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Today, good enough isn’t. Not when millions of posts are published daily. Not when today’s average post is 1,054 words; requiring anywhere from three hours to an entire day to write.
Right. Like you’ve got that kinda time.
And yet, you still need results. You can’t afford to grok around in the dark, looking for the light switch as your posts continue to relish in obscurity.
No one can.
Chances are, your information is good. Facts are all there. But it’s not compelling enough to get people to sit up and take notice.
Here are five reasons why (along with how you can fix them ASAP).Reason 1: There’s No Compelling ‘Hook’
The pretentious-sounding “lede” in journalism is what gets people to bite. It’s the compelling narrative, fact, stat, or story at the beginning that literally hooks people into reading the rest of the piece.
When done correctly, it builds anticipation to read what comes next. Here are three decade-old techniques to do just that.1. Anecdotes
Jon Morrow makes me weep like a little baby. Or at least, his posts do. Like this one: On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas.
The entire introduction is a story. It’s about the doctor telling Jon’s mom about his condition. The one that he’ll have to face his entire life and battle daily while bound to a wheelchair.
He masterfully builds suspense, adding in awkward pauses and compelling dialogue before finally bridging the gap between how this anecdote relates to the post topic.
As a result, the reader gets lost. It’s virtually impossible to read the few opening lines without finishing the entire piece.
Go on — I dare you.2. Start on the Opposite Side of Where the Post Ends
Jon’s post also delivers on this second approach to writing hooks. It starts in a completely different place from where it will end.
There’s misdirection. You think you’re getting one thing, only to discover the opposite is true, which breaks the expectation you had in mind.
Sometimes that means making unlikely comparisons between two things. Like, say, Professional Chefs + Sales.
Other times that means picking a contrarian viewpoint. Like, United Airlines was Right to Forcibly Remove Disgruntled Passenger, leaving his face bloodied and battered. (Okay, I added that last bit.)
The point is that each misdirection catches you off guard and forces you to pay attention.3. Lean on the Angle
The topic is what you’re writing about. The angle is what side you’re picking. How you’re conveying the topic at hand.
Example: This post’s topic is (generally) about blog post mistakes. But the angle is about how you can’t afford to be making these mistakes.
For various reasons. Based on stats. Etc. Etc. Re-read the introduction to see how it works.Reason 2: You Ain’t Tellin’ Stories
Seth Godin called us all liars back in 2009. Since then, every marketer loves waxing poetic on the virtues of storytelling.
Only one problem…
No one’s telling any stories.
Why do 400-500 blog posts fail? It’s not because Google prefers long-form. It’s not like people really sit around and want to read thousands and thousands of words.
But short stuff often falls flat because it skips straight to the point. There’s no build up. No seduction. And as a result, it’s not appealing to people who lack your curse of knowledge.
Facts tell, stories sell.
Or how ‘bout those epic, 5,000-word skyscrapers. Impressive in size and scope, no doubt. I’m sure it took hours and hours to compile the research.
But the writing… well, not so much.
Guaranteed peeps are bouncing within the first 1,000 words (or “Saving it for later” — aka never — on Pocket or Evernote). Launching into dry, technical details without building the proper foundation drastically reduces the number of people interested in consuming what you’ve pored over.
The antidote is storytelling: opening with a compelling narrative that sets the context to get people to emotionally ‘butt in.’
“Made to Stick” is about making ideas, well, stick. Turns out one of the best ways is through storytelling. And specifically, by using one of these three tried-and-true plots:
The Connection Plot: Think Romeo & Juliet. “Love conquers” and all that mushy stuff. Somehow, someway, two opposing forces are brought together from the unlikeliest places.
The Creativity Plot: Think “Da Vinci Code”. A crazy (outlandish) puzzle, solved with ingenuity in unexpected ways.
Facts don’t resonate until you’ve built up the proper foundation with readers. Storytelling helps set the context.Reason 3: Freestylin’ Instead of Following Proven Formulas
The short-lived hit TV show, “Revenge“ debuted in 2011. The first season’s story arc focused on a heroine who wanted to avenge her father’s wrongful murder. So she pretended to be like the people who were responsible in an effort to gain their trust and then completely destroy them all from the inside.
