Writing content takes a bit of skill, but it’s something you can learn if you’re up to the task. It’s different from writing for magazines in a few ways, so if you’ve done print writing, there will be some adjustments to make. Here are five things you should remember when writing content.
1. Keep content short
Short content is appealing because people are crunched for time. If they can get what they need out of a 500-word article, they will choose that over a piece that seems endless. Readers don’t want to have to sift through pages of information to find what they need. Make sure that you don’t become repetitive when writing your content. Remove any filler words and other fluff.
2. Know your goal
When writing a piece of content, you want to know what you’re trying to achieve. Who is your audience and what are you trying to help them with? Knowing the reason behind your content will help you to focus instead on being all over the place. If you’re helping your readers to save money, don’t go off on a tangent about something barely related. If you’re trying to help young adults start saving money, don’t also try to target retirees. These are completely different audiences with varying needs.
3. Get creative
Content shouldn’t be boring. People are bombarded with content all day. If you want your newsletter, blog, or website to be read, you need your content to stand out. Start with your headline because it’s the first thing readers will see. If you can’t grab their attention with that, it doesn’t matter how amazing your content is because they won’t read it. Spend time crafting a headline that lets your reader know exactly what you’re offering. Make a big deal about it, but don’t exaggerate. Use power words instead of words people hear every day. “Feel better” can become “Energize yourself.” Use techniques such as alliteration, rhyme, and assonance. Let the reader know exactly how many tips you’re offering to help them solve their problem. The body of your content doesn’t have to be boring either.
4. Include research that backs up your tips
No matter how much of an expert you are on a subject, it always helps to have research to back you up. Readers like proof you know what you’re talking about. If you can provide links to studies, this will make your content more desirable. If you refer to something you won’t discuss in depth, it wouldn’t hurt to leave your readers with a link to more information if they have an interest in learning more about it. This will save them the time of having to search for it themselves.
5. Focus on your reader
Your readers don’t want to read 600 words about you. They want to read about how you understand their problem and what solutions you have to help them. If they get the impression early on that you’re attempting to get them to buy something, they’ll be turned off and probably stop reading. If you tell a reader what they need to improve their situation, give them details about it, and finish by advertising what you have to sell, you’re more likely to be successful. Make sure to say “you,” more than “I” or “we.”
Writing content is a useful skill that can benefit your own blog or website, or you can earn extra money writing for others.