5-Step Formula:

How to Write an Insanely Engaging Blog Post

I think you’ll agree with me when I say: 

It’s REALLY freaking hard to create engaging content. 

I still have nightmares about the countless hours I lost figuring out how to write my first blog post. I combed the internet searching for the “best” blog post template, format, design and SEO content hacks. 

Simply put, I was totally lost. What the heck is a Bucket Brigade! 

Well, it turns out, you don’t have to struggle like I did. In the next 10 minutes, I’m going to teach you some actionable, battle-proven and slightly unusual secrets to crafting a stellar blog post. 

Using these 5 secrets you can write an insanely engaging blog post right now.

How to write an engaging blog post

Chapters

Chapter 1:

How to Create a Catchy Headline

First, let’s go over how to create a catchy headline with these special ingredients.

A Moz study reveals that 80% of your readers won’t make it past the headline. Traffic can vary by as much as 500% based on that headline alone. 

What does it all mean?

That reading is boring? Maybe. 

That you need to up your headline game? Most likely.

Catchy Headline

It’s a Numbers Game

Numbers are eye-catching. They help put your message into perspective instantly!

Check out this title for instance:

“How to Lose Weight Quickly”

It isn’t the worst but it’s so vague that you’ll lose your reader before you ever really had them.

“9 Fat-Burning Tips That Got Me From a Size 12 to an 8”

More specific. More convincing. Even I’d want to click it.

Moz also found that numbered headlines resonate 15% more than headlines that address the reader directly.

Headline Preferences

Source: Moz.com

Protip: Odd numbers, being more specific, tend to give the reader a feeling of authenticity. Check out this article: The Magical Power of Odd Numbers in Marketing

Once More - With Feeling!

Besides writing an SEO-friendly (50-60 characters) numbered headline, you want to pack an emotional punch, make the reader smile or tug on their heartstrings.

The best way to do this?

Power words:

  • Powerful
  • Life-Changing
  • Proven
  • Secret

Great bloggers love power words about as much as they love poring over their Analytics at two in the morning.

Case in point: The top three organic results for the Google search, “how to increase conversions”

SEO Search Results Page

Don’t get too heavy-handed with these particular words though:

“5 Proven Tips to Get Amazing Conversions and Create a Life-Changing Blogging Career”

That totally kills the emotional momentum, doesn’t it? Less is more, I always say.

Here are some more power word ideas that you can sneak into your titles:

401+ Ridiculously Useful Power Words to Increase Conversions

Okay, But Why Should the Reader Care?

Ask not what your reader can do for you but what you can do for your reader. What really makes the reader, you know, read?

It’s all about your value proposition.

What not to do:

Blog Title Example Bad

I mean congrats, but your reader frankly doesn’t care. They want to know how it is that you can serve them.

A great example of this:

Great example of a blog post title

Effective AND you can’t help but click!

Chapter 2:

Blog Post Introduction

Make a great first impression with these 3 blog post introduction hacks

This is a technique I’ve already used in my introduction and, hey, it got you this far, didn’t it?

Not-so-fun fact:

The average reader reads about 20 to 25% of an article. Don’t take it personally. Most drop off if the first few lines don’t cut it. Your first challenge is to get them to…(drum roll please)

Scroll!

There are 3 steps to writing a mind-blowing blog post introduction:

How to write a blog introduction

The Pain: Join With their pain

Start with a pain point your reader might be having…

“Do you struggle with…?”

“Tried every blogging hack under the sun…?”

Hook your reader by pointing out the struggle. Assure them they’ve come to the right place. Here’s how I related to your pain points in my intro:

Pain Point

Then, follow this up with a healthy dose of empathy.

“You’re not alone…”

“Pulling out tufts of hair in frustration won’t help. I would know.”

The Empathy in Writing

This sure-fire formula works whether you’re writing your very first blog post or your thirteenth.

An added bonus: Pull back the curtains on your early days. The brain lights up when it sees a story. Relate with a personal anecdote that likely closely resembles where your readers are at right now.

The promise: Hint at a solution

What’s in it for them? Why should the reader spend their precious time sticking around?

Use language that gives them a peek into the promised land.

Just like I did in the introduction of this blog post:

Make a Promise

Make the solution as easy and accessible as possible. 