OK, so the plot lines were a little ridiculous. And the acting so-so.
But… that made for one interesting premise, right?
Of course, it did. This isn’t the first time you’ve heard it. In fact, it’s been around for centuries.
“The Count of Monte Cristo” was originally published in 1884. It featured someone who wanted to avenge their false imprisonment and take revenge against the three people responsible.
Turns out that people like formulas they’re familiar with. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Storytelling in a blog post should often follow the PAS formula. This age-old copywriting framework has been used for decades and decades to lure readers in.
Here’s how it works:
Problem: Your blog posts aren’t getting the readers they deserve.
Agitate: But it’s only getting tougher; requiring more time and effort than ever before.
Solution: Unless… you fix these five little issues.Reason 4: You Lack a Distinct Voice & Tone
MailChimp is wholly distinct. No one else looks like them online. No one else sounds like them, either.
Inside the app, Freddie pops up with all sorts of quirky tidbits. Like, for example, the time he referenced alcoholic Vervet monkeys.
Apparently, that’s not a coincidence but a well-planned strategy. Each new writing hire has to go through their style guide, voice, and tone.
That way everyone knows exactly how Freddie should walk and talk and sound.
Then there’s Stone Brewing company. Their tagline? “You’re not worthy.”
The label on their Arrogant Bastard ale literally says, “This is an aggressive beer. You probably won’t like it. It is quite doubtful that you have the taste or sophistication to be able to appreciate an ale of this quality and depth.”
Putting down your customers doesn’t seem like a smart move. And yet, it’s risen to become the 10th largest craft brewer in the U.S.
Zagat says their headquarters in San Diego county is, “The place to be if you’re a beer geek.” And they’ve been rated as ‘World Class’ by both RateBeer and BeerAdvocate (the two snobbiest sites for beer snobs).
They have a distinct style. It’s definitely not right for everyone. But that’s also why it works for those who enjoy it.
In a world full of nameless, borderline tasteless beer, they stand out head and shoulders above everyone else.
Blog posts are no different. Millions published each and every day.
That brilliant topic you’re to write about? It’s undoubtedly already been written about. Probably hundreds of thousands of times.
So how are you going to make it stand out?Reason 5: You’re Not Interrupting Well-worn Patterns
An ‘open loop’ will introduce one story or point. It will build anticipation. But before relieving that tension, it will open up another parallel story.
Think back to your favorite TV show or novel. Something unexpected happens. You’re dying to find out the fallout. But then they cut to a commercial break, and open with a completely different story. That forces you to keep watching until the end to see how it all comes together.
That same ‘pattern interrupting’ technique works online, too.
Something unexpected, shocking, or surprising forces our lizard brains to sit up and take notice. When an ‘information gap’ is created, we’re biologically driven to fill it. Curiosity, can indeed, kill the cat.
That’s also why polarizing headlines are considered the most powerful, according to a study of 69,907. Or why asking a question (without providing the answer) can raise email responses to 60 percent.
Here’s a perfect one that caught me recently from Drift:
Not using lead forms is like blasphemy in today’s digital marketing realm. It makes absolutely no sense. Sounds crazy! So of course, I had to read it.
Here’s another. Imagine you’re scrolling down chúng tôi reading all the various blog post titles. They’re all written by savvy marketers using the same ‘playbooks.’ So they all look and sound the same (for the most part).
Until this next one catches your eye:
Sure. The first and third ones look interesting. But it’s the middle one that catches your eye.
It’s short. All lowercase. And vague or mysterious sounding compared with all of the other alternatives you just scrolled past.Conclusion
Just getting your blog posts read today is an achievement in and of itself. It’s an uphill climb. Each and every day. Just to get a few measly eyeballs on your latest masterpiece.
The good news is that a few simple tweaks can make all the difference.
Start with a more compelling hook. Add a few more stories. Stick to a proven formula. Use a distinct voice and tone. And don’t be afraid to break a few patterns.
