Compelling Copy: How to Keep Readers Glued to Your Content

How to create compelling copy for a blog

Some of the best memories are created at school.

When I think back to the good old days of high school education, I often wonder why I ever moaned – I’m sure this is the case for most of you.

I mean, I had it good.

I’d wake up, talk to my friends for six and a half hours, then go home.

Obviously this wasn’t an ideal situation for teachers – turns out they aren’t too keen on people engaging in social discussions whilst others are trying to learn – and as a result we had our fair share of run-ins over the years.

I’ll always remember this one time when I thought it would be a hilarious idea to poor PVA glue all over someone’s chair before they sat down.

The plan:

They wouldn’t realise, it would dry rock solid, and they’d be stuck to the chair all day. A completely foolproof plan, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Except it didn’t really work like that.

The person in question sat down, instantly knew what had happened, stood back up again and blamed it all on me.

I protested my innocence, but to no avail.

Detention was like a second home to me anyway, so it wasn’t the worst of outcomes.

Admittedly, I was 12, and I’ve never had the most common sense in the world. Obviously I should have used something stronger.

I’ve since moved on from childish pranks and onto more sophisticated things.

Nowadays, forget the chairs and forget PVA, I spend my time figuring out how I can metaphorically glue your eyes to my latest posts.

So far, so good. I haven’t been caught for it (yet).

I’d like to think I’ve got a pretty good hit rate with my eyes-to-screen stickiness strategy too:

Average time on Intergeek posts - April 2015

This is how long users have spent reading my posts, on average, in April 2015.

I was surprised to see it myself – well over 5 minutes!

To get this figure, I simply excluded all ‘pages’ from my site within Analytics – leaving me with my posts.

You’ll notice my overall site average is exactly 4 minutes; a figure I’m still chuffed to bits with.

So, how am I doing this?

If I’m not blatantly just reaching over and pouring glue onto your chair – I imagine I’d have to have fairly large arms to be able to do that as you crazy bunch are reading this from all over the world – how am I making you stick?


How to Create Magnetic Content

As you can imagine, for a kid that spent more time outside of the classrom than in it as a schoolkid, I never thought I’d be the guy preaching about writing compelling copy or using the English language in the most effective way.

Well, here I am regardless.

On my last post 11 Things All Bloggers Need to Get Their Heads Around I was intrigued (and delighted) to see people saying things like*:

*WARNING: Complimentary comments go straight to my ego, and may make their way into future blog posts as a way of bragging.

Magnetic comment

Write like you comment

Draws reader in comment

It dawned on me:

If I can, then anyone can.

The truth is – whilst I’ve started bathing in compliments and it’s had colleagues questioning my personal hygiene – I’m not a great writer.

It’s all about making the most of the knowledge you’ve got, and combining it with techniques that work.

Magnetic copy is a topic that’s been discussed a lot online, and I never want to be the one churning out the same old shit that you can read anywhere else.

So, as always, expect a no-nonsense approach to this subject, with my own unique tips and suggestions for bossing the online world.

Let’s begin:


Flip Your Posts From Back-to-Front

Something I do with my posts on a regular basis is that I like to show off my results before I get into the nitty-gritty of how to do something.

This started when I developed the Comment Collection technique as I knew I had to hook inquisitive readers right from the start, after making some bold claims about the approach online:

Comment Collection Results Snapshot

Well, I came to realise that it WORKED. It worked really well.

There’s logic in it too – if people are landing on your post to learn something new, they’re gonna need proof that it works.

I don’t like to claim I’m an expert – too many people are doing that these days – however, I do like to think I know a thing or two about SEO and the online world.

I’m not naive, I know the majority of people that land on Intergeek:

– Have never heard of me
– Have never heard of Intergeek
– Think I look like an uberdouche in my picture

The proof is in the pudding, and if I can serve up dessert upfront so that new visitors are instantly won over then I’m going to do that.

Had you noticed that I already utilised this same technique in this post by including the aforementioned Avg. Time on Page statistics and ego-fuelling comments?


The Break-Up Text (Structure)

Don’t worry, there’s no heartbreak here.

You’ll notice that I – and the majority of other, much more successful bloggers – like to break up paragraphs into sharp, snappy sentences.

This is something that took me a while to get used to, I’d always thought it looked a bit silly; but also saw people preaching about the success it can bring.

After sticking with it (and seeing the results) I’ve learned how awesome this approach is.

