders and textures are available to add glamour to your photos and collages.  Have fun!

PosterMyWall
http://www.postermywall.com/
Make poster-sized collages with your photos. You can get free poster backgrounds or upload your own, and get  posters up to 3 feet tall.

A healthy dose of inspiration can lift you up and carry your reader through her day with optimism and hope.  Simple pull-quotes will do for a start.  Or get creative and make some motivational posters, desktop wallpapers, or Facebook covers. Let your blog have bite-sized bits of wisdom to chew on, in the form of quotes, proverbs and adages, poetry, humor and warm thoughts   – things that take your reader’s mind off those routine, everyday chores. Add some sparkle to his day!

Quozio
http://quozio.com/
Quozio is all set up to help you start making your own quote designs.  Very easy to use – like this one!All-our-dreams-can-come-true.jpgQuote created on Quozio.com

ReciteThis
http://www.recitethis.com/
Recite has backgrounds that make your quote look good!

Pinstamatic
http://pinstamatic.com/
You can pin your designed quotes to your Pinterest boards using templates on Pinstamatic, you can even add a tune of your choice from Spotify using Pinstamatic.

So what are you waiting for? Design some happiness-making art and post it on your blog! Best of all, it’s likeable and shareable too!

To sum up:

5 ways to engage your blog reader – and put the ‘AH’ into your BLAH content

1. Write to ONE person, as if you were writing to a friend.

2. Provide facts that people search for. Facts draw attention.

3. Captivate with infographics.     Infographics use text, graphics and visuals to deliver a message effectively.

4. Tell a real story with a case study – provide a live demo of your company’s strengths.

5. Create presentation pizzazz.  Photo collages, quotable quotes, posters, Facebook covers, slideshows, banners, desktop wallpapers, video and audio all communicate in their special ways.  Use them – relevantly, picturesquely, effectively to create really great content!

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