It takes a little bit of extra work. But the results will be worth it.
Featured Image: Pixabay
Screenshots by Brad Smith. May 2023.
You're reading 5 Reasons No One’s Reading Your Blog Posts
Have you ever noticed how many bloggers and social media marketers just tell people that they should go out try social media? How you shouldn’t worry about learning social it? That you’ll learn it on the fly and everything will be fine.
Well, I’m not one of those. It’s absolutely in your best interest to learn the basics of social media before risking your time and money.
Jumping into social media without at least learning the basics could be a major disaster. It probably won’t ruin your company. It probably won’t ruin you. But it will be a waste of time.
Why do I say that? Well an understanding of social media theory and fundamentals makes your strategy better. How, you ask? Well…
1. It Helps You Create a Starting and End Point
Taking the time to learn social media fundamentals gives you a starting point. It helps you decide where you are and hopefully where you should go.
If you don’t learn what the marketing technique is, how will you know what it’s capable of? How can you create goals and work towards them?
Taking the time to explore social media and soak up as much information as possible gives you a better understanding of what social media can do and how to create a plan.
On social media, a misstep can spread just as fast as a good campaign and consumers can be less than forgiving. Learning how to interact and promote a business shouldn’t endanger the brand.
Start with baby steps. Minimize the likelihood of something to go wrong. Learn as much as you can about web culture and online customer service.
Online consumers expect something much different than offline customers. You should know how to deliver it.
3. Experience Comes With Time – Who Has the Time?
Remember the common phrase, “don’t reinvent the wheel?” – Well don’t do it.
Marketers have been testing and exploring social media theories and sharing them online. Why would you want to go through that powerful information and have to learn it on your own?
You can test and explore and research your content, but we know that more often than not list posts go viral. There’s no need for you to take the time to test and explore that.
4. Learning Keeps You From Getting Frustrated
Think back to your childhood. If you’re anything like me, than math class was a horror. I’d sit there trying to do a problem and just not knowing how. After a few minutes of trying, I’d get frustrated and give up. It wasn’t until someone taught me what to do and explained to me why it is that way that I began to enjoy math.
Social media is the same way. There are fundamentals and there are strategies that you should know and understand. Don’t allow frustration lead to you giving up. We know social media is a powerful marketing tool. Don’t let it go.
5. How Are You Investing In Something You Know Little About?
It all comes down to money. How are you supposed to decide how much to invest in social media if you don’t know what it can do?
Learn what you’ll need to invest, both time and money, before throwing resources at it. Have a plan and create a budget. This will help increase the likelihood of success.
Information is key. To have a positive social media strategy you need to know as much as possible. That means both in regards to social media knowledge as well as strategies and fundamentals.
How are others in your industry doing? Why did their campaigns work? How can you recreate their success without copying them verbatim? Is social media for you?
I’d love to know what you think. How are you learning social media? Where do you go for research and strategies? Are you learning from example or creating your own ideas?
Check out Samir Balwani’s new social media guide at Training Social, a resource for anyone interested in learning social media marketing.
It is such a challenging task to stop yourself from longing for more while trading in stocks or cryptocurrencies. Many such traders or investors end up losing their precious bucks. Most of the active and experienced traders miss the chance to join or exit a rally or a slump, through poor timing. Trading movements depend on market factors and company fundamentals that are behind a stock or a cryptocurrency.
If you’re a rookie crypto investor or someone who turns into an obsessive-compulsive trader, now is the time to bid adios to the OCD. LockYourCrypto is designed to help traders take control of their trading habits and routines.
Decentralized finance (DeFi) allows traders and investors to access financial services without taking help from a bank or a broker or being answerable to any government authority or financial regulator. Apart from LockYourCrypto, the two other most popular DeFi platforms are Curve and Aave, which offer users several benefits and features. Let’s have a look at the five reasons why you should prefer LockYourCrypto over Aave and Curve.
Community GovernanceNon-Custodial Wallets
LockYourCrypto requires users to connect their non-custodial wallet to access the platform.What are Non-Custodial Wallets?