Whenever I land on a site that has huge paragraphs of text now, I lose a stone through vomiting, and then have to spend the rest of my night consuming crisps, sweets and ice cream to put it all back on. It’s a nightmare.

It’s simple:

Break up your paragraphs and you’ll keep the majority of your readers on your page for longer.

Are you really writing these posts for readers to leave after the first few lines?


Personality (& Knowing Your Audience)

If you’re a lawyer and writing a legal blog, I wouldn’t go throwing insults and controversial comments around like no tomorrow.

However, if you’re a social media blogger, there isn’t too much wrong in voicing a strong opinion and watching the internet react.

It’s all about knowing your audience.

Right from the start of launching Intergeek, I knew exactly who my target audience would be:

I wanted my readers to be passionate about blogging and online success, whilst also being able to have a joke and some fun.

Fortunately, I got both of these things and MORE in the awesome people that frequent this site. [/brownnose]

Showing your personality – where appropriate – can play a key role in keeping visitors interested whilst on your site:

Attitude comment

Personality comment

Sure, some people aren’t going to like it, but if you aim to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no-one.


Tell A Story

Something I greatly admired in Kevin Duncan (and subsequently went on to steal) was his ability to tell a story.

Not only does Kevin start his posts with an amusing tale, but he manages to make the post tie into his introduction, despite usually being a tutorial of some sort.

This is exactly how I like to write my posts:

I tell a story, sometimes, that will (hopefully) lighten the mood.

After this, I get down and dirty into the dos and don’ts of improving web success.

This could be an incredibly boring topic, but with the ability to keep it lighthearted, enjoyable and fun (with the aid of a story) we can keep a reader invigorated and eager to learn like never before.


Bucket Brigades

Pushed recently by Brian Dean, the term ‘Bucket Brigades‘ refers to old school copywriting techniques that keep people engaged for longer:

Bucket Brigades Backlinko

Source: Backlinko

Originally used in old sales copy, Bucket Brigades are proven to keep people engaged and interested for a longer period of time, with a reader always wondering “what’s next?

It doesn’t always have to follow the ‘Statement:’ format, it can also be a question such as “want to know the best part?”

I commonly use questions on a line of their own, and you’ll often find your reader screaming “YESSSSSSS!” at the top of their voice when you do.

For the most part, though, they’ll just carry on reading quietly.


Ask Questions

Just like with the Bucket Brigades, it’s great to ask rhetorical questions throughout your post as you go.

When you do, it makes a reader feel more engaged, doesn’t it?

Okay, that wasn’t the best time to throw in an example as it’s staring you right in the face – and now you know the trick you’ll probably pick up on it more often than not.

However, this thing really does work.

You should make use of anything that is going to keep your reader more engaged – because an engaged reader is a happy one, most of the time at least.


Happy, engaged visitors are the ones most likely to comment on and share your article.

The more people you can swoon with your copywriting skillage, the more traction your post is going to pick up on social media.


Be Direct & Succinct

Don’t beat around the bush when you write – just tell it as it is.

You don’t get anything for word count alone, so there’s no need to add masses of extra detail if it doesn’t add any value to a post.

Make your points, make them well and offer your reader as much information as is beneficial.


Be Fluid

A really important thing is to make sure your post flows.

You don’t want to be jumping from one thing to another, then back to the first thing, then to China, then onto a new thing, then to a darts game, then back to China and finally finishing with the first thing again.

Because, probably like you are now, your reader will be left thinking one of two things:

– “What the fuck is going on here?”
– “What are they on?”

I’ll tell you what I’m on. Strawberry yoghurt. It’s absolutely delicious.

Anyway, AS I WAS SAYING, make sure you’re fluid – things should follow on nicely from each other and be presented in an order that makes the most sense to a reader from start to finish.

Otherwise, your reader will be left wondering why you’ve just mentioned yoghurt.

When you’re writing posts that are upwards of 1,000 words in length – which most, if not all, of yours will be – you can go off track from time-to-time.

After completing a post, always leave it for a little while before returning to edit; you’ll spot so many improvement ideas if you give your eyes a break.



Engagement is so important; making sure people are happy with your content will be something that Google increasingly looks at as it tightens its search algorithms.

Increase the number of people that return to your site and you’ll increase the number of new visitors also.

Implement these clever copywriting hacks to boost your Avg. Time on Page figures and show that readers are truly delighted with your content.

How do your figures look at the moment, is there room for improvement on your blog?

