It’s long past the time that having a static website was enough for a therapist or helping professional in order to make their presence known. Things really have changed. Adding fresh content to your website or blog is now a requirement if you want to be competitive on the web. I know some of you don’t want to hear this, but if you’re not yet writing a newsletter and/or a blog, it’s time to get started.
Now, I know you might find the idea of writing intimidating. Those long grueling hours spent writing your master’s thesis and other papers perhaps still haunt you.
However, one thing you need to remember is that writing articles and blog posts for your audience isn’t like writing for academia or professional publications.
Writing articles for a newsletter or blog is a much simpler style of writing where you provide tips, cutting-edge information, and share stories, ideas and opinions with readers.
Now, don’t get me wrong…
While writing for the web is simpler and more conversational than other types of writing, you do need to write well if you want people to read your articles. In addition, the topics of your articles must be interesting. Below are 5 ways to help captivate your readers:
1. Choose Topics of Interest to Your Target Audience.
If your target audience are people in chronic pain, don’t write about how to develop healthy relationships. Of course, you could write about how chronic pain experienced by one person in the relationship affects the partner as well as the overall relationship. For the most part, you need to keep your articles on topic. However, on occasion, you can get away with writing something off topic, if you think your readers will still find it interesting. In fact, sometimes an off-topic, or more personal article can add a little variety to your blog or newsletter.
What if you don’t have a specific niche market? Uh, well, that as a bit of a problem. Newsletters and blogs have much better readership if they focus on a specific topic or theme. Unless there is something else about your style or personality that stands out, it goes without saying that people prefer to read information of personal interest to them. If you write about irrelevant topics regularly, you will be alienating readers.
2. Choose a Compelling Headline.
There is nothing more important than a strong, attention-getting headline when it comes to getting your reader’s attention. In fact, if you don’t grab their interest with the headline, you can pretty well assume most readers won’t bother to read the rest of the article– regardless of how good it is. Writing compelling headlines is an art as well as a science. It’s a skill that does take some knowledge and time to master. “How-To…” and 5, 7 or 10 Steps/Ways to…” are always good ways to go if you are stuck.
3. Make Your Articles Easy To Read
Reading on the web can be hard on the eyes so you need to make your article as easy to read as possible. Use short sentences and paragraphs, sub-headings, numbered lists, and bullet points. Your article or blog post should be “scannable” as most people first scan articles on the web and then decide if they want to read further. Big blocks of text without subheadings and long paragraphs are intimidating to come across, and very difficult to comprehend. They make your readers scream, “get me out of here!”
4. Tell Stories and Use Metaphors.
We all love stories. Good stories draw the reader in and keep them glued to the page. A good way to open your blog post or article is by telling a story and then lead into your point. Using analogies and metaphors can also make your writing more compelling. These create pictures in people’s heads thus making the points more engaging and easier to comprehend.
5. Write About a Controversial Topic or Be Provocative.
Just as we love stories, us humans seem to revel in controversy. If you want to increase your readership, write about something that is sure to be controversial. Sure you might alienate some people who don’t resonate with your opinion, but you’ll resonate more deeply with the readers who appreciate what you’re writing about, whether they agree with you or not–and these are the people you want to be reading your articles anyway.
You can also increase readership by being provocative. Saying something surprising or even shocking in your articles is a surefire way to garner attention. Some of the most popular bloggers on the Internet often write things that are controversial or provocative in some way.
In summary, it’s not enough to be writing articles for the web–you have to make people WANT to read them.
Want to learn how to become a blogger that gets results?
Check out this training, “How to Use Blogging to Build a Sustainable Therapy or Wellness Business.”
***Registration closes on May 24, 2016.***
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