Creating quality content requires a lot of time and effort. A well researched 1000-1500 word blog post can take you between 2 to 5 hours (sometimes even more) to write.
But is your hard work really worth it? Is anyone reading your content?
According to Hubspot, more than 60% of readers never read more than 40% of a blog post. That means most of your content never gets consumed.
The “time on page” of your individual blog posts is a good indicator of how much of your content is actually getting consumed.
But increasing content consumption is not as difficult as you might think.
Neil Patel, a leading content marketer, increased his time on page by almost 70% by making just a few tweaks to his content format. Many other leading bloggers have reported similar successes by restructuring their content.
Here’s how you can replicate their success, and increase the consumption of your blog content.
Minimize Design Distractions
You blog design has a direct impact on the readability of your content. A clean, clutter free and focused blog design allows your readers to consume content much more effectively.
So even before you start writing content, make sure your side bar has no unnecessary elements, your navigation menu is small and to the point, and your headings and body text size is large enough with proper spacing.
Create the Right Type of Content
There are certain content types that people prefer to read and share. And depending on your niche, there are always certain topics that have a higher demand as compared to the others.
For example, research by AppSumo indicates that list posts, ultimate guides and expert round up posts get the highest social shares.
So instead of guessing and experimenting unnecessarily, create the content types with a higher success rate. To find more niche specific insights, search the Ahrefs content explorer tool with your main keyword. It will show you the most popular posts related to your topic.
Go through the top posts to get a good idea of the idea of the kind of content you need to create in order to attract more readers.
Use Magnetic Headlines
Research indicates that out of all the people who read your post headline, only 20% actually click it to read your post.
A poor headline can waste hours of hard work that you put into creating awesome content. That is why some of the most successful bloggers spend almost as much time crafting headlines as the total writing time of their posts.
Here are a few things you should do to create magnetic headlines
- Keep your headlines to 65 characters (they have the highest conversion rates)
- Limit your headlines to 6 words for maximum impact
- Use adjectives to create impact with headlines (e.g powerful, effective, supreme etc)
- Use numbers and percentages in your headlines to create credibility
- Use the words I, You, What, Why, How in your headlines
Your headlines have a huge impact on your content consumption rate. So make sure you get them right.
Always Think Mobile First
More than 60% of Google searches are now generated from mobile devices. But the number of mobile users is even higher when it comes to blog readers.
Almost everyone reads blogs on smartphones these days. So you need to make sure that your design is responsive, and optimized for mobile visitors.
If you have any pop-up plugins on your blog, make sure they’re inactive for mobile readers because pop-us can be really annoying on mobile.
Also ensure that your social media sharing widgets, and comment plugins are mobile responsive.
All these things impact your content consumption rate.
Create a Killer Intro by Making a Promise and Giving Incentives
When a visitor lands on your blog, you have approximately 3 seconds to grab his attention and persuade him to read the rest of your blog post.
Most bloggers fail to do that.
Why? Because their blog posts have boring introductions.
Here’s how to write engaging introductions
- Expand on the problem mentioned in your headline. Give them a summary, without going into too much detail.
- Get to the point straightaway. Your readers don’t have time for long introductions. Just tell them what value your post has for them.
- Clearly identify your post’s objective, make a promise and give readers a glimpse of the solution
- Give them an incentive to read till the end. For example, you could say
“Here are 7 ways you can increase website conversions (plus link to a free conversion optimization tool at the end that’ll blow you away)”
Tell Readers What They’ll Learn
When you write long and resourceful blog posts, it’s always good to provide a skeleton view of the post at the start.
This allows the readers to identify the sections they want to read, and also gives them an immediate idea of the value your post has to offer.
You can do this simply by creating a “What You’ll Learn in This Post” section and list down the main sub-headings of the post.
You can even link each heading to the relevant portion of the post allowing readers to quickly jump spaces.
Use Short Paragraphs
Modern day internet users are short on time. Most of them skim through blog posts instead of reading every word.
If your post has paragraphs longer than 2-3 sentences, skimming will become hard for your readers. So you need to make sure that you mix up shorter paragraphs with the occasional longer ones.
For example, you could keep the average paragraph size to 2-3 lines and insert a couple of 4-5 line paragraphs in between.
Talk to Your Readers
Blogging is different from conventional article writing. Instead of writing from a third person perspective, you need to talk to your readers directly.
For this, make use of words like I, You and Me frequently. Use short sentences and avoid using heavy vocabulary.
When you’re writing, talk to only one person – your reader – not a group.couple of 4-5 line paragraphs in between.
Use Sub-Headings Frequently
Intelligent use of sub-heading throughout your blog post can significantly increase its consumption. Sub-headings give your readers a clear idea of your post’s distribution and what each section of the content has to offer.
It also allows readers to easily skim through the post and jump to any particular topic they want to know about.
Quote Experts and Cite Credible Research
Backing your arguments with credible data and research can add a lot of weight to your blog posts. Instead of making a claim all by yourself, include relevant number and studies that verify your claims.
Quotes from experts and renowned industry figures also has the same impact. When you add them to your content, it gives credibility to your arguments.
Add Images, Infographics and Memes
Did you know that almost 65% of readers prefer infographics, memes and images in blog posts?
Visual content makes your blog posts much more attractive and digestible. Instead of just throwing a wall of text on your readers, add images to the mix.
Relevant and high quality images can complement your content and make it much more effective.
Provide an Actionable Summary at the End
Just like the introduction, a good actionable conclusion is also good for your blog post. It should effectively summarize all the key points of your post, and its key takeaways.
An effective conclusion also drives action from the readers (for example, a comment or a share).
Increasing the consumption of your blog content depends heavily on user experience and the type of content you create. If you can identify the topics that your audience loves to read about, and structure your posts in a reader friendly manner, there’s no reason why you can’t make readers stay on your site longer.