Now that we’re done here, you might want to use this tactic to identify where you’re losing visitors.

Learn how to drive huge traffic to your site every single day.

If you want massive, targeted traffic from Google to make a killing online, I welcome you to join thousands of other loyal subscribers that learn from me for free.
No SPAM. No BS. Guaranteed.
About Luke Jordan
I craft posts to help you get more traffic - both through SEO & through the quality of your content. Founder of Intergeek, influencer of the future, idiot of the present. My Google+


  1. Thanks! I’ll implement those advice in my own writing. Time to go to work! 🙂

  2. I really like your articles Luke! And this one caught my attention. In the online world, everybody is hoping that their blog posts will be seen by other people. Thank you for sharing your tips, it will be a big help for me and to those who are writing a blog. I find your article fun to read on and I hope you’ll keep on posting interesting topics. ?

  3. Thanks for the tips! they are all really helpful and I will definitely be using them in future when I write my content.

  4. Luke, Luke, Luke…

    You completely forgot to mention engaging in epic comments.

    (this is not one of them)

    • DAMN! (x2)

      Not only have I missed out your favourite method, but I’ve missed out on an epic comment. I shall not disappoint again!

  5. Hi Luke. Elna sent me your way, as she raved about your awesome and magnetic storytelling abilities!

    Have you ever considered publishing a book?

    • Hey Lorraine, great to meet you! I saw Elna’s post that you are referring to – tonnes of great posts on there and was delighted to be included 😀

      A couple of other people have suggested that I should and the idea has passed through my mind on occasion but no, not considered it in any great detail – maybe I will now 😉

      • Well, Luke, maybe all of those people who have suggested it to you are onto something. 😉

        Feel free to seek my help for EITHER adding an freebook to this site OR for creating a book you’d like to see in print.

        That’s one of the things I do — help others turn their ebooks into print books.

        I also help others write/ghostwrite their books, and edit them, too. 😉

        Feel free to peruse Wording Well’s services!

        And whatever you decide to do, know that I’ll be back.

        I’ve subscribed to this site, now that I see it’s another great place where some of the cool kids are hanging out. LOL

  6. Can I just say I have Caillou in the background (toddler show much like Peppa the Pig sans pigs), twins screaming “banana” as if I never feed them and I STILL managed to read your post word for word and understand it?

    Amazing! and it’s all because you tell a damn good story. Just like Dre, I wish I had that special touch when it comes to writing. I do use stories, just not always my stories.

    Thanks for boosting my ego with using my comment in your post! Glad to know I’m on your radar.


    • WOW! Now that’s a compliment. Competing with Peppa Pig – or your equivalent – is certainly strong, and I for one couldn’t be more proud.

      Thanks 🙂 I’m glad we can mutually inflate each others ego, although that’s inflating mine even further knowing that my ego is inflating your ego…oh god, this is a never ending cycle that I’ll never get out of.

      Elna – you’re more than just on my radar! Your site is sick.

      All the best,


  7. DAMN YOU, now I need to go figure out what the time spent on my website is. You and your always staying analytics informed ways!

    I really need to work on my story telling prowess. I love your introductory tales. They suck me and keep me reading, skimming free, which isn’t something you can get from me often. But hell-f’in-yeah to the ‘breaking up the text’ tip. My eyeballs can’t bare long paragraphs, so if you no breaky the lines, I no stay to read. True story!

    Btw, since you asked about feedback for your images that’s what you’re going to get. {slow clap} Lookin good, brotha! You’ve got your images all branded up with a great streamlined overlay and a consistent font theme. I wonder what visual badass you learned from?! 😛

    • Hehe, I’d actually say my Analytics game is fairly weak! I know how to use most of it and pull up/interpret basic data, but other than that I tend to just do my own thing in there and draw my own conclusions 🙂

      Kevin Duncan played a huge role in me bringing introductory tales into the equation; I have always been a fan of his witty style and people have told me that I tell a good story in real life, so I knew I had to try and bring the two together to pique the interest of my readers – delighted to see its working on some people.

      Sometimes I drop the story, it’s quite post dependent. If I’m about to drop a 2.5k+ information bomb then I try to keep it light hearted before diving in at the deep end, whereas sometimes a helpful tip here or there doesn’t need the tone adjusting. Guess it also depends if I have an interesting tale to go with it!

      Thanks for the feedback design Queen! A long way off from where I need to be (where you need to get me) but at least things are more consistent, and I’m sure it will make them achieve higher CTRs from social media. For the work I’ve put in, IT BETTER!

