Dying to get customers reading your blog posts?
Then get comfy, it’s gonna be a long one.
Now, before I start, if you’re an absolute blogging wiz, getting thousands of views every week, you’d be better off spending your time reading something else.
However, if you’re new to blogging or find it difficult getting people to read your stuff, this post is for you.
Still with me?
How to get customers reading your blog posts.
You’ve probably been told how blogging helps your business grow (probably by me in my post 5 Reasons Why Blogging Is Important for a start).
But starting a blog and writing any old thing is no good. And when you first start, you’re unlikely to be a leading voice in your industry.
Building up to that takes time, so follow these seven tips and you’ll be on your way.
One. Blog like nobody’s reading – because they probably aren’t
The first thing you need to do to get customers reading your blog posts is to start writing them.
Pretty obvious, I know, but if you’re not blogging, how will people read your stuff?
In the beginning, getting thousands of readers is rock hard – but don’t be downhearted.
Fact is, if you’re new to it, people won’t know you so they’ll go to someone they trust.
And what do I mean by that?
Well, let’s say you’re a cake designer, and you write a blog post called: 10 Eye-popping Ways To Decorate A Cake
However, Mary Berry posts something similar on her website and they’re both posted on a public forum.
Which will be more popular?
Chances are, yours won’t get as many views because she’s Mary Berry and you’re not.
However, by posting regularly with helpful stuff your target audience wants and needs, you’ll:
- Build trust in your business
- Win customers
- Create a dedicated readership who’ll turn to you for the advice they need to solve their problems
Watch your back, Mary!
Two. Ask yourself what they want
In point one, I said you should be:
“Posting regularly with helpful stuff your target audience wants and needs.”
So, you sit down at your laptop and… nothing.
Making you ask:
“What the bloody hell does my audience need?”
Rather than confusing things, I’m gonna stick with you being a cake designer.
Your customers have questions. So, what could they be thinking?
- Is icing a cake difficult?
- Which cakes have the least calories?
- What do I need to bake a cake?
They’ve got questions, so answer them in your blog post titles:
- Here’s how easy it is to ice a cake
- 7 low-calorie cakes that are a treat for the tastebuds
- 10 things you’ll need to make cake baking easy
These engaging, confident titles sound like you know what you’re talking about.
Plus people love to click on ‘How to‘ and ‘List‘ posts – but I’ll come to that later.
Three. Find out what your customers are asking
Okay, so you’ve come up with some questions of your own (as per point two), meaning you can probably knock out a few posts with stuff you’re absolutely sure your customers need answering.
But how do you find out what they’re actually searching for online without dropping through their skylight on wires, à la Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible, to listen in on their conversations?
Thankfully, there are easier ways to find out – here are two of them:
They might avoid paying tax, but you shouldn’t avoid Google when searching for what your customers are asking.
You’ve used Google, so you’ll have noticed when you’re typing it has an ‘auto-complete’ function. This function is based on what others have searched for, which makes it the perfect way to find the most popular questions your customers are asking.
So, sticking with the cake-y theme, I started typing:
Straight away, we have questions covering a range of potential customers:
- Which cakes are vegan
- Which cakes are healthy
- Which cakes are gluten-free
Or for those struggling with their baking:
All you’ve gotta do is start typing and you’ll be presented with loads of questions you can answer to show your expertise.
B) Answer the Public
A big favourite with many people, it’s a superb place to find out the most popular questions people are searching for on the web.
I typed in “How to bake”, and here are just some of the many options it threw up:
Take a good look and you’ll find “How to bake when the oven is broken.”
Would you have thought of that in a million years?
It’s a question being asked, so answer it – well, if you’re a cake designer or baker that is.
There are other ways too but, well, we’ll be here all night if I chuck in a load more.
Four. Research your competitors – and do things better
Getting started is the exciting part, but what if one of your competitors is doing it better?
Research what they’re doing – then do it better.
Take one of the questions you’ve decided upon, type it into Google (other search engines are available) and see if there are similar blog posts.
Click on them, have a read and make notes on style and substance, including:
- How thorough is the article?
- Have they missed anything out?
- Is it easy to read, have they used short sentences and bullet points or is it huge paragraphs of text?
- Have they used eye-catching images?
- Are there headers and subheaders – and do they relate to the subject matter?
- Is it well researched?