Be the person who did the heavy lifting so that your reader doesn’t have to pay their gym membership.

The Cliffhanger: Tease the content

Okay, so the key to a powerful cliffhanger is to tease the content soon to follow.

Remember your favorite movie? Yeah, the one you keep going back to every Sunday night? You likely love it because it kept you on the edge of your seat.

Cue the almighty cliffhanger.

Blog post cliffhanger

Blogging is like storytelling. Capture their attention by dangling or teasing the promise that you’re going to deliver what they need if they keep reading.

Don’t forget to use numbers or time frames to make it all the more real for your reader. Numbers also force you to be specific, which is a very effective tool in copywriting.

More on that below!

Chapter 3:

Blog Post Structure

Structure your blog post like a jedi master

“The force is strong with this one”.

Okay, okay that’s enough nerdy Stars Wars humor.

Seriously, what should you include in your blog post?

Now that you have a great SEO-friendly title and captivating intro, the next step is, you guessed it…

Compelling content.

Blog Post Structure

Split Your Copy into Bite-Sized Chunks

How do you format your blog posts?

Let’s break it down. No, literally. 

Keep your paragraphs super-duper short. Walls of text are to a reader what Kryptonite is to Supes.

Most people don’t read, they scan. Coupled with our generation’s short attention span, you don’t have much to work with. 

A few great tips to follow:

  • Bullet points are your best friend
  • Keep paragraphs to 3 sentences max
  • Use the power of white spacing to your advantage!

When you structure your blog with these three golden rules in mind, you’re making it super easy for the reader to filter information. This is a great incentive to get them to stick around longer. 

Bounce rate who?

Keep it Simple!

Or to put it another way, Cut the Waffle!

No, it isn’t lunchtime yet. Hang in there. 

To quote the great Albert Einstein, “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

Keep it Simple

How do you cut the waffle and stick to the point? Watch out for: 

  • Two or more incompatible topics shoved into the same section
  • Phrases like; I think, some people consider, you may want to…
  • Unnecessary repetition or emphasis

Power Words, Sensory Words and Bucket Brigades

People who succeed at blogging do one thing very well!

They know how to evoke emotion in a reader’s mind whether that is sadness, excitement, joy or curiosity!

POWER WORDS

We talked about power words before. Not only do these words boost your powers of persuasion, they also trigger a response from the reader! 

Common examples of power words:

  • Irresistible
  • Popular
  • Forbidden
  • Embarrassing

SENSORY WORDS

An extension of power words are sensory words. These are words relating to sight, smell, touch, taste and motion. Your brain is designed to read sensory words as if it were eating a delicious cake or seeing a dazzling display of colors. 

Common examples of sensory words:

  • Laughing
  • Screaming
  • Crunchy
  • Lip-Smacking
  • Silky-Smooth
  • Abrasive

Here’s a great list of Sensory Words broken down by category:

Sensory Words PDF

Overkill Alert: Don’t be too heavy-handed with these words, use them economically. 

BUCKET BRIGADES

These are cleverly worded phrases that encourage the reader to keep reading. 

Let’s say you have two sentences, the first of which is punchy, the second, not so much. How do you organically bridge these two ideas together and build intrigue in the reader’s mind?

Use a bucket brigade!

I snuck one in at the beginning of this section. Did you catch it?

Power Words

Other examples of bucket brigades:

  • In my own experience
  • But what does this mean for you?
  • By now, you should
  • You might be doing this without even realizing

And when you strike the right balance between power words, sensory words and bucket brigades – hey, you have a winning combo!

Chapter 4:

Is Your Visual Game on Point?

Human beings are visual creatures. We learn when we see

Optinmonster reveals that articles with images draw in 94% more views than those without.         

I highly recommend you use a professional graphics artist or illustrator to create the images for your blog posts, but if you are on a shoestring budget you can definitely pull this off on your own.

So whether you love to get super granular with Adobe Illustrator or throw something together quickly with PicMonkey, a little eye candy goes a very long way.

Blog Post Design

Featured Image and Subheading Banners

The first image sets the tone for the rest of your article. Place this above the fold (the space that the reader sees when the page loads without having to scroll). 