  8. Hey Luke! I love your posts – they’re humourous and engaging and I don’t (even) blog. I think I may be able to start soon though with all of the great info I’ve picked up from you and the links you include. Thanks for keeping me entertained!

    • Thanks Jen,

      Do it! Start your site and see how far you can go 🙂 glad I could keep you entertained whilst offering some useful education.

      All the best,


  9. Hi, Luke.

    That was a great job.

    Rhetorical questions are very effective, both when writing and public speaking. I have observed that the majority of bloggers don’t really use rhetorical questions, and hence the post does not sound so personal.

    One interesting method that I now use is to write each rhetorical question as its own paragraph. It stands out, and when I read the post I get the feeling that they stand out more.

    And I agree so much about paragraphs. There’s something comforting and unthreatening about white space. It also helps us to focus and retain.

    Keep up the great work. I enjoy your writing.


    • Thanks, Nathan.

      I agree, that’s a great way to use the rhetorical questions. As for public speaking, I wouldn’t know – I’m insanely shy when it comes to the real world!

      White space is our friend 🙂

      Thanks Nathan,

      Speak soon,


  10. Hi Luke,
    Great post!
    I tend to read a lot of posts and articles each day and I have to say that your posts is one of the only posts that I’ve read from start to finish recently – I believe a combination of your magnetic content mixed with your short paragraphs was what did it for me! I’m definitely going to test out the short paragraphs tip. I also personally believe that shorter paragraphs keep the reader engaged longer.
    Looking forward to the next post 🙂

    • Thanks Mike, glad you liked it!

      It takes a bit of getting used to – from both a reading AND writing perspective – but I’m sure you can handle the transition 🙂

      The short paragraphs are just so much easier to skim for important or useful information, something that a lot of busy people end up doing. However, despite being busy, they often get hooked into staying for longer than expected.

      Let me know how it works out for you!

      Speak soon,


  11. Great post, again Luke,

    This sort of post structure is something I have had some trouble with. Finally starting to get use to it. It definitely does help with the amount of time people spend on posts as I have noticed an increase as well. Will now have to dig into the analytics to see exactly how much.

    I probably just increased your time on page another couple minutes as I may have read this post twice.

    Keep the posts coming!


    • Hey Chris,

      I’d love to know the verdict once you’ve dug into the data – how much increase are you seeing in the time spent on pages now compared to posts where you weren’t structuring it effectively?

      Haha! Read it a third, I don’t mind 😉


  12. Great article once again, Bucket Brigades is a very fantastic method that you have explained about, Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks Omar,

      Yeah – Brian is great at making the best use of techniques, old or new!

      All the best,


  13. Hey Luke,

    I read about “Bucket Brigades” recently and starting paying attention to it, it works wonderfully! I used to write longer paragraphs until I realized I wasn’t even reading blog posts with long paragraphs and no breaks. I’ll usually open the page because it had a cool title, see how the post is structure, think “oh hell no” and close it right away scare that my eyes will instantly get exhausted.

    I was wondering about one thing, kind of unrelated. How much time does it usually take you to write a post like this? (editing and research included). I was reading the latest Buffer post and it turns out Kevan spends about 3 hours on each of his monster posts. So now I am wondering about everyone’s writing process.


    • Hey Aurelie,

      Long paragraphs make my eyes burn! I honestly just give up there and then, unless I know the author has produced other good stuff in the past.

      It depends, I’m not one to sit and blast out a post. It probably takes me about five or six hours, but that includes being distracted by TV, food, Facebook, Twitter, G+, email, reading other posts, other work, food again…you get the picture. I’d imagine it would take me between three and four hours if I was to just smash it out of the park in one distraction-free sitting. It’s funny, I can type at around 125WPM, but if you considered 2,000 words divided by five hours, that only works out at 6.66 words per minute! I’m clearly slacking in efficiency.

      I know the majority of people can’t work with background noise, music or TV (and I know research proves this) but I just find it adds to my own creative process a lot more. Perhaps I’m just a complete odd-ball.


      • What??? Kevan writes those in 3??

        Oh man…I really am a slacker. I push out content once a month…wtf

        I guess I have to really sit down and try churning out once per week next month. Darn it.

        • Apparently so!

          Don’t sacrifice valuable promotion time in exchange for more content 😉 if you can only write once a month and promote it really well, then that’s plenty!

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