Your aim is to make customers read your blog posts, so you need to write a better article than your main competitors – so make sure the articles you view are on the first page of Google (ain’t no-one going to page two when they need answers).
Five. Make them easy to read
People want answers fast, so don’t bog down your blog posts with long-winded, 500-word paragraphs.
You can make your posts easy to read by:
A) Keeping sentences short
Like this one.
Sure, there’s still room for longer sentences, you don’t want to come across as cold and distant. And there’s no harm in a longer paragraph either, here or there. However, you don’t want to end up with a page made up of twenty of the bleeders, all extremely long with nothing to break up the monotonous drone of words.
You’ll notice lots of short and medium-length sentences and paragraphs in this blog post, but not one that rambles on for ages.
You can read more about how to write short sentences in my post 7 Ways To Master Short Copy.
B) Using bullet points
Unlike one client who told me bullet points were unprofessional – I can tell you they’re not.
They’re the perfect way to:
- Make a list of ingredients, products and vital information stand out
- Create white space on your page
- Make it easier for your customers to read
Never think bullet points don’t have their place, they bloody well do.
C) Using headers and subheaders
Headers and subheaders break up your blog posts into manageable chunks.
And they should tell the reader what that section is about, like:
Subheader: Why lemons are an essential cake ingredient
Subheader: How many lemons you’ll need when baking a lemon drizzle
Whatever header you use, make sure the content in that section matches the header.
D) Writing like you talk
Another that’s been a bone of contention with clients, but a chatty tone of voice really will appeal to your audience.
I’m not saying you should do it everywhere, it may not suit your industry or business, but a blog is somewhere where you can be a little less uptight and a little more informal.
Reading this post, you’ll notice my tone of voice is laid-back. I use words I use when you talk to me over the phone or on a Zoom call.
You’ll probably feel I’m not 100% grammatically correct either – but it doesn’t matter in a chatty blog post like this.
It’s possible to be chatty and professional.
Your readers have problems, so be warm, helpful and let them know you once caught your privates on the crossbar of your bike when you were eight – inspiring you to what you do now, selling jockstrap guards to protect genitalia from BMX crossbar hell.
It’ll make customers read your blog posts time and time again.
For more information on writing in a conversational tone of voice, read my post Write Like You Talk. Nuff Said.
E) Using eye-catching images
I break up my posts with images. Whether it’s a photo, a gif or a Bitmoji (those daft cartoon Matt’s). I try and make it fun for the reader so they don’t become word weary.
For free to use images, try:
And start making your posts a little more visually pleasing.
F) Creating loads of ‘How to’ and ‘List’ posts
People love ‘How to‘ and ‘List‘ posts.
A bit like this one, where I’ve called it: 7 Tips That’ll Get Customers Reading Your Blog Posts
I could have called it: How To Get Customers To Read You Blog
Mix up what you call your posts, but throw a fair chunk of ‘How to‘ and ‘List‘ posts in.
Six. Optimise your blog posts for SEO
Google loves quality content, but it needs to know what the hell you’re talking about.
By researching the questions people are asking, you’ll already have an SEO keyword or keyphrase.
Make sure you use the keyword in the title, but you also need to sprinkle it throughout your:
- Blog post content
- Image Alt+Txt
- Meta Data
It helps Google understand what your article is about.
Use variations of the keywords too. It’ll help rank you higher on search engines and get more people reading your blog posts.
If this sounds mind-boggling, don’t worry.
To understand it better, read my post How To Optimise Your Blog Posts For SEO.
Seven. Share your blog posts
You’ve researched, written and optimised your blog posts.
Hurrah, job done.
Now you need to get some eyes on them, so:
- Share them on your social media accounts
- Post them in appropriate Facebook groups
- Find #Hashtag hours on Twitter and post them at the specified times
- Use Canva, create images and use them on Instagram, Pinterest etc
You can share your post more than once on places like Twitter.
Don’t spam your feed with it every hour, that’s just annoying. However, you can do it multiple times over a week or two, using different hashtags to capture more readers who’ll read, love and share your posts with their followers.
And don’t forget to post it as a LinkedIn article, or cut it down to fit a daily post.
Get more eyes on your blog posts.
By following these tips, you’ll position yourself as a voice of authority in your industry. It won’t happen overnight, but by posting helpful stuff your customers need answering, you’ll start picking up a readership who’ll hopefully turn into paying customers.
Until next time,