Blog Post without Images
Blog Post with Images

Protip: Create something from scratch or use a real image rather than resorting to stock images. 

Marketing Experiments conducted a real photo vs. stock photo A/B split test and found a nearly 35% conversion rate increase on the page with the authentic image!

Likewise, illustrate each chapter or subheading with a powerful visual. 

Videos

Users spend 2.6x’s more time on a page with videos as opposed to those without.

These don’t have to be super creative or animated videos. Those are hard to make. Who needs that in their life!

You can simply shoot something on your desktop web camera or IPhone explaining a point that you are trying to make. 

You’ll want to make sure you change out of your PJ’s for the video but once you are done, feel free to slip back into those cozy sweats and bunny slippers.

And no, you don’t need to be a technical whiz to master this!

Once you have your video all wrapped up, throw that bad boy on YouTube and embed it on the page.

Images, Graphs & Infographics

How do you get your readers to really sit up and pay attention? With an interesting image, graph or infographic!

In my personal blogging experience, these pop out of the page. 

Making Your Blog Post Pop

Images of almost any kind break up the content and are super valuable to keep your reader’s engaged.

You can use stock images or images that you or a professional graphics artist created.

When a reader is skimming, they’re likely to stop at a well-designed (but not too complicated) graph.

Infographics are visual summaries of the key ideas in your blog post. 

These are equally riveting and help validate the message you’re trying to convey. 

Adobe Spark or Canva are wonderful platforms that offer tons of infographic templates and they’re 100% Free!

You can easily channel your inner Leonardo Da Vinci and create something amazing!

Blockquotes

Visuals aren’t only about pictures. You can even create a visual with your words!

Enter the mighty Blockquote.

“Did you know, you can separate important text with blockquotes to create a contrast from the rest of your text?”

This makes the information instantly recognizable!

Use blockquotes as:

  • Quotations that offer insights into your topic
  • Important ideas you want the user to retain
  • A sneaky way to break up long-form blog posts

Protip: If you are using a content management system like WordPress, your theme probably has the formatting for blockquotes built right into it. Just highlight the text and hit the Blockquote button in the editor.

Chapter 5:

Bring it All Together With a Killer CTA

“What people remember is how we start and how we finish – start fast and finish strong!” – Gary Ryan Blair.

It’s a challenge to wrap up so many interesting ideas and tie a pretty bow around it. 

So how do you end a blog post?

Give your reader the feeling like they’re the hero of this journey, like they’ve battled the dragon, saved the damsel and gotten a hero’s sendoff from the kindly townsfolk.

A Strong Finish:

End with a pat on the back:

“Now that you’ve mastered my 5-step approach to writing an engaging blog post, go out there and show ‘em what you’ve got.”

End with an encouragement to comment:

“Now it’s your turn! What is your secret formula to writing a swagalicious title? Which of these tips are you most excited about? Tell me in the comments below!”

Encouraging people to brag about their own tips is a great way to stimulate engagement AND crowdsource ideas for future posts.

End with a shameless plug:

“There are so many great tips I couldn’t cover in this article. Curious to know more? Join me on my Facebook Live this Tuesday at 8 pm for a Copywriting Workshop.”

The rule of thumb for your CTA: Keep it short, keep it simple

It’s now time for me to hand you your bonafide blogger badge. Those other guys aren’t gonna know what hit ‘em. 

Good luck!

Have Some Thoughts?

Please Leave A Comment Below:

I learned a ton from making this tutorial about writing an Engaging Blog Post, and I hope you learned a lot as well!

Now I’d love to hear from you.

Was there anything that really stood out as fabulous to you? Do you know of something that I missed?

Or maybe you totally disagree with something I said and you want a war of words?

Bring it on baby!

Seriously though, if you have a question about something that you read or want to let me know anything, go ahead and leave a comment below right now.

Please Comment

2 Comments

  • Paula Thomas

    I enjoyed this article immensely!! I’ll take on board your suggestions.

    Why is it when you progress in life or you start a business, you lose so many friends? Do you get this concern from other’s?

    Thanks

    • Shawn Hayes

      You are welcome Paula! I am glad you enjoyed the article.

      I think when you start a business it takes up a lot of your time. That unfortunately equals less time for your friends. 🙁

      Thank you for the comment!

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