Non-custodial wallets are designed to give users complete control over their funds. They ensure that users do not have to rely on the platform to manage their assets. MetaMask and MyEtherWallet are two prime examples of non-custodial wallets.
On the flip side, users of Curve and Aave deposit their funds into the platform’s smart contract. It means users are entrusting their assets to the platform. Although both Aave and Curve have built a strong reputation among their user base, there is always room at the top for innovation, which is fulfilled with LockYourCrypto, which provides an added layer of security to deliver peace of mind.Decentralized Exchange
On the contrary, both Curve and Aave don’t have a built-in Decentralized Exchange, which forces their users to rely on external exchanges to trade their cryptocurrencies. Apart from being time-consuming and expensive, shuffling between different DEXs can also make users lose their focus.High-Interest Rates
If you want to gain better interest rates, LockYourCrypto has you covered. It offers some of the highest interest rates in the DeFi space, with rates of up to 25% APR on certain assets. Moreover, you can earn significant returns on your cryptocurrency holdings, which can be particularly attractive in a low-interest rate environment.
In contrast, interest rates offered by Curve and Aave are on the low side, typically ranging from 2-10% APR. Nevertheless, these rates are still competitive against traditional banks.Flexible Collateralization
With LockYourCrypto, you can collateralize a wide range of assets, including cryptocurrency, stocks, and real estate. It gives you more options and flexibility while using the platform. For example, you can use your real estate holdings as collateral to take out a loan. This way, you can still keep your real estate asset and get the required liquidity.
On the other hand, Curve and Aave are designed only to collateralize cryptocurrency assets. Although both of these platforms offer a wide range of cryptocurrency assets to pick from, LockYourCrypto is more flexible with collateralization, which makes it far more attractive than the other two.Community Governance
A decentralized community of users governs the LockYourCrypto. It means they can propose and vote on the prospective or suggested changes to the platform. It allows the platform to evolve with time in a way that is aligned with its users’ larger interests. If for example, any user wants to add a new asset to the platform or make changes to the interest rates offered, he or she can propose these changes and vote on them.
Conversely, it is development teams that govern both Curve and Aave. The community has little or no say in the proposed changes to either platform.Key Takeaways
It goes without saying that decentralized finance has emerged as an exciting and rapidly evolving space. Platforms like LockYourCrypto are helping to achieve the unimaginable in the world of decentralized finance.
As the DeFi ecosystem continues to grow and mature, we can expect to see even more innovative platforms and features emerge, providing users with greater access, flexibility, and control over their financial lives.
You can use LockYourCrypto to make the right and timely investment choices and make money instead of watching it sink into the sand.Check it out at the links below:
That isn’t to say the Motorola Droid isn’t impressive, even if it operates more like a computer than an iPhone. And the forthcoming Google Nexus One is threatening to break new ground in a number of areas, including using VOIP to carry all voice calls over the data network.
Here are five reasons why I am telling businesses not to invest in Android quite yet:
1. All Android isn’t alike (and won’t be). Most people think Android is like Windows, in that all Windows apps can run on all Windows PCs. Experts tell me–since I am not a coder–that Android can be a very different programming target from one handset to the next.
The hope is that manufacturer-specific changes to the user interface and other elements of the OS won’t make applications hard to develop and harder to use. However, aren’t such changes what being open source is all about?
Right now, the Motorola Droid is the Android standard-bearer. Next month, that torch may be passed to Google’s Nexus One. Maybe the Nexus One will help consolidate the platform, offering assurances that every Android application really will run on every Android device.
This may end up being much ado about not very much, but if I were thinking about buying a few dozen Android phones, I would be planning to wait until next spring to see how the market starts to settle out.
How long will it be before Android devices work as well with Microsoft Exchange (all semi-current versions) as WinMo and BlackBerry do? How long before Android handsets offer corporate-grade security and other features? Could be a while. Why take a chance?
3. Applications are an issue, though not quite as much as you may have heard. I have already mentioned compatibility issues, so here I will talk numbers. There does not need to be one-to-one applications parity between Android and iPhone for the Google OS to be credible. Especially for business users who don’t need a zillion gaming options.
