What Makes a Blog Engaging?

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Welcome to Gettin’ Meta, a series of blogs about…writing blogs! Each week we’ll break down what you need to know about writing blogs that drive traffic, engagement, and clicks, all redirected back to your business. 

Ah, blogs. The one-size-fits-all approach to stuffing SEO pushes into your website and promptly leaving them to die. For some small businesses, a blog section can be a wasteland of copy-paste content.

For too long, blogs have been considered a tactic more than an intentional way of delivering information and boosting your web presence. This is often a result of writers who don’t quite understand what makes a blog engaging. While the concept may seem abstract, crafting blogs that drive engagement is really more of a scientific method. There are do’s and don’t that will help your blogs find success.

Informative Information

The truth is that many blog writers can be aimless. They’ve heard that blogs are something you’re supposed to do, so they sit down and start writing without genuine rhyme or reason. The intention is there, but it’s not backed up by a vision for what a blog should accomplish.

Let’s think about the purpose a blog itself serves: to convey information that a reader will hopefully find interesting. You want to be the answer someone goes searching for online. This starts by creating blogs that are not just stuffed with information, but informative information.

At its core, the difference between these two philosophies is a difference of adding something new to the conversation. You want to be able to offer insights that make a reader say, huh, I hadn’t thought of it like that. The hallmark of a good blog is that they’re an extension of what makes your own brand interesting, and in-turn drives attention back towards your business.

That Dreaded Beast, Formatting

Spare your readers’ eyes. Seriously, formatting is more important than you can know. Reader retention is the make-or-break signature of good blogs and good writing in any format. A 20-second glance versus a 3-minute read is a serious business in the realm of SEO. Few things will send a reader heading for the hills as fast as staring at a wall of vast, unbroken text.

Seeing this unfortunate formatting mishap will always remind of me of Jack Torrance’s endlessly repeating, unbroken repetitions of “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” in The Shining. Poor text formatting in blogs inspires a similar feeling of horror as this scene.

Condense your sentences when possible. Keep paragraphs to the point and give them space to breathe on the page. Break up text with images, videos, and other decorative elements to help pages grab attention. Speaking of which…

Media Matters

An engaging blog is more than a space for you to layout your thoughts, tips, etc. Like food, we consume webpages with our eyes first. For this reason, visual elements should help reinforce the information on your blog, not draw away from it. One of the common mistakes we see being made is blogs being put with either no media content or media content that is unappealing.

Original images are always preferred, however, it is important to note that not all stock is created equally. Stock photos have come a long way, so make sure you the stock you use looks modern. Few things are gonna make readers groan more than obvious and corny stock.

You know, things like this:

Just no. Don’t do it. Stock resources are plentiful across a variety of platforms, make sure you do your research on each to see which fits your company’s needs the best. What makes a blog engaging can often be its use of strong media to draw you in.

The Cornerstone of Good SEO

Blogs are the cornerstone of good SEO for many small businesses, so often the question of what makes a blog engaging is also the question of what makes for good SEO. More than that, if you’re writing blogs with information that pertains to your business, you should show readers that you actually put the effort in and are interested in what you’re talking about, because if you’re not interested readers won’t be either.

If you want to get your blog writing game up to snuff but don’t know where to start, send a message to the team here at Urban Ignite. As a web marketing agency, we understand how to craft great content with proven results.

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