My preferred definition of KISS is “Keep it Simple and Straightforward”. So, how does the KISS principle apply to a blog post? How can KISS help you keep your readers interested and receptive? I’ll explain what I mean. (KISS normally stands for Keep it Simple, Stupid. But, I’d hate you to think I’m insulting you!)
After all, you probably read lots of blog posts, don’t have time for too much complexity. You need your brain power to write your own posts, include images, edit and publish, market and share them, answer comments, create funnels, email subscribers, follow up on sales ….. Phew!
KISS – Don’t Confuse Your Readers
When I thought about writing this post, I considered talking about various copywriting techniques. As I looked more deeply into it, I found that most had overlapping points. My head was spinning about how I could explain this in one post, so I exorcised that idea. (Who gets that movie reference?). If my mind was revolving then so would yours.
One aspect stood out in all the techniques. Don’t complicate your posts, stick to one topic, and don’t confuse your readers but KISS. So what do I mean by this?
Stick to the Basics
- Work out the purpose of the post and what action you want your readers to take. No, I don’t mean tell your readers you are writing to earn lots of money from them! Serve and inform rather than sell. Have a read of my post on PAC, “What Is The Purpose Of Your Blog Post?“, for ideas.
- Take time to work out a compelling title, that includes your keyword.
- Tell your audience what the post is about,. Example from this post:
- Identify a need you want to fulfill and talk about this benefit in simple terms. Example:
“How can KISS help you keep your readers interested and receptive?”
As you can see, the focus is on what your readers need, not what you want. (Although, I could do with a cup of coffee now – preferably a tall Latte, and maybe some Black Forest Cake.)
- Because you want your readers to keep reading to the end, keep the focus throughout. Ask yourself if a sentence is relevant, does it add value, does it meet your purpose, and the needs of your readers. Concentrate on benefits. The Kissmetrics post “Using the “So What?” Test to Transform Your Copy” talks about this in more detail. (PS: The Kiss in Kissmetrics stands for Keep it Simple Software)
- End with a call to Action. This might be a give-away, a link to a paid product, or merely prompts to get comments.
KISS Your Words and Sentences
- Use easy to understand, words. KISS them.
- Keep sentences short and simple. Really long sentences don’t maintain your reader’s attention especially when they use complex words or wrong syntax and don’t use the correct punctuation and don’t flow well either. (Just like that one)
- Write as if you are talking to a reader individually, not at, your readers in general. Use the words you/your, more than I (as in this sentence).
- You might need to talk about the features of a product or service but do so in a way that appeals. Example:
“This amazing, unique, app autoposts to 5000 social networks. Just choose the ones you want.”
“Save time by autoposting to ALL the social networks you belong to.”
OK, I might have made up a better example but I hope you get what I mean.
- You aren’t writing an advanced textbook so write as you talk, or as if you’re writing an email to a friend. (but not as if you’re writing intimately to that someone special – KISS might then take on a different meaning!)
- Avoid passive sentences.
Non Passive – “I am writing this post.” = where the subject (I) is doing the action (writing this post)
Passive – “This post is being written by me.” = where the subject (me) is having the action done to it (by the post).
- Use headings and bullet points for easier scanning and reading.
I kept this post simple to give an example of keeping it simple. If you want to explore further here are some excellent articles on copywriting.
The Ultimate Guide to Copywriting, by Kissmetrics, mentions many of the points I’ve made here plus more.
7 Copywriting Secrets To Writing Insanely Addictive Content talks of methods to engage your readers by story telling, giving examples and the types of word to use.
My own post “7 Sure Fire Ways to Write Absolutely Compelling Blog Posts” talks about being yourself and words that compel and sell.
Rely on Yourself
I don’t know about you, but I can easily overcomplicate things by doing too much research and not relying on what I already know. Maybe I’m afraid of missing something out. For this post I read lots of articles which, as I said, complicated matters. So I decided to talk only about KISSing, and it’s benefits. I just wrote, based on what I’ve learned, only consulting the web for the links. I feel that this makes the post more personal and more me.
Much of this post is based on the tried and true formula of AIDA which stands for “Attention, Interest, Desire, Action”. Because we are talking of blogging here, an extra element, comes in: Relationship Marketing, which aims at your readers getting to know you, to gain loyalty, interaction through comments and sharing, and long-term engagement.
If you think I’ve missed something out, please let me know. I can take it 🙂 I’m considering writing another post on copywriting, but this time about the types of words and sentences that lead readers through the post. (Often referred to as “Grease Slide Copy”} Would you be interested?
I’ll leave your with a big friendly KISS from me.