4. User interface is still a concern. My hope is that Android will bring us a bunch of handsets that have almost identical interfaces, so using one Android phone is pretty much like using another.
I see Android splitting into various factions, which might include handsets that use Android but hide it as a means of developing a mostly proprietary device. There will also be some number of “true” Android handsets that are intended to run a large number of Android applications and, perhaps, offer a similar UI to all the others. (As the various Windows Mobile devices do).
Although I am an iPhone user, I would not want to make it an enterprise standard. That is why I am recommending business customers, if possible, give the Android market some time to calm down and mature a bit.
Android is still a very new operating system and it is too early for most companies to make a large investment in it. Delay if you can, or hang with BlackBerry or Windows Mobile if you must buy now.
David Coursey has been writing about technology products and companies for more than 25 years. He tweets as
and may be
via his Web site.
There you are, sitting on your office chair. Feeling comfortable and good about yourself. Let me tell you something. You are lost. You are a nobody. Why? Because you don’t have a mechanical keyboard in your life! Like some evangelical preacher, I have an idea I need to sell you. That is the glory of the mechanical keyboard. If you accept the mechanical keyboard into your life, you could be experiencing increased comfort, improved productivity, and glory! It will change the way you type forever! Don’t just ask me, there are plenty of fanatics that have forever converted from using cheap, rubber-dome keyboards to high-quality mechanicals. I have made a short list of five reasons why you should switch to a mechanical keyboard. I have faith that you will see the light.
The second reason why you need to switch to a mechanical keyboard is ergonomics. Mechanical keyboards generally have higher quality keycaps which are rounded to let your fingers rest on them more comfortably. Traditional laptop keys, with the exception of Lenovo’s, are flat. Flat keys are good for space-saving designs but you not only lose precision, but also comfort. I find flat keys uncomfortable to type on for long periods because I have to hit them “head on” in order not to make an error. Also, it is very easy to hit these keycaps on the corners which will cause your fingers to slip and mis-type. If you hit the corner of a keycap on a mechanical keyboard, you still have a good chance of registering the input. The longer “throw” of mechanical keyboards are also more comfortable for long typing sessions compared to the short engagement point of chicklet-style keyboards. For a long time, I thought the main attribute of an ergonomic keyboard is shape. After using the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic keyboard for 2-3 years and using my Leopold Tenkeyless for about 5 months, I realize that it’s not about the shape. The main reason mechanical keyboards are better is the key switches.
The third benefit is reduced strain. I realize this is closely related to comfort but I felt that this deserved its own section simply because of RSI(Repetitive Strain Injury). We use our computers for hours and some of us do not take RSI seriously. I take good care of my hands. And so should you. For most people, their hands are their livelihood. Hand health is very important if you are a musician, laborer, or athlete. One thing I’ve notice after spending a few months with my mechanical keyboard compared to keyboards of my past is finger pain. I use to get finger pain after prolonged typing on the rubber dome keys. They were all I knew so I didn’t question. It wasn’t until I was in the market for a better keyboard where I found out about mechanical key switches. Subsequently, it wasn’t until I was typing on them for hours until I realized my finger pain was mainly caused by the cheap rubber-dome keyboards. If you are on the computer for hours, or if your profession involves extensive amounts of typing, consider investing on a mechanical keyboard for this very reason. These key switches will reduce finger strain. Your hands will thank you.
The fourth benefit of using a mechanical keyboard is improved speed. A more precise, comfortable keyboard means improved typing speed. I was never a speed typist. Barely being able to type 25 WPM, after a few months of serious training, I can now type 60-70 WPM. Your mileage may vary but you will improve your speed. If not in burst typing, definitely in endurance typing. That’s typing long essays or reports. Wiki has the average typing speed rated at 33 WPM. If you are over this, you are doing very well.
