1. An obvious point
Your article or blog post should be extremely clear as to what it’s trying to say. It needs to have an obvious point.
This may sound obvious, but many blog posts fail to do so. Why is this so important? If your content is unclear, then people won’t understand what you’re trying to say, and will, therefore, have no motivation to share or read the article.
2. A structure
Every article needs to have a clear structure in order for it to be engaging. The idea ofstructure has two parts – logical and visual.
Logical structure — Make it coherent.
As you research and write your article, create and follow an outline. Don’t merely string together a few thoughts. Instead, create something with shape and substance. Your outline forms the bones for a successful and engaging article.
Visual structure — Make it easy to read.
Visual structure is just as important as logical structure. Why? Because no one will read (i.e., engage with) your content if it isn’t visually pleasing.
3. A conclusion
How does your article end? If it concludes with a whimper, then your readers will whimper away without engaging. If it ends in confusion, then your readers feel the same. If it ends abruptly, your readers won’t know what to do next.
Somehow, the conclusion of an article has become one of the most neglected pieces of real estate in the entire Internet. We labor over headlines and opening lines, but we forget what to do when it’s time to say “This article is over.”
4. A question
Not everyone does this, but I’ve used it with incredible success. At the end of almost every article, I ask a question.
Why do I do this? Because it makes people think. Engagement doesn’t always have measurable metrics. When readers reach the end of my article, I want them to be thinking about and applying the principles that I’ve explained.
Asking and answering questions is one of the most effective techniques for teaching critical thinking and building knowledge. A simple question in closing helps to produce this response.
5. A bit of controversy
This one is optional, but it doesn’t hurt.
Controversy is everywhere. I have encountered it within every niche in which I’ve dabbled. Some controversy is silly. Some is serious. Most is engaging.