What actually motivates you to content writing? Passion? Purpose? Calling? Is it just work and a way to make money or you’re actually want to write content that affects people?
Not everyone is a writer, but everyone can write! Why is that?! Because every person has a story to tell and share with others. But when it comes to writing killer content and reach thousands of readers, things are completely different.
Considering that people are flooded with interesting and extraordinary stories and pitches on a daily basis, making a “story” to stand out from the pack is not as “easy-win” as you may think.
In the following lines, we’ll focus on the key factors for better content writing!
The 3 Elements of Good Content
There are 3 important factors that lead to great content production:
Let’s take a closer look at them!
First things first. Is your story actually a story? Is it interesting? Will people in your niche care about it?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you might be onto something. If it’s not new, not interesting and you’re not sure if anyone will really care, it might be a good idea to come up with something else.
So, the concept of newsworthy content is the one you should be chasing.
Remember that not everything is news!
Nowadays, people are skeptical about advertising and they will be skeptical of any story which smacks of either advertising or one-sidedness.
If people suspect that a story is a cover-up or an attempt to put the best side of things, they will not be happy – and guess what. They’ll definitely not give time to read it!
Keep in mind, those bare facts without comment or self-praise, have credibility. So what is the credibility of content within 2 words? Trustworthiness and Authority.
And these are what you should chase for and put effort to build them.
Extra tip: Add links within the content! URLs to client websites, product images and more will not only help the media quickly access all the information for the story but will also help your SEO.
Your story has to be unique! This may need much more effort to be accomplished, but it’s mandatory.
Unique content is the basis of any successful content marketing campaign. If the content is not unique and it’s duplicate, this is bad news for your SEO, and your organic traffic as a result.
Search engines don’t like duplicate content. They will much rather “push” an original content than a copy of the original content.
So, you have to write the story from a different point of view. Whether you are writing a news article, a press release or an article try to approach it from a different perspective.
Why do you need to create unique content? There are 2 major reasons:
- The SEO payoff is big
- The value that your content gives to your current and future readers will receive back an aura of authority for your site
At the end of the day, all you need is to “win” visibility on a search engine!
Extra tip: if the content is “special” and has value to the readers, this is an opportunity to improve the SEO strategy and gain more links from other websites that will re-publish your story.
Better Content Writing: Writing & Formatting
Now that you are aware of the 3 ingredients you need to add to your recipe, as to create a successful story, it’s time to talk about the writing process and the formatting.
1. Language and vocabulary matter
Online content, especially on blogs or media are very temporary documents. Readers don’t give them a lot of time because they are not, usually, a high priority.
Therefore, you should make your writing as easily-readable, scannable, and understandable as possible.
Here’s how to do this:
- Write short paragraphs. Help the flow of reading and the ease of understanding. Avoid sales-pitch language and tons of adjectives, both of which lose credibility in the eyes of readers
- Use bullet points, sidebars, pull quotes, bold, underlining, lines and other page structure to make it easy to scan the page rather than read it from start to finish
- Use everyday words and phrases. This is important. Somehow, people think that corporations have a dull, wordy, formal voice. Why? Their employees don’t. So, use the language of everyday speech. So, “do, get, make, build” rather than “develop, obtain, maximize, construct.”
2. Focus on the 5 W’s
You should tell the readers everything they need to know about.
Consider the below bullets as a checklist and whatever you’re writing, don’t forget to answer the following questions:
- What happened
- Who is the story about
- When did/will it happen
- Where did/will it happen
- Why did/will it happen
So here, is a great way to look at a story structure:
- Establish a protagonist in a comfort zone
- Introduce a small problem and establish a need
- The protagonist makes a major decision and enters an unfamiliar situation
- Characters adapt to the new situation and things must change
- The characters get what they wanted
- Paying a hefty price and suffering the consequences
- Undoing the damage and returning to the familiar world
- Having changed
This circle reappears over and over again! It’s not just in storytelling about music, sports or in everyday life. It’s not super complicated itself, but its applications are vast. So learn to tell a good story, is what you need to create killer content!
3. Write a damn good body copy
The body of your content is important. Treat it that way. Look at each piece of content like your baby. Nurtured them, fought for it and helped it develop.
The product you represent is depending on you, and if you allow yourself to take shortcuts or present a less than compelling argument, then you’ve failed. So, do your homework and do not write content if you’re not aware of the following:
- Who you’re writing it for
- How that person thinks
- What that person needs
In short, you need to know your marketing persona.
Last but not least, treat your customers with respect and dignity.
Reflect that position in your copy and remember that at the end of the day, your potential customers simply want to solve a problem they have.
Extra tip: identify and use keywords that searchers are likely to use when searching for news or products like yours. Do keyword research.
4. Write a killer headline
You only have a few seconds to grab a reader’s attention, so be sure to craft a headline with the following elements:
- Find a concept
- Be creative
So, lead the market with a concept, not your brand name. Your audience probably doesn’t care about your brand or company name. However, they do care about finding a solution to their problem.
So, you need to create a compelling concept to draw them in.
When it comes to the headline, be unique and creative! Don’t copy what you see. Use all your hidden-writer-inspired skills to create a headline that stands out from the pack.
Because one of the most major faults is to start to write with your company’s name! e.g “Marine Shipping Company, a member of the International Shipping Group…”.
Who cares apart from the managing director and the secretary who wrote this?
Tip 5: The Opening Paragraph
At this point, we need to emphasize the importance of the subject and the opening paragraph.
These are the two features that can guarantee the success of your story.
The subject should be stated in the first few words and the point of the story should be given in the opening paragraph. There are no teasers or clever introductions. The whole story should be blown away right at the beginning.
So, don’t waffle! Nail the story in the first few sentences. Don’t beat around the bush.
Chances are, the readers/ journalists etc. are not going to have time to read the whole thing, so the quicker you get to the point, the better.
Extra tip: The opening paragraph should be a sum up of the whole story.
Tip 6: A few Things to Remember
- The first paragraph must hold and attract the attention of the readers
- If you have to read 3 paragraphs before getting to the main point, the chances are that you have given up before then.
- Write for the readers, and don’t try to sell products
- You are writing content – not copywriting. Therefore, you are not trying to sell anything immediately
- Find the main reason you are telling this story
Content Writing – Conclusion
People love telling stories.
If you want to get your story heard, you should think, act and write like an actual – famous writer. Don’t ask for permission! You don’t need validation from everyone around to feel what you’re doing is worthwhile.
Write about what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to fail and try new things to write.
Sit down in the chair and focus to put one word after another in order. That’s writing.
And, hopefully, you know one or two things more about it.