How to write an interesting essay? Answer that question and you have more than half the answers to writing WordPress posts that convert.
Short and catchy headline.
Start at the top. If the headline is boring, what are the chances your article will be worth the 3-5 minutes that your reader has for it? The first few seconds will determine whether the reader sticks for the next few minutes. Those minutes will then decide whether or not the reader will do what you want her to do.
Skip the first two thoughts.
This is something that has worked for me. Whether its an angle to your story, a witty remark, or your headline, skip the first two thoughts you have. Those first two thoughts are most likely going to be uninteresting because they are the most used, predictable and clichéd.
Tagline that draws the reader in.
Have a tagline to go with your headline. Sometimes, a tagline gives the perfect angle to your article and the reader knows exactly what to expect. That way she doesn’t feel fooled into reading something she wasn’t interested in.
First and last paragraphs.
If the headline and post tagline haven’t done it already, the first paragraph should tell the reader clearly what the post is about. This sets the tone and expectations right. With the limited time each one of us has to read, it is very likely that the reader will skim through to the last paragraph before reading the post in detail. Make sure you sum up your post well in the last paragraph.
Use sub-headers through the post.
For the skimmers mentioned above, sub-headers will go a long way to make sure they register the points you are trying to make in the post. This is a good in-between for those who cannot spare those few minutes for your post.
Use images and other media.
In a world where tweets need to be short and precise, images are a great way to get the reader hooked in at the word go. Use them, as much as you can without losing out on the focus of your post. Have a caption stuck on to the image to make specific points.
Be to the point.
Unless you are writing a story that needs description, stay focussed on the objective of your post. In fact, use bullet points, if you can, where you can.
Break posts up.
If you find yourself making too many points in one post, consider converting the post into a series of two or more posts. It provides lots of scope for cross-linking and if the topic and you are interesting enough, it will have the reader looking forward to more.
Basically keep the reader interested. What is it that keeps you reading any content in long form? An anology, a story, a to-do list, a favorites list? Use those. Also, mix them up amongst posts.
Use relevant keywords.
This is where things start to get a little non-intuitive and maybe even forced. But, if your keywords are directly relevant to the post you are writing, you won’t have to worry too much about them being a part of your post. Else, you migh find yourself looking for ways to plug the keyword in at the right places – like the title, or a paragraph heading or the main text itself.
Build up to the call to action.
Describe what the reader will get by doing what you want her to do. Don’t describe the product/action itself, which might be your first instinct, describe what it would mean to your reader.
Call to action.
It is one of the most obvious things to do if you have a post that you want conversions from. What do you want the reader to convert to? A sale, to take up an offer, to like a FB page, to sign-up for your newsletter, to become a twitter follower? What is it the reader should do after she has read your post?
So, here’s my call to action for you. Go write that awesome post you have been trying to craft for. Then come back and see how many of these tips you have been able to follow instinctively. Some of them are intuitive indeed, some not so much. You can then go back and revise your post accordingly. You practice this for a few posts and before you know it, it will all become second nature.