Post by Robbi Hess, Blog Manager
Authenticity rules when you want to gain blog readers and followers on your social media pages. Why? Because your audience wants to know that when he or she reads your post that it is from a “real person” and someone who speaks to them and speaks with authority.
At the #BlogPaws conference in Nashville, Maggie Marton and Karon Thackston spoke on this very topic. Karon explained that bloggers need to master the art of “short copy.” This type of copy includes:
- Social media updates
- Blogs/article headlines
- Email subject lines
Included in all of those pieces of written words is the all important headline or teaser. “You should be able to do this is ten words or fewer,” Karon said. “Remember, though, your short copy doesn’t work alone it is part o the package that is designed to drive traffic. Here, she explains is the way traffic is driven:
- Your email subject line gets readers to open your email
- Your social media posts drive traffic to your website
- Your blog titles get people to read your post
- Your Google titles also drive traffic to your blog (Use keywords wisely)
“Short copy works when it deals with one topic and is written to one segment of your audience,” she explained. Karon shared her ideas for creating short copy that converts:
- Ask a specific question
- Pique the readers’ curiosity
- Offer a how-to
- Show the end results — works well for DIY projects
- Make a connection with a reader
- Tease with these words: it, these, this and here. For example: This (blank) enabled me to get away from my attacker or Cut these five foods from your diet to lose weight. You have piqued interest because the reader will want to know what “this” and “these” are
- Combine any of the above for infinite short copy possibilities
Now that you know how to grab your reader’s attention, Maggie went on to explain how to keep it through being authentic. “No matter what changes, good content never goes out of style,” she said. She also said that, “Our readers are no longer so impressed with the fact that you’re a blogger.” You have to keep impressing them on a daily basis and in order to do that you need to create a human connection. How? Maggie shared these tips:
- Know your audience and speak to a specific person.
- Use your authentic voice aka write how you speak.
- Tell a story.
- Avoid writing missteps (bad grammar, spelling, incorrect facts, etc.). Three common missteps she said are: homophones, misuse of apostrophes and run on sentences.
- Track your authenticity. What this meant to me (Robbi) was that I don’t want to say I love bananas on Monday and rave about them but on Tuesday I blog about how vile they are. If I did that, my readers would move onto someone who was authentic aka someone they could trust.
Maggie suggested creating a mind map to find out who you truly are and to uncover your voice. You’d put your name in the center and then the mind map circles leading out from that could include your personality traits, things you love, things you despise, things you do well, etc. This exercise might help you uncover myriad topics about which to blog.
“When you’re blogging,” Maggie said, “Think of your posts as stories. Do they have a beginning, and an end? If not, you need to rethink the post.”
A measure of your authenticity is the time spent on page and the feedback you get from your readers. “You’re building a community,” Maggie said. “One way to know if your community-building efforts are working is if you’re connecting others within that community.”
Both speakers urged audience members to, “be true to themselves.”
Do you give much thought to being authentic when you write a blog post? If so, what do you do to see if you’re being authentic? We’d love to hear!