There is an old adage that says you need to leave people wanting more. The essence of this is to make sure you don’t give so much that your audience becomes bored, but to give them only enough to keep them wanting more. Give them just enough to satisfy, but also wanting the encore.
A blog is different. You don’t want to leave them wanting more, but instead you want to give them far more than they expected. Of course, leaving them wanting an encore isn’t such a bad thing either.
Give them more while leaving them wanting more
As writers we often get caught up in words. Even as I’m writing and editing this post I’m concerned that it’s not long enough. That I don’t have enough words on the page. But good writing isn’t about adding more unnecessary words just to fill a quota. In fact it’s often just the opposite. It’s about eliminating the words that are not necessary so those that you keep make the most impact.
Giving them more than they came for means making sure that all your words have value. Don’t just write for the sake of writing but use words that make your point, convince the reader and close the deal. Sometimes a little fluff is okay, but only if it helps accomplish your goal and doesn’t distract the reader from what you want to get across.
Giving them more also means that you need to go out of your way to provide additional resources that your readers can peruse at your leisure. Wikipedia is the master of providing more. Wikipedia ensures that every topical page links out to other related content, both internal and external. I often find myself reading about one topic on one page and finally close my browser an hour later having moved from one related article to the next. My final end point is often so very far removed from my original topic of interest. That’s the value of interesting copy and good linkage. Here is a good example of how you can link on your own blog:
Wikipedia may cite more resources on each article and contain more links that you need in the average blog post, but the premise is the same. Back up your content with links, links and more links. If you are citing research, link to the original source. If you mention other sites, link to them. If you are writing on a topic, link to related articles on that topic.
Another good way to keep giving your readers more is to write a multi-part series of posts and link each post to the other installments. Make sure each post can be self-contained so as to satisfy the reader, but also make them interested in reading the rest of the posts in the series.
If you make it a habit to give your readers more than they came for they will continue to return to you as a valuable resource for information. Don’t rely solely on your own wit and wisdom, but link out to other resources that re-confirm what you say matters. Link to industry experts, related topics, studies and stats. Whatever is relevant to your readers within a given post can be linked to. This gives your readers the luxury of moving beyond your site into other areas of interest. If they want more, they can go get it.
Other posts in the “Go Blog Yourself” series
* Introduction: Writing Your Blog Post with Pen in Hand and SEO in Mind
* Step 1: Know Who’s Looking
* Step 2: Know What They Want to See
* Step 3: Have a Good Pick-Up Line
* Step 4: Reveal the Goods
* Step 5: Be Easy On The Eyes
* Step 6: Keep Them Interested
* Step 7: Give Them More Than They Came For
* Step 8: Do It Right and Do It Again