Whether you are writing a blog, a social media post, an educational article, or a press release, the end goal should be the same: create content that draws readers in. You don’t need to have formal training to create content that sparks interest – aside from the technical caveats and grammatical know-how, the most important thing to remember while writing content is to aim to create something that makes a difference to your reader.
One key thing to keep in mind is that you can’t plan “virality”. Yes, this is a made-up word – meaning your content is supposed to “go viral”. Ideally, we could all sit down with the intention of creating such an impactful post that it will blow up on the internet and gain shares and likes galore. But, the internet just doesn’t work that way. As a content creator, you never know what people will like or what will take off. However, you can follow a basic formula to create impactful and memorable content, which is something every brand or organization can benefit from.
This post will help you do just that. The following will break down this basic formula to help you build a relationship with your readers that will get and keep their attention.
Find A Connection To Your Topic
Look for ways to incorporate a personal connection with your topic, even if it’s something that you haven’t experienced first-hand. If you don’t care about what you’re writing, why would your audience care about reading it? Content is constantly being generated, so it’s sometimes difficult to stand apart from the crowd.
The articles that tend to stand out often include a personal connection of some sort (i.e. secrets I learned during my significant other’s weight loss journey or how I made it through grad school while working full time). By including your personal connection or experience you have more authority to talk about it. It also gives the reader some context and insight into why you are sharing this information.
Use Informative Sources
As much as we wish the following fact wasn’t true… we can’t be experts in everything. Frustrating, I know. But, the good news is there are experts available for virtually any topic and they are only an email or phone call away. Reaching out to people and using them as an expert source within your content only strengthens your writing and makes you more credible.
Using other people’s knowledge to back up your points will strengthen your message and lighten the load for content creation. Inserting quotes or interview takeaways allows you to focus on connecting the dots rather than creating something from scratch. You are also able to pull from their networks and get more eyes on your content by sharing via their channels. Just be sure to give them credit!
Include Actionable Advice
Avoid creating content that only aims to increase followers or drive sales. Use your platform to provide a benefit to your readers or customers. Your content can show them a simple tip to make something they are already doing easier, or teach them something new entirely. Either way, you can use this platform to give practical advice to provide valuable insights for your audience, which is key to building trust and building a loyal band of readers who will come back for more in the future.
Follow Formatting Guidelines
As you are writing, keep in mind what device your readers will most likely be consuming your content on. If you know that the majority of your audience will be “tuning in” on a desktop computer, it’s safe to write longer paragraphs. However, in today’s day and age, most people get their reading in on a mobile phone or tablet.
Content works best on smaller screens when headers are used to break up the writing or give people the ability to skip to the sections that most interest them. It’s also beneficial to divide the content into smaller, more consumable paragraphs. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably opened up an article, seen an entirely too long paragraph and automatically skipped over it or even worse, hit the back arrow and opted out of the article altogether.
Finish With a Call to Action
It’s always best practice to leave your reader with a strong call to action. You already have their attention so don’t lose the momentum! Your readers need something to do when they finish reading – whether you direct them to another related blog article, or you give them an opportunity to download a free resource – this is the time to remind them to stay tuned into your content in the future.
Plus keep in mind, you don’t have to place your CTA at the end of your writing. Sometimes, it’s best to place it in the middle or even beginning of your content where they are actively engaged.
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