How to Pull More Readers into Your Content with One Simple Trick

How to Pull More Readers into Your Content with One Simple Trick

Pulling Them In

Headlines are pretty much the most valuable string of text for any blog post. The job of your headline, more than anything else, is to pull readers into the body of the post.

If a post doesn’t have a good headline, then most people aren’t going give it a chance. It’s as simple as that.

So headlines are #1. That’s pretty much a given.

But there is another string of text that also has the power to pull your readers deeper into your posts. This string of text, however, is completely ignored by 99.9 % of bloggers. (This figure is completely made up. However, I’m quite sure it’s still correct.)

Most bloggers know it exists, but most also completely forget about it. And even those who don’t forget about it don’t use it effectively.

What is this Magical String of Text?

The magical string of text is your “more tag.”

The more tag is a tag that you can insert in your content so that it links from an excerpt on your front page to the full post.

When the more tag is inserted, the link typically looks like this.

A More Effective More Tag

“Continue reading,” or something along those lines is pretty basic and does the job, but did you know that you can easily customize that link to be more descriptive and enticing?

You can easily make that link say anything you like. So why not use it to your advantage?

When people land on a site, they scan. They scan headlines, images, text, and even links.

In a way, a link is a promise. “Continue reading” does nothing unless they’re already convinced that they want to read more. A customized more tag gives you another opportunity to pull visitors deeper into your content by promising yet again, in a slightly different way, what they will be getting by continuing.

 

How To Insert and Change a More Tag

The easiest way to insert a more tag is to use the button for it on the visual editor.

In order to customize the text of the link, you will then need to switch to the HTML editor mode.

You will see the code of the more tag:

<!--more-->

 

Change that code by adding whatever text you’d like, hopefully something that will entice your readers.

NOTE: Leave the original word “more” in the code. Just add your extra text after it.

You can see that the default “Continue reading” has now changed to your custom text.

Why Most Bloggers Don’t Use It

The reason why most bloggers don’t use the more tag is because they either choose to put their full posts on their home pages, or they use “excerpts” on their home pages, thereby letting WordPress automatically cut off their posts for them.

Excerpts vs. Full Posts

If you’re someone who likes full posts on your homepage and can’t be swayed otherwise, then this isn’t really for you. But if you use excerpts, then this little trick may help you get more engagement.

Different people have different philosophies about using excerpts or full posts on the home page. The arguments for excerpts are that they allow visitors to easily scan down your page to find what interests them most, and excerpts may (at least a little) also help with the problem of duplicate content (having the same post appear on more than one URL – in this case on the actual post page, as well as on the home page and possibly other archive pages that don’t use excerpts–pages such as a category page or a tag page).

Using the More Tag

If you would like to use customized more tags in this fashion, then you will need to make sure that your theme is NOT using excerpts. WordPress automatically handles excerpts, and so if you insert a more tag when using excerpts, nothing will happen.

How to Control Using Excerpts or Full Posts

Using excerpts or full posts is controlled by your theme. If your theme uses excerpts on your home page, then you will need to change that so that it uses full posts.

Each theme is different, but in general, you will want to look in your index.php file for

the_excerpt

and change that to

the_content

or

the_post

 

Photo: Group of friends at the beach pulling a rope from BigStock