The last and most important reason why you need a mechanical keyboard? They’re fun! That may sound silly to say but after getting one, I now enjoy typing. I like the sound of these Cherry MX browns. Some people like the blues. You can’t go wrong either way. They’re great to type on. Mechanical keyboards have their own unique personalities. From the simple Leopold Tenkeyless to the highly sought after HHKB Pro 2. Typing shouldn’t be a chore. Most people probably won’t be competing on typeracer for leisure, but mechanical keyboards will make you smile. It’s like buying a luxury car. Sure, you don’t NEED leather heated seat with power everything but if you can afford it, why not treat yourself? Especially a tool that you will spend years using. Once you punch the keys, you will see the light
Research shows about 85 percent of drug trials fail to retain enough patients to complete a trial. That’s disappointing for the medical researchers and the people their drugs could help. It’s also a big blow for pharma companies, considering the average cost to develop and gain approval for a new drug is around $2.56 billion.
So, how can pharma companies and their research teams retain more patients while also ensuring accurate clinical trial data collection? By making the process as convenient and simple as possible for study participants, using the same devices they already use every day: smartphones.
Mobile Technology and Clinical Trials
New mobile clinical trial technology streamlines the drug trial process and could help to eliminate much of the wasted time and money. For example, mProve Health offers a mobile patient engagement app called mPal that enables clinical trial participants to capture and report data. Through the same app, they receive information about the program, medication alerts and reminders about upcoming study appointments. Because all communication, as well as data collection, happens in one mobile app, drug trial requirements are less overwhelming for participants. The digital process is also more efficient than a paper-based system, and less prone to human error.
Data accuracy isn’t the only concern when it comes to the best technology for clinical trial data collection. Researchers and participants are handling data that is both proprietary and someone’s personal health information. Thus, data security is also a top priority.
Keep Patient Data Secure
Download your guide to mitigating mobile security risks in healthcare. Download Now
Letting participants install the mPal app on their personal smartphones isn’t the safest option, but clinical researchers aren’t usually equipped to manage fleets of mobile devices. That’s where managed mobility services come in handy. For example, mProve recently partnered with managed services provider Integron to support a five-year drug study spanning several countries and including 1,500 patients. Integron installed the mPal app on Samsung Galaxy devices and then handled all the logistics associated with the devices, from sourcing them, to setting up and securing them, to kitting and shipping them to participants.
This study is now well underway, and despite the distance between the participants and researchers, they’re continuously connected.
5 Reasons Drug Trials Are Going Mobile
What are the benefits of mobile clinical trial technology?
1. Patient Retention. Participating in a clinical drug trial is a big commitment, especially during the lengthy Phase III trial. There are study visits to attend, data to capture, diaries to keep and plenty of paperwork to complete. For patients testing experimental drugs that might save their lives, this isn’t a lot to ask, but patients testing a new cholesterol medicine might eventually decide it’s too much work. Research has shown that the patient dropout rate in a Phase III clinical trial can be 30 percent or higher. However, drug trials conducted using mPal have seen up to an 80 percent improvement in retention.
2. Patient Recruitment. Keeping patients engaged is hard. So is signing up enough people in the first place, especially during Phase III and IV drug trials, when studies need hundreds or thousands of participants. If all those people must be near the study site for regular in-person visits, the possible patient pool gets even smaller. With mobile solutions, location is no longer a disqualifier, and because remote participation is more convenient, more people are willing to do it. More than half (54 percent) of rare disease patients say they would be more likely to participate in a clinical trial designed for home-based research, according to a recent study published in neurology.
3. Secure and Customizable User Experience. Different trials require different types of data collection, but they all require that data to remain secure. That’s why Integron chose Samsung devices for the large, ongoing drug trial. With Samsung Knox enabled on the devices, Integron was able to customize the user interface, settings and functionality for the drug trial and then push those changes to the fleet of devices. Knox also provides defense-grade security built into the device from the chip up.
5. Affordability at Scale. Because drug trials often involve thousands of people, providing everyone with $800 smartphones can be cost-prohibitive. That’s why Integron chose Samsung’s value-tier smartphones: enterprise-level devices that have all the power and sophistication of leading consumer-grade smartphones, but for a quarter of the price.
Learn more about how healthcare technology solutions can enhance efficiencies and improve the patient experience.
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