- The headline
- The call to action
The headline is what gets read and spread. It’s your “shout-out” on social media sites, in feed readers, email updates. It’s the bait on your fishing hook which draws people over to your blog site to read your stuff.
Writing magnetic headlines is crucial. And you know yourself that a well-crafted headline gets more traffic than a bland one.
The call to action is what gets you business results and turns readers into clients. Even when it’s not a direct “go-buy-click-here” request, it’s part of your funnel process. It starts the participation process.
But hold on there, wait a minute. There are 6 ways to format your blog posts that will help prime your readers for action. It happens before you ask readers to do something. It must happen, otherwise your readers won’t even read your complete post, they won’t get to the call to action part.
You must engage their brains. You must get inside their heads by triggering unconscious desires and thoughts.
Okay, that sounds a bit oowy-woowy and sneaky, maybe even dangerous. I’m not talking hypnotic suggestions or even tapping into Freudian drives of sex or fear…(although, heck, that sure works, too!)
But if your blog content doesn’t appeal to one of several persuasion triggers (reciprocity, social proof, etc.) then you’re not doing enough with your posts. Your readers may scan your post, without getting their thought processes going, and move on.
It’s not complicated. You’re probably already doing it (unconsciously)! How?
1. Every time you tell a story, you’re tapping into primitive drives to listen and pay attention. As humans, we’re wired to sit up, pay attention, and become alert when someone says, “Let me tell you a story…”
2. Every time you ask readers a question, you’re engaging their brains. The human mind doesn’t like unfinished business, we want answers.
3. Every time you make a bulleted list of “5 Ways to …” you’re drawing your readers to quick easy short cuts to solve a problem. Their brains love short cuts and easy-to-remember lists.
4. Every time you use quotation marks and share what a client or reader told you, you’re engaging readers’ attention. We’re hard wired to read what someone else has said, to find out their opinions and experiences. Here’s an email I got yesterday:
“One of the people I follow on twitter sent me a link to your blog article on building trust in your blog.
I found the blog to be a great inspiration for my own writing and blogging, it gave me some ideas and a bit of a wake up call about my own lazy habits in writing!… I’ve added your blog to my Google reader!”~Paul Pichugin “Like” us on facebook: http://facebook.com/blaquestudios
These are subtle formatting points for blog posts, but very important on a psychological level. I’ve got a lot more to share with you on how to reach your readers’ brains and get them persuaded to do business with you.
4. I’ve got to go right now, so stay tuned for the next post about persuasion triggers and getting your readers ready to do business with you! (Using bolded words helps scanners pay attention, and I’m also building up anticipation for more tips.)
5. + 6. (P.S. Using post-scripts and parentheses are also formatting keys that will get readers to pay attention. By the way, if you don’t want to miss this series of posts, may I suggest you subscribe to get email updates to this blog. The next tips will be delivered directly to your inbox so you don’t miss any…!)