Content writing could be the most underrated job ever since the word “underrated” was created. Writing well-structured articles that educate, entertain, and inform may seem like plain sailing to some people, but that didn’t stop billions of web pages from containing poorly-written content.
Those aren’t the kind of descriptions you want to be associated with your blog. Anyone who’s involved in digital marketing knows how much destruction poor content can bring to their website. On the other end, they also know the perks that come with publishing content that sticks, which usually comes with having the ability to write well.
The amount of poor content on the internet is a mere example of how many people have a knack for good writing: very little. But don’t lose hope just yet. Apparently, the print industry is quite adept at producing content that is well-written and juicy at the same time.
Journalists are people who are specifically trained to write sentences that can hook readers from the first sentence, urging them to read the rest of the article. Digital marketers can greatly benefit from adopting some of the journalistic principles that the print industry follows. Here are some of them:
1. Say what you want to say in your first paragraph
Whether it is print or online, people are always busy. That being said, if you want them to like you then don’t waste their time.
Tell them your point right away. Summarize the story using 25 to 30 words.
If they decide your story is worth reading, then they’ll be reading your content until the last drop.
Once your reader finds out what your content is about, they’ll want to know more. So, be sure to fill your next few paragraphs with the brief but elaborate description of your story.
You might be a bit confused, so let me explain. You should be able to elaborate your story in a way that’s easy for your readers to understand.
How do you do that?
That’s a good question. You can do that by including who is involved, what happened, why it happened, and when it occurred in your story.
3. Write in the active voice
Reading is boring for most people. So, when you write your content, make sure that you make your reader feel like he’s just talking to someone.
How do you do that, by using the active voice, of course? Here’s an example is written in the passive voice:
The questions were dictated by our teacher.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with writing in this kind of fashion. The only downside to it is that, when it’s used in a paragraph, readers can become confused.
They’ll have to read the sentence a second time before they can fully understand it. Here is an example of a sentence written in the active voice:
Our teacher dictated the questions.
Do you see how easy it is to understand?
4. Focus on what’s new
Why should the reader care about what you have to say? If your only concern is to sell your product, then he should just exit your page, right?
Well, that’s not what you want. But that’s what’s going to happen if you don’t tell your reader something that’ll intrigue him.
Focus on trends, and after you get him to read a few sentences, tell him how your product or service is going to be of use to him.
You see, this kind of trick is just like fishing. Something new is your bait, while the reader is the fish. Your bait won’t work if it’s not relevant to your business.
That being said, you should look for something relevant, and make it the point of your content.
5. Use human interest as a tool
I know that you think that politics and celebrities are the only topics people care about these days, but you’re wrong. The only reason people care about public figures is because they are affected by them.
Well, let me give you an example. People are always affected by what politicians do. That being said, they’re likely interested in anything that has to do with politics.
Here’s another: celebrities are always bombarded with gossips, and in an attempt to save their reputation, they’ll come up with stories that are sure to sway their fans.
6. Don’t use jargons
It’s just like what I said: people are busy. They don’t have the luxury of time to look through the dictionary.
We are talking about the internet here. That being said, your audience is the general public. And when we talk about the general public, they are composed of different people from different statuses. And let me tell you that most of them aren’t doctors.
If they don’t understand your content, they’re likely to close your page before they even get to the second sentence.
7. Use quotes
I’m not saying that you’re not credible or anything, but using quotes will definitely add to the possibility that people will read your content.
Of course, your company could already be well-established and popular by now. But most people care more about public figures than they do about companies.
So, if you want to sell your product or service, you better start with good bait, and quotes are one good example.
8. Proofread your work
Don’t be offended. Even the best writers in America commit writing mistakes. It just so happens that they are pretty good at proofreading it as to hide it from the reader.
This is one skill that you have to learn as a digital marketer. And if not, have somebody else proofread it for you.
True enough, you don’t have the luxury of time to be adept in proofreading before you actually post to your site. That being said, it would be a great idea to hire a writer to do the proofreading for you.
No matter how good your content is, nobody is going to take you seriously if they can spot errors in your article.
So, where does this all lead to?
It’s all about the reader. Don’t think about what you want to say. Think about what your reader would want to read about. It’s the only way for you to bridge the gap between marketer and customer.