Writing Better Posts

Best Practices for Using Numbers in Your Blog Posts

By August 1, 2018 No Comments

You already know how to use words to your advantage. Each day, you craft engaging blogs that draw readers in time and time again.

But there’s one way to make your posts stand out even more: by incorporating numbers with your words. You’ve probably seen other blogs use this method in titles, with pieces promising “7 Tips” or “10 Ways” to do something valuable for the reader. Using figures and statistics within your articles will make things even more eye-catching.

Why? Because these figures make you seem like more of an authoritative source. If you can back up your claims with numbers, it makes each tip, trick or fact look even more substantial.

With that in mind, here are four of the best practices for using numbers in your blog posts.

1. Make Results Concrete

Sometimes, posts cover the tactics to create a successful blog or social media campaign. To demonstrate a piece’s success, you can use statistics. Share the fact that a post received 40,000 shares or 500 likes and, suddenly, readers have an idea of how many people it touched and how far it went.

If your blog aims to give others the tools to blogging success, numbers are vital in your posts. They’ll show your tips are useful in building an audience and creating an online reputation, and that’s exactly what readers want to know.

But you can use numbers for more than just representing your blog’s reach. You might be reporting a news story or a scientific breakthrough that comes with numbers of its own. Use them to show just how successful a project or experiment was, so readers can understand the gravity of what they’re reading.

2. Back up Statements with Stats

Similarly, you can use numbers to make any post seem more authoritative. For example, you might write a post about the danger of wildfires and the importance of preparedness in the face of such a natural disaster. But you likely won’t convince readers to follow your tips unless they know how destructive and fast-moving a wildfire can be. The typical speed of a blaze, for example, is a perfect statistic to include here.

Statistics can have more than just a corroborating effect, though: They can also grab a reader’s attention, shock them or provide a more detailed image of the scenario you’re trying to depict. In other words, statistics strengthen the copy you post, so don’t hesitate to use them liberally throughout your blog.

As you write blogs, think about what kinds of statistics would help back up your claims. It turns out you can find a statistic associated with most topics you can use to strengthen the authority of your posts — you just need to do your research.

3. Use Numbered Lists

We’ve already mentioned the prevalence of numbered lists online. But there’s a reason list-based articles — also known as “listicles” — have reached such prominence: Readers know exactly what they’re buying into before reading the article. Plus, they love knowing a post will have an easy-to-digest structure, among other benefits.

Numbered lists might include steps to completing a project or tips to improve at work, in relationships, health-wise, etc. The key is choosing a headline with a number in it to show just how much information a reader will reap from your blog, which will entice them to click and read.

4. Draw Readers In

Finally, it’s important to reiterate the value of a numbered headline: Fifty-five percent of readers will read a webpage for 15 seconds or less. In other words, attention spans are short, and you have to make sure your blog is interesting enough to draw readers in and keep them around.

A numbered headline helps your readers know what they’re getting themselves into. Advertising five keys to business success will assure them they have a short read ahead of them. On the other hand, a 100-item list of things to pack pre-family vacation will engage fewer readers, but will be extremely helpful to those in need of detailed advice.

So, a numbered headline will help your audience quickly decide if your post is worth reading. There’s lots of debate on the right number of items to include on your list, but, ultimately, it’s up to you to decide: You know your readers best and can, therefore, determine just how many pieces of information they’ll need to find your article helpful.

Become No. 1

You’re a wordsmith, and your blog reflects your creativity and knowledge. But don’t shy away from numbers in your posts, whether they’re providing structure or backing up a point you’re making. Either way, your readers will respond positively to them, thus making your blog even more of an online destination for those who know your content well or those who happen upon it because it is, indeed, as trustworthy as the math it contains.

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