No matter what kind of content you’re creating, you always have one goal: keep your readers reading. And now you too can hook and engage your readers using these 40 hacks for creating content that people really love.
Check them out…
1. Offer Tips
Instructional content is great. But what’s even better is when you offer tips on top of that content. Tips are useful. They help people take action. And they even make readers feel like they have insider information. All of that adds up to engaged, satisfied readers.
2. Compile FAQs
If you pay attention, you’ll see the same questions in your niche pop up repeatedly on blogs, forums, social media groups and on sites like Quora. The next time you see these questions, collect them. Then compile a list of frequently asked questions with your very best answers. You can bet your readers will gobble it up.
3. Share Resources
No matter what people are trying to do, they tend to spend a lot of time researching resources.
E.G., Which blog plugins should they use? What gear do they need to train for a marathon?
You can make your readers fall in love with you and your content by sharing your most trusted products and resources. They’ll save time, they’ll save money. What’s not to love?
4. Provide Examples
Sometimes information just goes over your readers’ heads. You can help clarify concepts by providing specific examples. This not only helps engage readers, it also helps them move towards taking action since they now have a clear example of what to do.
5. Compile Lists
People love lists. That’s why even comedians tap into “top ten” lists. You too can keep your readers engaged by sharing lists. For example:
- Top Five Ways to Lose Weight
- The 27 Best Marketing Blogs on the Planet
- 101 Car-Restoration Tips Every Enthusiast Ought to Know
6. Take Screenshots
Are you explaining how to use software, taking a tour or a website, or even reviewing an online product? Then take screenshots. They provide visual interest to your content and keep readers’ attention.
7. Create Templates
If you really want to provide something useful to readers, then give them the tools they need to take actions. Templates make a great choice for this purpose. For example:
- Sales letter templates for copywriters.
- Invoice templates for small business owners.
8. Provide Step-By-Step Instructions
Not everyone knows what you know about a topic. So when you say something like, “Install a WordPress blog,” you readers might be scratching their heads. That’s why you can keep readers engaged and moving forward by providing exact instructions for complex processes.
9. Create Infographics
Not everyone learns well from reading words only. That’s why you might consider creating an infographic, which is a visual representation of data and information.
For example: “How metabolism really works…”
10. Inject Humor
People don’t just want to be educated; they want to be entertained too. That’s why you should inject some light humor into your content, which will keep people laughing and reading along.
11. Tell Stories
Nothing draws a reader and hooks them on an emotional level like a good story. That’s why you’ll want to share inspirational, funny or even parable-type stories to help you get your point across.
12. Provide Worksheets
Worksheets are another good choice of tools for helping readers take action on what they’re learning. For example, you might provide nearly bankrupt readers with a debt-management worksheet.
13. Offer Checklists
Checklists do two things that readers love. First, they condense a complex process into a series of actionable steps. And secondly, they serve as a useful tool to use when it comes time to take action.
TIP: For best results, make sure your checklists are printable. And then encourage users to actually print and use them.
14. Create Mind Maps
Creating mind maps for non-linear thinkers is a welcome addition alongside your regular content. It gives everyone a new way of looking at and consuming the information. You can start making mind maps by using software such as SmartDraw.com.
15. Create Actionable Content
The idea here is to offer at least one thing that can be done quickly to get fast results. People love instant gratification, which is why readers will stay hooked to see how many other actionable tips you’ll share.
16. Explain Complex Subjects In “Lay Person” Language
A lot of people hate combing through scholarly articles with a lot of jargon. That’s why you can thrill your readers by explaining complex subjects and articles in simple everyday language.
For example, if you’re catering to people who want to lose weight, then you can explain the latest article on metabolism (rather than linking to it and expecting your readers to slog through it).
17. Break Big Subjects Into Bite-Size Bits
If you’re sharing “how to” information on a big subject in a place like your blog or newsletter, then break this subject up into a series of posts or emails. Not only does this make the information less overwhelming, it also gets your readers excited about the next installment.
18. Ask Questions
The idea here is to engage readers and make them think. For example:
- Have you ever lost weight and then gained it all back?
- Do you know the secrets of doubling your conversion rates?
- Are you tired of spending hours in the gym with nothing to show for it?
19. Provide Strong Calls to Action
When people take action on what they just learned, they’ll overall be more satisfied with your content. That’s why you’ll want to provide calls to action to get people moving.
For example: “Now that you know exactly how to set up a WordPress blog, it’s time to get yours launched. So take the first step now by clicking here to download the free installation files – this won’t take long, so do it now!”
20. Offer Illustrations
A well-placed illustration provides these three benefits:
- It breaks up big walls of text, which makes the content easier to read.
- It draws the readers’ eyes back into the content, which is always a welcome benefit.
- It provides a visual illustration to help explain the content. In other words, it adds value to the content.
For example, if you’re sharing information about how to do specific types of exercises, then you can really engage your reader by providing illustrations for each exercise.
21. Provide New Twists on Old Methods
Our brains actually light up and we get a little pleasurable rush of neurotransmitters when we learn something new. This is why you’ll want to provide new ways of doing things and other novel information to your readers.
But remember, you don’t need to come up with something entirely new. Just presenting old information in a new way (such as via an infographic) might be just enough to kick those pleasurable neurotransmitters into gear.
22. Share Analogies, Metaphors and Similes
This sort of language makes the content more memorable and engaging, which keeps people hooked.
For example, don’t just say something is slow. Instead, say it’s as slow as molasses in January. (Or, better yet, make up your own sayings to keep your content fresh!)
23. Engage The Reader’s Senses
A lot of writers tend to describe something visually, but they neglect the other senses. Don’t do this. Instead, bring in as many as possible.
Let’s imagine you’re telling a story about failing to avoid temptation at a bakery when you’re on a diet. Here’s what you can describe:
- The smell of fresh-baked bread when you first walk in.
- The sound of the bell dinging above the door when you walk in.
- The sight of the delectable pastries.
- The taste of a raspberry-filled pastry.
- The feel of the raspberry dripping off your chin.
In short, bring your readers right into the scene with you!
24. Arouse Curiosity
One very good way to keep readers reading is to simply make them curious about what’s coming up.
For example: “In just a few moments you’ll discover the fat-loss trick Hollywood celebrities use when they need to lose a fast 10 pounds…”
25. Give Them What They Want, Slip In What They Need
Any content you create should be something that people really want (otherwise they won’t read it). But you can also slip in what they need, which will make the content even more useful to them.
For example, people who are looking for money-making information WANT tips for fast results. But they also need strategies to create long-term success. So you might create a report that shares fast ways to make money, while slipping in strategies for building a thriving business over the long term.
26. Showcase The Benefits
In other words, let readers know the benefits of reading this content.
For example, “You’re about to find out how to double your conversion rates with a five-minute tweak!”
27. Create Reader-Oriented Writing
Your content should be about the reader, not you. If it’s about you, other than an occasional story, your readers will quit reading.
So here’s a quick and dirty way to check whether your content is about your readers: simply look at how much you use words like “you” versus words like “me.” If you have more occurrences of “me” then “you,” that’s a sign it’s time to tweak.
28. Use a Conversational Tone
In other words, keep it light and imagine that you’re writing to a good friend. This is much easier to read (and more fun!) than content with a stuffy textbook-style tone.
29. Overcome Resistance
Sometimes as people read your content, they start thinking, “I don’t believe you.” You can help overcome this resistance and build credibility by:
- Sharing your relevant experience with the topic. E.G., You’re sharing your own weight-loss secrets.
- Sharing the results you’ve achieved for yourself or others. E.G., Tell readers that you’ve taught other copywriters, and talk about their successes.
- Sharing any relevant degrees, accolades or awards you’ve won. E.G., If you’re talking about how to write a good novel, then talk about any book awards you’ve won.
30. Be An Authority
People are more willing to read and trust content coming from an expert or authority in the niche. That’s why you’ll want to establish yourself as an authority. For example:
- Share your best content so that people can see for themselves that you’re an expert.
- Share testimonials from people who refer to you as an expert.
- Be confident when you share your strategies, as this naturally helps position you as an authority.
And related to this…
31. Borrow Other People’s Authority
If you haven’t yet established yourself as an authority, then you may want to borrow other people’s authority to boost your status.
One way to do this is to get quotes from authorities in your niche about you and your expertise. For example, if you wrote a book on back pain, then get several doctors to endorse your book.
32. Empathize With Your Readers
People often feel like no one really understands or cares about their problem. If you can demonstrate this understanding, they’ll keep on reading.
For example: “I know what it’s like to get winded and then embarrassed when you climb even one flight of stairs…”
33. Be Honest
The idea here is to tell the good, the bad and the downright ugly of everything. For example, if you’re reviewing an affiliate offer, then be sure to list both the pros and cons of the product.
This absolute honesty draws readers to you and builds their trust. In turn, they’ll keep reading – and they’re much more likely to buy what you’re selling.
34. Flatter Your Readers
People like flattery, even when they know it’s intentional flattery.
Try this: “I know you’re a smart [type of person] because [insert something they are likely to do or not do]…” ☺
Example: I know you’re a smart marketer, because you spend time reading blog posts like this on a regular basis to stay in the loop… ☺
35. Capture Their Imagination
If you can get people thinking about how they’ll feel when they use a product you’re promoting or the information you just provided, the you are one step closer to getting them to take action.
For example: “Imagine how you’ll feel when you open your email to see dozens of sales notifications filling your inbox…”
36. Provide Variety
People get bored when they’re faced with the same ol’ type of content every time they visit your blog, read your newsletter or go to your social media page. That’s why you’ll want to provide variety. Give them short tips today, a lengthy “how to” article tomorrow, and an inspirational post the day after. This will keep people interested and coming back for more.
37. Share Your Best Stuff
People don’t like it when they feel like an author is holding back the best bits for later. So don’t do that. Share your best stuff to keep people engaged. Share your best stuff to build trust. Share your best stuff for free, because it will give people an honest taste of what your paid content is like.
38. Create a Slippery Slide
Every time you sit down to write content, keep the “slippery slide” concept in mind. This is where every word of your content hooks the reader and brings them to the next word… which brings them to the next word… and so on. They start at the top of your content and slide all the way down to the bottom, effortlessly.
You can do this by:
- Arousing curiosity.
- Showcasing the benefits of the content.
- Using emotionally laden words and imaging.
- Being sure the content is about your reader and his problems.
Make the content relevant to the reader in every way, and you can bet he’ll keep reading.
39. Ensure Content Is Accessible
The idea here is avoid $100 words when a $2 word will do. Don’t try to talk above your readers’ heads in an attempt to look smart, because it will likely backfire and get readers hitting their back buttons.
40. Format For Easy Readability
No one likes to read never-ending walls of text. That’s why you’ll want to break up big blocks of text with:
- Enticing headlines.
- Bulleted lists.
- Johnson boxes.
And anything else that breaks up the monotony of the text and engages the reader. Just look at this report as a good example of formatting text for easy readability.
Reading Until the End
Look at this – you read right down to the end! You know why? Because this report utilized many of the hacks you just learned about to keep you hooked and engaged.
So now it’s your turn. Put these hacks to work for you to create better content that your readers will absolutely love!